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Ear to the Ground

Pope Threatens to Cancel U.K. Trip

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Posted on Apr 25, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI
AP / Andrew Brownbill

For Pope Benedict XVI, the leaked British memo is no laughing matter.

It seems the pope can’t take a joke. The Vatican is threatening to cancel a visit to Britain by Benedict XVI after a leaked Foreign Office memo gave suggestions that included a “Benedict condom.”

The list of fanciful suggestions for the visit includes: review Vatican attitude on condom use (launch of “Benedict condoms”); bless a civil partnership; reversal of policy on women bishops (ordain women); open an abortion ward; speech on equality; training course for all bishops on child abuse allegations; harder line on child abuse (announce sacking of dodgy bishops); Vatican sponsorship for network of AIDS clinics; get the pope and the queen to sing a duet for charity, and more. —JCL

The Telegraph:

Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here.

No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street and at least three Whitehall departments, and the civil servant who authorised it has simply been moved to other duties.

One highly-placed source in the Vatican said: “This could have very severe repercussions and is embarrassing for the British government—one has to question whether the action taken is enough.

“It is disgusting. Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See has been in to see the Secretary of State and explain what happened and this will all be relayed to the Pope ... .”

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By melpol, April 26, 2010 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Within the Vatican vaults are the secret PEDO-FILES. A privately financed swat
team should bring them out for the world to see. They would shock even the most
jaded perverts.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 26, 2010 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

I sure hope the Vatican doesn’t pull some stunt like actually DO something worthwhile thereby gaining back some respect and status.

Just keep on doing what you’re doing, Ratz, turning pope into poop. Couldn’t happen to a nicer scam.

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By reynolds, April 26, 2010 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

puck the fope.

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By James, April 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A JOKE!??? Are you kidding me? This is the Foreign
Office! This isn’t some sixth grade brainstorm
session. These are supposed to be seasoned diplomats.

This is disgusting. There is NO excuse for this, and
there is no excuse for articles like this that sadly
miss the mark.

Anti-Catholic bigotry is sadly rampant not only in
the mainstream media, which has disregarded all
journalistic standards to attack the Pope recently,
but also apparently in diplomatic circles as well.


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By omygodnotagain, April 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

If these remarks were directed to Jews, jokes about Nazis etc.. there would be gnashing of teeth and all sorts of condemnations. The fact is the Foreign Office in Britain has virulent anti-Catholic bigots.. nothing new after all this was the country that had Penal Laws against Catholics until the end of the 19th Century, and sent criminals out of prison to Ireland called Black and Tans to put down the Easter Rising. Seems like a lot of the readers of this blog are of the same bigoted ilk.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if they make him take off those white silk slippers?

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By Aaron Ortiz, April 25, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Would the UK treat a muslim imam like it’s treating the pope?

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By Thomthum, April 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

This pope sucks. The last one was much cooler.

...just sayin’

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bogglesthemind's avatar

By bogglesthemind, April 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment


No threats. Make him promise.

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By GWK123, April 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Britain’s ambassador to the ‘holy see’ was delighted to
provide the Vatican with an excuse for Joe Ratzinger’s
‘no show’ for Mrs. Windsor’s tea time for old queens
extravaganza funded by the welfare department. They
were already coordinating the wardrobes. Perhaps Dame
Edna might be available? At least she’s capable of
providing a good laugh. And her ‘frocks’? TO DIE FOR.

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By Smudge Martens, April 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Weeks ago Hitchens, Dawkins, et. al. predicted that the Pope, fearful of being arrested, would fabricate an excuse to cancel his Fall UK trip.

The conspiracy originated among us might conclude that this memo was purposefully crafted by English bureaucrats to give the Pope a graceful out.

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By melpol, April 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

The council of cardinals has finally realized that commercial endorsements are
more profitable than moral ones. Exchanging the red slippers worn by the Pope
for NIKES will give the Vatican millions. Not only should the Pope hand out
condoms he should have his photo on the packaging wearing one. It would do
more for preventing abortions than all his sermons.

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