THE MISSION statement of a crackpot Catholic outfit called Protect the Pope says its aim is to:
Counter the lies, half-truths and misrepresentations of a coalition of aggressive secularists, atheists and homosexual activists.
And boy, have they been busy this week! They first vented their spleen on a high-street chain of sandwich shops for launching a new brand – Virgin Mary crisps – then the National Secular Society for having the temerity to complain about discriminatory employment guidelines issued by the Bishops Conference.
Deacon Nick Donnelly complained yesterday:
The National Secular Society, led by the homosexuals Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous-Wood, are attempting to interfere with the freedom of the Catholic Church to run our schools according to our beliefs.
And he pointed out that Michael Gove, the Education Minister:
Has rejected calls from the National Secular Society to intervene in response to the Bishops Conference issuing guidance about disciplinary action to be taken in the event of senior teachers being unchaste or being apostate.
The NSS is calling for the law to be changed that allows faith school teachers to be disciplined or dismissed for conduct that is incompatible with the school’s religion. ‘We are concerned that such a harsh and unfair law drives a coach and horses through equality legislation and leaves teachers, paid using public money, uniquely vulnerable to discrimination’.
At present Catholic schools have the right to appoint Catholics to senior positions in our schools, such as Heads, Deputy Heads, Head of RE, and other leadership posts.
Our schools also have the right to insist that teachers abide by the moral teachings of the Church. The National Secular Society is seeking to remove our rights to run our schools according to our faith.
The National Secular Society is a tiny organisation with a small membership, but it has an influence way beyond its insignificance. They appear to be well-funded, and they obviously have friends in high-places, such as the BBC and the European Commission, that bastion of secularism.
Earlier, Donnelly was crowing over the fact that PTP had forced Pret A Manger to withdraw the “offensive” Virgin Mary crisps.
He claimed that Pret A Manger has contacted Protect the Pope to say that CEO Clive Schlee had decided to remove this brand immediately from their outlets.
Pret A Manger has apologised for any unintentional offence they have caused and have indicted that they will give any unsold crisps to the homeless. Clive Schlee has admitted to a reader of Protect the Pope that taking this brand of crisps off their shelves will cost them quite a bit of money but ‘good businesses listen and react quickly’.
Clive Schlee and Pret A Manger deserve our unreserved thanks for listening to our concerns as Catholics and for acting so quickly to remove the brand of crisps. It seems fitting that Pret A Manger are planning to give any unsold crisps to the homeless.
Thanks also to the readers of Protect the Pope for contacting Pret A Manger to express their concerns. God bless you all for your passion and desire to stand up for our Catholic faith. I’d like to express my special thanks to the reader of Protect the Pope who first brought this news to our attention, but wants to remain anonymous.
One of the things we need to go away and think about is what this incident tells us about how we defend our faith in the future. We’ve been passive for too long in the face of mockery of our faith and discrimination against us as Catholics. We can change things!
According to this report, Schlee said:
It happens that I am a Catholic. I have examined my conscience about the naming of our crisps. The term Virgin Mary is widely used in the market today to describe a well known cocktail: a tomato juice with Worcester sauce and without vodka.
I have consulted a lot of people in our office about this and that is what they all think of when they see our crisps packet. Please, please don’t take offence. None is intended.
Andy Brown, Agent Cormac and BarrieJohn (Virgin Mary report).