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Hysterical lies about the Pope continue. It may mean he is getting somewhere

If he were not a threat, his enemies would just ignore him

By on Monday, 15 November 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's gentle, positive statements at Gaudí's Sagrada Familia were described as 'railing' by the secularist media (Photo: PA)

Pope Benedict XVI's gentle, positive statements at Gaudí's Sagrada Familia were described as 'railing' by the secularist media (Photo: PA)

The Protect the Pope website is still doing a good job, monitoring secular press and online coverage of the Pope’s activities: it is currently drawing attention to an article entitled “What the Pope really said in Spain” by the writer Colleen Carroll Campbell, posted on a US website called stltoday (based in St Louis, Missouri), which it says “is well worth reading in its entirety”.
So I read it, and it is. The whole thing gave one a remarkable sense of déjà vu:

“From the screeching headlines and sour press reports, you would think Pope Benedict XVI’s recent trip to Spain was a colossal flop. What else could you call a visit from an 83-year-old cleric who spent two straight days ranting against gays and abortion amid swarms of angry protesters? And we all know that’s what happened, because the mainstream media told us so.
“Never mind that little in the transcripts or live television coverage of the papal visit supported that storyline. Or that those anti-pope protests trumpeted as the trip’s most newsworthy event were more minuscule than massive. The gay rights activists who staged a ‘kiss-in’ against Benedict in Barcelona numbered about 200. The pilgrims who gathered to cheer him numbered a quarter million.
“Let’s not dwell on numbers. What matters are words, and according to the Associated Press, Benedict devoted his to ‘attacking’ and ‘blasting’ Spain’s lax abortion and marriage laws.”

The difference of perception for us is that here in the UK, where the Pope’s state visit was carried in its totality live on both TV news networks, and where huge numbers of people actually heard what the Holy Father said and how he said it, the press had to acknowledge that the atheist coalition had utterly failed in their attempt to seize the PR advantage. So the Pope’s visit was a triumph, even according to the secular media (with the exception, of course, of the usual anti-Catholic suspects, the Guardian, the Independent and the Tablet).
But the battle goes on for ever. The Pope has declared war on secularism: and the secularists are fighting back, often in the oldest way of all, by the simplest possible lies and distortion. The trick seems to be this: that whenever the Pope is speaking gently in defence of Catholic values, he is to be represented as ranting hysterically against whatever is their polar opposite. 
Thus, at the consecration of Gaudí’s unfinished Sagrada Familia Basilica, the Pope naturally gave a homily on the spiritual meaning of the building and on the sanctity of family life. What he actually said among much else was that: “The generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end.” He spoke of the “sacred and inviolable dignity of human life”, and reiterated what everybody has always known, that the Catholic Church “resists every form of denial of human life” and supports “everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family”. All, you will note, positive statements. He attacked nobody.

So, naturally, according to the Associated Press, he devoted his sermon to attacking and blasting Spain’s abortion laws; he “railed against same-sex marriage and divorce” and “criticised policies allowing for abortions”. Of course, here in the UK, we know that this Pope never blasts or rails. He speaks gently and positively about what he actually believes: he does criticise (though much more rarely than the media often accept) but always courteously and respectfully.
In his Sagrada Familia homily (full text here) there are no criticisms of any kind; there is nothing but a luminous and joyful (and deeply moving) proclamation of the faith, with no negative element at all in it: it is particularly inspiring in its hymn of praise for the spiritual power of Gaudí’s majestic church.
So, according to the Washington Post, in the sermon what did he do? “He railed against same-sex marriage and divorce”, (where did the Post get that word “railed” I wonder?) and “He criticised policies allowing for abortions…” It was, said the paper, “the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticised the policies of Spain’s Socialist government”.

Read the text. Do you find criticism of the Spanish government there? Yet the Washington Post’s report implies that the main point of the homily was that he was “directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier access to abortion”. But there was no direct attack on anything or anybody. You might just as easily say that a political speech in favour of abortion and gay marriage is an attack on the Catholic Church; but if a Catholic said any such thing, he would rightly be called paranoid.
There is one consolation in all this, and it is a very real one. The simple fact that the secularist press is telling these lies so blatantly and so hysterically is a real sign that the Pope is getting somewhere in his crusade to resist and in the end reverse the onward momentum of aggressive secularism in western societies. If he were not, he would simply be ignored. That isn’t happening. In the end, he –we – will prevail. A luta continua.

  • alex

    If the visit to the UK was such a HUGE success how is it the the church is still seeking to raise almost 4 millions to pay for it? let's the numbers talk, as you said,,, local paish made collection ,the best part of £316.00, at that rate they finish to pay in time for next papal visit (last pope ?),, and what about the money for the pedophilia case in Middelsbourough ? Stop having the pope galivanting and use the money for the poor or condoms or both !

