Ruth Gledhill notes that the Pope has attacked the UK’s Equality Bill; good for him:
In what was interpreted as an attack on Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill, which is going through Parliament, the Pope urged the 35 Catholic bishops from England and Wales in Rome on a five-yearly ad limina visit to make a united stand against it. He claimed that the proposed equal rights laws threatened “longstanding British traditions” of freedom of speech.
While Damian Thomson reckons the Pope is excoriating the entire Labour Party; even better:
“Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed.”
Is that a direct attack on Labour policies? Yes.
And George Pitcher is creating a diversion by still obsessing about all the homosexual Anglo-Catholics that the Pope has saddled himself with:
Pope Benedict has enraged Harriet Harman’s Equality Police by laying into her plans to stop churches discriminating against homosexuals. But the pontiff is sending out some mixed messages here.
Last year, he famously launched his Anglican Ordinariate, offering Anglo-Catholics, disaffected with Anglicanism over issues such as women bishops, a welcome in the Church of Rome. I don’t have the statistics to claim that the overwhelming majority of Anglo-Catholic clergy in the Church of England are gay. But I think we’re on safe ground if we say that homosexuals form a higher proportion than the national average in that denomination
Labour MPs are “appalled”:
Labour MEP Stephen Hughes hit back after the Pope warned that the UK Equality Bill would be unfair on religious communities.
“As a Catholic, I am appalled by the attitude of the Pope. Religious leaders should be trying to eradicate inequality, not perpetuate it.
And gay rights groups are on the defensive:
“People should not be denied access to services and employment purely because they are gay.
“We’ve got to guard against sweeping exemptions seeming to protect one person’s freedom, which actually really impact on other people’s.”
He added: “What you can’t start doing is saying that religious people have hard-won freedoms, we’ll now restrict those, we won’t give them to gay people, we won’t give them to women.”
To upset so many with one dose of plain common sense demonstrates a rare talent: well done, Benedict XVI.
To incite equivalent unrest, Rowan William had to resort to promoting sharia law, an idea he pulled from his grab-bag of liberal Anglican asininities.