Monday, February 8, 2010

Shattered Glass of Pope Benedict XVI

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones but I guess this exclude those whose glass houses are bullet proof and sheltered by faith. His holiness Pope Benedict XVI seems to be one such individual. Being the spiritual leader and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church his holiness is safely nestled away in his Apostolic Palace within Vatican City and appears to be a radical traditionalist and a bigot. Having been quoted in 2008 as saying “Saving the world from Homosexual acts is as important as saving the rain forest” and recently stating that British gay equality legislation violates 'natural law' he is fast becoming unpopular not only amongst gay rights groups but the general public as well. The Roman Catholic Church has not been without its own transgressions and scandals and this led me to ask: Should we take moral direction from a religious group that can’t even keep their own morals and integrity in check?
It is no secret that I don’t approve of organized religion. My personal experience with Churches has been filled with hypocrisy. Being gay in organized religion (much like the fashion industry), one day you’re in and the next day you are out! It’s all horribly confusing but the Catholic Church has stayed the course when it comes to homophobia and their stance is unwavering. Quite interesting when one takes into account that Vatican City has an estimated population of 826, the majority of which are males wearing dresses. Not to mention the homoerotic nuances of religious ceremonies with altar boys helping the priests prepare and then there is the Pope with his rather attractive male personal secretary- the hunky Monsignor Georg Gänswein. This could be any elderly gay man’s ultimate fantasy having a young good looking man at your beg-and-call 24/7. But I digress...
Through the years the Catholic Church have been battered with a number of sex scandals and indiscretions. For years the abuse of children and the predatory Priests and other members of the Catholic religious order who violates children have been shuffed under the rug and the extent of the molestations kept secret. However, these odious acts became less of a secret when the media first started to report on them in Canada, Ireland and in the United States (to mention but a few countries). Still the Church fell short of admitting it had a problem and still it hasn’t changed how they treat allegations of child abuse by its clergy and not to mention the lack of any forthcoming apology. Yet, the Church preaches good moral values and depicts homosexuality as violating natural law.
Another bizarre statement by the Pope “The scourge [of AIDS] cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem” I find extraordinarily harmful. Does the Church not understand the extent of the HIV pandemic? If they can’t even keep their own clergy from abstaining from sex how do they think the rest of the world would fare adopting a responsible and moral attitude towards sex? Claiming that the Roman Catholic Church is on the forefront of fighting HIV and AIDS, his statement made me seriously doubt the efficiency of their weaponry in this battle. The archaic stance on condoms is a reflection of an institution yet to truly understand the reality most of its followers face, but some within the Catholic Church are divided on this issue as those who work with AIDS patients see this disease’s devastation first hand.
Persisting chauvinistic theories in the Catholic Church also still appear to dominate most of their policies and functions. Woman still are excluded from positions of authority in the Church and the proverbial glass ceiling seems to be tempered and will not shattered anytime soon. The Vatican has shown little sign of making provisions for gender equality within its ranks and all appear docile and silent on the subject matter. The “good Catholic wives and mothers” are ignored and have to be content with their status; all the nuns who have a desire and calling to be priests will not have their desires met. There seems to be no conscience on this issue in Rome, not even an inkling of an episcopal conscience about the potential harm this inequality may cause the Church in the future.
After all is said and done, one can’t contest the power and the reach the Roman Catholic Church has with Pope Benedict XVI now firmly at its helm. Homosexuality is still viewed as against natural law, ancient attitudes about modern phenomena still prevails, the Church is still a chauvinistic dominated machine and scandals and indiscretion amongst clergy still occurs and are concealed. For many they still will draw strength and gain moral direction from the Roman Catholic Church and their faith will remain strong. Others will lose trust in the Church and seek spiritual guidance elsewhere. One thing is certain, no human being is perfect and no religious group is either. Proclaiming perfection is unattainable even for Pope Benedict XVI. Where you choose to gain moral guidance is up to you but best make sure you choose wisely and that your glass house stay strong. I wish his holiness Pope Benedict XVI well with his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom later this year, and hope his holiness will be more open to the changing times, throw no more rocks and leave behind less shattered glass.

Till next time

Kathy Griffin on Catholics


amyredmond said...

i feel the same way towards the church. i was brought up catholic, and taught that this guy jesus loved everyone. if he was here he'd be down in soho with us surely?
big ups and love to you xx
princess amy

Pierre said...

amyredmond, I think many people feel like this and not only in the Catholic Church. Not sure whether things will change anytime soon though!

Catherine Wentworth said...

'the majority of which are males wearing dresses'

'if they can’t even keep their own clergy from abstaining from sex how do they think the rest of the world would fare adopting a responsible and moral attitude towards sex?'

I read the majority of your post out loud to the man of the house. He is now coming back with quotes of his own - so this looks to be an entertaining evening!

Pierre said...

Catherine Wentworth, I would love hear what he comes up with!

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