I Don’t Eat Priests For Breakfast

iStock_000023339588_SmallAs we speak the cardinals are gathering in Rome to elect the new pontiff,  head of the Catholic Church, trusted spiritual guide to more than a billion Catholic around the globe. There is great anticipation to discover who will ascend the Chair of Peter. It’s always good to remember that the pope is the spiritual guide to more than a billion people and his voice is heard worldwide.

I believe that today, like never before, the election of the new pontiff is of a fundamental importance to the Catholic Church. This must not be an “ad interim” pope. Simply because the Church of Rome cannot afford it.

I hope that a man in possession of the strength and spirit to reform emerges from the Sistine Chapel, where the college of cardinals will elect the new bishop of Rome. A man with the actual courage to look inside his Church with honesty and with openness to the world. A man that understand how to really analyze the wrongs of the temporal -not divine- institution that he has just been called to lead. A real pastor that understands that 21st century catholics are different from those of the middle ages. That the social reality of today is different from that of Idebrando of Soana and Matilde of Tuscany. People need more than just feeble and often unconvincing answers to the problems and challenges that they must face everyday.

The churches are half-empty in Italy just like they are in the rest of the world. Women almost never choose the religious life. After all  why should they? Despite what the bishops say, within the Catholic Church, women are still treated as second-class citizens.

Watch the cardinals, and you will notice that they are a bunch of all men that live in a reality detached from the rest of us. Despite what they allege, they live in a world of wealth and privilege, often in magnificent palaces, and above all, they live without ever having to attend to the everyday realities that are fundamental of the so called flock that they ought to administer spiritually.

So then how can these cardinals be effective overseers of the Christian message? Why does the Catholic Church have to be governed by octogenarians instead of men at the peak of their physical and spiritual strength? I believe because the Catholic Church is blinded by extreme conservatism. The affairs of the last ten years demonstrate that the Church is not really under attack by the secularism and materialism on which it is too easy to blame every sin as if it were Linus’ blanket. Instead, I hold that one of principal problems is the growing distance between the head of the Church (pope, cardinals, bishops) and its base: the faithful.

If Christ really did tell Peter to go to Rome to build His church, I hope that He did it for everyone, even for the poor, gays, divorcees, women and molested children. For those that want to be accepted by the Church instead of driven from it. I don’t want to speak for Christ (even I cannot do that!) but I am convinced that He did not intend His church to be an exclusive club where only old men and hypocrites (I believe call them Pharisees) have access and the right to be accepted.

To me John Paul II was a pope that did more harm than good to the Church. He took it back in time, negating the work of John XXIII and Paul VI (who ought to be given more credit). He created bishops, men most often silent and subservient and therefore rewarded, as long as they sympathized with his reactionary fury. He opened doors to ultraconservative religious orders, like Opus Dei, whose powerful funds may have financed Solidarnosc when John Paul II was the primate of Poland, guaranteeing his eternal gratitude in return. And he opened doors for the Legion of Christ, whose founder Maciel as it turns out was a criminal and a proven sexual deviant. He protected Cardinal Marcinkus the former President of the Vatican Bank, whose murky and mysterious affairs have been a consistent source of nothing short of profound doubt in Italian courts. He refused every opening to the modern world, an obstinate and stubborn defender of a Church that kept its distance from the people. The sex abuse were not new under his pontificate. His grand public relations gestures, like the visit to the Synagogue of Rome and his trip to Cuba, created, in our collective imagination, a distorted sense of what the church really was.

The future is already before us.

I hope that the Catholic Church finally finds the courage and the strength to reinvent itself to better serve the world. I hope that it is truly the Holy Spirit who will elect a pope in the Sistine Chapel, and not some old men with slow reflexes or reactionaries locked in an inexplicable conservatism.

I hope so, not because I am a Bolshevik antichrist that eats priests for breakfast.

I do it as a Catholic, because the Church of Rome is my church too.


