The Vatican curiously said the cardinal had not intended "any kind of slight", and was referring to the UK's multicultural society.
So, he arrives at Heathrow, sees a lot of black people and thinks: “For fuck’s sake this looks like the third world’
According to the Vatican, what he was actually doing was associating ethnicity with economic development. Perhaps this sort of racism shouldn’t surprise us, whether it comes from a 77 year-old German or his apologists in Rome.
In my experience, “Third World” countries are recognisable, not so much by the ethnic make-up of the population but rather, by the power wielded in those countries by religion.
Perhaps Kasper might want to visit the favelas of Brazil, a country where there is a nominal devotion to his church of 74% of the population. There he will be spared the “aggressive atheism”. Thus allowing plenty of time to ponder the success of his Church in keeping the rich in power and vast majority of it’s followers locked in a hopeless life of grinding poverty with the promise of pie in the sky when they die.
|Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain rises above a favela, or slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Photograph: Douglas Engle/Australfoto|
He also was reported to have criticised British Airways, saying that when you wear a cross on the airline "you are discriminated against".
In what way, I wonder, does this manifest itself?
Do the stewards in ‘Business Class’ actually say things like:
“You’re getting fuck-all champagne, because you’re a Christian.”
He has to tell us more. Lest some amongst us think that he is going down the old road of validation through persecution, a staple of religion.
Alas, Kasper will not now be visiting the UK. We are told that he has gout.
Now there are many reasons why one can have gout. But, there are some things the good Cardinal can do to relieve the symptoms.
Cut out the rich food and fortified wines. And exercise his body a bit more than he does his brain.
The term ‘Third World’ was actually coined by French demographer, anthropologist and historian Alfred Sauvy in an article in the French magazine L’Obsevateur, in 1952, as a ‘Cold War’ reference to those countries that were not aligned to either the NATO/capitalist ‘first world’ or the Warsaw Pact/communist ‘second world’.
Today the term is used colloquially to describe the poorest countries in the world.
See more of Douglas Engle's photographs here.