The Guardian: Humanist letter against the Pope

The Guardian – in a spirit of helpfulness no doubt – printed a letter against the Pope and his state visit signed by some British notables. Well… they are a bit more notable now.  Most of them weren’t known by many people before, except perhaps fellow members of the British Humanist Association.


Harsh judgments on the pope and religion

The Guardian,  Wednesday 15 September 2010

We, the undersigned, share the view that Pope Ratzinger [In Italy this is not an uncommon way to refer to a Pope.  Everywhere else it could be tinged with insult.] should not be given the honour of a state visit to this country. We believe that the pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country. However, as well as a religious leader, the pope is a head of state, and the state and organisation of which he is head has been responsible for:
Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of Aids.  [Among other things, they don’t help.]Promoting segregated education.  [Silly.]
Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women.  [Abortion denies life itself to a vulnerable person, lots of them female.]
Opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  [Laws should reflect nature and God’s laws.]
Failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.  [I think it would be interesting to look at the careers of all the people who signed this and all the organizations they have started or worked for.]
The state of which the pope is head has also resisted signing many major human rights treaties and has formed its own treaties ("concordats") with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states.  [Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.] In any case, we reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state [The Holy See is a state.  It is not an act.] and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction [The Pope is a head of state.  These people apparently are detached from reality.] to amplify the international influence of the Vatican.  [The Vatican has been around for a while, and actually has influence.  Most of the undersigned are masquerading as… what… people other people have heard of, perhaps?  Let’s see about them:]

Stephen Fry, [homosexual humanist gameshow host with bipolar disorder who blamed the Poles for Auschwitz because they are Catholic, member of the British Humanist Assoc.] Professor Richard Dawkins [who thinks maybe aliens started all life, without dealing with who made the aliens, and member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Professor Susan Blackmore [seems to be a disciple of Dawkins into the paranormal as well as a member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Terry Pratchett [member of the British Humanist Assoc. and atheist fantasy writer], Philip Pullman [hates the Catholic Church and, btw, belongs to the member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Ed Byrne [comedian and yet another member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Baroness Blackstone [both a politician and an academic, two strikes, and member of the British Humanist Assoc., strike three], Ken Follett [novelist, atheist, member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Professor AC Grayling [philosopher, atheist, humanist member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Stewart Lee [member of the British Humanist Assoc., comedian, writer director of Jerry Springer – The Opera], Baroness Massey [member of All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group and former director of Family Planning Association and member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Claire Rayner [pres and v-pres of British Humanist Assoc. suggested killing the Pope], Adele Anderson [member of the British Humanist Assoc, actress], John Austin MP [member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Lord Avebury [Buddhist National Secular Society’s Secularist of the Year and member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Sian Berry [Green Party, and what do you know … member of the British Humanist Assoc.], Professor Simon Blackburn [philosopher VP of British Humanist Ass.], Sir David Blatherwick [yes, really… former diplomat and member of British Humanist Ass.], Sir Tom Blundell [biochemist member of, you guessed it, Brit. Hum. Ass.], Dr Helena Cronin [Darwinian and member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Dylan Evans [philosopher atheist and member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Hermione Eyre [an atheist member of the Brit. Hum. Ass. who seems not to have done much of anything], Lord Foulkes [politician], Professor Chris French [psychologist into the paranormal, member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Natalie Haynes [comedian member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Johann Hari [homosexual secularist], Jon Holmes [comedian member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Lord Hughes [member of Brit. Hum. Ass. and supporter of assisted suicide], Robin Ince [comedian member of Brit. Hum. Ass., author of "Carl Sagan Is My God…" ], Dr Michael Irwin [member of Brit. Hum. Ass. and promoter of euthanasia], Professor Steve Jones [geneticist and member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Sir Harold Kroto [who thinks there are four four "religions": humanism, atheism, amnesty-internationalism and humourism, member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Professor John Lee [pathologist member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Zoe Margolis [member of Brit. Hum. Ass. who seems not to have done anything except write about sex], Jonathan Meades [member of Brit. Hum. Ass., food writer], Sir Jonathan Miller [atheist member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Diane Munday [promotes abortion, member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Maryam Namazie [member of Brit. Hum. Ass., I like that she is against Sharia Law], David Nobbs [comedian, member of Brit. Hum. Ass., hates religion], Professor Richard Norman [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Lord O’Neill [member of the Brit. Hum. Ass.], Simon Price [member of Brit. Hum. Ass., wears hair in shape of horns and favors makeup and face hardware], Paul Rose [socialist, member of the Brit. Hum. Ass. ], Martin Rowson [cartoonist member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Michael Rubenstein [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Joan Smith [atheist], Dr Harry Stopes-Roe [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Professor Raymond Tallis [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Lord Taverne [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Peter Tatchell [seems to be okay with sex with children (aka child rape)], Baroness Turner [member of Brit. Hum. Ass., hates Catholic schools], Professor Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC FBA [member of Brit. Hum. Ass.], Ann Marie Waters [who knows], Professor Wolpert [biologist, member of Brit. Hum. Ass., doesn’t seem to have a first name], Jane Wynne Willson [Brit. Hum. Ass. member and accredited "celebrant" for humanist "religious" ceremonies] 

