Showing posts with label Pope Joan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pope Joan. Show all posts

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Catholic Church Should Make a Woman Pope to Prove it's Serious about Cleaning up Sexual Abuse

     After a week in which Pope Benedict has been exposed as an incompetent liar and perpetrator of coving up sexual abuse of children by his holy priests, is there anything that can the Catholic Church do to regain any sense of authority in the world?  The pope's calls for prayer, confession,  and finger pointing at evil, gays, nuns, and foreign bishops has failed to solve the problem. 

     Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has an idea.  She thinks the church should elect a Nope, that is, a nun for a pope.  Can you imagine the impact that would have on the world?  It would truly be the aggiornamento, the opening up of the musky Vatican drapes and letting in of the fresh breezes of change that John XXIII spoke of when he called the Second Vatican Council.  But, it's not going to happen. 

     Hypocrite Benedict, a.k.a. Ratzinger, a.k.a. god's rottweiler, will never step down.  He doesn't get it.  He's as corrupt  as the pedophiles and the self-serving bishops who covered for them.  He's as complacent as the majority of his flock, who sit blissfully in pews with their ethical blinders turned to abortion.  Ben's hands are soiled, but to him, his failure is just a moral failing that can be washed away with a little trip to the confessional followed by a swallow of Jesus at the altar.

     Still, it's fun to dream.  Imagine a woman becoming pope.  Some claim that it's happened before, with Pope Joan, but most Catholics think she's just a legend.  Dowd's hope for a Nope is a fantasy, but there's nothing wrong with dreaming in political satire.

    Pope Benedict has continued the church’s ban on female priests and is adamant against priests’ having wives. He has started two investigations of American nuns to check on their “quality of life” — code for seeing if they’ve grown too independent. As a cardinal he wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners and not take on adversarial roles toward men.  But the completely paternalistic and autocratic culture of Il Papa led to an insular, exclusionary system that failed to police itself, and that became a corrosive shelter for secrets and shame.
    If the church could throw open its stained glass windows and let in some air, invite women to be priests, nuns to be more emancipated and priests to marry, if it could banish criminal priests and end the sordid culture of men protecting men who attack children, it might survive. It could be an encouraging sign of humility and repentance, a surrender of arrogance, both moving and meaningful.
     Cardinal Ratzinger devoted his Vatican career to rooting out any hint of what he considered deviance. The problem is, he was obsessed with enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy and somehow missed the graver danger to the most vulnerable members of the flock.  The sin-crazed “Rottweiler” was so consumed with sexual mores — issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion — that he didn’t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges. 
    American bishops have gotten politically militant in recent years, opposing the health care bill because its language on abortion wasn’t vehement enough, and punishing Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights and stem cell research. They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.
    The nuns have historically cleaned up the messes of priests. And this is a historic mess. Benedict should go home to Bavaria. And the cardinals should send the white smoke up the chimney, proclaiming “Habemus Mama.”
Image Credits:
Pope Joan covers by Serendipitous Readings and
The Female Pope cover by the authors' homepage (Pardoe)