Christopher Hitchens: Where is Bernard Law?

November 30, 2009 | By | 5 Replies More

In this lecture, Christopher Hitchens asks about the whereabouts of Cardinal Bernard Law, who is guilty of crimes “too hideous to describe.”  The undeniable fact is that Law is currently a powerful member of the Catholic clergy in Rome–he is one of the people held in high enough esteem that he has the power and privilege of voting to choose Popes. Any organization whose leaders have basic moral decency would have put such a man into handcuffs and delivered him to the police.

Hitchens has many more questions for the Catholic Church too, and not an unfair attack among them, in my opinion. Examples include forbidding condom usage in Africa, where AIDs is an epidemic.  This is not an academic issue–it is killing thousands of people.  I also know many thinking Catholics who are driven to distraction by the official church teachings in regard to gays and birth control.

Here’s what Hitchens has to say about the need for the Catholic Church to apologize:

I do not post this video to condemn lay Catholics, many of whom are good-hearted people who do inspiring works of kindness in the name of the church. Instead, I’ve posted this video because I have become weary of seeing the Church automatically and publicly presented as a font of moral judgment just because it is a church (or, in some circles, The Church). I am wondering if we will ever see a day when the Catholic Church (and every other church) is not judged favorably merely because it is a church. I’m wondering whether we will ever see the day when, in response to a claim that we should follow rule because “It is a rule of a church,” people will generally ask: “What kind of church?” or “What is the track record of that church?” In any regard, we should never assume that a church is wise or moral just because it is a church. The current job title of Bernard Law compels this.

Bottom line:  No more free passes for churches.   Or for any entity or any person, for that matter.


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Category: Health, law and order, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Ben says:

    Erich: "I have become weary of seeing the Church automatically and publicly presented as a font of moral judgment just because it is a church."

    Epley: "People may use religious agents as a moral compass, forming impressions and making decisions based on what they presume God as the ultimate moral authority would believe or want. The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing. This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God's beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing."

  2. Mindy Carney says:

    And this morning, I saw this nugget of Catholic wisdom.

  3. Sounds like Rick Santorem all over again. "I have no problem with homosexuals, only with homosexual acts."

    So if you're a duck, keep your beak shut and don't ever fly.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Consider the damage that the alleged font of morality, the Catholic Church, has inflicted upon itself in Ireland.

    The joke used to be, "Is Ireland Catholic?" It's not so clear anymore.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Mindy: I'm catching up on earlier comments, including yours. Gad: A high ranking clergy of the Catholic Church bluntly states that homosexuals and transgendered people will not go to heaven.

    I suspect that in coming decades the Catholic Church will become much smaller and much more reactionary.

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