Wednesday, April 06, 2005

...And He's a Catholic...

Bonus points for anyone who can name the movie that line is from.

Lots of talk about the Catholic church lately from the Pope dying. I have a few thoughts myself.

I believe overall, in the big picture, that the Catholic church means well. They are the largest private charity in the world and do immense good for people that don't have very much. I also think that the Pope was a good man. I don't necessarily believe that he was the end all, but deep down he really loved people and wanted to do his best. He was definitely not 100% in the last several years of his reign.

The priest scandal in the US was - and still is - the biggest black eye the Catholic church has ever received, in my opinion. For the Pope to sweep this under the rug is simply unbelievable to me. I don't really think that he ever understood the magnitude of the situation. It may be that he wasn't given the real scoop on what was happening over here. We will never know. If he knew what was going on and he ignored the situation - his judgment will come. My opinion is that the gravity of the situation was not really ever made known to him - or he was simply too weak or mentally gone to be able to process it. By the way, the Pope did meet with Cardinal Law, the mastermind of the priest child abusing system in Boston. He didn't excommunicate Law or do much else - except help him get a cushy job at the Vatican. Oh yes, Cardinal Law can't be extradited for all of the things he did over here - he is no better than Roman Polanski. Until this huge wrong is righted, the Catholic church has an astonishing amount of blood on its hands.

Enough of this talk of the big three of Thatcher, Reagan and the Pope. The mainstream media are all to happy to try to deflect credit from Reagan and Thatcher onto the Pope for taking down communism. Of course this is silly on it's face. The Pope could use his voice to say communism was bad (did he?), but all of the talking in the world won't kill and capture criminals or take their governments down. Of course it was our arms buildup and Russia's lack of a real economy (exploited by Reagan) that killed communism. Reagan, of course gets all of the credit along with Thatcher. I am still looking for that fleet carrier group that the Vatican had on patrol during the eighties.

Will the next Pope allow birth control as Protestants do it? Will they allow female priests? Interesting questions. As with any Christian faith, everyone should ask themselves a very simple question - what would Jesus do? Would Jesus not allow simple birth control? Do you think Jesus would like women as priests? Well, these are questions for others to decide for the Catholic church. I know what I think the answers are.

The Catholic church has always been a bit stuffy for me - so much chanting, kneeling, and so many ceremonies that are always the same, time after time. It is my opinion that Jesus thinks more of people that live good lives, help others and raise their families properly than those who go to church a lot, do bad and ask for forgiveness at confessional. Obviously I am not a Catholic so don't know what all of the rites are about, but confessional seems the wackiest of them all. You can rob a bank, confess to a priest and it's OK? I never quite got that.

But isn't that what religion is all about? Isn't it all about your take on the matter?

Undeniably, most of the teachings of the Catholic church are good. Love your neighbor. Don't kill. Don't steal. Live a good life. Be a good person. Be kind. You don't see the "Catholic martyrs brigade" blowing up innocent children in shops in the name of their religion. Let's hope that they bring the offending priests to justice here in the USA and try to clean up their name a bit.

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