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Catholics upset by young socialists’ erect pope pic

Paul O'Mahony · 28 May 2010, 17:17

Published: 28 May 2010 17:17 GMT+02:00

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The cartoon, created by Kjell Nilsson-Mäki and published in SSU’s bimonthly in-house organ Tvärdrag (Crosswind), shows a seated pope entreating a mother to hand over her young child while quoting from the Bible: “Let the children come to me.” A horrified mother and terrified child are clearly distressed by the large bulge beneath the papal robes.

“It’s a sharply acidic satirical image that reflects the systematic abuse of children at the hands of representatives of the Catholic Church. It’s not an attack on the pope and it’s not an attack on the Catholic faith,” Daniel Suhonen, editor of Tvärdrag, told The Local.

“In the cartoon the pope serves as a symbol for the Catholic Church in the same way that a caricaturist might use Mona Sahlin as a symbol for the Social Democrats or Barack Obama as a symbol for the United States,” he added.

But Catholic Church spokeswoman Maria Hasselgren was left unimpressed by the editor’s justifications.

“Unfortunately we’re accustomed to this kind of attack,” she told The Local.

“The editor of the magazine has spoken previously about how he wouldn’t have done the same thing in a Muslim context because Muslims are a vulnerable group in Swedish society. But I think this just displays how skewed his view is of the make-up of the Catholic Church in Sweden. Many Catholics here are immigrants, a lot are unemployed, and quite a few come from war zones such as Iraq. They're certainly not the sort of powerful elite he implies."

Suhonen conceded that the vulnerable position of Muslims in society meant he would think twice about publishing a caricature in a similar vein, though he insisted he would not reject the possibility out of hand.

“Muslims are victims of oppression in Sweden to a much greater extent than Catholics, which makes this caricature less sensitive. But that’s not to say that I wouldn’t have published somebody like Lars Vilks, for example. I don’t know if I would or wouldn’t have published because I haven't been in that situation,” he said.

Hasselgren however said the cartoon was indicative of a level of disdain for the feelings of Catholics that was deep-rooted in Swedish society.

Story continues below…

“It goes back to the sort of anti-Catholic sentiment that has existed here since the 16th century. There’s a very commonplace belief among Swedes that Catholicism is all about power and oppression and it’s a belief that remains very close to the surface.”

“But regardless of how insulting this caricature might be we’re not going to take any action. It wouldn’t get us anywhere.”

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

17:45 May 28, 2010 by DAVID T
I wonder how the muslim world would have reacted if this cartoon was directed at them - now we will see the difference - you won't see catholics burning swedish flags or rioting or putting a bounty on the artist.
18:45 May 28, 2010 by Jes
Suhohen is making a big mistake !

He is attacking catholics while patronizing muslims because he is a bloody coward looking for a soft target .

He does not know that it takes one angry man to make him pay .
18:51 May 28, 2010 by diegoveggie
socialists are always horny
19:17 May 28, 2010 by Puffin
The Catholic Church just has better insider power to get what they want without demonstrating - like when they got the satirical BBC cartoon series Popetown banned in the UK a few years ago
19:29 May 28, 2010 by Beavis
catlicks just like any religious group, can be just as bad when they have enough numbers.. The Life of Brian was illegal in Ireland until 1989. Thanksfully it got out to the rest of the world they were abusing all the kids and they lost their evil grip on power, all overseen by "his holyness" who didnt act just moved them to another location where they went on to abuse there. so the picture is quite relevent.
21:03 May 28, 2010 by Gwrhyr
Since this is a traditionally Protestant country Catholics have been in a vulnerable position in society for centuries, so I fully disagree with Suhonen about there being any sort of difference there between Catholics and Muslims in Swedish society. However, I think that refusing to publish satire against a religion due to the position in society of the people who practice that faith is ridiculous because it's satire about a specific subject, not about the lay-people who practice the faith. He said it himself when he said why Catholics should take this in stride...
21:21 May 28, 2010 by truthworthy
because catholics aren't vulnerable as the editor claims, it doesnt give him the right to insult them. this kind of stupidity should be stopped.

Yes Muslims would react angrily and would not accept the insulting of their figures, because they didnt lose the sense of respect for their figures as the Christians as we can clearly see from this.
21:40 May 28, 2010 by Essjay
At least this gen will not see the real thing as the world is scrutinizing the Catholic Church,s abuse of children but after all that has been disclosed worldwide it,s hardly suprising their is a lot of disrespect and abuse towards it ,guess they hoped they would escape scott free ,they are lucky if it was Muslims who had done this or Jews then we might be talking persecution ,but at the moment the world seems more obsessed about Islam than the the international paedophile activities of the Catholic Church ,bizarre!

The victims meanwhile still don,t sleep at night
21:50 May 28, 2010 by Kevin Harris
When you head an organisation as tainted as the Catholic Church is at the moment, you should expect a bit of heat.
22:10 May 28, 2010 by Jes
Essjay , you must be an ignorant blind speaker of sign-language if you think that this Editor is more " obsessed with Islam " than he is with paedophilia within the catholic church .

