We apparently are in an era when people seek to outdo one another in depicting leaders of religious bodies in other than pleasant ways. The youth wing of the Swedish Social Democrats (SSU) printed a caricature in their newspaper that does not make Pope Benedict XVI come across as a sympathetic person. The cartoon has the pontiff sitting in a chair and reaching out to a mother with a child in order to have the little girl sit on his lap from which a huge bulge appears under his robe and he says, “Let the child come to me.” Daniel Suhonen insists it is not a personal attack on the pope. “It’s a sharply acidic satirical image that reflects the systematic abuse of children at the hands of representatives of the Catholic Church. It’s not an attack on the pope.” If one is going to be a satirist please do not satirize oneself with such silly remarks. Of course, it is an attack on Pope Benedict XVI.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Sweden, Maria Hasselgren pointed out the editor made clear he would not draw caricatures about Muslim leaders because Muslims are an oppressed minority in Sweden. She then shrugged her shoulders, and said the Catholic Church would not protest the caricature because all that would do is make it famous.
Thank God for some common sense on the part of the Swedish Catholic Church. If attacked, grin and bear it–and keep your mouth shut!