The Pope went home yesterday and I, for one, am glad that he has gone. His visit was themed “Heart Speaks Onto Heart”; though I found it more as an old man, who is frighteningly out of touch with the real world, preaching at us in a patronising tone.
Events before his visit showed little sign that we were going to see a “listening” Pope. Only days before his visit, the Pope said gay marriage laws “contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law” (sic) (http://tinyurl.com/23tph3f). The day before his visit, one of his closest aides, Cardinal Walter Kasper, called Britain a “Third World State” (sic) (http://tinyurl.com/28yuapz).
While he was on our soil, The Pope again attacked Britain’s "aggressive secularism". Yet, this "aggressive secularism" has done far more good then the Catholic Church’s traditional prejudices. It has been "aggressive secularism" that has enshrined many legal protections for minorities in Britain, including protection from discrimination on grounds of religious belief; whereas Christians, at the same time, have been demanding the right to discriminate against whoever they choose. I know which side has given more to our society.
The Pope has expressed his “sorrow” over the abuse of children within the Catholic Church (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11354357), but that’s all. He has not apologised for the systematic cover-up of this abuse (of which he was part when he was a Cardinal), nor has the Catholic Church taken responsibility for this cover-up which lead to many more children being abused. Add to this that the Vatican holds secret records on their paedophile priests and refuses to release them to the authorities. Also, The Pope said the victims of this abuse should be given emotional and spiritual help, though he offered no resources from the church to do this. The Catholic Church is obscenely rich, they could easily spare the resources to do this but again they remain silent.
This visit was supposed to encourage us all to turn back to “traditional” Catholic believes, but a YouGov poll has found that British Catholics don’t even believe the Pope teachings. Only 11 per cent believed gay sex was morally wrong, while 41 per cent said that both straight and gay relationships should be celebrated, the poll found. Seventy-one per cent thought contraception should be used more to prevent pregnancy and STDs (http://tinyurl.com/38f9mc9). So what was the Pope hoping to achieve, or does he ever stop and ask real people what they think? I very much doubt it.
Well, The Pope is gone and we (The British public) are left to pay for this four day circus. This Papal visit did little to help us here in Britain, he certainly offered no help with all the problems facing us as a nation, yet the country will have to pay over twenty million pounds for having him on our soil for four days (!!). Next time he can pay in full if he wants to visit Britain, or else stay at home...