11.5.07

If You're Not In, You're OUT!

Apparently Pope Benedict XVI would like to see me excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

"According to church law, those who play a material role in an abortion should not receive the sacrament of holy communion. In effect, they have automatically excommunicated themselves from sharing in communion."

I've donated money to keep abortions safe and legal, I've insured the safe passage of women into Planned Parenthood offices, and I will continue to do anything I can to keep abortions safe and legal despite the warnings concerning my eternal soul by the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the branch of the Church formerly known as The Inquisition), Pope Benedict XVI.

There's a really good NY Times article on Benedict XVI (from April 11, 2007) here.

I can't say as being excommunicated would effect me much, unless Benedict XVI (it's taking all of my willpower not to write "Ratszie," btw) decides to start another crusade starting with the excommunicated. I don't really believe much of the dogma of Catholicism. I don't believe in heaven or hell, so the fear of eternal damnation isn't effective on me, and that's what is what is supposed to keep me in line. I don't believe Jesus was actually the son of God, I don't believe Mary was a virgin, I don't believe the host and wine transubstantiate into blood and flesh, I haven't taken communion in I don't know HOW long, I certainly don't believe the Pope is infallible, and I don't believe Jesus would approve of all the pomp, wealth, and vainglory of the Catholic church, much less the violence committed throughout history in Her name.

I'm a pretty crappy example of a Catholic, really.

However, I was baptized Catholic (and "once a Catholic, always a Catholic..."), I was raised Catholic, my parents were both Catholic. THEIR parents were Catholic. My grandparents left the Old Country because they were Catholic and Hitler made them uneasy, I love churches - especially gothic cathedrals (although the nouveau Coventry Cathedral is pretty amazing), I believe Jesus may have been the singlemost wonderful and loving human being to have ever lived, I love the sound of a mass in Latin, I believe people should treat each other with kindness and understanding, I know I'm not perfect and never can be, but that doesn't mean I can't continue to strive to be so until the day I die; and I think the Church has done a lot of good where secular government has fallen short, ie: making humanitarian efforts because it is right and good to do so, not for political gain. But, just like any human being, the Church has failings and is imperfect.

But I digress.

So back to Benedict's condemnation of people who've had abortions and those of us who support them. I'll never agree that a woman who has been raped should have to carry to term if she chooses not to. And as long as there is rape, I'll NEVER agree that a woman will have to prove that she was raped before attaining an abortion. OMG the idea...it makes me physically sick. Therefore, abortions should be safe and legal in all cases. Why a woman chooses not to carry to term is none of my business, nor is it anyone else's. She has her reasons, and, contrary to what some believe, choosing abortion is NOT an easy choice. It's not like, "Hey, I think I'll go get those cute shoes I saw in the window of Payless, then get an abortion because I don't want to get fat." And, if that is the woman's reason, she really shouldn't be having kids anyway, but sterilization of the stupid is another blog entry altogether.

So, Ratzing, er, Benedict, you and I will never see eye to eye on this issue. I realize that you are trying to reestablish the power of the Church and are fighting the widespread secularization that has occurred over the last 75 years, but throwing the word "excommunication" around doesn't have the same clout it once did. We aren't living in the middle ages anymore. John Paul II acted the well-played role of shepherd and diplomat and was extremely well-loved. Though you don't seem to care to be loved, you would do well to refrain from losing even more Catholics around the world by living in this century.

PS: I LIKE hearing Cat Stevens pouring from the windows of the Spanish-speaking church around the corner on Sunday mornings. I don't think the congregation speaks much English, but they have Morning Has Broken nailed, and Morning Has Broken is far more moving, IMO, than And Art Thou Come With Us To Dwell.

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