Distinguished! 

The Catholic League got into it.

And since a commentator (below) brought it up… not I

Annoy a British Humanist by drinking…

Mystic Monk Coffee!

And annoy them even more by ordering through my link.

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55 Responses to The Guardian: Humanist letter against the Pope

  1. templariidvm says:

    Father – did you really go a whole day without mentioning Mystic Monk coffee??? I don’t drink coffee, but have served it to my friends. They give it 2 thumbs up!

  2. kab63 says:

    Are you sure Charles Dickens didn’t invent some of those people?

  3. Supertradmum says:

    What I find interesting about this group is that the members are distinguished by hate and intolerance, of course, they very thing these so-called intellectuals do not like about the Pope and the Catholic Church, supposedly. Let it be clear, however, that these people just do not like Catholics, they do not like any religions which see a connection, whether doctrinal or moral, between civic life, as in the law, and morals.

    Some of these people are “fallen-away Catholics”, such as Stephen Fry, who broke with religion over homosexuality.

    All have the age-old British fear of religion, which may cause zeal and, therefore, civil war, a.k.a. the excellent book Enthusiasm by Ronald Knox, a classic on the subject, not to be confused with the weird, new book. Most of the modern thought in Britain is either heavily influenced by such as Havelock Ellis, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Henry Huxley, and all the Post-Moderns and Deconstructionists, as well as the Post-Deconstructionists. Christopher Hill, the neo-Marxist, also had a great influence in the academic world, as he wrote so much. The list is actually endless.

    I would imagine that submersion in such a cocktail of intellectual nihilism would lead many to doubt the efficacy of something as simple as religious fervor and standard morality, or even, dare I say it, natural law philosophy.

  4. Konichiwa says:

    Aids is poor countries is good. AIDS, on the other hand, that’s the bad one.

  5. Konichiwa says:

    Doh!
    What an interesting list of people.

  6. capchoirgirl says:

    LOL Konichiwa, I thought the *same thing*…

  7. samgr says:

    Sir Jonathan Miller MD has some real accomplishments. On the other hand, as the Mail reported last year:

    The son of author, theatre director and neuropsychologist Sir Jonathan Miller has hit back at his father’s claims that his three children were academic failures and a disappointment to him.
    William Miller claims that he and his two siblings would have fared better had they been sent to public schools and Oxbridge, like their parents, but instead they were sent to state schools to appease the couple’s socialist principals.
    Writing in The Sunday Times, Miller says: ‘It turned out to be a cavalier social experiment that saw all three of his children fail to gain a single qualification. He is right to feel guilty: it was a wholly avoidable disaster.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1138964/Son-Sir-Jonathan-Miller-says-decision-send-brothers-state-school-turned-academic-failures.html#ixzz0zecUURSM

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    If the Grauniad is ill with you, you are doing something right.

    Long live the Pope!

  9. Widukind says:

    I like the “Hum. Ass.” abbreviation!!!
    Quite fitting.

  10. I just got tired of writing it out.

  11. swamp_rabbit says:

    I have a lot of family members who read, listen to and generally appreciate many of the people on the above list… Evey year, I ponder over what to get them at Christmastime, since they still “celebrate” “X-mas” with an exchange of gifts… This year I don’t have that problem. Mystic Monk Coffee all around!

