Death And Decay

The Catholic Church has had it share of “front page” problems over the past 20 years.  Those problems have their roots going back 100 or more years.  The Church discovered long ago that promising a much better life after death was a gold mine for gifts and weekly contributions.  By carefully grooming church members, the over all church (especially Rome) have become very wealthy.  With money, however, comes a class of clerics who saw their religious role to insure the church’s wealth remained intact and preferably grew in value.

The money “growers”, however, needed a parallel group of clerics who created and enforced a set of rules which balanced on the toughness required to lead a “good enough” life to quality for the hereafter with a doctrine that still provided a means to amend for shortcomings were a poor soul to wander off the path and need relief to “qualify” for the hereafter.  Dogma and doctrine, both man created and made, followed.

There have been reasoned outcries over the centuries calling out the Catholic Church for wandering from reason.  Galileo, Copernicus, and the Inquisitions are well known.  Hitler, Franco, and world war II’s atrocities also showed a dim view of the Pope’s “holiness”.  Today there rages in Rome a new war for the future control of the Catholic Church.  Liberals who want to base the church upon current secular understandings, and conservatives who wish to return to doctrine and dollars, even if it means a smaller overall church.  Hmmm.

The debate around child abuse by clerics sums up neatly the paradox the church finds itself in.  How can the church punish someone who has received “holy orders” and risk adversely influencing so many other church members that there is something wrong with church teachings?

Sexual orientation is another bag of worms for the Catholic Church.  Estimates range from 1/3rd to 2/3rds of all priests are homosexuals.  Yet, these same men must stand before their followers and preach that homosexuality is wrong and strictly outside church teachings.  How much more conflicted could someone get?

Two private catholic school near Indianapolis offers an example.  Two well respected teacher entered into same sex marriages and subsequently the school administration found out.  The schools initial decision was “no harm, no foul”.  When the diocese found out, the Archbishop (hopeful to become a Cardinal?) issued a statement saying “no way”.  Either the teachers are fired or the archdiocese would disown the school.  So far, one school has caved and one has not.  Hmmm.

The reason given was that same sex marriage is against catholic doctrine and the teacher is therefore not living a “catholic” life.  This inconsistency, the diocese says, demands termination of the teachers.  Hmmm.  I wonder whether there are any divorced and remarried teachers?

What a message to send to young minds.  Like marijuana, over the years generation after generation “experimented” and have found marijuana not to be what law enforcement and hypocritical politicians have said.  Similarly, homosexuality is natural, not learned (nurture) regardless of what the church has said.   The church is once more caught up in its “straight jacketed dogma”.

And, to add to the unspoken message, what does the Catholic Church’s behavior teach followers, for instance Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as a just arbiter for woman’s health or human rights for all Americans?   

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