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Debate: Are the Pope protesters anti-Catholic?

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By on Thursday, 19 August 2010

Protesters at Westminster Cathedral in March (Lewis Whyld/PA Wire)

Protesters at Westminster Cathedral in March (Lewis Whyld/PA Wire)

At a Protest the Pope meeting last week Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, insisted that the Protest the Pope campaign was not anti-Catholic.

He said: “The first thing I want to say is that the Protest the Pope campaign is not anti-Catholic. Some Catholic bloggers have tried to portray us as some kind of off-shoot of the Orange order, but this simply isn’t true.

“Our title is Protest the Pope and that’s what it means – this particular pope, Joseph Ratzinger. It does not mean protest the Catholics. Indeed, many Catholics entirely understand what we are about and have stated their support.”

He attempted to distinguish between “modern Catholics”, who, like everyone else, “want to live in the modern world” and “the old men in Rome” who are holding them back.

On the other hand, much venom on the internet is directed at Catholics in general, not just the Pope. The clothing company Catholics with Attitude, for example, did not receive abusive messages about the Pope, but about Catholics.

And Britain has a long and disturbing history of anti-Catholic prejudice. The National Secular Society is selling T-shirts with the slogan “Pope Nope”. Some Catholics see in this an unconscious echo of the old sectarian cry: “No popery.”

So, are the Pope protesters anti-Catholic, or are they concerned solely with Pope Benedict XVI and his leadership of the Church?

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    geoffreysmith1

    Yes, the Pope was invited. The question is why and is this a good idea? I say that it is not.

    “Government would expect to benefit in some way by a meeting” – geoffreysmith

    In what way? That is the question. The Vatican is 110 Acres with approximately 800 permanent residents. Are we going to sign mutualy beneficial trade agreements ? work on technological R&D? Sign a military treaty? No, there are no financial, trade or defense purpose to the UK's rapprochement with the Vatican.

    “this benefit would be derived from the Vatican's undoubted expertise in diplomacy, based as it is on a foundation of strict neutrality and impartiality in the conduct of affairs between nations” – geoffreysmith1

    “Expertise in Diplomacy”? Well yes it did manage to convince fascist Benito Mussolini to sign the Lateran Treaty in 1929 that allowed it to claim to be a “State”. What other examples do you have?

    “Foundation of Strict Neutrality”? Are you kidding? the Vatican is a self-serving entity continously sticking its nose into other country's affairs and making backroom deals see, http://www.concordatwatch.eu/ .

    What “harvest”? What “yield”? What does the UK get from this visit other than a larger economic deficit?

  • geoffreysmith1

    ” “Expertise in Diplomacy”? Well yes it did manage to convince fascist Benito Mussolini to sign the Lateran Treaty in 1929 that allowed it to claim to be a “State”. What other examples do you have? “

    The Vatican acted as the mediator between Argentina and Chile in the settlement of a border dispute involving those two countries.

    ” What “harvest”? What “yield”? What does the UK get from this visit other than a larger economic deficit? “

    If you really want to know the details, I suggest you correspond with the FCO.

  • geoffreysmith1

    ” The Pope should be welcome to come to the UK anytime, like any other religious leader, at his own expense. “

    Just not feasible. If he came at his own expense, without the protection of the Special Branch, he would be a sitting target for any nutjob who fancied his chances of making history and earning 15 minutes of prime-time television for himself. If the Pope comes at all, he must have the full protection of our country's resources, no matter what the cost.

  • geoffreysmith1

    “The Jesuits I learned from at University were educated, intellectual, thinking catholics. I never knew one who was bigoted against homosexuals, lied about condoms' effectiveness or turned a blind eye to the rape of children by priests. Based on their words and actions, they were better men than Mr. Ratzinger.”

    Maybe that was because so many of them were homosexuals, used condoms themselves, and were personally involved in the rape of children?

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    In the one example you give, the Beagle conflict over theownership of islands between Argentina and Chile, Chile's ownership was decided by the Internationall Court of Justice in the Hague in 1977. The Vatican did get involved after the decision because Argentina would not comply with decision against it but Argentina rejected the Pope's diplomacy as well. So no great diplomatic success there. Got anything else?