  12. Typical belly-aching from a bunch of misfits.
    This group outta thank the Catholic Church, even with all of our faults, sins and yes, infidelities;
    the Church is the “foundation” of European, English, as well, culture, life and their very presence…Islam is going to overtake them all, not atheist idiots.
    The day the Church is “put away”, and I’m afraid that’s not such a distant reality in some places, is the day that complete moral chaos, anarchy and absolutely horrendous crimes against humanity will be the “rule of the day”.
    They have no idea…absolutely no idea…prayers!

  13. mhazell says:

    It’s the usual anti-reality brigade printing a letter in the usual anti-reality newspaper. Nothing to see here, move along…

    (…though I have to say that the attitude of some of my fellow self-proclaimed “rational” countrymen to the Catholic religion is anything but rational. “Free-thinker” is truly a misnomer when applied to these people; indeed, the hypocrisy would be incredible, were it not so expected by now.)

  14. trentecoastal39 says:

    whoa,they are just a bunch of sour losers!! whining about some things that have been settled.

    GOD BLESS OUR POPE!!!,GOD BLESS OUR CHURCH!!!!

  15. Athelstan says:

    I’m gratified that they at least concede the right of the Pope to visit Britain – as a private citizen.

    But it’s curious to push on each of these points to see just how consistent they really are. Are they really against all gender-segregated institutions? Have they sent letters of protest to Wellesley College? Or the 59 other women’s colleges in the U.S.? Or every women’s school in Britain? Or is it only a difficulty when it is men who are schooled separately?

    Or this: In any case, we reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican. Curious considering that the Holy See has a sovereign status that dates back…longer than England has existed. Or that it has diplomatic relations with 178 nations. If territorial enclaves are included, it has just about the same total land area as Monaco. Is Monaco not a state? Or does this only apply when the head of state is a religious leader? If so, would the same objections be applied to Tibet if the Dalai Lama ever reacquired rule over it as an independent state?

    And so on. Fr. Z has already hit on the curious inclusion of Peter Tatchell, who seems to favor sex with minors so long as a priest is not involved.

  16. MJ says:

    That’s the last time I’ll go to Britain! :-P Great comments, Father Z! I laughed as I read the list of “notables”. Richard Dawkins…sheesh that man creeps me out! Richard Dawkins, the man “who thinks maybe aliens started all life, without dealing with who made the aliens” — love it!

  17. So many humanist secularists are not good for a country. They are not happy people. Perhaps switching from tea to Mystic Monk Coffee would improve their outlook. I just purchased through your website, Father! I’m looking forward to getting my brown hoodie just in time for the cold weather.

  18. credo: You are smarter than all the people on that list.

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dear samgr,

    Thanks for the information and link: I was sad to see someone who has often shown such artistic intelligence (especially as a Shakespeare director)in the past, should so quack as a shallow ideological thug.

    However, as far as the contents of their list, de-ideologized versions of the items which are factually accurate – what (the Vatican under) the Holy Father (as C.S. Lewis would have delighted to call him) is responsible for opposing or promoting – they would seem a succinct summary of good grounds for awarding him the Charlemagne Prize (see

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne_Prize

    small though – if some of the earlier winners are anything to go by – the likelihood of this may be in fact), for in them we see (to quote Lewis, in a letter of 8 May 1939) “a Pope actually functioning as head of Christendom” (not least insofar as Christendom promotes the recognition of natural law).

    I fear Athelstan may be wrong about “the curious inclusion” where Peter Tatchell is concerned, though: reading the review which lies behind Fr. Z’s comment, it occurred to me that here we see an early version of a new, up-and-coming ‘narrative’ deploring ‘bad, authoritarian, exploitative Romish paedophilia, which is nothing like the wonderful Man-Boy/Woman-Girl/Man-Girl/Woman-Boy (add combinations ad lib.)sexual initiatiion and mentoring which all should be celebrating’.

  20. Ah, Father Z. and Credo: Don’t be blamin’ the teah for this outrage!
    We can’t live without the good cuppa teah…God help us!
    Coffee, yeah, okay.
    But don’t give up on the teah!

  21. thesheepcat says:

    That would be Professor Lewis Wolpert, one of the instigators of PUS, the inaptly named intellectual movement (if it can be called that) for the Public Understanding of Science.
    http://science.jrank.org/pages/63399/public-understanding-science.html

    IMO, PUS largely boils down to “Isn’t it a shame that the public fails to worship at the shrine of atheist materialism! They ought to be [re-]educated!”

