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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?

  • http://twitter.com/Christomicro Christopher Wright

    Don't even bother to think about it – they're not just anti-Catholic, but against any religion which requires anything concrete from its members, and therefore may be divisive.
    Promoting social cohesion is what it's all about. Ask Blair and his “Faith Foundation”

  • Antependium

    Of course it's anti-Catholic. It's an attack on Catholicism, as embodied by the Pope. They're not “concerned”, either – they're angry that the Church dares to preach the Chrisitan message.

  • RichardR

    Is the National Secular Society anti-Catholic? Is the Pope Catholic?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6B7TVQBY5SM3GRLFFJ3EJT5YFY Mary C

    I'm sorry – but the issue that people must face is that anyone who is Pope would be saying what Joseph Ratzinger is saying. One cannot be a modern Catholic and not believe in the tenents of the faith which are based on scripture and tradition. You are something else. To attack the Pope for what he says is an attack on Catholicism. That's why the Pope is hated – he articulates the faith as it is – not how people want it to be. What is so interesting to me in all of the attacks is that Ratzinger is never attacking of other people or their ideas – he only promotes the opposite. The debate on the other side is purely personal – that suggests a lot about what the other side thinks about the dignity, worth and rights of other people.

  • Ann Duclos

    At the Blog La Salette Journey, Paul Melanson notes how Terry Sanderson refers to those who will accompany the Holy Father to the UK as “flunkies.” If Terry Sanderson is serious when he says, “Our title is Protest the Pope and that’s what it means – this particular pope, Joseph Ratzinger. It does not mean protest the Catholics,” why then does he refer to other Church officials as “flunkies”?

    And why is he complaining about state funding for this trip when he doesn't complain about other visits by foreign dignitaries such as Obama – who had an entourage of 500 and not the 11 that Pope Benedict XVI will have?

    Sanderson and his group are anti-Catholic bigots.

  • Conrad J. Noll

    I think what people are protesting against are mostly these two key points:

    1. The catholic church in its current configuration (and yes it has changed throughout history) does not seem capable of dealing with human sexual variations including homosexuality, which are a natural phenomena – much research on this shows this is the case throughout nature. Until the church matures enough to deal with this reality, mature, grown-up adults will protest.

    2. Children are still vulnerable throughout the church. England, the US, maybe even Ireland have addressed this – but these are local initiatives. Where are the controls and assurances that children in the rest of the catholic church, where it is still strong and expanding, are protected? We don't hear anything about this from the Vatican.

    Until these issues are dealt with to the satisfaction of most educated people there will be protests against the Pope, the catholic church and catholics who support the church while it continues to hurt people and children over these issues.

    Does that make it easier to understand the protests?

    Slainte,
    Conrad J. Noll

  • Georg_Misdroy

    What I don't understand: There were not more than 60 people at the Anti-Pope meeting last week. Why don't 60 Catholics turn up at such meetings and make themselves heard? Terry Sanderson's assumption that we Catholics would love to have the Church very different and are simply held back by some reactionaries in Rome is a lot of rubbish. I as a Catholic don't need Terry Sanderson's altruistic help. I don't feel oppressed and don't know any other Catholics who do. Sometimes ought to have the courage to say this.

  • Anna

    Conrad, you say “We don't hear anything about this from the Vatican.”
    Please go to the Vatican website and click on “The Abuse of Minors, The Church's Response” and read the 33 documents that discuss it. http://www.vatican.va/resources/index_en.htm#

    Since your comments about homosexuality are opposed Catholic teaching, then I suppose that you agree with others that the protests are “anti-Catholic” as opposed to specifically “anti-Pope Benedict”.

  • Roger Vaste

    The Protest the Pope endeavour is very much anti-Catholic:

    http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2010/08/pr

  • http://theteenagecommunist.blogspot.com Little Duck

    I know right! I mean, as a homosexual human rights advocate, I will be attending the Pope's mass in Hyde Park and happily support the demonstrations.

