Hatemongering in the name of God

“Viva il Papa!” the crowd cheered rapturously, as Pope Benedict XVI clambered back onto two feet. The pinnacle of the Catholic religion, and one of the most powerful and influential men in the world, had been sent to the ground by a woman dressed in a red sweater just a few hours before delivering his Christmas Day message. Having burst through barriers guarded by stern-faced Vaticanites, Susanna Maiolo had pounced on His Holiness, and was subsequently dispatched to a psychiatric centre to seek help. It’s an astonishing act of iconoclasm, albeit from a mentally unstable woman. But irrespective of Maiolo’s intentions, there is something undeniably powerful about the image of a toppling pontiff. It reminds us that he is a man after all, and not just an icon. Even so, people are still afraid to speak out against his more objectionable ideas. My question is simple: why should Joseph Ratzinger …