Filed under Pontefice, Pope, Italy, History

88 responses to “I Don’t Eat Priests For Breakfast

  1. I can’t really say that I “like” your post, but it is definitely food for thought! Must reread, think and do some digging…John Paul II impressed the world because he seemed forward thinking…your POV leaves me wondering…perhaps I didn’t see…

  2. Great post Gian Franco – it’s pretty tough going being a Catholic these days and what’s happening in Rome is really not right. I’m angry in general most of the time about what’s happening and angry in particular about the fact that the Pope is not serving his time and dodging accountability – he is supposed to be a witness to Christ and suffering, he’s supposed to take it on the chin and cop it – the reason you see this job to the bitter end. It’s not about being a competent CEO of some company or a savvy politician. At least JPII took it that far.
    It’s even harder when I’ve taken on my commitment to bring my children up in faith and having them, quite rightly, turn around and say they’re not doing the church bit any more. I struggle to find a way to answer this when everything points – not just to these awful incidents being perpetuated by a bunch of perverse individuals and being mishandled – but a whole institution which is systematically self protecting and rotting, if not completely rotten, to the core.
    It feels worse in Australia than in the UK. Coming back to Australia it’s palpable that every mass is said with an undercurrent of control, stress and fear. The old days of the larrikin Irish priest saying pretty much whatever came into his head is gone. Any of them who did manage to stay on as a thorn in the side of the Church have been forced into retirement (like the loveable Father Bob https://twitter.com/FatherBob) or excommunicated (like the former Bishop of Toowoomba)
    Interesting to read in this article (see link) that the deposing of Bishop Morris was intended to send a volley across the whole Australian Church which the Vatican said had a tendency to be far too ‘tolerant’. (Obviously an evil trait that needed to be firmly stamped out and boy have they had a go at that. http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/05/04/3207410.htm).
    The re-emergence of Opus Dei is really worrying.
    We accidentally found ourselves at one of these ‘rituals’ because my 91 yo mother-in-law wanted to go to mass and hear the singing. Instead we found ourselves in Melbourne’s outer suburbs in something straight out of a Dan Brown novel in broad daylight with the ‘liturgy’, or whatever it was, being said in some ridiculous Latin form with so much incense and bell shaking that even my mother-in-law didn’t recognise any of it. It was completely byzantine and mad. Any minute now, I thought at one point, someone’s going to bring out a goat and sacrifice it -and I promptly left.
    What was worse, was that this ‘mass’ was being said in the parish which was built up by the priest who married my husband and I and he would have been absolutely horrified to see his community being used in this way.

    Gosh I’ve been ranting about both religion and politics today – so please edit this down! It’s good to share – Might get back to posting something civilised about cycling and gardening tomorrow.
    Take care!

    • Dear friend, thank you! I loved your response and willingness to share your story.Please come back!

    • Chas Spain…I appreciate your very personal response to a very thoughtful post. If only more Catholics would protest with their feet – as you did – and with their fees, then perhaps others would find the courage to do so also in a public manner. Catholics who care about their Church have to publicly challenge the Church to return to Its roots in the mission and ministry of Jesus, which was not, need I point out, clouded in the smoke of secrecy, power, finances or sexual fixation – let alone the incense and vestments of the Roman Empire. You have courage.

    • There is something qutiley exasperating about the implicit comparison being made between the lifestyle of a secular priest and the religious life of nuns.Are potential seminarians always pretty-boy losers without any friends (female or otherwise)?On the other hand, the comparison of a vocation to the religious life with a “vocation” to marriage just seems weirder every time I think of it.Well, I’m off to watch the end of The Sound of Music, one more time!

