But at the same time, we fully accept the counter-argument – he's a homophobe, his Church shelters child abusers, he has actually said that condoms exacerbate the HIV problem in Africa, he meddles in our politics by condemning our equality laws. Those are the very reasons he won our 2009 Bad Faith Award. Why is our government embracing the man by offering him a state visit? Wouldn't we usually expect them to condemn someone with his views? Yet, to add insult, the fact that it's a state visit means we'll all be footing the bill, to the tune of £20 million. That's why the National Secular Society have set up a petition against the visit, arguing that if he wants to come, he can pay for it out of the Vatican's substantial coffers. (And we couldn't fail to spot EasyJet cleverly/cynically exploiting this by putting out a press release saying he could fly with them for free.)
So, we decided to put it to a poll.
What do you make of the Pope's forthcoming visit to the UK?To place your vote, use the poll in the top right of this page.
a) It's going to be great. Open-season on the Pope. A Pope-bashing extravaganza.
b) It's an utter disgrace. How dare our government invite this homophobic bigot to our country? And expect me to pay for it.
c) It's fine. With 4 million Catholics in the UK, it's only fair that they should have their head honcho over once-in-a-while
d) Whatever. It's only a man in a dress. Just don't ask me to foot the bill.