    You claimed the Papal visit would bring “harvests and yields” to teh UK. Let me introduce you to the burden of proof: it rests with the person making the claim. I'm interested to know how a religious centre of 100 acres and 800 full time residents will bring any benefit to the UK. Particularly when that alleged “City State's” foreign policy is diametrically opposed to the UK governments's on: civil rights for LGBT people, discrimination against gays, stem cell research, reproductive rights, sex education, and the use of condoms for the preventions of sexually transmitted infections and the fight against AIDS in the developping world.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    So many errors in logic, so little time:

    An “Ad Hominem” attack is an attack on the character of the person instead of their arguments. So when you wildly accuse Jesuit professors of being homosexual and/or paedophiles that is an Ad Hominem attack.

    A “False Equivalence” is when you take 2 separate issues and try to make them the same. So being homosexual and being a paedophiel are tow separate and distinct things but you dishonestly make them one and the smae thing.

    “Straw Man” you build up a weak facsimile of the opponent's argument and attack that instead of the actual argument presented

    Lastly I have a question, what kind of person, much less a catholic would accuse innocent catholic priests of being child rapists without a shred of evidence? I woudn't do that to my worst enemy but you blithely libel Jesuit professors you know nothing about.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    You make a good point that the Pope cannot visit without huge taxpayer expenditure on his protection. Another excellent reason for the visit to be cancelled or rescheduled until the UK is out of its economic crisis.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    your accusations are scurilous and made without any evidence.

    When I make accusations, I refer to facts that can be verified:

    The Pope's own words, actions and inactions should disqualify him from being honoured by Parliament and the Queen. The Pope has has called homosexuality a “tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective dissorder” – that's bigotry. He said that AIDS “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”. This is a lie repeated multiple times by high officials in the Vatican which is designed to undermine all scientific and medical evidence about the efficacy of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. On the child abuse scandal, In his De Delictis Graviorbus letter dated 24 January 2001 the Pope himself ordered all allegations of child abuse by priests to be reported to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith which he was in charge of. He knew of the paedophile priests better than anyone but apparently never demanded that they be defrocked, much less reported to the police or prosecutors. Nor did he put a stop to child molesting priests being moved from parish to parish. Nor did he report Marciel Maciel to the police. This course of conduct had the effect of allowing the continuation of untold hundreds or thousands of incidents of child abuse and rape by priests.

    so my conetntion stands, to my knowledge, the Jesuits I knew at my university were better men than this Pope.

  • Annalisa

    Quoderat, Pope Benedict's view on homosexuality, which you define as bigotry, is Jesus' view on homosexuality, which means you are not only anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian in general, or should I say, anti-Christ.

    At least now we know where you stand.

    Condoms: they obviously have not solved and will never solve the AIDS problem. The UK distributes condoms at every corner and has the highest number of teenage pregnancies in the Western World. The number of people with HIV and AIDS has been steadily rising (a few minor fluctuations aside). See the link: http://www.avert.org/uk-statistics.htm

    Abuse: repeating the lie 'the Pope did not stop the abusers' will not make it true. I have read your link and the accusations against Pope Benedict sound like smears based on hearsay: 'apparently he told a cardinal…'. The FACTS show that Pope Benedict is part of the solution. He has been ruthless with the guilty priests, but you do not wish to read the evidence, as apparently you don't like to read factual books, you prefer to regurgitate the lies that Protest the Pope tell you. Well maybe you will have the willingness and the time to read little comments on the book: http://www.romereports.com/palio/A-book-investi

    Quoderat, you are obviously part of the anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Christ bandwagon, and we will never reach an agreement.

    However, I have prayed for you and for your friends yesterday in front of the blessed Sacrament, I have entrusted you to Jesus' mother, and Jesus would like you (and your friends) to know that he loves you deeply, and that Pope Benedict loves you like a father.

    God bless you.

  • Annalisa

    QuodErat, you are quoting the book of Leviticus and Exodus, which are before Christ.

    Christ changed some of the laws (he dismissed eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, told his disciples they had to forgive their enemies seventy times seven, which means always, and told people were not allowed to divorce, whereas Moses allowed divorce). So when you read the book of Leviticus and the book of Exodus you are not reading about the Catholic Church, you are reading the journey of the people of God towards salvation. There were no Christians before Christ.

    Christ and the Christian/Catholic Church have never sanctioned or condoned killings. When Christ came, he became the Lamb of God, and made himself the ultimate sacrifice. His sacrifice is enough for our salvation.

