Catholic politicians don’t get to slam back

“In a toughly worded statement, Pope Benedict XVI Friday singled out Roman Catholic politicians in Canada who voted for gay marriage, urging them not to sacrifice their personal beliefs for the sake of opinion polls and social trends.” I find it striking that this old man, whose last job was head of the Inquisition (yes, it still exists), gets to declare what anyone’s “personal beliefs” are. Worse, these Catholic politicians don’t have a right of reply. They, like innumerable Catholics who disregard Church teachings favoring sexual repression, must simply accept the criticism, for to do otherwise is to commit a sacrilege. Do that enough, and I suppose they might be excommunicated.

There is a distinction between choosing a church because you agree with its doctrine, and having been raised in that church, been moved by its ritual, and feeling a kinship to that church that might be likened to home. But in this home, The Holy Father (not the god of Abraham, you understand, but the pope) brooks no disagreement. As the pope pretends, I wish that more Catholics would follow their consciences, and leave that home. The Catholic hierarchy might then see how much support it really has.

But there is a real question of just who should leave that home. Why should it be the faithful, following their god in their own light? Why not the hierarchy itself, which has effectively sanctioned pedophilia over a period of decades and now presumes to tell others what their sexual proclivities should be? Why hasn’t everyone from the level of Archbishop on up been thrown in prison as accomplices to child abuse? Why not?

The answer, of course, is that laws do not exist for those on top. Laws exist for the unsanctified sinners, the people who go to church every Sunday, the little old lady who does nothing but say her prayers.

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