Advice for Pope Francis I

[Crosspost from here: http://letreasonreign.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/advice-for-pope-francis-i/].  Visit letreasonreign for more caustic commentary on religion.

In most matters (with one exception I will get to), here’s my advice, one moving picture worth a thousand words:

Lighten up on your priests.  Let them marry.  (You are willing to let Anglicans who cross over be married, so clearly there isn’t a real issue of dogma involved here.)

Lighten up on women and allow them to be priests.   That is if any actually want to be.  The way you’ve treated women in your church, I can’t imagine why they would.

Lighten up on homosexuals.  Why out of the huge raft of Levitican law that mostly got swept under the rug by Jesus and St. Paul, does that one verse about homosexuality stand?  You’re allowed to eat shellfish and wear blended fabrics.  Why is this rule the one you can’t claim Jesus superseded?

Lighten up and allow birth control.  I realize that to you abortion is a murder, plain and simple, and I won’t insult the intelligence of anyone reading this expecting you to condone something you consider to be murder.  But what is the reason not to prevent conception from happening in the first place?  And in a continent riddled with AIDS like Africa is, what’s the rationale for trying to convince people not to use condoms?

On these issues and many others, my advice is to Lighten up, Francis.

But there is one issue I don’t want you to lighten up on.  The Vatican has been entirely too light on this issue for decades, if not centuries.  And it needs to crack down on it with the weight of 2000 years of history.

And that’s pedophiliac clerics.  Instead of defrocking them and handing them over to the civil authorities, you transfer them to another parish–another group of young boys–or even whisk them out of the country.  I’m told Nunavut, Canada, is your North American dumping ground for troublesome altar-boy-buggering priests.  Were I Catholic and in Nunavut for the weekend… I’d skip Mass.  Bishops and cardinals are involved in covering this up.  It’d be far worse, after all, for the Catholic Church to get egg on its face than for justice to be done.

But this is all too typical, a church whose priorities and teachings are inverted almost every single time, hard core on the things that one should be light on, and utterly worthless at attacking truly despicable behavior.

The only thing you haven’t got totally wrong is evolution and an old universe; you are all in favor of actual science from time to time, certainly far more than the protestant fundamentalists we have here in the United States.  But I suppose you could flip on this and give the Catholic Church a perfect–perfectly awful– record on everything.

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  • Jorita

    This is the one place I can escape the insane Christian dogma that I have to deal with at home. I have NO urge to go on a christian blog and start chating, WHY, WHY? WHY? do they feel the nead to come onto this blog, please explain this to me. I don't invade their space WHY do they have to invade our space? GRRRRRRRR

  • SteveInCO

    Oh because it's all doG's space and it's for the glory of doG.

    This is why in the US they must try to hijack our secular government too, and will bring out the pitchforks and torches when you try to stop a creche scene or prayer on government property.

  • Dr. Bob

    @Strega.  Why am I here?  When I blundered across the first page from an odd Google query on the new pope, I was somewhat surprised by the hurtfulness expressed, but intrigued enough as an academic to honestly engage for a short time.  The blog title suggested that the intention was thoughtful atheism, and I honestly assumed that to be the intent.  On the topic of popes I am by no means a genuine expert, but the topic seemed of interest here and I do have more experience and firsthand knowledge than many other posters, so I thought I'd share a bit.  I didn't see any threads on astrophysics or education, more's the pity.

    To be clear, I have not questioned the rationality of your membership, I have questioned the rationality of some of their arguments.   Presumably that is an OK thing, unless there is a doGma of this particular group of atheists of which I am not aware.  It's just fine with me if you consider all religion to be irrational, I won't take offense.  I may suggest that's calling an awful lot of very smart people worldwide irrational, and that perhaps you may want to be thoughtful about making judgments on "all" of anything, but that's your choice.

    I'm very sensitive to @Jorita's comment, though, so if I'm an unwelcome interloper in the community I will take my leave.  Everyone needs spaces which are safe and where they can blow off steam among friends without outsiders getting in the way.  All I would ask is that you try to be a touch more kind as a group to those with whom you disagree.  Far too often the unkind things we say about others even when we blow off steam among friends become a part of a our character and narrative over time, and lead to inadvertent unkind words and acts, or the rejection of possible friendships, or other things we wouldn't be proud of.  That lesson at least you should take from the many failings of myself and my co-religionists over the centuries.

    Kindest regards,

    Professor Bob