He commands a hierarchy which controls the lives millions of people. He commands indoctrination from birth. He teaches ancient vile and nonsensical dogma. He claims to guide the morality and spirituality of his flock. His “good deeds” directly lead to the wretched ignorant suffering and deaths of millions. He has the power to help but does nothing. He claims condoms cause AIDS (read here at The Vatican website, about halfway down the page, “...the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it”).
He is a dress-wearing virgin instructing the world on private matters of sexuality. He pressurizes governments to bend to his command. He forces guilt and shame upon individuals. He rules a state (created by Mussolini) which is the last surviving vestige of European fascism. He protects child rapists from prosecution. He interferes in the legal and political process of secular democracies. He hates gays... with suspicious venom. He refuses the right of abortion to all women under any circumstance. He lives in a priceless palace surrounded by gold and art. He leeches money from the people and governments where ever he goes. His legacy is power, tradition and fear. He is guilty of many crimes against humanity.
“I love Catholicism. It’s my favourite kind of clandestine global evil”
He is Joseph Ratzinger, current Pope and self-styled Benedict XVI. He claims to be the direct successor to St Peter, priest of Christ, and to represent Jesus on Earth. He claims it is impossible for him to be wrong about anything (papal infallibility). The only thing unworldly about him is the staggering level of his arrogance.
“Whether the Pope's error was due to ignorance or a deliberate attempt to manipulate science to support Catholic ideology is unclear. [...] When any influential person, be it a religious or political leader, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record.”
-Editorial, The Lancet
From 16th to 19th of September he will tour Britain haemorrhaging our money wherever he goes. Many people are not happy about this. Opposition is to his politics, to his proselytising being accorded the privilege of a state visit, and our tax money being spent on his overtly religious activity. Groups such as the National Secular Society, British Humanist Association, OutRage and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain have all spoken against Ratzinger’s visit and joined the Protest the Pope movement. There’s the inevitable facebook group too.
Supporters of the campaign against the Pope’s visit agree with the following:
- That the Pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country.
- However, as well as a religious leader, the Pope is a head of state and the state and organisation of which he is head has been responsible for:
- opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS
- promoting segregated education
- denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women
- opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
- failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
- rehabilitating the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.
(the bullet points above are taken from http://www.protest-the-pope.org.uk/supporters/)
I’m sure you can tell, from my incredibly one-sided and over-dramatic (verging on hysterical) description of him that opened this blog, what side I am on. I hope the protest against him and what he represent gains momentum and the march on 18th September is well attended. I have only ever attended one protest march (not including anti-Poll Tax marches as a child) – an anti-tuition fees one back when I was a student. In retrospect I don’t actually agree with what I marched for. Most uni courses are a waste of time. The government should not be expected to pay for me to waste three years learning how to use post-modern philosophy to bullshit about the meaning of contemporary art. I also disagreed with the many people who marched against the invasion of Iraq; essentially a march in support of the continued reign of a genocidal dictator. But I do agree with the sentiment of this march. I’m unlikely to be able to attend, but will show my support however I can.
I’m going to stop writing about this now. I’m hung over and struggling; the words are not coming easier. I’ll probably mention the Pope again at a later date, and will try not to be so serious in future.