To Roman Catholics and defenders of the RCC...


Honorary Master
Apr 22, 2007
These are excerpts from the Intelligence[SUP]2[/SUP] Debate, held in 2009, on the motion that The Roman Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World. Those for the motion were John Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja and Ann Widdecombe, British Conservative Party MP at the time. Those against were Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry.

Unfortunately I cannot find unedited and uninterrupted embeddable clips of Onaiyekan's and Widdecombe's turns at the microphone. They can be found here and here, but they were both absolutely feeble...

Regardless, my intention isn't to showcase the debate in its entirety, but rather to use the points raised by Hitch and Fry in posing a question to practising Roman Catholics and RCC sympathisers: How do you square your reverence for the church, and your adherence to its dogma, with its utterly despicable conduct?

Christopher Hitchens:

Stephen Fry:

For those interested, the post-debate Q&A:

Q&A (1/2):

Q&A (2/2):

This isn't intended as a swipe in the direction of faith and religion in general, but is directed squarely at the RCC. How can any thinking human being endorse this archaic, vile institution?

The question of whether the RCC is a force for good in the world was posed to the audience on the day, both before and after the debate. I think the results are telling:

Initial Vote: 678 For, 1102 Against, Undecided 346
Final Vote: 268 For, 1876 Against, Undecided 34

Onaiyekan and Widdecombe failed comically. Can you do any better...?
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Senior Member
Jul 7, 2011
How many belong to the RCC out of choice? I'm guessing those who chose to join the church also chooses to overlook its 'weaknesses'. :rolleyes: