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article imagePope has sights set on defeating secularism in the West

By Andrew John     Jul 1, 2010 in World
Pope Benedict has his sights set on defeating Western secularism as he reshuffles bureaucracy in the Vatican. The Pope has been embroiled in the sex scandal involving Catholic priests, and has made a priority of reinvigorating the faith in Europe.
The new appointments come as the Pope prepares for his annual vacation in his retreat, Castel Galdolfo.
An Associated Press report says: “Benedict tapped a trusted Italian, Monsignor Rino Fisichella, to head the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which is designed to reinvigorate Christianity in the parts of the world where it is falling by the wayside.”
The Pope has also named a Canadian cardinal, Marc Ouellet, to head the Congregation for Bishops, which has the power to vet nominations for bishops worldwide.
Pope Benedict has the UK among his destinations after his vacation, where campaigners are angered by the cost of what will be a state visit, as opposed to a pastoral one. Most of the cost will be borne by the taxpayer.
Both the projected cost of the visit – which could reach £20 million, plus security expenses to be met out of police forces’ existing funds – and the sex scandal have infuriated campaign groups so much that there have been demonstrations declaring that Benedict is not welcome in Britain.
Protest the Pope
And two noted atheist authors, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, have thrown their weight behind a legal move to have the Pope arrested for crimes against humanity when he arrives in the UK in September, because of his alleged cover-up of priestly child sex abuse.
A growing organization called Protest the Pope is among the chief campaigners, and has been organizing events in the UK against Benedict’s visit. “The Pope opposes universal equality and human rights,” the group says on its website. “He should not be accorded the honour and recognition of a state visit to our country.
“Join the chorus of protest saying: ‘No! The Pope is not welcome!’”
The group is calling on people to join it in its campaigning, saying: “If you believe, as we do, that the Pope should not come to the UK without hearing from the millions of people who reject his harsh, intolerant views and the practices and policies of the Vatican State please get involved.”
Street parties
Protest the Pope will be at London’s huge Gay Pride event on Saturday, taking part in the main parade as a walking group.
“We need volunteers to walk with us, hand out stickers and fliers and generally have a great day protesting against the State visit of the Pope and standing up for those who have been affected by the Vatican’s anti-gay policies!” the group says.
“The parade will assemble from about noon in central London and will be over by about 4 p.m. It will be followed by events in Trafalgar Square and street parties in Soho.”
The group’s call comes as the religious think tank Ekklesia reports on findings that show that more Christians – even Catholics and evangelicals – are declaring themselves proud to be gay.
More about Pope Benedict, Secularism, Gay pride, LGBT, Glbt
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