Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hypocrisy

In 1969, a Roman Catholic priest called Eamon Casey was ordained Bishop of Kerry. He was known as a good man who championed charities helping Irish emigrants in Britain, he loudly supported the supermarket workers who refused to handle produce from apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. He was also a ferociously loud critic of US foreign policy in Nicaragua and as a result refused to meet Ronald Reagan when he came to visited Ireland. He, working alongside Des Wilson, founded the homeless charity Shelter.

I said 'was known'.

Unnnnnnnnfortunately, as well as a publicly moral persona, the Bishop also had a private sexual persona. This private self had a relationship with an American woman. This relationship produced a son, Peter, born the same year as me.

As the Irish joke went at the time, at least he didn't sin twice and use a condom. That would have been hypocritical.

In a completely unrelated story with Catholicism at its centre, the Vatican has updated the traditional seven deadly sins by adding a further seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming commonplace in what it calls an era of "unstoppable globalisation".

Those newly risking eternal punishment include:

Drug trafficking and consumption (So I guess there is no room here for the difference between the drugs produced by AAPharmacuticalsLtd for pain relief and the little old lady growing a bit of something for pain relief

Scientists who manipulate human genes (I think this is a subject which should be open to educated debate without the hysteria of religion)

Violation of fundamental rights of human nature (Hmmmm, WHO gets to define what the fundamental rights are?)

Those who commit environmental pollution (According to the standards of China, America or the UK? Again, who decides what constitutes environmental pollution? I once took a poo behind a hedge a few hours after eating instant noodles, would it have been less of a sin had I eaten organic vegetables for my preceding meal?)

Inflicting poverty (Can't disagree with this one)

and now my own personal favorite; Accumulating excessive wealth.
So I am guessing, the Vatican will be quickly shedding the estimated $10-$15 BILLION dollars of assets that it pays no income tax on then.

After all, who wants to be accused of hypocrisy?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell". So either, there will be the sale of the century in Rome soon or a rush to the confessional that will make Roger Bannister's four minute mile look like the effort of a toddler who has just learned to walk or hell is going to be the party destination for those who like to party in pointy hats.