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The new pope

(122 Posts)
PedroPonyLikesCrisps Wed 13-Mar-13 23:41:34

So this is the guy who is strongly against gay marriage and adoption and of whom the Argentine president said that the church under his rule in Argentina was reminiscent of the inquisition and the dark ages.

Is this really the kind of guy we want running the most powerful religious organisation in the world?

hiddenhome Mon 18-Mar-13 21:45:22

Why do people assume that the Catholic Church should change to fit in with modern society? The Church preaches the Gospel which has an unchanging message. Many people can't accept this message which is up to them, but why insist that our Church bends to fit in with a society whos norms are quite often totally against everything the Gospel teaches?

hiddenhome Mon 18-Mar-13 21:47:12

The churches who are losing their congregations the fastest are actually those whos message is ambiguous.

hiddenhome Mon 18-Mar-13 22:09:53

here is the catechism of the Catholic Church.

Christ instructed us to love God with all our hearts and minds and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. What the Church believes and passes on to us is built on this.

LizzyDay Mon 18-Mar-13 22:11:40

hiddenhome - do you think that women and gay people should be officially made second class citizens in today's law as well as in the Gospels then? There are many parts of the world where they'd agree with you if so - would you rather live there?

hiddenhome Mon 18-Mar-13 22:21:55

We're not second class citizens? The Gospel doesn't preach this either. It calls men and women equally to love God and follow Him. How other countries arrange their systems politically is up to them, but the NT isn't based upon politics. Men and women have different roles within the Catholic Church and women aren't permitted to join the priesthood, but I accept that. If the new Pope suddenly does order that women can become priests then I'd accept that, but it wouldn't worry me if he doesn't.

The Gospel preaches dignity and respect for both men and women regardless of their age, sexuality, status, income etc.

hiddenhome Mon 18-Mar-13 22:34:47

People find the Gospel offensive because it confronts us with ourselves. People don't like this and will reject it. People also don't want to make the sacrifice that following God requires. They want the Gospel to be fluffy and user friendly. They grasp the second part - to love your neighbour as you love yourself - quite readily, but the first part - to love God, which involves being confronted with sin - not so much, so will kick against it. Instead of perceiving the Gospel message positively, people will just see it as a long list of You Can'ts which, again, they don't want.

Bossybritches22 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:22:23

So hiddenhome how do you square the churches teachings with its approach to criminal priests?

Feilefoo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:08:01

Bossy, I agree with you, I'm just no expressing myself very well!

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Tue 19-Mar-13 07:47:51

"Times change...society seems to change a little quicker than the Catholic church, though."

Too right, the church has barely changed its views in 2000 years. It still seems to be living in an illiterate sub-saharan Africa.

JakeBullet Tue 19-Mar-13 09:01:24

I am catholic but there is a lot wrong with the Catholic Church. This new Pope has a history if living very simply and I am hopeful of his approach to the poor.

I do think that times have changed and the Bible and particularly the Gospels were written to safeguard the people living at those times. Childbirth was risky, makes sense therefore to try and keep families together and say adultery is not a great idea. Even Jesus did not condemn adultery....simply said you are forgiven....unlike the crowds who wanted to stone the woman in question....not sure what happened to the man.

Likewise there are good reasons for many things the time. I don't feel Jesus would have an issue today with things like contraception. I have no reason for thinking that other than I think he was a measured and sensible man. Not do I think he would have any problem with condom fact to prevent disease I suspect he would encourage it.

Aw....the little choir boy is so sweet.....watching the inauguration.

sieglinde Tue 19-Mar-13 09:32:16

LizzyDay, there is a lot of space between 'unquestioning adulation' and equally unquestioning abuse, I think. I think you will find most of us in that space. But I do think the abuse here has been well over the top and very very bigoted.

Bossy, I'm sorry to hear you feel excluded. I've been RC all my life, and have never heard ANYONE call gay people 'evil' - this seems utterly unlike the language of most Catholics I know. Issues of sexuality bulk much larger in the representation of the RC church in the press than they do in the lives of most Catholics.

Jake and others, pedophile priests are the SAME KIND OF PROBLEM as Jimmy Saville at the BBC - big organisation, culture of acceptance, then whistleblowing heeded and s-l-o-w correction. It's frustratingly slow, I know, but my own employer is equally sluggish in correcting abuses of all kinds. (Oxford University...)

