Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Catholic Church Tries To Scoop Up Anglican Bigots

AFTER MORE THAN 2,000 YEARS THERE'S NOBODY LIKE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH that can sniff out a Christian faction fight and use it topick up some souls for the Lord. Seems that there's some ferment in the Anglican Church over some distinctly newfangled ideas like women's equality and - gasp - gay marriage.
"In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican on Tuesday announced it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions."
It seems that the Catholic Church will even allow married priests to keep their jobs, so much do they smell the coins in those collection plates. But perhaps I am being cynical, after all Pope Benedict is known to have the interests of conservative Anglicans "close to his heart." Now, I'll resist the urge to comment on the fact that the Catholic Church tolerated years and years of pederasty and physical abuse of young parishoners. Hey, sodomizing the choir boys is one thing - but if they're consenting adults, well, that's just not right.
And while abuse was tolerated, so have the most right wing organizations and views been tolerated and found succour within the Catholic Church, while liberals have been shunned, even at the expense of the Church itself:
"For a church whose leadership has earned a reputation for reprimanding liberal Catholics who color outside the lines, these developments could be more than a bit frustrating. If conservatives can get special consideration, how about Catholics who have divorced and remarried but can’t take communion? Or those who back ordaining women? Or perhaps an exemption for the 25,000 or so priests who left the ministry in recent decades when they married?
Now, if that's OK with Catholics, that's their choice but let's call what's going what it is: the Catholic Church is looking to scoop up thousands of open bigots. So much for casting first stones, loving thy neighbour as thyself and the parable of the Good Samaritan. None of these sermons about equality and universal love apply to the treatment of a majority of humanity, it seems. But then why should we expect this Pope and this Church to take a stand against bigotry. Benedict did, after all, accede to joining the Hitler Youth when he was 14. He did work the anti-aircraft guns at a BMW factory that employed slave labour. He did serve in Hungary until he deserted in 1945 as the war was winding down. This is not a man I would describe as having a hearty moral fiber.
And the crimes of the Catholic Church are too numerous to bother to list here. Suffice to say that refusing to ordain women priests is one of their lesser evils, their crimes are so numerous and ghastly, from the Crusades, through the Inquisition and on into their support for fascism in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

I will add as an important addendum that there have also been many fighters for justice in the Catholic Church. People like Leonardo Boff, one of the founders of what became known as Liberation Theology. And there were many, many priests and nuns and Catholic lay people who resisted and suffered under regimes in Latin America. These people were and are heroes, both of their faith and of humanity more generally. As far as I'm concerned they stand in the true tradition of Jesus the anti-colonial, proletarian rebel. Guys like Benedict, fighting over congregations of hate-mongers and people who can't bear to be touched by a woman, well they're just filling up their boat for the trip down to hell.
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