If there’s something positive to have emerged from these many months of pandemic, it’s the constructive thinking going on about what it might mean for the Catholic Church. There’s a kind of collective and individual self-examination underway, perhaps exemplified best by Czech theologian Tomáš Halík, who is a psychotherapist by training. As he put it in one of the most perceptive articles published recently on the topic: “Our time of civilizational change calls for a new theology of contemporary history and a new understanding of the church.”
On Monday, after vowing violent state action against protestors across the US, Donald Trump took time out for a photo opportunity. Did he talk to people of colour, heartbroken, enraged and exhausted by police brutality and the killing of George Floyd by officers of the state? Did he listen to the black mothers terrified that the next time they see their son leave the house will be the last time?
Police launched smoke grenades and shot rubber bullets at protestors to pave the way for Trump’s publicity stunt outside the St John’s Episcopal church.
Comments in authorised biography also associate gay marriage with the Antichrist
The former pope Benedict XVI has accused opponents of wanting to silence him, while associating gay marriage with the Antichrist and attacking humanist ideologies in an authorised biography published in Germany.
Pope Francis entered a heated church-state debate Tuesday night calling for “prudence and obedience” amid the coronavirus limits on Mass and other religious services.
The Catholic leader’s appeal came two days after Italian bishops expressed outrage that the government in Italy didn’t address church services in its plan to reopen businesses, social activities and sports beginning on May 4.
Last updated Mar 8, 2020 | Published on Oct 10, 2017 |
‘Proselytizing is an indispensable and inalienable characteristic of Religions; ‘believers’ are impelled to convert others because they know the real truth and must save others from their (incorrect) truths. Religions are therefore inherently divisive and alienating. As history reveals, unfettered, proselytizing soon descends the path to division, fear, and thus conflict. Consequently, religions are only peaceful, safe, moral, and acceptable when they have been made so by being neutered through the influence of rationalism, education, science, and a secular society, with a complete separation of church and state — which has not yet been accomplished by any western country.’
I have written this commentary for several reasons. I have added minor updates since Pell’s guilty verdict has been announced, although it was actually given in December 2018, and will post this version when the appeal is (finally) dealt with.
Although the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal has been making headlines for years as thousands of people come forward with their own stories of abuse at the hands of priests, only one Church official has actually gone to prison as a result.
Now, that official’s retrial date has been pushed back by nearly a year due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The bishops should end their obsession with Pell and take up their moral responsibility to victims
Cardinal George Pell’s acquittal was legally the correct decision. His relief and that of his family and many supporters will be palpable. He – not the Catholic church – was on trial and the high court has seen fit to ensure justice was served.
But it is not possible to divorce the acquittal from the broader context of the Catholic church’s history of child sexual abuse.
With the matter concluded the Catholic bishops should end their obsession with Pell and take up their moral responsibility to the victims of church perpetrators and those who obfuscated and concealed on their behalf.