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What next for the Catholic Church in the UK?

06:54 UK time, Sunday, 12 September 2010

It's twenty-eight years since Pope John Paul II visited the UK. How has the Catholic Church changed during that time?

Since 1982, the Church's reputation has been badly damaged by allegations of clerical sex abuse and parishes are facing an unprecedented shortage of priests.

Meanwhile, the demographic of congregations has changed due to immigration from Poland, Africa and Asia. There are also continuing tensions between liberal and conservative sections of the Church.

How do you see the Church developing in the future? Has immigration been good for parishes? Can the liberal and conservative sections be reconciled? Should there be a smaller and more devout Church? Will you be going to see the Pope?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    No change.
    It's been the same for the last 2000 years.

    For many, that's its great appeal.

  • Comment number 2.

    When you're part of an entity with over a billion members which has been going since not long after Christ was about you don't really worry about short term issues.

    Short term issues are for entities which only survive for the short term.

    Rome. The British Empire. Communism. Liberalism. etc.

    They all all rise, have their moments, and eventually fall, but the church endures.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    "Has immigration been good for parishes?"

    I wonder what the BBC wants to achieve by asking this question.

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 6.

    In this day and age any religion that is male dominated has no place in this world. The world has moved on but religions are firmly stuck in the past when ignorance was high. Trouble is, the religious leaders are still in the past and haven't woken up.

  • Comment number 7.

    We could do with more Christianity in our so-called Christian churches. What they are doing doesn't stack up too well against the New Testament, or the old one for that matter.

  • Comment number 8.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 9.

    Hopefully confinement to the history books - together with every other religion.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 12.

    The Catholic Church are at the mercy of the country they exist in. They will fly your flag, let your people burn them down. They are brain washed idiot martyrs just like your people. The Catholic Church their Priest etc. are mind controlled creatures.

    The clergy are given a education but only as mindless slaves taking in all that is given them. I wonder if they are not also radio implanted by the nation they exist in. It is very possible. They are used as a internal security of the government they exist in as thought police getting the inside information their country seek against dissidence or non-conforming citizens from confessionals.

    I see a society that the people do not see. A government that take this GOD and use it against the people defying the truth of the very nature of life, subverting humanity unto a lesser being instead of sons and daughters of GOD.

    Base indeed is the understanding of this GOD. A creation outside of humanity by nations to subdue the very nature of humankind to make it less than what this nature denied name by a meaning called GOD.

    Through subversion society with it's hierarchies abuse human nature to exist. Religion exist from the exploitation of individuals compiling what life is and how to use that knowledge to create a subordinate structured society cultivated generation after generation as the hierarchy see fit.

  • Comment number 13.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 14.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 15.

    2. At 07:34am on 12 Sep 2010, ady wrote:
    “When you're part of an entity with over a billion members which has been going since not long after Christ was about you don't really worry about short term issues. Short term issues are for entities which only survive for the short term. Rome. The British Empire. Communism. Liberalism. etc.”

    “They all all rise, have their moments, and eventually fall, but the church endures.” - I’m not so sure these times compare with other points in history as “minor”.

    I feel a lot has changed in society over these last 40 years or so. People in the UK and indeed everywhere in the world have been part of huge changes in the way knowledge is acquired and the vast amount of it that’s freely available to them all. People’s voices are not so insignificant as they may have been in the past. Leaders used to dominate how people think and what they should do in life, both political and religious. There is a revolution going on in the background, people are thinking for themselves, expressing themselves, and communicating themselves to an audience of millions if not billions... The Internet has become a monster of knowledge sharing communities all blogging, chatting, and sharing with each other on unimaginable scales from that of the past. No matter what people say, we really are less ignorant because of it.

    The media has become a valuable tool in changing or helping to direct a persons view of things. But, not everyone reads that morning news paper or watches the evening news thinking like a zombie. Even carefully structured questions posted on websites such as these can direct you or even provoke you (I’m not saying these questions are provoking) to answering and discussing them in anger or contention.

    Religion / Faith can be used to structure what would otherwise be chaos. It can be used to guide the lost and confused. It can be used to help explain why one thing is good and another is bad. But it’s ultimately someones guide and not one that you need to follow, or need to agree with. Religion can be used as a tool and can be the cause of immense pain and suffering. It causes be the tipping point for war and ultimately death. It can be used as an excuse to fight for something one believes in.

    There is a place for religion in this world but not in my world. I am tolerant of all religions because I have no religion. I’m not the only one either.

  • Comment number 16.

    KingLeeRoySandersJr #12.

