UK foreign office memo mocks Catholicism and The Pope
posted at 10:22 am on April 26, 2010 by Cassy Fiano
Catholic-bashing is nothing new. It’s rather mainstream in the media and among celebrities. When it comes to child abuse, journalists are particularly titillated. Nevermind that priests don’t abuse children any more than Protestants or anyone else. The sad reality is that positions of authority will attract some men who want to exploit it, whether that person is a teacher, a priest, a Protestant pastor, or a Boy Scout leader. In any of these cases, the person exploiting their position of authority is in the minority; like any other profession, priests by and large keep their vows, and a very small minority have broken their vows and broken the law by abusing children. That doesn’t stop the media from perpetuating the idea that all priests are dirty old men who can’t be trusted around children. The Catholic church is also attacked by the left for its positions on abortion, AIDS, homosexuality, and women in the church. The left loves the Episcopalians and hates the Catholics. Mocking the Pope is cool, bashing priests is acceptable, and Catholicism is old, outdated, and can’t keep up with modern times.
Is it any surprise, considering the generally accepted attitude towards the church, that a British foreign office memo would be uncovered mocking the Pope and the church?
Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here.
No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street and at least three Whitehall departments, and the civil servant who authorised it has simply been moved to other duties.
… Cardinal Renato Martino, the former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “The British government has invited the Pope as its guest and he should be treated with respect.
“To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”
The memo, sent out in March following a “brainstorm” session by Foreign Office staff who are helping prepare for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in September, warned recipients that the contents “should not be shared externally” because the offending document, titled “The Ideal Visit”, contained “even the most far-fetched of ideas”.
As well as suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, the memo also proposed that the Pope should “announce sacking of dodgy bishops”, sponsor a network of AIDS clinics, conduct a training course for bishops on child abuse allegations and ordain a female priest.
Embarrassingly for the Queen it also suggested getting the Pope and Her Majesty to sing a duet for charity and changing the national anthem from God Save The Queen to God Save the World.
The Foreign Office responded by sending Francis Campbell, the British ambassador to the Vatican, to an urgent meeting with senior officials of the Holy See, and said the “foolish document” had not been cleared or shown to ministers or senior officials before it was circulated.
A spokesman added that “many of the ideas in the document are clearly ill-judged, naïve and disrespectful” and the department was “deeply sorry for the offence which it has caused”.
So, let’s see. The British government invites the Pope to come to the UK for a visit. Someone writes an extremely offensive memo which gets forwarded around to various government offices, including Downing Street. A spokesperson for the government says that the government is “very sorry” for the offense, yet they didn’t see fit to fire anyone associated with the scandal.
Why do I somehow feel like they really aren’t that sorry?
These diplomants made a mockery of the Pope and of the beliefs of millions of Catholics in Britain and around the world. And the person responsible still has their job! Why? Because it’s en vogue to attack the Catholic church. Making fun of the Pope is not that big a deal. And while the memo was a joke, yes, I would bet anything that if the Catholic church did some of those things — funded abortion clinics, ordained a female priest — they’d be applauding the church. Liberals aren’t comfortable with the depth of the beliefs that Catholics hold. They don’t like that Catholics are so staunchly pro-life, that we actually believe that women shouldn’t be priests, that homosexuality is a sin. So they make middle-school jokes and insults. They snicker at the Pope and at Catholics behind their backs. Heck, some people do it right out in the open (a la Maureen Dowd).
It’s sad, because while Christianity itself is under attack from the left, none of the Protestants get it nearly as bad as Catholics do. Where’s the so-called tolerance? What does it say about the so-called enlightened, tolerant attitudes in the British government that someone can make such lewd, disgusting comments towards the Pope and not face any repercussions?
If for no other reason, that memo should never have been created simply out of respect for a visiting head-of-state, if not for the fact that it was the Pope. But because it’s the Pope, and the Catholic church is so backwards and antequated, it’s somehow OK?
It’s a sad commentary that in today’s world, someone can mock and disrespect the Pope, for crying out loud, in such a low and disgusting way, and not get punished for it at all. This person should have been fired. By letting the perpetrator keep their job with the government, they’re basically saying that the memo is OK, and they’re only sorry they got caught. The Pope’s spokesman is now saying that the Pope might cancel his visit to the UK, and he should.
Until the person or persons responsible for this filth are fired, the Pope should refuse to visit Britain.