Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hitchens on Dead Pope

Hitchens' politics are a bit strange: he professes to be leftist and anti-religious, but he did support the Iraqi war, though more as a supporter of Blair than of Bush. I think he should have rallied for Kerry a bit more. My feelings towards Mr. Hitchens are a bit ambivalent, yet one cannot deny the power and style of his somewhat Swiftian prose.

"Without, it seems, quite noticing what they are saying, the partisans of the late pope have been praising him for his many apologies. He apologized to the Jewish people for the Vatican's glacial coldness during the Final Solution, and for historic filiations between the church and anti-Semitism. He apologized to the Eastern Orthodox Christians, and to the Muslims, for the appalling damage done to civilization by papal advocacy of the Crusades, and by forced conversion and massacre in the Balkans during the church's open alliance with fascism during World War II. He apologized to the world of science and reason by admitting that Galileo should not have been condemned by the Inquisition. These are not small climb-downs, and they do not apply just to the past. They are and were admissions that the Roman Catholic Church has been responsible for the retarding of human development on a colossal scale."

Dead Pope

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