An internal government memo suggesting the Pope could launch his own brand of condoms on a planned visit to the UK has triggered an apology from Britain’s Foreign Office.
Mocking Catholic teachings, the document says he could bless a gay marriage and open an abortion clinic. It was leaked to a British newspaper.
A government spokesman says the individual responsible for the text has been moved to other duties.
Claims that child sex abuse by priests was covered up have already put the Pope and the Vatican under intense pressure.
Britain’s government says the document in no way reflects its policy or views. But its publication may cast a shadow on September’s papal visit, the first to the UK for nearly 30 years.