by Bil Aulenbach

The Pope Reads My Blogs

I just know he does. How? I talk all the time, along with many other progressives, about the idea that the church must change or die (Thanks, Bishop Spong, for that motto). The Los Angeles Times reported on December 21, 2019, that Pope Francis “warned . . . that ‘rigidity’ in living out the Christian faith is creating a ‘minefield’ of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant.”

I couldn’t agree more, but I have to ask: why doesn’t Pope Francis, as one of the most influential religious leaders in the world, do more to fix this problem?

Why doesn’t he confront the conservative Roman Catholic hierarchy and remind them that they are the reason the church is dying?

He could demand that the church rid itself of all priests, bishops, and cardinals who are sexual perverts, as well as those who protected them from facing criminal consequences. This game of hiding and protecting molesters is obviously an endemic problem and has gone on far too long. The Roman Catholic clergy must do some thorough housecleaning, no matter how painful that gets.

A December 19, 2019, article from the Associated Press claimed that the Vatican is struggling to keep up with clergy abuse cases due to limited staff. Here’s an idea, Francis: turn all the cases over to the police. I suspect the backlog would end and most (hopefully all) of those sick folks would be put behind bars.

Here’s another idea for the pope—let women be ordained. That will help remedy male domination and make the church more relevant in the twenty-first century.

Let priests marry (that includes gays and lesbians). The shortage of clergy will end quickly. We humans are sexual beings. Forced celibacy is a form of sexual abuse and does not work.

And Pope Francis, please stop your church’s silliness concerning the LGBTQUI community. Love people, not hateful bigotry. I imagine Jesus would say, “As Followers, we should demonstrate agape and accept everyone and anyone, no matter where they are on their life’s journey. Gay people have always been part of the religious community. Stop abusing them.” Being gay isn’t a sin, but not giving them full citizenship in the church is.

Another recent Los Angeles Times article reported that a local church congregation claimed to see an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in a sidewalk water stain. Holy expletive! Please, Pope Francis, knock that silliness off. This is the twenty-first century. Being both a virgin and a mom is impossible without modern artificial insemination techniques. The concept of a virgin Mary—and all her variations as the Lady of Guadalupe, Fátima, Lourdes, and so on—has to go if you want the church to make sense. You could get rid of all this silliness about saints, make Jesus the only object of worship in your churches, and make serving the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) your main objective.

Be bold, Pope Francis, and turn your church upside down. And thanks for reading my blogs.

 

Image courtesy of PaoNu (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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