Supporters of Protest the Pope discuss violence against Pope Benedict

Supporters of Protest the Pope posted a thread yesterday on the Reddit atheism group in which they discussed wanting to commit violent attacks against Pope Benedict during his state visit to the UK. The title of the thread is ‘Protest the Pope’ and it is headed by a link to the Protest the Pope website. The Reddit atheism groups has 81,803 readers.

Contributors to the thread express their sick desire to assassinate Pope Benedict, obscenely comparing him to ‘war criminals who have been executed for less’. They go on to discuss wanting to breaking ‘a few ribs at least’.

Here are excerpts from their ‘Protest the Pope’ thread:

“I apologize for going all serious all of a sudden. I think I need to make it clear that while my appeal for killing the Pope is frivolous, my reason behind that appeal is not.

With his steadfast battle against condoms, the Pope is condemning millions of human beings every year to a painful and inhumane death to AIDS. Women and children, both completely innocent, are dying. War criminals have been executed for less.

Sadly, assassinating the Pope wouldn’t even help. He’d be succeeded by another asshole who would do the same.”

“That idea is very pleasant, but, sadly, it would make the pope (and all other collateral victims) martyrs, only giving more strength to ignorant people. I think some loud booing + some big signs demanding is arrest would be nice to see, for a start =)”

“ [When bargaining, always ask for more so you can settle for what you actually want.] How about just severely beating him? As a follower of Christ, he should appreciate having a few ribs broken, at least.”

Protect the Pope comment: Though this was not a discussion on the Protest the Pope official website, and did not involve organisers of Protest the Pope, they bear moral responsibility for creating a hateful anti-catholic climate that encourages supporters to think that this obscene and illegal discussion is acceptable.

Notice that participants in the thread justify violence against the Holy Father by using some of the false arguments disseminated ad nauseum by Protest the Pope.

These types of comments advocating violence against the Holy Father are common on secularist, atheist, and homosexual websites and networking groups. If violence occurs during the Holy Father’s visit groups such as Protest the Pope, and sections of the media, will be seen as responsible for whipping up this anti-Pope, anti-Catholic hate.

Protest the Pope, and all groups affiliated with it, have a public duty to disassociate themselves from any threats of violence during the Holy Father’s visit made by their supporters.

12 comments to Supporters of Protest the Pope discuss violence against Pope Benedict

  • Karla

    This is another level completely. Oh my God. What kind of people are these? There is seriously something up with them. Where is Protest the Pope to denounce this? Well these people are showing their true colors all right. Who said that atheists where peaceful? It shows you the content of their character and soul and the level that they will stoop too. What do they think that will make them look like if they actually got to commit such acts, and Protest the Pope complains about policing costs when you have members of their pathetic pack making threats to kill the Pope?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I actually think you should contact the Police about this, this is a security threat, the police should trace their IPs and contact them. I know Protest the Pope is having a demonstration through London, I am curious on the route that they take, the Police haven’t shut down any roads for them have they? They deserve no special treatment whatsoever.

    The good news is is that their pack will not be around when the Pope will be speaking at the prayer vigil, and they are not going to Westminster cathedral either or any other of the main places that he will be attending, not at the time he will be there, so that is great.

    Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those whose persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Mt. 5.43-46

    Jesus said, “You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another.” Mt. 10.22-23

    • admin

      Hi Karla, I know the police preparing for the Holy Father’s visit have a unit set up to monitor security threats on the web, so hopefully they are already aware of these sick posts. You’re exactly right to ask, ‘What kind of people are they?’ All I can think is what St John talks about, the conflict between light and darkness. The darkness cannot bear the light, it rages against it.

  • Hi Rev. Nick

    I agree with you, comments such as those you quote are both disturbing and likely border on legal/illegal for what that is worth – tough to prove though.

    The unfortunate reality is that ‘perception’ is, for better or worse, the dominant force at play here.

    You are not going to turn around the ‘perception’ that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is anything but a mill-stone around the real catholic church.

    I recommend you and your readers have a look at this speech delivered in Ireland this weekend for a better grasp of what is coming for the church.

