One of Pope Benedict XVI’s senior advisors has caused an embarrassment for the Vatican on the eve of an already contentious visit to Britain, calling England a place of “aggressive neo-atheism” and describing it as “a Third World country”.
The Vatican immediately tried to patch over the comments by suggesting that his meaning had been misinterpreted. But in the UK, where the pope’s visit faces widespread public opposition, the cardinal’s comments worsened the outlook for Benedict XVI’s tour, due to start on Thursday. Anti-pope demonstrations are planned throughout Britain.
Date created : 2010-09-15