  3. Oh I’m sorry while I agree with you in hope for a Pope with courage I hope he implements reforms that help people who think like you do to understand women are held high and honored in the Church, gays are loved and respected and all people’s from conception to natural death are treated and loved with dignity. In Europe and America attitudes of moral relativism and secularism have invaded the minds even of Catholics so we may need a Pope from Latin America or Africa to show the world how the Church is so relevant today, more than ever. I disagree the Cardinals are out of touch old men. They are extremely learned, fluent in multiple languages, engaged in the challenges of today. I am one to love the wisdom and experience of our elders and I trust the youth less who think they are being wise but truly only trying to reinvent the wheel. Read Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Catherine of Siena. The Church of their day faced the same challenges as today. This is nothing knew to those of us who know history. While the Church does have major internal challenges that need reform (wayward priests and nuns, actively gay priests, and the continue abuse scandals) Her teachings are rock solid Truth. It’s Her people, we go astray. Youcat is a wonderful place to start for those of us who question the Church teachings. Youcat is the Catechism explained for our youth. I’m sorry to disagree as I really don’t like conflict so please know although I disagree with much of what you hope for I do share with you a common love of our Faith.

    • Dear friend, thank you for your accurate response. We can disagree! And it is true that we are fundamentally FOR our Church…
      I told you I was from Rome, but I did not tell you that I have studied in the Vatican (so, I know from first hand 1 thing or two about them).
      I hope to read from you soon!

      • Thank you. Again I’m sorry to disagree. I just feel so called to share the beauty and wisdom of our Faith. To me, the Church is my family. And I am drawn to defend and protect. Thanks again for understanding.

      • Eliaβ

        Salam = Hi

        Number 9, i understand to grow up with church, than it’s difficult to leave it behind, specielly woman because of your reality that is softness and kindness, like softkindly reality for womens.

        Thanks for sharing your thought so i could read it.

        I have one question was homo marriage allowed in Jesus(Peace be upon him) time…
        If it was not allowed than why or what for did the church allowed it.
        If Jesus(Peace be upon him) was now alive would He marry if there was a match for him.

        Thank you again for reading my comment. I don’t love you, because i can’t.! You know why, the answer is you are my love, softlykind, smile with flavour friendship.

  4. Now this is what I call a discussion. Enjoyed 🙂

  5. Not being a Catholic myself, I feel hesitant to express much opinion about what the Catholic Church needs. But I do pray for the Catholic Church that the cardinal will select a new pope who can lead them out of the swamp they seem to be stuck in. My wife was raised Catholic. She is now the Episcopal priest in our parish. She did not leave the Catholic Church because of its treatment of women, though now it makes it impossible for her to return. She still loves the Catholic Church even though she can no longer feel entirely at home there. Of course, the Episcopal Church has its own problems, but there are good people God is raising up to lead, and many of them are women.
    Thank you for visiting my site. I am impressed by what you are doing here and I would like to encourage you to continue.

  6. Won’t happen. Fundamentally, there is only so much the church, any church, can retract.

    At the core is the idea the pope is divinely led, a conduit for the word of god. The changes you speak of would necessitate admitting there is no such guidance, or that god is basically incompetent.

    But you do touch on an interesting idea. Strip all the religious crap out of it, and accept it for the social institution it is. You can still maintain a code of decency, honor, compassion, etc, but have it rooted not in fear of punishment, but as ideals we should all aspire to.

    . . . again . . . won’t happen.

  7. Nice article! I do think the choice of the next pope will show where the Catholic church will be going in the next decades to come.
    I would put my money on the next pope being from Africa or Latin America, because this would detract from some of the problems/scandals the catholic church faces at the moment.

  8. Can I ask you what part of the world do you think the next Pope should be chosen from, or even if you think that geography or demographics have any relevance? I do not pray as an atheist, but I do live in hope that the next Pope will be one who has the strength of character to heal it’s parishioners and offer atonement for the sins of not only those outside of the church, but also within it. And by sin, I need to qualify that I mean in the secular sense of any action that causes harm to another as would be judged by all genuine humanitarians regardless of their faith, and not actions deemed a sin by a religious text.