    "I see a society that the people do not see."

    having read your comment twice, carefully, I'm forced to agree.

  • Comment number 17.

    ENLIGHTENMENT ??

  • Comment number 18.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 19.

    All we are going to get on this HYS are anti-Catholic hatred,God hating people and people calling themselves Catholics who have never been near a Church in years.We will also of course have the usual rants from the Catholic hating homosexuals.Any chance of reasoned comments or discussion will be a waste of time.Therefore from here on in I propose to all TRUE Catholics to avoid such discussions on HYS.

  • Comment number 20.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 22.

    8. At 09:19am on 12 Sep 2010, carbuncle wrote:
    At 08:34am on 12 Sep 2010, Emily radetsk wrote:
    The Catholic church does a lot of good work in the world, and it has opposed dictatorships. It has, however, allowed Christianity to be hijacked by a very conservative stream, and eg. disapproves of nudity while being lukewarm on violence and war.''


    That applies to religion, or Christianity generally but not really the Catholic church.
    I think the Catholic church now, is relatively liberal compared to some other churches, at least politically. They don't have the inquisition any more. The very few families I know who let their -older- children go about the house without the proverbial stitch, are Irish Catholics. Presbyterians would cover them up at he first sign of advanced toddlerhood, never mind puberty!

    -----------------------

    I bet they cover them up when Father O'Anyone comes visiting.

  • Comment number 23.

    Recommend post #15 @ 11:35am on 12 Sept. 'I Love England'.

    I personally enjoyed this poster's articulate and rational points and hope that others do too?

    As with politics and religion, in any context, it's hard not to get wound-up - or rise to the bait - I know I do.

  • Comment number 24.

    As an organisation that has supported terrorism in Northern Ireland I would like to see them added to the list of Prohibited Organisations.

  • Comment number 25.

    11. At 10:13am on 12 Sep 2010, Peter Bridgemont wrote: -- Well Said

    Can the liberal and conservative sections be reconciled? If someone is so extreme as to be liberal or conservative on all issues then I expect some other church may be better for them. Most Catholics seem to have a range of liberalism on some sections of Catholic teaching while being conservative on others, including me.

    Will you be going to see the Pope? Cardiff in 1982, Hopefully Hyde Park in 2010

  • Comment number 26.

    What next for the Catholic Church in the UK? Hopefully it will be abolished along with all other religions. Religions divide mankind, so it's time to ditch this meaningless, insane mambo-jumbo.

  • Comment number 27.

    "
    19. At 12:02pm on 12 Sep 2010, mac wrote:

    All we are going to get on this HYS are anti-Catholic hatred,God hating people
    "

    God does not hate people because God does not exist. People hate people, quite often because of Religion, race, colour of ones skin, social upbringing or political view point. Religion, as with race hate, has no place in the civilised world, sadly many parts of the world are not civilised.

  • Comment number 28.

    become atheists

  • Comment number 29.

    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies, not just the Roman Catholic religion.

    I suspect that it is the general improvement in education that is the main cause, and not just in schools. Not many years ago Richard Dawkins would have had no chance of getting on to radio and TV. Even today it is difficult for his views to get a fair hearing in the main stream media in many parts of the world.

    Until recently Roman Catholicism seemed to be surviving better than most. This was probably the result of the pressure put upon parents to allow their children to be educated in faith schools, where they can be carefully screened from any ideas which might threaten their belief in those propagated by the priesthood. In particular the lie that one cannot live a good life without faith, was carefully embedded into the minds of young children.

    Personally I believe that the world would be a much better place without religion.

  • Comment number 30.

    "
    29. At 2:41pm on 12 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:

    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies
    "

    Islam's not declining.

  • Comment number 31.

    Get rid of all religion!

  • Comment number 32.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 33.

    The development for consolidating the future of the Church can begin with installing huge Rollercoasters in every major Cathedral and Minster in Britain. A Dodgems and Waltzer in the smaller churches. Huge music sound systems for all. Maybe a Burger stand or two. And a lick of flourescent paint for the exteriors wouldn't go amiss.

    Religion ought to become funky.

  • Comment number 34.

    @29 stanblogger

    "Personally I believe that the world would be a much better place without religion."

    You are entiltled to your own belief, and you should respect those of others.

  • Comment number 35.

    'Therefore from here on in I propose to all TRUE Catholics to avoid such discussions on HYS'

    This describes quite well one of the real problems with the Catholic cult. Between defence of criminals/paedophiles, rituals of brainwashing subservience and an overpowering need to put their hands over their ears and shout 'la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you' it shows that this despicable group and it's misguided followers will hopefully, one day, become extinct.

