In to a recent opinion poll of Roman Catholics in Britain, 60% say their faith is not “generally valued” in British society.
I would like to know why they think it should be?
According to a Daily Telegraph article from 2007, the Catholics had recently overtaken Anglicans as the dominant religion in the UK, with 861,000 attending Mass in that year and a mere 852,000 Anglicans bothering to leave their beds on a Sunday morning and tramp down to the local C of E bash.
It was hardly a great victory for Rome, given the figure is barely more than 1% of the UK population, and made up mostly of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Africa.
So, I ask again: why should Catholics expect their faith to be valued by British society?
Apparently, there’s quite a few who don’t even value it themselves.
Popey Benedict is due to arrive in the UK anytime now for one of his “papal visits”. There seems to be a problem selling seats.
According to the BBC:
Thousands of tickets remain unsold for events during the visit of the Pope, who arrives in Scotland on Thursday.
The largest organised event is an open-air Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on the opening day of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the UK.
The capacity has been reduced to 80,000 after a slow take-up of tickets.
Dioceses in England and Wales have also reported thousands of unfilled places for a London vigil and the service to beatify Cardinal Newman in Birmingham.
Jack Valero, who is co-ordinating the beatification of 19th Century English cardinal John Henry Newman in Cofton Park on Sunday, said: “It is still not as many as expected, although it’s pretty full.”
He said he expected 50,000 people to attend the 60,000-capacity event which requires a “pilgrim pack” costing up to £25 for entry.
The London vigil takes place in Hyde Park on Saturday.
BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott says the relatively slow uptake of passes for the big events appears to indicate less enthusiasm among Catholics to see Pope Benedict than they showed for his charismatic predecessor John Paul II 28 years ago.”
A twenty-five British pounds “Pilgrim Pack”? Which American marketing company did they hire to come up with that one, I wonder?
Incidentally, 50,000 people at twenty-five British pounds a head rakes in a cool one and a quarter million British pounds (US$1,875,000). No wonder Popey decided it was worth the trip.
The BBC fails to publicly acknowledge the controversy surrounding the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman (lower image). Newman was a homosexual who lived for years with his ‘companion’, Father Ambrose St. John (upper image). So close were the couple that Newman expressly willed that he be buried in the same grave as St. John so they could be together for eternity.
His wishes were adhered to, and the pair rested in peace for one hundred and eighteen years, until some interfering Catholic person decided it would be a jolly good idea to turn Newman into a saint. So they dug him up and moved what remained of him – which wasn’t much as the coffin was wood and the grave was damp, but the worms were fat and happy – to the UK’s Birmingham Oratory. That was in 2008, and he’s still there, waiting for Popey for come and throw holy water over him, or whatever is deemed necessary for the process of beatification.
Many were very upset at the gay saint-to-be’s disturbance. They thought a man’s last wish should be respected, even if he was only worm-fodder.
The opinion poll, commissioned by the BBC, also asked Catholics how they felt about the celibacy of the priesthood. 49% said the rule should be relaxed, while only 35% felt it should remain.
Nothing’s going to change under Popey Benedict, however. The BBC again:
Dr William Oddie, former editor of the Catholic Herald, said he was not surprised by the survey, but felt that celibacy should remain “the norm” amongst Catholic priests.
“I do think that our clergy have this particular quality because of their celibacy,” he said.”
Yes, Dr Oddie, it’s a quality that causes them to sexually abuse lots and lots of little boys and girls all around the world.
None of which begins to explain why UK Catholics think their faith should be “generally valued” by British society. Are there any British Catholics out there who might care to elucidate?
 “Catholicism ‘not valued’ – poll ahead of Pope visit” BBC, September 12th 2010
 “Britain has become a ‘Catholic country'” Telegraph, December 23rd 2007
 “Thousands of tickets for Pope Benedict UK visit unsold” BBC, September 13th 2010
 “Belgium priest abuse linked to suicides” Sydney Morning Herald, September 11th 2010
Filed under: Religious insecurity