[Cross-posted on Artificial Habitat
The Vatican owes me another irony meter.
Here are a couple of occurances that will be familiar to those who have encountered Catholics in online discussions:
1) They often (always?) claim that any criticism of their superstitious crap by 'intolerant secular bigots' represents a concerted attempt to deny Catholics their freedom of religion.
2) Any comments to the effect that doctors, nurses, MPs, registrars and other public servants have a duty to do the jobs that they are paid for (out of taxpayer's money), which takes precedence over their personal religious views (and inviting them to find another line of work if they don't like that), will be branded as attempts to deny Catholics freedom of conscience. And probably labelled 'intolerance' and 'bigotry' as well - a favourite tactic of theirs.
Well, have a read of this
. Straight from the mouth of the Keeper of the Magical Trousers* Raymond L. Burke.
Relevant to point 1), above:
"Who can claim a right to receive the Body of Christ?"
"we can not ever say that we have the right to receive in the Holy Communion"
So, Catholics don't have a right to practice their religion? Interesting. I shall have to remember that, the next time some Catholic tells me I'm trying to suppress their human right to freedom of religion: apparently they have no such right. The Vatican says.
Archbishop Raymond L Burke, pointed out that Catholics, especially politicians, who publicly advocate abortion should not take commune, and said that Church ministers had a duty to deny communion if such people request it until they have reformed their views.
Remember all that bleating about freedom of conscience? Apparently Catholics don't have that, either. Any individual whose views do not agree with those of the Vatican should be denied communion until they stop thinking for themselves and are brought into line.
Now, I personally think that the entire Catholic faith, all the pageantry, the pseudo-cannibalistic rituals, the nonsensical proclamations, etc, is a load of old bollocks. However, to the members of the Catholic church, these rituals have meaning and importance. I would prefer that they woke up and stopped believing this crap, but I see that the rituals are important to them, and that it would be a gross violation of their human rights to take any direct action to prevent them from receiving communion, which I understand to be utterly central to their faith. And yet, in a frankly disgusting act of emotional (I suppose, for them, also 'spiritual') blackmail, this glorious Church is prepared to restrict the freedom of religion of any followers who dare to hold and affirm opinions which deviate from the official line. Furthermore, they are not prepared to allow individual freedom of conscience within their own ranks. Hence the sad loss of my latest irony meter.
If these people are somehow right about all the God and Jesus stuff, doesn't it strike you as just a teensy bit arrogant that a few men in robes feel they have the authority to deny people access to communion with their creator? I thought all the judging was up to the big guy upstairs.
Raymond L Burke also said that when a bishop or ecclesiastical authority prevents someone who supports abortion to receive communion, it "has no intention to interfere in public life but in the spiritual state of the political or public official who, if Catholic, should follow the divine law."
Er, lying much? In what universe is exerting this kind of pressure on Catholic politicians not
a direct attempt to 'interfere in public life'. This guy is going on the board**.
So. There you have it. If any Catholics are reading this, take note. I
have more respect for your freedom of religion and your freedom of conscience, than the senior figures in your own church. Just remember that the next time you're thinking of accusing me (or any other secularist) of intolerance or bigotry.
*may not be actual title, not that the real one makes any more sense.
**I'll explain later