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Monday, September 29, 2014

The UK Catholic Church: liberals, conservatives

- source: The Times

I've been thinking about the Catholic church in the UK because of the recent story in the news of Bishop Kieran Conry retiring upon his affairs with women being made public.

Here in the US, the leadership of the Catholic church is conservative, so much so that one might think the USCCB is a wing of the Republican party. But it's different in the UK ... there the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Vincent Nichols, is considered a liberal, as are many (most?) of the bishops. I say "considered" because he is nowhere near a liberal from my own liberal point of view (he opposed both gay civil partnerships and marriage equality) but of course "liberal" takes on a whole new meaning when you're within the Catholic establishment.

But anyway, the scandal about Conry is being treated in different ways by those who are liberal and those who are conservative (Conry is thought of as a liberal bishop). The comments to a post about him at Damian Thompson's conservative blog are mostly critical of Conry, while comments to a post about him at The Tablet (liberal, sort of) give Conry a pass.

It's kind of disturbing to see politics inform people's reactions to Conry's ethical failure.


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