‘Agony till the end of the world’

In defense of Jennifer Kim’s May 16 letter, “Catholic link to human rights,” on the subject of what Barry Andrew Ward calls the church’s “blood-stained history” (May 23 letter, “Watching what the church does“), I would draw attention to the fact that Catholic Church history covers two millennia and many billions of human beings, not all of whom have their hands stained with blood.

I myself sympathize with the poor Cathars, while wondering how Ward manages to number their victims at “an estimated 500,000.”

I sympathize with the poor victims of a relatively few “pedophile priests,” who hardly number 1 percent of the clergy in their respective countries, while also sympathizing with the other 99 percent of the clergy who are innocent but still associated with the stigma of such crimes.

I also sympathize with poor Pope Pius XII, torn as he was between the need of excommunicating those top Nazis who were apostates from the Catholic Church and the fear of certain reprisals against thousands, if not millions, of innocent German Catholics.

But neither Ward nor Jim Makin (May 23 letter, “Inventors of human rights?“) has any sympathy to spare for all of those innocent Catholics over the ages from the time of the apostles even until today, in whom, as Pascal says, “Jesus Christ is in agony till the end of the world.”

peter milward
tokyo

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.