So, what do you think about the pope’s visit?

I ask this question as I am not sure what I think of it myself. That makes a change!

So, okay, there is this bloke who is the head of a church and also a head of state (Vatican City) who says things many people don’t like. He also has many priests who fiddle with kiddies and whose church has tried to hush up a multitude of very serious crimes. There is the question of whether the touted £20 million bill to host him is money well spent.

Actually, I’m thinking it’s not such a good idea!

But as Cranmer points out (welcome back, Your Grace),

Those who shame the British spirit of generosity and offend against Christian notions of hospitality with cries of ‘No Pope Here!’ are doubtless those who uttered not a syllable of protest against the state visits of Mugabe, Hirohito, Ceauşescu, Abdullah, Jintao…

Not, of course, that Pope Benedict may in any sense be considered a rogue, vagabond, tyrant, dictator or mass murderer.

Other than by Peter Tatchell or Stephen Fry.

To be fair to Peter Tatchell (did I really just type that?) he has bravely protested the heinous psychopath Mugabe.

Stephen Fry used to entertain, but he now seems primarily to be a quasi-intellectual whose opinions are formed by way of his sexuality. As with that other leading quasi-intellectual pest, Richard Dawkins, some people think he can’t say anything wrong and so provides others’ opinions so they don’t have to come up with their own.

Mr Tatchell is involved in the Protest the Pope campaign. Their list of supporters is mainly humanists and homosexuals. The “usual brigade” if you like. It also includes the laughingly-named Young Freethought. If they want to encourage freedom of thought, why do they support atheism? As I have said before, denying the Divine and one’s own spirituality is the opposite of free thinking.

The Rev. Ian Paisley and his entourage from the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster are also protesting against the Pope’s visit. Is it really because of the £20 million price tag?

The Rev Wesley Irwin of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in Rutherglen, where a protest meeting will be held tomorrow night, said: “We reject sectarianism – there is nothing like that in our protest. It is not our intention to cause anger or upset. But we feel that at this time of financial restraint it is sad that tax payers are being used to fund this event.”

To put £20 million into context, it is little more than one day’s net contribution the UK hands over to the European Union. Why aren’t the various protestors concerned about this? If they showed some consistency then we could have our referendum and vote to escape the devilish plot which is totally destroying our country. Could it be because the EU has provided the legislation which has allowed humanists and homosexuals to ride roughshod over the rest of society?

It looks like the majority of the British people have no more fight left in them. It is now all about I; me; mine. And containing oneself within one’s comfort zone.

The comments under the Scotsman’s article on Ian Paisley’s protest in Edinburgh are mainly negative. Many don’t want the Pope here, but they also don’t want a Presbyterian protest. See: no fight left. No fire in the belly. No side to take. No opinion that hasn’t been made for you. Just keep pretending there is no God and become immersed in junk telly, junk food and junk science. If it is popular, it must be wholesome!

A statement from the current moderator in Ulster, Ronald Johnstone said: “The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster views the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom with dismay and abhorrence.

“Many citizens do not welcome the visit by the head of the Vatican State to this country on financial, constitutional and on moral grounds.”

So it’s not just about the money. Good. I’m not sure if he is correct about the constitutional situation. As a head of state he can surely be invited here. Whether it is right that he has been is another matter entirely. Certainly, the moderator has a point regarding the cost.

Someone called Billy Boy left a comment about Dr Paisley,

He is leading a mob just as he has always done. Any other gang setting out to cause a public nuisance would be carefully watched by the police. Mr Paisley is one of the most evil human beings I have ever met!

To which I replied,

I met him last December in Stranraer, so I know you are wrong. I’m not a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, but I have met many of their clergymen and quite a few members and they seem to me to be among the finest of our citizens.

They have the right to protest anything they wish, just as you or I have.

I used to believe a lot of the negative comments about Ian Paisley before I actually had the pleasure and privilege of hearing him preach the gospel with power and passion and spending some time with him afterwards.

