Anti-Catholicism is alive and well. Now that Tony Blair has joined the church, it seems that we have opened up new avenues for anti-Catholic expression. Check out this particular cup of vitriol disguised as a letter to the editor of the Belfast Telegraph. Keep in mind while reading it that the writer is a Reverend. The Rev. David Frazer of the Church of Ireland actually. More on him in a moment, but first the letter. Emphases and [comments] mine.

Tony Blair’s conversion to Roman Catholicism came as no surprise and the Pope is welcome to him.[Ha!]

A man who led his country into an unnecessary and unpopular war in Iraq, which has had the consequence of almost obliterating the Christian faith in that country, is no great catch.

The Roman Catholic Church is a medieval-minded denomination headed by a religious dictator.[Sometimes I wish this was actually the case!]

Much of its teaching on morality is antediluvian. No one with a truly free, open and inquiring mind could consciously choose to join it. There are many decent, Christian people in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is a deeply flawed institution.

Never let it be forgotten that the Roman Church is headquartered in a tiny state, called the Vatican.

Its Pope is a head of state, who aspires to influence world affairs and he has interfered in the domestic affairs of many countries. [Cue dramatic and sinister music] In my own land, the Roman Catholic Church flies the Vatican flag, alongside our own national flag, outside its places of worship, on special occasions, starkly illustrating divided loyalties. [My next door neighbor has a flag with a snowman on it right now. Maybe I should look into his divided loyalties too.]

The Roman Church makes the outrageous claim that it is the one true Church. Christian people in other denominations must never cease to refute that claim.

I travelled to Rome and received the blessing of John Paul II. I can accept that there is much that is good and true in the Roman Church, in spite of its errors. I have no problem in attending Mass and worshipping with fellow Christians of that tradition. At the same time, as a conscientious Protestant, I cannot and will not stand idly by and allow the errors of Rome to go unchallenged.

REV DAVID FRAZER Laytown, Co Meath

I too cannot allow the Rev. Frazer’s errors to go unchallenged. This is a news item I picked up in the Emigrant on the good reverend.

A Church of Ireland court in the diocese of Meath and Kildare has suspended Rev. David Frazer, Rector of Clane, for six months after finding that he had deliberately closed a church in his parish in breach of his duties. He was also admonished for obstructing the local Select Vestry, using language unbecoming to a clergyman and showing disrespect to his bishop. About a month ago the Rev. Frazer made news when it was reported that he had referred to one Vestry member as “a f***ing bastard“.

I wonder if Reverend Frazer would consider it antediluvian morality to suggest that that such rudeness is not very Christian. Amusing, maybe, but certainly not Christian.