The Pope is about to grace the UK with his presence, and so there’s been a lot of anti-Catholic news (propaganda?) hitting the headlines recently. Unfortunately, lots of it has focused on less important issues such as paedophile priests and some bloke’s* injudicious remarks about his being likely to forget where he was when he landed at Heathrow because there are so many brown people in Britain, he might accidentally think he’s landed in a Third World country. (Oh yes, he also claimed there was an aggressive streak of neo-atheism raging rampant in our green and pleasant land, but that seems correct – check out Richard Dawkins.) The bloke in question has unleashed no end of good old British outrage, which we’re all clearly enjoying (a bit like a hand ball in the World Cup), and paedophile priests are clearly a bad thing. But I can’t help thinking that since the percentage of paedophile priests is, one presumes, pretty small, and the remarks about brown people at Heathrow are not so different from what passes for critical analysis in certain sectors of the tabloid industry (Daily Mail hacks, I’m looking at you), you’d think there were more important topics on which to take issue with the Catholic Church. I mean, for example, its stance on the use of contraception, its opinions about abortion, and its views on the ordination of women. In case you missed the memo at previous meetings, there is a massive AIDS crisis going on right now. People are dying horrible deaths, leaving behind families, many of whom have little or no sources of financial support. Moreover, whilst there are cases of AIDS in the developed world (for ‘developed’ read ‘rich and taking steps to retain their riches at the expense of the poor’), the vast majority of cases are in the ‘developing’ world (for ‘developing’, read ‘poor and getting f&%$ed over by the rich nations’). Those folks can’t afford the drugs that would make living with AIDS possible. An excellent tool to help stem the spread of AIDS is the simple condom. But guess who thinks that’s the work of the devil? You guessed it, our mates in the Vatican. Abortion? Don’t get me flipping started. In fact, take the following words ‘reproductive rights’, ‘importance of allowing women control over their own fertility’, ‘treating women as people, capable of making their own decisions, and with control over their own bodily boundaries’ and just insert your own rant HERE. As for the ordination of women, well, I believe the Pope has pronounced that it’s a sin in the same category as paedophilia. Because, you know, there’s something intrinsically evil about those people with vaginas, and they shouldn’t be allowed entry to the old boys’ club. You gals want a role model? Here’s one: a lady who was both a virgin AND a mother. Having trouble living up to our expectations? Try harder.
Anyway, I wouldn’t want you folks to think to we’re out of touch with wider news themes, so here’s a lovely Catholic apologist conference you might be interested in attending. (Alternative title: some old white men spout crap about something again.)**
*Hilariously, said bloke is one of the Pope’s advisors responsible for building bridges and easing communication with other faiths – or so I’m informed by the BBC.
**No, I don’t know whether this is a wind-up. If it is, it’s one of the best pieces of trolling I’ve ever seen.