Musing on the proposed visit by Pope Ratzinger to Britain, I recalled something I did back in the eighties when his predecessor, Karol Józef Wojtyla, plonked his unwelcome feet on our soil.
I was working on the local radio station in Coventry, Mercia Sound, and obviously had to do some reporting prior to the visit, mumbling under my breath about the amount of disruption to people in the area he was visiting – Baginton, if memory serves. Streets had to be closed; people had to have passes.
It’s understandable that someone like him would need security, but why did we have to have someone like him visit in the first place?
After he’d buggered off back to the Vatican, I and other on-air station staff received a sort of certificate thing from what I assume was the archdiocese (if that’s what they have in the Catholic Church), based in Birmingham. It was a thank-you for the work I’d done.
I immediately typed a letter on my battered Imperial 66 (remember typewriters?), expressing the sentiment that I had disagreed with the visit, that it had caused untold disruption, that I’d rather not be associated with it and that I had just been doing what my news editor had told me to do. I bunged the certificate in the envelope with it (having photocopied it and the letter first, for my own records) and sent it back.
I didn’t hear a thing from them.
Now, we’re faced with Ratzo’s visit, and no doubt there’ll be even more security precautions because of the age we’re living in. Who’s paying? The Vatican? Will his Swiss Guard be allowed to bear arms in British streets, when no one else but police officers and military personnel is so allowed?
Couldn’t the money being spent on his security by the British taxpayer – assuming he’s not footing the bill for the whole shebang himself – not be spent on doing something for the very people he claims to love and to wish to help: the poor, the disenfranchised?
Blessed, we are told, are the poor (or poor in spirit, if you read Matthew), and the hungry, and the meek, and those who weep. Yet we’ll be hosting a huge circus to honour and revere a total twat who, along with his cronies in the Vatican, is responsible for untold deaths by forbidding condom use and saying homosexuality is evil. Yes, we know he can’t enforce the restriction on condoms, but devout Catholics will go along with the utter nonsense.
Then we get the excommunication – which he will approve of – of the Brazilian mother who, to prevent the death of her nine-year-old, pregnant-with-twins daughter, sanctioned an abortion, along with the doctors who carried it out.
Now we secularists and nonbelievers may not give a toss about excommunication, but the devout will see it as an extreme punishment and will, depending on the sort of society they’re living in, feel utter shame. It’s a frightening prospect for them.
Yet these cretins can put the lives of embryos and early foetuses above the lives of living, breathing people.
But we’ve rehearsed all this before. I despair, I really do. When will we stop praising the evil that these people are capable of, and showing some real compassion? No doubt many Catholic priests and their hierarchy show compassion as part of their work, but then undo any good they may do by encouraging people to believe in the sanctity of embryonic life over actual, real life, and to believe that they may burn in the fires of hell if they don’t lead their lives according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church.