Catholic tastes

Pope Francis seems like an admirable man, showing concern for the poor everywhere and for the developing world. I wish him all the best in his efforts to improve their condition.

I don’t care about the Pope’s or his institution’s opinions about climate change. I cannot imagine why anybody else does. They have been virulently anti-science for most of their history. I don’t think they are an authority on climate science. I do not trust them to advocate proper policy with regards to adaptation or mitigation.

The Catholic Church is not an institution I respect. They try to control humans by regulating who they bed and wed and have been responsible for much of the misery of the past 2,000 years. The fact that they have sheltered within their walls the largest pedophile ring in history should not be surprising and nor should be their sluggish and dilatory efforts to address the tragedy.

They don’t treat women equally. They oppose contraception and gay marriage. They hyped their opposition to condom use during the peak of the AIDS crisis. They helped kings launch the Crusades. They authored the Inquisition. They were anti-Semitic. They acquiesced to Nazi-ism. They played criminally fast and loose with the money donated to them by their parishioners.

Fortunately, I fully expect the Catholic Church and its adherents to show just as much disregard for my opinions as I have for theirs. I won’t take it personally.

3 responses to “Catholic tastes

  1. History is very complicated. We disagree on many points in your essay, but we do agree on this: This Pope is not accomplishing what he many wish he was accomplishing with his encyclical on climate. My take is His Holiness has made a grave error in lending the Church’s voice in support of a social mania.

  2. Given the history between the church and science, it is sad that the pope has chosen to blunder into science. He could have written a much more powerful letter by speaking to the pursuit of truth and the stewardship of the earth.

    As for critiquing the church, all institutions oscillate between serving the good and serving themselves. If there is a basic flaw in the church, it is that. While the church acquired great wealth, it was for most of its history, the primary source of charity in the western world.

    Yes, It is a conservative institution, one that does not change easily. This is both good and bad. Being conservative means one does not readily accept both good ideas and bad ideas. Given that their are many more bad ideas than good ones, conservativism is a naturally wise position.

    Yes, the church opposes condoms and contraception and while such a stance is difficult for the modern mind to grasp, it is also difficult for the conservative mind to grasp that we have lost 650,000 people to AIDS in the United States and tens of millions worldwide, not because the church opposes condoms but because modern morality has cast aside monogamy, and that and only that is what causes STD’s to spread. Sure, blame the church for it position but consider that modernity needs to acknowledge that its position on sex is equally. if not more flawed.

    Yes, the church stubbornly refuses to get it right about women and gays and it justly deserves criticism for it – but it also deserves praise for being way out ahead on matters of race – worldwide.

    There is absolutely no excuse for ignoring or covering up sex scandals when knowledge of them comes to your attention but people in position of power and the people who support them have a hard time admitting what is obvious to everyone else… which is just as true for Clintons and their supporters as it is for the church.

  3. It’s better to let the Pope speak and see if he gets traction. We need somebody with moral authority to stop human rights abuses. And if I have to pay an extra 10 cents per megawatt hour to end even half of what goes on then the money is well spent.

    Now we just need to sit and wait patiently to see if he starts advocating family planning or names the first woman priest, or does something about the abuses we see in places like Cuba and Venezuela, where the church is supposed to have some power.

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