  22. I know it is not exactly similar, since the Pope is on a state visit, but would these same people complain about the Dalai Lama?

    He holds the exact same views as the Pope on homosexuality (although the DL would criminalize it), he wants to establish a true theocracy in Tibet, he opposes abortion, his monks have had scandals with sexual abuse, etc.

    As for international relations, he has made sure Britain has not changed its official position, which is that China has “suzerainty” over Tibet, as opposed to “sovereignty”.

    But, no, all of these leftist weirdos love the Dalai Lama, who holds all the “negative” views of the Pope, and doesn’t really run any hospitals, AIDS clinics, welfare offices, or schools.

  23. tzard says:

    What’s this about segregated education? Is it a particularly British hot button?

    I thought everyone knew that girls do better academically in girls-only schools. How can he be against that?

  24. Warren says:

    One good thing about such petitions and lists of dissenters is that we can find all the oddballs and kooks in one place. We know exactly who to pray for and who to accost with our forgiveness. They’ve made it easy for us to find them – it’s one stop shopping! We can invite the motley BHA crew to join our band of misfits. They should feel right at home, that is, unless they think they are too good for us and have no need for God’s gifts of love, healing, forgiveness and eternal life.

  25. RichardT says:

    A few more facts about some of them, mainly the academics:

    John Austin MP
    Isn’t an MP any more – he stood down at the last election, after a £133,000 expenses scandal.

    Professor Susan Blackmore
    Visiting Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Plymouth (not very prestigious). Active practitioner of Zen.

    Baroness Blackstone
    Professor of Educational Administration (not very prestigious), former adviser to disastrous Labour PM Jim Callaghan

    Sir Tom Blundell
    Biochemist. Researches AIDS drugs (amongst other things) and is director of a couple of biochemical companies – so seems to have a professional interest in promoting a medical rather than behavioural approach to AIDS.

    Dylan Evans
    According to newspaper reports, earlier this year he was disciplined by his employer (University College Cork) for sexual harassment of a female colleague. As a result he was “ordered to undergo two years of monitoring and counselling, as well as completing a special training course.”

    Professor Chris French
    Does television programmes about the paranormal.

    Dr Michael Irwin
    Struck off the medical register after “assisting a terminally ill friend to die.” Claims “to have helped at least 50 terminally ill patients to die.”

    Professor John Lee
    Makes television programmes with Gunther von Hagens (the man in the black fedora who does public vivisections).

    Dr Harry Stopes-Roe
    Son of the eugenicist and Hitler-supporter Marie Stopes.

  26. ASD says:

    Not Jeeves!

    From the comic sublime to … Hum.Ass.

    Brings to mind Nietzsche on art and artist:

    In the final analysis, he is only the precondition for his work, its maternal womb, the soil or, in some cases, the dung and manure, on and out of which it grows—and thus, in most cases, something that we must forget about, if we want to enjoy the work itself.

    Genealogy of Morals III:4. See, e.g., http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/nietzsche/genealogy3.htm

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Richard T.

    I overlooked the Stopes connection. Thanks for pointing him out. Marie Stopes not only supported Hitler, and was a eugenicist, but was the leader in England for birth-control and abortion. This lady was always against the Catholic Church, openly, so her son is following in her sad footsteps. She is the “Margaret Sanger” of Britain, only more dangerous, as more intelligent.

    Marie Stopes’ clinics provide abortions across Europe and obviously, would have much to loose economically if the teachings of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church were widely accepted.

  28. Supertradmum says:

    lose, not loose, although the sexual connection to this word is apt, as Stopes was also for the freedom of women to experience sexual license as men supposedly were always allowed to do

    These reactionaries to the common, natural law code always strike me as “adolescent” in their world-views, seeing everything from their own subjective and small worlds, instead of ever considering the common good. But, such is the blindness of vice.

  29. StMalachy says:

    Hmmm: George Lord Foulkes – Scottish politician – father of Alex Foulkes who was convicted before the criminal courts in Scotland of “sectarian abuse” ie anti-Catholic abuse. Like father like son?

