Should Ratzinger, then, be welcomed as the head of a church? By all means, if individual Catholics wish to overlook his many transgressions and lay out the red carpet for his designer red shoes, let them do so. But don’t ask the rest of us to pay. Don’t ask the British taxpayer to subsidise the propaganda mission of an institution whose wealth is measured in the tens of billions: wealth for which the phrase “ill-gotten” might have been specifically coined. And spare us the nauseating spectacle of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and assorted lord lieutenants and other dignitaries cringing and fawning sycophantically all over him as though he were somebody we should respect.
There are many things that get on my wick about Richard Dawkins. And this paragraph highlights one of them. Yeah, he’s big into the extreme voluntarism of having the power to turn against our creators. But in his own case, this power doesn’t even go as far as realising that the spectacle of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is already nauseating, without the need to add the Pope to it. What does Dawkins think the Queen is for? To show respect to people ‘we’ should respect? What does he think about the propaganda mission of that other institution ‘whose wealth is measured in the tens of billions: wealth for which the phrase “ill-gotten” might have been specifically coined’: the British Crown? Oh. He thinks it should have nothing to with the Pope. Well whoop-de-do.