You probably won’t find many meme’s comparing Pope Francis to the Emperor from Return of the Jedi. The last Pope looked very much at home hurling force lightening at unsuspecting dignitaries in hilarious if disturbing memes. Whereas Francis is a much more human…ermm…human and it seems for the most part his views are more in line with what we in the 21st century might consider to be “Progressive thought” (except for his whole ideas on when it’s acceptable to hit people) than a guy who looked like he could, at any second decide to start burning witches again and then have a bit of a laugh about it over some
Catholic’s for the most part seems to be a nice bunch of people. Certainly I can detect no significant rise in background dickhead radiation that you get in any large group. A good people deserve a leader that reflects that, and Benedict was not that Pope. Sadly when Benedict was in charge the overwhelming feeling was that they were a group of people who are good and kind despite their church rather than because of it. So it’s natural that Francis would be welcomed.
There is a question that all Catholics should ask themselves and that is “Why did Benedict Leave?” it’s been tradition for Popes to be wheeled out after they go tits up. The last Pope to retire was Gregory XII in 1415, yes that’s 600 years and he had an Anti-Pope to contend with who wanted him gone. Yes I said ANTIPOPE! If you get the chance you should read about the history of Popeing it’s fascinating.
So what would make Benedict break with nearly 600 years of tradition when in all other aspects he was a very traditional pope? Well some say (using Ancient Aliens parlance here) that there is a massive scandal that is going to come out at some point. But I think he was part of an image problem for the church that meant he HAD to leave. Let’s face it he was doing nothing for declining numbers and a wave of feeling that the church was out of touch, this amid scandal after scandal and someone at the helm that seemingly not only didn’t care but felt that the Church was unimpeachable and untouchable. He had to go.
Pope Francis meanwhile is the peoples Pope, he washes feet, he says nice things about homosexuals and Atheists he believes in climate change, he condemns paedophiles, He wants “more space” for women in the church! He lives in more modest accommodation than his predecessor. He says “Who am I do judge?” How much more of a rock star could he actually be?
Well he could actually be doing something about these things. You will notice that the garish accommodation that the pope refused hasn’t been sold off or given to the poor.
Francis offers us lip service, but no real change. If one were of a suspicious nature it might seem to one that he is distracting one from the real issues that plague the church rather than tackling them head on. He is excellent at letting us forget that nothing has actually happened.
In early 2013 Francis announced that a Vatican commission would address sexual abuse in the Church, but over the course of his first year in office he made little headway on this critical issue. As late as December of that year the Pope’s representative in Australia and his bureaucrats in Rome, were refusing to hand over documents about clergy child abusers to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse, and only doing so after the Commission went public about the refusal.
Now that the commission has uncovered case after case after case of horrific abuse there has been no comment from Francis on the issue and no word on the commission that was going to be set up. So…still waiting on that one?
Recently the Pope gave permission for his priests to “Absolve women from the sin of abortion”. Wow! How progressive. Much forgiveness.
Except that under cannon law they already had such a power. The difference was that under cannon law abortion held with it an automatic censure and that censure was automatic excommunication. So now the priests have the power to life the censure where are before that had to be handled by a bishop all well and good. But it’s not exactly a huge step forward considering that most modern morality would say that there should be no legislative hurdles you have to jump through in order to control your own body. The pope has essentially dragged the church out of the1920’s and into the 1950’s.
In an interview with veteran Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, the pope compares genetic manipulation and nuclear weapons with gender theory, a broad term for how people learn to identify themselves sexually and how it’s transmitted culturally.
“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” the pope said. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”
“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” he continued.
Here’s how I know that this Pope isn’t the moral crusader that we all want him to be.
The immoral criminals that the Catholic Church has routinely protected and fostered and kept safe from the law have not been turned over to police. In ANY country. All the lip service in the world won’t change that fact. They have covered it up, they have moved priests around, and they have “self-policed” the situation. For the rape of children, probably the most reviled crime there is. Despite literally hundreds of abusers in every country in the world. There are almost ZERO priests in jail.
If he were a moral person he would have turned all of the priests over to police saying “We are sorry, we covered up these terrible, unforgivable things, but no more. Here are the perpetrators, they are not men of God, they are pederasts they are the men who ruined lives, do with them as you wish”.
But the systemic issues within the church continues.
In fact when you read one of those lists “9 things the Pope did that was awesome” it is things like “Appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone” or “Auctioned his Harley Davidson for charity” (yes apparently he owned a Harley…no even that’s not enough to make me like him) “Gave two kids a ride in his Pope mobile” or “Gave paedophiles a stern talking too” all of these things are symbolic rather than substantial most of them are popularist and more than a few self-serving. Giving the rapists a good tongue lashing is nothing.
Cannon law has changed not one iota and in Africa where the Church does the most damage where the lack of contraception kills people where the church tells people that condoms carry Aids. Nothing has changed and nothing has even been acknowledged.
Now you might argue that he is just one man a man of compassion and integrity cloistered in the gears of a mighty machine that does not want to change. After all the Vatican sees itself as the “Magnum Societis” it’s perfect and does not need to change. But he is THE Pope. If he can’t change it, then no-one can. It’s fine to be the huggable Pope but without substance it means nothing.