    Anti-Catholicism runs deep in Britain and it has raised its ugly head over the last few weeks.

  30. Kerry says:

    “Confound it Thomas, I don’t know if the act is legal or not, but look at these names! Won’t you sign it and come with us, for fellowship?”

  31. Paul Jackson says:

    I have a brief overview of this morning’s UK papers on my blog:
    http://catholic-lovevolution.blogspot.com/2010/09/papals-visit-in-press.html
    Anyone else see the Protestant Truth society ad?

  32. PostCatholic says:

    How interesting.

    Actually, I’ve never heard Dr Dawkins claim life on Earth was begun by aliens. That would be a really odd statement by an evolutionary biologist. Can you provide context?

    I’m a bit surprised not to see Dara O’Briain’s name on the list.

  33. introibo says:

    PostCatholic – it’s probably in one of his books, but he says it in the movie “Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed.”

  34. pattif says:

    When they rant about “segregated schools”, what they mean is Catholic schools that give priority to children of practising Catholic families. Both Catholic and Anglican schools (and a few Jewish and Muslim schools) exist within the state system (long story), but Anglican schools tend to reserve a percentage of places for children of other (and no) faiths, on the grounds that, as the established church, its schoolss are for the whole nation. By contrast the best Catholic schools are massively over-ubscribed by Catholics, although, oddly enough, when Archbishop Nichols was head of the Catholic Education Service, he used to talk proudly about the Catholic schools that have up to 30% non-Catholic pupils.

  35. teomatteo says:

    Reading their letter made me pull out St. Edmund Campion’s Decem Rationes….i could hear the man speak to me over the 100’s of years more clearly than all those “undersigned”…. yes… the under-signed of today.

  36. Oddly enough, most of those things being complained about are not things that Terry Pratchett has positioned himself against, in the past. Indeed, for an atheist, he’s generally been pretty pro-religion. A few things have come out from him lately that are a bit more hardline, as press releases, and a sick man can certainly get angry at God, but he’s just not the kind to freak like this in real life. He’s a voice of reason type in a world of sf/f writers doing drama, usually.

    So I find it difficult to believe that a man dying from rapid onset Alzheimer’s, with tons to do on a deadline, would take the time to sign a nasty petition like this. One wonders if he didn’t just say, “Yeah, sure I’ll sign whatever petition you’ve got” as a high profile member of the Humanists, and then gets signed onto these things without actually knowing what they’re going to say.

    But then, that weird anti-Catholic streak in the English is hard to predict. Maybe I’m wrong about him.

  37. catoholic says:

    Terry Pratchett? Ken Follett?

    Oh, no! I really like their books! (Although I haven’t enjoyed Pratchett’s later stuff so much. I thought his output was deterioriating due to the onset of Alzheimer’s, but maybe it was the onset of atheism…)

    This is so depressing. I hate it when my favorite authors* come out in public to shout filth at our beloved Holy Father and Mother Church. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, and I know it won’t be the last. I try to go on enjoying their work just the same afterwards, remembering that art can express deeper truths than the author consciously intends, but it’s hard. It feels as if one has been gratuitously betrayed.

    * I liked the first two books of His Dark Materials, too, believe it or not. Then I read the third book and the whole thing collapsed into an incoherent atheist polemic. Pullman is one author I have no further interest in reading at all.

  38. catoholic says:

    Funny formatting there! I meant the last bit to be a footnote. I haven’t quite got the hang of this commenting thing yet :)

  39. irishgirl says:

    Pathetic list of people-these so-called ‘intellectuals’ have no brains at all!

    Hate to think what sort of excuses they’ll have when they face God after death!

  40. Terry Pratchett’s been an atheist for a long time, but he was always a sympathetic atheist who didn’t seem to think religious people were idiots. Rather, he seemed like the type who really wished he did believe in God, and definitely still believed in traditional morals as a wise plan. The Granny Weatherwax quote in Carpe Jugulum (if I remember it right) is particularly strong on it being right for religious people to follow their beliefs, and not to water them down for public consumption.

    So this really is bizarre. Maybe I’ve missed some cause celebre in English fandom? Maybe he’s harboring delusions about adult stem cells’ usefulness? Shrug.

    But then, I have to say that Pope B seems to get right up the noses of many people in sf fandom, even without trying, even without any reason at all. I love my people, but when fandom picks out a bete noire, it gets so cliquish and stupid so fast.

