So Cardinal Walter Kaspar won’t be joining his boss, Pope Rat, on his visit to Britain. Fair enough. Apparently Kaspar has upset a few people by saying “when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country”. Yeah, I’ve felt like that before; Heathrow is a dump and there are times when I think Britain isn’t the modern country that it could be. But then, who is the Cardinal to lecture any of us on the subject of modernity when he represents an institution that is far from modern?
The Cardinal says that he “didn’t mean to cause offence”. Sure, you just tell it like it is. Apparently the Vatican has said that Kaspar won’t be joining Rat because he’s “ill”.
Vatican sources said Cardinal Kasper – who stepped down in July as the head of the department that deals with other Christian denominations – was suffering from gout and had been advised by his doctors not to travel to the UK.
Gout eh? Maybe he should lay off the rich food and the drink.
Britain is also, according to the Cardinal, “aggressively atheist”. The Daily Telegraph says,
Cardinal Kasper said Christians in Britain suffered discrimination, “above all by an aggressive new atheism. If you wear a cross on British Airways, you are discriminated against.”
He’s referring here to the case of a woman who was told not to wear a cross while on duty (and in uniform) and subsequently lost her claim for discrimination. As The Guardian explains this isn’t the first time Kaspar has been in hot water.
Last year, after the pope lifted the excommunication of an ultra-traditional British bishop who had questioned the extent of the Holocaust, Kasper raised eyebrows in the Vatican with an outspoken interview in which he criticised a lack of consultation and said there had been “misunderstandings and management errors” in the papal bureaucracy.
Heathrow is a crappy airport and I hate having to use the place. I can’t think of anyone who likes going there. Terminal 5 is fine but it’s only good if you’re a British Airways passenger but the rest of the airport is, well, yes, a holy mess.