You need to know that Catholic priests that sexually abuse children make 1.6 % of all known cases of peadophilia , while teachers , social workers , sports trainers , acccount for over 60 % of this terrible crime .

It might shock you to hear that 43 % incidents of child sex abuse , particularly in sweden ,occur in homes and are committeb by parents and relatives .

Shall we then wait for Suhohens next cartoon showing a blond Swedish man sporting an erection while holding his baby son in front of his sexually starved wife ?
22:47 May 28, 2010 by Essjay
Hi Jes ,well I am certainly not blind ,damn miissed the braille button agian ,

Whether or not the Catholich Ministry abused 1% or 2% ,these people stood and preached for the virtues of Jesus Christ , they put their trust in these people ,moral gaurdians ,and the minority abused their followers ,my first wife was raped at the sweet age of nine by her father ,a priest in North Carolina ,not a Catholic and she never spoke out due to fear,no-one would have listened to her ,he was a respected man of the cloth.........and thats it really ,I agree child abusers come from all walks of life .but when exposed the victims deserve their right to ridicule and revenge
00:33 May 29, 2010 by Lukestar1991
08:40 May 29, 2010 by Twiceshy
@ David T - with you 100% Dead ON!

Think if it had been their profit say putting a bomb on the kid or anything like that - you would have nutz from all over the planet on the way here to kill him!
08:56 May 29, 2010 by calebian22
Suhonen is trying to gain notoriety like Vilks with the full knowledge that no Catholic is going to cut off his head. There is little doubt that he will never insult Islam due to their "oppressed" status.
10:28 May 29, 2010 by Nemesis
Well done those kids who did the caricature.

For information on what this is about see.

11:27 May 29, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
@David T... Muhammad(pbuh) is the prophet and has 1.6 billion followers. If someone start insulting him by showing him dog or a cruel man with bomb on his head is matter of concern. One should not expect smile from the those who regard Muhammad(pbuh) is most respectful person because Muhammad(pbuh) always taugt peace and always forgave his enemies . But at the same time, no one has the right to take someone life and all those have done it were ignorant and wrong and contrary to teaching of Quran.
12:11 May 29, 2010 by powerofknowledge

You really made me laugh now the subject is about something else than Islam I really have difficulties understanding you and your abhorrence to other people.

I am a Muslim and I am totally DISAGREE with that man, it's not the right or civilized way that we criticize these terrible mistakes and it's a dangerous accusation to the pope himself.

On the other hand, you said something that reflects you lack of knowledge about the subject, the pope already called to ban talking about this subject and he and other clergies wanted to make talking about the sexual scandals in Catholic church like the (anti-Semitism), google it u will find a lot.
12:33 May 29, 2010 by Miss Kitten
Had this incident occurred during the Inquisition, the cartoonist would have been stoned to death or burned at the stake (or both) as a blasphemer!! (re: the stoning scene in Life of Brian). Insulting the Pope was basically the same as insulting God All Mighty Himself.

Personally, I think it's rather nice how we don't have to worry about that happening now.

Anyway, here's a link to the incredibly blasphemous cartoon:

Erect Pope
13:57 May 29, 2010 by Bruce Grey
Lots of people already hate the Catholic Church for other reasons. The scandal involving sexual abuse by priests is something such people find very convenient. They can use the scandal as a stick to beat the Church. If this scandal didn't exist then they'd find some other stick. They want to keep hitting the Church no matter what.

The silly people who made this insulting cartoon of the Pope with an erection would be afraid of making a similar cartoon of Muhammad with an erection, despite the well known "marriage" of the "Prophet" to the child Aisha. They would be afraid of accusations of bigotry, intolerance, racism, etcetera. They would also be afraid of physical violence. But none of them seem to be worried about a label like anti-Catholic. It's a label they might embrace. Although it is seldom so overt, bigotry against Catholics in Sweden has deep roots and is widespread. Truly, anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.
14:19 May 29, 2010 by calebian22
Calling for a ban on something is worlds away from posting a bounty for the artist's death. It says alot about some of the posters here that they don't understand the difference. "Don't do that, it is not respectful," versus, With Allah's help I will cut off your infidel head"
17:42 May 29, 2010 by cogito
Swedish socialists demonstrate their legendary moral courage once again.

Last week they bravely demanded that America close its bases. But not Moscow. Mustn't upset the Russians.

Mocking the Pope or the Catholic church is safe and cowardly. Catholics don't fly planes into buildings or threaten cartoonists.

When will we see their caricature Mohamed and his 8-year-old bride
17:53 May 29, 2010 by dsc
Everybody knows Christians are easy target.

Islam on the other hand, is getting its usual special treatment.

Atheists/Agnostics - Fail.
19:16 May 29, 2010 by J Jack
Just show us the picture, we need a good laugh.
04:55 May 30, 2010 by wenddiver
Were they wearing one of the new "Folk Costumes" Perect for Socialist Youth.
05:37 May 30, 2010 by JoeSwede
What are the Social Democrats going to do with the Economy?

My hope is that Christian prayer will grow in Sweden.

