Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pope Exhorts Followers to Blindly Comply with Church Doctrine

Conservative Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the importance of following Catholic doctrine in a wide range of circumstances. First elected leaders are not to represent their constituencies in a democratic country, but to vote the Pope’s stance on issues. Members of the House of Representatives are not to represent the individuals in their districts nor should Senators represent all the people in their respective state. An elected Catholic should vote long standing Catholic positions on issues or have the body and blood of Jesus withheld at communion time on the discretion of the local bishop.

Second, divorced people who have remarried are not to receive communion. Apparently God told the Pope that people only deserve one shot at marital bliss. The spouse conned by the physical abuser or child molester wasted their only attempt at a lifetime of happiness in Jesus’ eyes. The courage it took to walk out under the threat of violence or to keep their children safe and protected needs to endure. That same courage will be needed when the remarried Catholic walks up to receive communion. Does the priest dismiss them with a wave or offer a blessing instead of the body and blood of our savior?

Third, despite a priest shortage and the obvious barrier of lifelong celibacy to recruitment, the Pope reiterated the joys of this mandatory requirement. “Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and for society itself.” So how does the Pope plan to deal with the priest shortage as gay candidates remain intrinsically disordered?

In “No Child Left Behind” language, Benedict said “on no account” should admission standards be lowered to fill vacant seminary slots. Are these the same standards that gave the church “No Children’s Behinds Left Unmolested”? The Pope wants to more equitably distribute priests given the shortage. Is this moving the Priestly chairs around on the Titanic or the rationing of PopeStation3 video games for the rabid throng?

While conservatives have firm hold on the Catholic Church, they have clear aims on the Episcopal Church. Many conservative congregations left American supervision in favor of Uganda’s Anglican Church. Might such a divide be forthcoming in the Catholic Church? Likely no if the progressive faithful heed a Boston College theologian’s advice. In reference to the politician getting communion at the discretion of the Bishop, Lisa Sowle Cahill said liberals might be "grateful he's not more aggressively insisting that pastoral flexibility be curtailed"

Why should people be grateful for the little hammer’s ability to impose penalties vs. the big hammer? Either way it adds up to being controlled by religious dogma. Anyone wonder why we now heal on Sundays? Someone challenged that a long time ago…

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