Armagh a likely venue for Pope’s state visit to UK

Having just taken part in a BBC NI film When the Pope Came to Ireland 30 years ago, I’ve been thinking that a visit from Pope Benedict next year could hardly be more different. The film vividly recorded the contrast between yesterday’s faith and hope in grim days and today’s disillusion and fragmentation in otherwise better times. The expectation that a Pope will visit Armagh at last will no doubt be welcome. JP2’s plans were finally dashed by the horrors of the Mountbatten assassination and the Narrow Water massacre (though at the time I didn’t believe for a moment that Armagh was really on). However, heartburn will surely be felt as the Pope is apparently to come as part of a state visit to the UK rather than in a pastoral visit to Ireland like his predecessor.

Unlike 1982 (when John Paul made a pastoral visit to Britain and balanced it with one to Argentina during the Falklands War) and when the Troubles in Ulster were raging, the Pope is expected to include Northern Ireland in his itinerary. Mr Brown specifically asked the Pope to visit “all parts of the UK” when he invited the pontiff. Armagh is one location being considered.

But we haven’t heard the full range of the plans yet and perhaps an Irish pastoral visit will emerge too. Let’s hope they don’t fumble this one. After all. Ireland is a single pastoral entity for all the main churches.

  • Pete Baker

    Brian

    From the Irish Times

    Although British media speculation yesterday suggested that the Pope might also add an Irish leg to his visit, in particular going to Northern Ireland, Vatican sources last night ruled out this possibility. Vatican insiders point out that Benedict sees a visit to Northern Ireland as much too important to be “tagged on” to the UK trip but should rather constitute a pastoral visit in its own right, perhaps in 2012.

  • slug

    Pete

    The popes visit to NI needn’t be “tagged on”; it could be the high point!

  • slug

    Brian those were indeed very different days – indeed your accent seemed a lot more posh in 1982 than it is today.

  • igor

    Will he bring a copy of the Saville Report with him?

  • igor

    Nice to see that Brown asked him to visit all parts of the UK. I assume that he issued that invitation on behalf of the devolved Government here?

    Of course he might have considered such an invite as a ‘foreign affairs’ matter …but then that would be a different stance from the one he took on recent Scottish affairs.

    Anyway, will there be a specific purpose for this visit? The beatification of Gerry? An apology for clerical child abuse and for all those burnings of protestant martyrs?

  • The Ulsterior Motive

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8271711.stm
    a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Ireland dismissed it as “pure speculation”.

    Martin Long from Catholic Communications Office said there had been no confirmation of such a visit from official church sources.

    Michael Kelly, Deputy Editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper said he thought a Northern Ireland leg of a UK visit was highly unlikely because the church in Ireland organises on a 32 county basis.

    “The papal nuncio in Dublin takes responsibility for Northern Ireland rather than the papal nuncio in London,” he said.

    “The majority of Catholics in Northern Ireland would have nationalist sensibilities.

    “The Vatican are certainly not going to do anything which would the offend those sensibilities, for example tagging on a visit to Northern Ireland which would exclude the Republic would seem to me to be extremely insensitive.”

  • “Let’s hope they don’t fumble this one.”

    Who are ‘they’, Brian. With the Stormont Executive decidedly wobbly and possibly on its last legs a Papal Visit to Armagh could be the final nail in the coffin for the Process.

  • Brit

    I presume that if his holiness was to visit the illegally occupied statelet that the secular socialist Republicans would protest against his reactionary views on homosexuality, abortion and contraception.

  • Zoonpol

    Well he be visiting the occupied 26 counties down south too? 😉

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Wouldn’t it be great if Unionist politicians afforded any potential visit a welcome. It would be a giant step at reconcilliation. Perhaps even a few that are due to retire or lose their seats anyway. Perhaps I am being cynical at the electorate voting them out?

  • Brit

    “Wouldn’t it be great if Unionist politicians afforded any potential visit a welcome. It would be a giant step at reconcilliation. Perhaps even a few that are due to retire or lose their seats anyway. Perhaps I am being cynical at the electorate voting them out?”

    Presumably most of them are relgious protestant Christians in which case they see the instution of the Pope a wrongheaded at the very least. The more fundamentalist ones presumably see him as doing the work of the anti-Christ so I guess they would probably not be queuing up to meet him.

    That said I’m sure the head of the wooly Church of England would be happy to give him a hug.

    As a progressive and an athiest I look forward to the day when reactionary superstition and obscurantism fades away and the office of the Pope has no standing. Our day will come.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    A Papal presence in NI…what a delightful thought!

