Sunday, April 24, 2005

Regarding the New Pope

It is no surprise to me that the Cardinals, gathered together at the Vatican, quickly chose Cardinal Ratzinger from Germany as the new Pope for the Roman Catholic Church. He holds highly conservative views regarding Catholic theology and would be an unflinching supporter of the status quo.

The Catholic Church is an extremely hierarchical institution and probably owes its longevity to this organizational model. It is a church built on layers of rules for behavior and "right" living. This theology is so entrenched that many facets of modern existence pose a significant threat to its authority. This is not a new phenomenon. Throughout its history the Catholic Church has been violently opposed to the new understanding about the nature of humanity and the universe brought about by the ineluctible progress of science. The most often cited examples of this are the Inquisition and the trial of Galileo regarding his "heretical" conclusion regarding the real position of the earth in the heavens. A more contemporary example is the fact that the current findings of the biological sciences clearly demonstrate that being gay or lesbian can be explained in wholly biological terms. This truth poses a real threat to church dogma and as such is completely rejected without consideration.

The bloody history of the church is a testimonial to its immoral use of power; a history that has shown it to be a thoroughly human institution in spite of the ludicrous claims of papal infallibility. Choosing such a Pope suggests, to me, that the church leadership is hanging on for dear life to a world view that is no longer compatible with the modern world.

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