April 25, 2010

JUST BECAUSE IT'S FUNNY DOESN'T MEAN IT'S A JOKE:

That memo against the Pope is no joke (James Macintyre, 25 April 2010, New Statesman)

There is a widespread misunderstanding taking place over the extraordinary Foreign Office "brainstorming" memo, entitled "The ideal visit would see...", that has caused such diplomatic tensions between the UK and the Holy See which until nowhas enjoyed such unprecedentedly strong relations in recent years.

People think it is a joke. That is to say, it was written as a joke. This is unsurprising, i the range of suggestions, which include a form of contraception named after the Pope, the Pope opening an abortion clinic, and the Pope overseeing a homosexual wedding, and so on.

But in fact, I am reliably told by a senior Whitehall source, that "this was not written as a joke". In which case, the memo says more about the mind-set of what one official calls an "aggressive secular fundamentalism" that is entrenched in the Foreign Office, than it does about the Papal visit which, for all the Vatican's faults, remains a good thing.


Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2010 8:50 AM
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