Is The Catholic Church A force For Good Or Evil?


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  1. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I was referred to the video link below by a friend recently, in it Steven Fry argues the case that the Catholic church is evil.

    I found it fascinating viewing, and thought his case was hard to argue against.

    If you cant bear to sit through the full 20 minutes fast forward to 10.08 for some damning information for Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger fans.

    Dailymotion - The Intelligence
     

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  2. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member

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    I don't have time to watch the video. I just have one thing to say, in my experience, and growing up Christian, people who are first to quote the bible, first to bring religion into a debate, and first to claim they are such good Christians, tend to be the biggest hypocrites, the biggest bigots, and the most dangerous people.

    I have GOD in my heart and my soul, that is all that matters, I don't need to continually judge others, something that many religious people do. They JUDGE and take over the roll of God.
     
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  3. CaptainBeaky

    CaptainBeaky Active Member

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    Sid - I hope you read the instructions: Light blue touchpaper, and stand well back...

    Having watched the linked video, I then watched the rest of the debate as well - well worth the effort.

    Motion: The Catholic Church is a force for good inthe world.
    Speakers:
    For: Ann Widdecombe MP, Archbishop John Onaiyekan,
    Against: Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry.

    Initial Vote: 678 For, 1102 Against, Undecided 346

    Final Vote: 268 For, 1876 Against, Undecided 34

    Edit: SV - please note the point made by Stephen Fry in his opening remarks - he draws an important dividing line between individual members of the Church, and the institution itself.
     
  4. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Stevens argument is not that God or a belief in God is bad but rather that the Catholic church is as an institution is inherently evil.

    Its an interesting video whether you believe in God or not.
     
  5. Chief714

    Chief714 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a recent convert from Prodestant to Catholicism. I'm not gonna bother watching the video myself... but I will suggest looking into the Neocatecumenal way. It's a charism of the church and its a walk with God that forces you to look at yourself and face your own reality. To accept everyone around you for who they are and not who you think they should be.

    The Catholic Church itself is not evil. The things we follow are simply that passed down by the apostles who themselves walked with Christ
     
  6. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

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    lol
     
  7. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

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    Evil is a bit extreme
    I think it has a negative effect on the world.


    I go to a Catholic school
    In Religion class if you dare say you dont believe and dont want do all the praying crap you are told to go to a non catholic school.
    Yeah the entire one of them near me in my city, and even its protestant

    So I'm biased :p


    Also all the cover up etc of sex abuse IS EVIL though


    And dont get me started on the Churces views on birth control, sex, homosexuals etc etc
     
  8. hakr100

    hakr100 Well-Known Member

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    Why single out the Catholic Church as evil when there are so many other faiths vying for top honors in the "evil" category?
     
  9. CaptainBeaky

    CaptainBeaky Active Member

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    For the purposes of debate, and to get some interesting speakers to defend the motion?
     
  10. infil

    infil Well-Known Member

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    **donning nomex suit**
    I do not think evil is the correct term, however I do think the church, as an institution, remember that word, we'll come back to it, but as an institution, I believe the church has lost sight of its origins, and IMO, I think its unhealthy for anyone to rely on someone else to get them in touch w/ their higher power.

    I definately agree with Vibrant that the first people who bring religion into a debate or call on god/allah etc are also the first to perpetrate violent or extreme acts that totally go against my understanding of the religions. I think Muslims have a bad rap right now, however I think christians, jews etc are just as guilty of atrocities in the name of a prophet as anyone else.

    Im gonna get out of this thread before I get crucified :p
     
  11. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH VIP Member

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  12. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday VIP Member

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    What exactly has the Church done lately that has been great?
     
  13. infil

    infil Well-Known Member

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    paid alot of people a disgusting amount of money......
     
  14. Rota

    Rota Well-Known Member

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    Continued to cover up sexual abuse whilst saying that atheists are the evil in the world.
     
  15. batgeek

    batgeek Banned

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  16. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

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    The OP went to the bother of starting the thread in the hope that it would stimulate debate on the stated topic, namely "Is the Catholic Church a force for good or evil?". Arguments about dogma and biblical interpretation are off-topic here and should be taken to their own threads.

    Thank you.
     
  17. travelingfool

    travelingfool Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but from a Christian perspective, examples of dogma and biblical interpretation are the only possible way to demonstrate whether or not a religion is "evil." (Op's word, not mine)

    In the post you deleted, I was using what I consider to be an erroneous statement made by chief714, to begin to lay out examples of exactly where and how the Catholic church is not Bible based. From a Bible perspective, anything that is not of God is evil. If God directly inspired every word in the Bible, and a Church claims to follow that Bible, yet it can be demonstrated that not only do they not follow it, they disregard it altogether, then haven't I spoken directly to the topic at hand?