    However, I would usually go uncaring about the exploits of Ratzinger, but I do care when he comes preaching on my door-step funded by my hard-earned money.

  • John v

    There is no other head of the Chuch other than Jesus Christ.

    The Pope is not infallible. He is deceiving many people. Read the Bible for yourselves, pickup a King James translation at your local library or bookshop, read it for yourself and see how deep in error the Roman Catholic Church is.

    I have no ill will towards Catholics, or even the Pope himself, I just hate what the (false) church stands for and what he stands for. I used to be a Roman Catholic myself, I know its darkness, mariolatry, idolatry and sin…

    Ye must be born again! Unless someone is born again, they cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven. Being part of the RCC will not get you to heaven, neither will simply being any part of a Protestant church get you into heaven. It is through Christ alone (not Mary, not the Pope), Christ only.

  • nytor

    “He attempted to distinguish between “modern Catholics”, who, like everyone else, “want to live in the modern world””

    He likes the liberalista tendency because they do not condemn homosexual relations. That is, in a nutshell, what this boils down to – the Pope is uncompromising on the subject so they are going to oppose him. Of course, the liberalista tendency is not really Catholic – it is a pick'n'mix interpretation which does not accept that one must accept all of the teachings of the Church, not just the ones which one happens to like.

  • PaulO

    Ann seems to be calling me a bigot, as I am a member of the NSS. I sincerely hope I am not, but I am against the Pope's visit as I am funding it. He is not a true head of state- even the UN recognises this. However he has been invited as he is the head of the Catholic church, with a history and views that are at odds with our modern democracy. I am against the state funding part of the visit, but I would have no objection if he came he on a pastoral visit- that would be up to him and the catholic church to sort out.

  • Georg_Misdroy

    I obviously touched a raw nerve there. You obviously fear for us to turn up. I understand a Catholic RE teacher that turned up at the last meeting was mocked. How can that be? I thought you Human Rights activists were all so wonderfully tolerant. How can you mock anybody for voicing his opinion?

    I am glad to hear you are hard-working. I am too. I am nevertheless happy to pay taxes for police protection for countless left-wing demonstrations going on all the time because I believe a free society should allow such demonstrations. Why then should tax money not be used for the visit of the Pope? By the way, did the Pope invite himself here?

  • Ann Duclos

    PaulO is simply wrong. The Pope IS a head of state recognized under international law:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&

    And I do say that Protest the Pope is anti-Catholic. Mr. Melanson makes that case quite nicely.

  • MartinT

    Of course the protests are anti-Catholic. They are particularly unpleasant because the Pope is portrayed by a modern secular society as somehow reactionary (when he is just doing his job) and he is also German. I don't think the protests would be quite so strong if he were from another country.

    Of course the Catholic Church has its own problems – mostly caused by its own members. But it has been there before throughout the centuries, pulled itself together and moved on better and stronger than before.

  • M Forrestal

    As a former Catholic, I am surprised that you do know that Catholics believe that salvation is found only in and through Jesus Christ. If you think anything else, you are very much mistaken and/or something was lacking in your Catholic formation. That said, nothing prevents God from working through either the Pope or Our Lady anymore than it stopped him working through the prophets, the apostles and the saints.

  • Kevingreenan

    Of course the anti-pope campaign has a strong element of anti-Catholicism amongst their numbers. Some of the internet attacks against the Holy Father is close to inciting action – when did a previous State Visit before ever receive such aggressive activity. Also the evidence is clear, the main media is stirring up the anti mob. On Palm Sunday a very small demonstration outside Westminster Cathedral led by arch anti Catholic, the self made spokesperson of the gay community, Peter Tatchell, received massive publicity. The following Sunday when the cathedral security had to call for police help to control the unusual high crowds trying to attend the Easter Sunday Mass did not receive a single line in our newspapers or second on our television screens.

    It is obvious that Catholics are feeling offended by the current anti-pope visit campaign, he is our religious leader on earth, why wouldn't we be offended?

