Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 May 2016

Until Catholic Church changes, it really doesn't have a mission

By Nuala McKeever

Published 12/03/2013

Q: How many Cardinals does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Why change it, it's not broken, is it?

Sadly, this would appear to be the approach of the Catholic hierarchy as they head into the big vote this week.

Several cardinals, accused of covering up criminal activity by priests over years and years, are being accorded the right to go to Rome to choose the next leader of one of the biggest organisations in the world. Their behaviour is therefore sanctioned by the organisation.

The very organisation that says it's sorry for their behaviour, is rewarding them.

So do they think the bulb was broken or not? Either the way the CC did things was ok or it wasn't. If it wasn't, then they can't carry on with the same old faces and the same old behaviour. Or can they?

They're definitely up the creek, but for some reason, they seem to have a fairly decent paddle.

Nothing seems to put them off their course. Nothing seems to make them change behaviour. Could it be because they haven't actually been hit where it hurts? In the pocket.

Why don't ordinary Catholics refuse to support the Church financially until it gets its house in order?

They, the laity, don't have to stop going to Mass on Sunday, but they could stop putting money on to the collection plate. Man cannot live by prayer alone. The Vatican's bank accounts certainly aren't filled with prayers. They need cash, same as everyone else.

We're always being told that "the Church is the people", but that doesn't really hold much water either. If it is, why are there no women or laity choosing the next pope?

I almost hate to waste ink even writing about this whole subject, so huge is my disdain for the Catholic church as an organisation and a concept.

But while it continues to scare/dupe/persuade billions of people into believing that it is the way, the truth and the life, then pointing out its hypocrisies and lies is a duty for any self-respecting humanitarian or Christian.

In contrast to the pomp and ceremony of the Vatican, the funeral of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela was a real example of love.

Millions of people – not thousands, as the mainstream press reported it – millions of people flocked to pay respects to this man who, despite his detractors, managed to provide his fellow human beings with health, education and dignity.

Why are so many Christian leaders so anti the poor and so many socialist leaders the only ones who demonstrate the values of Jesus Christ?

I acknowledge that Chavez may have become aggressive in his defence of his values, but, like Cuba, his country was beset by the aggressive antagonism of the USA.

When the little guy defends himself aggressively, he's a totalitarian. When the big guy aggresses, he's defending democracy. Hmm ... yet again, I think the western democratic leaders need to step outside their comfy bubble sometime and see that a huge proportion of the world's population doesn't see things the way they do.

If the price for keeping "traditional" values alive in the church or in the state is the abuse of the very people who make up the church or the state, then those espoused values are corrupted and the fight is lost.

God said, "Let there be light". Time for a new bulb I think.

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