    Or is it better to just jump in and say yes or no without any contribution as to why? I would think that would make for a rather stale discussion. I don't want to hear only what people's opinions are, I want to know why they have them. Otherwise we would have a forum full of nothing but uninformed speculation. And nobody wants that.

    Sure, most people here will disagree with nearly everything I have to say. That is to be expected. But at least I offer the "why's" and not just the "what's."
     
  18. CaptainBeaky

    CaptainBeaky Active Member

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    Please answer the question as set: The entity under discussion is the Catholic Church, not the Christian religion as a whole.

    Looking at this from the outside, and starting from the principle of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", I would have thought that a fairly good way to demonstrate "good" or "evil" would be, "Does this entity cause physical, emotional or economic harm or distress to others?"

    Then listen to the arguments put forward by Messrs Fry and Hitchens, and measure against that yardstick.

    Using dogma and biblical interpretation as your measure seems to be a circular argument - the famous quote from Mandy Rice-Davies springs to mind here. ;)
     
  19. Rred

    Rred Well-Known Member

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    The, ah, Roman Catholic Church? Evil? The folks who sanctioned the Inquisition, murdered two million Europeans on the way to the Crusades, converted the South American natives at the point of a sword, and a host of similar policies?

    Perhaps one could argue the point that there is a Devil, and he's running a large disinformation program headquartered in the Vatican.

    The Puritans came to the New World seeking religious freedom, and accidentally landed at Plymouth Rock. (They were headed to Virginia.) And they were so good about religious tolerance and freedom, that they exiled the founders of Connecticut. Who were so tolerant they they in turn cast out the founders of Rhode Island.

    Of course, they weren't all Papists either....
     
  20. travelingfool

    travelingfool Well-Known Member

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    We wouldnt even be discussing the Catholic church if it wasn't a religion. The Catholic church is self-defined as Christian. Christianity is defined in the Bible. The topic is about whether or not Catholicism is a force for good or evil. As a Christian, I believe that good and evil are not subjective, they are objective. Evil is not a scientific term, it is a spiritual term. Therefore in my opinion, the discussion, by default, is about the Catholic church as defined in the Bible. I'm simply expressing my opinion like everyone else here is doing.

    Then please, by all, means, present your own arguements using these criteria. I chose to tackle it from another angle. I look at life through the lense of Christianity, so a topic about evil, good and the Catholic church, in my world view, is entirely a spiritual subject, not a secular one.

    Rather than instructing me on how to properly present an arguement, you should instead present your own arguements using the criteria you are offering.

    I could see your point about a circular arguement if we were debating the existence of God, i.e.; "God exists because the book he supposedly wrote says he exists." That would be circular reasoning to one who doesn't believe the Bible, if no further evidence were presented. However, since the discussion revolves around Catholicism, good and evil, I don't see the logic of your statement as it applies to this discussion.
     
  21. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    As the OP Travelingfool I can assure you that the question was asking if the Catholic church was evil, nothing to do with whether or not religion is evil or not. I never meant the discussion to become a belief v's atheism debate.

    My own thoughts are that any religion that practices abstinence is pretty much asking for trouble and the sooner the Catholic church realise this the sooner they will be able to move forwards as a world religion. Their stance on contraception must change if only to help stop the spread of aids in Africa and they should use their wealth for the good of the world, a religion to be that wealthy is obscene IMHO

    Is the Catholic church evil? no, I don't believe it is endemically evil but there is an evil element which thrives within it. I understand the Vatican bank is now under investigation, this is not a good period in history for the Catholic church.
     
  22. travelingfool

    travelingfool Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sid. But where have I strayed into whether or not religion in general is evil, or into a debate about belief vs. atheism?
     
  23. byteware

    byteware Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe anyone who actually reads the REAL history of the Catholic Church. I can't imagine that you can come to any conclusion other than that the Catholic Church is evil.

    I mean, the Inquisitions, the Crusades, Popes murdering their predecessors so that they could ascend the throne, Popes buying the Papacy, and that doesn't include the recent belief that the Church should be protected from scandal more than children should be protected from pedophiles.
     
  24. travelingfool

    travelingfool Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, I watched the video, and found Stephen Fry's presentation to be quite compelling. I agree with most of what he said. However, I disagree with his premise that abstinence and fidelity aren't the only viable options for preventing the spread of aids.

    Here I go again with the Bible, but sex outside of marriage is condemned. I also know first-hand that abstinence is possible. My wife was my first, and I hers. Also, my middle son is 22 years old, and engaged to be married. Neither he nor his fianc
     
  25. byteware

    byteware Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but marrying more than one person is not. So, if you feel the need for more than one woman, the Bible clearly allows for you to marry the other woman and have her as well...

    :D
     

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