Mar 13, 2013

New Pope, New Name, Same Old Regressive Views

My apologies to my Catholic friends, but this is the 21st century, and having views like, gays are an abomination and insult to God's plan, that abortion & birth control are evil, that women are not equal, etc, is so ..Dark Ages! Now, this guy who was just another red cardinal was elected by other men in red capes, and, voila, with his white costume he has gained papal infallibility on his side!

Speaking of infallibility, this brief period between the resignation of Pope Benedict and the election of Pope Francis was indeed a rare moment when no primate claimed to be iinfallible! I enjoyed it. Did you?

Poorly-designed mural?!?
Already we hear stories about his "humble origins and life", like Mr. Obama said, “As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years — that in each other we see the face of God.”  Well, allow me to disagree--and I can do this, because we live in a secular liberal democracy with a godless constitution, where religious authority can only threaten me with "spiritual death" not actual physical death through torture. I can live with that!

 May I ask, what kind of "champion of the poor is he when he tells the poor that family planning should be left to God, while their starving children are the responsibility of those faithful but ignorant parents?  That a woman's place can never be on the same level as a man's. Poverty, lack of education are characteristics of women who have many children and no access to opportunity to better their own lives, thus hitching themselves to the male provider.

It's amazing that so many humans don't see this pageantry and, more importantly, this outdated doctrine as a primitive institution and activities more suited for the dust bins of history.

Did I mention that this new Pope opposed same-sex marriage and adoption as "a war against God"?  I wonder how he feels about the Catholic Church excommunicating the mother of a young girl and the doctor who performed the abortion after the child had been raped in the neighboring country of Brazil while the rapist was not excommunicated....

The huge scandals of child rape by priests and the stance of the previous Pope and the Catholic church in general have left big questions about reforming a system. And, this is the crux of the matter: the problems are systemic! So, replacing a person, including the highest official, won't be enough if the system isn't radically reformed. 

However, this selection of a very conservative cardinal to lead the Vatican and the 1+ billion Catholics isn't a good sign if you expected this crusty institution to enter the 21st century of the common era.