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Sunday, February 17, 2013

5 Things that will not change with a new Pope

As the men in the funny hats will be gathering within about a month, it probably makes sense to talk about what will not be changing with the next Pope.

  1. Child Sex Abuse Response - Nothing will change relative to the Church's response to the sexual abuse of children by Priests and the resulting multiple cover-ups.  This has grown beyond a moral issue, as now the lawyers are involved and the Church will continue to act more like a defendant than a moral authority.
  2. Anything Related to Gays - According to the Church, it's okay to be Gay...just don't engage in any homosexual acts.  In other words, it's okay to be Gay, just don't, well, do anything Gay.  
  3. Birth Control - Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of U.S. Catholics regularly and routinely violate Church teachings relative to birth control, the Church's actual stand on birth control will not be changing.  Church rules are described as being about morality, but I suspect that they have more to do with control than anything else.  The ability to tell people what they should do in their intimate lives is a power that the Church will never want to give up.
  4. Conservative Political Meddling (in the U.S.) - The Church will continue to be something of free source of labor for the Republican Party, despite the half a dozen or so reasons (such as social justice in general, the death penalty, name just a few) why the Church actually supports Democratic causes about as often as it does GOP ones.  The reason?  I suspect that this has more to do with the personal political ideology of U.S. Bishops (older white guys) than it does anything nearly as simple as basic morality.
  5. Abortion/Death Penalty Contradiction - The late Pope John Paul II once said that the death penalty can be morally applied in so few instances that it basically can never be morally applied.  Yes, in the late Holy Father's eyes, the "right to life" included ending both abortion and ending the death penalty.  A natural birth through a natural death.  Yet you will never see throngs of Church-sponsored buses headed to Washington DC to protest the federal death penalty.  Why the contradiction?  Again, I think it has more to do with the personal political ideologies of Catholic Bishops (older white guys) than it does actual morality.  Don't buy the spew about "the truly innocent", as this makes the incorrect assumption that everyone executed by the federal government was, in fact, guilty; history has shown that the government has, in fact, executed plenty of innocent people.  
The above points to the simple contradiction that is the Roman Catholic Church:  it may be "of God" but it is most definitely run by "man".  And I don't mean "man" in the general sense of our species either...I literally mean "man", as in mainly white, older males.  Is that bad?  Well it's not if you make the basic underlying assumption that somehow God wants it that way.  Personally I'm still waiting for God to weigh in on the issue, but I do find it a bit odd that, in the entirety of God's creation, only older white males are somehow allowed to make the rules.

Now don't get me wrong, as I do hope that things really do change for the better.

I hope that the Church will stay out of political debates and stop the de-facto endorsement of political candidates...especially since these endorsements are more often than not just based on one slice of one moral issue.

I hope that the Church will stop simply spewing rules, but instead will reach out to people where they are in their lives.

I hope that the Church will actually live by its own moral code and open every record related to every child sex abuse accusation.  To be "of God" will mean transcending what may be the advise of defendant lawyers.  Somehow I don't think that God engages in legal risk management anyway.

I hope that the Church will come to realize that the Creator of the Universe probably doesn't endow just older white guys with special insights.  I say this as an older white guy by the way.

In the end I am really am a hopeful guy. Honest.


Karla said...

Well... there is some stirring and support going on for the black guy from Africa and the brown guy from Latin America.. I think you can bet on these things in Las Vegas.

Stephen Albert said...

...and every 4 years the GOP has a token minority candidate for President too.

Stephen Albert said...
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