The pope and free speech in Australia

This is a video from Ireland about Roman Catholic clerical sexual abuse.

This Reuters video is about victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, who want an apology by Pope Benedict XVi.

By Tony Iltis in Australia:

Pope’s immoral stance a death sentance

12 July 2008

The visit to Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD), July 15-20, by Pope Benedict XVI and 300,000 Catholic pilgrims is set to become the scene for protests.

Ironically, the protests are being fuelled by the clumsy efforts of the NSW state government to suppress them — passing laws making it illegal to “annoy” pilgrims and defining “annoy” broadly enough to include having signs, or even wearing t-shirts, with messages that the doctrinally rigid pope or his followers disapprove of.

Protesting against the “thou shalt not annoy” laws and in defence of free speech is important, as is opposing the state government’s handout of $86 million of taxpayers’ money for WYD to an extremely wealthy private organisation. A more important reason to protest, though, is the pope’s political agenda.

While the pope’s reactionary utterances on homosexuality, euthanasia, contraception and abortion are generally portrayed as “moral” rather than political viewpoints, this distinction works to undermine democracy.

See also here.

Young Catholics attending World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney may find themselves swamped with offers of free condoms after a court overturned legislation giving police the power to arrest anyone who “annoys” pilgrims: here. And here.

Sydney’s World Youth Day: a spectacle of state-sponsored obscurantism: here.

3 thoughts on “The pope and free speech in Australia

  1. Arrests after naked protest during World Youth Day

    By ARJUN RAMACHANDRAN – SMH | Monday, 14 July 2008

    FROM ONE CAGE… Fawn Porter (left), Carla Lobos (centre) and Ashley Fruno from animal rights group Peta protest in Sydney before being arrested.

    Animal rights group PETA claims three of its activists have been arrested under new “annoyance” laws after a semi-naked protest at KFC in Sydney’s CBD today.

    The group believes the trio are the first to be arrested under the powers of causing annoyance or inconvenience to World Youth Day pilgrims.

    However, a spokesman for Australian police said the arrest was due to offensive behaviour, an offence that existed prior to the new laws.

    The three women, wearing only underwear and some tape to cover their nipples, were protesting inside a cage outside the KFC restaurant on George Street in Sydney.

    They had a banner that read: “Chicks agree, boycott KFC”, PETA Asia-Pacific’s director Jason Baker said.

    Police arrived and arrested the women – aged 20, 22 and 31 – and placed them inside a paddy wagon, Mr Baker said.

    “One of the officers said: ‘We have the new nuisance regulation this week for World Youth Day,'” he said.

    “I said: ‘Are you serious?’ I thought it doesn’t start until tomorrow, and was [being challenged in court] anyway.”


  2. Pingback: Pope’s anti-gay comments denounced | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Pope Francis, homophobia and child abuse in Ireland | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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