Speaking the truth from the grave

A Roman Catholic cardinal, in an interview that was released only after his death, has harshly criticized his church and said that it is “200 years out of date” in its attitudes and needs a “transformation”.

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” the Cardinal said. “The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation.”

Considering that he was a cardinal and one-time serious candidate for the papacy, this is just one more sign of the deep problems within the church. The fact that despite his high rank, he felt he could say these things only after he died shows that the Vatican still has the clout to instill fear in its ranks to achieve conformity.

But it is hard to imagine that the archbishop’s concerns about the future of such a rigid and corrupt organization are not the topic of many worried, if secret, discussions within the Catholic church.


  1. says

    Any organization which lives through donations and membership should be worried as membership and donations drop off a cliff. They may not admit the losses, as they “count” you as Catholic even after you stop coming -- and tell them you have -- but internally, such things are hard to miss.

  2. smrnda says

    I’m not sure if lack of donations is going to hit the church as hard as you think. It has a fat enough wad of cash that it could stay in sound financial shape through a sensible investment strategy.

  3. Stevarious says

    Not to mention all the solid gold hats that they had made for them after they took their vows of poverty.

  4. ImRike says

    Oh, and I don’t know in how many countries “donations” are being collected like in Germany: Every working person in Germany has church contributions automatically deducted from their paycheck unless they resign from the church with an official declaration at the tax office. When I still lived in Germany, the donations used to be 10% of your income tax -- in other words, if you payed 100 euros (DM in those days) income tax per month, your deduction from the paycheck was 110 euros. The churches may be empty, but the “donations” keep coming in, since many (or most)people decide not to resign from their church -- “just in case” -- like my mom tried to remind me when I did just that.

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