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Mar 14 2013

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.”

8 comments

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  1. 1
    moleatthecounter

    I look forward to observing as Popeye attempts to move the church forwards into the 14th century…

    Where it belongs.

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    I’m Francis the papal man
    I live in a vati-can
    with a hole in the roof
    Where the white smoke goes ‘poof’
    I’m Pope-eye the papal man.
    Ding-Dong!
     
    (sorry it’s all moleatthecounter’s fault)

  3. 3
    richardelguru

    Ooops! ‘white’ (can’t type)

    Though my error was rather serendipitous

    wite
    transitive verb \ˈwīt\ chiefly Scottish
    : blame

    Middle English, from Old English wītan; akin to Old High German wīzan to blame, Old English witan to know
    First Known Use: before 12th century

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Well I fixed the typo, but the vocabulary entry has to remain, because I love vocabulary entries.

  5. 5
    Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

    “|Like much of the Church’s hierarchy, his views stem from beliefs and myths formed in previous millennia.”|

    Exactly. St. Francis of Assisi – whom the pope has called himself after – once had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in a country chapel, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, “Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins.” This phraseology has now become the motto of the new pope. Just saying.

    When I read somewhere that Pope Francis washed the feet of aids victims, I was instantaneously reminded of St. Francis mixing with lepers. I guess he tries to mimic him in whatever way he can to live up to the ideals of the saint. His love for the poor, frugal living, all sound like the same ideological scenario.

    The pope is moderate in some ways, though, as he fiercely tried to drag – screaming – the very rigid traditionalist conservative Roman Catholics of his country into the 21st century. However, his dogmatic stance on church teaching such as the “|labeling of the adoption of children by gay parents as ‘discrimination against children’ leaves very much to be desired. It is very backward thinking for someone who wants to bring the church up to date. I was reading profiles of some of the contenders for the papacy, and everyone of them had similar views regarding abortion, homosexuality and the like. One thing, stands out for me, is that he is vehemently against not baptising babies of unmarried mothers. I don’t think that sort of thing happens in Europe, anyway.

    When he appeared on the balcony for the first time, he dispensed with a long tradition by not donning himself in the posh balcony cape. He was to be seen not wearing the expensive red Prada shoes, but, instead a black pair.

    Overall, I think that he’ll be just a figurehead only, and the Jesuits, (the Mariners) will be the ones running the Vatican show. They’ll surely pick up the pieces of the “ruined church” and try to fix to their standards. Incidentally, the Jesuits are the only religious order who make a vow to the pope.

  6. 6
    Michael

    This Pope carries some baggage.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/14/pope-francis-argentina-military-junta

    What is it with the Vatican and Fascism ? (Rhetorical question — all answered below:)

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/vatican-sticks-with-nazi-theme-2013031462640

    Michael

  7. 7
    Bjarte Foshaug

    Francis? Hasn’t he resigned yet? Tsk tsk… What’s taking him so long?

  8. 8

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