I'm sure readers will have by now, seen the various reports about the insulting and offensive document relating to the Pope's state visit to the UK. The document , published by the Daily Telegraph, which was produced by a junior civil servant in the Foreign Office, suggested several activities for the Holy Father to undertake during his visit, including:
- launch of 'Benedict' condoms
- review of Vatican attitude on condom use
- open an abortion ward
- bless a civil partnership
- reversal of policy on women bishops/ordain woman
A more likely explanation might be that such a document, whether intended as a joke or not, could only come into existence within a politically correct government culture which appears to respect diversity of belief and faith, as long as it's not Catholic.
The Telegraph reports that the Vatican is not impressed with the action taken against the junior civil servant, who was moved to other duties within the F.O.:
"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.
“It’s even possible the trip could be cancelled as this matter is hugely offensive.”
Cardinal Renato Martino, the former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “The British government has invited the Pope as its guest and he should be treated with respect.
“To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”