Archbishop: Be more discerning when reading what ex-nun says

Archbishop William Goh has asked the faithful to be very discerning when forming opinions after reading the views expressed by Ms Karen Armstrong, who is an ex-nun, who was here as a speaker at a recently held first International Conference on Cohesive Societies.

Asked to comment on her views on a range of issues from celibacy and sexual abuse in the priesthood to her life with the Religious Order, he said: “Objectively, one must check that the facts quoted in the article are accurate, and whether the writer is qualified to write about the subject matter. Subjectively, one must seek to understand the writer’s personal experiences of life, because this will have a large impact on the lenses through which he or she sees the world.”

Ms Armstrong joined the religious at 17 and was sent to Oxford University, where she studied literature. In an interview with the Straits Times, she said the nuns were not allowed to have friendships and most times had to be in silence. She reportedly said she was also bothered about what she felt was a preoccupation with “getting to heaven.”