Godless world rears ugly head
For a practicing Catholic, or Christian of any denomination, reading Dr. Deaton’s “Hypocrisy, history and public policy is like walking through a mine field of morally explosive issues: abortion, euthanasia, the Index, separation of church and state, artificial contraception and family planning.
First, I would agree historically the Church does not have a good record with certain issues: the Inquisition, the treatment of aboriginals in colonial North America
and clerical abuse. Recent pontiffs, especially Pope Francis, have admitted the Church’s guilt and are moving towards reconciliation. Only the mercy and grace of God working in our hearts will help us restore justice in these situations.
Secondly, the curt comment on current episcopacy cries out for a response. Decades ago some bishops in foreign countries may have overstepped their bounds and breached the separation of church and state. But in Canada any statement from the bishops on polarizing subjects like abortion or euthanasia is not to tell people what to do but to advise them, for example, on the sanctity of life. The bishops of Canada would be remiss if they did not speak up on such critical topics.
Decisions on serious issues like the above are not purely political, but essentially moral realities toohence the advice of the bishops.
Thirdly, Dr. Deacon’s article, though highly critical of the moral philosophy of the Church, may have a redeeming subtext. One may wonder why a writer would direct such vehement criticism at the Church. Could the pointed volleys be also the product of living in modernity, that is, a society devoid of any sense of the Transcendent? If we have lost touch with God, we have also lost all absolutes, like truth and justice. Ironically Dr. Deacon’s article shows us what can happen in a godless world. Bernard J. Callaghan, Charlottetown