After the nightmarishly enjoyable drama that’s been ensuing in the comments thread below yesterday’s post (1,600 pageviews, 59 comments and counting), I thought I’d lighten the mood with a little joke.
What’s better than feeding starving people in the third world?
Paying the costs of travel and accommodation when an accessory to institutional child abuse and his massive team of personal security come to visit!
… Hmm. The mood doesn’t feel very lightened.
Yes, news is emerging that the Department for International Development transferred £1.85 million to the Foreign Office last September, to fund the visit from His Popiness, Joey Ratzo.
The visit ended up costing taxpayers around £10 million total, which is bad enough, but it does seem to only make it horribly worse that some of that money was diverted from foreign aid.
The defense offered by a spokesperson for the department included the phrase:
Our contribution recognised the Catholic Church’s role as a major provider of health and education services in developing countries.
Which should elicit some severe head-desking from anyone passingly familiar with the Church’s stance historically on, to pick a totally non-random example, the role of condoms in preventing the spread of AIDS.
Certainly not everything the Catholic Church does in its attempts to provide health and education is evil, or even misguided. There’s no doubt been some good work there, in amidst the terrible stuff which tends to get wider publicity. But the good stuff isn’t anything that couldn’t also be done by legitimate apolitical organisations with a much better track record.
That’ll do. Maybe I’m just too tired to get very angry about this tonight.
h/t New Humanist