A defence of the Christian Faith was overdue

3/4/10; (2 Items)

Cardinal Pell offers a splendid non sequitur when he says that atheists don’t sponsor community services. Of course they don’t, at least not as atheists because most atheists don’t belong to an identifiable group or join identifiable atheists clubs. The cardinal may think atheism is a religion but it’s not an organised church. Does he really think that the supporters of agencies such as Medecins Sans Frontieres and Oxfam, and even of some religious charities don’t include atheists? I’d be happy to show him my credit card statements. Some atheists such as Richard Dawkins are bigoted when they refuse to accept that people can have honest religious beliefs and uncivil in the way they discuss questions of belief. Pell is similarly bigoted and uncivil in his denial that atheists can be honest disbelievers. R. J. Fisher, Leichhardt, NSW

-There is a delicious irony in the hate mail against atheists by the worshipers of the God of Love. We have been labelled as ‘idolaters’ by their leaders. I am now deciding whether I will choose to be stoned to death or burned at the stake. Perhaps both to make sure. I wonder where George Pell gets the information that we don’t contribute to charities? Garth Slade, Bicton, WA

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/a-defence-of-the-christian-faith-was-overdue/story-fn558imw-1225849616223

Anglican leader says sorry
5/4/10; No Internet Text; AFP
The leader of the world’s Anglicans has expressed “deep sorrow and regret” for saying the Irish Catholic Church was “losing all credibility” over the pedophile priests scandal.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams yesterday phoned Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, to apologise for “difficulties” created’ by his remarks.
Archbishop Martin said he was “stunned” by Dr Williams’s “unequivocal and unqualified” criticism of the Catholic Church, made in a BBC radio interview to be broadcast today.
But Dr Williams told
Archbishop Martin “nothing could have been farther from his intention than to offend or
criticise the Irish church”.
A spokeswoman for Dr Williams confirmed he had spoken to Archbishop Martin, and said he had no intention of criticising the Irish church.
Dr Williams’s comments were unusually outspoken and critical for the leader of another church.
Relations between the two churches have been strained since last October, when Pope Benedict offered disgruntled Anglicans an easier way to convert to Catholicism.
Dr Williams said in the interview the Irish Catholic Church was suffering colossal trauma.
“An institution so deeply bound into the life of a society suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility —that’s that’s not just a problem for the church, it’s a problem for everybody in Ireland,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Pope’s personal preacher apologised yesterday for a comparison between anti-Semitism and criticism of the Catholic Church over pedophilia scandals. “If I inadvertently hurt the feelings of Jews and pedophilia victims, I sincerely regret it and I apologise,” Raniero Cantalamessa told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.