Most RC parishes have now put in really tough safeguards... and the future looks much better than the past. Though....I've been RC all my life and have NEVER experienced ANY issues of this kind, and I think that the reportage, though justified, has left a disproportionate impression, though I'm also eager for these people to be bowled out and turned over to the police and the judicial system and then IF GUILTY placed out of the way of doing more harm.

I think over time - probably a lot of time - the actions against pedophiles will continue and I HOPE they will accelerate. Every Catholic I know hopes so. If that's not good enough, then tough, because the same criticisms can be levelled at many secular institutions - the Beeb, Manchester Music Academy, the boy scouts, the theatre (any Laurence Olivier fans here? I mean, he has a whole publicly funded BUILDING named after him!)....

Are you all also posting on Mumsnet about them, too? I'm betting no. grin

JakeBullet Tue 19-Mar-13 10:08:27

I have .no truck with paedophile priests. ...I do think the whole issue has been handled vrry badly. I agree though that any big organisation will have those who abuse positions of Trust.

Yes the RC church has massively tightened up. My friend who is a Catholic priest has to notify thr churches Safeguarding board of any child contact he has. was a massive issue when I arranged to meet up with him while on holiday last year. We were simply snd coincidentally in the same place at the same time. He notified his Safeguarding board to be above board and they were veru clear about their disapproval. Honrst to God we just went on a day trip together but they were full of sdvice that he mustn't be alone with DS at any point. Hr wasn't. ..we had a day out then went our separate ways.

It's reassuring that they are now so tight about this.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Tue 19-Mar-13 10:13:37

Sieglinde, I'm sure you are correct that the majority of "moderate" Catholics, especially in this country, are not against gay people. However, the problem comes when the head of the organisation is outwardly homophobic and preaches as such. There are hundreds of millions of Catholics who do not live in the UK, do not live in the 'Western' world and who don't have the same strength of mentality to push back or ignore the things they are told by the Pope.

This is not the same as Jimmy Saville, and not even the same as the RC child abuse scandal. The Director of the BBC never stood up and said child abuse is ok, and neither did the old Pope (although he did spend a lot of time trying to defend the priests which the BBC did not). But the new Pope is outwardly homophobic and that sends the wrong message to those who follow blindly or are repressed in a Catholic society and forced to live their rules.

sieglinde Tue 19-Mar-13 10:18:49

I agree, Jake. It has been handled badly, though no more badly than at the BBC or the Music School, but matters - as you rightly say - have now improved a LOT, and that should also be a cause of relief and even cautious rejoicing. Let's hope and pray for more progress, and more rapid progress at that.

And let me be clear - I think our harshest critics HAVE helped to bring about these improvements and will continue to do so.

Now let's hope for a breakthrough for the poor and the persecuted... especially the 200 million Christians who daily face terrible persecution (no, I don't mean a bit of Mumsnet nagging..) on account of their faith alone. Those of you keen on freedom of religion might want to ask your MPs why this isn't on the government's foreign policy agenda.

blondecat Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:29

If Kirchner doesn't like him, I like him already

LizzyDay Tue 19-Mar-13 10:28:23

Re men and women having 'different roles' in the Catholic Church - how okay would this be if an employer said that they were only recruiting women into certain roles within the company, and men into others?

For example if Corporation X said you can only apply for support roles if you're a woman - and all other positions are for men only? Would you like to work there? Or would you find this distasteful, and say it should be illegal? So why is it okay to think like this just because an ancient book appears to condone it?

hiddenhome Tue 19-Mar-13 10:54:42

Catholics do not like the sex abuse scandals within the church and find it very saddening and distressing to hear about these things. Priests who have abused should feel the full force of the law and be prevented from working with the public ever again as far as I'm concerned.

Being a Catholic is about far more than just attending a church within a particular denomination though. People seem to think that those who remain Catholic must approving of everything our Church does, but we don't. We're Catholics because we believe in the Church that Christ entrusted to St Peter. We're not Protestant and we can't simply shrug our shoulders and say "Oh, well, I'll start going to another church if I can find one with more integrity". It's not as simple as that. I've posted on this site before that Catholics believe the Church to be the living body of Christ and the one and only Church.

