Pope Benedict is in the United Kingdom for a four-day visit, and will be met with a “Protest the Pope” campaign by activists opposed to the Vatican’s stance on the child sex abuse scandal, contraception, women, and homosexuality.
An organizer of the protest, Peter Tatchell, writes:
The Protest the Pope campaign is calling on the British government to disassociate itself from the pope’s opposition to women’s rights, gay equality and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. On these and many other issues, Benedict is out of step with the majority of British people, including most Catholics.
We do not believe that the pope should be honored with a state visit, given his role in the cover up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. Even today, he is refusing to hand the Vatican’s secret sex abuse files to the police in countries worldwide. He is protecting the abusers. This makes him complicit with sex crimes against children. Such a person does not deserve the honor of a state visit.
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The National Secular Society, which also is involved in the campaign, writes (and refers to Pope Benedict by his birth name, Joseph Ratzinger),
You can show your disapproval of Ratzinger by protesting against the legal bans that the Vatican has fought for on abortion and stem cell research. And also for his obdurate, and breathtakingly irresponsible, opposition to contraception. It fuels a population growth that is unsustainable. Women in poverty-stricken circumstances in countries with dwindling resources are doomed to have large families that they cannot support and who frequently starve. And his using all means, even dishonest ones, to prevent condom use causing untold numbers to die unnecessarily of AIDS because the only known barrier against the disease, condoms, is denied to them.
Today in Edinburgh, Scotland, however, only about 60 people showed up to protest the Holy See’s visit.
They waved banners with the slogans “Good hat, bad man”, “God’s favourite Nazi: Pope Benedict XVI” and “Pope protects paedophile priests” – and booed as the Popemobile passed their assigned spot on Lothian Road.
Mini-Roundup: Will it be better than Cats? If you’re in the Kansas City area, you can find out the answer to that question by catching the theater version of the Proposition 8 trial, which will be performed several times over the next week. The playwright hopes to take the show on the road.
- Teen Moms ‘Scared Straight’ Approach to Prevention – The Fatherhood Channel
- Child marriage: our commitment to ending it – The Guardian
- Join the ‘Protest the Pope’ March Against The State Visit of Pope Ratzinger – National Secular Society
- Mock trial to focus on domestic violence – Northwest Herald
- Christine O’Donnell Rides Wave of Cash to Washington, Brings Debate on … – ABC News
- Scottish News: Protesters hit out at Pope Benedict XVI over birth control … – Scottish Daily Record
- WHO report: Officials say India’s maternal mortality has decreased – Sify
- Pilot plan will see girls, 13, get pill at chemists – Isle of Wight County Press
- Am. 62 would ban the pill, endanger women – Grand Junction Free Press
- NOW leaders continue fighting for women’s rights – Chicago Tribune
- El Paso’s Planned Parenthoods shuts its doors after 72 years – Borderzine
- Editorial: Conn. improving with better sex education – UConn Daily Campus
- Roundup: Glenn Beck compares abortion, slavery – Salon
- Pope must take decisive action against child abuse by clergy – Amnesty International USA
- American sex ed should emulate the Dutch – TCU Daily Skiff
- Asante-Mampong Municipality records three deaths from self-induced abortion – Ghana News Agency
- Star power at the UN – Los Angeles Times
- Girl Scouts Promote Lesbianism and Birth Control? – Care2.com (blog)
- Study: Educating women saves millions of kids – The Associated Press
- Diary: Burley hits below the belt – Independent
- One-third of sex education – Investor’s Business Daily
- Lesbians play big role in Women’s Foundation – Dallas Voice
- Abortion and the Tea Party – New Republic (blog)
- New test for cervical cancer launched – New Vision
- ‘No HIV drugs, no vote’ campaign on – Daily Monitor
- Increase contraceptive use to reduce maternal deaths – Daily Monitor
- What Can We Do to Stop AIDS in America? – Huffington Post (blog)
- Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty – Heritage.org
- Are more teens getting sex education? – WWLP 22News
- Public health bills clear House panel – The Hill (blog)
- CDC Report Shows One-Third of Sex-Ed Classes Omit Birth Control – Ms. Magazine
- Sex Education Demanded by Chinese Students – MedIndia
- Gains made, but many pregnant mothers still die – The Associated Press
- NOH8 Campaign: The Photographic Protest Against Prop 8 – Huffington Post (blog)
- Brides’ March brings awareness about domestic violence – Latina Lista
- Most Teens Receive Formal Sex Ed – WebMD
- Lawmakers: protect embryonic stem cell research – The Associated Press
- India fails to make significant progress in MDGs – IBNLive.com
- Who Can Prevent Another 1994? Women Voters – California Progress Report
- Lisa Cordes Gets Ready to Debut V2 of Prop 8 On Trial – KC Free Press
- Leicester call to lower cervical cancer screening age – BBC News
- Parents guilty of sexual assault for their version of sex education – Examiner.com
- Okla. group says teen pregnancy rising in state – Times Record News
- Hugh Hefner: agent of women’s liberation or passionate advocate of boobies? – Telegraph.co.uk (blog)
- Why I oppose the pope’s visit – CNN
- Pro-Prop 8 Lawyer Lectures at BYU – QSaltLake (blog)