It is instructive to parse Jennifer Kim’s May 16 letter, “Catholic link to human rights,” to see what she is really saying:
1. She calls my earlier letter “Catholic-bashing.” No, it’s Catholic Church-bashing. Catholics are bashed quite enough by their own pedophile priests.
2. She says my letter “falsely portrays the Cathars as a … wrongfully persecuted religious minority.” So, in Kim’s opinion, they were obviously a rightfully persecuted minority.
3. She says “the Cathars had murdered a papal envoy.” And that justifies the murder over decades of an estimated 500,000 Languedoc men, women and children?
Due process, a basic human right, is completely absent here.
4. She suggests that I “quit living in the distant past.” This really means, please, don’t remind Catholics of their church’s blood-stained history.
5. She suggests that I “read relatively modern papal encyclicals.” Sorry, I have no inclination to read papal encyclicals, papal bulls or any other bull. I pay attention to what the Roman Catholic Church does, not what it says.
The news May 16, for example, was that the papal nuncio in Ireland had refused to appear before a parliamentary inquiry in Dublin into child abuse in the church. This is only in one country and does not take into account the thousands of victims of pedophile priests in the United States and Continental Europe.
6. She says my “linking of Catholicism to Nazism is almost too despicable to warrant a response.” That’s not half as despicable as Pope Pius XII’s nonexcommunication of top Nazis (brought up in Catholic households) and his nonprotests at the elimination of Jews, gypsies, Catholic Poles, etc.
As a counter to Kim’s remarks about the Cathars and their beliefs, go to www.cathar.info/. The Cathars were against war, capital punishment and meat-eating, refused to pay tithes to the Roman Catholic Church (evil heretics that they were!), and treated men and women on an equal basis. Their beliefs have never been more widespread or relevant than now.
As the Roman Catholic Church likewise gets into the 21st century, it could even have female priests.
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.