Protect the Pope launches an attack on the NSS …. and Virgin Mary crisps

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’.

Donnelly added:

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’.

Commented Donnelly:

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).

44 responses to “Protect the Pope launches an attack on the NSS …. and Virgin Mary crisps”

  1. barriejohn says:

    This is virgin on the ridiculous!

  2. David Lawson says:

    I would have expected more from the CEO of a large company such as Pret A Manger. What a coward.

    I myself will no longer go there as his blatant groveling is offensive to me.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Do the crisps have an IMAGE of the Blessed Virgin Mary on them?

    “None authentic without this image”.

  4. John A says:

    President Clinton and the Pope died on the same day, and due to an administrative foul up, Clinton was sent to heaven and the Pope gets sent to hell. The Pope explained the situation to the devil, he checked out all of the paperwork, and the error was acknowledged. The Pope was told, however, that it would take about 24 hours to fix the problem and correct the error. The next day, the Pope was called in and the devil said his good-bye as he went off to heaven. On his way up, he met Clinton who was on his way down, and they stopped to chat.
    Pope: “Sorry about the mix up.”
    President Clinton: “No problem.”
    Pope: “Well, I’m really excited about going to heaven.”
    President Clinton: “Why’s that? It’s not that great.”
    Pope: “All my life I’ve wanted to meet the Virgin Mary.”
    President Clinton: “Sorry your Holiness, You’re a day late.”

  5. David Anderson says:

    Seems to me that the last person on earth who needs protecting is the rat scumbag in the Vatican. Perhaps these people should spend a bit more time protecting the kids unfortunate enough to have been indoctrinated into this foul church.

  6. David Lawson says:

    It looks like the move could cost Pret dearly, going by the comments on their Facebook page 🙂

  7. charlie says:

    Just what “morality” do these Catholics want maintained by the school employees? The kiddie rape one or some other “vision” from their Invisible Magic Friend? Inquiring minds want to know.

  8. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Irrespective of the stupidity of religion. Naming crisps with that. Thats economically stupid.

    But what flavour were they? RCC salted or crispy bacon?

  9. David Anderson says:

    @ROAS. And were they cooked in virgin oil?

  10. remigius says:

    RoaS. With a name like Virgin Mary I would expect them to be tomato flavour, like wot is on’t packet.

  11. Broga says:

    Great to know that the NSS has so much influence and so many friends in high places: BBC, European Union etc. I would never have guessed. What the targeting of the NSS demonstrates is their fear of secular opinion. I note in the “Freethinker” that Eric Pickles has had a whine about the “assaults of aggressive secularists.”

    Pickles, is a strange character, who seems to have delusions of power always takes the view that if he doesn’t like something he will change the law, society and human nature to bring what he doesn’t like into accord with what he does like. What he doesn’t seem to realise is that most people don’t give a toss what he likes or dislikes and a great many have never heard of him. Dave needs to give Pickles a reality check.

  12. RabbitOnAStick says:

    David Anderson i also wonder if the T in Pret is silent.
    Making that well know religious belief request action to the great sky potato.

  13. Bubblecar says:

    >The National Secular Society, led by the homosexuals Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous-Wood<

    Fair enough, but what about the Pope? Is he/she heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, paedophile or something else? How can anyone tell?

    Is the Catholic Church willing to reveal the sexual orientation of its Führer?

  14. Colin says:

    Perhaps we should start referring to people like the Deacon and Mr Pickles as aggressive or militant sectarians.

    I am sure that they will totally miss the point and bleat about being lumped in with the IRA.

  15. AgentCormac says:

    Protect The Pope is a particularly silly website where the shrill little voices of persecuted catholics can be heard constantly whining about the perceived secular onslaught. So I’m not surprised that Donnelly has got his knickers in a twist about the NSS having a go, or about the name of a packet of crisps. As far as he’s concerned the RCC is above the law and above reproach. Pathetic little twat.

  16. Stonyground says:

    I can never get my head around the Catholic idea that they should be given free range to discriminate against whomsoever they wish and that any attempt to prevent them from doing so is discrimination against them. The willful blindness needed to claim that discrimination is good when they do it, but bad when they perceive that it is being done to them, is quite impressive.