    ….and another taboo will be broken!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Well he be visiting the occupied 26 counties down south too? ;)”

    I hope not, he can fuck off. You are welcome to him up north!

    BTW, what do you mean by occupied?

  • Coll Ciotach

    A visit to Ireland would not be welcome if it in any way could be construed as a vindication of British occupation.

    A visit would be better welcomed, and more appropriate, as part of a visit recognising the integrity of the whole island as a unit.

  • Democratic

    Hi Prionsa,
    You get working on the Shinners welcoming the Queen to Belfast in a similar gesture and a i’ll see what I can do with our lot….

  • John

    As Brian pointed out in his original article, if he is going to visit, it should be as part of a papal visit to Ireland, as the church is organised on an All Ireland basis.

    I wonder would big Ian come out to greet him?

  • Democratic

    If he’s making a stop in his back garden he might I suppose – then again as the local saying goes….

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Democratic

    No harm in being polite, though I doubt that an un-elected head of state would lower themselves to meet mere insurrectionist Republicans. Anyways, as a reasonably level headed guy Democratic ;¬) What about it, would the Unionist electorate stand for their politicians offering a polite welcome to the Pontiff?

    Brit

    at the risk of biting my fingers off for engaging with you;

    >>As a progressive and an athiest I look forward to the day when reactionary superstition and obscurantism fades away and the office of the Pope has no standing. Our day will come.< < Valid point of view. However how does your confessed atheism square with your apparent defence of those who would not meet him on the grounds of their religion. In my view a totally bogus defence btw; >>Presumably most of them are relgious protestant Christians in which case they see the instution of the Pope a wrongheaded at the very least. The more fundamentalist ones presumably see him as doing the work of the anti-Christ so I guess they would probably not be queuing up to meet him.<< In short, a denunciation of the office of the Pope on the one hand and tacit defence?(certainly nothing that suggests otherwise) of fundamentalist Prods not wishing to meet him on the grounds of their religion. Will I be blessed with a response, or blessed without one :¬)

  • Thereyouarenow

    The pope guy should make a comprehensive visit and do the two Islands while he is hereabouts.

    we could all do with whatever financial benefits that can be gained and those of a spirit slant may take what the can from the holy show.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Actually Democratic your 02:56 PM comment needs more attention. Is it comparing apples with oranges(no pun intended) Should we really compare those not wishing to meet a foreign monarch on political/historic grounds with those who have not really grown up not wishing to meet with the representative of a world religion. It shouldn’t matter or be an issue of substance either how the Pope views himself. Indeed would a meeting with the Dalai Lama or some other head of a religion similarly be off the agenda.

  • Democratic

    “What about it, would the Unionist electorate stand for their politicians offering a polite welcome to the Pontiff?”
    My honest answer Prionsa is – certainly not 10 years ago – today – I just don’t know – some fundies would whine like hounds obviously – my own preferred hope would be that the garden variety types would have a more mature and measured outlook.

    PS – As for the head-of-a-world religion (Pope) vs the objected-to-monarch-on-political-historical grounds (Queen) – well really Prionsa, you know better than that – the Office of the Pope (rather than the gentleman himself of course) carries the baggage of both titles round these parts not just the former….

  • Ulster Mcnulty

    Brian Walker

    “JP2’s plans were finally dashed by the horrors of the Mountbatten assassination and the Narrow Water massacre (though at the time I didn’t believe for a moment that Armagh was really on).”

    Historical amnesia? I don’t think Mounbatten and Narrow Water had anything to do with it. The reason he didn’t come north was simple…

    “No Pope Here”

    He wasn’t welcome. It was politically unthinkable at that time.

    Mountabtten and Narrowwater would have been a good argument for a papal visit north as it was well appreciated that he was going to get down on bended knee and plead with the men of violence to give it up.

    (It’s the Zeitgeist, very different today from what it was in 1979 – many people will be able to recall that on top of most 12th bonfires in 1979 there was a picture of the pope – times have changed)

    Mountbatten / Narrowwater is possibly comtempoary reasoning (though implausible) for the level of antipathy towards the pope in NI in 1979, which is difficult to understand in a changed world 30 laters later.

    Prionsa E

    “Indeed would a meeting with the Dalai Lama or some other head of a religion similarly be off the agenda.”

