Your Name is Needed to Publically Support Pope Benedict’s Visit

The above petition supporting the Holy Father’s visit has only 8,000 signatures. 

May I invite you all to sign the petition, and encourage others to do the same?  I received an e-mail that advised others to put the petition address in their parish newsletters. Perhaps, we could ask our parish priests to include it in the next newsletter.

On the 'other side', the usual gangsta-imitating bullies are gathering support for their battle against the pope. The National Secular Society are doing their best to encourage bitterness towards the pope. 
The Secular Society has an online petition against Pope Benedict’s visit which has already enticed 25,000 signatures. Let's hope that number has peaked.  'Make the Pope Pay' is the corny title of their petition, which sounds very gangsta and East End mob-ish. The National Secular Society sound like a group of knuckle-duster brandishing money lenders, who are willing to go to any measure to extract money from our pope.
The bug-bear of the Nation Secular Society is the cost of Pope Benedict’s visit, and the fact that some expenses from the visit will come from tax-payers. Interesting how the Secular Society do not get nearly as worked up (or as personally vindictive) towards other distinguished guests that are invited to Britain, and whose visits are sponsored by the public purse. 
Would it be too awful an idea to invite every member of the National Secular Society to give a donation for every time they went to a Catholic hospital, or was taught by a Catholic religious/layperson?


  1. I interpeted it differently: i.e. that the matter of the supposed cost was stirred up in order to augment support for their grubby little petition.

  2. Dear Mary

    A couple of points I'd like to raise.

    Gangsta-Imitating bullies? 'encourage bitterness towards the pope'?
    All the NSS is doing is asking that you pay for his visit out of your own pocket. Why should we divert needed tax pounds so you can fawn at the feet of your leader? Where should the tax funds come from? Policing? NHS? Education? Lets not forget that your church is one of the richest and best funded organisations on the planet.

    You mention Catholic Hospitals? I am 48 years old and have travelled all over the UK. I don't recall EVER having seen a Catholic Hospital.

    I really have no issue with the pope visiting this country. I just don't see why a minority group should expect me and the rest of the tax paying public pay for it.

    The NSS Charter This is why the NSS exists. If other distinguished guests were from religious organisations I am sure it would take an interest then.

    Will my comment survive your censorship? Probably not.

  3. I interpret it that the Pope expects some of his expenses to be met by British taxpayers most of whom will not be catholics or even religious and who regard the Vatican as quite wealthy enough to foot the bill itself.
    If the government has money to spare for these kind of religious circuses it should devote it to maintaining our anglican cathedrals.

  4. Hello Mary.
    Your choice of language is quite provocative but I suppose that just reflects the depth of your feelings on the matter. Nothing wrong or unusual about that. The trouble is that the language on both sides of the argument just gets more extreme as each side seeks to counter the other sides rhetorical excesses, without actually listening to, or properly addressing the concerns of the other ( I am not suggesting you started that process but I do think you have joined with it).

    Whatever your beliefs or mine we have a responsibility to be intellectually honest with ourselves in our arguments. The scoring of cheap points just widens the gulf.

    The National Secular Society exists to reduce the disproportionate influence of various religions on public life and protect those with or without religion from discrimination. Like all organisations there will be a range of views within that.

    The vast majority will view the Popes visit with complete indifference. He means nothing to us and his views carry no more weight than any other private individual. This is why we do not feel that the status of his visit should be in line with that of a visiting head of a nation state. Like any other individual he is welcome here, we just don't feel that we should pay for his holiday/sales trip. Strip away all the angry repartee and there is no more to it than that.

    On a final note, you mentioned various Catholic institutions that may or may not benefit wider society. You might like to check how they are funded and what their tax status is before asking NSS members for additional contributions. I suspect you will find that most have some sort of public funding or tax exemption already.

    I wish you all the best.

    Kind Regards

    Mark Brooks

  5. Hi Mary,

    Why would you use 'East End' as a term of abuse? Anyway...

    I've never seen a Catholic hospital or been taught by a Catholic.

    I do appreciate the work - historically - that the Church in general has done for society. I understand why people feel like they need a God to worship. The sense of meaning, of community, of belonging, of a moral code.

    But now we know why crops fail, and oxen die, and that slavery is wrong, and why 'pestilence' occurs, and how we evolved, and so on and on, why do we need religion?

    Religions can't ALL be right. But they can ALL be wrong.

    I would put it to you that you're an atheist, just like me. I just believe in one god fewer.

    So in the context of Herr Ratzinger's influential utterings to the (excuse my frankness - credulous) regarding AIDS, child rape, and so on and so on, you could perhaps understand why three times more people (it would seem) wish the Pope to pay his own way.

    After all, if Herr R. can afford a nice shiny pair of red Prada loafers, and a retinue of 'Papal Gentlemen' that would make Lady Gaga blush, then he can afford a Ryanair booking and four nights in an Ibis. Perhaps he could liquidate some of the $53bn in assets that the organisation currently holds.

    I would ask you to consider which party are more 'Gangsterish' - a vast, intensely wealthy multinational organisation run by celibate, elderly men in fancy dress which demands complete subordination from its subjects - even down to what they do with their own bodies - or 25, 000 good but faith-free people in Britain that simply object to having to pay the cost of a visit from the leader of said 'Familia' from hard-earned tax pounds.

    All the best, and with much love,


    P.S. Just to be clear, I have no objection to Roman Catholicism between consenting adults in private.

  6. You truly are a ludicrous individual. I will refrain from repeating the explanations for the petition as ths has been covered by earlier contributors.

    What I will comment on is the gratitude you feel the general public owe to catholic institutions. I grew up in Ireland, a country that has suffered more than most at the hands of the perverted thugs who represented the catholic church.

    Not only was my mother forced to give me up for adoption because she had apparently shamed herself, I was forced to endure years of physical and psychological violence in church run schools. I also witnessed the sexual molestation of other pupils at the hands of christian brothers, nuns and priests.

    That is the true legacy of the catholic church and no amount of posturing by the apologists for these pedophiles can hide that fact.

    On a final note, maybe the vatican should be using some of the money it has been spending on male prostitutes to contribute towards the upcoming visit by the Nazi Ratzinger.

  7. I would not only like the Pope to foot the bill but also make a side trip to Dublin - to apologize.

  8. I think you have scored an own goal Mary. Think before you speak.....don't expect your god to do everything for you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I do not believe The Third Secret of Fatima came to pass with the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981

Our Lady appeared on the 13th of the month at Fatima so we may avoid the fate of Judas