Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Another great stand against evil?

A few weeks ago I mentioned how Ratzinger decided to make same-sex marriages the very first thing he would fight against. Well, it is now time to add another thing to the list of evils he has chosen to fight first.

Abortion is in many ways a much more difficult and less clear-cut topic than same-sex marriages – I recognise this even though my own stance on the issue is very much pro-choice. Even if I were opposed to it, however, I would not see in abortion the greatest evil of the early twenty first century – it simply has too much competition from, to give just one example, the world’s superpower giving what is by now explicit support for torture being practiced both by its own soldiers and by its ‘allies’ (as explained in an article by Robert Fisk). Yet, Ratzinger puts his efforts into fighting abortion and not into ensuring that the prisoners of so-called civilized, democratic and oh-so-very Christian countries are treated humanely.

Frankly, I can not help but feel that, once again, the Catholic Church, instead of showing moral courage, is showing the kind of moral cowardice which, on the most favourable reading, it showed during the Second World War and which has helped it survive for two thousand years. Instead of actually standing up to the great evils of the day it seeks to build up a fake image of its virtue by attacking those who have little ability to actually fight back – in this case, the individual women whose rights to control their bodies are being taken away. If Ratzinger wished the Church to have real moral authority, he would have to turn the Church into a radical new direction. I can not help but think that if Jesus were alive right now he would feel that a Pharisee sat on the throne in Rome and that Jesus would fight against Christianity as energetically as he opposed the comfortable self-satisfaction and politic amenability of the religions of his day.


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