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The Catholic church is a force for good

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Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world?

On October 19, 2009, at a panel entitled The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World a panel of representatives of both sides of the issue debated. A vote was later taken by the participants on the issue: Final Vote: 268 For, 1876 Against, Undecided 34

Aired 11-7-09 on BBC World


Christopher Hitchens asserts that any argument trying to identify the merits of the Catholic Church must begin with a long list of sincere apologies for its past crimes, including but not limited to: the Crusades; the Spanish inquisition; the persecution of Jews and the forced conversion of peoples to Catholicism, especially in South America. He illustrates the vacuity of recent Catholic apologies by drawing on the case of Cardinal Bernard Law shamed out of office in the US for his part in covering up the institutionalized sexual abuse of children whose punishment from the Vatican was to be appointed a supreme vicar in Rome, and who was among those assembled in the 2005 Papal Conclave to choose the next Pope. Hitchens concludes by reminding the Archbishop that his own Church has been responsible for the death of millions of his African brothers and sisters, citing the Church's disastrous stance on Aids prevention, as well as the ongoing trials in Rwanda in which Catholic priests stand accused of inciting massacre during the 1994 genocide.

Stephen Fry


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