Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habemus Papem

Let us wish them well with their new pope.
He seems to be a nice enough fellow,
Sort of like a pillar of a small town.
Too bad he's another old guy.

The retiring pope was a tottering old man,
Too frail to tackle the problems of his church.
The RC's needed a dynamic CEO to
Bang heads, fire people, clean house.

The hierarchy resists change
But change forces itself upon them.
If your congregations are restless and diminishing,
What do you throw out to keep them?

They deep-sixed both limbo and purgatory,
They translated the liturgy into common tongues,
They introduced insipid praise songs,
And they no longer heard confessions in a phone booth.

None of this compensated for the hideous history
Of sexual predation by the parish clergy.
The RC resistance to abortion and gay unions
Sounded sanctimonious and hypocritical.

Two forces will break down the walls
Of the medieval Roman Catholic Church,
Which will be resisted bitterly by the old guard
As destructive of whatever they stand for.

Catholic priests must be allowed to marry,
Have children, and be normal human beings.
Women must be admitted to the priesthood
As full and equal in all offices.

A book and recent articles by George Weigel
Ruminate upon the church becoming more evangelical,
By encouraging the faithful to study the bible,
And forge a closer bond with Jesus.

Maybe that also means giving up on goddess worship
Which is what the Catholic emphasis on Mary has become.
Maybe that also means accepting the existence of
Contradictory lay views on social and behavioral issues.

One has to admire the Catholic faithful
Who have stuck with their church, though
Their voices have been squelched and
Lay participation in governance forbidden.