Polly Toynbee in today’s Guardian has said more or less what I’ve been wanting to say about the flummery surrounding the Pope’s death and the hypocrisy of the Catholic church and other religions.
The Vatican is not a charming Monaco for tourists … It is a modern, potent force for cruelty and hypocrisy.
… With its ban on condoms the church has caused the death of millions of Catholics and others in areas dominated by Catholic missionaries … millions of very young Aids orphans are today’s immediate victims of the curia … this irresponsibility is beyond all comprehension.
… the Vatican turns a blind eye to … the suffering little children whose priests come unto them. Yet at the same time it thunders disapproval of sex … blighting the lives of millions with its teaching on gays, divorce, abortion and unrealistic self-denial. There is no reckoning how many of the world’s poorest women have died giving birth to more children than they can survive; contraception is women’s true saviour.
… At the funeral will be a convocation of mullahs, rabbis and all the other medieval faiths that increasingly conspire together against modernity. … What is it about religion that unites them all on sex? … Why is controlling women’s bodies the shared battle flag of every faith?
I’ve wanted to write something similar to this but have been hampered by my lack of writing skills. Thanks, Polly, for saying it for me. I hope I’ve preserved the sense and direction of your article with my selective quotes.
Posted 8 April 2005, 01:14 BST