I hear the complaints about the historical abuses of the Catholic church along with the idiotic social policies (particularly on contraception) and understand the fury that it causes, but in personal terms, my contact with the Catholic church was largely benign. There is, admittedly, something deeply evil about allowing women who have had celibacy enforced upon them to have access to canes and schoolboys, but if you were at school in the 1970s, being caned was an occupational hazard.
So I'm bored by the Pope's visit. There's nothing in it for me. I'm irritated by it in the same way that Flying Rodent is (but probably with fewer resulting laughs). But there was one aspect of the whole thing that did make me jump out of my chair. It's this bit:
"Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.....I started listing, in my head, the ways that this line of thinking was deluded before I stumbled on this post by Johnny that does it so much more comprehensively than I could have done.
....as we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."