As for the Church moving on. Compared to the Catholic Church's actions in the past I think it has moved on considerably smile We no longer burn heretics and Popes no longer have girlfriends or murder people. In that respect, it has moved on. Of course, wider society won't rest unti it has embraced the World's standards which isn't going to happen and if it did, it would lose vast numbers of people. I think perhaps we need a Papal Top Trumps to demonstrate just how bad some of the previous Popes were, and how we could in no way return to those times grin

I like what I see of the new Pope and I think he will be like a breath of fresh air. His speech this morning was truly great and I think he's going to be quite a leader smile

LizzyDay being part of the Church isn't akin to having a job and an employer. I feel called by God to the roles that I play in my life and I accept what the Church's teaching is. If it changes, then so be it, but I don't feel called to an endless quest to seek the liberal definition of equality in my spiritual life. It would be nice if women played a bigger role, but I don't remain up at night worrying about it.

sieglinde Tue 19-Mar-13 10:58:31


It's not clear to me why you link homophobia and pedophile priests, except that we all dislike them both!

Homophobia has nothing at all to do with child sex abuse. I also don't accept that Pope Francis is homophobic because he condemned same-sex marriage. Wrong, yes; homophobic, no.

No Pope has ever condoned child sexual abuse, and all RCs I know agree that it was not ideally handled, to say the least. Why is that different from the BBC?

I think you see it as different because you are lumping together two things you dislike that have nothing to do with one another. I might say, 'well, the license fee is an unjust method of funding public broadcasting,m and anyway they covered up the Saville affair.' This is notable for its lack of logic, but so too is the implicit equation you are making.

Homophobia was not btw created by the RC church, but inherited from the Romans (who were fine with mansex as long as you are the one doing the penetrating). I suspect the same is true in the developing world... though I agree the RC church is no great help in overcoming this problem. But would you prefer Pentecostalism, or Islam? They are both much more homophobic...

hiddenhome Tue 19-Mar-13 11:01:48

Pedro the new Pope isn't 'homophobic' any more than he's 'divorcephobic' or 'adulterphobic'. The Church's rules on chastity apply to all Catholics and apply to people who are homosexual equally. Its teaching on fornication apply to me just as they apply to a homosexual person. The person themselves aren't judged, only their actions. If I use contraception within my marriage, then I'm just as sinful as someone who sex outside of marriage within whatever sexual context. We are judged equally. Women and homosexuals aren't second class citizens to be cast out, but if we live a virtuous and chaste life then we're following the teaching of the Gospel. We all fall short of course wink

sieglinde Tue 19-Mar-13 11:05:30

Well said, hiddenhome! smile

LizzyDay Tue 19-Mar-13 13:12:46

"The Church's rules on chastity apply to all Catholics and apply to people who are homosexual equally. "

It's hardly fair or equal to say 'yes anyone can have sex as long as they're married' but then also say 'ah except that gay people can't get married of course'...

hiddenhome Tue 19-Mar-13 13:22:23

Those are the rules. The path to eternal life is narrow.

WhatKindofFool Tue 19-Mar-13 13:24:29

Yes, well said hiddenhome.

It is obvious from some of the posters on here that they have no understanding of the RC Church's teachings and doctrine. It seems to me to be the "in thing" to bash the Catholic Church and the Pope. There is a hatred about this. I wish these people would take the time to find out the real facts and stop spouting the same old rhetorical mis-information.

The Pope has tweeted this today "True power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable."

I think we should take some time to focus on the good things that the Pope is saying. Look for the good instead of CONSTANTLY focusing on the negative.

sieglinde Tue 19-Mar-13 13:37:35

Actually, Lizzy, not everyone can have sex as long as they are married.... the rules are stricter than that. But they do apply to everyone, and could even be said to be MORE inconvenient for those of us who get pregnant....

Lovely and serious statement from the Holy Father.

hiddenhome Tue 19-Mar-13 13:40:13

Indeed, WhatKindofFool, this is why I linked to the Catechism. I thought the speech made by Pope Francis at Mass this morning was amazing and truly sums up everything that Christianity is.

I really do hope and pray that the Church heads in a more humble direction smile I loved what he said to that Cardinal when he told him that "carnival time is over" nice one grin

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