Letter to the East Anglian Daily Times about the Pope’s speech
I’ve written to the East Anglian Daily Times, as follows:
Having just heard the Popeâ€™s speech on arrival in the UK, Iâ€™m absolutely furious. Itâ€™s bad enough that weâ€™re paying tens of thousands of Â£s for his promotional tour when the Governmentâ€™s telling us weâ€™re broke, then one of his minions describes us as like a â€œThird World countryâ€ â€“ ironically, the manâ€™s supposed to be a â€œdiplomatâ€. Now those of us who donâ€™t have a religious faith are aligned with the Nazis. Coming from someone who was in the Hitler Youth, this is astonishing.
In his speech, Pope Benedict referred to â€œatheist extremism of the twentieth centuryâ€, meaning the Nazis. Nazism and atheism arenâ€™t synonymous, and the â€œextremismâ€ was entirely Hitlerâ€™s. Although Hitler seems to have been confused about his religion â€“ he was raised a Catholic, but his views changed according to who he was talking to â€“ he wasnâ€™t an atheist. In a speech made in 1933, he said, â€œThe National Government … regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.â€
Pope Benedict isnâ€™t welcome here. Heâ€™s presided over the Vaticanâ€™s attempts to keep a lid on child abuse accusations. Its record on human rights is appalling. Its attitude to 21st century liberal human values is medieval. And now he compares people like me with Nazis? Weâ€™re owed an apology, and a refund of the taxes that paid for the Popeâ€™s visit.
If it’s printed and anyone replies, please let me know. I don’t get the paper these days – part of my economy drive.