Saturday 18 November 2017

Ruth Dudley Edwards: Victims of the old authoritarian weapons

The 'Birmingham Three' have been victimised for resisting secularist threats, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

I try to be fair to the Roman Catholic Church, although I retired from it angrily at the age of 16. Yet I got over my anti-Catholic period, describe myself as a 'religion-friendly atheist', and in the UK, where I live, prize Roman Catholic opposition to evangelical secularists who regard hostility to, eg, unlimited abortion, stem-cell research and euthanasia as medieval and irrational.

Still, I haven't had that much I could agree on with Dermot Fenlon, a close friend at UCD and Cambridge University, a distinguished academic who became a priest of impeccable orthodoxy.

But I hate injustice, and Dermot has become a victim of a faction within his church which favours the old weapons of authoritarianism and concealment. When I read in late May that he had been ordered to a Trappist monastery, I was horrified.

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