    However, the other folks on that list don’t have any illness or traditional nerd social group to be their excuse.

  41. AnAmericanMother says:

    Pope B seems to get right up the noses of many people in sf fandom, even without trying, even without any reason at all.

    Maybe they think that Herushingu and Fr. Alexander Anderson are an accurate portrayal of Catholicism?

  42. DisturbedMary says:

    Suburbanbanshee says….However, the other folks on that list don’t have any illness or traditional nerd social group to be their excuse…..

    Perhaps the excuse could be good, old-fashioned sin. Every one of us knows that when we sin, and then sin again, and again, that each time we become more separated from God until, in the extreme, we find ourselves squarely in the devil’s boat, some of us with an oar or two, rowing harder and harder away from shore….

    Holy Father is rockin’ the devil’s boat, big time.

  43. jaykay says:

    PostCatholic: “I’m a bit surprised not to see Dara O’Briain’s name on the list.”

    That may be because he’s actually an Irish citizen and so might not feel it correct to object
    (even though he is, of course, living in the UK)? I don’t know, of course, but that would seem likely.

  44. RichardT says:

    Dara O’Briain is quoted as having said “I’m staunchly atheist, I simply don’t believe in God. But I’m still Catholic, of course.”

    Probably unlikely to sign such a letter then.

  45. RichardT says:

    Supertradmum, thank you for pointing out that Marie Stopes was an abortionist. I had an attack of English parochialism, and forgot that the Yanks probably wouldn’t know that.

    Marie Stopes International, the organisation that continues her work, has over 500 abortion shops round the world. Horrifying.

  46. Jayna says:

    Stephen Fry is also a close friend of Prince Charles. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

  47. May I throw in the opinion of an atheist? You all seem to be missing the point. It doesn’t matter at all who signed this letter, what matters is the content.

    Why not list each of the charges made and defend the Catholic Church against them?

  48. >>>Terry Pratchett’s been an atheist for a long time, but he was always a sympathetic atheist who didn’t seem to think religious people were idiots.

    You must not have read Small Gods.

    And you seem to have missed the point of Carpe Jugulum.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Why not list each of the charges made and defend the Catholic Church against them?
    Comment by thethunderchild

    Didn’t Fr Z do that above?

    It’s hard not to laugh at anyone who thinks that a qualification for being a head of state is favoring abortion.

  50. I just want to make this know pubically, here on this most prestigious website:
    The Fishwrap (known as NCReporter) is now editing and forbidding any kind of comments that are dissenting from their contributors in any kind of substantial way…
    jerks!
    If you call them to task, you’ll get deleted, believe you me.
    Freedom of speech?
    Not there, folks.
    Just sayin’.

  51. And, I might add,
    there is plenty to comment upon, esp. Fr. McBrien’s idiotic and insane commentary; not to mention E.C. Kennedy’s “essay” and all kinds of everything.
    They’re goin’ wild there.
    So much for “free speech”. Let it all hang out, brothers and sisters…deluge that bunch with your comments; they ain’t Catholic and they ain’t reportin’…no way, no how!!

  52. pjthom81 says:

    One obnoxious item I note from this story….can we please do something about reclaiming the term “humanist”? It was, after all the philosophy of Erasmus and St. Thomas Moore!

  53. introibo says:

    Alas, Jeeves is there, to be expected. At least Wooster/House isn’t….

  54. Supertradmum says:

    On the Beeb today, Peter Tatchell claims there will be thousands of anti=Pope demonstrators moving up and around Hyde Park, where the Vigil for the Beatification is being held.

    He said somethings which are very curious. “This is not an attack on Catholic people or the Catholic faith. We are critical of certain policies of the Pope.”

    Is he so ignorant that he cannot tell what is doctrine and what is personal opinion?

    “We know that many Catholics share our concerns. Only 5% of Catholics in this country agree with the Pope’s ban on contraception. Only 11% of Catholics think that homosexuality is morally wrong.”

    Where did he get these statistics?

    “So there is a great depth of Catholic opinion which is in disagreement with this Pope and we support those Catholic people.”

  55. Supertradmum says:

    I add my last sentence to his last comment listed. How can atheists and Pope-haters support “those Catholic people”?