Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Pope's visit to the UK later this year..

The F Word has an article up about it, cross posted here:

The Catholic Church has contributed more than most to the oppression of women. Whether it’s the deaths of women in childbirth and of HIV / AIDS due to their commitment to preventing safer sex, or covering up the abuse of girl and boy children and protecting the abusers, they have consistently chosen paths which keep women controlled and ‘in their place’.
This is the church that ordered the excommunication of everyone involved in helping a 9 year old girl, who was pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather, to have an abortion. The church actively tried to prevent the termination, and when it failed it ordered that the child’s mother and the doctors involved be excommunicated. (Not the step-father, tellingly).

“If the B52 bombers flying over Vietnam were dropping contraceptives, the American Catholic hierarchy would have condemned that in a minute, but they were dropping napalm”
— James Carroll

The Pope has also been in the news this week for speaking out against the UK government’s equality policies, which would have required churches to stop discriminating against LGBT people. This is a man who, when he speaks, people listen. Just think what he could use his voice for. He could protest poverty, he could condemn domestic violence. But no, he speaks out against equality. Later this year, the Pope is planning a visit to Britain. Not only do I not want him here, I was really disgusted to hear that the £20 million cost of his visit will be paid for by public money. Just think how many Rape Crisis centres could be funded by that money!
The National Secular Society have started a petition to ask the Catholic Church itself to pay for the visit. As I write, it has 17,457 signatures, one of which is mine.
The Catholic Church, contrary to the guidance of many passages of the Bible, is a very rich institution. If this man, who played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, wants to come here, let him pay for it himself.

When he speaks out against UK equality leglislation, when he colludes in the abuse and oppression of UK women, his visit should not be paid for out of UK public money.  Particularly not when we're in a recession, particularly not when there are funding cuts made across all manner of sectors.  Please consider signing the petition.

I would recommend reading the comments, if it were not for the seemingly inevitable feminists vs religion bollocks that always seems to occur.  Surely it's not too difficult to accept that feminists can believe in deitys, right?


Sea-of-Green said...

It's been interesting to review history and see how the power of the Catholic Church has been progressively whittled away over the last few centuries -- and the U.K. has played a big part in that. In the USA, most people who call themselves Catholic don't really seem to listen to the pope, anyway. The pope will say, "NO CONTRACEPTIVES" -- and American Catholics will just nod their heads and use them, anyway. So much for the power of the pope. ;-)

Saranga said...

i'm not too convinced that people (women?) in the UK really listen to him on contraceptives either! Which is all to the good, cos this current Pope is a conservative idiot.

Vida said...

The Pope can come and say whatever he wants but that doesn't mean that people have to listen. He may not like the world the way it is, but he cannot control that. We have progressed well beyond that now and people have a lot more freedom to express who they are and be who they are without fear of repurcussion. It is the Pope who is going to have to reconsider his veiw of the world.