    Homosexuality: in Matthew 19:5 Jesus confirmed the original and traditional understanding of marriage between man and woman: 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'. In other instances, he condemned sexual immorality, which is sexuality that is outside of that understanding, for example when he claimed “For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery…” Mark 7:21.

    This proves that if you reject Pope Benedict's views on homosexuality, you reject the Catholic/Christian Church's view on homosexuality, and most importantly, you reject Christ's teaching on homosexuality.

    Of course, Pope Benedict and the Catholic/Christian Church do not condemn homosexuals. It is ok to have same sex attraction as long as you practise chastity. All people are called to chastity, including married people (with periods of abstinence in accordance with natural family planning). So the Church and the Pope and Christ love people with same sex attraction just as they love everyone else. This does not mean they condone sexual immorality (which they don't).

    Condoms – they have only resulted in sexual promiscuity, which has led to an AIDS pandemic here in the West. They also have falsely caused people to believe they can separate sex from child bearing – one third of abortions or more are due to failed condoms. So nothing good to say about condoms really.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    “Quoderat, Pope Benedict's view on homosexuality, which you define as bigotry, is Jesus' view on homosexuality” – Annalisa

    Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. I defy you to provide evidence that Jesus ever even used the word “homosexual.” Bigotry is wrong, I don't care what any religious leader says. If the Pope told you black people were “disordered” and “tending towards a moral evil” (as he said about gays) would you accept that?

    “He has been ruthless with the guilty priests” – Annalisa

    How? Give me some Evidence (preferably not from a biased, self-serving, Catholic apologetics source – it would be more convincing). If Ratzinger was so ruthless, explain to me why Marciel Maciel was allowed to abuse seminarians for decades and was only dissavowed by the Vatican in May of this year. Explain to me how Parishes were allowed to move known paedophile priests from parish to parish while the Pope was Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Explain to me why the Vatican and churches around the world have failed to cooperate with investigations or turn over their files to the police. See Ireland's Murphy Report http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_Report .

    In fact, can you name me one single paedophile priest that the Pope has ordered defrocked and turned in to the police?

    condoms and AIDS:

    There are multiple causes to rates of sexually transmitted infections and AIDS. I have already pointed you twice to the World Health Organization, a scientific, evidence-based medical authority that states that condoms *when used* are 90+% effective against the transmission of AIDS.

    Just because idiot teenagers in Britain don't use them and contract sexually transmitted diseases doesn't mean that they are innefective nor does it mean people in the developping world should not have access to them.

    ” Jesus would like you (and your friends) to know that he loves you deeply” – Annalisa

    Thanks for the good wishes but I am curious, does Jesus talk to you directly? Can other people hear it or is it a voice in your head?

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    “Christ and the Christian/Catholic Church have never sanctioned or condoned killings.” – Annalisa

    This is demonstrably, historically wrong. The Catholic church has killed loads of people including: Saracens, witches, protestants, cathars, other catholics etc etc

    The various Inquisitions tortured and killed thousands of people over hundreds of years accross Europe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition

    The Malleus Meleficarum was a manual for the persecution of witches written by an Inquisitor of the Catholic Church. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum

    Do I really need to remind you of the Crusades? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

    “Homosexuality: in Matthew 19:5″ – Analisa

    I note that Jesus says nothing about homosexuals. If your point is that adultery is bad why doesn't the Pope rail against adulterers instead of homosexuals? And not to put too fine point on it but the Pope is against gay marriage and it is inconsistent to demand that they not commit adultery if they can't get married in the first place. It would be reasonable if the Pope said: get married and don't commit adultery. It is ludicrous for him to say “don't get married” and “never have sex outside of marriage” which is effectively a command to practice life-long celibacy. Jesus never told anyone they had to practice life long celibacy.

    The pope said that homosexuality is an “intrinsic moral evil”. Those are not the words of a person who as you say “does not condemn homosexuals”. pope quotation source http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4445279

  • Annalisa

    Quoderat, Jesus clearly defined sexuality as a gift to be received in marriage between a man and a woman. He did not mention homosexuality per se but he excluded any form of sexuality outside of the man-woman marriage when he said
    '”Haven't you read,”
    “that at the beginning the Creator
    'made them male and female,' and said,
    'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
    and be united to his wife,
    and the two will become one flesh'?
    So they are no longer two, but one.
    Therefore what God has joined together,
    let man not separate.”
    He did not say, 'a man will leave his mother and father, and be united to his husband'.

