Friday, May 22, 2009

Cardinal Cormac: 'Atheism the greatest of evils.'

The outgoing Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, made a contribution at the end of Archbishop Vincent Nichols' installation that was at once touching, funny, serious and extreme. He said, rather controversially perhaps, that a lack of faith is 'the greatest of evils.' He blamed atheism for war and destruction, and implied it was a greater evil even than sin itself. Read the report running as a page lead in today's paper. Bess Twiston-Davies wrote a nice At Your Service for online.

One of the first people to criticise Archbishop Nichols after his installation was, as we report, none other than another Catholic bishop! What times we live in. The Right Rev Diarmuid Martin of Dublin issued his unprecedented public rebuke to Nichols through the pages of the Irish Independent. Even the loyal Catholic, Madeleine Bunting of The Guardian, wonders whether the Irish scandal is 'an abuse too far' and believes Nichols' response 'beggars belief.' Incidentally, Archbishop Nichols was himself educated by the Christian Brothers in Crosby.

You can read our early online report here of why the abuse story has threatened to engulf the installation ceremony. Archbishop Nichols praised the courage of those priests in the wake of the Irish child abuse scandal who had owned up to the abuse - even though none actually have. Instead, and quite incredibly, they managed to secure protection from the Government against their identities actually being known - even the dead ones. Nichols also urged us not to forget, in the rucus, the 'good' they had done.

Archbishop Nichols also defended faith against the rise of secularism. In his homily he said: 'Faith in God is not, as some would portray it today, a narrowing of the human mind or spirit. It is precisely the opposite. Faith in God is the gift that takes us beyond our limited self, with all its incessant demands....Some today propose that faith and reason are crudely opposed, with the fervour of faith replacing good reason. This reduction of both faith and reason inhibits not only our search for truth but also the possibility of real dialogue.'

More here-

No comments: