About that British Foreign Office "Lark"…

God knows what one should make of this story: Britain sorry for Pope visit document, but Mary Kenny of the Independant in Ireland does a good job of making something of it in this piece: The fashion for bashing Catholicism in the UK hurts Catholics and can revive ancient prejudices.

Sir Humphrey Appleby would probably have just said “Very droll, Prime Minister” and left it at that. For my money, I would like to see the Holy Father invited to visit an abortion ward… His speech on such an occasion alone would be worth any amount, not to mention his opportunity to meet the in-patients. But I rather suspect that this is one invitation which, while His Holiness might conceivably accept it, is unlikely ever to be extended.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to About that British Foreign Office "Lark"…

  1. Louise says:

    God knows what one should make of this story

    Let me take a stab. 20-something Smart Arse gets comical. Someone “leaks” it to the Press. Slow News Day ensures the stupidity will be widely reported. Fake apologies etc ensue blah blah blah…

    The Press, as usual, sell the daily quota of Beer and Shampoo.

    Catholics should probably just have a Big Yawn and go do something fun.

  2. Matthias says:

    I was insulted for the Pope-and I am jot a catholic.I think it is indicative of the cancer that is eating away at britain-no longer GREAT BRITAIN

  3. Let’s not get too excited over this, David. Louise is spot-on: it’s a press beat-up. Recent reports are that it was from the hand of a junior staffer, who thought it a great “lark”, as you say. You’ve probably got to have worked in the public service, as I have, to understand this mentality and how the doc’t got leaked. He’s since been “moved”. Get over it and get on with it, I’m sure the Pope will.

    • Schütz says:

      Oh, I’m not terribly bothered by it. No righteous indignation or anything like that. More “silly children” sort of reaction. Shows I’m getting old.

  4. Paul G says:

    It’s true that the “joke” document was written by a public servant in the FO, but I assume he was given the job by the British Government (inasmuch as Britain has a government at the moment or in the near future).
    I think the Vatican would be justified in asking the British governement to reconfirm that they do, indeed, want to invite him to their country.

    I see Peter Hitchens has commented on this affair:

    “The revelations about childish attacks on the Pope in the Foreign Office seem to me to be a sign of a severe prejudice now well-established in this country. That prejudice is currently directed against the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome ( who hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England). But in fact it’s a general threat to principled and unfashionable Christian religion of all kinds. It’s not directed against Islam partly because people who are very brave in attacking Christianity tend to become a bit reserved when it comes to doing the same to Islam – and partly because Islam (equally if not more unflinching than the Bishop of Rome) is considered, rightly or wrongly, to be part of the multi-culti front which is united in the effort to dismantle and abolish conservative, Christian, monarchist Britain.”


    • Louise says:

      Not unrelated:

      I sometimes get the feeling that the last English subject, just before he or she is spitted on a scimitar, will say, “May [I] have just one last word before I die?” The executioner, a true son of Saladin, will forego his bloodlust for Allah for a moment and allow the victim to speak their peace. The victim will compose himself for a moment, draw a deep breath–and then release one final torrent of profanity against the Pope.

      I laughed when I read it. It strikes me as all too plausible!

      (Not that I disagree with Mr Hitchens re: the general attack on Christianity).

  5. Louise says:

    but I assume he was given the job by the British Government …
    I think the Vatican would be justified in asking the British governement to reconfirm that they do, indeed, want to invite him to their country.


    • Peregrinus says:

      No, I think you were right the first time. He should just yawn and go and do something else.

      It would be less than gracious of him to rub the FCO’s nose in the mess that an un-housetrained pekinese has left in the front hall. As a guest, the polite thing to do in these circumstances is to lose oneself in admiration of the paintings/the view from the window/the decorative ceiling cornice/your own shoelaces, and not notice somebody hastily sweeping up.

  6. Paul G says:

    At least this is shining a light on the FCO. I found via

    That the FCO website informs us that…

    “UK faith groups and religious leaders have a strong interest in international affairs and can play an important part in delivering our objectives of preventing and resolving conflict, respect for human rights and promotion of a low carbon high growth global economy. They have particular expertise and networks, which can supplement and complement our own information and contacts base.”

    • Louise says:

      From that link:

      Nevertheless, they probably see the Papal visit as an opportunity for the Catholic Church to “play an important part” in delivering their objectives.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *