Wednesday, 25 July 2007

A toothless tiger

One must ask when deference stops and pandering begins. The recent comments of our Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone regarding the prayers for the conversion of the Jews seems to have crossed that line. The cardinal's response is simple, if the prayer offends, we take it out. Unthinking is often the prelude to persecution. Now no one wants to unjustly offend anyone, but what is the Cardinal thinking?

If we stop praying for the conversion of Jews because they are offended, what are we admitting about our Faith and what precedent are we establishing for religious behaviour? Should we stop praying for sinners so that we won't appear judgemental? Should we stop praying for our politicians and civil leaders so as to not interfere in Church-state separation? Should I stop praying for my neighbour lest I invade his privacy? Should I stop praying for myself lest I be accused of self-indulgence? The list is endless and equally stupid- and above all dangerous.

Maybe I expect too much from Church leaders, but I don't think I am asking too much in expecting them to lead- to at least do the job. In an age of the sacred cow of tolerance we must not say anything that would offend- however if the Gospel is anything to go by, Christianity is ill at ease in a world that tolerates only what the world itself dictates.

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