    As for the schools in question, reluctant to abide by civilised society’s rules but happy to take the money.

  17. Barry Duke says:

    Last week I was reading the Spanish instructions on the back of a packet of tomato soup and was amazed to find a recipe for Bloody Mary soup (“Bloody Mary” being the only words in English).

    Instead of just simmmering the contents for 10 minutes in a litre of water, you add Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, plus a liberal measure of vodka.

    I tried it. Bloody marvellous (hic)! No more sopa de Virgin Mary in this household ever again.

  18. Barry Duke says:

    Oh dear, Pret a Manger is getting a bloody good seeing to on Facebook:

  19. Trevor Blake says:

    It is unnecessary to tell lies about the Roman Catholic Church. The damning fact that from the top down it is an international child rape ring is known to anyone who wants to read the Church’s own documents on the matter.

    Here’s the reason the Diocese of Lancaster (the group behind Protect the Pope) is concerned: “The diocese of Lancaster is forecast to lose half of its 108 parishes in the next 10 years.” That’s dozens of Churches closed. It isn’t secularists, atheists or homosexuals making that happen (although we try, we try). It’s the international child rape ring tearing itself apart.

  20. Glenn says:

    This whole thing is starting to smell a bit fishy to me… Curious also that they were advertised as suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans… “Our Spicy Virgin Mary crisps are flavoured with Worcestershire Sauce…”. Worcestershire Sauce isn’t vegetarian, it contains Anchovies.

  21. lucy 1 says:

    The reponses I read on the Protect the Pope site were not uniformly supportive. ‘get a life’ was the theme.

  22. Stuart H. says:

    ‘The National Secular Society, led by the homosexuals Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous-Wood,’…………

    OOHHH, put away those claws, NOW!!!!

    Also, pot, kettle and black, I would have thought in the case of the Catholic Church.

  23. Barry Duke says:

    One percent vodka, Remigius? They’re having a laugh!

  24. remigius says:

    You could always add a little toppy-uppy to your beans, Barry.

  25. Barry Duke says:

    Farting drunk? I’ll pass on that one. I don’t even like baked beans.

  26. AgentCormac says:

    Trevor Blake – rockin’ good news! And you’re right, the RCC’s diminishing influence is really down to ordinary people becoming utterly pissed off with the church’s intractable and inhuman stance on just about everything. No wonder people are leaving in their droves. Long may it continue!

  27. JohnMWhite says:

    “The National Secular Society, led by the homosexuals Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous-Wood”

    Ok, I’m going to stop you right there, Mr. Donnelly. If you’re going to interject the term ‘homosexuals’ where it has no relevance and is clearly just a scary label applied to people who advocate a society where your church is no longer in control of people who are not members of it, you’re going to have to accept a label for yourself: bigot.

    “are attempting to interfere with the freedom of the Catholic Church to run our schools according to our beliefs.”

    I know the Catholic Church was ok letting Hitler run his holiday camps according to his beliefs, but when your organisation has a history of abusing children and when it makes plain that it wants to cause serious mental anguish to young people who may be LGBT or even heterosexuals (telling anybody they’ll go to hell for having any sex drive whatsoever is pretty frightening for somebody going through puberty), I think it’s fair for concerned third parties to interfere. Especially when you’re receiving state money to cause this damage.

    “Blah blah blah we get to hire and fire who we like because it’s our business not yours”

    Well, no, it’s our business because children generally don’t get to choose what school they go to and regardless of their parents’ wishes young people are people and have a right to not be verbally and mentally abused by vicious authoritarians who think they have some god-given right to control children, as is a Catholic education hallmark. Taxpayers pay these teachers and want well rounded students as a result, not timid mice who can conjugate verbs very well but are afraid to ask questions, are ignorant of human reproduction and relationships and think that condoms are useless because they let the AIDS virus through their pores.

    “Blah blah blah Virgin Mary so offensive we sorted them out blah!”

