World waking up to extent of anti-Catholicism in the UK

As Lord Patten predicted the eyes of the world are turning towards the UK in the run of the Holy Father’s visit and they are making the unpleasant discovery of how wide-spread anti-Catholicism is in this country.

The major US Catholic media company, Our Sunday Visitor, has posted the comment, ‘New York Times has nothing on British Press’. John Norton writes:

‘But The New York Times has got nothing on the British press, which has been described as ‘Utterly hostile’ by U.K. Catholic Herald commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

For instance, he notes this gem by The Independent columnist Johann Hari, who wrote: “It is now an indisputable fact that the Catholic Church systematically covered up the rape of children across the globe, and knowingly, consciously put pedophiles in charge of more kids. Joseph Ratzinger – who claims to be ‘infallible’ – was at the heart of this policy for decades.”’

Also the Polish Catholic magazine, Gość Niedzielny, has published a piece by Fr. Tomasz Jaklewicz under the title, ‘Attacks on the Pope’.

Fr Jaklewicz writes:

‘The image of England as a country of gentleman in bowler hats has for a long while been rubbish.  The level of anti-Catholic comments, which have come to light in connection with the visit of the pope, reveal not only the elementary lack of culture, but also lack of knowledge and even intelligence.

One hundred years ago, John Gilbert Keith Chesterton, listening to anti-Catholic speeches of his countrymen, noticed the same thing and then asked himself the question: “Why are they so angry?”. The honest answer to that question helped him to discover the depth and beauty of the Catholic faith. It is hoped that the current anti-papal protests inspire some of their countrymen to join the path taken Cardinal Newman and Chesterton in converting.’ [Translation using Google]

13 comments to World waking up to extent of anti-Catholicism in the UK

  • John

    “The level of anti-Catholic comments, which have come to light in connection with the visit of the pope, reveal not only the elementary lack of culture, but also lack of knowledge and even intelligence.”

    Exactly right. It’s pure ignorance that guides the easily-persuaded antagonists. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I think the key is the media – they have a powerful influence on the opinions of the public and it is thus surely necessary that Catholics create powerful media themselves to combat the antagonistic lamestream media.

    • Serge

      Creating “Catholic” web sites, or other types of entities in order to bring more light and truth is only one aspect. But the danger is to create a Ghetto. That would interest only Catholics. And even there, it would interest a small number interested in the true teachings of the Church.

      Am I wrong but I think the Pope is encouraging lay people to take their own due place in the public area, in the Medias, in politics? I think that if we restrain our activity to ourselves only this will not straighten up the negative influence of the public Medias. This would be actually anti-evangelism.

      We need straight men and women to work in those medias!!! The overall world culture cannot be positively influenced by a ghetto culture!!!

      Catholics have to be catholics not only when they go to church or when they are at home. They have to be catholics everywhere. Get engaged in discussions at work for example. When one co-worker talks about something or principle that shrinks human dignity, why not bring our grain of salt, our share of light? When the medias put forward misleading news, biased news against the Church, or basically I would say against any principle of human dignity, why don’t we, catholics, claim our right to enter the discussion and straighten up things? Isn’t it an obligation of ours?

      Remember, not all people that receive the Medias “influential news” are necessarily and naturally inclined to follow blindly those so called news. But if they are bombarded every day, and have no hint of other good news or better truth, they may be very well gained by the lies and believe them. Not all have the Catholic faith, but they all deserve the truth.

  • sam

    people have a right to protest the catholic faith and what it represents to many people which is repression. The systematic coverup of child abuse is not only deeply immoral but it’s also illegal, people ahve a right to be angry about that.

    • Serge

      What are talking about “right to protest the catholic faith” isn’t there also, in the Human Rights Chart the “right and freedom of religion” and then in respecting religions? There is got to be a respectuous balance between both. You deny it savagely, I mean if you support all those savagely and bestially angry people that don’t behave like human beings anymore. A human being is supposed to have some minimal reasoning power, some logic, straight logic. You say the Catholic church represents repression. Wow what a free statement! Since its foundation the Catholic church as freed mankind, it has humanized and freed mankind. The values she puts forward are the highest to bring a human being to his fulfillment. The forces we see especially in the wide range public medias is a force that is rather enslaving mankind again into barbarism, thoughtless and meaningless life, cynicism, defeatism, frankly a society of death and sorrow rather than life, freedom and joy. The medias and all those who blindly follow them like if the medias were the new beholders of the real Truth, is training people to hate and be totally intolerant of right thinking, moral thinking, religion in general and specifically the christian Catholic religion because it leads in NOT FOLLOWING THE WRONG IDEAS PUT FORWARD BY THEM (THE MEDIAS).

