This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← ‘Rendering unto God that which is Caesar’s’: the fatal flaw at the heart of the Vatican

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 6 by Tiende Landeplage

if you are a victim of child-rape you can be excommunicated for breathing a word of your suffering outside clerical walls; but you cannot be excommunicated for raping children, even if you do it by the dozen.

It is still baffling to me how any apologist for the church, no matter how brainwashed, can blithely dismiss such a blatantly distorted idea of "moral imperative".

It is built in to RCC Canon Law that excommunication is for doctrinal matters not for sin. A priest who rapes two hundred children is not challenging the Catholic doctrine that this act is a sin. In fact he probably goes to confession regularly and prays for strength to overcome his "weakness". In doing so he is acknowledging Catholic doctrine. However victims of abuse who go to the police are openly challenging the bishops right to instruct them not to so do. They are not only sinning but they are challenging Catholic doctrine, and for this they can be excommunicated.

Roman Catholic doctrines and Canon Law have to be formulated in such a way as to explain how people such as Pope Alexander VI can exist in an organisation that was designed by God himself, whose very bureaucratic structures are holy, and which, taken as a whole, cannot err. In view of this how could they be other than perverse? But the real problem is not those who would exploit the system, but the doctrines and laws themselves and the billions, including many of the clergy, who are duped into believing these doctrines and laws are divine.

Without these billions the RCC would be nothing, but it is incredibly patronising towards them. I can remember a priest warning the congregation against reading Bertrand Russell, not because Russell was an "evil atheist" but because we should value our "simple fath" and we might be "lead into error" by "clever intellectual arguments" we could not understand.

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 09:51:44 UTC | #514471