  • Comment number 36.

    I was raised in the Catholic church, in the hotbed of sectarianism that was the greater Glasgow area in the 1980s. I could facetiously make the assertion that the church and its ways and its culture made me what I am today: an atheist.

    In all seriousness though: I still bear a lot - A LOT - of psychological scars from my upbringing. In my opinion, the Catholic church is NOT a suitable environment to raise children in: they don't need to so much as lay a finger on a child in order to cause them permanent lasting harm.

  • Comment number 37.

    The Church is not about humanity, understanding and love; it is about wealth and the holding onto power through threats of damnation and judgment to control those who require instruction and subservience as a way of life. How can you live in a palace, dressed in silks and satins, holding gold in your hands while spouting the poverty of your saviour? Christ was a radical - the church has lost all the meaning by allowing old men and those with the temperament of sheep to control the agenda. They discriminate, judge and interpret all to the ends of keeping all that lovely money, property and power.

    I hope, if their Saviour was what THEY judged him to be, that HE comes back because he will judge them very harshly indeed.

  • Comment number 38.

    I would like to think that more people have started to realize that the Church is just another buisness and it is full of corupted staff.
    (Just like every other buisness)

    The government should open a full public investigation into the coruption of all religious organisations.
    There should be no door unopened and no papper work hidden. It is about time that the public should have a say into what happens in religious groups and how they treat and cover up certain things.

    No one should be allowed to become higher then the law and there should be no tax exemptions for any religions.

  • Comment number 39.

    Like the rest of the Christian church, the church of Rome is in decline.Now that Christian churches have given up the fight against the encroachment of Islam and bowed to the will of fashion and political correctness, the decline will accelerate and become unstoppable. With the decline in Christianity has come a steady decline in morality in what were once almost wholly Christian countries, and a lack of political will to even attempt to halt the decline.

  • Comment number 40.

    I do not think its any of our business what happens to the Catholic Church, its a matter for its members. You may as well ask your audience what is the future of their local golf club!

  • Comment number 41.

    10. At 10:07am on 12 Sep 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    I declare God is dead - so what's the point of Catholicism?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm sure that the millions on millions of believers around the world (not just the Catholics) are left struck with terror and bereft of purpose by your declaration.

  • Comment number 42.

    It might be more relevant to ask how the Anglican Church has changed.
    The Supreme Governer of the Church of England has invited the Pope to visit at a level that is slightly more than let´s-have-a-cup-of-tea. A State Visit is at the highest diplomatic level.

  • Comment number 43.

    What is the difference between a Cult and an Organised Religion?


    Only Size.


    Everyone claiming to be a religious leader needs to be spend time in an asylum.

  • Comment number 44.

    Firstly, extreme versions of any religious ideology are similar to extreme versions of political ideology - neither are welcome, nor have ever been helpful to humanity as a whole?

    However, this debate is part of the run-up to the Pope's State visit?

    This current Pope is not so popular with many Catholics; who may feel 'let down' by him. Plus, he has been a target for his various media 'gaffs'? But, journalism and the ability for communication has changed a tad since the last 'Pastorial' visit by a Pope to Britain? The last Pope was very popular and a hard act to follow in many ways?

    As for the question posed by HYS on immigration of people into UK who are Catholics? Well, interestingly, that has had a positive affect in some areas in enabling integration into existing communities by migrant workers? What I mean by that is, anyone can walk into a Catholic Church or Catholic institution as they are. There is no 'dress code' and no division of men, women or children. You arrive as you are, whoever you are.

    Nevertheless, what can't be denied is that the Catholic Church is open to criticism; there is much to criticise? It may, or may not defend it's position - but still remains open to all?

    In other words, it takes the 'slings and arrows' and frustrates some of it's congregations globally; yet consistently works to keep the peace for all, and between other religions behind the scenes too, apparently?

    Like any man-made religion - The Catholic Church has it's huge human failings and, perhaps, many out-of-date actions/in-actions - but it never forgets, it does not have exclusivity over other religions/beliefs, or non-beliefs?

    The issue is for the majority of humanity globally, right now, in the 21st Century - we are still responding to any extremists operating on the back of so-called religious/political/racial fundamentalist ideology by a very wealthy few, with their own private business agenda to manipulate at every opportunity on every media driven tidal wave of worry and concern of ordinary good people trying to live in peace with their neighbours?

  • Comment number 45.

