Preparing for Pope Benedict’s journey to England and Scotland later this week, Catholic bishops have likened the Pope to the headline act at a series of gigs in a ‘cringe-worthy’ guide, exposing the Church to new heights of ridicule.
The Daily Mail reports (September 12, 2010):
In a list of ‘useful terms’ in the official booklet, the three open-air Papal masses – the most solemn occasions of the historic trip – are referred to as ‘shows’ or ‘gigs’, terms normally associated with rock concerts.The document also compares the clergy who organise services – known as liturgists – to ‘performers’ or ‘artists’ …
The unusual glossary raises fresh questions over the handling of Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit, which starts on Thursday and has already been mired in controversy.
The Church is distributing thousands of copies of the glossy, eight-page booklet produced by the Papal Visit Team, overseen by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols. Its cover carries the official slogan of the visit – the first to Britain since 1982 – Heart Speaks Unto Heart.
Insiders said the pamphlet is aimed at workers from companies arranging events, police officers, broadcasters and journalists who may not be Catholics and are unsure about the Church’s rituals and beliefs.
Thomas Peters (The American Papist) puts the Bishop’s phrasing in the most charitable light:
The mainstream media and even some conservative sites such as Lucianne are spreading defamatory statements that are misleading and false about Pope Benedict XVI.
What started this brouhaha?
Richard Owen of the newspaper site called the Times of London.
The headline reads “Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry“.
The article then states otherwise, but if Richard Owen didn’t write the headline to his story, he should request it to be changed immediately. It is apparent that someone at the Times hates the Church and is pushing their anti-Catholic agenda with this misleading headline.
It doesn’t help that a self-identified expert on Catholicism, blogger Ruth Gledhill, adds insult to injury with an off-base column blasting of the hierarchy and structure of Holy Mother Church:
The Pope is pretty unassailable. He is not elected, he is a monarch, and the centralisation that has taken place under the last two Popes has cemented that power. Pope Benedict XVI has also indicated in his three encyclicals the depths of his own integrity and intellectual rigour.
How much knowledge on the Catholic Church does one need to be called an “expert” on it? How to spell ‘Catholic’?