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).