Friday, December 30, 2011

An apology to my Catholic friends

Reading Sam Harris’s (so far excellent) The Moral Landscape, I was reminded of the horrific Catholic child abuse, which made me angry. I needed to vent this anger, and tweeted:

“Honestly doesn't know how decent human beings can call themselves Catholic following their Church's worldwide institutionalised child rape”

My lack of skill composing that tweet led people to think I was saying things like:

1. Calling yourself Catholic means you condone child abuse.
2. You can’t be a decent human being and be a Catholic.
3. That it seemed I was saying child abuse was part of the Catholic faith.

Had I thought that any of those things could be inferred from my tweet, I would not have written it, as I do not mean any of them. However, those things and more were inferred, and I must apologise for my poor communication which led to my insulting people.

What I was trying to say was (quite naively) that:

I know a fair few Catholics whom I am very fortunate to have (I hope it’s still present tense) as friends. They are great people.

The Catholic Church on the other hand is, in my opinion, so utterly repulsive that I couldn’t equate how these fantastic people could associate with such an organisation, my thinking being, “Can’t they ditch the word Catholic, but still worship the Holy Trinity, so as to keep their faith, but sever any association with the Catholic Church as an organisation?”

Of course not. As Ben Goldacre reminds us with many things, it’s a little more complicated than that.

So I’m sorry for insulting you with my tweet, but I do hope you can at least understand where I was coming from when I composed it.

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