Seriously, this goes beyond veiled bigotry. It's an incitement to extremism and flouting of the law, and stops just before becoming legally classifiable as religious hate speech. Let's have a look at the more in-depth crap, one quote at a time, to see just how many big piles of moral Wrong we can spot.
"I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance."
A shaky start. This isn't morally wrong, it's just a fading old despot's regret that the populace in general is becoming increasingly immune to his bullshit one generation at a time. C'mon, Benny, you can do better.
"There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience."
Ahhh, now we get down to it. First of all, there ARE those who would advocate purely private religion - but there are those who would advocate that people avoid eating any animal product ever, too, and they're hardly a fucking threat to the hamburger industry. Like the followup about no one celebrating Christmas in case people get offended, the avoidance of people praying together is just a fringe view espoused by people who don't know much about how people work.
It's that last sentence that contains the big Wrong, though. 'Acting against their conscience' in the name of eliminating discrimination means that acting with their conscience involves discriminating against someone. It's not an unreasonable logical conclusion that Ratzi is referring here to equality laws, particularly involving women and gay people. But if treating people fairly involves acting against your conscience, you're a FUCKING BIGOT.
Let's blockquote the next bit from the Guardian's report, as they cover it nicely already:
Pope Benedict praised Britain as a "pluralist democracy which places great value on freedom of speech, freedom of political affiliation and respect for the rule of law, with a strong sense of the individual's rights and duties, and of the equality of all citizens before the law".
In a passage that will doubtless have come as a surprise to some in his audience, the pope added: "While couched in different language, Catholic social teaching has much in common with this approach, in its overriding concern to safeguard the unique dignity of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and in its emphasis on the duty of civil authority to foster the common good."
All together now: WRONG.
Let's ignore the flattery and focus on how this effectively pans out: he's calling the Catholic church pluralist (which would be true if women and gay people didn't exist, and if it didn't have a history of setting fire to people who asked awkward questions, or were from the wrong country, or were just handy scapegoats), that it prioritises the dignity of every human in the world (which would be true if every human in the world were a priest) and that it puts the good of the people in the hands of civil authority (which would be true if he didn't keep protesting against the civil authorities doing their jobs when children get raped by his employees). So far, so sickening. Any more?
"The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions throughout the world."
I wonder if Benny medically cannot see gold. It's the only reason I can think of for his larynx not climbing up his neck and punching his brain to death rather than have to say that sentence. That old fart is in charge of the single most grasping, greedy, selfish, covetous and unbelievably fucking RICH organisation on the face of this planet. And he wants to scold other people for a lack of ethics in their financial dealings. It's odd that the one thing I can admire about this staggeringly worthless human being is his ability to come up with this shit and not die of shame.
More blockquotes, 'cause it's easier to get this to make sense:
Earlier the pope travelled from Lambeth Palace in the popemobile. At the ecumenical service at Lambeth, he and the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams acknowledged there was unlikely to be unity between their churches, saying "challenges" were thwarting this goal. Both conceded that issues such as gay and women clergy were too great to resolve.
Yeah, it's damn difficult acting like a reasonable fucking human being sometimes.
However, he did sound a warning to those Christians more inclined to be liberal and said that equality should never trump fidelity to the faith. "We recognise that the church is called to be inclusive, yet never at the expense of Christian truth."
Equality should never trump fidelity to the faith, meaning Catholic rules should not come second to actual laws concerning human rights. Another big fucking heap of Wrong here, guys. In fact it's the same Wrong as earlier with that shit about Christians being forced to act against their consciences in the name of eliminating discrimination (damn those evil gays and those women who don't know when to shut up and stay in a groove between kitchen and bedroom, with their wider definition of love and their breasts and their impertinent demand to be treated like human beings). This time, Ratzi's tracked his Wrong in from the garden and deposited a lump of it on the carpet, like a dog who shits in just the right spot to make you wonder whether he knows what he's doing and just hates the rug.
Come to think of it, taking a priest to a vet and getting the bugger's balls taken off upon ordination might help the church's PR image slightly. It's hard to see what could make it worse.