TAKE a deep breathe â€¦ you are about to be annoyed. Very annoyed indeed.
IN THE same week in which the unremitting cruelty of Catholic institutions towards vulnerable youngsters in Ireland was exposed, the outgoing Archbishop of Westminster had the sheer gall to identify “lack of faith” as “the greatest of all evils.”
According to The Times, the rancid Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor -who recently said that secularists and atheists were “not fully human” – blamed atheism for war and destruction, and suggested it was a greater evil even than sin itself.
Speaking at the installation of his successor, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, O’Connor referred to the battles that will be won and lost in the effort to sustain the Christian presence in a secular society.
What is most crucial is the prayer that we express every day in the Our Father, when we say, deliver us from evil. The evil we ask to be delivered from is not essentially the evil of sin, though that is clear, but in the mind of Jesus, it is more importantly a loss of faith. For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.
You see the things that result from this are an affront to human dignity, destruction of trust between peoples, the rule of egoism and the loss of peace. One can never have true justice, true peace, if God becomes meaningless to people.
Archbishop Nichols also defended faith against the rise of secularism. In his homily he said:
Faith in God is not, as some would portray it today, a narrowing of the human mind or spirit. It is precisely the opposite. Faith in God is the gift that takes us beyond our limited self, with all its incessant demands â€¦
Earlier, NicholsÂ infuriated child protection groups and victims of clerical abuse by saying that, while the Irish Child Abuse Commission report was distressing and disturbing, it had taken “courage” for members of the clergy to face up to the facts in their past.
He added that the report:
Should not overshadow all of the good that institutions such as the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy had done.
A spokesman for the campaign group Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, Patrick Walsh, reacted angrily, saying:
Rubbish is too kind a word for what the Archbishop has said … It is the verbiage of unreason, and it leaves me cold. What the Archbishop really has to do is take a long hard look at the character and nature of the people he is talking about and ask himself if they are capable of being good.