Johann Hari is calling on British Catholics to protest the Pope's upcoming visit:
I know that for many British Catholics, their faith makes them think of something warm and good and kind a beloved grandmother, or the gentler sayings of Jesus. That is not what Ratzinger stands for. If you turn out to celebrate him, you will be understood as endorsing his crimes and his cruelties. If your faith pulls you towards him rather than his victims, shouldn't that make you think again about your faith? Doesn't it suggest that faith in fact distorts your moral faculties?
I know it may cause you pain to acknowledge this. But it is nothing compared to the pain of a child raped by his priest, or a woman infected with HIV because Ratzinger said condoms make AIDS worse, or a gay person stripped of basic legal protections. You have a choice during this state visit: stand with Ratzinger, or stand with his Catholic victims. Which side, do you think, would be chosen by the Nazarene carpenter you find on your crucifixes? I suspect he would want Ratzinger to be greeted with an empty, repulsed silence, broken only by cries for justice and the low approaching wail of a police siren.
My response tomorrow.
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