    It time now that the Catholic Church in Britain broke away from the Vaticans grip, since this is the only way Catholics within Britain will ever be able to steer a course more in tune with their Modern everyday expectations of future living in how the UK's Catholic Religion can best independently up-date their beliefs and needs, rather than to go forever continuing to listen to an out-dated bunch of Old - Men Popes, whom only feel the need to come to the UK once in a Blue-Moon.

  • Comment number 46.

    I remember when I was about 10 or 11, at the end of the sixties, talking to a friend, who was a couple of years older than me and Roman Catholic, about Dinosaurs. Later that day, his father came and complained to my parents, and I was never allowed to play with him again.

    The RC church has certainly moved on from there, didn't the Pope hail Stephen Hawking for confirming The Creation through his work on the Big Bang. And yet, when you really look at it, have the changes been anything more tham cosmetic?

    None of the important issues facing the world in general, and in particular the third world, have been addressed; safe sex, homosexuality and abortion are still considered as mortal sins, and the rights of women hardly appear to be at the top of the list for the RC church to change.

    Seems to me that the disconnect between th RC church and society is increasing as time passes.

  • Comment number 47.

    The future of the catholic church
    As for the future of the BBC that may well be another matter ..
    Why not open a "Have your say " on that .
    I am there would be much more discussion on the BBC than the RC church

  • Comment number 48.

    'What next for the Catholic Church in the UK?'
    Dwindling congregations, amalgamated parishes and closing churches.

  • Comment number 49.

    The Catholic Church has always been international. For almost 2,000 years, immigrants have enriched the life of the church while themselves finding a spiritual home.
    The young Church in Rome benefited when Greece was overrun by Turks and the Christians fled. At the moment the Church in Hong Kong benefits from Filipinos who work there. The Church in Germany is enriched by Indian priests. Nothing new.

  • Comment number 50.

    38. At 4:32pm on 12 Sep 2010, Alphao1 wrote:

    "...No one should be allowed to become higher then the law and there should be no tax exemptions for any religions..."

    I agree that no one should be above the law.

    I also agree that religion should not have tax exemptions to an extent. However, I'm not sure what those tax exemptions are right now so can't comment on the subject entirely. There may be some exemptions that benefit the people rather than the religion, in this case I'd hesitate to remove such exemptions. If however, those tax exemptions relate to capital appreciation such as assets like property and land and the purchase or sale of said assets, then I would take a closer look. The issues I would be worried about are abuse of the system for personal gain. I know that there are "loop holes" where individuals can gain from the purchase and sale of such assets through estates relating to charities (which also includes religions).

  • Comment number 51.

    10. At 10:07am on 12 Sep 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    I declare God is dead - so what's the point of Catholicism?

    Tradition, Culture, Charitable activities, A sense of belonging, A union... I could be wrong but I think there's more to it than just the belief...

  • Comment number 52.

    20. At 12:20pm on 12 Sep 2010, Fred Schuhmacher wrote:

    "it was claimed that Catholicism had abolished the female deity and oppressed sex.....Catholics revere the being who appeared on Earth as Jesus' mother Mary, as part of the deity. Protestants who have no feminine aspect to their religion."

    ---------------------------------

    Protestants have "female aspects to their religion" they are called women Ministers. If catholics have "deities" do they then worship the Gods and Goddesses of lakes, rocks, trees, etc and just not Mary/Astarte, a pagan goddess? I thought the worship of such images were sins but then again we are talking about a group of people that made up their own rules to suit themselves.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    "
    51. At 5:27pm on 12 Sep 2010, I Love England wrote:

    10. At 10:07am on 12 Sep 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    I declare God is dead - so what's the point of Catholicism?

    Tradition, Culture, Charitable activities, A sense of belonging, A union... I could be wrong but I think there's more to it than just the belief...
    "

    What does that have to do with Catholicism?

  • Comment number 55.

    30. At 2:50pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    29. At 2:41pm on 12 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:

    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies
    "

    Islam's not declining.

    ...............................


    That's because few muslims would dare commit apostasy for fear of being murdered!

    A small point!

  • Comment number 56.

    I am at a complete loss to understand how RC devotees can worship at their churches today, whilst knowing that the Catholic Church has been responsible for unknown numbers of children, around the world, suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests.

    Sure, these worshippers must make up their own minds but, personally, I wouldn’t want to be associated with an organisation that has gone out of its way to cover up child sex abuse.

    What next for the Catholic Church? I’ve no idea but I’d like to see it wither and die before any more children suffer.

    Will you be going to see the Pope? No, I’d cross the road to avoid him.

  • Comment number 57.

    Not religion again. What about the privatisation of the Royal Mail?

  • Comment number 58.

