I was really hoping someone would give this a try. Random Twitterer has labelled it a "pointless, self-aggrandising gesture". But some gestures are well worthwhile
What do the rest of you think?
That sums it up pretty well for me.Lorikeet wrote: Random Twitterer has labelled it a "pointless, self-aggrandising gesture".
Lorikeet wrote:Well, since Dawkins and Hitchens aren't the police, it couldn't be literally true. [Edit - if this sounds like Captain Obvious I'm only trying to raise a smile] Much better if a set of people headed by top human rights lawyers do it, or try to.
I'm with you, Lorikeet, on the questionable authority deal. It's wonderful to see effort being made by regular folk to insist on justice since gov't won't risk their position.
Anybody (including me and you) can make a citizens arrest here in the UK.Lorikeet
Well, since Dawkins and Hitchens aren't the police, it couldn't be literally true.
I believe Peter Tatchel has already said he will do so if the crossdressing paedophile enabler sets foot on our shores.
I must send an email of congratulations to the civil servant concerned for an excellent job well done. Who should I email... Hmmm.... How about the head of the Civil Service? That should do it!
Fr Federico Lombardi wrote:We are not saying anything else as there is no need to ruin the good relations between the British government and the Vatican.
Email sent to the Foreign Office this morning:Marian wrote: Love the whole memo idea.
Please pass on my praise and heartfelt thanks to the victimised civil servant responsible for highlighting the wildly offensive views of Mr Ratzinger.
I sincerely hope his visit is cancelled. If he does come, I hope he will be arrested.
Excellent case for the arrest of the Pope made by Johann Hari on BBC's Dateline London.
NSU.publicIn@fco.gov.ukgrammar king wrote:Which email address did you send it to, Nick?
I would just like you to pass on my compliments to whichever mistreated civil servant put together the memo which has for some reason caused so much controversy over the past few days. It's vital that in the face of the threat of such a visit, the British people and government keep our chins up and don't lose our sense of humour.
marian wrote: Dear Sir or Madam.
I am writing to extend my praise for the civil servant who wrote the controversial memo regarding Ratzinger. Please ensure that the civil servant in question is given a raise for his/her excellent work. We need more civil servants like that.
Amazingly, I got a reply!From: Nick Burton
Sent: 26 April 2010 15:55
To: Bishop of Chester
Subject: The Popes Visit
I am utterly appalled by your outrageous remarks on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. How dare you criticise anyone when the Pope condemns the sexuality of lesbian and gay people! Shame on you! It is difficult to think of anything more insulting than that. If you want be biblical, think of a mote in the eye, while the Pope has a plank in his. You have the gall to criticise pornography for sexual depravity without considering the cause of the hundreds and hundreds of paedophile priests and bishops in the Catholic Church and the Pope’s protection of them!! You have convinced me to protest the Pope’s visit with even greater determination.
By the way. You shouldn’t sit in the House of Lords, either.
I expect you will be too spineless to reply.
I have just replied thus:From: Bishop of Chester
Sent: 27 April 2010 09:16
To: Nick Burton
Subject: RE: The Popes Visit
Dear Mr Burton
I'm not sure it's fair to say that the RC Church condemns the sexuality of lesbian and gay people, although it does see the proper place for sexual relationships to be within marriage. This has been the received teaching of the Christian Church through the centuries, which the present Pope merely articulates.
I welcome the fact that in our society we have the freedom to protest, but I do think that this should be done in decent and polite ways.
Let's see what happens.....Dear Bishop
First of all, thank you very much for at least having the decency to reply. This is the first time in a dozen or so communications that any churchman has done so. It therefore behoves me to alter my expectation of you, that you would not reply, and I am very glad to do so. You will, I hope, understand my use of the term ‘spineless’ as being, shall we say, provocative, rather than intending to insult. Similarly, any reference to the House of Lords refers, of course, to the ‘rights’ of a number of bishops to sit in the House, not to your individual talents, which may or may not be appropriate to such a position.
However, I do not think you have adequately answered my objections, or even addressed them. My earlier post was sent without expectation of reply. If I can listen again to your comments, I will be much more specific.
In the meantime, I trust you will ensure that any child abuse suspected within your diocese will be reported directly to the police, and that any RC bishop, up to and including the Bishop of Rome, should do, and have done, likewise.
Reason: email addresses removed
If Clegg makes it to be PM and inexplicably makes a State Visit to the Vatican, can we take it that Ratzo will scour his pocket state for a group of atheists to work out his itinerary?Diplomat disciplined over Pope memo is named
The diplomat who has been disciplined over a Foreign Office memo mocking the Pope was accused last night of being “clueless” about the Catholic faith.
By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter
Published: 6:20AM BST 27 Apr 2010
Anjoum Noorani, the diplomat who has been disciplined over a Foreign Office memo mocking the Pope
Anjoum Noorani, 31, was the leader of the Papal Visit Team which drew up a document suggesting the Pope should launch his own range of “Benedict” condoms, open an abortion clinic and stay in a council flat in Bradford.
The Foreign Office document
Mr Noorani, whose identity has until now remained secret, was moved to “other duties” after he gave authorisation for the memo to be sent to Downing Street and three Whitehall departments.
The memo, which was leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, threatens to overshadow the Pope’s entire four-day visit in September after it prompted fury in the Vatican and among Catholics in Britain.
Senior members of the church have described Mr Noorani and his team as having “not the slightest understanding of Catholicism”. None of the four-strong group is thought to be a practising Catholic.
The memo, which also called for the Pope to bless a homosexual marriage, was emailed around Whitehall by Steven Mulvain, a 23-year-old Oxford graduate who describes his sexual orientation on a social networking website as “gay”.
Mr Mulvain has not been disciplined for his role in the fiasco.
Mr Noorani, who, like Mr Mulvain, is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, chaired the “brainstorm” session which led to the “Ideal Visit” memo, which also proposed that the Pope should sing a duet with the Queen and sponsor a network of Aids clinics.
He worked as press secretary at the British Embassy in Russia between 2002 and 2007, where he dealt with all Russian media inquiries about Britain’s response to the murder of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. He was unavailable for comment last night and his mother, who lives in Windsor, said she “can’t say anything”.
Although the Vatican is now trying to draw a line under the memo fiasco, Papal aides believe the Government’s choice of non-Catholic staff typifies the “lack of respect” being shown towards the first ever state visit by a Pontiff.
One source said: “The most striking thing about the Foreign Office team has been how ineffectual they are. They have been disengaged and, frankly, clueless.
“I have never had the impression that any members of the team were informed or even sensitive to the Catholic Church or Catholicism generally.”
One senior source at the Catholic Church in England and Wales said: “This does beg the question of how seriously this visit is being taken by the Government.
“All of our dealings with this Foreign Office team have suggested they don’t have any understanding of Catholicism and that’s how this issue seems to have come about.
“Why did they even have this brainstorming session in the first place? The Pope’s itinerary was decided a long time ago, so it’s not as if there was much room for extra events to be laid on.”
William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said: “This whole episode was utterly unacceptable.
“A Conservative-run Foreign and Commonwealth Office would put a stop to such pointless time-wasting and insulting activities. Visits by international leaders should be handled with the respect they deserve and that we would expect to be extended to us.”
The Foreign Office declined to comment on the religious beliefs of the members of the Papal Visit Team.
Disappointing view from Hague. Pure electioneering, methinks.