Is the Catholic Church a force for good?

Posted on: 19 April 2012 by Gareth Hargreaves

Ann Widdecombe and Stephen Fry debate the relevance and purpose of the Catholic Church in this 10-minute short from Intelligence Squared.

Catholic churchIn this brief Intelligence Squared debate, panel members argue the merits of the role of the modern Catholic Church.

Arguing in favour of the motion, Ann Widdecombe suggests that in trawling all the way back to the Crusades to find something to blame the Catholic Church for, Christopher Hitchens merely demonstrates how flimsy his argument really is, and insists that the actions of the Catholic Church in the past be judged with a degree of historical relativism.

Arguing against - Stephen Fry concedes that his opposition to the motion is a deeply personal and emotional one. With two words he refutes Anne Widdecombe’s suggestion that the Catholic Church does not have the powers of a nation state: “The Vatican”. He concludes by questioning whether Jesus, as a humble Jewish carpenter, would have approved of all the pomp and excess of the Catholic Church, and whether he would even have been accepted by such an arrogant organisation.

To enjoy the full debate featuring Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry, Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe you will need to join IQ2.

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Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?

Having watched the 10-minute mini debate what are your thoughts? Are you a supporter of the church or do you believe it is divisive and self serving?

  1. 57% No
  2. 35% Yes
  3. 7% Unsure
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