    It is an added irony that extremist gays, Islamic fundamentalists, securalists and Ulster Unionists have formed this un-holy coalition against Pope Benedict.

  • Tamedshrew

    doesn't really matter what they say, the pope, this Pope, any Pope is recognized by Catholics as a successor to Saint Peter, whom, according to the Bible, Jesus named as the “shepherd” and “rock” of the Church.
    Terry Sanderson is stirring up Anti-Catholicism. period.

  • Dan

    What does “anti-Catholicism” mean? If it just means the extension of a critique of religion to the particular form it takes in the Catholic Church, then clearly anyone who is consistently critical of religion will be “anti-Catholic” in that sense. If it means being angry about certain aspects of the Catholic Church or the Pope, with which surely everyone is familiar, then again many protesters are “anti-Catholic” in that sense.

    I imagine that many Catholics, or Catholic supporters of the Pope, or apologists for those aspects of the Church which anger or arouse opposition in others (and those categories are not synonymous), will dislike criticism of this kind. They may describe this as “being offended”, but basically they just don't like it. Well, suck it up. Why not have the arguments, if you think there is something worth defending? Why not engage with what the protesters are saying? Why not see if they've got a point? If they haven't, challenge them. If they have… well then that's up to you.

    But when you accuse people of “anti-Catholicism”, what is really meant, of course, is the kind of visceral bigotry often seen in “Orange” circles. The question is: are you capable of telling the difference between anger and bigotry? If anyone who attacks the Catholic Church is merely a bigot, then I think you've lost perspective entirely.

    Is any criticism of the actions of the state of Israel anti-semitic? Is any criticism of Islam Islamophobic?

    Dan

  • Dan

    “How can you mock anybody for voicing his opinion”?

    That seems an odd way to put it. How can you mock anybody *unless* they voice their opinion?

    I wasn't there, so I don't know what was said. However, I wouldn't have thought it was the fact that “a Catholic RE teacher” spoke at all that aroused “mockery” (if it did, and whatever might be meant by “mockery”). More likely it was *what* they said. And really, the notion that it's contrary to someone's human rights to mock their stated views is plain daft. It might be a bit impolite, but it's not an attack on their human rights!

    Dan

  • Dan

    Would the fact that the Pope is “just doing his job” somehow mean that he is NOT reactionary? I admit I can't quite follow that logic.

    There has been a bit of comment about him being German, as though it was his fault that he grew up under Nazism. It's not a point I would want to make, and I would discourage others from making it. But it is worth noting that the previous Pope attracted opposition on his visit to Britain, and he wasn't German. I don't think Ratzinger's nationality has much to do with it.

    Dan

  • nytor

    what do you mean you will be attending the “mass” in Hyde Park (actually a prayer vigil, but still)? you mean you will be an attendee – in which case ought we to be concerned about a security failure which has allowed you to get a ticket – or do you mean you will be a protester?

    and stop whining about your “hard-earned money”. the single largest practising religious group in the UK (Catholics), some million of us who attend weekly and the other 5 million or so who attend sometimes, also pay taxes and they are used to fund things we profoundly disapprove of, such as abortion. I doubt the NSS and its ilk can muster 6 million members, can they?

  • David Pollock

    I was one of the speakers at the meeting which was notably orderly and well run: the Daily Telegraph report gave a false picture by seizing on two stray remarks that were totally untypical.. The Catholic RE teacher was an invited speaker, from Catholic Voice. He spoke at length and was heard politely (if sceptically) and then answered questions. He was certainly not 'mocked' by the meeting but obviously most of those present disagreed with much of what he said. He was praised for his courage in coming to the meeting and facing inevitable criticism.

    The organisers of Protest the Pope are against the state visit, not its pastoral aspects. They are defenders of human rights, including not least freedom of religion or belief. But they are highly critical of many Catholic doctrines for the damage they do in the world, and they do not confuse respect for people's right to believe what they will with any obligation to refrain from cirticism. The Catholic church is scarcely hesitant in its criticism of others (atheists, gays, etc): it should not complain when they return the compliment.

