Judging the Catholic Church

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2018), Letters, Volume 26

Sir,—Your editorial ‘Judging the Catholic Church’ (HI 26.2, March/April 2018) is reasonably fair and nuanced, which is certainly not the norm in such commentary over the last 20–30 years. The usual approach is to attack the Church at its most vulnerable points. This stands in sharp contrast to classic Catholic apologetics, where the great Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas adopted the technique of taking on the strongest arguments of the Church’s opponents. No childish ‘straw man’ tactics for this philosophical genius. The Catholic Church in recent times is extremely lucky to have had the services of two exemplary neo-Thomist popes—John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The latter in particular set the benchmark for polemical brilliance in both his Regensburg University and Westminster Hall lectures. It’s interesting that the former drew the ire of both Islamic and liberal fundamentalists—it was totally over their heads. So while I have no problem in judging the Catholic Church, let the judgement be all-inclusive, not just liberal/feminist cherry-picking. Judging by Mary McAleese’s ageist and misandrist comments, the Vatican was absolutely correct not to allow her a platform. Finally, I would be somewhat sceptical of G.B. Shaw’s own ‘sceptical questioning’. Shaw was one of many naive intellectuals who were totally duped by the Soviet project.—Yours etc.,

ERIC CONWAY

 

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