  • W Oddie

    What a very silly man. Is that really all he can think of to say? Utterly pathetic.

  • alison fi

    SO fed up with the liberal media's agenda. Who ARE these people who feel they have a right to lecture, skew and misrepresent?

  • Anna Bryan

    Yes, calling gays and lesbians “disordered” and comparing them as a threat to our earth equivalent to global warming, is certainly not attacking anyone.

  • alex

    You are right , you are UTTERLY PATHETIC ! Is the truth, is it not, that it so difficult to digest. Are you saying that the church was not awaiting for 100000 in Glasgow and they got 65000, hence the £800000 shortfall? And ,by the way , you can keep the SILLY for yourself…

  • RJ

    Where did the Pope actually say that about gays and lesbians being a threat equivalent to global warming? As I remember it, that was a rather far-fetched interpretation put on his words by the BBC.

  • RJ

    Seems a little hysterical.

  • alex

    Seems a little hysterical.

    These are facts, you may called ''hysterical'', but in the end are still…facts !

  • Chrisb

    I agree with Dr Oddie, your post was 'utterly pathetic'.

  • Ratbag

    Go take a chill pill, alex!

  • Mark H.

    65,000 people turn out to greet the Holy Father, and that's a failure? It certainly seems to have had an effect on you Alax. Why are you so worried by the Pope's 'failures'?

  • Ratbag

    You are so right. They'll whinge and whine because their pseudo-gospels are not being readily accepted any more. They are being questioned and debated.

    They are so deluded and paranoid to say the Holy Father is rattling their cage … but he's actually gently tapping on the door!

  • Mark H.

    I don't think anyone afflicted with same-sex attraction was labelled 'disordered'. Unnatural acts are disordered. The people enslaved to self-destructive lifestyles are the people for whom Christ died.

  • Bob

    Great Article! He speaks as a Kind Man who is repeating what God Ordained. Life. Procreation.

    The abortionists and gay's are anti-life. They hate life. So don't listen to them, They are murderers and thieves.
    Murders, because the do not procreate. Thieves because they steal other's lives. Gays want nothing to do with the natural way life has been going on since Adam and Eve. They proclaim their own ideals. They are not the majority neither will they be. They are a minority and sick twisted minority. They need to be re-conditioned. I would venture to say, that, the writers of those words, are most predominantly pro-gay, meaning they have had gay relations or are gay themselves. Repent and find God save yourselves from eternal damnation. Read Leviticus the list of Abominations which God decreed as Abominable. You are fighting God. And God keeps telling you No.

    The abortionists, do the same, they take life in their own hands and keep a closed mind. If they had other means to make money, they would promote and say whatever they need to so they can continue to earn money. They know. Thus, they are crafty, in their business. Any abortionist would truly tell you so. Also, it is not a good doctoring skill. It is a side job that has become mainstream. A way for them to earn $$$$$$$. So, when the good doctor get a visit, he sees $$ on your forehead and torso. You nothing but, a way for them to continue their business. It is a business to them. A murdering business. They don't have to go looking for the next victim to kill, they wait and people come. They are their own army with weapons.

    Imagine in the old days, people were protecting themselves and children from tyrants with armies and weapons, now days, it is suicidal tendencies. These go searching for butchers. Hey let's get rid of this extra mouth to feed. No charity, no concern about Judgment they incur from God for direly stepping allover the 5th Commandment.

    How many have lost Heaven because they fed the wrong hunger? Countless. They live as if there's no tomorrow the after life beyond this one. They don't think of eternal life. They only think about amassing a petty trifle in the here and now. Petty compared to Eternity. An eternal life that void of hurt and pain. Bliss and joy. They gave up eternity for a petty pack of lies, selfishness. No thought only the feeling, The feeling to not want. No thought. No contemplating of life. Just reacting to sensations. Oh, I want this feeling to last. Oh, I feel down, Oh, I feel this and that. No thought, Just reacting.

  • Tom D

    “The people enslaved to self-destructive lifestyles are the people for whom Christ died. “

    Which is to say, everyone.

  • Sean McCarney

    It must really hurt the Grauniad when the truth gets out!

  • Sean McCarney

    It must really hurt the Grauniad when the truth gets out!

  • Sean McCarney

    It must really hurt the Grauniad when the truth gets out..

  • Sean McCarney

    I wouldn't worry, people. From reading his content of his post and noting the language used, Alex isn't actually a Catholic and is probably on a little trolling expedition.

  • Sean McCarney

    Anna, It would be attacking someone if it was actually said. Which it wasn't.

