SMALL SOUTH EUROPEAN COUNTRYATTEMPTS HIJACK OF BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY

From THE TELEGRAPH:

The Pope could cancel his planned visit to Britain because of a “hugely offensive” Foreign Office memo mocking his stance on abortion and birth control, sources in the Vatican said. Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the memo, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here. No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street and at least three Whitehall departments, and the civil servant who authorised it has simply been moved to other duties.

Cardinal Renato Martino, the former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “The British government has invited the Pope as its guest and he should be treated with respect. To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”

As well as suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, the memo also proposed that the Pope should “announce sacking of dodgy bishops”, sponsor a network of AIDS clinics, conduct a training course for bishops on child abuse allegations and ordain a female priest.

Embarrassingly for the Queen it also suggested getting the Pope and Her Majesty to sing a duet for charity and changing the national anthem from God Save The Queen to God Save the World.

Britain’s former ambassador to Italy, Sir Ivor Roberts, editor of the diplomatic “Bible” Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, said: “Good God! I hope all concerned are ashamed of themselves."

COMMENT: The Vatican should be very careful in their brink(celibate)manship. The pope invited himself, for all intents and purposes, and whoever the British prime minister may be in September, it is possible that he will be looking for a way to get the tour cancelled so he is not forever linked with homophobia and misogyny, but without losing diplomatic face. Getting the pope to take the huff and cancel it himself would be an answer to his prayers (unless it's Mr Clegg, who is an atheist - who will probably just thank the random meaningless of life).

Anyway, if Benny thinks that memo was offensive, he ought to experience being gay for a while. Some of the things certain heads of multi-national religious corporations come out with in their official speeches and writings are far more offensive to gays than this spot on satire is of his infallibleness.

Comments

SMALL SOUTH EUROPEAN COUNTRYATTEMPTS HIJACK OF BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY — 18 Comments

  1. I suppose the poor low level clever clerk who penned that memo will be drawn and quartered and his pieces hung on the 4 gates of Whitehall to appease His Holiness.

    I’d rather give him a medal.

  2. The number of gay people in the British civil service at the Whitehall level is substantial, Doug. I doubt if the young clerk has will have to buy his or her own drinks down the civil service club in the foreseeable future.

  3. It seem that Winston Churchill’s prediction that we will end up with civil servants who are neither civil nor servants has come true. Silly little sod! So undiplomatic – a good insult in the old days was subtle enough to baffle the Germans!

  4. True, Dougal. But sometimes you don’t want to baffle – you want to be 100% certain that the small minded bigot knows you are insulting him.

  5. If the dour Scot were smart he’d make that clerk Foreign Secretary. He or she deserves a peerage at the very least.

  6. He or she deserves a peerage at the very least.

    Actually, that tends to be what a sideways move means in British politics. If civil servants are too embarrassing or just too crap to be trusted with real work they are “promoted” to the House of Lords where they can’t do any harm. It’s the same system we use in the Church of England for choosing our bishops.

  7. We do the same here in my field (Engineering). If you’re totally useless they put you in management. They did it to me over ten years ago… *sigh*

  8. Then I expect you must have been VERY good at your job. That’s usually unforgivable. Makes the others look bad you know.

  9. Gay boys run much of the civil service over here as well — and the military — despite decades worth of incentives to stay closeted.

    The Republican Party ain’t known as the Gay Old Party for nuthin’.

    I salute America’s toiling and fighting federal homosexuals!

  10. What Wade said (in this third comment).

    And I quite agree, MP, that compared to what Joey the Rat and his crew have said about me and my kind over the decades, this was chump change. The bishops have Rome have been too big for their britches for centuries now. Oh, for another John XXIII!

  11. Wade said…

    Then I expect you must have been VERY good at your job. That’s usually unforgivable. Makes the others look bad you know.

    Madpriest is to good as his job – but also prepared to be upfront about the things he perceives to be wrong or unjust in the Church.

    Unfair treatment is alive and well in the CofE.

  12. I would have thought the usual response was to move the offender to a new calling (opps, that’s only for RC ordinands)

  13. Storm in a teacup moment. The media love it. We’ve said far worse things on this and other blogs. If you can’t laugh at yourself you’re a pretty sad person with your head so far up your own backside that there’s no room for anyone else!

  14. I feel sorry for the poor lad who got into trouble over this. They are all the sorts of remarks I would have come up with in my warped and cynical little way.

  15. My goodness. The comments here are absolutely first rate. All of them. Wade’s, of course, really nailed it. Also there’s something to be said for this cynical remark of MadPriest:

    “If civil servants are too embarrassing or just too crap to be trusted with real work they are “promoted” to the House of Lords where they can’t do any harm. It’s the same system we use in the Church of England for choosing our bishops.”

    Over on this side of the pond we actually elect them. Very bewildering, sometimes.

    Also, MP, the headline was rather perfectly snarky.