    Jesus condemned sexual immorality several times. As you want the long answer, here it is (by P G Nelson):

    http://www.theologicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/smoral

    You don't like to read much, so here is a short extract of the above link:

    Jesus’ starting point (Matthew 5:17−20)
    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his disciples:
    17‘Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to
    destroy but to fulfil. 18For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one
    small letter, not one little stroke, will by any means pass from the Law until all has taken
    place. 19Whoever therefore relaxes one of the least of these commandments, and teaches
    others [to do] so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does [them]
    and teaches [them] shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say to you that,
    unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will certainly
    not enter the kingdom of heaven.’
    Here Jesus affirms the OT (17), and says that the Law will stand until all the prophecies in the
    OT have been fulfilled, including the promise of a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ (18).3 He
    concludes that disciples should practice and teach all the commandments, even the least (19).
    Disciples are to be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees (20), both in this respect,
    and as in the teaching that follows (21−48).
    The starting point for Jesus’ teaching is therefore the Law. Here I give a brief summary what
    the Law says on sexual issues.4
    Man, woman, and marriage (Genesis 1−3)
    Genesis begins with a general account of creation (1:1−2:3), which is then elaborated in
    certain particulars (2:4−25). In the general account, the creation of human beings is described
    as follows:
    26Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ….’ 27So God created
    the man in his image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created
    them.’
    The transition from singular (‘God created the man … he created him’) to plural (‘male and
    female he created them’) is explained in Genesis 2:
    18Then YHWH God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper for
    him, corresponding to him.’ … 21So YHWH God made a deep sleep fall on the man, and
    he slept. Then he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22And YHWH
    God fashioned the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to
    the man. 23And the man said, ‘This at last [is] bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:
    she shall be called “woman”, because she was taken out of man.’ 24Therefore a man shall
    leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one
    flesh.
    Here the narrator describes the creation of a woman out of part of the man. This gives them an
    inherent unity that transcends their ability to unite physically. It is because of this inherent
    unity (‘Therefore …’) that a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the
    two become one flesh (24).
    At this stage, the relationship between the man and the woman is harmonious. Genesis 3,
    however, describes how the woman is tempted to acquire knowledge of good and evil, and
    leads the man into disobedience (1−6). God’s response is to make their lives more difficult,
    including the relationship between them (16).
    Prohibitions
    The law God gave to Israel through Moses explicitly prohibits the following sexual activities:
    • Adultery (Exod. 20:14, Lev. 18:20, Deut. 5:18).
    • Bestiality (Lev. 18:23, Deut. 27:21).
    • Homosexual acts (Lev. 18:22).
    • Incest (Lev. 18:6−18; Deut. 22:30; 27:20, 22−23).
    • Prostitution (Heb. zānāh; Lev. 19:29, Deut. 23:18).
    • Rape (Deut. 22:25−29).
    • Sex before marriage (Exod. 22:16−17).
    • Shrine-prostitution (Heb. qādēš, qedēšāh; Deut. 23:17).
    • Transvestism (Deut. 22:5).
    • Unclean acts (Lev. 18:19).
    • Violation of betrothal (Deut. 22:23−27).
    These prohibitions have the effect of confining sexual activity to marriage, and protecting
    married life. Although they are negative, their purpose is positive. Moses told the people,
    ‘YHWH commanded us to observe all these statutes … for our good always’ (Deut. 6:24).
    The law against adultery constitutes one of the ten commandments (Exod. 20:1−17, Deut.
    5:6−21). These were written on tablets of stone, and kept in the holy of holies, at the centre of
    the nation’s life (Exod. 40:17−21, Deut. 10:1−5).
    3
    The punishments in the Law for breaking these prohibitions are very severe. They include the
    death penalty for adultery (Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:22), bestiality (Exod. 22:19, Lev. 20:15−16),
    the worst forms of incest (Lev. 20:11, 12, 14), homosexual acts (Lev. 20:13), and violation of
    betrothal (Deut. 22:23−27). That these offences carried the death penalty shows how seriously
    God regarded them. The book of Genesis records how he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
    because gross sexual immorality had become endemic in these cities (Gen. 18:16−19:29).
    Jesus’ affirmation
    Jesus said, as we have seen, ‘Whoever therefore relaxes one of the least of these
    commandments, and teaches others to do so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;
    but whoever does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’
    (Matt. 5:19). He thereby affirmed all the above prohibitions.
    He affirmed them again when he specified the things that defile a man (Mark 7:20−23). These
    include adultery (moicheia), fornication (porneia), and wantonness (aselgeia). The basic
    meaning of porneia is ‘prostitution’ (from pornē, ‘prostitute’, from pernēmi, ‘sell’). From
    this, it acquired the broader meaning ‘sexual immorality’, and came to be applied to various
    kinds of sexual misconduct.5 His listeners would have understood the word here to refer to
    sexual activities prohibited by the Law.
    The apostles also spoke against sexual activities prohibited by the Law. These include
    homosexual acts (Rom. 1:26−27, 1 Cor. 6:9−11,6 1 Tim. 1:8−11,7 Jude 7?8), incest (1 Cor.
    5:1−5), and prostitution (1 Cor. 6:15−16).
    On the positive side, Jesus affirmed marriage by his attendance at the wedding in Cana in
    Galilee (John 2:1−11), and Peter and Paul affirmed it in their letters (Eph. 5:22−33, 1 Pet.
    3:1−7). Jesus and Paul themselves were celibate, the value of which Paul also affirmed (1
    Cor. 7:32−35).

