.....says William Oddie at the Catholic Herald.
In the event, that headlong confrontation of values, between the Pope’s transparent humility and goodness, and the vicious hatred and arrogance of Protest the Pope, could only end in one way: with the utter failure of the atheist campaign to gain the hearts and minds of the British people – a people who, in the end, will always choose decency over gross incivility. In the end, British fair-mindedness was the Holy Father’s secret weapon. Protest the Pope was just not cricket.
Before the visit, I was interviewed for the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS): are you aware, I was asked, “of any papal visit which has been preceded by a campaign of such fury and loathing?” Well, no. But the fact is that Protest the Pope and its allies peaked too soon, and they went too far – much, much too far. They discredited themselves and underestimated their enemy. In the event, it was just no contest.