Morally defective jibe recoils on Conti

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The hypocrisy of Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow (your report, 8 January), is truly breathtaking.

The Catholic Church has been proven to be “morally defective” (the term he used to describe gay marriage) over many years with regards to priests’ paedophilia and abuse.

If Archbishop Conti really wants to “promote the well-being of society”, perhaps he should set his own house in order first.

His “warning” to Holyrood should be treated with the disdain it deserves, coming as it does from an unelected ­religious zealot

C Murphy

West Calder

West Lothian

With regard to the Catholic Church’s latest assault on same-sex marriage (your report, 8 January) I am inclined to agree with Damian Thompson, devout Catholic and the former editor of the Catholic Herald, who wrote in a national newspaper on 31 December: “This Catholic lobbying against gay marriage won’t get anywhere: the public really aren’t that interested in the judgment of an institution that covered up paedophilia.”

When bandying around allegations as to what may or may not be “morally defective”, Archbishop Conti should be mindful that he is a man in a glass house throwing stones.

Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

Atholl Crescent

Edinburgh

Last week correspondents were claiming that my statements of Christian sexual morality were aggressive and offensive. Now Gary McLelland complains that they are “cold and detached” (Letters, 8 January). Let’s just face the fact that, to some, any expression of the orthodox Christian sexual ethic is objectionable.

It is not just that views such as mine are now widely ­regarded as mistaken, but, in a moral inversion nearing its end point, that they are regarded as themselves immoral.

Mr McLelland’s remarkable view that the “artificial sexual constraints of the religious are certainly no way to present happy and healthy relationships in the 21st century” flies in the face of the evidence that the traditional Christian model of marriage as the only context for sexual activity leads to more stable families.

What should be the priority in a society: stable families or sexual “freedom”? And, no, “both” is not an option.

John Murdoch (Letters, same day) asked whether the Church would listen if Christ returned to Earth and overturned biblical sexual ethics.

While such a scenario remains hypothetical, we must base our understanding of Christ’s teaching on Christ’s teaching, and he did not overturn biblical sexual ethics (though he did not promote the punishment of sex offenders).

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe

Edinburgh

Yet again, an attempt at serious debate on the problem of sectarianism is hijacked by Peter Kearney of the Catholic Media Office, with his unhelpful tunnel vision that only Catholics suffer prejudice.

As someone brought up a Catholic to the extent I did the readings at Mass at my local church, there were always times when I wondered whether the Catholic hierarchy wallowed in the culture of victimhood to give a nod and wink of self-justification to the flock to indulge in petty sectarianism of their own. There were two local supermarkets notorious for only employing kids from St Cuthbert’s and St Brendan’s (now both demolished), never from Johnstone High or the Gryffe.

A number of local pubs operated a similar Catholics-only staff policy: in one a barman boasted about getting a new job elsewhere because he was “a good Tim” and castigated me that I wouldn’t “get on” if I continued to refuse to “play the game”.

Both sides of the pseudo-Christian divide indulge in this childish tribalism of ­favouring those nominally in their “gang”, and churches need to tackle head-on those daring to indulge in such unchristian activities in their name – not indulge in “He started it, Miss!” like schoolyard bairns.

Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens

Johnstone