Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anti-Catholicism in Britain is Getting Out of Hand

The anti-Christian and specifically anti-Catholic prejudice that permeates UK society these days reached a new low the other day in Britain with the release of a memo written by a Foreign Office bureaucrat in charge of the Papal visit to Britain in September. The Times Online reports (and remember the Times' well-documented anti-Catholic prejudice and be sure to inflate whatever they say by at least 10%):

Advisers to the Pope are starting to regret that he accepted an invitation to visit Britain this September after official papers emerged that suggested he should be asked to open an abortion clinic, bless a gay marriage and launch a Benedict-branded condom range.

The document also suggested that the National Anthem be changed, from God Save the Queen to God Save the World.

As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was forced into a rapid damage-limitation exercise with an official apology for an "unacceptable" document, sources told The Times that the entire visit could now be in jeopardy.

The document was drawn up by the Foreign Office as part of a briefing pack and sent to officials across Whitehall.

It also suggested that Benedict XVI could demonstrate a hard line on child abuse by "sacking dodgy bishops" and launching a helpline for abused children.

The Government’s papal visit team document also recommended that he sing a song with the Queen for charity and apologise for the Spanish Armada.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that the paper was flagged as unacceptable as soon as it was seen and Francis Campbell, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, has met Vatican officials to apologise.

Some senior Catholics in Britain attempted to downplay its significance but The Times has learnt that the document has caused enormous anger in Rome. It is regarded as just the latest, but by far the most serious, in a series of anti-Catholic episodes emanating from the UK that threaten to cast a cloud over the Pope's four-day visit to England and Scotland.

Coming on top of comments about him over paedophile priests and threats by militant secularists such as Richard Dawkins that the pontiff could face arrest, in spite of enjoying diplomatic immunity as head of state, it is leading some Vatican advisers to question why he is coming to a country where the public mood even at the centre of government seems so hostile.

The document could also do lasting damage to decades of hard work building strong relations between the British Government and the Holy See, as well as to the reputation of the Foreign Office, an institution once known for employing the highest calibre of staff.

I especially liked that last line about the Foreign Office once known for employing "the highest calibre of staff." Good on the Times for that little zinger. Goodness knows it was a deserved rebuke.

But overall the reaction of the government has been mild to inadequate. Why has the offender not been named? Why has he not been fired? Apparently he has be moved to other responsibilities. After weeks of unrelenting attacks on the Catholic Church for moving pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than firing them, does the British government have no sense of irony whatsoever? So he's moved to another department where he can act on his perverted and evil impulses again? Apparently they think this kind of evil bigotry can be "cured."

Damian Thompson says: "See, we told you anti-Catholicism was real and rampant!" in his blog Holy Smoke. See the original story in The Daily Telegraphy here.

Ruth Gledhill, who just last week was gleefully piling on the Pope with the latest unfounded, baseless, slanderous, titillating rumors like a National Inquirer scandal monger is, to her credit, at lease ashamed and chastened. She writes:

Read Holy Smoke's eruption here. 'NOW do you finally understand what sort of snide, cheap and ignorant prejudice has flourished under this Government and its civil servants – wall-to-wall secularists for whom the Roman Catholic Church is at best an antiquated irrelevance and at worst a sick joke?' writes Damian Thompson. He addresses this question to the bishops of this country, though, who actually understand all too well.

It is a question that should instead be addressed to all of society, including perhaps even your own writer here. I would still argue the case against there being widespread discrimination against Christians in general in Britain but when it comes specifically to prejudice against Catholics, do Lord Carey and others who have been banging this drum have a point?

Yes, this shows they do.

What this document illustrates is that repulsive sense of entitlement we sometimes see in the over-educated young and privileged, combined with a taken-for-granted anti-Catholic prejudice that does still persist in our nation, more than a century and a half after the restoration of the hierarchy.

How could an Oxbridge graduate, presumably the cream of his crop of young graduates, a person actually in charge from the governance side of the Papal visit, have overseen this foolishness? How could his superiors at the FCO have let a person of such lamentable ignorance be put in charge of the visit in the first place?

Obviously he was taught absolutely nothing about what really matters on his passage through the elite track of our education system. I would love to see him attempt to write something similar about how we should receive the next Muslim head of state who comes here.

But of course he wouldn't dare insult Muslims. He is a coward and an immature young thug who deserves public shaming. But the anti-Catholicism of the British upper classes will protect him and ensure that nothing actually changes. Meanwhile, the cowardly appeasement of all things Muslim continues without shame.

Just one last thought: for those Protestants who wonder why I get so wound up about attacks on the Roman Catholic Church. Think of Anti-Catholicism as "The Thing That Comes Just Before Anti-Christianity."

1 comment:

David said...

Hi Craig,
With reference to your last line, a report from today's Telegraph,
Best Wishes,