    54. At 5:49pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "What does that have to do with Catholicism?"

    Like I said I could be wrong... So I am wrong?

  • Comment number 59.

    54. At 5:49pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    51. At 5:27pm on 12 Sep 2010, I Love England wrote:

    10. At 10:07am on 12 Sep 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    I declare God is dead - so what's the point of Catholicism?

    Tradition, Culture, Charitable activities, A sense of belonging, A union... I could be wrong but I think there's more to it than just the belief...
    "

    What does that have to do with Catholicism?

    -------------------

    I agree Kuradi, is the poster referring to the Masonic order, The Rotary Club, Womens Guild, Salvation Army or many other organisations?

  • Comment number 60.

    30. At 2:50pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    29. At 2:41pm on 12 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:
    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies
    "

    Islam's not declining.


    He said organized religions.

  • Comment number 61.

    9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Beslan etc etc. Not to mention the abundance of snide threats disguised as 'warnings' or 'observations'.

    It takes a prejudiced liberal mindset to overlook all these atrocities as the acts of a minority, whilst at the same time slamming Christianity, especially Catholicism (which admits to its faults). Fairness on the BBC, if you believe that then you're genuinely deluded and reason is lost on you!

  • Comment number 62.

    47. At 5:07pm on 12 Sep 2010, Lord Rant wrote:

    The future of the catholic church
    As for the future of the BBC that may well be another matter ..
    Why not open a "Have your say " on that .
    I am there would be much more discussion on the BBC than the RC church

    ...................


    A fair point, but does ANYONE think that the BBC would allow that?

  • Comment number 63.

    If this bankrupt meme thinks it deserves our attention then it is wrong. By their own actions they have earned our rejection. Can we please move on with something more honourable than this discredited idea.

  • Comment number 64.

    "
    57. At 5:57pm on 12 Sep 2010, Cynical_yokal wrote:

    Not religion again. What about the privatisation of the Royal Mail?
    "

    Or of the BBC

  • Comment number 65.


    I will be going to protest against the Pope and I would advise others to do exactly the same.

    We will assemble at 1pm on Saturday the 18th of September at Hyde Park Corner – Piccadilly Downslip. It will then proceed through central London and arrive in the vicinity of Parliament Square.

    Please make every effort to be there.

  • Comment number 66.

    "
    55. At 5:53pm on 12 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:

    30. At 2:50pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    29. At 2:41pm on 12 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:

    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies
    "

    Islam's not declining.

    ...............................


    That's because few muslims would dare commit apostasy for fear of being murdered!

    A small point!
    "

    What in Europe? Don't be silly.

  • Comment number 67.

    57. At 5:57pm on 12 Sep 2010, Cynical_yokal wrote:

    Not religion again. What about the privatisation of the Royal Mail?

    One or two posts before hand ;) I put a few points in there but nothing became of it so I moved on to Religion for a bit.

  • Comment number 68.

    "
    20. At 12:20pm on 12 Sep 2010, Fred Schuhmacher wrote:
    Protestants who have no feminine aspect to their religion.
    "

    Yeah they do, Paris Hilton & Katie Price (praise be unto them)

  • Comment number 69.

    For all Catholics God is real and The Pope is God's representative on earth.
    In the exremely unlikely event that they are correct and God does one day return to Earth he will, presumably make The Vatican his first port of call. I wonder what he will make of the obscene wealth, the massive collection of works of art, the gold etc.
    I wonder if The Pope has a pre-prepared answer when God asks him how this fortune was acquired and how this fits in with the teachings of his son, Jesus Christ. How can this have been been done 'in the name of God'.
    Where, exactly did God or Jesus ever instruct, 'Thou shalt acquire massive wealth'.

  • Comment number 70.

    20. At 12:20pm on 12 Sep 2010, Fred Schuhmacher wrote:

    "it was claimed that Catholicism had abolished the female deity and oppressed sex.....Catholics revere the being who appeared on Earth as Jesus' mother Mary, as part of the deity. Protestants who have no feminine aspect to their religion."

    ---------------------------------

    No monotheist religion can possibly have a goddess by the very nature of them being of the belief that there is only one GOD. Is there a monotheist religion that subscribes to there being only one true GODDESS? If so, I might join.

  • Comment number 71.

    "
    60. At 5:59pm on 12 Sep 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:

    30. At 2:50pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    29. At 2:41pm on 12 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:
    Most organised religions are declining in the liberal western democracies
    "

    Islam's not declining.

    He said organized religions.
    "

    And you think Islam is not organized? Keep your head buried in the sand.

