Daily Archives: July 22, 2010
The Catholic Herald reports of the alertness of the Police in the preparation of the Papal visit, now less than two months away. Not only there are (as Anna Arco reports) Muslim fringe organisations aiming at disrupting the visit, but an aggressive welcome to the Pope is also planned from other sides as well – from Peter Tatchell pink desperadoes to Orangist groupings to aggressive Atheists -. It seems as if the papal visit could become a showdown between radically different mentalities.
This has led many commenters on Catholics blogs to wish that the visit may be postponed, or that it should not take place at all. I disagree with this thinking for the following reasons:
1) The United Kingdom is not a tin-pot African country. They’ll be able to provide for the Holy Father’s security quietly and efficiently. It is not as if the Holy Father were visiting the Gaza Strip wearing a Moshe Dayan t-shirt.
2) This is a State Visit. The Holy Father has been invited by the Queen. To postpone or cancel it would be tantamount to saying to the British Government “you can’t provide for my security”. Perhaps not the diplomatic equivalent of accusing them of being a tin-pot African country, but not far.
3) We must be pleased that the Pope is controversial. I am glad when the Church is controversial, I am worried when she isn’t! JP II was perceived as a largely harmless mediatic Glastonbury Festival, but B XVI is perceived as a real threat to secular society. This is why the secular press smiled on the former and hates the latter.
4) Once reassured (as I think we all should) about the personal security of the Holy Father and his entourage, we should look at disturbances and assorted provocations not only without worries, but with a shade of anticipation. Provocations and disruptions are going to come from fanatical nutcases and assorted fringe groups. There’s nothing to fear from them. On the contrary, the average man and woman in this country will instinctively symphatise with the old man having the gut to visit the wolf’s den and to be insulted and slandered for our sake.
The Pope on one side, loonies and leftist journalists on the other: who do you think is going to make the better impression on Middle England?
There will certainly be a lot of dirt being thrown around and the press will not have any scruple in gigantically amplifying every hint of new scandal or revelation – founded or not – in the days preceding the visit. But the perception of the press – that they mould the conscience and opinion of the country – is just an illusion. Decades of proto-marxist BBC have certainly not given us a country even remotely similar to the one they’d wish, the Guardian has supported the Yellows for the first time and as a result….. they have lost seats, and the “Sun” is best known for supporting the candidate they think is going to win.
There is not much of a downside in this visit, but there are tremendous opportunities for a strong message fearlessly delivered in the middle of the most secularised and aggressively anti-Catholic country in Europe.
If the message is loud and clear people will listen to the Pope, not to the fringe groups’ static noise.