Foreign Office: Susan Boyle a more influential Roman Catholic than Archbishop Vincent Nichols
There is an amusing article in The Sunday Telegraph about Foreign Office 'secret papers' drawn up earlier this month by civil servants following a 'brainstorm’ for the Pope's visit to the UK in September.
The ideas, included in a memo headed 'The ideal visit would see ...’, ridiculed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in its opposition to abortion, homosexual behaviour and contraception.
Ideas for the 'ideal visit' iitinerary include:
Launching a helpline for sexually abused children;
An announcement reversing Rome's 'policy on women bishops/ordain woman';
Sponsoring a network of Aids clinics;
Blessing a gay marriage;
Launch a papal brand of condoms;
And opening an abortion clininc.
Apparently, politicians were so 'furious' at these suggestions that an investigation was launched. One senior official was found responsible and 'has been transferred to other duties'.
Transferred to other duties?
Cranmer would like to ask what would have happened to an FCO 'official' who had dared to suggest the 'ill-judged, naive and disrespectful' itinerary below for a visiting Muslim head of state?
Breakfast of bacon sandwiches with the Queen;
Attending a memorial service for a 16-year-old girl whi had been buried alive by her brothers and father in an 'honour killing';
A meeting with the Danish artist responsible for the Mohammed bomb-turban cartoons;
Attending a private screening of South Park featuring Mohammed;
A lecture on stone-age paedophile worshippers;
Watcing an episode of Room 101 in which the Qur'an is disrespectfully dispatched.
Operating the levers of the crane to hang two 14-year-old boys accused of being homosexual.
Cranmer is sure his Communicants might come up with a few more.
Would a civil servant who proposed such an itinerary simply be 'transferred to other duties'?
Another document, entitled 'Papal Visit Stakeholders', lists figures and groups that the FCO considers significant to the tour, and ranks them in order of how 'influential' and 'positive' each one is perceived to be.
The Queen, David Cameron, and Tony Blair are all ranked as 'highly influential' and 'positive'. It rates Susan Boyle as being more influential than Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster.
Wayne Rooney, is considered to be a negative influence, as are Madonna and Professor Richard Dawkins, 'Pro-choice' groups, homosexual pressure groups and the National Secular Society.
For what other religious leaders or heads of state are such 'brainstorming' exercises held?