    Maybe not, the Dalai Lama has visited NI anyway. But in 1979 the thought of a papal visit to NI was politically unthinkable, just as a visit by the Dalai Lama to China would be non-starter today.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    If the pope does visit NI, will he contaminate the “protestant” land with all his roman catholic popishness, etc.. that’s in fundamental protestant eyes of course.

  • Brit

    “Valid point of view. However how does your confessed atheism square with your apparent defence of those who would not meet him on the grounds of their religion. In my view a totally bogus defence btw;”

    No defence of anyone; that part of the post was descriptive rather than prescriptive. Read it again.

    As a liberal, and a defender of freedom of religious practice and assembly, I would defend their right not to meet someone with whom they have major theological differences. If the ambassador of Kuwait was an avowed anti-semite (just a random example) I would not expect the Israeli ambassador to meet him at a function.

    As a matter of protocol I don’t see why they couldn’t meet him and agree to disagree on religion.

    “In short, a denunciation of the office of the Pope on the one hand and tacit defence?(certainly nothing that suggests otherwise) of fundamentalist Prods not wishing to meet him on the grounds of their religion.”

    A reptition of your previous comment, see above.

    There are plenty of grounds on which to criticise or even denounce the Pope (the current incumbent and the office) and the Catholic Church from a liberal, progressive and humanist perspective. I’m no fan and I can imagine why pro-choice, family planning and gay rights might want to picket (although I wouldn’t recommend it in NI)

    The challenge is to make this criticism strongly without demonising the mass of observant Catholics (which really does include some of my best friends) and without making it inso some anti-irish catholic racism.

  • Democratic

    Yeah – I covered that one already Greagoir.
    BTW – you forgot turn our kids to darkness and bring about the apocalyse with his Anti-Christic leanings….

  • Yani

    Perhaps this Man In A Skirt can come for the Belfast Gay Pride Parade?

  • aon Pápa anseo

    why should he go somewhere hes not welcomed by all the community

    he should visit the falls road or that nice monument in newtownbutler, anywhere else would be incitement, and should stongly be opposed with a protest march a white line picket would be nice.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Democratic

    Thanks for the response.

    >>the Office of the Pope (rather than the gentleman himself of course) carries the baggage of both titles round these parts not just the former…. < < You know that fact never occured to me, I don't believe for a second that would be grounds for any Republican not to meet a British monarch. UMc >>the Dalai Lama has visited NI anyway. But in 1979 the thought of a papal visit to NI was politically unthinkable, just as a visit by the Dalai Lama to China would be non-starter today.< < I think this backs my point, that would be political and not bigotry then. Brit >>No defence of anyone; that part of the post was descriptive rather than prescriptive.< < Actually Brit quite a good dodge. Apart from the fact that I never said you actually defended fundamentalist bigotry, sometimes silence means it though. For clarity here is what I stated; "In short, a denunciation of the office of the Pope on the one hand and tacit defence?(certainly nothing that suggests otherwise) of fundamentalist Prods not wishing to meet him on the grounds of their religion." >>If the ambassador of Kuwait was an avowed anti-semite (just a random example) I would not expect the Israeli ambassador to meet him at a function.< < I'd agree with fundamentalist Prods if the Pope had said/done something comparable. however we seem to be lacking that. Unless the Pope has denied the long claimed genocide of Prods along the border, or supported ousting the Prods in Derry who have taken 50 years to gradually flee for their lives >>As a matter of protocol I don’t see why they couldn’t meet him and agree to disagree on religion.<< Maybe, but would that not be rude to a visitor? For the record I never accused you of anti-Irish racism or anti-Catholicism but recognised your views as valid. Please don't let this false premise be the focus of your replies to me.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Democratic

    I read you wrong, I initially thought you meant that the British monarch as head of the COE might be a problem. I realise you mean that the historical office of the pontiff is an issue.

    How so?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    fingers crossed that unionist politians welcome this development. no doubt there will be some eejits who protest but this is a good oppertunity to build community relations.

  • Democratic

    Ah Prionsa, I was only joking in the main as well you know – however the political antagonism between the Vatican and the members of the reformed churches in the UK, (including the British monarchy) Europe and Ireland has ran for centuries – we don’t really need to go into it…ex-communications, imprisonments, burnings at the stake etc, – denouncements as mere cults not in standing with the one true church.
    All water long under the bridge y’know – lol…
    Did you ever hear the rumour that the last Pope send a golden crucifix to Bobby Sands during the latter stages of his hunger strike as a sign of support – I always wondered if that was a loyalist urban myth or not….lol.
    Anyway enough of the banter the real answer to your question is both the Queen and the Pope represent heads of state (both unelected too you may say!)and each are massively important to each side here as you know as symbols of the office of what they represent. Hence my admittedly childish comment about you get the Shinners to welcome the Queen to Belfast as a gesture to Unionists and i’ll get the Prods to welcome his holiness to Armagh as a gesture of reconciliation to “themmuns” – In fact how about an arm-in-arm tandem stage appearance with U2 at the Belfast City Hall!
    Anyway obviously neither of us could do any such thing in reality but if Carlsberg did concerts…..

