Outrageous!

I just read about this on  Mac’s Blog and want to bring it to your attention here also. Last Wednesday the Holy Father was depicted in a cartoon, printed in The Times newspaper, wearing a condom for a hat. This is an absolute outrage and i am  utterly disgusted, as i am sure many, many Catholics will be throughout the world.

I strenuously urge you to stop what you are doing and express your disgust at the cartoon being printed. Mac has kindly done all of the legwork and provided us in her post, with  all the necessary email addresses to email our complaints to  and  she has also linked to the Press Complaints Commission online complaint form. I will give you all those email addresses here in case you are pushed for time, but want to register a complaint:

So here are those email addresses:

The Editor : online.editor@timesonline.co.uk

The Editorial Department of Home News : home.news@thetimes.co.uk

The Editorial Department of Foreign News : foreign.news@thetimes.co.uk

Click this  Link to go to the Press Complaint Commissions Online Complaint Form

Just in case you  are so angry that you don’t now what to write, here is what i wrote in my emails, rather hastily, i might add:

To the Editor of The Times Newspaper,

I am contacting you to express my absolute disgust at your allowing a cartoon depicting the Holy Father, wearing a condom for a hat, to go to press. When a cartoon was printed in the Times depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a way which was offensive to Muslims, it caused outrage amongst Muslims worldwide and an apology was printed in your newspaper. Nothing less will be accepted by the Catholics of this country, and the world. It is a sad day when the press fear a muslim backlash due to printing offensive material pertaining to the religion they practice and their ‘god’, but that not a single strand of  sensitivity can be given to the worlds fasted growing and largest Church on the planet, all the people of the church and of course, to it’s visible ‘head’ on earth, the Holy Father.

As there are 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, i would imagine you must know that you are alienating, distressing and offending an enormous amount of Catholics worldwide and, it must be said, a significant amount of your readership, presumably. My only understanding, is that you simply do not care about offending Catholics. There can not be any other expanation.

I will be emailing the Press Complaints Commision, as you clearly breach the Code of Practice, in printing the cartoon:

Section 12 (i):

Discrimination

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

Sincerely

D. A. Scalise

and here is what i wrote on the online compliants form, slightly tweaked from above:

“I am contacting you to express my absolute disgust at The Times allowing a cartoon depicting the Holy Father, wearing a condom for a hat, to go to press. When a cartoon was printed in the Times depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a way which was offensive to Muslims, it caused outrage amongst Muslims worldwide and an apology was printed in the newspaper. Nothing less will be accepted by the Catholics of this country, and the world. It is a sad day when the press fear a muslim backlash due to printing offensive material pertaining to the religion they practice and their ‘god’, but that not a single strand of  sensitivity can be given to the worlds fasted growing and largest Church on the planet, all the people of the church and of course, to it’s visible ‘head’ on earth, the Holy Father.

As there are 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, they are alienating, distressing and offending an enormous amount of Catholics worldwide. My only understanding, is that The Times do not care about offending Catholics. There can not be any other expanation.
The cartoon clearly breaches the Code of Practice;

Section 12 (i):

Discrimination

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

Here is a further link in which Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor responded to this outrageous depiction of the Pope:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article5940698.ece”

Sincerely

D. A. Scalise

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9 Responses to Outrageous!

  1. Therese says:

    sick. They mock our Holy Father the way Jesus was mocked. Really the msm is going to answer one day for their mocking and misrepresentation of the truth.

  2. Holly says:

    You missed the most important part- the pin in the top of the condom! 😛

    I think there are two big differences between this cartoon and a cartoon of Mohammed.
    1. Muslims consider all depictions of Mohammed to be inherently offensive.
    2. The Muslim backlash was considered by most people (at least as far as I am concerned with anecdotal evidence and online polls) to be extremely overblown and out of keeping with the freedom of speech and press that the Western world values. The apologies had nothing to do with sensitivity, it had to do with fear- fear of violence, not of backlash.

    As for the discrimination thing, it’s tricky. The cartoon (as I interpreted it) was a criticism of the public opinions voiced by Benedict in his position as leader of the Catholic Church. A cartoon criticising Obama isn’t criticising the office of POTUS, or of politics in general, but of the words and actions of the man in the position of President.
    Yes, Benedict’s opinions are consistent with Catholicism, but that doesn’t mean that makes it immune from criticism. That’s like saying that I can’t call Tom Cruise a brainwashed dope for believing we have alien spirits in us that can be exorcised by mild electric currants because that is discrimation against Scientologists.

  3. ukok says:

    Holly, glad you dropped by 🙂

    I think the cartoons that have recently appeared depicting the Pope, have been entirely to do with ridiculing the Holy Father, who Catholics believe is Christ’s leader and most prominant representative on earth. We believe he is a successor of St. Peter and therefore should not become the subject of ridicule. Newspapers are all to often given free reign, they just don;t like having to ‘suck it up’ when they have overstepped the boundaries, hopefully enough people will complain to enable the broadcasting complaints authority to request a formal apology.

