By Hilary White
LONDON, September 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With the announcement this week by the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Britain next year, the heavily secularized country's anti-Christian activists, left-leaning media and homosexualist lobbyists have gone into a pre-emptive frenzy of Catholic-bashing, largely based upon the Church's teachings on the life and family issues.
John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), wrote last week that the Britain Pope Benedict will be visiting is in ”the valley of the culture of death,” an observation that is receiving support from the vicious nature of the backlash against the announced visit of the Catholic pontiff.
Tanya Gold, a columnist for the Guardian, wrote that she is “repelled” by the idea of a papal visit to Britain. “In his actions on child abuse and Aids, Joseph Ratzinger has colluded in the protection of paedophiles and the deaths of millions of Africans,” she wrote.
Calling the Catholic objection to the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS in Africa “the church's own holocaust,” Gold wrote, “Condoms can protect Africans from Aids. But who can protect them from Ratzinger?”
“Some local priests in Africa counsel contraception, because they care about their parishioners. But the Vatican, on its Roman cloud, disagrees,” she continued.
Gold went on to derogate Catholic dogmatic theology, calling belief in the Virgin Birth a “fantasy” and “magical, mystical nonsense.” She went on to disparage the Catholic teaching on the reservation of ordination to men, and complained that the Church “demands the criminilisation [sic] of abortion even for women who have been raped or are very sick…”
“Gin and wire coathangers, anyone?” she said. She concluded by ironically welcoming Benedict with a final blast, “Don't tread on the corpses.”
Terry Sanderson, head of the virulently anti-Christian National Secular Society, said the pope's visit was “dismal news,” called Benedict a “ghastly man” and said that the NSS will be “joining other groups” in protest. Sanderson reiterated the media's usual roster of anti-Catholic accusations, saying “Why Britain should seek to laud such a nasty extremist is beyond me. We should not forget that his 'teachings' have resulted in the banning of condoms in developing countries where HIV is decimating the populations. He encourages population growth in places where starvation is common. He persecutes homosexuals, treats women as second class citizens, has colluded in the large-scale cover up of child abuse.
“His Church interferes illegitimately in politics and undermines democracy. It siphons huge amounts of money out of poverty-stricken economies – what is there to celebrate about such a bigot?”
The NSS is a close collaborator with the various homosexualist groups who are working with government to eradicate all input into public life by religious people, particularly Christians, in Britain. In 2007, the Labour government's education minister pledged to the NSS and a coalition of homosexualist groups to “compel” religious schools to comply with their agenda of the normalization of homosexuality. The NSS was instrumental in orchestrating the closure and secularisation of several Catholic adoption agencies after the passage of Labour's Sexual Orientation Regulations.
A related group, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) staged a protest today against the Pope's visit outside the Labour Party Conference, listing among their objections Catholic opposition to abortion, condoms in AIDS prevention as well as to artificial contraception in general. GALHA objects also to the existence of Catholic schools, saying they cause “social division.”
GALHA Secretary David Christmas said, “The idea that [the pope] should be feted and lauded as some kind of hero is a direct insult to all of those people whose lives have been blighted by his extreme doctrinal positions.”
Anthony Ozimic of the UK-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeSiteNews.com, “The number of rabidly anti-life columnists writing for the Guardian makes it the de facto house journal of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
“Tanya Gold and her ilk are clearly rattled that even anti-life political leaders respect the Pope's moral leadership. The anti-life lobby are also embarrassed by the total flop of its campaign to kick the Holy See out of the UN. The Catholic Church's pro-life mission will outlast Ms. Gold and her false accusations.”
Damian Thompson, editor of the Catholic Herald and the Blogs Editor of the Daily Telegraph called Gold's “the most poisonously anti-Catholic article to have appeared in the mainstream media for decades” and said that Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger will regret having published it.
“When Gold accuses the Pope of colluding in the protection of paedophiles she is making an accusation that requires a pretty high level of proof. Which she doesn't have,” Thompson wrote.
The popular pseudonymous blogger and Catholic commentator “Diogenes” wrote at Catholic Culture, “This sort of column would be classified as 'hate speech' if it were aimed at any target other than the Catholic Church. Then again, if it had any other target the column wouldn't be published in the Guardian.”
John Smeaton, the director of SPUC, saying Britain is in the “valley of the culture of death,” wrote last week that: “In Britain, the government organises secret abortions on schoolgirls behind parents' backs. The chief prosecutor has today issued rules tolerating assisted suicide, under which the disabled will be treated as second-class citizens. The leaders of the major political parties all voted for sinister destructive experiments on embryonic children.
“I hope that Pope Benedict will issue stern reminders to church leaders and Catholic parliamentarians of their absolute duty to place the right to life from conception to natural death at the top of Britain's moral and political agenda.”
While the largest group of respondents to British religion surveys remains Christians, the secularization of the country has become axiomatic. A 2007 survey found that 71.6 per cent of the population said they were Christian, but a poll by British Election Studies found that only 31 per cent of people who say they belong to a religion attend services regularly, down from 74 per cent in 1964.
A survey taken in 2006 by Tearfund found that 66 per cent of the population, 32.2 million, have no connection with any religion or church. Tearfund said of the secular majority, “Most of them – 29.3 million – are unreceptive and closed to attending church; churchgoing is simply not on their agenda.” A 2007 Mori poll commissioned by the British Library found that nearly half of teenagers in Britain are atheists.
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