  • Comment number 72.

    59. At 5:58pm on 12 Sep 2010, Graham wrote:

    "I agree Kuradi, is the poster referring to the Masonic order, The Rotary Club, Womens Guild, Salvation Army or many other organisations?"

    Who said anything about the Masonic order... ;)

  • Comment number 73.

    "
    65. At 6:07pm on 12 Sep 2010, ChaosMagick wrote:


    I will be going to protest against the Pope and I would advise others to do exactly the same.

    We will assemble at 1pm on Saturday the 18th of September at Hyde Park Corner – Piccadilly Downslip. It will then proceed through central London and arrive in the vicinity of Parliament Square.

    Please make every effort to be there.
    "

    Yeah, like I'm going to waste my time. I could not care less if he comes/does not come, dies/lives, eats a curry or pops down to see Millwall play. The pope has no meaning in my life.

  • Comment number 74.

    The present Pope, the man Ratzinger, is clearly a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Threatening with excommunication - deadly, fatally serious for a Catholic - those who wouldn't toe the line about keeping abuse within the Church's jurisdiction was a sign of his deep lack of goodness. I suppose it won't be too long before he dies. Then SURELY they must get a moderniser in? In one way I hope not, because I want to see the church wither and die. On the other hand, the immense harm they do at the moment means the Vatican 'state' really does need a new broom to sweep it clean. And surely the recent report by Geoffrey Robertson QC ('The case of the Vatican')has demolished any idea of statehood and hence immunity.

  • Comment number 75.

    "
    62. At 6:02pm on 12 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:

    47. At 5:07pm on 12 Sep 2010, Lord Rant wrote:

    The future of the catholic church
    As for the future of the BBC that may well be another matter ..
    Why not open a "Have your say " on that .
    I am there would be much more discussion on the BBC than the RC church

    ...................


    A fair point, but does ANYONE think that the BBC would allow that?
    "

    Ask them.

  • Comment number 76.

    Why should it change? The Pope was given the boot in King Henry8th's day and the Church of England was created.
    Let the Pope go to Ireland. I believe they are all Catholics there.

  • Comment number 77.

    REPLY TO 59. At 5:58pm on 12 Sep 2010, Graham

    So your're saying Masonic orders practice all of the said ....Tradition, Culture, Charitable activities, A sense of belonging, A union... I could be wrong but I think there's more to it than just the belief...

    Hmm... I've heard of the Stone Masons, is that what you're talking about?

  • Comment number 78.

    24. At 1:34pm on 12 Sep 2010, pzero wrote:

    As an organisation that has supported terrorism in Northern Ireland I would like to see them added to the list of Prohibited Organisations.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Along with the RUC and British Government then?

  • Comment number 79.

    Religions, and especially Catholicism have lost much of their numbers in recent years. Blairs policys RE; education have resulted in an insurgency via taxpayers paying for religious indoctrination schools, which is being further enhanced via Cameron/Gove & ConDems education policys RE "free schools".

    It seems to me that Catholicism has mainly given up in persuading UK adults to conform/convert to catholicism, their main and essential target is via UK State education and indoctrination of gullible children, just so their parents think they are attaining a better education. This also means that many parents also convert to Catholicism, quite pretentiously, just to gain their child entry into a school which may have better exam results, as a carrot. They of course ignorantly negate the actual harm that befalls their child/children via being indoctrinated with lies and deceit which refutes/rejects so much fact/truth/evidence/science.

    The fact is, these children are taught many hours of discriminatory indoctrinated bias via religious studies of rejection and refute of truth, evidence, science regarding evolution of species and creation and history of the earth, ALL of which provide SUBSTANTIATED evidence/facts, which refute the Catholic "truth" indoctrinated by Catholicism.

    When I personally think of Catholicism, I think of Nazism, because fundamentally, the 2 are historically linked and joined, by support of each other and also via Nazism carrying forward historical Catholic attrocity against the Jews, namely genocide which was ultimately inspired by Catholicism lengthy history of such infliction upon Jews, including branding them with yellow badges, which Nazism also used.

    There is MUCH swept under the carpet with regards to Catholicisms history, much of it is behaviour of extreme attrocity, whether genocide, or subverting the truth with regards to child abuse, which Catholicisms very foundation is upon subverting the truth and indoctrinating fantasy mystical lies, or even demanding that believers refrain from contraception and thus increasing AIDS/HIV and also creating huge increases in populations which are unable to support themselves thus inflicting famin and poverty of the highest extreme of suffering.

    Overall, Catholicism is NOT a nice entity, PROVEN by FACTS, both historical and PRESENT.

