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Not The Lord’s mouthpiece

Clifford Hall

Not The Lord’s mouthpiece

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Your correspondent Roger Marshall, in the Nation of October 1, accuses Pope Francis of inconsistency in failing to condemn abortion explicitly but yet calling for a universal abolition of the death penalty for murder. In making this plea, Mr Marshall says, the Pope gainsays what is “God-ordained”, that murder is divinely a capital offence.

Really? The old man in the sky stopped “speaking” in ancient times and now has nothing new to “say”? Every biblical text, however barbarous, must be authentically divine for all conditions and for all time?

Very well. Mr Marshall professes to know the mind of The Lord only from what’s written in a book.

It follows that death is also the penalty for homosexual acts, rape, kidnapping, prostitution, insulting parents, adultery, failing to keep cows known to be dangerous properly tethered and, I suppose, for good measure, whenever “sin” rears its sorry head – but not, interestingly for Mr Marshall’s thesis, causing a miscarriage by a violent attack on the mother, or for the killing of servants and maids.

In other words, Mr Marshall, do stop treating as gospel what may well be the precepts of men and please do remember also the penalty for false prophecy.

I think you may be very near the line.

– (Rev.) Clifford Hall