The election of Pope Francis is hailed by some as the beginning of a new era for the Catholic Church. But a number of questions need answering before we can support this assumption.
1. Will paedophile priests be brought to justice, and the conditions that support their existence be removed? Perhaps priests should be allowed to marry – this might remove the ‘need’; many of them feel to get their sexual needs met through boys. But given the church’s unwillingness to change on this matter, and former Pope Benedict’s apparent confession of his gayness, it appears the church’s prudery will continue unchallenged and unabated
2. Will women ever be treated with equality and dignity? Allowed control over their own fertility? Allowed access to ordination and the priesthood? The continued focus on the rape of the virgin Mary by god suggests that women’s inferior position in christianity in general is not likely to end soon. I’m also guessing that god’s punishment of all women for the supposed ‘sin’ of Eve is not going to change any time soon, so equality and dignity are pretty low on the church’s agenda
3. Will the church’s vast wealth and political clout ever be diverted towards truly helping the poor? As this is unlikely, perhaps the church – governed as a political entity from a city state – should have its tax-free charitable status removed. Perhaps church members should vote with their wallets, and stop giving huge amounts of money to the church – at least this way they might be better able to take some responsibility for their own situations
4. Which raises another question: Will christians of any stripe EVER learn to be self-governing individuals, responsible for their own lives? Were they to do so, they would have no need for dependence on a murdering, raping sociopath (god) and his meek, timid ‘yes daddy’ flunky (jesus). Emotionally mature, self-responsible adults don’t need to cling dependently on either of these images
Somehow I doubt it. So what solutions are there?
One solution might be for disgruntled catholics to rise up against the misuse of power evident within the church. But this is unlikely to have much of an impact on the existence, behaviours and theology of the catholic church. Hundreds of years since the reformation have shown that the church will continue.
Of course people do have the right to believe what they want. If individuals freely consent to the beliefs and practices of any church, that’s their choice. But they can’t then complain about the situation while sitting passively in their pews every Sunday and thanking god for being so damned good to them. If they stay passively yet freely in an abusive situation they can’t complain about it. It’s no longer abuse at that point.
Just leave me out of it.