The BHA has today reacted to the official announcement by the press office of the Queen that Pope Benedict XVI will make his Papal Visit to the United Kingdom from the 16th-19th September 2010. Suggestions that the Pope may pay a state visit to the UK were first made in September 2009 and it has now been confirmed that he will be received by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh before visiting Glasgow, London and Coventry.
The BHA is working as part of the Protest the Pope campaign in order to highlight the human rights and equalities violations which arise from policies pursued by the Vatican state and object to the fact that this visit will be a state visit.
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘The BHA will be working with other organisations as part of the “Protest the Pope” campaign during the state visit. We wrote to Gordon Brown last September to ask him why he supported the visit of an individual whose policies have negative effects on human rights; including restricting access to contraception and abortion and failing to endorse equality for gay people. We don’t support such a visit and will be using the visit itself as an opportunity to promote the humanist values of human rights and equality that are opposed internationally by the Vatican state.’
For information or comment please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596.
The British Humanist Association is a founding member of the Protest the Pope Campaign which is organising events this year to protest the state visit.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief.