Monday, 5 October 2015

Papal Woes

There is a reason we do not hero-worship. There is a reason we do not put people on pedestals. And it is the same reason I take issue with the structure of the Catholic church: people are people, with all the same flaws and virtues as everybody else.

We have the current pope who made a couple great comments about not judging people's lifestyles and potentially reforming IOR and women's pay inequality and then sent the world in to a tizzy of adoration with his quips on the evils of capitalism. So what we can confirm is that - like successful politicians - he has a gift for soundbites.

He says we should not judge people's life choices, while he presides over an institution that refuses to legitimise relationships between same-sex couples, or anybody who has been divorced, to name but two groups.

He says women should receive equal pay as men, while he presides over an institution that disqualifies women from any participation in its own structure.

He is currently hosting a family synod, while he presides over an institution that requires celibacy of its (all male) employees.

The Catholic church at grass roots level does mountains of good, both in financial and spiritual support. As a charitable institution it is extremely active and successful around the world. For this I respect it a great deal.

It is also a sovereign state. And a bank. Which is "being reformed" in as much that a report has been issued and accepted. That took 4 years. In other words: nothing has happened.

My Facebook feed has gone from hatred for the Vatican to blind love. Would that life were quite that simple: let's continue to praise the church for the good it does in the world and hold it to account for the antiquated and discriminatory ways it has to reform.

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