Christmas time. Goodwill to all men. Peace and happiness abounds. And then the Pope comes along and spreads a little nastiness around. I listened to the reports on the news of his speech comparing the threat of homosexuality and trans-sexuality to the threat of environmental destruction of the rain forests with mounting anger.
It seems that this Pope is far less concerned with the very real threats of world hunger, war and the general shittyness of the planet than he is with the prospect of who you're having sex with. And this isn't one of those where the apologists can start wriggling around trying to explain away his words, telling us that Catholic doctrine tells us homosexuality is not a sin, just homosexual acts and The Pontiff himself seemed to deliberately keep his words as wooly as possible but all that means is that it's an attack on all gay and trans people around the world. And that means he's attacking some of our dear friends. All of the news reports concentrated on how angry he'd managed to make Gay Rights groups. But if you're anything like me, you'll be fuming as well. He's managed to offend millions of right thinking people around the world with his close-minded backward views.
Worse for me is the fact that both Louise and Molly are Catholic. Louise is old enough and smart enough to realise the ridiculousness and mean-spiritedness of his words and Molly really hasn't bothered to listen to it, since she's busy getting excited about the mythical old bloke coming down the chimney laden with presents.
Of course, at the moment God and Santa, together with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are all equally real to her. And now, more than ever before, I'm determined that they're all going to become equally fictional to her in time. There's no place in Bruton mansions for the hideous close-mindedness of the Catholic Church. The Pope's statement on homosexuality doesn't directly affect us but it does mean that several of our friends, who Molly loves dearly, are now considered far more dangerous than global warming. Try explaining that to a child.
Far easier to simply explain that the Catholic Church is a backward, evil organisation that belongs in some prior, less enlightened century and has no place in the world today. Because that's what I'll be doing when she starts asking about it.