Neo-Hippie Ramblings - I'm a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends: My Perspective on the Pope's Passing

Monday, April 04, 2005

My Perspective on the Pope's Passing

Someone asked me yesterday how the news of Pope John Paul II's death had affected me.

About 12-13 years ago, I had a running conversation over Compuserve with a girl in her late teens from California.

(Compuserve: pre-Web online service for you youngin's - fun and u$eful but expen$ive as hell, e$pecially living where the clo$est dial-in line was long di$tance - I once blew $300 in a month on the long di$tance alone.)

The point is this: at one point this girl I'd been chatting with told me she was Jewish, and at another she told me that she was an atheist. When I questioned her on this, she told me that being Jewish was more than a holding a set of religious beliefs -- it was an cultural identity and an intrinsic part of who she was. I didn't understand what she meant then, but I do now.

I haven't considered myself a Catholic for a long time now, but I still feel connected to, and interested in, major events in the Catholic church. Unfortunately, though, I can't help feeling that the Church is a financial empire first and a religion second.

While my gut feeling has always been that John Paul II was a good, decent man, he also did some things that ticked me off.

Choosing to continue the entrenchment of sexism in the Church based on the social norms of two thousand years ago seems to me a very poor thing. And exponentially worse, there's the sexual abuse scandal.

I mean WTF??? The Church can manage a 50-year-late formal apology for failing to do more to prevent the Holocaust, but can't simply ask forgiveness of the men and women who were raped, as children, by the clergy they trusted?

And why do you think that is? There's almost nobody left from the Holocaust to sue the Church, that's why.

So I guess my feelings are simply this: Catholic Church, Inc. lost a decent man and a good CEO. They'll elect another one, and he'll continue to protect their financial interests throughout the world.

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