  • David Pollock

    He is the head of the tiny Vatican state, set up by agreement with Mussolini, but his diplomatic recognition is not as ruler of this territory but as Bishop of Rome: it is the Holy See that – quite anomalously – has this status, as is shown by the fact that it antedates the creation of the Vatican state.

    The Vatican is, incidentally, the only state in Europe that has not subscribed to the European Convention on Human Rights. And it must be regretting its signature to the Convention on the Rights of the Child – see http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G09/

  • AndyFrankophile

    The general public seems convinced that the church is a one man dictatorship and unfortunately pushes and pushes towards greater ultramontanism. It is quite wrong that the Pope or the Vatican should deal with the detail of allegations or the appropriate way of dealing with them, which are properly the domain of the ordinary diocesan bishop because the way society is organised, including the role of prosecuting authorities differs from diocese to diocese. The competent Vatican body can deal with the interpretation of canon law in the absence of a general council of bishops but not its application.

  • Kevingreenan

    I do not accuse all critics of the Holy Father as anti Catholic, I do accuse a large element of the current campaign of being anti-Catholic.Some of the internet language against the Pope has brought a new low in modern debate. Much is being said about the cost of the visit, most on security. It is ironic that those threatening the protests are complaining about the security costs. We may not agree with each other but planned disruption of religious ceremonies can be nothing but an attack on that religion – whatever it is!

  • Georg_Misdroy

    Dear David

    Thank you for your message which I found interesting. If the meeting was different from what has been reported, good. I am perfectly fine with there being dissent, I am merely opposed to the NSS trying to hijack the visit. There are millions of Catholics in this country (among them many children like my own) who are VERY excited about this visit. And then I read things like somebody at the meeting proposing to block the Pope's motorcade and it annoys me.

    Catholics are not afraid of having an argument on Catholic doctrine. Joseph Ratzinger by the way, when he was not yet Pope, quite frequently took part in discussions with people who did not agree with him. I find your email thoughtful and would not dream of thinking negatively of you just because you are not a fan of this Pope. However, I get fed up with Terry Sanderson calling the 11 people accompanying the Pope as “flukies” and making similar disparaging remarks. And this “cost” issue I find (as I am German I am rude by nature, so I apologize in advance) quite ridiculous. GBP 20 million is a lot for an individual, it is a ridiculous amount for the Government. You are an intelligent human being, David, and I am sure you know that too. I therefore feel that this cost issue is a populist argument to put forward a message that would otherwise be heard less well. And if you want to convince Catholics to put pressure on their Church to change doctrine THIS argument will certainly not convince them.

    And I can only repeat what I said earlier: The Pope did not invite himself here. He was invited by an British Prime Minister and the British Prime Minister did not come to office as a result of a coup d'etat. Why is it not legitimate then that the visit triggered by a legitimate government is partly paid for by the Government?

    And I could write more on the issues that you mention but I only want to say one thing. If a gay couple came to mass at our Catholic Church with a pretty conservative congregation, nobody would say a word. And if an atheist came to have a discussion (before or after mass) he would get his discussion and a nice cup of coffee on top of that. We Catholics are more tolerant than you believe and I wish I could think the same of the NSS.

    All the best to you

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    There is no good reason for the UK government to grant a taxpayer-funded State Visit to the Pope as “Head of State or as “Head of a Religion” but there are plenty of good reasons it should not. These are neutral, fact-based reasons.

    The Vatican is not a Nation State according to the UN. The Vatican is only a “State” in the sense that Pope Pius XI agreed a treaty with the fascist Benito Mussolini (Lateran Treaty 1929) for Italy to recognize the Vatican as a State. There is no good reason for the UK to recognise a 110 acre religious centre in Italy with a population of 800 as a State. There are no financial, trade or defense reasons for a rapprochement between the UK and The Vatican. Thus no reason for the Pope's visit to be a “State visit”. The Pope should be welcome to come to the UK anytime, like any other religious leader, at his own expense.