    With respect,
    Conrad J. Noll

    • admin

      Hi Conrad, I can’t agree that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is a mill stone around the real Catholic Church. Vatican II makes it clear that without the bishops, the successors of the apostles, there would be no Catholic Church. We need what we’ve always needed from our bishops, that they be good, holy and courageous men. Sometimes, some of them have fallen far short of these requirements, but then all of us fall short of being a holy people don’t we. This isn’t an expression of indifferentism, but realism. As Pope Benedict exhorts, the Church is desperately in need of purification. I have great hope that Cardinal Ouellet will bring the necessary reforms to the college of bishops.

      The speech by Kaiser is the usual Vatican bashing we’ve come to expect from this notorious dissenter. The Open Tabernacle group is an extreme dissenting group

    • Serge

      Are you forgetting the Bible? Are you forgetting Jesus’ own words and promises? «Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”» Don’t you believe in Him? You are talking about perception and you sound like you are inviting to base our actions based on perception, but Jesus teaches to base our actions on the reality, on the Truth, on his commandments, not on “our perceptions”. That is fundamental.

      And so I find it sad, Conrad, that you invite people to kind of inventing a new Church, disconnecting ourselves from Jesus Christ Church He founded. It is as if you would claim that your judgment is clearer and better than Christ’s judgment. Sad and blindfolded, really.

  • The intellectual insecurity of the atheist and where it eventually leads:

    It comes as no surprise that atheists should attack Cardinal Newman. He prophesied what we are living through today.

  • Andrzej

    “Before that, Kaiser was in the Society of Jesus for 10 years, leaving before his ordination.”

    Well, another great “authority” on the Church.

  • John

    Of course, the irony is that by their actions they’re greatly increasing the cost of Pope Benedict’s visit. Silly atheists…

    • admin

      Due to the threats posed by Protest the Pope and atheists the Church has had to restrict numbers attending papal events and choose sites small enough to have a security cordon placed around them. Opponents of the Church point to the smaller numbers of Catholics attending as proof that Pope Benedict and the Church’s teaching are unpopular! As you say John, silly atheists,,,

  • [...] just yesterday the Protect the Pope website cited Supporters of Protest the Pope discussing violence against Pope Benedict: Supporters of [...]

  • Pedro

    Oh really! Do you really think that a post that begins “Reminder: Nothing says “protest” like a tactical nuke! ;) ” is a serious instigation of violence against the Pope? Obviously anyone wanting to plan an assassination attempt would do so on a public discussion forum.

    Ever since I was little I’ve been taught about the “Church persecuted”. It’s time to get over this ridiculous sense of victim-hood. In England at least (although sadly not elsewhere in the UK) people don’t generally go around looking for Catholics to beat up.

    Criticism, and even ridicule, of the beliefs and policies of the Catholic church doesn’t mean anti-Catholic hatred.

  • Tim H

    As an atheist, I am happy to condem any actual or threatened violence. I expect it was no more than a joke in very bad taste, but who knows, I am sure that they police look into this sort of thing and will decide whether it is serious threat or not. There are disturbed people of all beliefs out there.

    I do think you are wrong in your final paragraph. You seem to be linking any critism of the Pope to incitement to violence. Presumably you would fail to see a link between anti-gay marriage statements of the Pope and queer-bashing violence. Free speech is OK up to the point when violence is incited. Both the Pope and mainstream Protest the Pope folk and clearly the right side of the line and I would suport both all on principle even if I did not agree with what they were saying.

    The issue of the security costs of the Pope’s visit is an interesting one. Personally, I think that whilst it is legitimate to object to tax-money being spent on non-policing aspects of the visit (for example, I object to tax-payer’s money being spent on hotel accomodaton for a number of Cardinals), the Police and wider society have a duty to protect anyone who is on our island whether or not we argee with their views. It is the mark of a civilised country that anyone whatever their views should be able to travel freely in this country and not be protected from criticism or mockary or insults, but protected from physcial violence. So long as what the police are planning to do for the visit is driven by a desire to maintain public and papal safety (rather than just protect the Pope and his followers from citicism), I have no problem whatsoever with my money being spent on sensible policing. When the NSS object to polciing costs they do a disservice to the enlightenment principle that the state should have a monopoly on violence (see Max Weber). Of course the NSS are perfectly right to draw attention to the Government’s attempt to conceal policing costs.

    I would be ashamed of my country if the Pope’s views were not robustly challenged during his visit, but I would be even more ashamed if any physical harm came to him or anyone else during his visit.

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