Anyone who has read the Guardian or visited its website website will know that it is indulging in an astonishing amount of anti Catholic rhetoric in connection with the state visit of Pope Benedict. I have been genuinely shocked at the degree of intolerance and group-think amongst much of the British liberal intelligentsia, egged on by the Guardian in particular.
Anyway, the Pope's visit has so far gone off much more successfully than predicted by the Guardian, and this perhaps explains a particularly spiteful and snarly editorial in today's paper. Amongst the invective, it drops this outrageous clanger:
You might expect to see this sort of gross distortion of Ireland's role in WW2 amongst the more right-wing elements of the Telegraph or the Mail, but the Guardian generally has a decent understanding of recent Irish history for a British publication. Can this mistake by dismissed as the result of some over-excited rhetoric, or does it represent what the British genuinely believe about De Valera in WW2?However, Pope Benedict went on to say exactly that, lambasting atheist extremism and aggressive secularism, and ruing the damage the exclusion of God had done to public life in the last century. This, too, had to be parsed. It turned out that he was talking about the Nazis, not Richard Dawkins – although there were problems with that thesis too. What about pro-German De Valera, or Spain, Croatia and Slovakia, where the Catholic church was pro-Nazi?