Protest the pope

It’s good to see so many people protesting against the pope’s official state visit to Britain. I support the campaign – I agree that our government shouldn’t afford him the pomp of an official state visit.

He’s welcome to visit of course, but it should only be a pastoral visit (like it was for the previous pope in 1982) and we shouldn’t have to fawn over him or cover his vast expenses.

Not only does Benedict XVI personally oppose fundamental human rights, he uses his position to lobby for state-sponsored prejudice against women and people of other religions. As recently as February, he objected to our Equalities Act and hectored members of our Parliament about the moral importance of them representing his interests, not those of their constituents. This isn’t the Vatican State, dude. We have a democracy here! And as one MP said privately, “it’s rather gauling that we’re having to cut funding for schools and hospitals while spending millions to appease this odd man who condemns our whole way of life”.

The hypocrisy stinks. As Archbishop of Munich, he repeatedly covered up for child abusers; as Pope, his ‘regret’ is evidently hollow. Let’s remember that he was also a member of the Hitler Youth and served the Nazi party, and he recently supported the Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson.

He condemns people if they love the ‘wrong’ gender. He condemns people if their relationships don’t last forever. He condemns people who wear condoms. He condemns people who support a woman’s right to choose.

What’s up with this guy? I thought Mr Jesus was a happy, loving kind of chap. Where did it all go wrong?

My outrageous friend Peter Tatchell has a documentary about this going out on Channel Four tomorrow – look out for that at 8pm.

In the meantime, Tim Minchin says it best: