Thursday, September 09, 2010

What I would say to the Pope

Apparently atheists are now "leading an onslaught" against the Pope. Funny, I thought it was all people of conscience who were banding together to protest against his visit.

Apparently the current issue of New Humanist has an article reporting what various famous people would say to the Pope if they met him. That seems like a good idea.

This is what I would ask him:

Why did you cover up the child abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests?

Why did you promote cardinals who were covering up the child abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests?

Why did you prevent the perpetrators from being prosecuted by secular criminal courts?

Why did you let them continue to be priests where they could carry on abusing children?

Why do you continue to preach against condoms which would prevent the transmission of AIDS?

Why did you then try to blame the epidemic of child-abuse in your church on gay people?

Why do you refuse to reform a system that fosters abuse of this kind?

And, not so important, but it kind of represents much of what is wrong with the Papal "state visit" - apparently our Queen is required to wear black when she meets the Pope, as only Catholic queens can wear white when they meet him. Er, excuse me, this is our country, and our head of state (I'm a republican but she's still our head of state) - why on earth should she be dictated to about what to wear by a person is responsible for a massive criminal cover-up?

I think much of the brouhaha about the papal visit is being fuelled by intolerance of religion in general and by a general Protestant feeling of anti-Catholicism. However, I still object strongly to his "state visit" on the grounds that the Vatican is not a proper state, and he is a criminal who has covered up child abuse, and his church is often responsible for oppression and misery (though many of its individual members do good charitable work and political activism).


Steve Hayes said...

Interesting to compare your take on it with this one: The Sign Of The Cross: Just When I'm Warming To Catholicism II - not that it has anything to do with me, being neither British nor Roman Catholic.

But I'm still pissed off about our government not letting the Dalai Lama in. We all know whose poodle Tony Blair was, but I wonder whose poodle Jake the Fake is?

Yewtree said...

Oh, why did the SA government not let the Dalai Lama in? Were they trying to cosy up to China?

Interesting that you say it's none of your business - it seems to me that given the general state of discourse about religion, the misbehaviour of one religious group adversely affects all religious groups, because it gives religion in general a bad name among those who can't tell the difference between different kinds of religion (which seems to be most of the population these days).

Steve Hayes said...

Well yes, just as Phony Tony was America's poodle, it looks as though Jake the Fake was being China's poodle.

Chris H said...

Interesting questions but most seem to start from a premise of guilt on the part of Ratzinger, which seems to be in short supply at the moment.

I'm not a Catholic either!

Yewtree said...

It seems there is quite a lot of evidence that Ratzinger was personally involved.

Steve Hayes said...


Though the Dalai Lama is not of my religion, it concerns me that he was not allowed into South Africa, because that is a matter of our freedom of religion, and so affects me too.

Whether the Pope of Rome visits Britain or not does not affect me, so I don't have much to say on whether he should or shouldn't.

I'm also reluctant to join in the fashionable chorus of condemnation of other religions because of allegations made by others. Some people allege that Wiccans sacrifice thousands of babies. I have no doubt that ritual killing of children for magical purposes does take place, but to make Wiccans a scapegoat for that would not be fair. I think this article is worth reading too: How the New Atheists are abusing the truth | spiked

Yewtree said...

Thanks, I'll check it out.

I try not to take anything written by a New Atheist as fact without checking it elsewhere - they too obviously have an anti-religion agenda (see for example Richard Dawkins' latest polemic, alleging that religious moderates teach their children that God's commands trump everything else - reason, experience, conscience etc - no we do not teach our children that).

I think the article I linked to was written by a normal person.