  • Ohayo

    “Stop having the pope galivanting and use the money for the poor or condoms or both ! “
    Actually the Catholic Church combined runs more charitable institutions than any other organisation.
    Condoms already get handed out by governments and don't get used as much as expected because the modify the spontaneity of the sex act and the pleasure of it, according to recent research.

  • Ohayo

    65K is still a lot of people. Compare that to those who were opposed to the Pope – the naysayers were outnumbered heavily. People are lazy. 65K is most significant. Anyone who says otherwise is using different standards to gauge those for and against and is not being objective in their assessment of the situation.

  • Ohayo

    But the threat of global warming appears to be overstated – at least the human contribution to it. How does that change the situation?

  • David


    Why should secularists tolerate intolerance?

    I mean that is what you're asking homosexuals to do, isn't it? The pope is intolerant of gays but gays and non-religious in turn must respect and honour the pope?

    Grow up. The pope's a big boy- he can take it. The pope should expect hatred from gays. After all, the church invented hatred of homosexuals.


  • louella

    Homsexual behaviour is a sin…..get over it!

  • Jhammer

    If the media were interested in the truth they wouldn't last long in business. All the media do is 'react' and amplify the reaction to try and get someone's attention for a short while. It is just agitation really. In the secular world 'being agitated' is what is substituted for 'being alive'.

  • Martini2

    Alex, one reason the numbers were so low is that there was no promotion of the event within schools and parishes. The bishops did nothing to 'sell' the event and down-played expectations. Plus the media was pretty hostile (not helped of course by the conduct of certain bishops who should have known better). As to whether any church activity represents good value for money, we will never agree. That argument has raged back and forth for two thousand years. As a Catholic I hope that what is invested is more than repaid in good works and an increase in human hope, kindness and compassion …

  • H the C

    The mainstream media will disappear in a flood of new sources of truth. There are new media, new ways to propagate the truth. How easy it was for me to navigate to this excellent essay and this excellent online publication. I can visit the Vatican, virtually, anytime I like, or any number of superb Catholic bloggers.

  • Ohayo

    The Church hates lying, homosexual sex, murder, stealing, etc and not the people who do these acts. There is a fundamental difference. It is not the attraction which the church hates but the sexual act which results from it. Every straight person has a sexual attraction to the opposite sex. The Church however opposes adultery and sex out of wedlock. As a straight person I don't think the church is opposed to me because I find women attractive. I do know however if I engage in sexual acts with a prostitute or a woman I am not married to the church will condemn that. Please don't equate the sex act with the person, you seem to be intelligent and mature enough not to.

    As for tolerating intolerance the secular media should not be driven by agendas but report the facts of the story. If x thousand people turned up to see the Pope, report that and if 200 homosexuals also turned up mention it if you will, but give proportionately enough space to what was said and done. If the Pope spoke against homosexual sex for 2% of his talk, have your article represent mention this in 2% of it.

    Secularists have to tolerate everything because according to secular truth there is no right and wrong and everything is relative.


  • Noronhavivian

    These so called liberals follow the theory of calling “a person a rabid dog to shoot him” They are feeling the heat of the humility of this Pope and therefore they are knowingly indulging in lies and stray from the truth in their reporting.There is also a particular type of Press and Journalists all over the world who feel threatened, so they indulge in this type of yellow reporting.Their days are numbered because truth will always prevail.One feels sorry for them and should pray for them so they may change track in the interest of truth.

  • RJ

    There is a slightly more mundane explanation for “the facts”. In our parish, we were informed well in advance that there would only be 2 tickets available. Naturally, I assumed I would not be going. It was only a few days before the events that I learnt there were tickets available but you can't always change your plans at short notice. The nearest venue was 100 miles away.

    If this pattern was replicated across the country, then that would account for some apparent lack of interest.

    As it happened, I watched most of the events on television (I stayed in to watch some of them – a lack of interest?), and I thought it was an encouraging success.

    Interpreting the figures requires some background knowledge.

  • Eric Conway

    Brain dead mumbo-jumbo. This was the type of irrational/knee-jerk juvenalia that the Pope answered so effectively in his recent UK visit. The Popes critics are so intellectually challenged that they simply can't enage in debate with him ( he's intellectually superior to Dawkins/Hitchens/Fry & mob anyway ). They can only indulge in puerile insults. Get a life !.

  • Mamasnookems

    Hate the sin, love the sinner, we need to present the gospel to these people, they need Jesus to help them get out of their lifestyle. What kills me is that they think they are born with that lifestyle, but God does not make that sin in the sinner, it is the person's choice to become gay. But I know God loves them and wants them to change, and to come to Jesus ask Him to become their Lord and Savior and repent their sins.