    Oh suddenly somebody else’s business is your business? Their actual, for-profit commercial business, is now somehow your business. Fancy that. And ‘Virgin Mary’ is to ‘Bloody Mary’ what ‘Tonic’ is to ‘Gin and Tonic’ you complete moron. A phrase can have more than one meaning. Surely somebody who thinks three people can be one person and a goblet of wine can be blood at the same time would be able to handle this concept. It has nothing to do with your goddess that you pretend not to worship even though you put a crown of stars on her bloody (or virgin, if she doesn’t drink) head!

    Utter cretins. A shame Pret a Manger could not withstand the complaints. They were misdirected and a waste of time, and it is sad to see they gave in to these bullies, but alas that is precisely what the Catholic Church and their zealots in education are – petty but powerful bullies who will threaten and frighten everyone they can into submission.

    Sorry to get riled up again, but yet again I am reminded of the damage done in Catholic school, and the danger their lies put a friend of mine in – he firmly believed their bullshit about condoms for years, which given his lifestyle is plain terrifying. To paraphrase The Pope Song – Fuck the mother fuckers.

  28. Stonyground says:

    Awesome post Mr. White. I too wish that Pret a Manger had just told them to piss off, the fact is that most commercial enterprises don’t want to alienate any potential customers. An apology costs nothing and is simply good business practice. Maybe if enough of us entered their premises asking for Virgin Mary Crisps they would reconsider.

  29. Barry Duke says:

    Excellent comment, John White: So good that I have taken the liberty of reposting most of it on the Protect the Poop site:
    It is currently awaiting moderation.

  30. Broga says:

    @JohnMWhite: Great comment. Class. As my children used to say,and it was high praise, “you got a result.”

  31. Robster says:

    Although the homeless are deserving, why don’t the catliks keep the chips and replace those tastless little bits of jesus crackers they usually serve in church for Sunday brunch along with a nice red? They could trot out, along with the usual dogmatic nonsense, salt and vinegar jesus, or perhaps a nice chicken flavoured jesus, there’s so much choice in crisps these days. Probably make the whole eating and drinking bits of the baby jesus much more exciting than it currently is and adding value in the form of dietry fibre would be good too. As for protecting the pope, the Popemobile is like a big glass display case on wheels. The catholic officials could dress that nasty old Ratzinger in some attractive bling, lock him up in the Popemoble and put it on display out the front of the Vatican or one of those nice Roman fountains. Rather than throwing three coins, the faithful could spend a few Euros for a bag of peanuts (or crisps) and toss them into the pope to keep the nsty old thing fed. That way, they could make some money, lots of peopkle could look at the pope as he slowly decomposes and get the warm and fuzzies with a peanut and a prayer. Good news all round, a money maker and with the the pope on display, more happy pilgrims and a protected Ratzy.

  32. Rafiq Mahmood says:

    I wonder if “Virgin Mary” is a trademark? Does anyone know the boss of Pret a Manger so that I could buy it off him for, say, 10p? I’m thinking of setting up a company to sell Virgin Mary crisps and flavoured condoms under the brand name “Provoke the Pope”. Anyone want to join me? Now who could design the logo…?

  33. 1859 says:

    Barry – they moderated you into oblivion. Just been on their site and couldn’t find your repost. No matter. There was some fairly limp crap about voting against same-sex marriage and -bless me! – I couldn’t help myself – I posted a naughty piece telling them what I thought. Now I too am awaiting ‘moderation’. Wait a bit – there’s a knock on my door. Holy Shit! It’s The Spanish Inquisition! Gotta run!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Georgina says:

    “paid using public money” is the mots justes, why are we still voting for politicians willing to pay catholic (or any other religion) schools with money from non catholic people?

    If religious people want religious schools, let them pay for them.

  35. Angela_K says:

    @Robster. Good idea the catholics could advertise: “You’ve eaten Jesus, now try his Mum”

  36. JohnMWhite says:

    Bet that wasn’t what you expected, 1859.

