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  1. #1
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    Default Debate on the Catholic Church

    This is a crackerjack 2009 debate in the Intelligence Squared series, with the motion being:

    The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world

    With the Church's disgraceful role in covering up the systematic rape of children in its care over who knows how many decades (centuries?) being very much in the news, this is a useful way of setting some broader context about its other activities.

    Debaters are Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry (against) and Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop Onaiyekan (for).


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    Default Debate on the Catholic Church

    The Catholic Church is a bit of a joke IMO. While they run worthy charities and help people in need, they also hoard wealth, cover up abuse, discriminate against certain groups and seem to want to keep women as second class citizens. Great link, thanks for sharing

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    Not content with running the world's biggest paedophile protection racket, the Pope has recently taken to using every possible opportunity to attack gay marriage, including his Christmas address.

    There is of course a link between these issues. Perhaps if the Church had allowed its clergy to form adult relationships and marry the people they loved -- be they men or women -- they wouldn't be facing this cascading scandal of child rape and cover-up.

    It seems obvious to most sane people that the head of an outfit entirely run by male celibates is the last person on earth who should be pontificating on how other people celebrate and live out their love for each other.

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    Default Re: Debate on the Catholic Church

    I personally really don't think raping children is the natural consequence of not being allowed to marry.

    But that might be a whole other topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boobycino View Post
    I personally really don't think raping children is the natural consequence of not being allowed to marry.
    True. You need other factors, including unimpeded access (schools, altar boys, etc), institutional complicity so there are no serious consequences, a belief in a theology that has a totally distorted view of human sexuality (such that even masturbation is a "sin"), and a recruitment policy that attracts those uncomfortable with their own sexuality.

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    Default Re: Debate on the Catholic Church

    ^^^ that's exactly my thoughts.

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    Being a huge Christopher Hitchens fan I watched this clip some time ago. I think the Catholic Church as an institution is inherently evil. Some of the things that have made me come to this opinion are as follows:

    - high ranking Catholic Church officials in Africa advising that condom use cause AIDS.
    - forbidding the use of contraception thereby not allowing women the right to bodily autonomy and making them baby factories
    - this incident where a young Brazillian girl (I think she was 11) was raped and became pregnant as a result. Her mother arranged an abortion for her, the catholic church excommunicated the doctor that performed the abortion but not the rapist.
    - The process that will eventually make Mother Teresa a saint when she did nothing for the poor and dying other than putting a roof over their heads, she accepted donations from knowingly corrupt people and spent it on building new convents as opposed to medical health for her patients, she denied patients any medical care regardless if they were in excruciating pain from terminal illness (although she admitted herself to hospital when required) as well as refused to let family visit them and encouraged the other nuns to baptise patients in secret when they were barely alive plus lots more.
    - The catholic church refuses to update their beliefs and teachings regardless of the most convincing and proven facts, only accepting those that 'work for them'.
    - They actively protected child molesters and rapists.
    - They believed that protecting the code of silence regarding confessions is/was more important that child rapists, molesters, etc being brought to justice.
    - They believe it is more important to build and maintain zillion dollar churches and monuments than feed the starving and help the poor.

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    To add - the Catholic Church does all the above and much more and then claims to be the beacon of goodness, holiness, virtuousness etc.

    ETA: Having been a UK resident for 8 years, just mentioning the name "Ann Widdecombe" is enough to raise my blood pressure. *shudders* Her response to the man who asks why does she not condone female priests yet she was an MP for years is typical of her attitudes.
    Last edited by Busy-Bee; 22-12-2012 at 20:03.

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    Default Debate on the Catholic Church

    I enjoyed the debate, thanks for sharing.

    All I will add is how saddened I was when I visited the Vatican as a backpacker. To see the overwhelming value of art in the museum and yet undernourished Romanian beggars and their children just outside the walls....


 

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