Windsor Humanist Society

March 30, 2009

The Sins Of The Christian Church

Filed under: Uncategorized — moderator @ 4:16 pm

The Roman Catholic Church is preying on my mind. There are several immediate reasons, some entirely obvious. Pope Benedict XVI embraces an excommunicated bishop whom everyone but he (we are told) knew was a africademented Holocaust denier. Pope Benedict pronounces, as he departs for Africa, that condoms actually increase the AIDS problem. HIV and AIDS remains an out-of-control plague across southern Africa and the Pope has again done incalculable damage to AIDS prevention.

But it’s not just Benedict. As I prepare to leave on my own Africa trip — to Rwanda to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the genocide of its Tutsi people — I also think of Benedict’s charismatic predecessor. John Paul II wanted to be known as the great healer who apologized on behalf of the Church for its multiple sins and crimes of the past. Most renowned was his apology for the 2000 years his Church fomented anti-Semitism among Catholics. But he too was a ferocious public foe of condoms, for which he never sought forgiveness. Equally infamous but less well-known was his steadfast failure to apologize for, or indeed to even acknowledge, the notorious role of his Church in setting the stage for, enabling and ultimately participating in the genocide in Rwanda.

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