    This is a profligate, irresponsible financial expenditure that the government cannot afford at the same time it is telling its departmernts to look to cut their budgets by 20% to 40%. The government refuses to publicise the estimate of the policing costs because they know they dwarf the official £12 Million estimated cost of the visit.

    Since the Vatican is not actually a State in any meanigful sense, then the UK governmernt must be inviting him as a Head of a Religion. Why is that? The UK doesn't invite any other Heads of Religions for State visits. Moreover, the Pope's teachings are diametrically opposed to UK government policy and laws on: discrimination against Gay and Lesbian people, sex education, reproductive rights, civil partnerships, stem cell research, contraception and the preventions of sexually transmitted diseases.

    The Pope's own words, actions and inactions should diqualify 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.

    Given these facts it is entirely reasonable to oppose this Pope, and his visit, at this time, at taxpayer expense.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    Nonsense, there have been past Popes who were much more liberal than Ratzinger. Herr Ratzinger is on the very conservative end of modern catholic doctrine. Catholics like to delude themselves that their doctrine is eternal and unchanging but that is demonstrably false. Take a look at pre and post Vatican II catholic practices. Explain to me a CofE Priest with a wife and children being welcomed into the Catholic fold as a priest. Apparently celibacy is a flexible doctrine. The Vatican can be and is flexible when it serves its purpose.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    I posted a lenghty factual post that appears to have been “moderated” by the Catholic Herald, I will try again in short form:

    The Pope is free to travel anywhere and say anything he likes, at the Vatican's expense.

    The Vatican is not a “Nation State” recognized by the UN. The origin of it's claim to being a State is that pope Pius XII made a deal with the fascist Benito Mussolini to have Italy recognize the Vatican (Lateran treaty 1929). There is no good defense, trade, development, economic or other State reason for the UK to recognize a religious centre with approximately 100 Acres and 800 residents as a State.

    The Pope's policies are diametrically opposed to UK law and policy including Gay ands Leasbian rights, civil partnership, stem cell research, contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted disease. Why would the UK invite such a person to address Parliament and meet the Queen?

    Ratzinger presided over the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith which, by his order, received every complaint of paedophilia against a priest. It appears that no priests were defrocked; they continued to be moved from Parish to Parish and it apears none of them were turned over to the police. Under his leadership countless hundreds or thousands of children were raped by priests until abuse survivors spoke up. Again,why would the UK invite such a person to address Parliament and meet the Queen?

    Catholics are too blinded by the respect they have for the Papacy to see the shortcomings of this Pope and to understand that, on the facts outlined above, there is no good State reason for the UK to invite or pay for his visit.

  • Annalisa

    QuodErat, you are merely upset because you dislike the Church's teaching on sexual morality, which is based on scripture and tradition.

    Your claims about AIDS and homosexuality are incorrect. The Church does not condemn homosexuals, but, based on Jesus' teaching, it teaches the true nature of sexuality as a gift from God to be received in a marital relations between a man and a woman. If you believe this is bigotry, then Jesus was a bigot.

    Secondly, condoms are not effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. The use of condoms has lead people to promiscuity, which has resulted in more AIDS. See the link: http://www.hli.org/index.php/the-case-against-c

    Thirdly, the Pope has dealt with the 'sex abuse' crisis in an admirable way. He has been ruthless with the guilty priests: see the book http://www.amazon.com/Pope-Benedict-Sexual-Abus

    So your reasons are mere fables I am afraid…you sound like the quintessential anti-Catholic.

  • Non-deluded Catholic

    Actually, DOCTRINE is eternal and unchanging. The popes do not change doctrine because they cannot. They have no authority to change what they did not create. This is obvious if one is to take an unbiased, honest look at history. Priestly celibacy, and other things that have changed such the Order of the Mass, are NOT DOCTRINE. They are disciplines. Disciplines are created by the Church for the running of the Church, therefore the head of the Church (the Pope) can change disciplines as deemed necessary or appropriate. Please consider fully and accurately informing yourself in the future. Thank you.

