Thursday, May 12, 2005

The New Catholic Church

Just a few thoughts about the Catholic Church and its emminant judgement, or lack thereof. Taking a page out of the religious right playbook in the States, they have decided that in the face of a modern, rapidly changing world, the best solution is to bury one’s head as far into the sand as physically possible. Given the complexity of societies, fertility, economics and cultural differences, one solution stands clear: “Let’s not waste any time trying to learn about or comprehend these challenges, instead let’s expect the world to become the simple world we would prefer it to be!” In their power hungry, white male existence, the rulers of the Catholic church have decided to place a ‘Cheney’ in the top position. The religious right here did the same, but given the American history of having a good looking front man, they made sure George was the symbolic ruler for PR reasons. Cardinal Ratzinger is the ‘Cheney’, the previous attack dog for the inflexible, the judgemental and completely out of touch within their organization. No doubt he is good at denying the fact that birth control is here to stay, that no society once given access to reproductive choice will later reject it. No doubt he is good at denying the fact that declining interest in the Catholic church across the world and especially in the home base of Europe stems not from inadequate strictness of doctrine, but from excessive strictness of doctrine. No doubt he is good at denying the harmful effects of denying marriage rites to priests, effects seen across the globe in the form of rampant sexual abuse and lack of future priests entering the church. No doubt he is good at denying the beneficial role played by Liberation Theologists who responded to the needs of Latino Catholics by addressing poverty, an action Cardinal Ratzinger considered too socialist for the Church. The greatest failure, however, in the Church’s decision is the use of fear tactics. Using the tactics of fear to govern can work in America in the hands of religious zealots in the short term. However, Catholics around the world will not let themselves be governed by fear, as intelligent humans around the world have come to the conclusion that no ‘fire and brimstone’ religious threat is ever as real or dangerous as a single-minded, angry ideologue, whether his name be Bin Laden, Cheney, Atta or Rumsfeld.


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