Today I read a news story that quite truthfully made my blood boil. Really, I couldn't help looking at the picture of Pope Benedict and wishing I could just smack it. Very unCatholic of me, I know. But I couldn't help it. The Pope has announced that women attempting to be ordained, and those attempting to ordain them, are committing a crime as big as child abuse. Seriously.
This makes me angry on several points, but for my own sanity and for the sake of this keyboard, I shall stick to the two biggest points.
1.Female priest = horror of paedophile priest
EXCUSE ME?! I'm sorry Mr Pope but do you truly believe that a female saying mass, giving the sacraments, offering comfort and guidance to people who believe in the faith is the same as a Priest, or anyone for that matter abusing and traumatising a child, taking their innocence and leaving them scarred for life?! That just isn't true. It is so incredibly untrue. No one in their right mind would think so. (Which serves as further proof of Benedict being entirely out of his). This reads like something straight out of the middle ages when understanding the Bible was limited to the clergy and women had to be 'churched' after giving birth and were even put out of their houses during their periods. Being a woman does not make you a bad person Mr Pope, nor does having a penis make you a good one. That is up to chance. Also, I may not be 100% correct on this, but I'm fairly certain that it does not say anywhere in the Bible that it is a crime punishable by excommunication, for a female to be ordained and give communion. And even if it does say something that could be interpreted as such, everyone, including the Pope would do well to remember that Christ nor even God wrote the Bible. People, human people did. Also, rules such as celibacy in priests and even the pope's infallibility were all made up years and years into the Catholic faith by people wishing to save money or be more powerful etc etc. This whole thing reeks of oppression and really it is just disgusting. I am aware that female priests have long been a no no in the Catholic Faith, I am after all, a Catholic. Well, I was raised Catholic. So if Pope Benedict is too stubborn in these old ridiculous rules (along with not allowing contraception and abortion, but those are both arguments for another day) fair enough, he's old, here's hoping...it would be unchristian of me to say...but even that being the case, to go so fecking far as to say that it's as criminal as child abuse?! Dear Christ in heaven above! Surely someone should have said, 'eh, Benedict, I don't er, think it's quite the same thing...'
2. What is so wrong with a female priest?
The Catholic Faith is seriously dwindling and has been for many years. Faith in general is dwindling, but the Catholic Faith more so than others, and I can see why. While other Faiths such as the Church of England have taken huge steps forwards in order to survive, the Catholic Faith (which in the past, I repeat, has made changes to suit itself - the celibacy thing only became a law in 1139 and the infallibility thing only became strict dogma as late as 1870), refuses point blank to change, at all, despite the whirlwind changes that have occurred in the world in the last hundred years. The emancipation of women to name one such change. In almost every other aspect of our civilisation, huge, massive strides have been taken to ensure equal rights between women and men. It may not always happen, but according to law, women are equally entitled to the same jobs, salaries and legal status as men, and apart from the occasional case, this does happen. Just not in the church. Or at least, not the Catholic church. If you want to be devoutly religious in the Catholic Church, as a woman, you must be content to merely be a nun. Not that there's anything wrong with nuns, they do amazing work, but why can't they say mass? And why must they always be subordinate to a male priest? This is not the only overhaul The Catholic faith needs. If I had my way, (which I never will) Women could be priests, or nuns. Dare I say it, even Pope one day? Just as men can be monks, or priests or Pope. If you really want to go for the celibacy, be a nun or a monk. Priests should be allowed marry, and have children etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with it. The Jews do it, and they've been around longer than Catholics. They heard from God himself. well, the prophets did anyway. The root of what I'm saying is that the Bible (I realise I straying rather close to The Da Vinci Code here, but there is a reason that book struck a nerve, and it wasn't the writing) is a man-made creation which can be interpreted by man in as many ways as there are faiths in the world. Thus far, people tend to interpret it the way that suits their ends best. The church has made many, many changes to it's dogma since it was born, why not now? Pope John Paul II made leaps and bounds towards that. Pope Benedict (personally I'd rather call him Ratzinger, I think it suits him better) seems to be pole vaulting backwards through the centuries.
Having been raised a Catholic, since reaching my late teens I will say that year after year, sometimes week after week, I find more and more reasons to detest the religion that was put on me, and I know hundreds, if not thousands feel the same way. Why should I adhere to rules that are so archaic, do not serve to giving me any feeling of being close to God or whatever spiritual being that exists (if any), do not give me comfort and whose 'agents on earth' do so many deplorable and often evil things? The church, as it is right now, has no place in my life, or the lives of thousands of people. It is simply not relevant.
There was this guy, way back in 1139, an Irish guy as it happens, St Malachy by name, who had this...seizure I suppose, in which he shouted out 112 short Latin phrases, each of which adhere to a list of popes and even some anti-popes. (not sure what an anti-pope is, but fact are facts). Thus far, he has not been wrong. After our 'beloved' Pope Benedict, there is only one name left. It could be that St Malachy was only granted a certain number for whatever reason and there may be many popes after Pope Peter the Roman (the final name on the list), or it could be, as I fear it will be, the end of the Catholic church. According to the prophecy, as is translated, it could also be the end of the world. However, the end of the world or not, if the church continues in it's refusal to change and adapt, I can certainly see it being at the very least the end of the Faith. Can't say I'm overly upset.