What a remarkably humourless, killjoy bunch the National Secular Society is. They must have been delighted when the Pope agreed to contribute a Thought for the Day on BBC Radio as it would give them something to whinge about over the festive period. A Christian message at Christmas? Disgraceful.
Naturally, the Pope should not be allowed to spread a message of love and peace, not even in a three-minute homily. He should have spent the whole time apologising for child abuse. Or that is what the secularists want. After all, isn't Christmas all about child abuse? Abandoning babies in mangers and all that. Why, I bet the shepherds hadn't even been CRB-checked.
The child abuse scandal has been a godsend for the secularists (well, maybe not a godsend but you know what I mean). In the actions of a few wicked men, those who despise religion have an excuse to portray everyone with faith or who practises religion as themselves evil or apologists for evil. As if those without faith don't abuse children too.
It is not a "slap in the face for child abuse victims" that the Pope was asked to broadcast on Radio 4. It is a recognition that this weekend marks a major Christian festival and as a major Christian leader he may have something interesting to say. He isn't Josef Fritzl.
And as for the criticism that the Pope was "pontificating", well isn't that what a pontifex is meant to do?
You may every right to disagree with the Pope on doctrine and Vatican policy, you can be godless yourself (I'm all in favour of Christmas not being a national holiday and people made to go into work unless they attend church), but it is a bit petty to complain about Christian messages at Christmas.
Worse than that, it is dull. Just go and watch X Factor highlights or whatever seculists get their kicks out of instead and stop boring us.