this time it looks like suicide; cross your fingers

clericsin hell.gif
Matthias Gerung Der römische Klerus in der Hölle [Roman clerics in hell] 1546 wood cut detail

They always insist that suicide is a "mortal sin," but at least there's hope for the survivors, the rest of us, those not members of the cult but who have had to suffer its injuries.

As I suspected immediately upon hearing about the appointment of Ratzinger as its chief executive, the Roman Catholic Church seems to have committed suicide. For reasurance, see the essay by the Catholic intellectual Hans Küng which appeared in Der Spiegel several weeks ago, while the last pope was still dying. Küng is the eminent Swiss German theologian who in 1979 was stripped by the Church of his right to teach because of his liberal critique of papal authority. This is only an excerpt from his conclusion:

For the Catholic church, this pontificate, despite its positive aspects, has on the whole proven to be a great disappointment and, ultimately, a disaster. As a result of his contradictions, this pope has deeply polarized the church, alienated it from countless people and plunged it into an epochal crisis -- a structural crisis that, after a quarter century, is now revealing fatal deficits in terms of development and a tremendous need for reform.

Contrary to all intentions conveyed in the Second Vatican Council, the medieval Roman system, a power apparatus with totalitarian features [my italics], was restored through clever and ruthless personnel and academic policies. Bishops were brought into line, pastors overloaded, theologians muzzled, the laity deprived of their rights, women discriminated against, national synods and churchgoers' requests ignored, along with sex scandals, prohibitions on discussion, liturgical spoon-feeding, a ban on sermons by lay theologians, incitement to denunciation, prevention of Holy Communion -- "the world" can hardly be blamed for all of this!!

The upshot is that the Catholic church has completely lost the enormous credibility it once enjoyed under the papacy of John XXIII and in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.

If the next pope were to continue the policies of this pontificate, he would only reinforce an enormous backup of problems and turn the Catholic church's current structural crisis into a hopeless situation.

These word were written weeks ago. Today it doesn't look like there's much doubt about what can be expected of the regime which has succeeded that of Wojtyla, since it was the choice of, in Küng's words, the "largely mediocre, ultra-conservative and servile episcopate" he created. Suicide.


[image from Alois Payer]

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Published on April 24, 2005 11:12 PM.

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