In September this year Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit England and we, the British public, have to pay for it. We have to pay the costs of the Pope’s visit, including all the high security costs, yet the Pope heads up one of the richest institutions in the world.
I certainly won’t be going to see the Pope when he is here. More and more I find myself repulsed by the Catholic Church, by its treatment of women and their rights, their ignorant and intransient opposition to contraception and the use of condoms to prevent HIV, their vitriolic homophobia and the decades of covering up the sexual abuse by their priests. The Pope has proved as vocal in his reactionary views as the church he heads up. According to him, I, as a gay man, am far more of a risk to the world then global warning (!!). Before he became Pope Benedict XVI he was head of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Canon Court of the Catholic Church, and now more and more dirt from the sexual abuse cover-up is sticking to him.
What does anger me is that my taxes still have to pay for this man to come to my country and patronise and insult me from my own land. Why can’t Catholics and the Catholic Church pay for this visit, why do we as taxes payers have to foot the bill, especially when the huge majority of us are not practising Catholics.