Tuesday 20 February 2018

Catholic Church's wounds are entirely self-inflicted, so, physician, heal thyself

Church of England leaders aren't to blame for the erosion of Catholic moral authority, says Eilis O'Hanlon

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter message this year addressed the feelings of discrimination felt by many Christians in Britain who have been pressurised into not wearing crucifixes at work in case it offends people of other religions. By which, of course, he meant Muslims, because nobody cares less about the feelings of Hindus or Jews, since they don't express their dissatisfaction in the form of exploding planes, trains and automobiles.

Catholic clergy in Ireland could only look on with envy, longing for the day when they too could deliver sermons on such comforting topics. Instead, at Easter they were forced, once again, as they probably will be for many Easters to come, to spend one of Christianity's holiest times of year dealing with the ongoing fallout from the child-abuse scandal. That scandal keeps reaching deeper into the hierarchy, with a Norwegian bishop, no less, resigning last week after admitting to the past sexual abuse of an altar boy. He is the most senior churchman to have fallen from grace as a result of actual abuse, but the tentacles of allegations of a cover up now reach as high as the Pope himself, and there's not much further up it can go than that, except to God Himself, and He seems keen on keeping out of this one.

"You're on your own, lads," appears to be the Almighty's attitude to his earthly representatives in Rome, and you can hardly blame Him for that.

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