Goodbye to an Evil Pope
February 28, 2013
Goodbye, evil Pope.
At least this Pope admitted that the Catholic Church is unable to decide what is good and what is evil.
On December 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI described how the Catholic Church hasn't had a consistent moral stand against the sexual abuse of children. As reported in the media (quotation from the Belfast Telegraph), he said:
"In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said. "It was maintained - even within the realm of Catholic theology - that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself."
Nothing like endorsing moral relativism when one needs to justify raping children. And in this speech he couldn't even declare that the Catholic Church does now know that this crime is evil in itself.
Atheism doesn't endorse sexual abuse in any form. Atheism doesn't endorse a depraved moral relativism permitting just about any evil. Atheism won't agree that morality is absolute because God says so, it is true. Yet if atheism leaves morality less objective than infallible certainty, it at least knows that having sex with minors is wrong, wrong, wrong. If atheism rests morality on what is best for people, at least it knows that harming innocent children is therefore bad in itself, because protecting children is always best for them.
Let me ask a hypothetical question. Which is worse, doubting whether child rape is evil, or doubting whether God exists? If you pick the second option, then you are as evil as this Catholic Church.
Atheism has no doubt about the immorality of child abuse, but it does doubt the existence of God. Is that bad? Compared to this Catholic Church, atheism is looking pretty good.
#1 Jeffrey Eldred (Guest) on Thursday February 28, 2013 at 8:18pm
That quote is out of context. He is not embracing moral relativism, but blaming it. He goes on to blame feminism and atheism for all of the sins of the Catholic Church. So still wrong, but for a different reason!
#2 Daniel Quinn (Guest) on Friday March 01, 2013 at 8:20am
This argument makes no sense. I’m an atheist and I happen to believe child abuse is morally wrong, but my not believing in God has nothing to do with my moral perspective. Atheism as a disbelief in God has no inherent moral perspective.
#3 fodigg (Guest) on Friday March 01, 2013 at 8:40am
My understanding is that this pope tried to address the issue more than others, although in the usually behind-closed doors, ass-backwards, and ultimately mere lip service method typical of the organization. And that he was blocked by subordinates who wanted to stay the course on a policy of cover-up. That doesn’t make him less liable of course, but if true, might make him somewhat less evil on this issue. Cherry picking one quote out of context doesn’t strike me as very rational criticism when there is so much else to be critical about without such tactics.
Also, it’s my morality and humanism that make me not evil. Atheism affects or informs that but hardly effects or constitutes it.
#4 Nolan (Guest) on Friday March 01, 2013 at 5:25pm
I agree with Daniel. I think you should replace “atheism” with “naturalism” or “humanism” and it’ll make a little more sense. I guess one could link certain morality with “movement atheism” but most people won’t really make that association.
I also find it highly implausible that the pope was endorsing moral relativism in his quote. It does sound, as Jeffrey said, that the pope is making more of a descriptive comment about why the abuse occurred (perhaps misguided), than a prescriptive comment as to how we should view the abuse. I think the principle of charity applies in this post quite a bit if we want to criticize Catholics fairly.