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The British Foreign Office has apologized to the Vatican for a leaked memo from a junior staffer that mocked the Catholic faith and Pope Benedict XVI. The memo suggested that during his visit to the United Kingdom in September, the pope could bless a same-sex marriage and open an abortion clinic.
According to the BBC, a Vatican spokesman said the visit from September 16 through 19 is not in doubt despite suggestions the trip might be pulled. The Foreign Office expressed its regret to the Holy See for the memo, which also suggested that "Benedict" condoms could be issued to mark the visit, the first from a pope since 1982.
The memo, which said it took into account event the "most far-fetched ideas," was dated March 5 and invited officials in Whitehall and Downing Street to discus themes for the papal visit in a meeting, the BBC reports.
"It suggested Benedict XVI could show his hard line on the sensitive issue of child abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests by 'sacking dodgy bishops' and launching a helpline for abused children.
"The document went on to propose the pope could apologize for the Spanish Armada or sing a song with the queen for charity."
The junior civil servant who wrote the memo has been placed on other duties.