Now that a Catholic group has argued in court that a fetus isn’t a person — a belief that contradicts their own stated beliefs but could help them win a lawsuit — we get another chance to see Catholic hypocrisy in action.
Yesterday, the New York Times‘ Frank Bruni weighed in on the “convenient morality” of the Church:
… the church has simultaneously reserved the right to behave just like any other institution, leaning on legal technicalities, smearing victims and demonstrating no more compassion than a tobacco company might show…
They do things erratically, that’s for sure. From my extensive reporting on the sexual abuse crisis in the 1990s, I don’t recall any great push to excommunicate priests who forced themselves on kids. But when Sister Margaret McBride, in 2009, was part of a Phoenix hospital’s decision to abort an 11-week-old fetus inside a 27-year-old woman whose life was gravely endangered by the pregnancy, she indeed suffered excommunication (later reversed).
So a fetus matters more than the ravaged psyche of a raped adolescent? And Sister McBride deserved harsher rebuke than a rapist? It’s hard not to conclude that a church run by men shows them more mercy than it does women (or, for that matter, children).
And it’s hard to keep track: just when is the church of this world, and when not? It inserts itself into political debates, trying to shape legislation to its ethics. But it also demands exemption: from taxes, from accountability, from health care directives.
I love this comment on the NYT site:
Bill & Melinda Gates along with Warren Buffet have done more in Africa in ten years than the church accomplished in one hundred years.
(Thanks to Robert for the link!)