  • Non-deluded Catholic

    Actually, DOCTRINE is eternal and unchanging. The popes do not change doctrine because they cannot. They have no authority to change what they did not create. This is obvious if one is to take an unbiased, honest look at history. Priestly celibacy, and other things that have changed such the Order of the Mass, are NOT DOCTRINE. They are disciplines. Disciplines are created by the Church for the running of the Church, therefore the head of the Church (the Pope) can change disciplines as deemed necessary or appropriate. Please consider fully and accurately informing yourself in the future. Thank you.

  • sisterchristina

    I am a catholic and I would love to be there….to protest this Pope who has not concept of human rights.

  • QEDemonstrandum

    Are you seriously telling me that the Vatican doesn't change its policies? I note that, thankfully, Catholics have ceased to enforce the biblically commanded death penalty for witches, homosexuality, blasphemy and adultery.

    Ex.22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

    Lev.20:10 “And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

    Lev.20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    Lev.24:16 “He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”

    Lev.20:10 “And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

  • QEDemonstrandum

    “That's why the Pope is hated – he articulates the faith as it is” – Mary C

    Okay, lets examine the Pope's action, inactions and words and see whether they give rational, evidence-based reasons for disliking him and his policies:

    He has called homosexuality a “tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective dissorder”. That's bigotry.

    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.

    In his De Delictis Graviorbus letter dated 24 January 2001 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. He knew of the paedophile priest scandal better than anyone but apparently never defrocked a priest (not even Marciel Maciel) much less reported a single priest to the police or local authorities. He allowed these criminals to continue raping children by allowing them to move from parish to parish. If that isn't an actual crime (obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting a paedophile) it is at the very least morally repugnant.

    See? There are factual reasons to think that the Pope is a liar, a bigot and at least morally, if not criminally culpable for permitting paedophiles to continue destroying the lives of countless children.

  • QEDemonstrandum

    “dislike the Church's teaching on sexual morality, which is based on scripture and tradition. ” – Annalisa

    That's a logical fallacy called “Argument from Authority”. Scripture and tradition are not a rational basis for ethics. Even catholics have stopped the scripture based traditions of killing homosexuals, witches and blasphemers.

    “Secondly, condoms are not effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases” – Annalisa

    Your link cites Cardinal Trujillo instead of actual science-based medical evidence. The World Health Organisation, several Governments and scientists around the world ridiculed Trujillo's evidence free, factually incorrect claim that condoms are ineffective to prevent the transmission of AIDS and STDs. see,
    http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/rt
    “The Pope has dealt with the 'sex abuse' crisis in an admirable way “

    Saying so doesn't make it true. Please cite some evidence (a link to a book on Amazon is not helpful, I don't expect you to read a 300 page book in order to understand my argument or refer to my evidence). Perhaps you can explain why Marcial Maciel was only disavowed by the Vatican in May 2010, not defrocked or turned over to the police? see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcial_Maciel

    I am only anti-catholic in the sense that I oppose the unethical, harmful actions of the Vatican. I attended the leading Catholic University in the US. I liked and respected my jesuit professors. To my knowledge not one of them was a liar, bigot or covered up child abuse. Many of them were quite critical of the pope in private conversations over a beer.

  • Juliana

    The problem is this: that those people attacking the Pope AND thereby Catholics are too much “of the modern world”

    They can see no other values apart from those peddled today which are diametrically opposed to the values of the Christian faith. (Abortion, divorce, euthanasia and a very sexually explicit/permissive society). These values are very recent…since the 1960's…whereas those doctrines and dogmas of the Church are much more ancient. They cannot be changed at the drop of a hat, nor should they be.

    Christ said His Kingdom was not of this world. Christians are not meant to be jumping on the latest secular bandwagon.

