Monday, May 24, 2010


On occasion, I visit a website dedicated to news from my hometown that often includes articles about things happening on a larger scale. Today, they featured a set of videos consisting of statements from the Pope. I was stupid enough to watch them; let me tell you, watching or reading just about anything he says is generally an unhealthy influence on my blood pressure.

To be fair, he did make a number of good points, but as far as I'm concerned, he's as bad as the man in one of Jesus' parables who insisted on removing a speck from another man's eye while ignoring the log stuck in his own. This is the same man who not only permitted the covering up of numerous cases of priests' sexual abuse of children, but who outright condoned it. This is a man who, as his predecessors, is steadfastly against the use of condoms and other forms of birth control, and is therefore encouraging the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy (served up with a healthy dose of victim-blaming, of course).

In one video, he spoke of justice and a "revolution of love". In another, taken from his homily during a mass at Pentecost this year, he spoke of the (Roman Catholic) Church as the home of the human family, and the Holy Spirit as a flame which consumes the waste that corrupts humans' relationship with God. In the third, he says that without the Holy Spirit, the Church would exhaust itself, like a sailboat when the wind dies down.

I say he's a hypocrite. I don't care that he's the Pope—he has no business holding himself up as a moral authority. He lost all credibility on that score when he decided that it was OK for priests to rape children. Much of what the Roman Catholic Church does these days is not in line with the love and compassion that Jesus taught. All this feel-good talk about love and justice is all very well, but when you don't bloody well act on it, that's all it is—useless talk. The Roman Catholic Church will remain a damaged, corrupt and often harmful influence on the world until that day when its leaders decide that there are more important things in the world than power, that allowing people the means to protect themselves from sexually transmitted disease and decide when (if ever) they have children is not a sin, that when pregnancy endagers a woman's physical or mental health it is perfectly fine for her to have an abortion, and that it is most emphatically NOT OK for priests to take advantage of children in one of the worst, most horrifying ways in which one person can harm another. Until they realize these things and act upon them in a positive manner, they will—at least in my eyes—have no credibility as a moral authority.

I'm not holding my breath.

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