A Roman Catholic apology for the past sins of its members
Negative review of our essays
on Pope John Paul II's apology:
"Locksley," a visitor to this web site objected to our discussion of the
apology. He wrote:
With respect, I found your review of Pope John Paul II's astounding and
heartfelt apology in AD 2000 devoid of any historical retrospective or
realization of the implications of the Church humbling herself in the eyes of
There was not one word of appreciation for the
Roman Catholic Church, the faith
held by 1/6 of the people on earth for taking this necessary step to break
through real and imagined resentment for her existence.
Although you refer to the fact that Catholic theology teaches that the Church
herself is pure and unspotted, that teaching is itself made to look like an
insult to Pagans, Jews,
Muslims and women. You suggested - in a rather demanding
way - that the Church rethink its policy on married clergy,
ordination, withholding sacraments from divorced and remarried Catholics and
homosexual marriage, apparently with no regard to biblical injunctions and the
Church's teaching of those biblical injunctions.
I noted, when it served your purpose, you quote from St Augustine, offering an
opinion about the viability of fetal life in the womb, as though Augustine was
some kind of early gynecological expert. You exalt his opinion on something he
could only guess at to 'church teaching'. While it's true that much of
Augustine's philosophic idea have been reviewed over the centuries and are
accepted as accurate explanations for the fallen nature of humanity,
predestination and similar topics, Augustine has not been declared infallible
and incapable of error.
Your correspondent seems free of understanding the differences between dogma,
doctrine within the infallible magisterium of the Church and disciplines within
The acceptance of divorce and remarriage, for example, entails a complete denial
of the words of Christ in Matthew 19, in which Jesus quite clearly denies
validity of divorce and remarriage and condemns both practices with harsh
Through the centuries, the Catholic Church demanded kings and commoners to treat
their wives with dignity. This attitude stands in sharp contrast to Jewish,
Moslem and Protestant practice which has often allowed divorce for the most
trivial of reasons.
The women put out of the houses of their husbands - you make no mention of them.
While sometimes husbands returned the dowries with the wives, most often these
women were sent away to fend for themselves with nothing but the clothes on
their backs. Again, this is but an example of the highly myopic and totally
skeptical eye with which you regarded the efforts of Pope John Paul to put aside
any trace of hatred and misunderstanding.
Your presentation in regard to this humble papal admission that all too often
Catholics missed the mark, left me with the distasteful impression that it is a
Indeed, I gathered from this article that this apology is not enough, that the
Catholic Church should stand accused at the World Court under subpoena of
genocide and crimes against humanity.
I don't see your organization as promoting tolerance as much as it
The article made it clear that your organization denies that any religion can
claim to be of divine origin: all are equally good and all are equally bad -
except that evil old Roman Catholic Church which is really beyond the pale, no
matter what her leaders say.
I doubt I will pay much attention to anything else the "Religious Tolerance"
website puts out, since I see it is devoted to the concept of 'whatever the
moral market will bear," viz. the secular humanism, secular progressivism,
political correctness and moral relativism of the Culture of Death.
it is my sincere hope that, from a perspective of six years, one of your writers
will take a second look at the humility of Pope John Paul II. Still, I have a
feeling in my gut that you will not.
I regret that you do not return answers to emails. I'm sorry you've been
subjected to hate and intolerance. Having read your piece, I know the feeling.
I also regret that you do not live up to the 'religious tolerance" your headline
trumpets. Indeed, regarding Catholic teaching, methinks thou dost protest too
Originally posted: 2007-FEB-07, with the permission of the
Latest update: 2007-FEB-07