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Cardinal spouts nonsense on Radio 4’s Today programme

REASON alone is “dangerous” to society; it has to be tempered with faith if we are to avoid repeating horrors committed by the likes of Hitler and Stalin.

So said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, when interviewed this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, following a lecture he gave yesterday.

He lamented the fact that “the Christian voice” was increasingly being stifled in the UK, and made the astonishing claim that people in Britain want Church leaders to speak out on key policy issues.

The Cardinal sounded less than pleased when interviewer John Humphrys put it to him that that religious leaders, in the view of people like Professor Richard Dawkins – interviewed earlier on the programme – “talk rubbish”, and should, therefore, not be permitted to interfere in government matters.

The Cardinal’s then went on dish out some garbage about atheists “constructing God” simply in order to knock him down, and to repeat the claim that Britain was a “Christian country, with 70 percent of the population professing a belief in the Christian faith”.

He added:

Britain should not be allowed to become a God-free zone.

In his lecture, the Cardinal said:

There are social currents today that want to isolate religion from other forms of knowledge and experience in order to marginalise it.

One of the things which I challenge is the desire to separate Christianity from rational inquiry. Many of our ‘new atheists’ seem unable to cope with the notion of an intelligent, reflective Christian faith. But the Catholic Christian tradition is characterised by a close relationship between reasoned understanding and religious faith. Faith for us is the flowering of reason, not its betrayal.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, lost no time in launching an excoriating attack on Cormac-O’Connor in this morning’s Guardian.

Murphy-O’Connor … speaks with forked tongue when he tries to portray the Catholic Church as some persecuted institution that means harm to no one. He says the Catholic Church is caricatured as ‘some heartless, insular institution that wants to deny people their freedom’.

Cardinal – this is not a caricature. It is the truth. Your own actions and pronouncements confirm it. You have tried to deny human rights to homosexuals, you have tried to rob women of the right to choose contraception and abortion and thereby take control of their lives, you have tried (and continue to try) to interfere with scientific research that may lead to the alleviation of enormous suffering.

You have attempted to manipulate the political process by pressurising Catholic MPs. On a personal level you – and your Church – try to control every aspect of your followers’ lives, from telling them what to think, what to eat and when to eat it, to telling them who they can sleep with and even what they can and cannot do when they get between the sheets …

5 responses to “Cardinal spouts nonsense on Radio 4’s Today programme”

  1. Michael Cohen says:

    As with other -so called “faith leaders” Murphy-O’Connor is a deluded dangerus man who warps the minds of his gulable followers

  2. Valdemar says:

    If it were more widely known that the Catholic Church is opposed to IVF under any circumstances I suspect it would do it considerable harm. After all, you rarely open your local paper without reading of some couple’s struggle to conceive using IVF and/or their outrage at being denied it on the NHS. Perhaps secular spokespersons could bang on (no pun intended) about this a bit more?

  3. J Clarkson says:

    The trouble with atheists and so called FREE Thinkers is that they don’t FREELY THINK very clearly and they are usually hypocrites. Why, because they believe that life is so precious (since they only have this one) that the object is to stay alive as long as possible, and that everyone else should be given this benefit as well. This is the main reason why humans have a population of nearly 7 billion and in the next centuries this may go up to 20 or even 200 billion. Then the planetary ecosystem and resources will not be able to handle this!

    Most religions by contrast express the need for suffering and death to liberate the human soul. Medical care should be restricted. IVF should be restricted. Why not adopt?

    I am not a Jehovah witness or a religious person, but I think it is time the FREE THINKERS started THINKING HARDER about the type of world they are going to create in the future!

  4. Marcus says:

    J Clarkson, you are the one who ought to be thinking harder. Over-population stems from the refusal of the Catholic Church, inter alia, to allow birth control; and, while most secularists would support assisted suicide for people whose lives have become unbearable through illness and pain, religionists steadfastly stand in the path of legislation that would allow euthanasia under strictly controlled conditions.

  5. Gene S. says:

    J Clarkson.

    Then by all means, lead by example. Do not procreate. Better yet, sterilize yourself and seek to convince others to do exactly the same.

    Do not purchase a home or a car. Live in the most minimal lifestyle possible.

    Thinking is irrelevant if we are to face “200 billion” on this planet as you claim.

    You should back your call to action by your own actions.