Dear Catholics: Have You Had Enough Yet?

Pope Benedict the Horrible

Pope Benedict the Horrible

My Catholic sisters and brothers, what will it take for you to get rid of Pope Benedict?

Since his investiture, he has shoved his heartless, narrow-minded, retrograde and dangerous dogma down our throats. The taste is bitter indeed. After the humanity and warmth of John Paul II, the world deserves better than this.

The Pope today reignited the controversy over the Catholic church’s stance on condom use as he made his first trip to Africa.

The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent’s fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.

Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola.

The timing of his remarks outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected.

The Roman Catholic church encourages sexual abstinence and fidelity to prevent the disease from spreading, but it is a policy that has divided some clergy working with Aids patients.

The pontiff, speaking to journalists on his flight, said the condition was “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”.

Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, said that if the Pope was serious about preventing new HIV infections he would focus on promoting wider access to condoms and spreading information about how best to use them.

No, of course the Pope is not serious about preventing new HIV infections. What is he, a doctor? He is only interested in promoting his own, 8th-century version of morality, no matter how many people it kills. In his rigid, hateful mind, only those who adhere to “Christian values” deserve to live. Clearly, those 22 million people in Africa who have HIV are being punished for their sinful ways. It’s no skin off his nose if they die prolonged, painful deaths.

This belief, of course, extends to 9-year-old girls who have been raped by their stepfathers as well. They deserve to die bearing their rapist’s twins, don’tcha know, because somehow, I guess, the bitch was askin’ for it; and of course, her parents and doctors deserve to go to hell. (The rapist stepfather was not excommunicated, of course. Don’t ask me why; I’m not capable of understanding this kind of pretzel logic.)

The Catholic Church (and Pope Benedict XVI) were presented with a public relations powder keg last March when news broke that a nine-year-old Brazilian girl underwent an abortion after she’d been raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather. Catholics from Sao Paolo to Paris were outraged after the swift public declaration by the local archbishop, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, that the girl’s family, as well as the doctors who performed the abortion, were automatically excommunicated. Monsignor Rino Fisichella, a solidly traditionalist Rome prelate considered close to Benedict, tried to soften the Church’s approach on the Brazilian case by writing in the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the girl “should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side.” Two weeks ago, the Vatican announced that Sobrinho, who had been serving past retirement, was stepping down. And that’s where the Church stood. Until now.

 In a tucked away “clarification” published on page 7 of a recent edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican produced a document that unequivocally confirmed automatic excommunication for anyone involved in an abortion – even in such a situation as dire as the Brazilian case. It settles any questions about the absolute nature of Church doctrine on the matter of abortion – but could potentially reignite the PR firestorm. (Check out the original story of the controversial abortion in Brazil.)

So, let’s review the Doctrine of Benedict. If you are not abstinent or “faithful” to your lover, you shouldn’t use a condom because it will spread AIDs, and besides, Jesus said no condoms! (Yes, that’s in the Bible. Look it up, sinner!) Then, no matter why a Catholic gets an abortion, even if it’s a matter of life and death, that Catholic is going to hell, and so is her doctor and all her relatives.

Does anyone, ANYONE think that Jesus decreed any of this cruelty? Whatever happened to “He who is without sin shall throw the first stone” and “Love your neighbor as yourself?” This Pope seems more like an accountant than a religious leader, relentlessly toting up violations of financial laws and imposing the harshest possible penalties for them. Where is the compassion? Where is the God? Where is the spirituality?

The evidence is clear: Catholicism desperately needs a Reform Movement. Just as the Episcopalian Church recently voted to ordain LGBT ministers, and Jimmy Carter left the Baptist Church over its inherent misogyny and recently joined a group to help religious leaders fight against it, so does the Catholic Church need to move its beliefs into the 21st Century. All it takes is some courageous Catholic leaders to step up and defy the Pope.

I pray that this happens soon.

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4 responses to “Dear Catholics: Have You Had Enough Yet?

  1. i believe that no one should have been excommunicated but the stepfather should have been thrown i prison for life and the girl should NOT have had an abortion but she should have given her baby up to someone who neede it or given it up to the church

  2. Tasha – the girl would have died if she had carried the children to term. Her doctors all said the abortion was the only way to save her life.

    The Church was fully aware of this.

    I do not think it is moral or ethical to expect a nine-year-old child to die bearing her rapist’s twins. Do you?

    I agree with you about the stepfather, though.

  3. The girl and her family should have been hugged and had her had held while she went through the awful procedure. (I don’t like abortion, but I think it is needed…then again I’m a man, I will never need one)

    The stepfather should have been taken out behind the nearest shed and had his ballz and chain blown off with a shot gun.

  4. Owen – Well-said, although “jailed for life” works for me too.

    That poor girl. Now she has to go through the terror of thinking her parents are going to hell…and blaming herself for it.

    If that’s “moral,” I’m Madeleine Albright.