Friday, October 24, 2003

Jesuit reaches intellectual rock bottom – starts to believe own Church’s PR guff

As a prolapsed Catholic (meaning a combination of “professionally lapsed” and “mysteriously sunken and now hanging loosely from my own bottom”), excessive hubris on my own part is a distinct life hazard. Which is why, wherever possible, I try to pick on someone my own size.

Enter the Jesuits – a clerical order (for those of you unfamiliar with Catholic heraldry’s low-key approach) known for both its depth of learning and robust independence from the Papal seat-warmer and fashion of the day.

And disgracing the Jesuits on both these counts is one Fr Emmet P Costello, entering into the long-running Christopher Hitchens/Mother Theresa imbroglio. Unforgivably, Fr Costello leaps to Mother Theresa’s defence by invoking the conversion of Malcolm Muggeridge. Anyone who has even flipped through Hitchens’s 1995 book The Missionary Position will know that Muggeridge is Hitchens’s Exhibit Number 1 for his case against the midget Albanian nun. A fact that is also freely and abundantly available on the internet.

Jesuits – your intellectual sloppiness here is the unfortunate equivalent of the interiors of Mother Theresa’s foetid, septic hospices. Methinks it’s high time you became one of those self-flagellating orders.

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