The Curmudgeon


Monday, February 15, 2010

His Neighbour's Eye

What with the impending state visit of the sixteenth Daddy Goodspeak, we shall doubtless be hearing a good deal from Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, much to our moral improvement. Nichols, whose response to a report of widespread and persistent sadism and paedophilia in Irish Catholic schools was to praise the courage of the criminals whose peccadilloes it exposed, has now taken it upon himself to lecture the NHS on compassion. He quoted the NHS constitution, whose "splendid sentiments" he pronounced fit for Roman Catholics, despite their church's noted consideration for the well-being of the human immunodeficiency virus, their Saviour's injunction to divine indifference and their deity's famously robust sense of humour; and he noted that some NHS hospitals fail to measure up to the pledge to "respond with humanity and kindness to each person's pain, distress, anxiety or need". For the benefit of these hospitals, the Archbishop proposes a "culture of true compassion and healing", which should be implemented as a matter of self-interest since "as with all true giving, the giver also receives" - something the Catholic church, like the Church of England, has presumably gathered from the experience of others. Such compassion "fosters a deep respect and attentive care of the whole person", rather than merely curing what is wrong with them; this, I take it, decodes as by all means have doctors and nurses, but don't cut the chaplains off the payroll. However, no such deep respect should be extended to the wishes of those who prefer to spare themselves the final stages of a terminal illness; let alone to any relatives or friends who might be tempted to help them do so, thus prematurely curtailing their chances of conversion, salvation and appropriately ecclesiastic choice of beneficiary in the will. As a believer in the pains of eternal damnation, the Archbishop also stated that in dealing with death "fear cannot be our guide".


  • At 6:58 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    And here I thought fear was the raison d'etre of religion.

  • At 11:02 am , Blogger phil said...

    Tonight the betting is that we are going to get Our Very Own Saint.

    Breathless commentary on the radio asked the age-old question what this would mean to (a) Catholics and (b) non-Catholics in this part of the country (where, the breathlessness went on, the About To Be Saint once Visited).

    My thoughts were (a) even more breathless dribbling inanities and (b) something else to laugh at, then get annoyed because we aren't going to get anything else in the news for several millennia.

    WV="fuscout": what you say when one shakes his woggle at you.


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