He has strong views and personal convictions and a lot of people don’t like that. (I can vouch for that too!) They believe we should all be reformed into obliging, non-partisan, super-cool Euro-persons.

David Cameron has offered Pope Benedict XVI a “very warm welcome” to Britain ahead of his “incredibly important and historic visit”.

You can listen to Mr Cameron talking about it here. I had to for writing this post. Whoever wrote the spiel for him had his nose firmly buried in the LibLabCon politically-correct phrasebook, with such classics as,

all our faith communities… people of every faith and none… multi-faith dialogue

I feel that Cranmer too has been too kind about the Pope, although his piece today is well worth reading, for gems such as this,

And now it appears that a religious leader who happens to believe that homosexual practice is an ‘objective disorder’, that abortion is murder and that contraception is a mortal sin, is reviled severally by the secularists, atheists, liberals and Richard Dawkins.

It may have taken 500 years for the wheel to come full circle, but is it not ironic that this Pope comes to defend those very liberties which his forebears sought to deny us? When he talks of the imperative of the liberty of the Christian conscience, he takes the Protestant theme, for which many suffered horrifically and even paid with their lives.

And for this we cannot thank the pope, but rather, we must despise the weakness of most of our church leaders in the way they have caved in to every type of ungodly behaviour. They have sat back and watched wickedness become mainstream.

This has not been the case with the church Ian Paisley founded.

We have to realise that we live in a fallen world. For this reason there will be no cuddly, all-inclusive, Disneyesque future if we will just become obedient clones. A people with no fight in them cannot remain a people for very long.

So after all this, what do I think of the Pope’s visit? I don’t like my taxes being spent on it, but they are being spent on worse things every day of the year. Let those who wish to protest do so for their various reasons. My wish would be that Catholics would realise that the pope cannot get them saved and neither can prayers to Mary. Only repentance for sins and faith in Christ provides salvation from the fate we deserve, which is an eternity in Hell. This is the only possible way there could be peace on earth, but false dogma and the pride and lusts of the natural man will always lead the majority of folk down the wide road that leads to destruction.

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7 Responses to So, what do you think about the pope’s visit?

  1. Sean O'Hare says:

    Well written and balanced post. I enjoyed reading it and agree with all of it. Well maybe I’m a bit more annoyed about the waste of taxpayers money.

  2. len says:

    “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity–the man Christ Jesus”.(1 Timothy 2:5)
    False dogma, unscriptural practices will give the illusion of being saved and are therefore dangerous. Christianity needs to get back to the essentials(Christ)and dispose of all the additions of man.

  3. That’s a good post Stewart – you’ve excelled yourself. I’ve blogged recently on my own blog about why I welcome the Pope’s visit. I’m not a catholic, I’m an evangelical Christian (a ‘protestant’, though I rarely use that term), but as a social conservative I welcome anybody standing up for life, marriage, family, religious liberty etc.

  4. faulksguy says:

    As a (theologically) conservative evangelical, I’m somewhat ambivalent about the papal visit. I have deep misgivings about the RC church, its underhand political activities and its dogmas. But on certain essentials I agree that there’s common ground that I share with catholics, e.g. the person and the work of Christ – and its stance against abortion and misuse of embryos. One of the most helpful people to me before my conversion was a spiritually-minded Roman catholic. I abhor the vacuous anti-Christian secularism that plagues the UK – but I equally detest the vileness that has been brought to light from the church’s ranks. But – the visit will hearten many catholics, and that must be a good thing in these dark times.

  5. Stewart Cowan says:

    Welcome, Mr O’Hare, and thank you for your kind comments.

  6. Stewart Cowan says:


    All we need is Christ. Nobody else is “infallible”.

  7. Stewart Cowan says:


    The Roman Catholic points of view on these issues are welcome, but I agree with faulksguy about the religion generally. Don’t know if I welcome Catholics being comforted by the visit of the leader of a sect which teaches false doctrine.

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