Catholic World News

British public figures protest papal visit

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.”

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  • 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: - 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.