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Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:19 PM

Take Your Dogma With You.

Last edited Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:16 PM - Edit history (1)

The Catholic Church has always suffered from a split conscience, a duality that has made it an enigma to many for centuries. That split between good and evil, hypocritical and honest, power-hungry and gentle, dogmatic and humble, is best represented by the feud between The Nuns on the Bus, and the Church hierarchy that tried to silence them. Of course the degree to which the division and its players are separated pales in comparison to the past, but the thought processes and character traits of those involved are the same. And it should go without saying that there has also always been some overlap, both within individuals and between the two sides of the Church throughout history.

The constant division between the side that represents forgiveness and helping one’s fellow humans, and the side that represents harshness and judgmentalism could be said to be as old as the New Testament itself. Jesus was shown to have been forgiving, didn’t judge harshly and preached about love. In the Old Testament, there were very harsh judgments, capital punishment for insignificant crimes and being pious was sometimes more important than how one treated others. And whatever ones beliefs are, there is no reason to have a savoir and a sacrifice without original sin and the Old Testament; so the two books are very much intertwined.

There are records going back centuries before the Crusades of priests molesting children and the Church covering it up. But society’s tolerance of such acts and the power of religious leaders have changed since those early days. In the fifth century a man who was later named a saint, Cyril, tortured and killed the philosopher Hypatia because she wasn’t Christian, or thought for herself… whatever the motivation, it was an inexcusable act. About a century later another man who was made a saint, Eligius, spent his money and time buying slaves in mass and freeing them. He took the bodies of executed prisoners and gave them a burial. The two saints could not have been more different from each other. Same church, different philosophies.

At the same time that those participating in the Inquisition were burning innocent women, torturing Jewish people and free-thinkers and keeping the entire populous living in fear, there were priests and monks fighting for social justice and trying to end genocide and slavery. Many who were sent by the Church and the King to the new world to convert and control those who were already living there, ended up trying to end slavery and stop the cruelty. Friar Bartolomé de las Casa started out in what is now Mexico supporting the system set up by the Conquistadores, then he changed to wanting to help the native population and end the enslavement of the natives and give them freedom. Unfortunately he then advocated bringing slaves from Africa. He then evolved further and moved into the actual moral realm and opposed all slavery and devoted his life to the humane treatment of others.


What’s going on now with Benedict’s resignation, the Church’s ongoing molestation scandal and those who want to help others as their calling is nothing new. Sister Simone Campbell led a group of nuns that toured part of the country last year trying to bring awareness to the plight of the poor and needy. For trying to help those in need, they were protested by right-wing Catholics, hate radio DJ Jan Mickelson joked about having the nuns pistol-whipped, they were disparaged in articles and blogs and many said they should be excommunicated. While some Catholics are devoting their lives to helping the sick and the poor, others are devoting their energies to restricting birth control access, denying rights to homosexuals and pushing other dogmatic parts of their church’s doctrine. Obviously over the centuries the fight for what’s right is slowly being won by those on the side of empathy and being more Christ-like. But there are ebbs and flows. Under Benedict the focus has moved away from social justice and towards dogma. With a new pope, one less restricted by dogma, maybe that trend will reverse.

As a lapsed Catholic and devout secularist, one might wonder why I care what the pope feels about where the Church should devote its time and resources. The reason I have for caring is the same reason everyone should have. Does one want the powerful, rich and extremely populous Catholic Church devoting its resources to supporting fringe Republicans, restricting the rights of others and trying to limit access to birth control, thus increasing unwanted pregnancies? Or is it better for the country if they use their considerable resources to take care of those in need? I’m with the Nuns on the Bus.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:24 PM

1. 2nd option near the last gets a yes. Well written of the duality of mankind and our groups.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:28 PM

2. Well said!!!

I am with the nuns too.

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Response to punkin87 (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 08:34 AM

18. Thank you

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:35 PM

3. What do we call Benedict now? Is he back to being Ratzinger?

Just curious.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:37 PM

4. I've been referring to him as Ratface,

but I doubt that will be made official. Hope that helps.

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Response to Bake (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 07:10 PM

8. He's keeping the name and title.

Still known as Benedict. (The Vatican is calling him, pope emeritus.)

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Response to 20score (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:55 PM

13. I'll stick with Ratface

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Response to Bake (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:53 PM

12. The Conartist Formerly Known as Pope

 

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:39 PM

5. The nuns are on a bus, the Pope has a Pope Mobile and aircraft is is often carried on a throne.

 

That stark difference is why the 'duality' is sort of a joke. Dual natures without any balance of power at all means one nature rules over all. I'm with the nuns, but only as far as they are with me, in the sense that they are with the RCC leaders, I am not with them.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:50 PM

6. I'm with the Catholic church being eradicated off the face of the earth.

 

Unfortunately, that will never happen.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:55 PM

7. oh come on

"was Wisconsin really that bad?"

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:43 PM

11. Loved the casting choice for god at the end of that movie.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:50 PM

16. Took me a few to remember!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 07:50 PM

9. Hear, hear! K&R nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:08 PM

10. Thanks!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:08 PM

14. The Catholic church should be sued out of existence

Just ONE part of their abuse - the abuse of 200 deaf children in Wisconsin, that Ratso tried to cover up, is enough to bring down any organization because it is rotten to the core at the centers of power.

Nuns don't have to associate with the vile pedophile enablers and women-haters in the church hierarchy to do good works. They would be better off to leave the institution behind because it will bear the stain of this pedophile ring that operated with impunity under the last two popes, at the least, for the rest of the lives of anyone living today.

This is the legacy of the Catholic Church - personal power was more important than children.

The French Revolutionaries had it right, as far as the church was concerned.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:53 PM

17. How can a person stay in the Catholic church unless they support pedophelia?

Get out!
Run away!
Stay away!

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Response to upi402 (Reply #17)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 11:52 AM

19. I've actually known people who've converted TO

Catholicism. One woman said she finds the experience of going to Mass to be peaceful.

That was years ago, I haven't seen her in at least a decade. I have to wonder what she thinks now.

I have family who are Catholic, we're not close, and they were Catholic in name only, like most of them I suspect.

It would be easy enough, I'd think, to just stop using the name, yet I suspect so many are just so accustomed to calling themselves Catholic that it's become part of who they think they are.

You'd think that given what has been happening with this church in recent years it would become easy to break ties.

I wonder, though, if the church survives still because of their financial and real estate investments and not their attendance.

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Response to suede1 (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 01:37 PM

20. Know a lot of ex-Catholics myself, but a lot of

family that has continued with mass. Not close enough to ask them why.

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