The topic ‘Pope's UK Visit 2010’ has worked its way up the TellYouGov leaderboard this week faster than you can say ‘Popemobile’, reaching a respectable volume score of 75. A sentiment score of -60, however, suggests that not everyone is eagerly anticipating the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI, whose four day visit will cost taxpayers an estimated £12 million.
Complaints mainly focus on the cost of the visit, and the controversial stance taken by the Catholic Church towards a variety of social issues.
In fact, the state funding of the forthcoming visit appears to be the most common grievance of users, or tyggers, on the TellYouGov board at present. ‘I deplore the money being spent’ said one tygger, while others suggested that taxpayers’ money would be ‘better spent on the NHS’, ‘schools’ or ‘more worthy uses’, branding the visit ‘a waste of money’. Some did not have a problem with the visit in principle, but simply said ‘let the Vatican pay,’ while another questioned why, ‘as a Protestant’ they should have to pay for the leader of the Catholic Church to visit.
Child abuse scandals
Of course, the abuse scandals that have shaken public faith in the Catholic Church in recent years did not escape mention either, and one tygger referred to the ‘dreadful revelations’ that the Catholic Church ‘failed to protect vulnerable children across the world’ as their reason for disapproving of the visit. Others cited ‘hugely offensive’ and ‘life-threateningly out-dated views’ such as the Pope’s ‘anti-contraception’ stance (particularly with regard to the spread of AIDS in Africa) as the source of their objection.
‘Live and let live’
But not all tyggers share this negative outlook, with some hailing the visit as an opportunity for the UK to demonstrate its ‘equal tolerance’ to all religions. ‘Live and let live’ said one tygger, while another open-minded individual commented ‘I'm an atheist and despise the church's stance on various social issues, but this visit will bring joy to millions of people at a very gloomy time, so he's welcome.’
The Pope’s’s four day visit to the UK is set to last 16th – 19th September, ending with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham.
Have your say: The TellYouGov keyword for this topic is 'The Pope'