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The Vatican report provides the most heinous example of moral self-licensing

Appalling consequences follow when people believe a virtuous lifestyle excuses evil deeds

By Julian Baggini  

The fountain in St. Peter's Square. Photo: Annette Riedl/DPA/PA Images

Last week’s Vatican report into how the Catholic Church repeatedly failed to deal with allegations of sexual abuse evokes a heavy sense of déjà-vu. This is not just because the church has sinned in similar ways so many times before, but that numerous other organisations that exist to do good have also been shown to tolerate exceptional wickedness.

In this case, Father Theodore McCarrick faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, but Pope John Paul II not only ignored them,…

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