by Greg Spearritt
The Age religion journalist Barney Zwartz has delivered a blistering attack on the processes and people involved in the sacking of Toowoomba’s Bishop Morris. This is in the wake of two independent assessments of the Vatican's action which found that the decision flouted both natural justice and the Church’s own canon law.
(The irony of NSW judges starting their 2012 year with a ‘Red Mass’ at which Cardinal Pell was celebrant is clear: the mass is a chance for those “seeking or dispensing justice” to seek divine guidance.)
Zwartz rightly complains of the Catholic authorities that “[t]heir medieval attitudes to authority seem very distant from the biblical teachings of Christ.” Indeed, there’s a great deal about the Catholic Church (and other churches one might name) that fails to measure up to the teachings of the earthly Jesus…
- What might the biblical Jesus have to say about the immense wealth of such institutions in the face of enormous human need?
- What of their oppressive rules and strictures – man made for the Sabbath – which they themselves observe only when it suits?
- What of their hypocrisy in sacking/retiring bishops with the integrity of William Morris and Bob Maguire while they shuffle pedophile priests from parish to parish?
- What of their failure to observe decent contemporary societal standards in discriminating against women and gays while expecting society to provide the Church with the privilege of exemption from rates and taxes?
I hasten to make a distinction here between the institution and hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the many thoughtful Catholics who find these inconsistencies as appalling as I do.
I think one has to appreciate that there are good and evil people everywhere and Christian churches, of whichever denomination are no exception. Evil people infiltrate religious organization, churches, mosques, temples etc., just as they do governments, the bureaucracy and the business world. These people claim to be devout and supposedly act in the Name of God but indeed they are looking to betray others, do harm, question the validiyt of faith and destroy the name of religion in the eyes of the general public. This is one reason why many people have become either wholly or partly secular and have looked to science for answers, which of course science can't or won't provide.
Posted by Ani Eade