Britain's Foreign Office issued a hasty apology Sunday to Pope Benedict XVI after publication of an internal memo in which officials joked he could open an abortion clinic, launch a range of condoms or sing a duet with Queen Elizabeth II during a four-day visit in September.
The document, sections of which were published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, also proposed the pope could bless a gay marriage, and acknowledge the clerical sex abuse scandal by establishing a hot line for abused children, or honoring abuse whistle-blowers.
Junior officials wrote the memo following a brainstorming session intended to discuss ideas for the visit, the first to Britain by the head of the Roman Catholic Church since Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Though some included advice for Britain's government on how to approach the abuse scandal, the ministry condemned many of the proposals as "ill-judged, naive and disrespectful."
Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Campbell, met senior Vatican officials offer a formal apology and one individual involved in drafting the memo has been transferred to other duties, the ministry said.
It is truly amazing how those in certain quarters are taking so much pleasure in the problems of the Catholic Church.
And, how little concern they show for the victims when discussing it behind closed doors.
Never forget that it was government law enforcement - - in addition to the church hierarchy - - that should have stopped the pedophile priests.