Pope worry for 'Protestant Taliban'
"Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Exodus Ch.3, v.5
You know the rules. All of us who live in this great wee place are entitled to civil and religious liberty provided we stick to the rules. It's real Protestants (not the wishy-washy ones like me) who make the rules and the rest of us can either like them or lump them. At least that's they way it worked back in the 'good' old days. Now it seems some groups are finding it difficult to come to terms with the reality that things have changed.
The Evangelical Protestant Society last week called on "Protestant politicians" to follow the 'lead' of Mid Ulster Assemblyman Ian McCrea. He called on the Pope not to come here. Considering Ian Paisley met Archbishop Dr Sen Brady back in October 2006, it seems that some hardline Protestants, although not Mr McCrea, have toned down their opposition to the Pope and the Catholic Church. But there's still some of the old spirit around. Ian McCrea is the son of veteran gospel singing clergyman, Willie McCrea.
It seems Catholics are entitled to civil and religious liberty so long as they don't annoy the Evangelical Protestant Society.
But there's good news and bad news for Ian McCrea and his ilk. The good news is that there's no need for them to panic. Pope Benedict XVI is unlikely to visit the north of Ireland during a visit to the United Kingdom as distinct from during a visit to Ireland. For him to do so would be remarkably insensitive.
The bad news is that the Pope is expected to stay at Buckingham Palace. According to informants quoted in The Catholic Herald his hostess, Queen Elizabeth has "grown increasingly sympathetic" to the Catholic Church. They also reported that the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is "also said to have an affinity with the Holy Father, who is of her generation". It must be a worry for the Protestant Taliban here in the last outpost of the true faith on earth. It's still a case of "No Pope here" as the old graffiti used to say. I liked the one in Portadown where some wag added the line, "Lucky Pope!"
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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