Timeout column on Protest the Pope
There are many good reasons to oppose the Pope’s state visit in September. This is a man who insists that populations devastated by HIV and AIDS should abstain from using condoms; a man who regularly makes hateful pronouncements about the ‘sin’ of homosexuality; a man, lest we forget, who has become personally embroiled in the scandal over Fr Hullerman, the German priest who sexually abused children – and a man who is now facing growing criticism over accusations that the Vatican tried to cover up these and many other abuses all over the world.
So far we’ve heard tales of abuse by Catholic priests in America, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. The Pope has strenuously denied any involvement in a cover-up. But according to an investigation made for the BBC’s ‘Panorama’, in 2001, the then Cardinal Ratzinger (aka ‘The Enforcer’) issued an edict to all Catholic bishops, recommending that instead of reporting abusers to the police they report them to the Vatican and encourage the victims to take an oath never to talk about the abuse they suffered. The instructions said: ‘Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret’. The Cardinal proposed that if the victims broke their oath, they should be excommunicated.
The British Humanist Association is a founding member of the Protest the Pope campaign, demonstrating against the official nature of the Pope’s state visit next month.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Timeout column on Protest the Pope,