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “As a liberal, and a defender of freedom of religious practice and assembly, I would defend their right not to meet someone with whom they have major theological differences. If the ambassador of Kuwait was an avowed anti-semite (just a random example) I would not expect the Israeli ambassador to meet him at a function.”

    The very example you give contain biased leanings. You are indeed a ‘Protestant’ atheist!

  • Eddie

    Slug remarked earlier in this thread that Brian Walker’s accent appears to have changed since his broadcast commentary on the Pope’s visit to Ireland in ’79.

    True. That’s because Brian was a pretentious little chap then who thought he knew everything; whereas today, with the travails of life, he has matured and writes and speaks with maturity and authority.

  • Reader

    To summarise the discussion so far:
    Catholics and Unionists want him to visit NI this time round
    Protestants and Nationalists don’t.
    Republicans are wondering whether to treat him as an unelected head of state.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Democratic

    Sure we are having a friendly chat, doesn’t mean some of the stuff can’t be of worth though. Which it was even if you were not meaning it so.

    >>Pope represent heads of state (both unelected too you may say!)<< Technically the pontiff is elected, secret ballot, chimney smoke and all our hearts a flutter. Some of us anyway. Reader Wot fred ye readin?

  • Reader

    Prionsa Eoghain: Wot fred ye readin?
    This one:
    “Presumably most of them are relgious protestant Christians in which case they see the instution of the Pope a wrongheaded at the very least.”
    “I hope not, he can fuck off. You are welcome to him up north!”
    “A visit to Ireland would not be welcome if it in any way could be construed as a vindication of British occupation.”
    “if he is going to visit, it should be as part of a papal visit to Ireland”
    “though I doubt that an un-elected head of state would lower themselves to meet mere insurrectionist Republicans.”

  • WindsorRocker

    A visit by the Pope to Northern Ireland as part of a UK state visit should be welcomed by Unionists. What a symbolic recognition of their Britishness and a true gesture of reconciliation.

  • Archie P

    Folks….the Pope won’t visit Northern Ireland, unless he is invited to Ireland. A visit to the UK is a visit to GB, as he is visiting the church not the state, therefore he has to include a visit to Ireland before he will come to Armagh.

    In my opinion the Pope will visit three venues in GB, officiate at the Newman ceremony and address the joint Houses of Parliament.

  • ulsterfan

    As far as I remember opposition to the Popes visit in 1979 was based on the fact that as Head of State he did not advise the British Government of his wish to visit Armagh which is within the UK.
    By ignoring this protocol he assumed that the Authorities in Dublin were sufficient to sanction that part of the visit.
    In any case the murder of Mountbatten and the killing of paratroopers made the visit impossible.If Benedict acts properly he should be welcomed or at least tolerated.

  • Brian Walker

    Pete, I see Slugger commenters weren’t going to let a little thing like a Vatican denial to the Irish Times spoil the fun. However that doesn’t quite clinch the matter. The Indy and Daily Telegraph political editors all firmly include NI in the visit as does the BBC. Their reports come from their lobby journalists so this may be a case of Downing St counting their chickens or simply getting it wrong again. We shall see. Interestingly the Times, relying on their religious affairs as well as a political reporter also rule out a NI leg to the trip. Surprising that there should be any fumbling over this, as the Times reports that the details of the visit are being co-ordinated by the British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell, who hails from Newry. Perhaps the other journos didn’t have the Vatican press office phone number? Or maybe an Armagh visit really is in the balance?

  • Greenflag

    I don’t care whether he visits or not but if he does he should bring specially blessed bottles of magic sorry Holy Water to sell to devout Catholics at 20 pounds a bottle .

    The faithful should follow the instructions on the lable religiously . They need to be careful about sprinkling said magic water on protestants just to observe them sizzling and twitching and jerking from the effects of the holy liquid.

    Under no circumstances must the holy liquid be wasted – sprinkling on Pentecostalists or other fundamentalist sects . For these jerk and twitch and even speak in tongues unaided by the Pope’s holy liquid .