  • Comment number 80.

    73. At 6:15pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    65. At 6:07pm on 12 Sep 2010, ChaosMagick wrote:


    I will be going to protest against the Pope and I would advise others to do exactly the same.

    We will assemble at 1pm on Saturday the 18th of September at Hyde Park Corner – Piccadilly Downslip. It will then proceed through central London and arrive in the vicinity of Parliament Square.

    Please make every effort to be there.
    "

    Yeah, like I'm going to waste my time. I could not care less if he comes/does not come, dies/lives, eats a curry or pops down to see Millwall play. The pope has no meaning in my life.
    --------------------------------------------

    That'll explain why you post so many meaningless comments then?

  • Comment number 81.

    In my opinion the next thing that should happen is that people should think and 'feel' for themselves and not be told what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' by professional clerics and theologians.
    The Kingdom of God is to be made on this earth and not to be waited for in the next if you say all the right things, to be some type of reward if you tick all the right boxes and repeat all the right dogmas.
    The biggest problem that Jesus had was not with the 'sinners' but the 'organizers', the privileged and the pillars of religion and society.
    Unfortunately religion, more often than not, is a barrier to spirituality with it's 'we are the only true path.'

  • Comment number 82.

    All the other instituions in the human history were handled by phylosophers, scholars,thinkers but not religion
    it was handled by ordinary people and it took an ordianry shape
    religions are as they were thoushands of years ago
    they havent progressed along with the other institutions
    some people thought that they are religious and some others had the same thinkig about them and they followed them it carried on with out any change
    basically no religion is bad but it is a matter of how it has been handled and who has handled it
    if its in the hands of Taliban then its dangerous if not its one of the best tool to run a system in a positive way,
    so same is for any church,if it is in honest hands no figure can point at it but if not then its obvious
    but that is not the case
    the bigotry, hypocrisy and, dishonesty and manipulation can been seen with its mouth wide open if we are able to scratch the surface
    some times you dont even have to scratch the surface as they are so much in to religion(not actually)and some others think the same about them
    it can never ever progress unless it is in wise and honest hands


















  • Comment number 83.

    76. At 6:17pm on 12 Sep 2010, friedemann wrote:

    Why should it change? The Pope was given the boot in King Henry8th's day and the Church of England was created.
    Let the Pope go to Ireland. I believe they are all Catholics there.

    =======================================================================
    And that makes your belief every bit as incorrect as all other religions. Well done.

  • Comment number 84.

    Brian Berlin #74.

    "I suppose it won't be too long before he dies. Then SURELY they must get a moderniser in? In one way I hope not, because I want to see the church wither and die."

    shame it can't be Tony Blair, newly converted to 'the faith' and "..clearly a thoroughly nasty piece of work" too.

  • Comment number 85.

    'It's twenty-eight years since Pope John Paul II visited the UK. How has the Catholic Church changed during that time?

    Since 1982, the Church's reputation has been badly damaged by allegations of clerical sex abuse and parishes are facing an unprecedented shortage of priests.' - BBC

    Virtually nothing has changed within the Roman Catholic Church in the last 28 years and I think that is one of its problems.
    The thought that Roman Cathlic priests, supposed men of God are responsible for a number of cases of child abuse and in one case an active IRA bomber is abhorent to most people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. That in itself would be bad enough but what most people find even more disturbing is that those higher up in the organisation knew about it and not only failed to deal with those individuals but actually went out of their way to cover these things up and protect them. These things and numerous others are totally alien to the true meaning of Christianity; surely if Jesus had discovered one of his disciples acting in this way he would have dealt with that individual.

    No wonder there is a shortage of priests, who would want to be associated with such a corrupt organisation?

  • Comment number 86.

    78. At 6:21pm on 12 Sep 2010, coolhandpaul wrote:
    24. At 1:34pm on 12 Sep 2010, pzero wrote:

    As an organisation that has supported terrorism in Northern Ireland I would like to see them added to the list of Prohibited Organisations.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Along with the RUC and British Government then?

    ...................................

    Good point, coolhandpaul. The priest who was believed to be an IRA bomber was only allowed to walk away unchallenged because of collusion between the upper echelons of the RUC and the British government. In my opinion, failing to take action makes those people as guilty as the priest.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    If I were the Pope, I would cancel this visit. The media is clearly doing everything possible to tarnish the Catholic church. Would you go to this length if it were the king of Saudi visiting. Despite all the human rights issues etc.

    I am no catholic and will never be one. But I am disgusted by this anti Pope propaganda.

