As per the following URL, in an article on December 21st, 2010 (awhile back I know, but still valid) printed in the Belfast Telegraph, Pope Benedict stated the worst public relations comment he could have dredged up, “In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children.”
He went on to say, “It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic Theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.” (Ask a Jewish person who lived through the holocaust about this) The Pope also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
If you read the article further you see that he tried to undo the damage by insisting that the church needed “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message. One wonders which one of the two faces he presents to us is the correct one. The rest of the article showed a Catholic pope saying exactly what his flock would expect from a compassionate, learned leader of the Roman Catholic Church. As per the website titled “A History Christianity”, the following paragraph illustrated the mindset regarding Roman Catholicism.
“As both its critics and its champions would probably agree, Roman Catholicism has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization. There are more Roman Catholics in the world than there are believers of any other religious tradition--not merely more Roman Catholics than all other Christians combined, but more Roman Catholics than all Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. The papacy is the oldest continuing absolute monarchy in the world. To millions the pope is the infallible interpreter of divine revelation and the Vicar of Christ; to others he is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies about the coming of the Antichrist.”
Those are heavy words. After reading them, one would think that you would view the pope as the last word in what is right and correct in this world. For many years I believed this but today I call myself a “revolving door Catholic”. I was raised Catholic, then left the church for many years after a priest told me I could not practice birth control under any conditions. I had had four children in three years and the doctor said one more would kill me so I joined the legion of other Catholics who were practicing birth control and didn’t consider it a sin. Unfortunately I did, hence my first falling away. But I was still the pope’s child in my heart. I prayed the rosary, talked to the Blessed Mother whenever I needed solace and I missed my religion terribly.
I had wanted to be a nun and when I was 13 asked my father if I could go to the convent. He became enraged and gave me a resounding “no”. It turned out he had other plans for me. I was devastated. Periodically, over the next couple of decades I tried to get back into the church but I was always stopped by something or another. One time when I was in confession, the priest kept me on my knees for 45 minutes lecturing me until he finally told me he would not absolve me of my sins unless I returned to my husband whom I had been married to in the Catholic Church but had divorced five years later. When I told the priest he was an alcoholic living in an alcoholic rehab and had been there for years, it mattered little to him. I finally got up, walked past my four children who were waiting behind me to go to confession and went out to the car. When they climbed in the car a few minutes later, one of them (whichever one was the smart aleck of the day) said, “Boy mom, you must have been really bad.”
A few years later I tried to get back into the church again, this time in a face to face confession at the insistence of a priest who had seen me in one of the pews talking to God. After he tried to get me to go to bed with him I once again pulled back. That was my last try for many years. Today I’m an at-peace-with-myself-and-my-God Catholic. I attend mass every Sunday; I sing in the choir, I talk to God for 30 minutes every day on my morning walk. But I believe in God’s laws and only believe in and follow the Church’s laws if they make sense. I’m big on stuff making sense. It makes me think often of the little old ladies who ate meat on Friday, then died on Saturday before they could get to confession. I guess, since that was a mortal sin back then, they are all in hell. Now that it is no longer a mortal sin, does that mean they get to come out of hell?
I feel ashamed that the pope would make such comments as the above. How can we think of him as infallible when he talks nonsense, worse than nonsense? He speaks as if he needs educating but isn’t much interested in it. If we can’t rely on our pope to always say the right thing, meaning the truth, then we must go to the original source of doing the right thing, our own personal God. Ronald Reagan, when alone, used to talk to himself a lot. When a secret service man asked him who he was talking to he said, “God”. I too talk to God a lot. I always feel him listening and sometimes I sense what he is telling me in return. But I’m still ashamed of the pope.
At a time when we need strong leadership, correct leadership, a firm hand at the tiller, a hand that is not afraid to say, “We did wrong”, we instead have someone who is afraid to let people see the weakness in the Catholic Church that has damaged forever so many people. What is it with these large organizations (Penn State) and large religions (the Catholic Church is not the only organized religion who has a problem with child sexual abuse) that think they can get away with something so evil, so horrendous, as child sexual abuse? Where is the outrage we expect from our pope? Harming the innocent is the worst sin of all. Doesn’t he get it?
Let’s sweep it under the carpet. Maybe no one will know. We’ll wait till we get caught and then deal with it. It’s really not that bad; they do it in the Appalachian District all the time.
I think I want to throw up.