    Condoms: read stats here: http://www.humanaevitaepriests.org/faithful_con
    These prove that using condoms is not a long term solution. It may seem to avert the problem (ex: by using a condom, you may avert (MAY, not will) catching sexual diseases, but in the long run, they exacerbate the problem, because they make gullible people believe that they can severe the link between sex and child bearing, so sex becomes a past time, people become promiscuous, and HIV numbers soar, as they have done here.

    Adultery: both Jesus and the Church teach that adultery is wrong.

    And, last but not least, Pope Benedict has been part of the solution regarding abuse cases. See link: http://protectthepope.com/?page_id=16

    And yes, Jesus loves you. He is present in the Blessed Sacrament and I suggest you go and talk to Him. I mean it. He will give you all the answers.

  • Kevin Greenan

    Maybe if some of those opposed to the visit of Pope Benedict yet insist they are not anti-Catholic would like to distance them selves from one of the main opponents of the visit, then their credibility might be more acceptable. The various groups voicing opposition cannot sit next to Peter Tatchel of Outrage and then fail to understand that any 'valid' opposition they might feel they have the right to have to the visit of the Pope is tainted by being in the company of Mr. Tatchell. His vitriolic hatred of the Catholic Church is well documented. This person, the un-elected spokesperson of the British gay community, has disrupted church services, made shocking statements and voiced views that no self respecting 'human rights activisit' would ever do. So no not all are anti-Catholic but do not be surprised if you are judged by the poor company you keep.

  • KevKevin Greenan

    “Herr Ratzinger”? clearly a rascist way to addressthe Pope!

  • homemaker

    Objectors to the Pope's visit claim they don't want their taxes paying for the security needed for this visit. The fact is, we all pay for things in this society that we disagree with, and my taxes pay for many things I'm very much opposed to. I think the claim that they don't want taxes to pay for this, is an argument that doesn't hold water. I didn't see these same people out on the streets when the Chinese, Saudi's and president of Pakistan visited – leaders who execute their people and have terrible human rights records.
    The the objectors change tack and say it's all about child abuse. Rubbish! The objectors to the Pope are having a “party” and are intent on having a carnival and partying atmosphere. This is not exactly the appropriate way to protest about child abuse or show copnsideration for the victims, to have a party. So to say it's about child abuse is disingenuous.
    Then the objectors change tack again and say it's about condoms and HIV. They want condoms to be supported in Africa in particular, to save people from HIV. Funny that, because I've noticed that when it comes to the abortion debate, these same people claim that condoms don't work and have a huge failure rate so abortion must be allowed when there is contraceptive failure.Funny that on the one hand they proclaim condoms are fanatstic and work, and on the other hand they claim they are rubbish and fail a lot.

    The protesters are Anti-Catholic. They just don't want to admit to hatred and discrimination against people who think differently, and their Liberal values? Hypocrisy! They want your conformity and your aquiecence, and they'll bully you until you give in to their demands.Notice, no talk of justice, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness. “By their works ye shall know them” – angry., hectoring, vicious, threatening, generally all round nasty. Protest the Pope? No thanks!