  4. Holly says:

    I certainly respect your right to feel offended, but I think these criticisms are entirely about what he *said*, not what he *is*, and that is the fundamental difference between discrimination and criticism.

    If such a cartoon appeared the day Benedict was appointed just because he was now pope, then that would be outright bigotry.

    Not that I really want to defend the cartoon, I just want to defend the right of anyone to criticise anyone else’s words and opinions. The cartoon itself seems kind of lame to me. What specifically are they trying to say beyond the immediate juvenile amusement of seeing a giant condom on someone’s head?

    The only reading I can get of it is that maybe the cartoonist is suggesting that the pope’s comments are wrong because he cannot possibly understand human sexuality as he has lived a life of celibacy- trying to show his complete ignorance by putting a condom on his head rather than putting it to proper use?

  5. Therese says:

    Why do you believe a celibate person doesn’t understand sexuality Holly?

    Does someone have to be sexually active to understand human sexuality?

  6. Holly says:

    Yep, pretty much.

    Okay, that might be a little unfair. But when it comes to people of the Pope’s generation, they entered seminary quite young. I don’t know the specifics about Benedict, but I do know that being 13 or 14 wasn’t unheard of. You go from childhood to a very intense religious lifestyle, and yet you are meant to fully understand the way that the average person develops a sexual identity and sexual relationships with others?

    What the Pope and any other abstinence-only supporter needs to realize is this – people have sex. There it is. Bottom line. This may make them bad people or bad Christians or whatever, but our biological urges don’t care about Jesus.

    They need to stop looking at the situation through their “this is how it SHOULD be” filter and start dealing with how it IS. People have sex. You can threaten them with hellfire and brimstone and some sort of social stigma for doing “it” but it really isn’t going to stop everyone from having sex.

    Yes some people will abstain, but just because you may be able to point to your own experiences or express your pride for your neice and her fiance saving their first kiss for their wedding day but that doesn’t change the reality that 95% of people will choose to have premarital sex.

    So people should stop talking about how you think things should be and deal with how things are. The nuns who work with people in Africa and other places and have to deal with the AIDS problem should be able to deal with it from a medical standpoint, not a religious one. You can allow them to lecture people for hours about how they are awful dirty people, but they still should be able to hand them a condom at the end of the lecture. Because guess what – the lecture is not going to stop everyone. And the 9 out of 10 people it doesn’t stop don’t deserve to die because of their choice, no matter what a religion says about sex.

  7. Therese says:

    so Holly,

    following your line of reasoning, does someone need to be celibate to understand how a celibate person thinks?

  8. ukok says:

    Holly, here is the way i see things….i see things as a Catholic, a Catholic who doesn’t compartmentalise her Catholicism to make it bend around me. I believe the Pope speaks authoriatively and i believe that he is a holy man. To ridicule the Holy Father , well actually it is mocking him…to mock the Holy Father by depicting him in cartoon form wearing a condom on his head, is childish, irresponsible and offensive to all who believe the Pope is a good and holy man who speaks authoritatively on matters of faith and morals. The latter of which this matter is pertaining to.

    I don’t really want to have a discussion about condoms here because i haven’t got enough time to do that right now, but there are some excellent resources online that are informative on this topic.

    Just to say breifly though, the Catholic Faith teaches that if we were all responsible, taking ‘precautions’ wouldn’t be associated with contraception….if we were all truly responsible for our actions (and loved one another as Christ loves us), we would prize our sexuality, guard our sexuality….this is not to say that we would not be tempted. The Pope knows tempatations, he understands the temptations of the flesh…perhaps even more so than ourselves?

    The fact remains that if sexual activity were only practiced in the context of marriage and if spouses were monogomous…and if single men and women practised chastity and continence there would not be the enormous amount of suffering due to sexually transmitted disease and Aids Immune Deficiency Syndrome etc.

    Throwing condoms at the problem merely reinforces the mentality that sexual immorality is acceptable.

    Therese, great comments!

  9. Holly says:

    Therese: Of course!

    Ukok: Your comments kind of reinforce what I was trying to say, though I understand why you feel this way. Yes, if people were monogamous there would be no spreading of AIDS (well, except for the people born with the virus or who catch it from it from other sources). Yes, the dispensal of condoms allows people more safety in being promiscuous.

    But I think for myself and most left-wing people, we see it as very simple equation of AIDS existing and people having sex. People always have sex. Western statistics show that being religious doesn’t increase your liklihood of waiting to marriage, it just delays the average age at which you lose your virginity. People have premarital sex in countries where the punishment, if caught, is to be stoned to death. People have premarital sex in countries where 1 in 7 people are infected with HIV.
    It happens, this is the reality. And yes, we should try to stop it, but in the meantime to deny the usefulness of condoms in dramatically lessening the spread of AIDS is to show a total lack of compassion and regard to human life.

    That was why people were outraged by the Pope’s comments. A man who is head of a church that calls itself pro-life showed such disregard for reality and disregard for human life.
    Sin should not be punished with death. By all means be idealistic about people making perfect choices, but in the meantime deal with the reality because people are dying.

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