Pope to Visit Britain Despite “Benedict Condom” Joke

pope-benedict-xviA British Foreign Office memo suggesting that Pope Benedict XVI launch a Benedict condom brand when he visits the United Kingdom later this year will not derail the pontiff’s planned trip to the U.K., the Vatican has confirmed.

Rev. Federico Lombardi, papal spokesman, said the Vatican is considering the case of the leaked memo closed, adding that the wayward joke was not enough to cancel the trip, which would be Pope Benedict’s first official visit to the United Kingdom.

The British government recently apologized to the pope and the Catholic Church after a Foreign Office memo containing suggestions of what the pope can do while visiting England and Scotland in September was leaked to media. Some of the suggestions contained in the memo include having the pope launch a Benedict-brand condom and officiate a gay marriage. Another suggestion calls for the pope to open an abortion clinic and ordain a female priest.

The Foreign Office said the memo writer “has been told orally and in writing that this was a serious error of judgment, adding that the document was “clearly ill-judged, naive, and disrespectful.”