Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Catholic Church's "Morality"

A 9 year-old is raped in Brazil, and the Catholic Church in that country is outraged... about the abortion. Outrage is completely called for, but one must be a moral cretin to not see that one should be outraged about the rape of the girl. The church ignores this, but is up in arms over the abortion.
One thing the article points out that I didn't know is that abortion is illegal in Brazil except in cases of rape or when the mother's life is in danger.
The big story to follow with the Catholic Church is the way Benedict is trying to transform the institution. From an article on the subject in the New Yorker.
It is well known that Benedict wants to transform the Church of Rome, which is not to say that he wants to make it more responsive to the realities of modern life as it is lived by Catholic women in the West, or by Catholic homosexuals, or even by the millions of desperately poor Catholic families in the Third World who are still waiting for some merciful dispensation on the use of contraception. He wants to purify the Church, to make it more definitively Christian, more observant, obedient, and disciplined—you could say more like the way he sees Islam. And never mind that he doesn’t seem to like much about Islam, or that he has doubts about Islam’s direction. (His doubts are not unusual in today’s world; many Muslims have them.) The Pope is a theologian—the first prominent theologian to sit on Peter’s throne since the eighteenth century. He views the world through a strictly theological frame, and his judgments about Islam, however defiant or reductive they sometimes sound, have finally to do with the idea of Theos—God—as he understands it. Those judgments have not changed much, in character, since he left Germany for the Vatican, twenty-six years ago.

The direction he is taking the church was made clear recently (as if it wasn't already obvious) when he de-excommunicated extremist priest (I previously mentioned this in this post) including two who denied the Holocaust. He's clearly acting to shore up the far-rightwing of of the Catholic Church.
All this shows how little the Church has changed over the last thousand years, as if we needed more proof after their horrific handling of the pedophile priests.

1 comment:

Matt S said...

I showed my catholic mom this, and her response was kind of "how horrible. Now why aren't you studying?" She wanted to rationalize away the de-excommunication too.