Stay away from sex, politics and religion; I was
told. However, there are times when I cannot resist. There are issues important to many of my readers that must be acknowledged.
The Roman Catholic Church is in crises and needs strong leadership that will take it from a path of increasing irrelevance to one that more fully responds to the needs of its followers. Will the selection of a new pope lead to this?
In Canadian law, and I suspect the laws of other modern countries, an organization that harbours criminals (sex offenders), deliberately and methodically covers up crimes, and protects the offenders, is a criminal organization. No-one wants to apply that label, though grass roots pressure has forced individual criminal investigations and civil claims for damages.
In April, 2011, an investigative report identified serious problems in the Vatican Bank.
Italian and other police were investigating allegations and evidence of fraud, theft and money laundering on behalf of individuals and the Italian mafia. The church acknowledged that there were issues and that a substantial clean-up was needed. Watch the news reporting on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G77_rIbRWec
Women in the Catholic Church, nuns and parishioners, increasingly call for greater roles and opportunity. To date, movement to equality for women has largely been denied. At the top, it is an old boy’s club, and the incumbents want to keep it that way. While the United Nations and the developed world decry discrimination against women and, most often, make it a crime, freedom of religion customs and laws, block forced changes.
What will likely happen? I believe that there will be little significant change in direction or
practice. Even if, a new pope wills it, the bureaucracy is too immense and sluggish to respond quickly, in our lifetime. In the meantime, many who want formal structure, hope and community will continue to leave and simply refer to themselves as spiritual. Efforts by the church to thwart this decline will be through increased focus on the developing world, where belief that things will be better in an afterlife may be all that one has.
This is a time of immense importance for those who care for the Roman Catholic Church.
If ever there was a timely need for a miracle, it is now.
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