It’s disturbing enough that anyone at all is having a ball with this ghastly issue, though maybe that’s inevitable when the Hitchens-Dawkins style of atheism has all the hallmarks of being a religion of its own. But worse is that their call for the Pope to resign smacks more than a little of… well, to be kind, disingenuousness. To be less kind, hypocrisy.
If you don’t believe in medicine, you’re hardly going to call for a better doctor. If H and D really believe all they say about the evils of religion, then there’s no way they could imagine that a change of Pope could make any difference, especially when nobody in the upper reaches of Churchly hierarchy seems capable of plain human feeling — capable, that is, of expressing pure unadulterated outrage that such things have been done under the guise (literally) of priestly robes.
I don’t question H and D’s outrage, but while most of us are watching this unfold with horror, they can barely contain their glee.
I wish I could feel that glee, but I’m with Nick Kristof on the Op-Ed page of today’s New York Times, talking about “the other Catholic church.” This is the “grass-roots church” of nuns and priests working with the poor, the sick, and the needy both in the States and worldwide. “Their magnificence,” writes Kristof, “lies not in their vestments, but in their selflessness.”
Maybe H and D could learn just a bit from that selflessness. They’ve leapt on the bandwagon of scandal with no apparent purpose other than self-promotion.
Or maybe Hitchens is running for Pope?