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Tony Grist

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Uncle Benny [Apr. 27th, 2010|11:06 am]
Tony Grist
The Foreign Office can grovel all it likes to the Pope, but that leaked memo-  which jokily suggested he might use his visit to Britain to launch an new range of condoms and bless a gay marriage-  accurately sums up what we think of him and his office.  And when I say "we" I suspect that includes a lot of British catholics too.  It's not that we hate him; we don't; it's more that we regard him with a kind of amused distaste.  He's our shuffling, exasperating, slightly unwholesome Uncle Benny. The FO has issued a grovelling apology, but you can't take back a thing like that. Hatred would be easier to deal with- hatred can be turned around-  but no-one ever recovers from the perception that they're funny.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-27 11:17 am (UTC)
Hear hear.

Only over here, it IS hatred.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-27 11:48 am (UTC)
Yes, and with good reason. What would happen if the Pope visited Ireland now? Would it be seriously embarrassing for him?
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-27 11:54 am (UTC)
There's a lot of anger right now among victim support organisations around the fact that he's *not* coming to Ireland. As Christine Buckley said, "he can take the time to go to Malta - to bless a boat."

Though I can't see what would be in it for him to go. It wouldn't be like 1978, that's for sure.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-27 01:49 pm (UTC)
Malta is relatively safe territory for him, I believe. They were telling us on the news that it's the most catholic country in the world (whatever that means).
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-27 11:58 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-27 01:54 pm (UTC)
I like it.
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[User Picture]From: mud_faerie
2010-04-27 11:10 pm (UTC)
Wow! That would be amazing. It's shocking he's not going there, cowardly.
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2010-04-27 05:38 pm (UTC)
"He's our shuffling, exasperating, slightly unwholesome Uncle Benny"

Not only that but he just LOOKS downright evil, like an overgrown gremlin that's found refuge in a cassock.

These days if they're not hostile, most people are just indifferent to the Pope. It'll be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets when he arrives in this country.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-27 05:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, he's a gift to the cartoonists.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2010-04-27 06:55 pm (UTC)
Newsweek's Christopher Hitchens just wrote a scathing piece, "Bring the Pope to Justice" that argues that if we cannot "detain or supoena the pope for questioning in the child rape scandal," then "the only alternative fomulation [is to] declare the pope to be above and beyond all local and international laws and immune...."

He says "The holy father seems to have been lenient with criminals while reserving his severity for those who complained about them."

Kentucky has a suit before the courts seeking the testimony of the pope himself...Hitchens says "the Church is invoking 'sovereign immunity' since the pope is an alleged head of state. He adds: "The so-called Vatican City, a political nonentity covering about 0.17 square miles of Rome, was created by Mussolini in 1929 as part of his sweetheart deal between fascism and the papacy---the last survivor of the political architecture of the Axis powers." ...

He concludes that "this is a question of crime--organized crime, BTW--and therefore of punishment. Or perhaps you would rather see the shade of Mussolini thrown protectively over the Vicar of Christ? The ancient Roman symbol of the fish is rotting--and rotting from the head."

Edited at 2010-04-27 06:56 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-27 07:07 pm (UTC)
Stirring stuff!

Hitchens and Dawkins have a plan to arrest the Pope on his visit to Britain. Won't it be fun if they try!

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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2010-04-27 07:17 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine it happening, and imagine instead that Hitchens and Dawkins would be arrested themselves for disrupting or irreverance or something!

I was checking out at the grocery store this morning and saw a national newspaper headline that said Young People losing interest in churches--read the first paragrapsh quickly and I think read that the number was 72% who thought the churches had nothing relevant to say to them--most were, however, "religious" in their minds, but rarely prayed or attended organized institutions.

The Catholic Church is surely dying--and rightly so. It is a dinosaur.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-28 08:55 am (UTC)
I doubt if anyone hostile will get anywhere near the Pope on his visit. He'll be well guarded- and the British tax payer will be picking up the tab.

The abuse scandal means the Vatican has forfeited its moral authority. We could forgive it its reactionary views for as long as we believed its leaders were living by the rules they preached. Now that we know they weren't, we really don't want to hear from it again.
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[User Picture]From: mud_faerie
2010-04-27 11:12 pm (UTC)
It's quite hilarious, I love it. Good old Britain taking the piss. You definitely remove the power and fear/respect of something when you find a way to laugh about it (learnt this from Harry Potter, hahaha).
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