A Catholic cartoon with a penis is a little ofensive but the issue is serious as well.
08:30 May 30, 2010 by Father Göran
"Catholics" are upset. That is "Catholics" with a small c and a qualification; Roman catholics. Most other Christans are Catholics. Romans are Romans.

But one wonders which world Ms Hasselgren inhabits, ever this persecution complex! And does she even read the Newspapers?
10:59 May 30, 2010 by bheatrix
socialists .. tks tsk..., and i believe they have infiltrated the local pretty hard now, since one can't comment on the white power article which mentions the socialist group EXPO's name many times.

sad day.
15:14 May 30, 2010 by zooeden
Yeah, now expect threatening notes to the cartoonist and harassment to the publishers and riots in the name of God and christianity and what else??? oh yes, a general discontempt and burning flags and anything a bunch of radical animals would normally do...;)
15:49 May 30, 2010 by Sam Le Bon
Its funny how some shallow individuals soon as the pope has been cartoonized blame it directly on Prophet Mohamed. A small clarification: He did not have any sexual encounter with Aisha at that age, it was an accepted practice to back then in the old arabic tribes to have men be it teenagers or adults to engaged to girls and wait until the girl has reached complete puberty..and having said that has anyone of you bee present back then to report thses facts? or has your holly book said that? You dont know nothing about prophet Mohamed so leave the man alone? has he done any harm to you? he blongs to an era and we do do belong to a whole different era? he was just a messenger from God, he did what he had to do and left this world so let him rest in peace, he did not marry your mother or your sister! why dont you guys handle the jews, on youtube you can clearly watch them taking pride in killing the Christians' prophet! how come i dont see nobody attacking them?? muslims didnt kill no prophets!! I really doubt anyone can even cartoonize any jew fearing the classic antisemitism button will be pushed..!! im thinking of this old saying..." Dogs that bark the most dont bite..!!! word to the M..!!
19:40 May 30, 2010 by Jes
Essjay , you get the point , I think .

Just because your dear wife was sexually abused by her father , who was a priest , this does not give me thr right to draw cartons that may imply that fathers do get sexually turned on by the daughters.

Remember that there are 98 % of Catholic priest that have never abused children , plus over a billion catholics who donnot deserve to be disresped by this white socialist devil .
23:15 May 30, 2010 by wxman
I agree with you 100% Jes, but you have got to clean up your grammar. The lefties will jump on that to marginalize you as "unfit" to comment.
01:09 May 31, 2010 by Da Goat
The Catholic church and the Islamic church have a lot in common

firstly both are NOT Christian (do not be fooled Catholic = counterfeit just like islam)

secondly both are inherently evil and rotten to the core.

thirdly the great majority of their adherents are peaceful good upstanding folk that make some other Christians look bad. (it is just the leaders and fundamentalists that are bad apples)

this cartoon is spot on really (but yes a rather tasteless)

maybe if priests had a proper sexual outlet they may behave themselves then again they do seem to be that way inclined!
09:06 May 31, 2010 by calebian22

"The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years."(Sahih Bukhari 7.88)

That is an ahadith written by a respected Sunni Muslim scholar. Just as the posters here were not alive during Mohammed's time, neither were you. Relying on scholars within Islam who support historical claims of a child marriage is relevant. If Mohammed's actions are to be held up as examples to be followed by Muslims, sura 3:31 and 33:21, then critical moral analysis of those actions should be considered. Even within a historical context, sexual consumation of a marriage with a pre menses girl was unusual in those days.
12:10 May 31, 2010 by wolverine2k
@#34: It is nice to see you posting facts here.

But, do you think these dumb heads are open to logic? If they had been, they would have stopped being lame losers everywhere in the world blowing up people, buildings and more people alike.

Let's see if anyone of the bearded goat responds to your facts with facts and not with blatant propaganda.
13:48 May 31, 2010 by Leo Danial
Can anyone believe this!

This is a publication by the largest party in the country!

It is preparation time for elections ... they need all people's voices!

Yes catholics & their church here is a soft target ... and maybe half of them here are immigrants ... the insult is directly toward them!

It is been years that the Catholic church is trying to address this scandal ... the guilty one should be exposed & trialed ... like any other abuseres any place ... in different religions & different walks of life ... this doesn't give the right to anyone to insult other people's religious symbols & beliefs!

Whatever are the excuses of the cartoonist or the editor ... they are just shallow & insulting the masses of believers ... not only the catholics!

Finally ... I think that higher ranks in SD will appologize later ... if they have any wisdom & respect for the people who believe in God & follow a certain religion ... no one can generalize a judgment on thousands of people!
14:54 May 31, 2010 by Jes
Wxman, don`t you worry about my grammar .( I suspect you are refering to spellings ) The least of my problems is to think that the lefties might consider me "unfit " to comment . I am a well educated African guy who can write and fairly express myself in more than 6 languages including Swedish . Anyhow , if was a grammar test , you can be sure that I would be able take care of myself .

I like your comment DEO !

One has got to be a pervert to draw a cartoon showing an adult holding a child above his erect penis .

I can bet that if one checked out Kjell Nilssons computor , one would find child porn on it .
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