2010年4月26日星期一 UK foreign office apologizes for Pope condom memo
The British Foreign Office has a confession to make. A leaked memo from the ministry contained a list of scandalous suggestions for Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the UK.
The British Sunday Telegraph newspaper published excerpts of the memo, which included the results of a "brainstorming" session of civil servants planning for the September visit.
Among the activities proposed for the head of the Catholic Church: formally opening an abortion ward at a local hospital, blessing a gay marriage, launching his own branded line of condoms, and "sacking dodgy bishops."
The suggestions alluded to the Catholic Church's prohibitions on abortion, contraceptives, and homosexuality. The last refers to the ongoing scandal involving sexual abuse committed by priests.
The memo also suggested the pontiff perform a duet with Queen Elizabeth and do somersaults with children to promote exercise.
'Ill-judged, naive, and disrespectful'
"This is clearly a foolish document that does not in any way reflect UK government or FCO policy or views," a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in response to the memo's publication.
"Many of the ideas in the document are clearly ill-judged, naive and disrespectful."
Britain's ambassador to the Vatican has met senior officials there to express the government's regret, and the person who drew up the memo, said to be a junior civil servant in his 20s, has been reassigned.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband was reportedly "appalled" upon finding out about the memo.
"The Foreign Office very much regrets this incident and is deeply sorry for the offense which it has caused," the unnamed spokesman said.
Pope Benedict's trip to the UK, scheduled for September 16 - 19, will be the first papal visit there since 1982.
Editor: Kyle James