Nope To The Pope
Reader Comments (8)


If I were in London I would love to join you. I'll be there in spirit, so to speak.

Anonymous Bastard

Thanks for the post.

It's actually worth watching the full intelligence squared debate if anyone gets the chance. The link is:

It saddens me a bit to see such a romping defeat for the debate on the church being a force for good. It clearly has a lot of potential and the good contributions it does make are significant.

However the adage that power corrupts is clearly true; the church has a lot of influence and it's clear their corruption is great. Shame on them.

But the actions of a few shouldn't define people's view of what the church is about. I find it so frustrating when people make up their minds based on the actions or opinions of a few, it happens all too often. (Daily Fail readers spring to mind here). There's no doubt religion is a dangerous thing, wildly open to interpretation based on current culture and thinking. But the basic moral code it teaches is a decent one to live by.

It seems that in today's society any desire can and should be indulged, but I think the church is justified to make a stand on things such as condoms and AIDs. Today a condom seems to act as a kind of endorsement to procreate with whomever you like - it's safe now so go for it. The spread of AIDs is a by-product of that promiscuity.

However having said that, the guys at the helm of the catholic church are a disappointing bunch - the club seems out of touch and wields it's power and influence in baffling ways. It seems to be more about preserving and protecting than obeying it's own rules. As you say: "it's hard hard to feel very live-and-let-live about child rapists, nor about those who cover up for child rapists and shuffle them around to new dioceses..."


Anonymous Bastard: I usually make it a policy not to respond to people who post anonymously but I couldn't resist pointing out that when "the few" are the people in charge it is perfectly reasonable to let their actions define one's view of the institution they represent.

And sorry to nitpick, but your use of procreate as a synonym for fuck in this instance is comically unapt.


Go Mandy!

Yeah, AB, I do feel a little bad piling on the Vatican. As, coincidentally, I also make a big philosophical point of in Pandora's Sisters, the church really has provided the only working solution to the problem of morality: absolute morality. We need to act in this way because God has decreed it so. The only trouble, really, is believing it. (Also presupposes the rules "God" comes up with are good ones.) But, presuming it meets those two requirements, it's really the only successful leap over the yawning pit of moral relativism.

And I'm definitely more concerned about Islam than Catholicism. While C'm has problems with its leadership, I'm has problems with some of its leaders - and with its core ideology. As one of the cooler characters in my new book notes, "the ideology of Islam has real problems – in its compatibility with modernity and democracy, with its treatment of women as property, with its vilification of Jews and gays. The terrorism is just the one manifestation that’s impossible to ignore." I'd much rather see people flock to Catholicism than to Islam. In her new book, Aayaan Hirsi Ali goes so far as to suggest that many Muslims might get what they need, spiritually, from Christianity; and, if so, they really ought to convert. I sure hope her bodyguard detail is still paid up.

Point being, I suppose, that we've got much bigger problems than paedophile priests. Though not, I suppose, if you happen to be one of the victims.

Oh - I also heard somewhere recently that religion is a good thing because it gives people a real sense of accountability for how they live their lives. I like that.

Anonymous Bastard

@Mandy Yeah ok. Foot firmly in my mouth. My English is clearly woeful (at least you said it was comical)...

However, I think your comment is too black-and-white. It's reasonable but I think it's short-sighted to do so. For example, I didn't make my opinions of Americans based on Bush and team.

@Michael I agree with your comments - and I like the accountability quote too. When does the next book get released?


AB - Thanks very much for asking. The answer is: just as soon as my wonderful and high-powered and universally well-regarded agent sells the damned thing. Watch this space - DftRE readers will certainly be the first to know. Cheers, Michael

Celine Sayers

1. The Roman Catholic Church is the true Church. It is the mother Church. It is the Church of truth that no man can refute. All attempts to bring it down have failed. It has survived all attacks for 2000 years. Even the gates of hell do not have the power to bring it down.

2. The Holy Shepherd of the Church is the Holy Father Pope Benedict. As the pastor of the Supreme Church, he is beyond all reproach. He is the first pontiff to come out so strongly against sexual abuse. No other Pontiff has spoken with his authority-that the filth of sexual abuse must be purged from the Church.

3. Academics like Hitchens and Hawkins have a keen misunderstanding of the Church proceedings. They blame the Holy Father for the actions of the guilty priests, but we've never had a Pontiff who is so proactive about weeding out these offenders. There is no balance to their arguments-no attempts to give the other side equal time. It's a smear campaign fueled by hatred and bigotry. Their arguments will not win out because the Church is a Church of truth.

4. George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center writes "there were only six credible reports of sexual abuse of the young in the U.S. Church last year. And while that is six too many in a church that ought to hold itself to the highest standards, it is nonetheless remarkable in a community of 68 million people." (Newsweek-April 12, 2010, page 43, next to the last paragraph).

5. Priests are wonderful, holy men who give their lives for the Church. They are on call 24/7 to help people. They emulate Christ in being servants of the Church and their parishioners. They need our prayers and support.

6. Celibacy has nothing to do with sexual abuse. Many married ministers commit sexual abuse-it's a sickness that has nothing to do with celibacy. For those who want to condemn celibacy as perverted, just look at Mohandas Gandhi. For the sake of holiness he practiced celibacy within marriage. This is a lot more unusual than a single person practicing celibacy. For those who want to call celibates "perverted" it is unfair because 1: You don't really know this person well enough to have that right to call him perverted 2: You are not recognizing his moral strength and discipline to forego earthly pleasures. Christ had the perfect balance between spirituality and sexuality to practice celibacy.

7. The Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church. If it is necessary, I am willing to die for the Church and for Jesus Christ, my savior.


*sorry - off topic*
Glad to hear you are still looking to publish books Michael. Are you still writing?

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