    • I don’t think we should care from where the new Pope, but instead will he be the pope for everyone?
      Thank you for your comment…

    • stanito

      If I may contribute to this specific point, in some extent I think it’s relevant to know that if one of the African candidates is elected it would be an enormous revolution for the Church. I think Turkson might be a very good choice precisely because he comes from Africa, the continent where Catholicism is less conservative and strict than Rome, in Africa it gives space for more humanity as I could see. Also because time changes and I see the African church more prone to adapt to it.

  9. I think Catholic and Protestant leadership both need a swift kick into the 21st century. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

  10. really great writing, keep up the good work!

  11. JD

    I appreciate your concern for the wellbeing of the Church, specifically her members. But I take exception to your remarks against John Paul II’s endorsement of certain movements in the Church. It is quite unfair to reduce their mutual liking to mere politics. It seems to me that further study on the charism of, for example, Opus Dei would help one see that it is aligned to “opening” the Church to the world, at the same time revealing the beauty of centuries-old beliefs of the Church. You might want to read this article (http://goo.gl/Fnzgx) by The Economist, commenting on biographer George Weigel’s take on how JPII and BXVI actually strove to engage the modern world to the ancient-and-ever-new beauty of the Gospel. Thanks!

    • Very intelligent rebuke, which I deeply appreciate and respect (still holding my position of course), but thank you. I know for sure that there are often more than one way to the truth. I hope we are both right.

  12. cedarunited

    well said …. our congregation shares a church building with a catholic congregation, so I hear a lot about what’s happening with the church. Because we share space, we also share many other things … special services, fun nights, talent shows, spagetti suppers …. when we share, I feel hope for our mutual futures.

  13. I was just thinking today that although I am not Catholic, or Christian in any respect, that I am truly hopeful for the selection of a great Pope. A person that leads such am immense and diverse group of people must be great and must lead as Christ would have lead. Our world is greatly influenced by the Catholic Church and I hope for everyone that this choice brings the great leader so desperately needed.

  14. Fascinating, Gianfranco. This is almost as I might have written myself. Your views are so similar. Indeedd, my recent post “Pope Benedict not worth a prayer” is in a similar vein. I was raised a catholic but lapse some four decades ago. I still feel betrayed by the church due to the innate desire of those who rule it to lust after power. I think your analysis of the various popes is quite accurate. Though I no longer support the church, Benedict saddened and frustrated me so much. I simply cannot see the values (notionally) espoused by Jesus reflected in Benedict’s thoughts or actions. Thank you for sharing your views and fuelling debate.

  15. geloruma

    Hello and thank you for following my blog.
    (I hope you will give a chance to read my post, apologies for the length.)
    Your post reflects the feelings of many people who are baptised Catholic. You write honestly, from the heart – but have many misconceptions about the structure of the church.
    Scripture says where your heart is there will your treasure lie.
    It seems that many here have been looking to the media to learn about Catholicism. Newspapers will always report the disasters, the evils, and the smut. It is in their nature to play on people’s curiosity so that they get a sale. Yes?
    We know that the media is never a source of truth, but as scripture says “one can sell a bushel of wheat with a measure of sawdust”
    Truth is found by spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. (Time given to Him rather than with “Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code” is never wasted); – Here he gives us the gifts of knowledge and understanding – the ability to see past the smokescreens of life to the reality of our being a child of God. With sadness I feel many here have forgotten this fact.
    It is hardly surprising we have faorgotten; as a whole generation, (now two) were not catechised due to misrepresentations regarding what Vatican 2 actually said. I would guess that like me, many here are in that bracket.
    If you read what various mystics have said on the 20th century – Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres for one example, and Pope Pious 11 (who promulgated the prayer to St. Michael) You will not be surprised at all about the scandals within the church. Basically the prophecies say that Satan was going to try to destroy the church in the 2oth century by way of luxury, pleasure and entertainment so that there would be few virgin souls who would take up the priest hood.
    If Catholics would take up the practice in earnest of reading scripture, (Not just what journalists say about the church) you will know that the church is always prone to various corruptions; however – just as Jesus threw the money lenders out of the temple, he constantly cleanses and purges his temple. This is to fulfil his promise that “Upon this rock (PETER) I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
    We are going through a period of cleansing – so we should be glad of this.
    It is a time to decide whether we are going to fully embrace our Catholic legacy and be who we were meant to be, or fall by the wayside because some have betrayed the faith.
    Despite what other individuals are doing in the Church; we each have a personal calling to use all the spiritual treasures and sacraments of the Catholic Church to help those who are struggling. We are meant to take seriously our call to be a light in the world for others. Instead of pointing fingers, we have to start right here with ourselves. When we go before God, only we can take responsibility for what we did or didn’t choose to do. So pray for these people who anger you so that by your prayer you can help to change the world. If you have any awareness of Satan, he is insidious and will use your feelings of indignation to take you away from the only one that loves you – Our Saviour Jesus Christ and HIs Church. So be on your guard my brothers and sisters in Christ, I urge you to be steadfast and faithful –
    We have to remember that Christ came to save sinners – which means religious, ecclesia and you and I.
    The Catholic Church is for sinners. It is by God’s grace we can become saints.

