I don’t like the church’s spoon

Madeleine Bunting again, as with the Ryan report last year, almost gets it, but then she drops the ball at the end.

There will be plenty celebrating the Catholic church’s plight, and it is hard not to agree in some part with MacCulloch, that hubris has played a huge part in this institution’s history and its current crisis. But it is also important to acknowledge that this is more tragedy than anything else. For the victims, their families, their congregations – many of whom see no cause for celebration despite their need for truth – and for those causes on which the church has proved a trenchant champion, stirring lazy consciences on the arms race, global inequality and capitalist excess.

Causes don’t need the Catholic church. They really don’t. This is the most fundamental point of the whole loathsome tale, the one that Bunting almost got but then lost again: the church has no moral standing, so it is not useful for stirring lazy consciences. We just don’t need the church’s help on the arms race, global inequality and capitalist excess – especially since it comes at the price of the church’s ‘help’ on abortion and contraception. We don’t look to the Mafia for help with causes, and we don’t look to the Catholic church either.

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