I promised more on why history matters, and here comes a highly inspiring lecture on that subject. The speaker is Stephen Fry who is a personal favourite of mine with his wonderful recording of Harry Potter, with A Bit of Fry and Laurie, with his portrayal of Oscar Wilde among many other things.
In this Stephen Fry talks about why he doesn’t believe the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. He bases this on two points:
1. How the Church always has been and always is against enlightenment. Not only as the dark princes who tortured Galileo but also being the mean bastards who today tell people that condoms are dangerous and will give you HIV. One wonders how many Africans for example actually caught HIV because of this nonsense.
2. The dogma of intercession which means that you need priests and their rites in order to communicate with God or even more significantly – save yourself from going to hell after you die. And this is not just about the Middle ages and the absurd paying of indulgences, this is about a tradition and the foundations of the modern Church – that only through the Church can you reach salvation. Just another way of saying that it is the only owner of the truth. History? No, sadly a very present fact of the workings of the Catholic Church.
Well, I’ll let Stephen Fry speak for himself. I highly recommend that you watch both parts since you will only then get the wonderful little bit where he likens the sexual obsession the Church suffers from with anorexia and extreme obesity. And of course the end where he suggests that the church could put everything right by returning all the wealth and art they have stolen from people all over the world only to practise their religion in the same simple way that Christ had in mind. Only then will he accept the Catholic Church as a force for good in the world. That would be history rectified!