    Therefore will all these atheists please understand that Catholics, and Christians in general, have different values. Catholics are not asking atheists to accept these values but they can leave us alone for wanting to follow them.

    The anti-Catholic/Pope brigade are discriminating against us and out beliefs….but there's nothing original in this, it's been like this for 400 years in Britain.

  • Daniel Hayes

    As I understand it, the Church is footing the bill for the visit. And, interestingly, the total fee for the State visit of Pope Benedict XVI is less than that for a single day of a G8 gathering. Not all of us here in Britain agree with the present anti-Christian policies of the legislative establishment; so are we to be ignored? Is there to be nobody to speak for us?

  • PeterS@aemail4u.com

    Not onoly is Protest the Pope anti-Catholic, they may even be violent:

    http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2010/08/pr

  • A M Garner

    I suspect that the opposition to the Popes visit that has reared it's ugly head is just another sign that we are indeed more and more against Jesus Christ in this country. We're (although not me) happy to allow Islam to infiltrate our society and to speak up for homosexuals, abortion, teaching young children about sex, giving the pill to very young girls without even their parents knowledge and a whole host of other immoral things which I haven't got time to raise here.
    Perhaps it's time for the likes of The National Secular Society to wake up to the fact that we are about two minutes to midnight on the worlds clock. ALL biblical prophecy has come true so far (there are many books of the bible i.e. Revelation that will confirm this). One part of biblical prophecy happens to state that there will be a FALLING AWAY OF THE FAITH. Just consider for a moment are YOU a part of that falling away?
    I am not a Catholic (I'm an Anglican) but it never ceases to amaze me (although I'm becoming less amazed daily) that many people will today protest against ANYTHING that is remotely Christian.
    What still does amaze me though is the fact that you just DON'T get it!
    P.S. Do you honestly think that the whole of the Catholic church is to blame for the disgusting child abuse that took place?

  • David Armitage

    Far from anti, they have the seeds of faith.

  • Annalisa

    QED, if you wish to have any credibility in this debate you have to come up with evidence, and you will not, because there is no evidence to back your anti-Catholic statements.

    First of all, you seem to misunderstand the fact that Pope Benedict is the Vicar of Christ on earth. What he teaches is what the Catholic Church has taught for thousands of years, based on the teaching of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus Christ that taught us that marriage is between a man and a woman and you are free to disregard this teaching and sin if you wish, but your actions do not change the truth as taught by Jesus Christ.

    The Church has never taught or encouraged or condone 'the killing of homosexuals and witches' as you claim. In fact, the Church (again, based on the teaching of Jesus Christ) teaches that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death, a teaching that you will disagree with probably.

    The abuse crisis. I repeat and back up my claims with evidence again: the Pope has been ruthless with the guilty priests. As you do not wish to read the book, you may want to read the following page: http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0

    The link I posted about condoms is science-based. It shows that the distribution of condoms has only increased the spread of HIV. Again, you can dismiss this evidence if you wish, but by doing so, you dismiss facts.

    You claim 'I am only anti-Catholic in the sense that I oppose the unethical, harmful actions of the Vatican'. What actions are you referring to? By opposing the Vatican, you oppose all Catholics. You claim you attended a Catholic university and respected your Jesuit teachers. You also claim that they were critical of the Pope. So they were *dissenting* Catholics, then?

    Being Catholic means you accept the authority of the Magisterium and the Pope, which has taught the truth about Jesus Christ's teachings for thousands of years. It means you love the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth.

    If you don't accept these teachings, you are free to leave. Jesus Christ himself told us, 'Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many'.

  • Annalisa

    You are obviously a pretend Catholic. Human rights, you mean like the right to kill unborn babies perhaps?

  • Annalisa

    No they don't. They have the seeds of hatred.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    No, the Vatican is paying for the portion of the bill related to “pastoral care”, the Taxpayers are paying the rest. The Government is estimating current costs at £12 Million but they refuse to give a number for the policing and securtity costs. These costs will be a multiple of the “official cost”. The Governemnet won't tell us because it would cause outrage during an economic crisis.

