Today’s the Day!
Two enormous things happened today: the Pope resigned and I turned….. well, 60 and Some Months!! While these two events are not earth shattering for most people, they are important for a few (or me, in my case!)
The resignation of the Pope is important if only because the Catholic church has so many millions or billions of people world-wide who look to Rome for leadership. While there are those of us who do not attend church, even any church, it may be difficult to comprehend the force of the impact of this decision by the Pope. The resignation of our Prime Minister would have front-page coverage, but the Pope is down to Page 6 today.
So why so important to the world at large? Who cares except Catholics? Well, I will tell you… Are you sitting comfortably?!
The main platforms of this Pope was to stay right away from women priests, abuse by male priests, and married priests. These three issues affect all of us, Catholic or not.
Because if the church changes position on these issues the following may happen (I hope)
1. Women priests will have the same effects on the churches that women doctors have had on the practice of medicine, ie grass roots, subtle and important changes in the way the priesthood deals with its people.
2. Abuse has almost destroyed the faith of many people. Those that stayed firm are deeply affected by allegations of corruption within the church and the sweeping under the carpet of offenders.
3. Married priests would establish the credibility and acceptability of priests in mixed groups where there are no ‘elephants’ of chastity or other issues silently in the room. Priests at present do not associate freely with everyone as they are so tired of the questions about the same old thing, ‘How do you expect a full-blooded man to spend his life without sex?’.
If the Catholic Church allowed for women priests and married priests there would be a subtle but important change in the way churches are perceived by the public and over time one could expect that liberal views might allow gay priests and EVEN the amalgamation of Christian churches across the globe.
I should say immediately that although I was raised a Catholic ( like it’s obvious, duh!) I long ago gave up on religion like so many others. I am not certain that these changes would change my mind about the power struggle that seems to happen to all the world’s religions, but it would definitely help others who need a religious structure to have faith.
As to having faith, I believe in Divine power, the Universal power for good, the need for sound moral values in our children, and the power of love. I am even prepared to love people whose values differ from mine, as long as they don’t stop me from believing as I want. To each his own freedom…
Is all this relevant for the ordinary non-church-going public? Yes! What the masses want to believe, they have a right to do so, be they Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, or Buddhist or any other faith. Once upon a time a politician was faced with voting on the right of communists to exist and to speak publicly. He famously said ” I disagree with everything you stand for, but I defend to the death your right to say it,” with apologies to the author for paraphrasing.
So be sure to watch the goings-on in the Catholic Church ‘cos the implications for everyone may be more than first appears!
Blessings (lay blessings!)