7. In 2010, in what was described as “foolish”, and a “brainstorm” exercise, rather than official UK Government policy, the Foreign Office apologised for certain suggestions made by civil servants regarding the Pope.

The leaked document suggested that Pope Benedict XVI be invited to bless a gay couple’s wedding, open up a hospital abortion ward and be presented with his own “Benedict” brand of condoms. Oops.

The Pope still visited the UK, despite this administrative error.

6. Pope Benedict XVI was pictured in December 2012 giving a blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who unsuccessfully promised to pass the country’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a “Christmas gift”.

The Ugandan Parliament reconvened last Tuesday following its Christmas break and announced a packed agenda, including picking up its so-called “Kill the Gays” bill, which still includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”.

5. Back in 2010, the Pope beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, a British convert to Catholicism who some claim was in a gay relationship with fellow convert Ambrose St. John. The beatified process brought the former Anglican cleric a step closer to sainthood. 

4. As one of very few celebrities or public figures to speak out against the Catholic Church, Lady Gaga predicted in 2012 that “gay marriage [was] going to happen” regardless of what the Pope said.

She was reacting to a visit by the Pope to France to address 32 bishops when he said: “Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself.”