Britain Apologizes for Pope Jokes

Britain’s Foreign Office threw together a quick apology to Pope Benedict XVI, who is set to make his first visit to the country, after the leak of an internal memo in which officials joked that, while there, the pope could open an abortion clinic, launch his own line of condoms, sing a duet with Queen Elizabeth, bless a gay marriage, and establish a hotline for abused children. Junior officials wrote the list of ideas during a brainstorming session to discuss possibilities for the visit, which will be the first by the head of the Roman Catholic Church since Pope John Paul II in 1982. Government officials condemned the proposals as “ill-judged, naïve and disrespectful.” Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican met with papal officials for a formal apology.