President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is so detested among human-rights groups that the EU slapped a travel ban on him. But Pope Francis I still invited the longtime despot to his inauguration mass.
In power since 1987, 89-year-old Mugabe has cranked up attacks on the LGBT community to deflect attention from Zimbabwe’s economic woes. A law passed in 2006 criminalized any actions even perceived as homosexual—leading to arrests for holding hands or hugging—and government operatives have infiltrated gay groups with reports of blackmail, assault and even rape not uncommon.
Mugabe, who has referred to gay people as “sub-animal…worse than dogs and pigs,” even had former President Canaan Banana arrested on 11 charges of sodomy and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But Italy gave him a temporary reprieve on his travel ban since Mugabe was visiting Vatican City, which has its own jurisdiction. And, well, because the Pope asked nicely.
“President Mugabe belongs in the dock at the International Criminal Court, not in the Vatican being feted by the Pope,” says LGBT rights advocate Peter Tatchell, who was beaten beaten unconscious by Mugabe’s guards when he tried to put the dictator under citizen’s arrest. “His regime has abused the Christian values of love and compassion [and] stands accused of kidnapping, detention without trial, torture, rape and murder.” (Throw in child molestation and he could be a bishop.)
Other attendees at yesterday’s service included Vice President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner, who had called out the Pope’s hateful rhetoric on marriage equality when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
In an address to the masses, Francis said it was the duty of all men and women of good will “to be custodians of creation and of the design of God inscribed in nature—custodian of others and of the environment.”
This says a lot.
No surprise here… the RC Church’s next cash-and-land-grab is Africa (as well as South America.) Collect pennies from the poor… buy gold candlesticks in Rome.
He’s yet another violent Anti-British [email protected], so he’s in the right company. In a way I’m happy because the populous of Britain are now seeing the catholic church for what it really is.
except you’re incorrect. the Vatican doesn’t invite people to the ceremony
Less happily, the presence of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe upset many. The Vatican stresses that it does not invite anyone to the installation of a pope, and that the decision of presidents and diplomats to attend or not does not confer either approval or disapproval.
The Vatican, being a city-state, is not subject to the European Union travel ban on Mr Mugabe, whose regime stands accused of widespread human rights abuses.
“President Mugabe’s regime has abused the Christian values of love and compassion. It stands accused of kidnapping, detention without trial, torture, rape and murder,” said UK-based campaigner Peter Tatchell yesterday.
Unless the Vatican has put in an airport, Mugabe had to travel to Italy to get there.
Looks like there’s going to be at least two happy pigs in shit at this inaugural mass, Frances and Mugabe
I’m not a fan of the C church, but they are rather like the United Nations, they can’t stop a head of state from being there – where would it stop?
The title of this article is false. The Pope doesn’t invite anyone to his inaugural Mass. Anyone who wishes to go may attend, and no one is turned away.
Why did Pope Francis invite Robert Mugabe to his inauguration even though Mugabe is banned from entering Europe?
The Zimbabwe Mail: “The infamous President of Zimbabwe, claims to be a man of faith—and with some reason. He was born to mission-educated parents and, like many Zimbabweans of his generation; he attended a Catholic Jesuit School.”
Looking at Zimbabwe’s history, it seems that Mugabe took his Jesuit oath seriously.
“You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces, states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and the sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace.”
He was invited by Pope Francis because they are of the same order and have the same mission.
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