Opinion: A complete loss of moral authority

Gisborne (New Zealand) Herald

By Martin Hanson

February 24, 2018

In his February 18 column “Prayer move a rejection of Christ”, Ken Orr asks why, in seven generations, we have changed dramatically from a Christian nation dedicated to love, truth and justice, to an increasingly agnostic, secular humanist society that has lost its way?
While I agree with Tony Lee that a morality instilled by fear of the supernatural provides no sound basis for good behaviour, I think that there is another reason; the complete loss of moral authority by the Catholic Church.

For centuries the church has wielded great power, and as we all know, power and corruption often go together — the greater the power, the greater the tendency to abuse it. One of the most unforgiveable examples has been the sexual abuse of children in many countries by Catholic clergy. Compounding the effect of these evil crimes has been the cover-up and the relocation of offenders to other parishes where in many cases they have gone on to reoffend multiple times.

The timing of Mr Orr’s column was therefore particularly unfortunate, as it came hot on the heels of the February 11 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), which suggested that where sexual abuse of children is concerned, the Catholic Church in Australia considers itself above the law.

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