.- A new website has been created to defend Pope Benedict XVI from media attacks ahead of his arrival in Great Britain this coming September. The site aims to offer information to provide the Pope with protection using prayer, truth and law.
Protectthepope.com went live this month as a project of a permanent deacon of England's Diocese of Lancaster, Nick Donnelly, and his brother Stephen. Deacon Donnelly also writes for the Catholic Truth Society and the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Voice of Lancaster.
The website, the deacon explained in the first entry from July 12, "has been developed in response to the unprecedented level of hostility and misinformation disseminated by the mainstream media and new media."
In part, the site hopes to raise awareness of protections in civil law for the freedom of religion and to inform the faithful of options to counter religious hatred.
"Its important," he wrote, "to know that we no longer have to suffer this type of abuse in silence as we did in the past but can now call on the Law to protect us as religious believers."
The deacon's intention is also to "protect the Holy Fatherâs reputation and the truth of the Catholic Church" by endeavoring to "challenge the lies with the simple truth, especially about the person and actions of Pope Benedict XVI."
Examples of his work can already be seen in the site's nearly 20 entries addressing negative information on the Pope's visit from news reports, protests, petitions and other statements.
A post from July 22 took on the accusations against Pope Benedict XVI contained in the e-petition to the U.K. government from gay activist Peter Tatchel. The activist had asked the prime minister to disassociate himself from the Pope's beliefs on a number of issues. Deacon Donnelly refuted the supposed "crimes" committed by Benedict XVI one-by-one, offering information clarifying the Pope's positions and countering Tatchel's theses.
It was recently noticed that the e-petition filed on 10 Downing Street's website was shut down by the Cameron government, who confirmed the Pope's trip as an official state visit.
In addition to ensuring that the Pope is protected through information channels, Deacon Connelly also invited "all Catholics to pray for the safety of the Holy Father, for the pastoral and spiritual success of his visit, and for the good of the Church in this country."