I was raised a catholic and stayed in that religion, up to my 30s. I was always somewhat agnostic and I didn’t like a lot of the Church’s policies. Slowly over the years, the church became more and more political. They began to support anti-abortion movements, and then anti-birth control activists got their support. It was when I read that John Paul II had been working with the CIA and Ronald Reagan in Europe that I decided to permanently drop out of the church.
So when I heard that Pope Benedict XVI resigned today, it really didn’t matter much to me. I quite following the pope long ago. Benedict didn’t make a lot of news as Pope John Paul did, so we rarely had to hear much about him.
When we did hear about him it was mostly negative publicity, such as charges of sexual abuse or the cover-up of other clergy members involved in sexual abuse.
According to the Guardian, UK;
“Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC).
The submission, lodged at The Hague on Tuesday, accuses the four men not only of failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence but also of engaging in the "systematic and widespread" practice of concealing sexual crimes around the world.”
There have also been suspicions that the Pope and some of his subordinates had ties with German Nazis at one time or another.
According to The Telegraph;
“There have been public relations disasters, notably over the readmission of ultra-traditionalist bishops to the Church, one of whom had Nazi sympathies. But there have been unexpected successes too: not least his remarkable visit to Britain, when his gentle wisdom profoundly touched even sceptics.”
For the Catholic Church, such criticism is likely for the foreseeable future. The Catholic Church has not found an effective way to cub the sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic Priests, so that remains a serious problem.
Then there are the politics. Whether the church gets involved with the pro-live movement, kills off the “Liberation Theology” movement or had dealings with Adolf Hitler, the real problem is that the Catholic Church is still a political force in the world today. It used to be a feudal hierarchy in the Middle-ages. The pope had a lot of political power and influence until modern times. While the church claims it is no longer a political force and deals only with spiritual matters, that just isn’t true. As for being a Marxist and Maoist, the church doesn’t like those ideas too well. They have always taught me that Marxism is the antithesis of Catholicism. So my decision to pick Marx and Mao over Jesus has been a lot easier after dropping out of the church.
After experimenting around with various religious ideas I finally settled on the Epicurus philosophy. It isn’t really a religion at all. But it is a philosophy designed to ease people’s fears of the gods (plural in Epicurus’ time period). Whatever I believe about God, the after-life, etc., I don’t want religious leaders telling me what kind of politics I can or cannot support.