The Intelligence Squared debate…

Today on BBC World News television, we’re picking up on your reaction to a debate about Catholicism which was broadcast this weekend gone. You’re discussing it on the post below this one, and you can watch the first part here, and the rest is on YouTube here.

11 Responses to “The Intelligence Squared debate…”

  1. 1 Emma Emenu
    November 13, 2009 at 16:48

    To focus on a few failings of the Catholic Church and ignore the innumerable positive things that the Church stands for and does is simply unsatisfying. The debate did not succeed in bringing out the essence of the Catholic Church. That is where it failed.

  2. 2 Afreen, India
    November 13, 2009 at 16:55

    the Church or any Institution that stakes a claim to a religion tries to usurp it, and that makes it weak,look at Islam and how its become susceptible to the pedagogy of fatwa-dispensing fanatics. the church in the past advocated slavery and later when the pendulum swung, it ‘joined the procession at the tail end’, as Mark Twain said.

  3. 3 Eliza
    November 13, 2009 at 16:58

    Well i grew up in a Catholic home. My grandparents are active in the church in their days. Now that i can reason, i have seen many flaws in the Catholic church but i am never tempted to convert in any religion. Maybe i’m just lucky but ever since, i have never heard the church taught me any evil. And that makes me believe that the Catholic Church is still a force for good in this world. Maybe other religions too for that matter.

  4. 4 Nanci
    November 13, 2009 at 17:08

    It’sa difficult question. As someone raised in the Christian faith, but as a Protestant, it is difficult for me to want to defend the Catholic church. The Catholic church represents one strain of Christianity and even within the Catholic church, there is no one definitive theology either. For instance, catholic liberation and feminist liberation theology is much more something I could get behind and support as it is more relevant to today’s emphasis on gender equality and human rights.

    Broadly speaking I think the ethical values that all religious hold (whether people interpret them this way or not) is the idea of loving one’s neighbor as oneself and acting with compassion in the world. To the extent that the Catholic faith is interpreted in this way, for peace, for human flourishing, and for love rather than doctrinal rectitude at the expense of human compassion and empathy, and for love rather than hate or for war, then, it is valuable.

    I love some of the works of liberation Catholic theologians like Elizabeth Johnson who reads scripture through the lens of human flourishing. To the extent that religion brings out the best in us and reinforces a commitment to act humanely, I support it.

    Too bad today’s Catholic church largely does not do this with its emphasis on doctrinal rectitude about birth control, homosexuality, adultery, etc. I don’t see any compassion there for the fragility of our daily human existence.

  5. 5 Nanci
    November 13, 2009 at 17:18

    They should get Hans Kunz to debate Fry and Hitchens. Isn’t he a German Catholic theolgian? He’s a great thinker and would be able to give these guys a run for their money.

    November 13, 2009 at 17:26

    I normally can’t stand Hitchens but he was great on this debate, Stephen Fry makes you proud to be British.

  7. 7 Peter_scliu
    November 13, 2009 at 20:16

    Being catholics we are often in conflict with our faith. Despite this we are still attached to the church and let the holy spirit guide us. As not all pope are infallible the holy spirit has shown us of their failings.. Overall I believe the holy spirit guided us well as well as to continue to expose more of our faults. Christ did not expect us to be perfect otherwise he would not have to make this great sacrifice that is what Christianity is all about. We hope for God’s forgiveness as we forgive others.

  8. 8 M Raghavan
    November 13, 2009 at 21:29

    I believe that overall the Church has stood for good, at times at levels that other faiths could never reach.

    But, like all religions, the Church should be provide allowance for practitioners at all levels, from the faithful to those who support doctrines that may challenge or go against the Church.

    November 14, 2009 at 14:01

    OMG!!! the entire debate were business motivated and particularly made to tarnish the truth.
    Nevertheless to say, good deeds and contributions of catholic church to the mankind till today has been ignored and only one or two failures have been highlighted in the debate. again the result of this debate proved that its all depends on how well you can play with words and convince some than the actual cause.!!
    i am a catholic and i see the church as a true force in todays world for the needy one. As the church is the biggest organization of over 1.5 billion people in the world, it is a defenite force for good in the world than that of The U N or any other nation. the world would ‘ve never come till here if the catholic church was not there. it has done so much and still doing for the world, for the poor, for the oppressed.
    even though few individuals in the system (church’s hierarchy) have fallen for bad doings or let the church down by going after their own personal interests, feelings and motives-it doesn’t mean that the church is not a force for good. Catholic church has proved with last 2000 years that it is the only lasting force for good in the world.

    We’ve seen the biggest crucification, we didn’t fall their hence we have come a long way as a force for hope and good.
    “father, they don’t know what they are doing-please forgive them”

  10. 10 Kathy, Canada
    November 15, 2009 at 06:45

    There are good and great people in the church. But with the accusations of mob money laundering, money from the Nazi’s, church known pedophilia that is swept under the carpet and NOT dealt with, and their unwillingness to be like any other church/non-profit organization and have neutral parties do open audits from the top down (including being direct with their answers for all old accusations), along with their dogma of taking the idea that being a practicing gay is wrong along with their stance on condom use, they end up being a neutral force at best and evil at worst. It ends up being such a mess in the end with loving the people in it who are following and living the life as laid out by Jesus and then the rest being the crazy ones who seem to be running it (from how it seems to me) Bishops up who are just power hungry nutbars. There is a huge ostrich effect going on for them where they dont seem to have the moral fortitude, that should just be part of the fabric of the church, to do the right thing (pedophiles removed and placed where they are not around children at the very least or how about manning up and saying what did go on in WW2). I hope they grow a pair and own up and see the damage they have and are doing. Only then can the whole of the Catholic church move to making changing and being a permanent force for good.

  11. 11 Tom Morgan
    November 17, 2009 at 14:30

    Is the Church a force for good? Yes. Can the Church be “modernised” without corrupting the essence of Truth it upholds? No.

    There is a very simple concept that a lot of people do not grasp, which is the fact that the Church is not allowed to change the Faith it defends and upholds. The Church’s holy mission is to announce, safeguard and keep Divine Truth as it was delivered, in trust, by God and by His Son Jesus Christ, whilst He walked amongst us here on Earth. It is not within the competence of the Pope and of the Church to modify this Faith in any way. It is God’s alone to do with as He pleases. To the Church falls only the duty of making It available to any and all who would willingly partake in God’s blessing. This brings us to the concept of Free Will.

    In matters of the customs and appetites of modern Society, The State, the Church and the Individual have different parts to play. The State must construe according to the continually changeable laws of Man and to public opinion, the Church must construe according to the perpetual Truth of Devine Revelation entrusted to it, and the individual – that is you and me – may construe according to his or her conscience.

    Whether this conscience is ruled by conviction or convenience is a matter of individual decision. However, if Society decides to live outside the prescriptions of the Church (and this encompasses subjects such as “free sex”, homosexuality, hedonism etc. and all of their needs and consequences of these choices such as use of condoms, abortion, divorce/remarriage etc.) then Society, not Church, must assume responsibility for that choice. Why blame the Church that said “don’t do it” for any disgrace that befalls you when you do do it? If Society is the uncouth youth that doesn’t listen to his parents, then Society must pay the bill for its folly.

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