The Pope is visiting the U.K. in September. They has been a public petition asking the Prime Minister to express the displeasure of many Britons with the policies of the Catholic Church. They say the following in their petition:
“We urge the Prime Minister to make it clear that his government disagrees with the Pope’s opposition to women’s reproductive rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. We ask the Prime Minister to express his disagreement with the Pope’s role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, his rehabilitation of the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and his decree paving the way for the beatification and sainthood of the war-time Pope, Pius XII, who stands accused of failing to speak out against the Holocaust. We also request the Prime Minister to assure us that the Pope’s visit will not be financed by the British taxpayer.”
The office of the Prime Minister has pulled the petition from their website and issued a response saying that the Pope’s visit is an official state visit at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth and that the British taxpayers will have to pay for parts of that visit.
Estimates run up to 12 million pounds of British taxpayer’s money being spent on a visit by the leader of a misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, pedophile-protecting institution.
Why is it that it is considered perfectly OK to welcome someone who leads such a hateful, racists, bigoted institution as the Catholic Church? Who else, but a religious figure such as the Pope would be given such acceptance?
Just because the Catholic Church is a religion, it can get away with things that no other kind of organization could get away with. Why do we give religion a free ride to subjugate people, to promote the ostracization of entire classes of people, to support bigotry and racism when we would never allow this by other organizations?
It’s time religions stop getting a free ride. They should be treated just like any other organization. No special tax status; they can apply for non-profit status just like everyone else.
They especially should be treated just like others when it comes to what we accept and tolerate from them. We don’t put up with bigoted or racists organizations, or at least we don’t give them a free ride. And we sure as hell don’t use $18,000,000 of taxpayer dollars to treat them to a good time when the visit.