Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, POTY 2012  
Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 08:50 AM - Longley
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Oh dear, is it really my turn to do this? Can't we get one of the pretend Christian Churches, like the Church of England to do it today? I had a nice piece all ready about Plato, Saint Augustine and the extreme relevance of Catholic social teaching. Do I really have to go into all that Cardinal O'Brien stuff?

What with Pope Benedict's resignation because he'd lost control of the Vatican, reports of gay blackmail, continued problems at the Vatican Bank, cardinals who covered up sex abuse insisting on getting their vote for the new pope, almost daily law suits against Catholic leaders, the forced resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien seems like just one more scandal on top of hundreds more.

Now Cardinal O'Brien isn't one to mess with words. He calls it as he sees it. There's no beating about the bush with him. No one can accuse him of holding back. He came right out with it. He made sure everyone knew that gay marriage is exactly the same as reintroducing slavery. Three priests in his charge, and one ex-priest who resigned rather than having to work under him, have now accused him of being more out with it than they would have preferred. It tends to make him look just a teensy weensy wee bit hypocritical

Given the intrigue, power politics, secrecy, blatant career climbing, sexual misconduct, cover ups, hypocrisy, homophobia, misogyny and questionable financial transactions, you might be tempted to think that maybe the Roman Catholic Church was not created by the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend after all.

Not a bit of it. There have always been a few bad apples that spoil this otherwise perfect institution. The Catholic Church is, after all, a forgiving church. It has to be, over and over again, for the last several thousand years.

Ordinary Catholics may feel betrayed at being constantly lied to, but we'll keep putting money in the collection plate so that all those men can keep dressing in silk and keep on doing what they've always done.

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