From THE TELEGRAPH:
The Pope could cancel his planned visit to Britain because of a “hugely offensive” Foreign Office memo mocking his stance on abortion and birth control, sources in the Vatican said. Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the memo, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here. No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street and at least three Whitehall departments, and the civil servant who authorised it has simply been moved to other duties.
Cardinal Renato Martino, the former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “The British government has invited the Pope as its guest and he should be treated with respect. To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”
As well as suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, the memo also proposed that the Pope should “announce sacking of dodgy bishops”, sponsor a network of AIDS clinics, conduct a training course for bishops on child abuse allegations and ordain a female priest.
Embarrassingly for the Queen it also suggested getting the Pope and Her Majesty to sing a duet for charity and changing the national anthem from God Save The Queen to God Save the World.
Britain’s former ambassador to Italy, Sir Ivor Roberts, editor of the diplomatic “Bible” Satow’s Diplomatic Practice, said: “Good God! I hope all concerned are ashamed of themselves."
COMMENT: The Vatican should be very careful in their brink(celibate)manship. The pope invited himself, for all intents and purposes, and whoever the British prime minister may be in September, it is possible that he will be looking for a way to get the tour cancelled so he is not forever linked with homophobia and misogyny, but without losing diplomatic face. Getting the pope to take the huff and cancel it himself would be an answer to his prayers (unless it's Mr Clegg, who is an atheist - who will probably just thank the random meaningless of life).
Anyway, if Benny thinks that memo was offensive, he ought to experience being gay for a while. Some of the things certain heads of multi-national religious corporations come out with in their official speeches and writings are far more offensive to gays than this spot on satire is of his infallibleness.