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← Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics

AllanW's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by AllanW

19. Comment #430330 by flying goose on November 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm

The most remarkable thing is the complete absence of much needed introspection on the part of the Catholics.

It is a remarkable lack and not just demonstrated by the two Catholic protagonists in this debate. But I think you're casting much too genial a veil over what many now see as the basic problem for the Catholic church.

A lack of introspection may be your polite way of saying they should undertake a course of navel-gazing but I disagree. The most basic, urgent and necessary action they need to take is to accept fully, unconditionally and without stinting that institutional rape and child abuse was condoned, aided and covered-up for decades.

Nothing less than that frank and humble admission (and the sooner the better) is acceptable in order to start the process of restitution to the victims and for the church to begin to reorder itself. This first step is required because how else is anybody outside the church going to believe that they are able to express even the smallest moral utterance until they have addressed these most blatant and grievous wrongs? Any Catholic should feel the same.

Would you take any moral advice from any other body that had committed atrocities and yet still held itself out not just to be a moral, worthy and righteous institution but was trying to convince you that they were the ONLY ones who had the right answers to how to live a good life?

If the Roman Catholic church does not take this step it will condemn itself to permanent disgrace and ultimate degradation and slide into disuse. Rightly so in my opinion.

I'm not having a go at you FG but I really don't think that 'a period of introspection' will do the job that needs to be done.


I would however echo Fry's remarks that it's the institution itself that should be targetted not individuals unless there is evidence of their personal involvement in wrongdoing. The fact of being a Catholic should not in any way open somebody up to approbrium in itself.

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 17:38:00 UTC | #412017