  • Heather Mcdougall

    I notice that there has been some debate about Jesuits and their behaviour at universities. I want to inform readers here of the facts about policy at both Heythrop College and Campion Hall.At Heythrop when it was at Cavendish Square, there was a “open door” policy during tutorials. All tutors had to leave their door wide open during personal tutorials.The busy corridors the doors opened on to, ensured that no allegations were made and were not possible to make. This excellent policy ensured the saftey of the Jesuits and all students, and was a thoughtful, intelligent and practical approach.

    Any suggestion that the Jesuits in our universities have questionable morals, is completely untrue. I found them to be living examples of the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and it was this personal example which helped persuade me to think again about my faith and return to the church.
    I know from personal experience that the Jesuits in our universities can be completely trusted.Every parent here can feel confident of sending their child to Heythrop, where they will receive a great education and the highest standards of care.

  • Murphj818

    Just to say beware, us Catholics are running out of cheeks.

  • yisrael

    That's so funny considering the fact that the doctrines of the catholic church really are created. You can't find them in the Bible.

  • yisrael

    They create their own messages. None of it lines up with the Bible. The only thing they're daring to do, is follow their own man-made traditions.

  • catholic mum

    No, its not anti catholic, its anti the pope visit. It would suit many catholics to be seen as the victim here, when in fact that is not true. It is quite nice to be the “poor me, brave catholic struggling on in the face of all this hate” when in fact all people are saying, in the majoirty of cases is–if you want this man to be here, you pay for it

  • JamesH

    “…has called homosexuality a “tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective dissorder”. That's bigotry.”
    Wrong. Homosexuality is associated with a host of physical and psychological illnesses. No amount of safe-sex propaganda can change the fact that homosexual men have a life expectancy very much lower than the general population.

    “Against all scientific and medical evidence he has said that AIDS “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”. That's a lie.”
    Or it would be – if you could point out just one instance where AIDS had been stopped by condom promotion. Even the WHO has admitted that condoms haven't stopped the spread of AIDS. What evidence are you talking about?

    “…he ordered all allegations of child abuse by priests to be reported to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith that he was in charge of”
    Where previously the charges had been left to gather dust in local bishops' files where they were never acted on.

    “…apparently never defrocked a priest (not even Marciel Maciel) much less reported a single priest to the police or local authorities.” Was Maciel ever charged during his lifetime? Even if he wasn't, he was shut away in 'a life of prayer and penance', wasn't he? It's not the Pope's job to decide the guilt or otherwise of a suspect – that's what the law's for.

    “…allowing them to move from parish to parish”
    As recommended by the psychologists of the time, who pronounced them cured!

    Get the facts.

  • youngsy

    This Pope has too many unanswered questions in his past,such as his Hitler youth membership and his alleged knowledge of child abuse by Catholic priests. Ratzinger does not inspire non-catholics the way his predecessor did. This Pope is too much to the right of the Roman Catholic church.

  • Daniel

    Although i have questioned this Pope about his past and alleged knowledge of child abuse i personally am not opposed to his visit to the UK. If people of whatever religion find comfort,solace or inspiration from his visit is this a bad thing. I am non-catholic but there was a time,not too long ago actually 21 months,when i was very seriously ill with full respiritory failure caused by pneumonia and was placed on life support for 24 days and my life was in the balance the support my family was given by the RC church was tremendous and great comfort to them. I had mass said for me in Dublin,Manchester and Glasgow and prayers offered by RC priests and practising Catholics whom i have never met but friends asked for this to be given. My wife also had a very fulfilling conversation with an RC Bishop whilst sitting in a prayer room adjoining the Critical Care Unit i was in. His words were a source of inspiration to my wife,who incidentally is also non-Catholic. I think this Bishop was the Bishop of Wigan and St.Helens,i may be wrong about that,but whoever he was i thank him. As i have said if the visit to the UK gives solace,comfort or inspiration to people where is the problem.

  • markscipio

    as a liberal catholic I think some of the protesters have genuinely plausible points but the truth is that these kind of protests will attract the unwelcome support of purely bigotted minds.

  • logos27

    These people are out to attack the Catholic Church. Why the Catholic Church? Because it is the biggest opponent of their agenda of sexual promiscuity, gay-marriage and adoption, divorce, contraception, abortion, experimentation on embryos, genetic modification, eugenics and euthanasia.

