If Christians swing British vote, Labour in serious trouble
In September, Pope Benedict XVI may be visiting Britain. Or he may not be.
The Vatican is considering cancelling the pontif's visit after reports that some peurile antics within the British Foreign Ministry managed to seep into some leaked memos.
The memo suggested that the "ideal visit" to Britain by Benedict would witness the release of a special "Benedict condom", and see the Pope bless a same-sex marriage and open an abortion clinic.
The Catholic Church stringently opposes same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion -- the former two to their detriment.
But one's views on the Vatican's stance on these issues aside, it's generally poor form -- to put it politely -- to lampoon a foreign leader prior to a high-profile visit to one's country.
"On these memos, it's absolutely despicable," spat Jim Murphy, Labour's Minister of State for Scotland. "These are vile, they're insulting they are an embarrassment, and, on behalf of the whole of the United Kingdom, we'd want to apologise to his Holiness the Pope."
For many Labour MPs dependent on a healthy Catholic vote, this issue could prove to be extremely dangerous.
With Christians potentially becoming a major factor in this election, which has tightened to the point of defying anyone to call a clear winner, the insult to not only the Pope, but to Catholics in general, could prove to be a fatal blow to many Labour MPs, making it even less likely that Labour will continue to govern after May 6.
If the Vatican announces that it will cancel its visit outright over the matter, this will be one tide that Labour will have difficulty trying to stem.