Thursday, 30 September 2010

Revealed: secrets of the 'We love you papa more than beans on toast' campaign

Niamh Moloney, diocesan youth officer in Northampton, and creator of the vivid signs (and those yellow wellies) which attracted TV cameras and photographers during the papal visit, spills the, er, beans at the Catholic Herald:

We are just three normal young people. Brendon is 19 and Rachel is 21 and I am 25. The day the Pope arrived we went out and bought some permanent markers and some old pieces of cardboard and decorated them with messages such as the famous “We love the Pope more than beans on toast”. We had no idea that pictures of us would go around the world. We had been disheartened by the media in the week before the visit and we just wanted to make some joyful noise for the Holy Father. We only wanted the Holy Father to see our signs and know that the young people in England loved him ... 
We had some incredibly moving conversations with people who were from all sorts of different backgrounds. We were outside the nuncio’s residence in Wimbledon one morning and a young man going for a morning run stopped to get a glimpse of the Pope. He was an atheist but spoke of how he agreed with the Pope and had been truly touched by his words. Following the visit we have all been inspired to witness to our faith all the time with joy.  We are incredibly grateful to God that our little wacky message of love for the Holy Father was seen by millions.

The fictions of Geoffrey Robertson

A letter from Neil Addison in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Geoffrey Robertson is disingenuous in claiming he does not want the Pope arrested and blaming the media (''Holding Pope responsible for abuses is not too dangerous'', September 29).

In the British newspaper The Guardian on April 2, Robertson specifically accused the Pope of a ''crime against humanity'' contrary to the rules of the International Criminal Court. It is only the realisation that this suggestion has made him look ridiculous in the eyes of other lawyers that has caused him to backtrack.

As far as the legal status of the Vatican is concerned, Robertson is presenting his personal opinion that the Vatican should not be a state and pretending that he is putting forward a legal argument.

More importantly, Robertson is pretending that the legal status of the Vatican is protecting abusive priests, but the reality is that Catholic priests and bishops throughout the world are citizens of their individual countries and not the Vatican and they are answerable to national law.

No country has ever suggested that the legal status of the Vatican has prevented the proper investigation of any allegations of abuse by any Catholic priest.

Neil Addison national director, Thomas More Legal Centre, Warrington (England)

CNN film: 'What the Pope knew'

A documentary with an identical title to that screened by BBC Panorama on the eve of the papal visit was shown on American television last weekend. But unlike Panorama, CNN's documentary took at face value the wild assertions of the lawyer Jeffrey Anderson, who is seeking to lay the groundwork for legal action against the Vatican on clerical sex abuse. Monitor has not seen the CNN film, but recommends the comments on it by Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson at their Our Sunday Visitor blog, which monitors the reporting on Pope Benedict and the sex abuse crisis. Erlandson and Bunson are the authors of a useful book (photo) on the subject.