      You dare talk about “systematic” child abuse. Well have you read any statistics about child abuse? I mean real statistics, the documents provided by governments agencies, not the biased manipulated so called news thrown at the faces of stupefied people with the sole aim of killing the Church! Well just to name one on top of my head, a couple of months ago when pedophile affairs came out in Europe: those represented 3% of all cases. If you would be a righteous person you would rather address the source of the problem for the majority of the cases, which is not the Catholic church. Another study in the United States (in the late years 2000, don’t remember the exact years) showed that 83% of pedophilia cases happen in the family itself. There is a cause to pedophilia, that cause should really addressed if those angry people were honest. But they don’t address it because for them it is just a “justification” to kill the Catholic Church, they don’t care about solving the real problem and make things happen so that pedophilia would be prevented.

      Finally we can all be angry at each other, but what will it serve? Kill each other? Is that what you propose? I don’t think there is such right as to be angry up to a point that we become blind and we accused innocent people without any fair trial. The problem with all those angry obscene people is that they take their own ideas and impressions as the truth, non arguable, not disputable, as the only truth, and that it gives them the right to riduculize and excite the anger of everyone against another group of people. It’s nazism of the third millennium, it’s totalitarism of a group against another group. And you are talking about repression!?

  • SpeSalvi23

    are you Catholic? You seem to be a bit of a ‘jump-the-gun-bash-up-the–Church-no-matter-what-the-hell-it-is-about’ type. The typical person, who will demand acceptance of all his rights, but who can NOT accept different opinions in return. The type that loves to force his point of view down people’s throats, because he can’t accept non-conformity views.
    Do you have ANY idea what it’s like to be Catholic and live in full communion with Catholic teaching? Do you have ANY idea what it does to your heart and to your soul? How much serenity, love, peace and joy it teaches and lives?
    Do you really think that the horrendous crimes committed by a marginal amount of Priests, and the mishandling of them by uninformed, overwhelmed, ignorant to the circumstances, Bishops is the only thing this Church represents??
    Do you actually believe that those Bishops moved the Priests around so they would purposely be able to commit more abuse?? Get a grip! Read the numbers and the way they have declined ever since the problem has been located and confronted!

    I can only speak for Germany. But many of those Catholic boarding schools, which were in the headlines for various forms of abuse, had been running as exceptional institutions for the last 20 years. Most of the abuse which was reported, took place decades ago!
    After an apostolic visitation earlier this year, the Abbot of one of the schools has actually been re-instated/re-elected due to his spotless record and on demand of the current students AND their parents.
    The Church has been quoted by many people as the safest place to take your children to.
    Can you say that about non-Catholic organizations? Public schools? Boy scouts? Sports clubs? Families? No, you can’t. There is a big, huge NO everywhere else in society!!! As much as people are talking it to death in the media about the Church, their own little fields of responsibility remain untouched – for the same reason the Catholic Church originally didn’t deal with it in the correct way,
    Wake up and stop being brainwashed by media propaganda!!
    Being German, I can tell you… I know what good propaganda looks like!!

    Nobody forces anybody to be Catholic! If you don’t like it, leave it! If you have a problem with how sex abuse cases were handled all those decades ago: you have all the right in this world to voice it.
    But DO NOT reduce the Catholic Church to what you’ve been attempting to reduce it to: an ignorant band of criminals who suppress minorities.

    The rights you claim to be violated by Catholic doctrine don’t even exist!
    There is no natural ‘right’ for a gay couple to be regarded as a ‘normal’ couple, because it’s not possible, by nature (or, if you believe in it: by creation)!! It’s not logical! Nature and creation is logic! Same sex couples are not! Nobody will take their right to love each other, but their relationship can NOT be regarded as equal to the relationship of heterosexual couples, because it simply isn’t.

    Also, you have no ‘right’ to kill your unborn child – again, nature/creation does not include the killing of your offspring in it’s plan. It’s murder fo your own flesh and blood – it’s not logical.
    It’s wrong. Morally and physically! It scars for life.

    Many of the Zeitgeist ‘rights’ people like to demand are not real. They might be written in constitutions of states, but realistically, no constitutional right is above God, or, for the atheist, above nature!!

    I’d advise being angry at the Government for not creating the same sex-abuse prevention/detection programs the Catholic Church has installed.

  • TJW

    “… people have a right to protest the catholic faith and what it represents to many people which is repression. ” I too think that people have a right to protest and criticise these things and I don’t think that the article implies otherwise. Rather, the article is about criticism that the author believes to be unreasonable given the facts.

