The Pope, The Vatican and My Bald Opinion

Posted: March 1, 2013 in My Bald Opinion
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Pope Benedictus XVI

Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roman Catholic Church’s Pope Benedict XVI makes history for being the first pontiff to resign in 600 years (since 1415). To everyone’s surprise, this would be our first time to witness a pope resign. Normally we wait until they die (harsh as it may seem). This resignation prompted inevitable speculations as to the real reason he was resigning his much coveted post in the Roman Catholic world, bringing rebirth to several “unfounded” suspicions about the Vatican’s “moral filth”. The plot thickens as this transition unfolds. I am rubbing my hands together in anticipation. Or not. Is he really gay? Exactly how corrupt is the Vatican really? What other scandals have the church concealed? The world seems to care enough for news TV to milk the subject nearly 24/7 on TV.

I was born a Roman Catholic, raised into a world of moral values dictated by a religious and righteous society. It was a sin not to attend mass on Sundays (and unintentionally listen to rumormongers in hushed voices while the priest recites his political homily). You will rot in hell if you don’t obey the church (no matter the circumstances). It was unacceptable to express anger (pray and everything will be fine). Ah, you cannot masturbate, that is self-gratification – a sin, no less (not to mention pre-marital sex)! No cursing or swearing, that’s your ticket to damnation. Needless to say, I grew up with very limiting Catholic morals (my experience, don’t question it). My adult life was filled with days spent questioning my religious beliefs, and pushing my boundaries. I was a rebel in the eyes of the holy. So, I now call myself a non-practicing Catholic. I believe in right and wrong, good and evil, probably heaven and hell too. I believe that God exists. I believe in Karma. I just don’t believe in the Catholic Church, the Vatican and I guess that includes the Pope too. I have seen too much in my life to still believe in the sincerity of the church, and I’m saying this with a heavy heart.

I believe in free will; the freedom to choose the life you wish to lead. I believe that when you do good or bad to others, the universe will return the favor – karma. I also believe in not judging people and keeping an open mind. I do believe not everything is written in black and white: be good – you go to heaven, be bad – you go to hell (not that simple in the real world really). I believe in contraceptives (church leaders in my country are taking this “go forth and multiply” to heart). Lastly, I believe all people should be allowed to freely love and be loved, gay people alike (which I strongly feel for). These beliefs go against what the church taught me in my childhood days, hence the choice to cut my ties.

And now the Pope is resigning…

I’d like to believe that, like us, he is a human being too, and the decision to resign must be a painful one to make. It must be something to be judged on national TV about his sexuality and leadership as what’s happening now. It is something to me, at least. I’m finding it interesting that the people on the hot seat now are the same ones who have devoted their lives judging (ok, they say they don’t judge. They just tell you what’s right or wrong, and then condemn you for going against). With all these allegations of child rape, homosexuality, and corruption thrown their way, the church seems trapped in the middle of a circus gone wild. The price of hypocrisy has gone all out.

I am hopeful though. I am optimistic that may be the next pope will be able to sort all these mess, and ideally, come clean. People are generally more forgiving than the church, I have observed, so there is hope yet. I choose to remain positive that the Catholic Church would still be able to redeem itself, if only they would make it the top of their agenda and not just “pray” for it all to go away (or perhaps, like always, bury themselves in further secrecy). It may not be too late to rescue their already tarnished credibility. I still look forward to the day when the Catholic Church will represent salvation and not condemnation in my eyes. May be one day. I am, after all, born a Roman Catholic.

P.S. This post was written with utmost respect to believers and the like, with no intentions (not even the least interest) to offend or to stir religious debates.

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