  • QuodEratDemonstrandum

    “It was Jesus Christ that taught us that marriage is between a man and a woman and you are free to disregard this teaching and sin if you wish,.” – Annalisa

    We don't know what Jesus might have said about homosexuals, if anything. So I don't have enough information to know; and neither do you. We do, however, know what Pope Penedicte has said about homosexuality: “a tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective dissorder” – that's bigotry

    “The Church has never taught or encouraged or condone 'the killing of homosexuals and witches' as you claim” – Analisa

    Lev.20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    Ex.22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

    The church can and does do unethical things. It sometimes even recognises this and changes its ways. You will note that the Vatican no longer holds inquisitions or burns witches. I am merely arguing that the Vatican is wrong on its stance on homosexuality and, like the Inquisition, should come to the realisation that these policies are unethical.

    “The link I posted about condoms is science-based..” – Analisa

    Merely repeating this does not make it true. Your link cites to Cardinal Trujilllo who is not a scientist or an epedemiologist, he's not even a doctor. Trujillo said that condoms are not effective barrier to the AIDS virus. He is either deeply, badly mistaken or lying. The Science Adviser to the UN, the World Health Organization and evern Christian AID condemned him for missinforming people. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3176982.stm

    The worldwide medical and scientific consensus is that condoms ARE an effective barrier against AIDS. Here is a citation to an actual medical authority, the World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/prevention/en/ind

    Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic 14 Million Children have lost one or more parents to AIDS in Africa. http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-africa.htm The Vatican's policies on condoms kill people and orphan their children. It is an ethically bankrupt policy.

    “the Pope has been ruthless with the guilty priests” – Analisa

    Thank you for the new link, that was a useful review of the journalism timeline but it does not prove your point. If Benedicte has been so “ruthless” explain to me my Marcial Maciel was only disavowed in May 2010 after decades of abusing seminarians and reportedly raping his own children? see, http://nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/maci… . The allegations about Maciel were know as far back as 1997, if not earlier. Explain to me how child raping priest worldwide were moved from parish to parish to hurt children again and again while escaping from prosecutors' scrutiny? Explain to me why the Vatican has not turned over all the files it has on credible accusation of paedophilia by priests to the police?

    I do not know yet whether Pope Benedicte had personal responsibility for any illegal or unethical acts involving the paedophile scandal in the church but one thing is for certain: He was in charge of this resolving this problem as Head of the Doctrine of the Faith and even mores so now as Pope. Nice words saying “we're sorry” are totally innadequate (and even that took a heck of a long time to come). Justice for the abused children and their families means nothing less that total disclosure of all allegations of child abuse to the relevant authorities and/or an international independent investigation. So far that hasn't happened and we know the Vatican refused to respond to requests for information by the Irish Murphy investigation. Until the Vatican fully cooperates with criminal investigations, your repetition that the Pope has been “ruthless” is totally unsuported and meaningless.

    ” You claim you attended a Catholic university and respected your Jesuit teachers. You also claim that they were critical of the Pope. So they were *dissenting* Catholics, then?”

    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.

  • Msamskmds

    until the end of the world their will be men like caiphas to hate and like pilate to wash their hands.these people who hate the pope for no apparent harm done to them personally.are modern day caiphas.they love to hate someone and invent various reason to justify it.on top they like posture as morally superior.well be superior in hating the pope,check it brings u happiness and peace individually and prosperity to england.
    sam

  • geoffreysmith1

    In spite of all the hoo-ha the fact remains that the Pope was invited to visit Britain by Mr Gordon Brown, who was acting for HM the Queen. The Queen is the one person responsible for the invitation being made.
    The invitation was offered in the knowledge that considerable expense would be incurred in protecting the Pope during his visit, and that this expense would be borne by the British taxpayers. Again, the Government would expect to benefit in some way by a meeting of heads of state, and 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. The Government is sowing the seed which it expects to yield a harvest in years to come.