Sam Harris on the Vatican

Harris is one of the world’s better-known atheists, but until now, he hasm by his own admission, skimped on criticizing the Roman Catholic Church, reckoning–like many of his peers–that the offenses perpetrated by this mammoth, lumbering, and stoically backward institution were so clear to anyone with half an eye open that actively reviewing those offenses was virtually redundant.

Happily, Harrris has changed his mind. Writing for the Huffington Post, Harris lays into the various dysfunctional and destructive facets of the Church in his unique and recognizable style:

In his former capacity as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict personally oversaw the Vatican’s response to reports of sexual abuse in the Church. What did this wise and compassionate man do upon learning that his employees were raping children by the thousands? Did he immediately alert the police and ensure that the victims would be protected from further torments? One still dares to imagine such an effulgence of basic human sanity might have been possible, even within the Church. On the contrary, repeated and increasingly desperate complaints of abuse were set aside, witnesses were pressured into silence, bishops were praised for their defiance of secular authority, and offending priests were relocated only to destroy fresh lives in unsuspecting parishes. It is no exaggeration to say that for decades (if not centuries) the Vatican has met the formal definition of a criminal organization, devoted not to gambling, prostitution, drugs, or any other venial sin, but to the sexual enslavement of children.


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