Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,470 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on

British public figures protest papal visit

Catholic World News - September 15, 2010

A group of 50 prominent British individuals have joined in a public protest against the state visit by Pope Benedict XVI.

The group’s statement-- denouncing the position of the Catholic Church on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and contraception—was contained in a letter to the Guardian. It was signed by, among others, atheist professor and activist Richard Dawkins; authors Philip Pullman, Ken Follett, and Terry Pratchett; actor Stephen Fry; and gay-rights crusader Peter Tatchell.

The group’s letter charges that the United Kingdom should not honor the Pope with a state visit because he represents a government—the Holy See—which has refused to sign some human-rights treaties. At the same time, the signatories say that they "reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state, and the Pope as a head of state, as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,848 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,151.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: sparch - Sep. 16, 2010 1:40 PM ET USA

    Is there no positive news out of the U.K. concerning the Pope's state visit? None from the governmnet or the media? Surely we can do more than proliferate the negatives from this country by highlighting the forward thinking faithful? We play directly into the hands of evil by ignoring all those who are being touched by our shepard.

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Sep. 16, 2010 9:39 AM ET USA

    If only the word "depraved" had been used to describe the 50 individuals instead of "prominent", there'd be no problem.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Sep. 15, 2010 11:36 PM ET USA

    "British public figures"? The usual gay and atheist suspects spout their usual blather, and you call them public figures? You give them too much credibility with that term. From that headline, I was expecting politicians or church leaders. This is not news; it would be news if they DIDN'T whine and complain about the papal visit.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Sep. 15, 2010 8:54 PM ET USA

    This is about as newsworthy as the local commuter train schedule. And they published it in "The Guardian" no less. What cheeky blokes to use a Marxist-lite rag for their surprising dissent from decency.

  • Posted by: tony2311 - Sep. 15, 2010 7:20 PM ET USA

    This shows how deeply the UK had descended into darkness. It is ironic that the BBC calls these people "luminaries" while the true source of light (Christ) is denied. The Holy Father is really stepping into the lion's den! May the Holy Spirit be strong in him.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 2 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 6 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! 23 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 24 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6