In a move sure to make non-believers (and I daresay a significant number of mainstream believers) roll their eyes hard enough to change the prescriptions on their eyewear, Pope Benedict announced on Sunday that Catholics need to stand up to the scourge of “intolerant agnosticism” that has recently gripped the western world.
The pope and the Church have come under increased attack because of their opposition to homosexual marriage and women priests. The pope has repeatedly denounced what he says are attempts to push religion out of public debate.
I honestly think religion should be part of the public debate … especially the degree of undue and inappropriate influence it still has on secular society. The Catholic Church can oppose homosexual marriage and abortion all it likes; however, in the same way it considers as “adults” those members who have gone through the sacrament of Confirmation, its authority and jurisdiction should be limited to within its walls. For any issue in which they would come into conflict with secular law, the authority of the latter should be observed – no exceptions. This would even mean (for my point of view, at least) that the new health care rules that let insurance carriers offer contraception coverage should apply to everyone. If practicing Catholics don’t want to use it, then they don’t have to … but everyone should follow the same laws no matter what personal beliefs you may have that goes against it.
In a homily to about 10,000 people in St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, he firmly rejected suggestions the Church should change to suit public opinion. “Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking,” he said. “The approval of the prevailing wisdom, however, is not the criterion to which we submit.”
What a load of crap. Are we still stoning adulterers and burning witches at the stake? I know what their feelings are on homosexuals, but even they’re not advocating killing them. Why not? Because the advancement of secular moral philosophy and rational discourse have moved our society to a point where we understand that such practices are (and were) barbaric, and have no place in our lives anymore.
As a result of the influence of this secular society, the church has moved in the same direction … albeit with a 100-year lag or so. Better late than never, I guess.
“Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs,” the pope said.
I remember I was called “bigoted” for calling a Christian out on their hatred of homosexuals as … well … bigotry. That’s not really how it works. Now more than ever before there has been an increasing amount of resistance against the influence and authority of Christianity in the Western world (Catholicism especially). I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that most – if not all – of the issues where the pope feels he’s seeing a great deal of “intolerance” are areas in which their archaic positions on current social issues is putting them at odds with modern secular society.
My personal feeling is if Ratzie wants to see intolerance to opposing views, he might want to read up on the history of his own church. Just a thought.