    @Georgina – I get your point and it is the core issue here, but I would honestly go further than that. I do not think any child should be put into a religious institution to be instructed with a religious bias, regardless of the wishes of their parents. It is divisive and damaging, it is unfair to the student who does have rights, and these institutions have a habit not only of plain lying to their charges and prioritising obedience above education or even safety, but of failing to equip their charges to function in a multi-cultural, fact-based reality. We cannot have another generation growing up thinking the kids who go to the other school down the street are fundamentally different and therefore lesser human beings, and we can’t afford to keep letting children be told that complete untruths are somehow true. Neither can those children afford it – they deserve better.

    Yet another wee anecdote – my school had a bit of a problem with students using a fire exit to enter and exit the dining hall. They did this because the building was overcrowded and it was slow and painful (literally) to move through the main door, so some enterprising chaps figured they could cut traffic in half by adding another avenue. There was no alarm on these doors so it did not cause any noise or that sort of thing, other than the teachers continually screaming “don’t use those doors!” Feeling rather miffed at being constantly ignored, the principal jammed a chair into the bars of the fire exit, which of course is a great big fire hazard. Another victory for Catholic pettiness over the safety of children.

    What troubles me is that all these anecdotes, not to mention the cuts and bruises and that time I ended up having to get a chest x-ray, and that spinal MRI, were never enough to convince my parents, who love me very much, to send me somewhere else. Physical pain may be one thing, but imagine what might happen to my soul if I ended up a a protestant school and got myself educated about condoms!! That’s the power of religious indoctrination – you’ll eat your own children to avoid upsetting your god.

    @Barry Duke – I see the comment has not made it through, but thanks for trying. I’m not sure exactly how you worded it but as long as you skipped the last line I imagine they had no real grounds to block it other than it doesn’t agree with them. It says it all that these institutions are incapable of dealing with criticism. They still cringe like frightened children themselves. Were they not so swift to wield their power like a bludgeon against the vulnerable, I would feel sorry for them. There are clearly deep-seated psychological issues there, most likely caused by the very thing they spend so much energy trying to defend.

  37. Steve says:

    The NSS ‘has an influence way beyond its insignificance.’ This must mean it has considerable influence,and cannot therefore logically be said to be insignificant. Innit?

    Pret A MAnger are a bunch of pussies.

  38. Robster says:

    Hi Angela_K, the catliks have always been good at making money, what with crying statues, wine that’s really blood (of the baby jesus apparently)so it’s a bit disappointing to see that they’re ignoring this commercial opportunity. Jees you’d think they’d be on the lookout for cash given the child sex payouts and that never ending story of abuse will mean ongoing payouts, plus eventually the gay community could sue the pants (give ’em a good wash first)of old pope Ratzmeister for spreading hate, so they’ll need to keep the cash coming. What they could do produce Mother Mary Marmite, good for the crackers and the flavour would match well with a nice Merlo. Perhaps we should offer our ideas to the blinged godbots ‘coz they sure need the cash.

  39. 1859 says:

    I’m so sad. Like you BarrieJohn, I was moderated into the bin by the Catlick Gestapo. And really, what did I say that was so offensive? This is what I wrote verbatum…
    ‘You cannot use your religion to define and control the feeling two people have for each other. You are still living in the Dark Ages. The Inquisition still roams through your minds.’
    Not a ‘fuck’, or a ‘shit’, or a ‘crap’ anywhere. I thought it was quite polite and restrained. Did I go too far? I’m confused….

  40. Jude says:

    @Angela_K Good idea the catholics could advertise: “You’ve eaten Jesus, now try his Mum”
    Angela, that line is sheer genius!

  41. Amand Peter says:

    Fantastic that Deacon Donnelly complained. What an outrage to us catholics that they called a pack of chips ” Virgin Mary.” How totally insulting and insensitive!!!!

  42. Denis says:

    My dear non believing friends. I am one of those “crackpots” from the “other side”. May I just say I adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church, though you might say brainwashed by that church. Crazy as it is to you I do think this was a tacky marketing ploy, offensive to boot. I simply don’t recognise the offensive, criminal organisation that you think the Catholic Church is but I’m absolutely happy with your right to express your views. Talk to a Catholic sometime. You won’t be indoctrinated and might actually find they aren’t so bad after all.