    • I do not have misconceptions about the Catholic Church. I did not learn about it from the media. I am born and raised in Rome, and went to school in the Vatican Seminary. So, I know them. Further more, I do not talk about sex scandal, nor I contest the theology or even the structure. Bit the politics. The extreme conservatism. Again, I speak from inside the Catholic church.

  16. stanito

    My dear friend,
    I’m sincerely moved by this post. I want to thank you for reminding us that the Church still have its basic and original principles and beliefs, that sadly widely differ from what we witness nowadays: corruption, power, politics, commerce. Church used to be nothing like it. You just go back and read the old Testament and see how simple Jesus’ words were.
    I think both Popes did good thinks, John Paul II made the gap between Faith and Science more narrowed, Benedict XVI acknowledged gay unions.
    I wanted to share with you Gianfranco, I’m carrying a out a research about Matilde di Canossa (and few other women) and Catharism, in fact I’m reading books of Kathleen McGowan and I’m truly fascinated by the topic. I’d like to know more, is there anything you’d like to share with me on this regard?

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  18. Thank you for visiting my blog and leading me to visit yours. I find this post very moving, sensitively and beautifully written. I am a Christian, though not a Roman catholic, and feel very deeply that this is a vital opportunity for the Cardinals actually to do what they are supposed to do, and follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I pray that they will indeed not lean upon their own understanding but will listen to the Lord. The catholic church needs God back on the throne.

  19. caseydeann

    One does not “reinvent” the Truth; one conserves it.

    What amazes me is that you actually believe the Church is being run by “extreme conservatism,” when in reality the vast majority of cardinals are progressives. Our women surround and bring shame upon the altar, while our men grow more and more effeminate by this watered-down perversion of Christianity you appear to promote. It seems clear that you simply want more Leftism infiltrating God’s Church, which you don’t even acknowledge as such.

  20. Interesting article – I’m not a Catholic though I am a Christian, so I can’t claim to have any knowledge about the affairs in Rome, however your piece did leave me with food for thought about the church as a whole. Jesus said He came for the “sick”….so how is it these very people in need of Christ are turned away by those who claim to be followers of Him?

  21. I agree with your post (I think). We need a Pope who can not only lead the flock, but can keep the rest of the octogenarians in line. While I would love the next Pope to be inspirational, to write well and leave all of us with a wealth of support and knowledge, I hope he will also leave lasting effects on the Church (for the better).

    Thank you for following my blog! I loved this post! It takes guts to write about religion and politics, and I admire you for that!

