The prospects for Francis

CFI issued a press release on the prospects for a better future with a new pope.

Ron Lindsay’s hopes are not stratospherically high.

As with anyone taking on a position of substantial responsibility, in which decisions can affect the lives of millions, we sincerely hope for the best for Pope Francis. However, even leaving aside the fact that the institution he oversees is based on a fundamentally false understanding of reality, at this stage one cannot be too optimistic about the prospects of Francis bringing the Church into the 21st century. Indeed, even the Church’s dipping a toe into the 20th century seems unrealistic.

Like much of the Church’s hierarchy, his views stem from beliefs and myths formed in previous millennia. For example, his prior hateful statements about same-sex marriage, calling it a ‘move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God,’ indicate a mindset that gives priority to dogma over basic human compassion. His labeling of the adoption of children by gay parents as ‘discrimination against children’ shows a backward and almost flippant view of the plight of those who suffer from genuine discrimination.

We can only hope that Pope Francis proves our pessimism wrong, but all evidence suggests a continuation of a most unfortunate status quo for a deeply troubled, and troubling, institution.

A mindset that gives priority to dogma over basic human compassion – that’s it in a nutshell. It’s a bad, wrong, backward way to do things, and everybody everywhere needs to learn that.

The foundation of the dogma and the preference for dogma is “God’s law over human law.” The irony is that what they call “God’s law” is of course human law, but human law made rigid and resistant to reform and improvement by being labeled “God’s law.” They say it’s “God’s law over human law” but really it’s “dogmatic coercive unaccountable law over reformable reasons-based accountable law.”