    Benny probably had it easier back in his Wehrmacht days . At least then he’d never heard of NI and it’s religious certainties.

  • Ulster McNulty

    ulsterfan

    “14.As far as I remember opposition to the Popes visit in 1979 was based on the fact that as Head of State he did not advise the British Government of his wish to visit Armagh which is within the UK.”

    Yeah, his papers weren’t in order, apart from that he was more than welcome to come and visit Armagh.

    “In any case the murder of Mountbatten and the killing of paratroopers made the visit impossible”

    Or to put it another way, loyalists made the visit impossible.

  • No Pope Here

    Absolutely no way should the Pope be tolerated in ANY of The Queen’s dominions. Her Majesty swore at her coronation to uphold the Protestant Settlement and propogate the preaching of the true gospel. Is she prepared to violate her solemn coronation oath. Totally disgusted that the Tories are supporting this visit, Cameron should heed Enoch Powell who argued against allowing the Popish visit in 1982 because, as he observed, in such circumstances the Queen could not be “on earth the supreme governor of the Church of England”. This papal aggression is an attack on the constitution and designed to elevate the Popish church to the Ascendancy. Yet the so called “Unionists” have not mentioned a word and clearly intent on appeasing the popish church. A disgrace.

  • yatchindayard

    Can I support the above poster by revealing that he’s a Jerry, as well.

  • As far as I remember opposition to the Popes visit in 1979 was based on the fact that as Head of State he did not advise the British Government of his wish to visit Armagh which is within the UK.

    Yes. Of course it was.

    If Benedict acts properly he should be welcomed or at least tolerated.

    Cor bless ya, squire!

  • LURIG

    The Pope has been invited, and accepted, an invite to the UK by Gordon Brown. He will go to London, Manchester or Liverpool, Birmingham and possibly Glasgow instead of Edinburgh this time. He will NOT come to the North as Ireland and the Irish Church is seen by Rome as totally different and it’s own constituency. A visit to the North without a reciprocal visit South would be seen as divisive and an insult to Catholics in the South. What could, and in my opinion, will happen is that Ireland will receive a Papal visit in 2012 to coincide with The Eucharistic Congress, the gathering of the World’s Lay Catholics. The last time this happened in Ireland was 1932 (I think) and is a big deal in the Catholic Church. How ANY Unionist or Protestant, could possibly object is beyond me. Nationalists have had to put up with visits from, in their opinion, a foreigh Monarch in Elizabeth II for decades. ONLY a total sectarian bigot and hateful fundamentalist could be annoyed. If there are large scale protests then that will confirm that indeed Unionists do have an apartheid mindset.

  • “Absolutely no way should Homer Simpson be tolerated in ANY of The Queen’s dominions. Her Majesty swore at her coronation to uphold the No-Homer Simpson article of faith and propogate the preaching of the true gospel. Is she prepared to violate her solemn coronation oath. Totally disgusted that the Tories are supporting this visit, Cameron should heed Enoch Powell who argued against allowing Abraham “Grandpa” Simpson’s visit in 1982 because, as he observed, in such circumstances the Queen could not be “on earth the supreme governor of the Church of England”. This Homer Simpson visit is an attack on the constitution and designed to elevate the Simpson family to the Ascendancy. Yet the so called “Unionists” have not mentioned a word and clearly intent on appeasing the Anti-Christ of Springfield. A disgrace.

    Posted by No Homer Simpson Here on Sep 24, 2009 @ 10:18 PM

  • little bobby

    “Nationalists have had to put up with visits from, in their opinion, a foreigh Monarch in Elizabeth II for decades”

    its a pity you couldnt put up with lord mountbatten isnt it

    personally i feel protests are legitimate and to be welcomed, after all his “church” has killed millions around the world, and sure look how the priests here moved guns for the ira, provided scouts and safe houses, not to mention claudy, and you think im bigoted to protest.Events like these could be the spark that reignites large scale unrest, and as such should not be tolerated, let him go where he is wanted, not where he will stir up trouble. i would like to see a large enough protest so that this offensive visit be cancelled, but sure afterwards we could go to confession and have our sins absolved …right ?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Reader

    None of those quotes back up your interpretation, and the last one was from me about the English monarch.

    NPH @ 10:18 PM

    Actually the lady you speak of in her anachronistic role to exclude many of her subjects/citizens is reputed to have bent the knee and kiss the ring(no, not his erse) at a visit to the Vatican some years ago.

