After the news coverage on Wednesday of Martin Salter insulting the pope, the Catholics have responded.
Fr Bruce Barnes, parish priest at Christ the King Catholic Church in Whitley, said: "This is rather a cheap slur and it's very unfortunate when this sort of invective is used.
"If you criticise the Pope, you in effect criticise the whole Catholic Church.
"I'm sorry if Martin Salter finds us offensive - he should perhaps remember all the good work the Church has done in his constituency."
FR Ray Blake at StMaryMagdalen describes his words as a 'little piece of effluent that has has just floated down the Thames from the pen of Martin Salter, Member of Parliament for Reading West.'
Martin Salter MP hoped to minimise the damage, pretended it was all a joke. He said:
"I am genuinely sorry if people took my comments the wrong way, and I do assure people that my future blog posts will also poke fun at all political parties including my own, and probably poke fun at other religions and belief systems as well. This is a light-hearted way of getting some serious points of view across."
More than 140 people commented on Mr Salter's article, most of them deeply unhappy with its contents, including one who labelled it "anti-Catholic hate speech". Others speculate about the reaction if he said something similar about an Imam?
Incidentally the only Pope to hail from England was called Pope Adrian IV.
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