Men in fancy hats set their priorities


It is truly an amazing hat.

That’s the kind of hat that if anyone other than a priest were seen to be wearing it, small children would point and whoop with laughter, adults would purse their lips in concern and cross the street to avoid it, and concerned policemen would pull over to politely ask, “Do you need some assistance, sir? Are you on any medication?”

Strangely, though, priests must get a special dispensation to be allowed to wear clothing that, if portrayed on the pages of a super-hero comic book, would cause readers accustomed to the garishness of Superman and Wonder Woman to blanch, blink their eyes, and wonder how over-the-top these crazy artists were going to get.

And that’s before we even listen to what they have to say.

That’s the new Archbishop of Westminster, and the Times had the perfect title for the article: Archbishop of Westminster attacks atheism but says nothing on child abuse. Really, nothing more needs to be said.

This is the blinkered cleric who said of the reports of abuses in Irish Catholic workhouses that it took great courage for the clergy to step forward. This is the guy who used the opportunity of his homily to pretend faith was a source of great good in the world.

This archbishop also has a pal, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who against the backdrop of the recent revelations of pedophilia, sadism, and the cover-up of same, could say:

For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.

So Richard Dawkins and I are far greater evils than the goatish Christian Brothers who raped young boys in their care? Well, gosh, thanks, I think.

Just to place myself in the Catholic mindset for a moment, though, if leaving the church is a great evil, wouldn’t discrediting the church by evil acts, by the suppression of justice, and by turning a blind eye to the corruption spreading through the body of Christ be even greater sins, since they will cause multitudes to turn away from the Church? Wouldn’t that make Murphy-O’Connor and Nichols perpetrators of even greater crimes against the faith than Richard Dawkins?