I was kinda raised Catholic. And while I had already started pulling away from the church by the time Pope John Paul II came along, I was a big fan. He spoke dozens of languages and worked tirelessly to travel the world to use those skills to build good relationships with other faiths. He had respect for all people and believed strongly in the basic concepts of dignity and human rights. And while I may not have agreed with some of his more antiquated, traditional, and fundamental views, I always admired his attempts to find common ground in the face of disagreement. He was a remarkable man and I'm still a fan today...
Which is why I am so disheartened with his successor, Pope Benedict XVI...
He's systematically destroyed much of the good will that Pope John Paul II had built up between Catholics and the rest of the world. And while I have respect for Pope Benedict's position as Supreme Pontiff, the way he's hurt the church with the crazy-ass shit he says has been heartbreaking. He lays the groundwork for abhorrent Catholic radicals to have the power they do. Even though their hateful crap contradict polls which show that most Catholics are fairly progressive on issues like same-sex marriage.
So what benefit is it to everyday Catholics when these extremists decide to force their faith-based interpretation of "morality" on the rest of the world?
When I see the news of kids committing suicide because they are ruthlessly persecuted and victimized by the environment created by the likes of Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum and Maggie "Repugnant Hypocrite" Gallagher ... my view of Catholicism is badly tarnished.
And when I see the continuous stream of shocking headlines associated with the church, I have to wonder if these hateful morons shouldn't be casting a judgmental eye on their own house before condemning the houses of others.
Headlines like this one...
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'S PEDOPHILE INVESTIGATOR JAILED FOR POSSESSING THOUSANDS OF CHILD PORN IMAGES
The Catholics Come Home television commercial I just saw (which caused me to write all this in the first place) is supposed to be reaching out to former Catholics by letting them know that their church is waiting for them. That they are wanting to help them return to a faith-based journey of true peace, happiness, and purpose in life.
They are speaking to people like me...
...who is someone that would never in a million years return to the Catholic Church as it exists today. Not when the people who so prominently represent the church are people who repulse me.
Well... not all of them repulse me.
There is at least one prominent Catholic today I admire quite a lot: Stephen Colbert. More on him in tomorrow's entry.
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That is awful.
Pope John Paul II was a great pope – and I’m not even Catholic.
I have so many issues with the Catholic church, and as usual you so eloquently stated some of them.
This new Pope is a disgrace.
Many many moons ago, circa 1994 (maybe) in my former life I was lucky enough to be in Rome and visited the Vatican on a day when John Paul II was there. He did a drive by in the Popemobile and we were in the crowd about 10 feet away. Was cool even for an atheist like me because the whole crowd were in ecstacy and some were even crying. Was quite moving in that respect.
Hey! That was me in the year 2000!
No matter if you agreed with JP2 or not, the point is that he could engage a person on the issues philosophically and intelligently without defuting to “cuz God sez so.” That was a huge change for Popes and one of the largest reasons he was so highly considered by people who didn’t see eye to eye with him. He was a truly remarkable person in so many ways. And I’m not Catholic.
i loved papa. he really seemed to be a good man.
My church is waiting for me? Better not hold their breath.
It would be must more productive for you to express your opinion and concern with the church, Santorum, and Pope Benedict if you would refrain from vulgarities. Oh and providing concrete examples versus generalities would be productive as well.
But I’m not trying to be productive… I am expressing an opinion and my personal reaction to a television advertisement I saw. I am not looking to change the Catholic church, as I am not a member and it’s none of my business. How I express myself is my business, and if people would rather not hear it, they are free to ignore my blog… I’m not forcing anybody to read it.
And concrete examples of WHAT? Every word out of Santorum and Gallaghers mouth seems to gravitate against homosexuals not having the same rights as heterosexuals and condemning their relationships. The Pope has zero interest in supporting homosexuals even existing within his own church. All of this creates an atmosphere which is hostile towards LGBT persons, which results in LGBT youth being bullied so badly that some commit suicide rather than endure it. This is not a “generality” it’s the state of our world today.
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2358)
This is hardly “hostile”. Its stance is clear, but is sympathetic and charitable. Judge the church and the pope not by headlines and editorials but by their own official words, saints and teachings, and you may find your own hostility toward her lessen.
The catechism is free to view online.
Yes. a nice quote of tolerance and acceptance. And if he were consistent in THAT message I would have no problem.
But then he turns around and says “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” So… basically, homosexuals have a “disorder” which makes them “morally evil.” So much for tolerance and acceptance. A young Catholic who comes to realize he is gay hears crap like this, and no longer thinks that God made him the way that he is… instead he is evil, immoral, and sick… with something he cannot change. How is that not hostile? That’s the very DEFINITION of hostility, and part of the reason we have so many gay youth killing themselves.
Pope Benedict has also said “We must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living. On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people.” So… not only is any gay person forbidden from having any kind of sex life because it is “incorrect living,” they also cannot get married. They can either live a lie and struggle to have heterosexual relationships that damage them AND their partner… or have no sex life at all. What a big help that is.
It is time for people who claim to live as Jesus taught to stop taking His words out of context… (or twisting the meaning of the words Jesus actually spoke) to condemn homosexuality. Jesus never DIRECTLY condemned homosexuals or spoke on the subject. He taught love and acceptance of people, and His Holiness should do the same. Just because the Catholic Church and The Holy See chooses not to acknowledge gay marriage within The Church doesn’t mean they should be condemning it for others. Such actions sow hate and discrimination… which is not only hostile, but something Jesus taught us to reject in lieu of the kindness he showed to even the lowliest sinner.