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Protesters tell archbishop: we will not disrupt papal events

By on Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The meeting was held at New Scotland Yard and requested by police, according to Archbishop Smith (Photo: PA)

The meeting was held at New Scotland Yard and requested by police, according to Archbishop Smith (Photo: PA)

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark has said he has been assured that protesters will not disrupt papal events next week.

Speaking after meeting leaders of the Protest the Pope coalition earlier today, Archbishop Smith said the Church had been given a “very clear assurance that those seeking to ‘protest the Pope’ have no intention of disrupting any of the events during the papal visit”.

He said: “We had an open and frank discussion on the issues of child abuse, homosexuality and the status of Pope Benedict’s visit as a state visit. I undertook to report back to my fellow bishops the particular concerns raised. I am extremely grateful to DCI Chris Lundrigan and his staff for hosting and facilitating a candid meeting.”

He denied reports that the Church had called the meeting, saying it had been arranged by police.

The organisers of the Protest the Pope movement are planning a rally at Hyde Park Corner, central London. Reports have said that similar attempts at organising a rally in Scotland have failed.

Archbishop Peter Smith told the BBC Radio 4 programme World at One: “I listened to what they said but I said to them that they didn’t quite understand the Church or what sort of files the Vatican might have. And I made the point quite properly that child abuse is dealt with by the local bishop.”

The meeting was held at New Scotland Yard and included Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association, Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society and Peter Tatchell, a gay rights campaigner and leader of OutRage!

Mr Tatchell said protesters had never planned to disturb papal events.

He said: “We have always said that our protests will be peaceful and lawful. There has never been any question of disrupting events.”

According to reporters who waited outside New Scotland Yard, Mr Tatchell said he had promised not to arrest the Pope during the visit.

Mr Tatchell and others, including Geoffrey Robinson QC, have threatened to arrest the Pope for alleged crimes against humanity. Mr Robinson has drawn up what he describes as a legal case for Pope Benedict’s arrest.

The chief constable in charge of security for the visit has said that anyone attempting to arrest the Pope will be arrested themselves and that police officers are being given instructions on how to deal with protesters attempting a citizen’s arrest.

  • David Lambert

    Just as with Claudy, failure to bring the perpetrators of criminal acts to justice will be seen as collusion.

    The church hierarchy, government officials, police representatives and the kneeling will pay a heavy price.

    Unshakable faith, replaced by unquestionable faith will result in the annihilation of religious authority.

    The Pope is not above the law.

  • Ratbag

    I wish I could relax and be reassured by the promises made by the Stop The Pope people, and others like them that they will not disrupt the Papal Visit to the UK. I, for one, will not be letting my guard down for a second.

  • JamesH

    I'm afraid after reading their rhetoric and seeing the way they behave at debates, I don't believe a word of it.

    Hopefully the Stop the Pope rentamob is swamped by supporters. That won't stop the BBC from focusing on them, of course.

  • Bwaj

    The Pope is God's representative on earth and contrary to the liars in the secular media has never broken the law.

  • Bwaj

    Until 2001 it was not the CDF but the diocesan bishop who had the final say on abuse cases – the 1983 Code of Canon Law states priests who abuse minors under 16 (raised by the Holy Father since 2001 to priests who abuse minors under 18) should be disciplined including by removal from the clerical state.

    Concerning Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. – he was a Defence Counsel – for the makers of issue 28 (the school issue) of Oz magazine in 1971. The makers of this magazine were prosecuted in 1971 for corrupting children and young people by producing a magazine (issue 28) which contained pornography and dealt with homosexuality and lesbianism. Concerning issue 28 of 'Oz': 'The charges read out in the central criminal court stated “[that the defendants] conspiring with certain other young persons to produce a magazine containing obscene, lewd, indecent and sexually perverted articles, cartoons and drawings with intent to debauch and corrupt the morals of children and other young persons and to arouse and implant in their minds lustful and perverted ideas.”' ('The Times': 23 June 1971). 'According to Mr Brian Leary prosecuting '”It dealt with homosexuality, lesbianism, sadism, perverted sexual practices and drug taking”' ('The Times': 23 June 1971).

    Concerning Peter Tatchell. Please read 'Tatchell repeats call for lower age of consent' (The Christian Institute: 2 September 2010) Peter Tatchell's letter to 'The Guardian' (26 June 1997) is reproduced in full by 'The Christian Institute'. I quote most of his letter below which shows what Peter Tatchell believes in his own words:
    'Ros Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men's Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous. The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike. ….. The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful. Peter Tatchell.'

    Please ask Peter Tatchell why he believes publishing a book about paedophilia is courageous.

    Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge in their 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' ('The Christian Instiute' 1998) tell us on p.44 that the full title of the book Peter Tatchell calls courageous in his letter published in 'The Guardian' (26 June 1997) is 'Dares To Speak – Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Boy-Love' (Geraci J (Ed.); The Gay Men’s Press, 1997). Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge in their 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' on p.44 of 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' tell us 'The book redefines paedophilia by giving it the label “intergenerational sex”' (by Vern Bullough in p.1 of the preface of this book).

    Please ask Peter Tatchell about his contribution (Chapter 9: 'Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent' to the 1986 book 'The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'. Stephen Green of Christian Voice published his 20 February 2010 Press Release 'PETER TATCHELL AND THE PAEDOPHILE BOOK' because Mr. Green was in the audience when Peter Tatchell was a podium guest on the BBC's 'THE BIG QUESTIONS' (8 January 2010) and Mr. Green was 'asked by the production crew not to comment about paedophilia in connection with Tatchell.' According to Mr. Green in his Press Release 'The request had come from Tatchell himself' and 'that incident prompted this article.' Mr. Green supplies proof of what he has written here by photocopying the front and back cover (which lists the contributors to the book), the Acknowledgements page, the Contents page, Appendices page and Contributors pages. Ask him about why he contributed a chapter to a book about paedophilia.

    How dare these individuals attack the Holy Father when he condemns child abuse and is tackling it.

  • Ratbag

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bwaj, for the rock hard truth about those who have publicly flashed their polished brass necks in their vitriol agains the Roman Catholic Church and The Holy Father. Will those whom you have named – who are on the verge of mania in their opposition of the Roman Catholic Church and The Holy Father's vist – see past their own agenda even with the rock hard evidence handed to them on a 24 carat gold platter?

  • Rajinder Nijjhar

    I was there with a Placard VIRGINS GO FOR GOD; PROSTITUTES GO FOR POPE. Hardly any one could understand the spiritual language. It was rather blind shouting at blind. Jesus left with you holy spirit, common sense, as companion. No one uses that but just shout like fanatics. Jesus has set you FREE then why you are getting bound by his edicts? Shear Stupidity.

  • paulsays

    you fail