“If the pope wants to create a religious revival in Europe, there is no worse place he could come to than the Czech Republic, where no one believes in anything,” said Jaroslav Plesl, a self-confessed lapsed Catholic who is deputy editor of Lidove Noviny, a leading daily newspaper here. “Add to that the fact that the pope is German and socially conservative and he might as well be an alien here.”
The main event of the pope’s visit is an open-air Mass in Brno on Sunday in the country’s Roman Catholic heartland. During the trip, a group called Condom Positive said it planned to distribute condoms with a likeness of the pope and the question, “Papa said no! And You?”
I want one! Someone send me a condom with the Pope’s face on it! I can’t think of anything that would encourage chastity more.
The Prague Monitor has more about the protests:
Representatives of Czech gay and lesbian groups have also announced protests against the Pope’s position on condoms which they intend to stage during Benedict XVI’s stay in the Czech Republic.
They will meet on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Monday, on the last day of the Pope’s visit to express their disagreement with the Pope’s alleged “policy of genocide.”
Organisers of the Mezipatra (Mezzanine) gay and lesbian film festival that is annually held in the Czech Republic are participating in the preparation of the protests.
Some history of our skepticism for ya, courtesy NYT:
Religious experts have noted that the Czechs’ abiding religious skepticism stretches to the 15th century, when Jan Hus, a revolutionary preacher, preached against what he saw as the corrupted practices of the church at a time when indulgences absolving sins were up for sale. Hus, whose teachings anticipated the Protestant Reformation, was burned at the stake and is a hero to many Czechs. In 1999, John Paul called Hus’s violent death “a sorrowful page” in Czech history.
Czech antipathy for the Roman Catholic Church was fanned further during the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries, religious scholars say, when the church supported the emperor’s efforts to repress Czech nationalism.
Gee. I miss the good ol’ days of John Paul. I kinda liked him. Because despite all our natural skepticism and stuff, my family has been Catholic for as long as there is recorded history of us. So I grew up thinking quite highly of JPII. BTW no one in my family likes Ratzinger. See? We don’t even call him Benedict.