In preparation for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Great Britain, a group of British diplomats circulated a memo offering suggestions for a to-do list of sorts for the Pope including launching a new line of ‘ Benedict’ condoms, inviting the Pope to open an abortion clinic or bless a gay marriage.
While the British government quickly offered an official apology many sources in the British government and media seem to be saying that anyone truly offended by the memo simply lacks a sense of humor. Mind you, I’m a fan of satire and humor. Over at my blog Creative Minority Report we keep things pretty light. But what the British Foreign Office did this week can’t really be dismissed as a bit of satire as it hardly rises to the level of intelligence to be called satire. Calling it “sophomoric” is an insult to fourth graders.
Sadly, I think the memo says more about the state of Great Britian than it does about the Pope. The fact that it took many minds in the Foreign Office to create this imbecilic list almost has me less concerned about their anti-Catholicism than their lack of intellectual originality.
But what concerns me most is the shared underlying assumptions of those in the Foreign Office that sneering and mocking is the default position towards Catholicism or that the Pope’s views are automatically backward or mock-worthy.
Ask yourself if the Foreign Office would distribute a similar memo for the arrival of other state leaders of import.
But is it any surprise that this is happening right now? Secularists who seem to inhabit government offices of Western civilization seem to feel they have the Pope on the defensive and they fully intend to press their advantage. Secularists don’t wish to get into a logical argument with theologians or clergy or the Pope as many don’t have the intellectual capability to compete in the world of ideas so they resort to to the always available and potent weapon of ridicule to demean the Pope and the Church.
Expect this to get worse in the near future.