Papal injustice

I am not a Catholic, but I am outraged at the Foreign Office's internal memo mocking Pope Benedict XVI (your report, 26 April.

I fundamentally disagree with many of the views of the Pope and the Catholic Church.

However, I will defend to the death his and the Church's right to hold them.

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The Pope is a head of state, albeit a very small state, in addition to being the head of one of the oldest and most important churches in the world. As such, he deserves the highest respect from society, notwithstanding the tragic abuses that have been exposed recently, which sadly occur in many institutions, not just the churches.

As a head of state, he should have received an apology from Gordon Brown, as the Queen's Prime Minister, and it is an outrage that he should remain silent when one of his civil servants has caused such offence.

If similar suggestions from his civil servants had been made about a leader from the Muslim community, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet would have been queuing up to apologise publicly.

KENNETH FERGUSON OBE

Stoneheap Farm House, Stoneyburn, Edinburgh

Have these public servants in the Foreign Office nothing better to do than draft, and approve, such offensive e-mails about the visit of the Pope? Do they not understand that they have to carry out their duties in the national interest? Our New Labour government has not hesitated to claim credit for everything good that has befallen the country, whether they had a hand in it or not. Will they now accept responsibility for this appalling gaffe?

JOHN KELLY

High Street

Dalkeith, Midlothian