The Other I

September 19, 2010

The English Way

Filed under: Catholicism and other questions of religion,The English — theotheri @ 9:10 pm

The pope left Britain today after an enthusiastic visit in which hundreds of thousands of people came out on the streets to greet him.  Many of them participated in an all-night vigil in Hyde Park last night, Susan Boyle sang at the outdoor Mass in Scotland and yesterday the Anglicans put on a service in Westminister Cathedral with enough pomp and ceremony to rival any display in Rome.  There was even an Anglican woman priest who offered a key prayer and whose hand the pope later shook.

The consensus is that it was a “successful visit.”

But those who didn’t like the pope coming over here on the first state visit made by a Roman Catholic pope since the Reformation objected in the typical robust English way.  I personally think Richard Dawkins often does his position harm by his unbridled, unrestrained cleverness.  But I must admit several things:  it’s very English;  this kind of thing is by no means limited to attacks on Catholics;  and part of me can’t help but laugh when I read his latest diatribe:

The pope, he says, is a “leering old villain in a frock”,  but whose conservativism nonetheless is  perfectly suited to destroying his “evil” church from within.   He “should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.”

Sounds rather like a Republican rant against the Democrats in America these days to me.

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