What will the church
do to reverse centuries
of bigotry and hatred?
The Pope speaks to reporters aboard his flight home from Brazil on Monday. Click image to enlarge.
THE HEADLINES THIS WEEK have been dominated by something that should be old news.
After millennia of denial, the leader of the Catholic Church has finally acknowledged the existence of gays among the flock.
It has been an open secret for generations. For most of the world, the decades-old pedophilia scandal involving the Catholic clergy exposed the sordid repression of gays in the most secretive, misogynist institution on the planet.
Now, the new pope seems to have received some “wisdom.”
Unfortunately, this is not a moment for rejoicing.
The first sentence in the story in the Washington Post on Tuesday reveals the true intent.
WATCH A VIDEO OF THE POPE BELOW THE FOLD
In “Pope Francis calls for inclusion of gays in society, saying he has no right to ‘judge’ Elizabeth Tenety and Carol Morello write:
“Pope Francis on Monday continued to recast the Catholic Church’s image by focusing on its inviting, merciful aspects, this time shocking a planeload of reporters by saying of homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”
So, it’s all about image.
The story in the Washington Post about the Pope’s comments. The spin is obvious. Click image to enlarge.
What about a plea for forgiveness for the centuries of intolerance, ignorance and fostering hatred toward a group of human beings just because of whom they love?
Public relations at its worst, because it does nothing to change the core beliefs and attitudes among millions of the faithful.
The leader of a congregation 1.2 billion strong added: “They shouldn’t be marginalized.”
But what is he planning to do to stop this within his own organization and amongst his millions of followers?
That is a mystery.
How about an apology for the millions of lives ruined by the exclusion of gay Catholics who suffered humiliation and worse because of the teachings of the church?
The off-the-cuff remarks by the Pope were made during an 80-minute chat with reporters aboard an airplane on his way back from a trip to Brazil, where an estimated three million attended his final public appearance.
So he felt, perhaps, he could let his guard down amongst a few dozen reporters, but is too afraid to tell a crowd of millions that they, too, have “no right to judge” based on prejudice and ignorance.
This comes after more than a decade of scandals involving priests molesting young boys from Boston, to Dublin to Los Angeles.
What is it about the Catholic Church and its teaching that leads to so much suppression of sexual desires that church leaders – the priests – must resort to such abusive behavior on such a massive scale?
Not only did the abuse take place, a massive cover up in one diocese after another was revealed. It reached to the highest levels of the institution.
The Los Angeles Times has an entire special section devoted to the pedophilia scandal
“More than five years after a civil settlement by the Los Angeles Archdiocese with more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, a judge ordered the church to make confidential personnel files public,” is the opening paragraph. “In the files, memos written by Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese’s chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offered the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials to shield abusers from police.”
Eleven separate stories follow.
These two threads are directly related.
The latest attempt by the Pope at window dressing is far too little, far too late.
The history of the institution he leads has already been written. And it is not a pretty story.
Watch a video report of the Pope’s talk with reporters aboard his plane. Shared by the Telegraph of London via YouTube on Monday.
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