Take a good hard look into the life of new pope. To give an overview he thinks that:

Homosexuality is still a sin. He tells people to respect homosexuals, but whent the Argintinian government is going to make sam-sex marriage legal he says, "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."

During his early life he gave up all his fancy posetions (personal cook, facy place to live, chauffeured limo) and made a pledge of poverty. This sounds awefully noble right? Wrong, look at why he had those things to start out with (because he was a cardinal). Think about what the Bible verson of Jesus would have done. He probably wouldn't have even considered giving those things out to preachers of his word anyway. So denying riches should be something that cardinals and popes HAVE to do an shouldn't be praised for. By the way, the pledge of poverty meant that he just had to live like everyone else in the community (what a saint -- sarcasm)

Lastly, there was a criminal complaint filed against him by a human rights lawyer for the abduction of two Jesuit priests. However, there was no evidence to prove that he had anything to do with it. :)

Please leave your thoughts and comments on the new pope

Tags: argentina, atheism, catholic, christian, church, corruption, francis, pope, power, religion, More…the, zealots

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By the "Vatican appears to place it's own authority" I think that Kris is trying to say that it is most times trying to cover its ass when it makes a mistake. Take for example the Italian comedian Sabina who was put in jail for basically saying (in front of a large audience) that Ratzinger was going to hell to be raped by big gay devils. Pope Benedict pushed the Italian government to throw her in jail, but once they realized that they had no case against her (because she didn't break any laws) the pope said that he forgives her and let her out of jail. They intentionally covers themselves when they made a mistake, and instead of saying "I was wrong" or "I don't know" they have to spin some story to get out of it.
And although it may be a sin to sexually abuse children in the Catholic Church Bush granted the pope immunity from any sexual abuse scandals, so the US government/Judicial system can't really do much when the pope orders cover ups, moves people around to avoid the law etc.

I will agree that people in the Church do try to "cover their ass" when they make mistakes.  Who doesn't?  I would wish that all of our leaders, religious and secular, would be saints, but then you all could rightly make fun of me for an impossible wish <g>.  I can't speak to this comedian you're talking about, but even back 500 years ago Dante in his Divine Comedy put a number of popes in hell in very amusing ways.  Even at the height of the Inquisition, we didn't imprison Dante.

The President of the United States of course can't grant anyone immunity from scandal, certainly not a head of state from outside the U.S. who isn't subject to our jurisdiction in any event.  You need to improve your understanding of the governance structure of the institutional Catholic Church, though.  The pope is the first among equals, the Bishop of Rome.  He can appoint bishops to fill a vacancy, but he doesn't have authority to remove a bishop, and local bishops have relatively complete administrative authority in their areas.  So when you talk about moving priests around, that's not something the pope or the Vatican have the authority to do.  That was done by the local bishops, like that jackass Bernard Law in Boston. 

Regular priests within the Catholic Church are sort of free agents.   Like any free person they can quit their current job and move somewhere else whenever they want to, and seek employment as a priest at their new location.

Its rather a far leap from pedophilia to sainthood.  Nobody is asking for saints.  We don't even believe in saints.  But your post indicates that non-pedophilia is saintly.  This isn't something you can just brush under the carpet I'm afraid.

I believe we were talking about the covering of asses in this portion of the thread, which is why that paragraph began with the sentence that it did.  Officials covering their ass when they make mistakes is something pretty common no matter where they happen to be officials, wouldn't you agree? 

@Robert, I would agree that any official who messes up would cover their ass. However, if their actions are divinely inspired why would they need to cover their asses in the first place. That is what separates religious officials from other non-religious officials is the divine aspect.

@Kris Feenstra

"Yes, but holding someone to a standard isn't necessarily a matter of my expectations."

This is where I'm not getting it. What's the difference between holding someone to a standard and expecting them to achieve a standard. Is the former just reserving the right to say, "ha ha"?

Catholic priests may CLAIM the moral high ground. To me that's just silly. They're normal men like you and me. I therefore neither expect them to achieve to a higher standard nor do I consider myself to be in any way subject to their moral standards.

I will agree that people in the Church do try to "cover their ass" when they make mistakes. Who doesn't?

I agree, but that's kind of the issue. Is it illogical to hold religious authorities to a higher ethical standard? I am hard-pressed to say that it is. 'Merely human' won't cut it with an organization which primarily concerns itself with the divine. If they are merely human and whatever governs their conduct is as falible as what governs mine, I have no reason to recognize any special authority or merit to their position. I will evaluate claims independently, and thus far I'm not generally a big fan.

If the Catholic Church acted merely as an opinion group, and not as a moral authority, I would set my standard lower.

" Is it illogical to hold religious authorities to a higher ethical standard?"

Of course it is. It would be logical only if you maintained that they were, in fact, agents of the supernatural and consequently above normal human behavior  THEY might believe that, but that doesn't mean we have to be equally silly.

You're off the mark.

To set a standard and to hold someone to a standard commensurate with their claims are two different things. If someone claims to run fifty kmh, I will hold them to that standard. If they fail to meet it on reasonable terms, I will reject the claim.

That is the meaning of my post.

You should always evaluate claims independently, absolutely.  God and evolution gave you a brain, and you should use it!

I would just gently suggest that the claims you choose to evaluate should actually be the claims that the other group is making, rather than the claims that you are making.

Catholicism does not hold that its curial officials and popes are anything other than ordinary humans, with ordinary human weakness and failings.  We would not claim that Cardinals or popes are necessarily holy men, in fact there is a long tradition in Catholicism of those we revere as saints castigating the lot of church officials as a bunch of sinful swine.

Catholicism offers moral and social teachings that it would claim are worthwhile, even truthful to the extent that humans can discern or teach the truth, which is pretty limited.  So your professor can be a jackass, but perhaps what you're learning in his class might still have some merit.

Always, always question and evaluate, though.  That's how you really learn, not by parroting any authority.

@Robert "God and evolution gave you a brain"
That right there is one of my largest problems with religion is when people say that their success is because of God. I work hard for everything I have accomplished in life. God had no part in that. When people tell me that I have God given talent I get a little offended because I had to work hard.
Not your fault, just a pet peve of mine

" If someone claims to run fifty kmh, I will hold them to that standard."

Yes, but if someone claimed to run 500 kph, would you hold them to that? Or would you simply dismiss them as cooks and consequently expect even less from them than their peers.

Running at 500 kph is a great deal more reasonable than a magic, invisible daddy in the sky.


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