The Silence of Pope Francis
8/31/18, 3:26 pm EDT
By John Corry, Photo from Vaticannews
Over the last few weeks, scandals in Pennsylvania, Washington, Australia, and Chile involving pedophilia have once again riveted bellows throughout the Catholic Church. In Ireland, almost 90% fewer Catholics attended Pope Francis’s mass than Pope John Paul II’s in 1979. As allegations against the church related to pedophilia and conspiracy to commit pedophilia stretch back decades, this information is not surprising, but, this time, things seems different.
Full disclosure here: I am not Catholic, I was not raised Catholic and would not have cared much if I were (aside from potentially being more of a hater); I believe my identity, and especially how that relates to any spirituality I may or may not have, to be something up to me and only me to consort and to figure out, and something which I will likely never know in full- and therefore something which is especially prone to gullibility with regard to any personally organized dissertation trying to tell me what any of those terms (belief, spirituality, identity) may mean. This may just be me, but I do not find that one needs to adhere to the dogmas of organized religion to be affected by their spiritual plights or insights: you can call yourself ‘whatever’, but spirituality (and identity, but that’s more complicated (personally focused objective/subjective)) is something which necessarily cannot be understood by mere words. I find that to be the entire point of God, love, or whatever one may associate with religion and all those things primarily associated with it. Community is necessarily outside of me: I can’t control other people, I can only have the faith that they won’t be douchebags-
But as we all know, when that faith is broken, it’s pretty hard to get it back (why, hello, Eminem’s new album).
Pope Francis is what many would (rightly) call the most ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ pope in centuries. He’s called repeatedly for the church’s accepting of homosexuality, as well as divorce. Even his rhetoric on abortion has been somewhat tame compared to his counterparts, which is about all you can ask for when talking about a subject which HAS NO CONCRETE ANSWER unless we can agree on when ‘life’ starts, which we clearly can’t (12 weeks). I’ll, he’s had an effect on me, as, prior to him, I figured all of the Catholic Church to be homophobic, bigoted pigs trying to tell me how to live, and then accidentally contradicting themselves when they do that as if they are specifically the God they so revere and so hold above any being below Christ (hence how they get away with what being alleged in recent days (and why I’m particularly pissed off at them at the moment)).
Francis showed me ‘maybe they’re not all bad, maybe there is something to that whole idea of God in person-form on earth, as opposed to that being a simple Absolute impossibility?’
A high ranking archbishop alleged that Pope Frank knew about the allegation against accused Satan worshipper Theodore McCarrick recently unmasked in Washington. Today, Frank tweeted “we Christians do not have a product to sell, we communicate Life”, as if, now, of all times, the Catholic Church is entitled and justified in once again telling others how to live their lives. The New York Times posted a headline reading “Vatican Power Struggle Bursts into Open as Conservatives Pounce,” regarding the allegations against Frank, as if the real scandal were that Frank’s liberal thinking/partisan church politics is the sole reason he’s in hot water. These are credible allegations that he covered for, and protected pedophiles, and which he has had nothing to say about, and has even seemingly intentionally avoided questioning about. Does it matter what the politics are in this situation? If you’re a leader of an organization, and especially one as big and ‘spirituality-based’ as Christianity, it is simply morally unacceptable in the spiritual, Christian, logical and practical senses not to address something like this outright.
While everyone is FREAKING out over what some MONKEY said on twitter (#TrumpIsAMonkey #ImAMonkey #WereAllRacist #GodsMonkey #FrippSylvian #WereAllMoneys ), a new understanding has enabled us to see directly, and through an immediate example, an entire group of people struggle to retain hope and/or simple faith in humanity. If the classic questions of mankind are left alone to be questioned without sympathy or general social cohesion on the subject, what else do we really have?
What is life without hope or faith? Suffering. What life without suffering? Boring. These are major thought-pillars of any religion. Things are not as simple as the ‘he said, she said’ mentality (which produces the necessary capital for any power-hungry institution to retain its upward movement) may make it look (and we’re all, at the very least, power-hungry institutions (as far as our relations to strangers as potential for statistics goes (are statistics a thing? Might people want to use them, seriously, to help humans? Again, once we start getting down to the true understanding here, things get messy: we need an infinite amount of other people to make sense of ‘it’ (and by ‘infinite’ (or ‘it’ (yes, this a pun #PennyWISE ) I mean the knowledge for the potential for any specific infinity)). If I can ‘quantify the infinite as regards any specific application it may be involved with’, I can therefore quantify God, which I cannot do if God is understood as a potentially personal dualistic quality of the Absolutely unknown.
The institution will live on, but those involved with its bullshit will be forever condemned, as they’ve demoralized almost to the point of backwardness one of the pillars of Western civilization (that which abolished slavery and has greatly curbed world poverty), and the idea of Dualistic Faith, simply for the personal proclamation that power is as simple as its word, by stripping the hope and the faith in the human condition not only for all of its constituents, but for all those of us who have learned to see the situation as such.
Not sure how much more un-Christian you can get.