    We have to realise that it is no use appealing to these people's sense of fair-play, academic integrity and honesty – they have none. These people must be exposed for the charlatans and bigots they are

  • Robinleslie

    The first thing to say about this particular visit of Pope Benedict is that is becoming a site and occasion for

    scapegoating, the Pope has become a scapegoat and this has not simply happened overnight.

    From my reading of material on displacements and dislocations of the religious (or for that matter secular) sacred, they are always eventually accompanied by the selection of a scapegoat on whom to externalise

    the collective hatreds of a society. These hatreds coalesce around a very strong desire for vengeance leading to a slaying or killing either by an appointed executioner or by the mob.

    Scapegoats are usually selected from marginal groups and individuals, those who society considers are not sufficiently integrated into the collectivity, they range from the poor, disabled, mentally ill, or kings and popes.

    There is a rationale behind this predatory phenomenon, such marginals are not capable of resisting the violence of the mob or collectivity, they are chosen as they are the line of least resistance.

    That violence has 'reasons' makes little or no difference to the course of the violence, 'reasons' are simply a cloak to hide the deception from the mob themselves and from others, this is called 'misrecognition'.

    The Pope is so obviously a scapegoat in this case (his visit to a deeply polarized and divided society) with Catholics facing minority status in the context of a totalitarian secularism that now constitutes the British State and society, he, the Pope, and the Catholic Church stand in the way of this virulent secularism achieving its final end of total social and global domination.

    In thiis respect the Protest-the-Pope movement assembled from a coalition of humanists, secularists, gays, feminists and rabid rationalists is decidedly anti-Catholic, anti-clerical and anti-religious. One of their ploys

    played out by the BBC (British Bullshitting Corporation) is to divide Catholics from their Pope by carrying out rigged surveys on restricted and targetted questions like celibacy and 'the status of women in the church',

    also a typically British divide and rule tactic they are still using all over the world.

    Yes, as a Catholic I now find myself as a reluctant witness of an event of classical scapegoating and it is happening in a country of which I am a citizen, and a country that calls itself 'democratic'. Catholics should resist all attempts, subtle and crude to scapegoat the Pope and to entertain any ideas of admitting women to the priesthood. They should also resist any further destruction of the father-figure by the liberal secular priesthoods

    of neo-liberal States.

  • Kevin Greenan

    I regard myself as a loyal Catholic but I cannot be so condemning as your comments. No wonder we are losing support with such hard line positions. Yes we must have beliefs but with kindness too. Our Saviour was far more generous. Stop throwing stones!

  • LiberalTraditionalist

    They're not anti-catholic, they're just a bunch of nutters, loonies and baskett-cases.

    One of them – it was in the Times two weeks ago – said that they were pleased that they had to do a second print run (off 200) of their Nope Pope T-shirts. He also said that – on a phone-in on Radio Scotland – he was heartened that “every single caller” was against the visit – failing to account for the Knox-Calvin element or the fact that only nutters call in to a Radio Phone-in.

    Yesterday we had Dr. Evan (I'm not anti-catholic) Harris on our screens moving from side-to-side with at least fifteen non-arguments against the State Visit. Dr. Harris was/is an Executive Member of the National Secular Society and was – barely four months ago – given a good hiding by the voters of Oxford West.

    If they are so certain of the righteousness of their logic, stand for election and we'll soon see who's in charge here.

  • Bill

    Yes, these protesters are anti-catholi bigots, dishonest and peddling their pervasive agendas. Catholics have resisted and defeated such bigotry before. We love our Pope and the universal church and will defend and resist these bigots.

    Bill

  • lotilda

    Pope protestors are attention hungry idiots, they simply want to steal the limelight. They are inciting religious hatred,why are they allowed to do this? They should practice what they preech and live and let. I'm glad to say that we're were drowning out the idiots this morning at Twickenham, and what a pathetic turn out the protestors had too!

  • Joe

    What about the Pope's plans to setup statehood on the temple mount? That's a Jewish site given to Israel by Yeshua not Peter or Pope 1, 2, 3….. What about the Pope saying exterresterials are our space brothers in 2009 and his right hand astronomer wanting to baptise an exterresterial if given the opportunity? Why are Catholics still catholicing? If my church head did that I would run and run fast!!!! Something is amiss.

  • Anti-Catholic Warrior

    I am a Catholic. But I love to attack the Catholic doctrines because their their’s are considered as unchristian and antichristian.