It has been arranged for some time that the Pope, Benedict the XVI, will visit Scotland in September.
Now, after a silly youngster in the Foreign Office recorded all suggestions of a brainstorming session entitled: 'The Ideal Visit should see', the Vatican are threatening to cancel the visit.
This is the full content of The Ideal Visit should see memo:
Launch of Benedict condoms
Review of Vatican attitude on condom use
Bless a civil partnership
Reversal of policy on women bishops/ ordain women
Open an abortion ward
Speech on equality
Statement on views over adoption (change of stance
Training course for all bishops on child abuse allegations
Harder line on child abuse - announce sacking of dodgy bishops
Vatican sponsorship for network of AIDS clinics
Meet young unemployed people
Apologise for ...
Canonise/pseudo canonise a group
Announce whistle blowing system for child abuse cases
Go to job centre
Debate on abortion
All catholic school should be free entry to all
Speech on democracy
Vatican and C of E funded committee on Dialogue
Launch helpline for abused children
It is understandable why the Vatican, or anyone of the Roman Catholic religion would be taken aback by some of the ideas, but to take offence to the degree of considering cancelling the event is an overreaction. Many will be looking forward to this visit yet some Roman Catholics are still bewildered as to why no one in the Vatican took serious action against priests who interfered with children.
The taxpayers are paying for this visit, not the Vatican which, as we all know, is the wealthiest business in the world.
I should like to think a few of the hundreds of robed men who inhabit the palatial buildings around St Peter's Square had a bit of a chuckle at the whole list. If not they should get out more. As for the Vatican and the threats of being so grossly offended, I suggest some pray for a sense of humour - it's a splendid characteristic.
A message to the silly civil servant - beware, the Righteous are out to get anyone who doesn't follow their rules.