  • catholic woman

    Still at the verbal abuse, Oddie? “Silly man/woman; pathetic; hysterical., etc etc” I can tell which blog posts you wrote just from scanning the (hysterical, catastrophizing) titles on the CH webpage.
    All this name-calling and epithetical nonsense to make up for your lack of reason and argument? You make me ashamed to call myself the coreligionist of someone so oddly rabid in all his utterances.

    Oh, and good to see your indefatigable sidekick Ratbag “whingeing and whining “. without remit.

  • catholic woman

    mamasnookems – i think you should attend to the several beams in each of your eyes first.
    funny that you can not only read God's mind but also that of gay people
    it's clear that intelligent thought is sadly not one of the choice open to you

  • Chris

    What annoys me is that people so frequently assume people are 'born gay'. In what specific location on the chromosome is this 'gay gene'? Maybe people are born vegetarian, too? Or catholic, for that matter? Why does 'being gay' entitle a free pass on rational discourse where no burden of proof is necessary? To be blunt, either put up or shut up – it's a choice like anything else.

  • catholic woman

    1.what annoys YOU is of no consequence to the rest of us earthlings.
    2.being “born xyz” does not mean there is a xyz-gene on chromosome 23.
    get thee to a highschool genetics course.
    3.what, pray, is “anything else” which (you say) is a “choice”? sloppy writing does nothing to conceal the sloppy thinking.
    4. since everything and anything is a “choice” according to you, if i understand you correctly are you at least “pro” a woman's “choice” ?
    5.on second thoughts please do not answer any of the above. just shut up so we dont have to put up

  • catholic woman

    ohayo says: don't get used as much as expected because the modify the spontaneity of the sex act and the pleasure of it, according to recent research.

    the truth at last – and out of the mouths of the child(ish). the catholic patriarchy and its unintelligent supporters care more about fun and games than they do about HIV/AIDS and preventing poverty, population explosion and unwanted pregnancies.

  • catholic woman

    louella- that has a suggestive sound to it. or perhaps you are standing up for lesbians- in which case – peace, sister

  • Mamasnookems

    Read God's word on this, i don't read His mind, I read His word. Romans12:21 -Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. 1 Corinthans7:Nevertheless, because fo sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

    So I won't attend to the beams to my eyes first, I know that I am a sinner, by I am saved by the blood of Christ and rely and believe on every word that the Lord has written.

  • Jaime Castaneda

    Calling THE TABLET ” anticatholic”, devalues the whole article and gives a hint of the narrow mentality of the author. I live in Japan and have been reading The Tablet for many years and, for me, with more than 50 years of missionary life, it is the best of catholic magazines in English.Jaime Castaneda

  • W Oddie

    OK: would you prefer “antipapal”? Or even kneejerk anti-Ratzinger? Pretty indisputable, I would say. But for me, that's the same thing., If you still say my mentality is “narrow”, then fine. But what does that make you?

  • Stateman26

    If there is any hysteria being shown, it may be coming from the Catholic press. Benedict's triumphant tour of the UK and Spain must not be denied. At the same time, we must not be lulled into thinking he isn't facing the most colossal series of scandals since the Reformation. These are real and no amount of praise for the pope's genuine accomplishments can mask that fact, or divert the world's attention.

    Catholics need to stop living in a state of denial.

  • Arnesahlstrom

    It makes me recall archbishop Fulton Sheens famous remark, namely that ” the truth is the truth, even if nobody believes it and a lie is a lie, even if everyone bellieves it.” More and more people now have the possibilities of reading the true story, of for ex pope Benedicts visit to England. The extremely liberal (they used to be called communists, keep that in mind!) journalists can sense this clearly today, which would to some extent explain their aggressive attacks and their deliberate lies. BUT WE REFUSE TO BUY THIS!!


  • GabrielAustin

    I wonder if any of those who make comments about “liberal” [or whatever it is] criticism of the Church and of the Pope – I wonder if they have children. We have but to consider their behavior and that of small children when they are having a temper tantrum: the same shouting, the same banging the floor with the feet, the same “I won't , I won't, I won't”.

    Beneath the hysteria is something else, something which derives from childhood. I suspect but cannot demonstrate that it is a fear of losing something mistakenly cherished. Thus, perhaps the refusal – not the failure – to note the difference between the sinner and the sin.

  • Simon

    I thought “anti-catholic Tablet” the second best thing in this very good piece.

  • Fatgunman

    Now just what the heck would condoms do for me? Why would I want them? And how is it that one would guage the success of such a thing by how many dollars are raised to buy condoms? I’m sorry It just doesn’t make sense. Please go back under the stairs and smoke some more of whatever you’re smoking.