  22. Thanks so much for finding my blog and reading it. 🙂
    I like your point of you. You have a new follower.

  23. As a former priest and present day novelist who studied at the Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome, I remember being taught that the “Church” is a reality that consists of both a corruptible façade and interior reality that cannot be corrupted. When people look at stains on the façade they tend to equate that with the total reality of the church. The overreaction of the hierarchy to hide scandals is a weakness that comes from mistrust of the faithful — that the faithful will not understand the distinction between the two realities of “Church.” I think you are right to anticipate a Pope who can teach what the “real” church is, who the real people of God are and should be. I enjoy the ideas and inspirations in your blog.

    • Thank you for your comment. You understood perfectly what I meant. Innocent III used St Francis to reform the Church, adding a way out for those who were seeking to rejoin the Church, fighting the corrupted facade.
      As a catholic, I simply seek for the same.
      Thank you for your interest in my blog.

  24. Being a part of the Church Universal–that is the Body of Christ–I will be praying that God guides and directs the election of the the new Pope–that the preaching and teaching of God’s truths will go unhindered throughout the world. Thanks for stopping by “What’s the Good Word?” and for following. I learned of your blog and am glad. God’s blessings!

  25. Oh I can’t wait for the new pope. I’m not religious at all, but the man who gets chosen has a massive effect on the views of a huge amount of people in this world. So I really hope the Catholic world will get a very open-minded and sex-scandal free pope 🙂

  26. I’m glad I took time to read this post — a good reminder to pray for the Catholic church. May your leaders lead people toward Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for stopping to read “Forget about Your Giant for a Second.”

  27. Food for thought! I love a well written blog and this is one. I agree with this point and hope that the new pope will be honest and have courage to truly lead the catholic church. With much hope, I wait….Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  28. lazybill

    Very interesting post and responses to. I am not a Catholic but my son’s late mother was and he attends a Catholic School here in England due to her influence. My own feeling from attending some masses and visiting his school is that the Catholic Church has little relevance to most people in this day and age which is reflected by dwindling congreagations, the lack of Priests applying for vocation and the average age of participants in these congreagations. In some ways I respect the Catholic Church for sticking to its principles and not being swayed by popular trends and fads in much the way the Church Of England has throughout its existence. But having said that, what the Church stood for 2000 years ago and through most of the Renaissance and beyond the Counter Reformation is so far removed from the advanced thinking we have developed and scientifically influenced human beings we have become over the centuries. The over-arching Church which cowed millions under its influence with the ultimate punishment of eternal damnation for those who refused to toe the line seems even comical in these enlightened times but it is sad to read in some of the comments above that the Catholic Church is still using its perceived powers to cast out those who don’t do as they’re told by the use of ex-communication and obstructing progression. It is no surprise that the fastest growing areas of the church are in the developing world or in coutries which have until very recently been ruled by dictatorship (South America) where freedom of thought and broad education has largely been restricted. But as the people of these countries enjoy their own freedom of expression and belief I am certain they will leave behind the straightjacket of institutionalised religion and develop a real sense of humanity and understanding.

  29. Wonderful, wonderful post; it comes on the back of an astounding visit to my local parish where the priest, with incredible honesty and humility, stood in the pulpit and acknowledged how flawed the leadership of the church can be, and apologised for its shortcomings. Frances I looks like the sort of person who might just be listening to the call of his creator. Let us wait and see.

  30. I don’t know much about Popes and Churches. I am a Catholic and goes to Mass to listen to the word of God. It is true that there is so much “luxury” in Religion just as much as voting for Presidents and Prime Ministers and Queens. I’m glad you don’t eat priest. Good reading.

  31. First off, thank you for allowing me to find your Blog 🙂

    Though you bring up many interesting points, I believe they are not fully accurate.

    Our Mother Church does not Exclude the least among us…quite the contrary…were it not for Christianity the value of the Human Person would be far less than it is now.
    That is something that we must all try and remember…though secularism would have us think otherwise 😉

    As for your view on JPII…Interesting…but you also fail to mention how much GOOD he did!!

    Simply with his Theology of the Body!! Now if only we could get all the Churches of our Universal Faith up to speed 😉

    Thank you again!

