Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Holy See

After many entries here critical of politicians, it is perhaps time to be critical of those managing religion.

The Roman Catholic Church, governed by the Holy See at Vatican City, has had many ups and downs over it's history. If we shine the light of critical inquiry on what (still) goes on in the fancy palaces of the Pope, we quickly uncover much that is indefensible. That's sad, because the Church is mostly well-meaning.

In fact, the topic is still politics when dealing with the Holy See. While many believers see their Church as incapable of doing wrong, there is too much bad.

Thanks to widespread reforms, the unbeliever is no longer threatened with torture and death. The final agonies of too many people were amplified by the sight of a fat priest chanting sanctimoniously of divine pity.

Yet there are key internal reforms still wanting:

The Church is sexist: women are wholly banned from priesthood.

The Church is unscientific: key works somehow inconvenient are condemned: Copernicus (for 215 years his work was banned by the Index Librorum Prohibitorum), and Galileo (grabbed by the Inquisition, required to recant his views and all were forbidden to publish his work), etc.

There are various other areas that provide ample dissatisfaction. Declaring Meister Eckhart's work 'heresy' is one, the massive and sometimes corrupt Roman Catholic bureaucracy another. I reject teaching that the Church is a necessary mediator, and sole access to God. Some would support the revival of this Church as Holy Roman Empire. All the best to believers, but don't tread on me.

1 comment:

  1. Bruce, my take on the Catholic Church and any large organization (be it gummint, private, religious or anything) is that beyond a certain size, the main goal of the org is to survive, nevermind the original and usually loudly-proclaimed ideal of service, etc., it espouses. Expect nothing and be not disappointed. Do your own thing and watch out for those who say they want to help you and those who say they love humanity. Read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (this for the other readers--I'll bet you have read Pirsig).