Protect the Pope.com is a new website which counters attacks on Pope Benedict’s reputation and integrity, and provides information and resources for Catholics to respond to incidents that constitute incitement to religious hatred.
At the launch of Protect the Pope.com Rev Nick Donnelly, a permanent deacon of Lancaster Diocese who set up the site, said:
‘Its been said that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice, and in a way we Catholics have colluded in this by ignoring it, hoping it will go away. But the personal attacks on Pope Benedict in the run up to the Papal visit show us its not going away.The website gives information on the law regarding hate crime and provides Catholics with the means to report to the police incitement to religious hatred or acts of religious hatred which take place during the Holy Father’s visit. The website also has an anti-Catholicism log tied into its news feed to help raise awareness of anti-Catholic prejudice.
Since 2006 we’ve had the legal right to protect ourselves from religious hatred. Of course people in this country have freedom of expression, but this does not mean they have the right to create a climate of hostility and fear. It’s a question of protecting our human rights to freedom of belief and freedom of worship.’