  32. I was checking out your blog and this post stood out to me. I just got back from Firenze and had learned through my research about the Medici popes and the heavy/insane/violent politics of that time. It makes me wonder, is this really in the history of our church? If so, then we’ve come a long way. But I get your point. The not so pristine past (old and recent) of the Roman Catholic Church is done; what’s important is what must be done for the future.

    • Thanks for reading. It is indeed the history of our Church. However we should always keep in mind that men and women (and their values) were truly different six hundreds years ago…

  33. Ciao, thanks for visiting my blog & for the follow (wordjotter.wordpress.com). Yours looks interesting I have returned the favour.

  34. I grew up Catholic in America and I left the church as an adult because of this kind of layering of bureaucracy within the church. I am still a Christian and I attend a church which is closer to the roots of what Christianity was supposed to be about. I disagree that the Catholic Church or any church should change its core beliefs based on what society is doing at the time. Instead I believe any church should stand firm on the core beliefs. It is this rock that people of all times can cling to: God’s love for all and His providing a way, His Son, to find peace with Him. Anyway, thank you for becoming a follower of my blog and I wish I could read/speak Italian, especially because I am traveling to Italy very soon!

  35. The church is (or was – I’m not sure any more) my church too. But, as a victim of abuse by a priest and of so much disillusionment from our hierarchy, I find it hard to claim it any more. John xxiii was a great man with a powerful vision who enabled and empowered the bishops to stand up to the Curia and take control of the council. I despair that even if there was another John xxiii (and I’m not yet convinced about Francis) he would not find that kind of courage amongst today’s bishops, when the ones who do dare to stand up and challenge are silenced or excommunicated.

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you.

    • Thank you for sharing. In a previous post (in Italian) I asked that Cardinal and Bishop (if necessary even the Pope) should be brought before the International Criminal Court (crimes against humanity are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings and that they are not isolated or sporadic events, from Treaty of Rome July 17 1998). After all they are representatives of a Sovereign State (Vatican City is an independent country). Thats how I feel about them. Yet I still want to think that People is what matter.

  36. Your post impressed me for its completeness, it’s honesty and the deep research inside the argument.
    As I proceeded reading I felt I had been of your opinion at least for the last four decades, without being able to find the right words to express my ideas…
    Thanks for this important share!

  37. Your post impressed me for its completeness, its honesty and the deep research inside the argument.
    As I proceeded reading I felt I had been of your opinion at least for the last four decades, without being able to find the right words to express my ideas…
    Thanks for this important share!

  38. Thank you for your profound comments, even though I am reading them from a year’s distance. I agree completely that Pope John Paul II took the Church backwards. I wasn’t surprised then. I suspected when he was elected that someone who saw the Church as persecuted would try to shore up the foundations and would reign (yes, I agree, the leaders of the Church live like royalty) with a rigid, backward looking style.
    I am curious: what do you think of Pope Francis? I think he is about as good as the Church is likely to get, although many do not think he will go far enough to make real changes in the Church. But real change, such as more openness to women in the Church, is unrealistic. This Church will not, in my opinion, ever recognize women as equal beings.

  39. Very well said, G! But, materialism is still a Big problem with the ‘church,’ at least here in South India. A whole 150 parishes are on the point of breaking away because of this.

    • The blind materialism is. I agree with you. We should always being more respectful.
      Which diocese? Is there any publication (in english) that I can read about it?
      Thank you!

      • It seems to cover many dioceses just now. And the People are not eager to let their dissatisfaction be known. …In any case, the bishops and the priests concerned want to keep all parish incomes to themselves, and do not want to give any account for it!

      • This is a very serious situation. Does the Bishop explain or how is addressing the issue?

      • It is not the matter of just one diocese. the bishops are not sympathetic. they are very material minded themselves.

  40. sudebaker

    You wrote this post with such love. I’m not Catholic, but you outline some of the problems with the Protestant church, too. Thank you.

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