Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sectarianism or fair criticism?

Most commentators in the Latinate world saw Ratzinger as a stop gap Pope, a safe pair of hands, a conservative solution in the hopes that by the time he had moved on the Catholic Church's much publicised indiscretions would have been safely buried in the library at St Peter's. The new Pope would have been able to carry on as if the 'blip' had never happened.

The reality is the Catholic Church's abusive side has become more apparent whether in Ireland, Europe, USA or South America as the Catholic conservatives have increasingly been exposed as hypocrites of the first degree whether it is in dealing with wide spread child abuse or the active homosexual element in their priesthood. Their ultimate ignorance was the attempts to blame the children as the author's of their own abuse, they were the one's who lead the priests and nuns astray - this was not only a moral failure but a theological failure and a scriptural abuse, "Suffer the little children to come unto me".

The growing contempt for Catholicism across the UK has less and less to do with 'sectarianism' and more and more to do with the Catholic Church's declining moral basis, of its serial denial and failure to address its adminstrative structures are no longer fit for purpose whether in the Vatican or in the Bishoprics. The Catholic Church at the top can claim and teach what it likes but without integrity, at every level below, the message is meaningless, hollow and an only an echo of what it once may have been. This has its mirror in the UK electorate's growing contempt for the Parliament at Westminster and for many of the same reasons.

I am a Scot and like the majority of modern Scots consider school, religion or football team are only of social interest and not a matter of life and death. For the record I went to Craiglockhart Primary School then George Watsons, I am an aetheist and I support Hearts. One of my friends is a Tibetan (one of the Dalai Lama's right hand men in Nepal), another friend is a Catholic Priest in Coatbridge, my cousin went to Heriots and supports the Hibbees - self justifcation? 

No - just reflecting the social mix of modern Scots because I sense am the norm, rather than the exception. I believe Scotland is about its civic ideals of fairness, opportunity and care for the community which operate outside the 'welfare establishment' of any church, often in spite of religious dogma and self interest, and cross over religion's self perpetuating barriers to aid in the creation of a real community.

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