I know it’s unfair to judge a whole organisation by the conduct of one of its members; but how on earth does the Catholic Church let Jacob Rees-Mogg get away with it?
I was brought up a Christian: a faith I abandoned many years ago (it was the word ‘faith’ that did it for me, as a professional sceptic), but it was a very different kind of Christianity from – evidently – Rees-Mogg’s sort, and one whose dominant ethic, as I understood it, and which I still greatly admire, went right against his. Camels and needles come to mind. Together with ‘but the greatest of these is charity’. And ‘give everything you have to the poor’. And ‘blessed are the meek’. And all those instructions against bearing ‘false witness’. (You see: my Methodist upbringing wasn’t entirely lost on me.) OK, he may have spurned contraceptives, which goes down well with certain kinds of ‘Christian’. But so far as I remember the Bible doesn’t mention them in any case. So by my understanding of Christianity Jacob isn’t exactly Mother Theresa. (Not that, in my opinion, she was all that Christian herself. But what do I, as an ex-Christian, know?)
Does he go to Confession? What sort of priest is his confessor? Does he (JRM) know how sinful he is, and therefore which of his actions and opinions count as transgressions that he should confess? What is his priest’s reaction? How many Hail Marys does he make him say in penance? Does JRM have the time to recite them all? Do they – in Catholic theology – give him an ‘out of jail’ card to resume his un-Christian ways afterwards? Or does his condom-less begetting of lots of Catholic children make up for it all?
I really would like to know what his Church – i.e. the Pope – makes of him. Does it still ‘excommunicate’ people? After all, the Labour Party does, and for far less. (Which is why I’ve abandoned that, too.)
I suppose if the Catholic Church were to institute a kind of virtuous inquisition, to root out all the bad people who professed to be Christians, there would hardly be anyone left.
One needs to keep in mind the deal the Church made with the Devil in late Roman times, which has continued through the Middle Ages and well into the modern era. The state agreed to promote and support the Church by crushing its discontents and making membership compulsory. In exchange the Church would claim that God: (a) put the ruling class in power; and (b) rejected in principle all attempts to alter the social order.
Antagonising those who exercise power, let alone holding them to account, has never been at the top of the Church’s agenda.
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I assume you do not mean “Mother Theresa” May, whose “hideous ‘hostile environment’ policies have played into UKIP ferociously are about the most unchristian things done, apart from allowing Assad to survive for so long….
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