    Lurig

    >>..possibly Glasgow instead of Edinburgh this time…<< My nephew(5 years younger than I) still talks of how him and I got pushed aside and trampled(literally) as the Popemobile passed our prime spot at the rail. Alas we got a fleeting look in the distance before the emotion of adult the crowd nearly killed us. Our family along with over 300,000 people were at Bellahouston park which is most definitely in Glesca. Is it safe to assume that there will be a qualified welcome then from Unionists? If so then perhaps we can attach some cliche, like 'a watershed' or 'a page turning' moment.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Wee Boabby

    Perhaps if the pope got a few thousand knuckledraggers with questionable outfits, hateful words put to music with banners commemorating the Huegenots massacres or the indiscriminate killings of 1641. Then perhaps you might have a case.

    If you are looking to protest against organisations that have killed millions, why wait for a papal visit? How is the bodycount from the imperialist wars going btw?

    >>..and you think im bigoted to protest…<< I can assure you the thought would never cross our minds.

  • Brit

    “The very example you give contain biased leanings. You are indeed a ‘Protestant’ atheist!”

    My Dads a Catholic athiest and My Mums a Church of England athiest. If I was to be religious I’d go Buddhist first, Hindu second. If I was to be monotheistic I go Jewish first (Reform obv.) then Christian then Muslim. If I was to be a Christian I’d probably be some sort of Prod – and my Scots family are / were of the Presbyterian leaning. Not sure that means I am a Protestant athiest but I’m certainly a Unionist athiest!

  • Prince Eunuch

    Prince

    “Perhaps if the pope got a few thousand knuckledraggers with questionable outfits, hateful words put to music with banners commemorating the Huegenots massacres or the indiscriminate killings of 1641. Then perhaps you might have a case.”

    no need, lets try this for 10 points

    1) IRA Priest bombs claudy

    Derry politician Ivan Cooper claimed that the IRA was involved in the attack and that a local Catholic priest, Father James Chesney, who died of cancer in 1980, was the leader of the attack.

    for a bouus point, have a butchers at this

    2) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article577994.ece

    additional reading

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/dec/22/northernireland

    of course the catholic church and the head os the Cosa Nostra the pope turned a blind eye, probably rewarded them tbh.

    then there are all the sicko priests who abused young boys…………..but thats another story

    its hard to see how any nationalists other than those heavily into S&M could welcome the pope.

    ps

    “If you are looking to protest against organisations that have killed millions, why wait for a papal visit? How is the bodycount from the imperialist wars going btw?”

    If you want a thread on the body count from imperial wars ask the admin to start one, otherwise keep on topic…..twat.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘If the pope does visit NI, will he contaminate the “protestant” land with all his roman catholic popishness, etc.. that’s in fundamental protestant eyes of course. ‘

    Not at all, sure it was catholic land long before the fat ginger king and his libido stuck their oar in. Indeed unionists are descended from catholics 😉
    However, as Brit says, supersition needs to go the way of the dodo. The Bible is a bestseller, nothing more. Religion can stop people demanding a better life in this world, thinking St Pete is waiting at the pearly ones with a lei for your neck…… opium indeed.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Wee Boabby now eunuch!?!?

    There seems to be a recurring thing here, do you have a thing aboot tadgers?

    >>then there are all the sicko priests who abused young boys…………..but thats another story

    its hard to see how any nationalists other than those heavily into S&M could welcome the pope.< < Definetly a sexual theme, although the homoeroticism is taking a decidedly unpleasant nature. >>twat.< < Good something I can get ma teeth intae! As I highlighted in your first contribution, if it was mass murderers, or those involved in terrorism that you were against why wait for the pope? Even if your accusations had merit it would be much easier to look closer to home to your own government. Also if it is child abusers that upsets you so and you wish to take issue with it why wait for the head of an organisation that has unfortunately attracted it's fair share of abusers. As you may well know it is not only organised religion that attracts such evil, a look closer to home again perhaps? http://tinyurl.com/yeo3har

    Your objections to any papal visit could indeed be considered valid. However I suspect you may be like the Glasgow brethren who became overnight environmentalists due to the cutting down of a few trees at Bellahouston to accomadate the papal visit. False flag objections? who’d argue against yours boabby!

  • Brit

    “sure it was catholic land long before the fat ginger king and his libido stuck their oar in. Indeed unionists are descended from catholics ;)”

    And pagan land before the imperialist meddling of that (Roman) Brit Patrick

  • RepublicanStones

    Ahh but the pagans converted (hence the patron saint), although a few catholics did take the soup, they didn’t amount to much.