    “The systematic coverup of child abuse is not only deeply immoral but it’s also illegal, people ahve a right to be angry about that.” Of course people have a right to be angry about “the systematic coverup of child abuse” it’s just that I and the author of this piece do not believe there is sufficient evidence to conclude the Catholic Church conducted a “systematic coverup of child abuse.”

  • Mr. Michael Brown has written an excellent piece on what is happening in England. It is, I believe, worthy of this website’s attention:

  • gb

    I’m sorry but this post is wrongly titled: The world has long known how much the UK hates Catholics…about 500 yrs, actually. So no secret there. It makes me very sad that the Holy Father will not the warm reception there that he received in the USA in 2008!

    • admin

      I’ve lived in the UK most of my life and must admit I’ve never experienced the level of vicious anti-Catholicism that has exploded in the run up to the Holy Father’s visit. I think we’re witnessing a step-change in its expression, maybe the internet plays a part in it. Also two of its leaders, Dawkins and Hitchens, have achieved unprecedented international publicity. I agree with you that anti-Catholicism is part of the British psyche, but usually its hidden below the surface, but now its not shy of raising its ugly face in front of the cameras.

      • ninoinoz

        I’ve never experienced the level of vicious anti-Catholicism that has exploded in the run up to the Holy Father’s visit.

        True, neither have I, but quite interesting that it never reached this level even during Provisional IRA bombing campaigns on the mainland UK. We must ask why this is so.
        I think the answer is that we are now regarded as potent threat to the Liberal Elite, especially in the field of education, especially in London.

        The superb state Catholic schools in London, over-full with Catholic children thanks to migrations and higher birth-rate, have had their excellence well and truly outed by educational league tables. This has caused two paradoxical attitudes in the Liberal Elite.

        a. How do I get my children into Catholic schools? a.k.a. let’s discriminate against recent Polish arrivals.
        b. Shut Catholic schools down because they’re making standard state schools look the failures they really are.

        All this culminated in the disgraceful Johnson-Baker amendment to the 2006 Education Bill. Succeeding in both being anti-Catholic AND anti-muslim, it was hastily withdrawn after a lightning campaign by Archbishop Vincent Nicholls. This reversal of the secular trend has caused profound shock in the Liberal Elite, used to getting its own way.

        To put it simply, there is now a market for this anti-Catholic drivel in England (especially London) which had previously been restricted to Northern Ireland and Scotland.

        • admin

          Ninoinoz, That’s a really interesting analysis of the rise in anti-Catholicism over the past couple of years. The liberal elites sensitivity over catholic schools can also be seen in Barry Sherman MP’s attack on Bishop O’Donoghue of Lancaster when he accused him of being a fundamentalist for issuing Fit for Mission? schools which, among other things, insisted that schools under his authority must teach catholic sexual ethics, focusing on chastity and abstinence, and not just repeat parrot-fashion safe-sex propaganda, which has proved such a disaster for the sexual health of teenagers. The House of Commons select committee on schools, children and families even demanded that Bishop O’Donoghue appear before them to explain and defend his promotion of Catholic doctrine in Catholic schools. In the end the confrontation was a damp squib because Bishop O’Donoghue called their bluff and turned up to answer their questions. Just before the questioning started Barry Sherman was overheard saying, ‘We’d better be careful here!’ The same old clichés about segregation and discrimination in Catholic schools came up, but fizzled out as groundless. You could see that they were still smarting over the defeat of the Johnson-Baker amendment. The Labour MPs wanted to put the uppity Catholics in their place.

        • Tim H

          “quite interesting that it never reached this level even during Provisional IRA bombing campaigns on the mainland UK. We must ask why this is so”

          Because the British public had the good sense to see the IRA as terrorists who happened to be Catholic rather than Catholic terrorists. They could see that whilst religion sometimes divided people it also worked hard towards peace and that the situation in Ulster was complicated with religion only a part of the problem

          Anti-catholic comments have increased I think in part because of the change of Pope. Benedict has lacks the TV appeal of JPII and for many people it is as simple as that, the fact that he has in the Hilter Youth allows people to tap into anti-German prejudice as well.

          Post 9/11 I think that previously silent non-believers have started to question the general resepct that that previously had for religion. I admit to being influenced by this myself.

          I think that the gap between a the catholic view of the world and morality (especially on issues like homosexuality) and that of the modern secular state has widened (although the catholic position has hardly moved). That is bound to means more conflict. When Catholics set themselves up as against aspects of modern secular society, defenders of modern secular society by definition are anti-Catholic.

          Other denominations have softened and compromised in these issues, so they have escaped the citicism heaped on teh Catholic church.

          Dare I say it, but some Christians have become more sensitive. They see that claiming offence at every turn (where they might have once suffered in silence) is a strategy that seems to work for Muslims and they want to jump on the band waggon.

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