  • Comment number 89.

    Basically, the Catholic church hasn't changed all that much at all. It still clings to the idea that the Pope and The Vatican are the be all and end all of Christianity blissfully ignoring the march of time, human development and science. They need to acknowledge their past mistakes with humility and sincerity, they need to stop uttering words that imply they are the words of God,they need to open up the church to democratic processes instead of dictating them. Do just some of that and maybe the public will acknowledge their purpose in life.

  • Comment number 90.

    Can I please make a suggestion to the BBC moderator of THIS COMMENT.

    Please ask your website administration team to put a button beside each users comment on your "Have Your Say" section that says "Reply". Once clicked their comment number, user name, and date are all copied in to the comment field automatically. There is a lot of duplication and cutting and pasting involved in posting these comments which could be sorted out with one line of code!

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 91.

    It would be extremely foolish and very misleading to think of the Catholic Church only in terms of the UK. About half of the Christians in the world are Catholic and that (according to Wikipedia) was 1.147 billion in 2007. The Catholic population of the UK represents only a tiny, tiny proportion of the whole.

  • Comment number 92.

    Close the cult down, thats what would be best

  • Comment number 93.

    "
    80. At 6:29pm on 12 Sep 2010, coolhandpaul wrote:

    73. At 6:15pm on 12 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    65. At 6:07pm on 12 Sep 2010, ChaosMagick wrote:


    I will be going to protest against the Pope and I would advise others to do exactly the same.

    We will assemble at 1pm on Saturday the 18th of September at Hyde Park Corner – Piccadilly Downslip. It will then proceed through central London and arrive in the vicinity of Parliament Square.

    Please make every effort to be there.
    "

    Yeah, like I'm going to waste my time. I could not care less if he comes/does not come, dies/lives, eats a curry or pops down to see Millwall play. The pope has no meaning in my life.
    --------------------------------------------

    That'll explain why you post so many meaningless comments then?
    "

    I know you do but what about me, nah, nah.

  • Comment number 94.

    88. At 6:49pm on 12 Sep 2010, impressme wrote:
    If I were the Pope, I would cancel this visit. The media is clearly doing everything possible to tarnish the Catholic church. Would you go to this length if it were the king of Saudi visiting. Despite all the human rights issues etc.

    .....

    I'm sure that if it were the King of Saudi visiting it would be merely a state visit (this links back to last weeks discussion about whether the Pope's visit is a state visit or a pastoral one). I'm sure that the King of Saudi would not be wanting to address the population about Islam, but if he did I'm sure many would have a strong opinion they would like to express.

  • Comment number 95.

    91. At 6:53pm on 12 Sep 2010, RitaKleppmann wrote:

    "...(according to Wikipedia)..."

    Careful with Wikipedia, although full with just about everything you could possibly want to know about anything, it is essentially populated by the public who don't always get things right ;) It's best to pull upon News articles from the Media. Then if it's wrong you have someone to blame for incompetence ;)

  • Comment number 96.

    The East Europeans have strengthened the Churches in Western Europe via migration, long live the Church!

  • Comment number 97.

    I really never cared much about religion since I was a small child. But this anti-catholicism that the media spread in the UK really touches me. It seems so immature and reminds me of racism. Anywhere else in Europe Christians of different denominations have learned to respect each other as equals long ago. Grow up!

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    The Roman Catholic Church will continue to sweep unpallatable issues under the carpet.

    I personally would prefer it if the present Pope were to cancel his visit as I think in the current climate the Roman Catholic Church needs to re-evaluate it's so called values which seem to be sadly lacking.

    If it is thought by some that the abuse of children, possible links to the Claudy bombing and many other issues are nothing to shout about then it's about time the public said their peice loudly and clearly.

    If the teachings of the Roman Catholic Curch are based on the bible they obviously haven't read it or if the have, have played around with it's teachings to accommodate their very outdated view on life and society in general.

    As I understand it Christ did NOT wander about in fine cloth and jewels and pontificate on all and sundry.

  • Comment number 100.

    At 6:12pm on 12 Sep 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:

    For all Catholics God is real and The Pope is God's representative on earth.
    I wonder what he will make of the obscene wealth, the massive collection of works of art, the gold etc.
    I wonder if The Pope has a pre-prepared answer when God asks him how this fortune was acquired and how this fits in with the teachings of his son, Jesus Christ. How can this have been been done 'in the name of God'.
    Where, exactly did God or Jesus ever instruct, 'Thou shalt acquire massive wealth'.

    Absolutely agree. Wasn`t it Matthew who said " It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

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