On reading Kevin Rafferty’s March 20 opinion titled “Stunned pope asks for prayers,” I myself feel stunned by the negativity of his words. So much has appeared in the press during the past few weeks, both on the positive and on the negative side, concerning the former (emeritus) Pope Benedict XVI and now his newly elected successor Pope Francis, not to mention the Catholic Church in general and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in particular.
But few opinions have been quite so negative as that of the presumably Catholic writer Kevin Rafferty. Naturally not a few of the negative comments concern the strict teaching on sexuality and the laxity in its application, not least by priests and bishops and now by the popes as well.
Yet, in these comments, I find an all too common laxity when it comes to sexual morality and the question of whether the church could not stoop to embrace the standards of the modern world.
It is in the face of such strictures and comments that the words of Jesus, echoing from Sunday’s Gospel, occur to my mind, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone!” They also echo from one of Shakespeare’s plays in which the pious Henry VI exclaims, “Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all!”
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.