The Pope and Peter Tatchell

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Commenting on the news that human rights and gay campaigner Peter Tatchell will be presenting a Channel 4 documentary on Pope Benedict before his UK visit, Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia, said:

"The visit to Britain of Pope Benedict is already exciting comment and controversy and will continue to do so. A healthy society and media should be able to accommodate and reflect a broad range of views, from both inside and outside the churches. In a mixed-belief culture it is especially important that Christian communities are able to hear and respect views from trenchant critics as well as friends, allies and less passionate observers.

"Peter Tatchell is a man of immense moral courage who has directly experienced the hurt and harm some kinds of religious faith can embody. But equally he has been inspired by people of strong religious commitment standing up for justice, peace and human dignity. His will not be the only voice and assessment on the current papal reign, but it is likely to be a vibrant, provocative and interesting one. It reminds the churches that in a post-Christendom setting they do not 'own the rights' to interpreting and commenting on their history, beliefs and actions."

Background here: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/12319