Posted by: johnhourihan | March 13, 2013

When religious authorities are in a state of sin

I am a Catholic.
And like so many Catholics I believe in my religion. I can recite the Apostles’ Creed and believe every word.
However there is one line that says “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church.” That one is getting more than a little strained, and I am not the only one who thinks that way. Pope John Paul II said pretty much the same thing.
My problem is not with the cannons that tell of what Jesus Christ said we should do, but there are many man-made rules that I have a problem with.
Women being second class citizens of the church, celibacy, and then comes the big one: The seven deadly (cardinal) sins.
I was watching the saga of one pope quitting and the election of another, and I was appalled at so many obese priests, bishops and cardinals.
It made me think of one of the seven major rules of the church: Gluttony. If gluttony is such a deadly sin for all of us, why are there so many obese priests, bishops and cardinals?
And then there is sloth. If these human pasta receptacles would get out of their chairs or off their couches once in awhile and do a little exercise they wouldn’t weigh 300 to 400 pounds. Why is sloth such a major sin for us if they are immune?
It made me begin to think about the others: lust, greed, wrath, envy, and pride.
Pride: I think of the pride it must take in one’s own station in life for an unmarried priest to tell a woman if she cleaned herself up, lost some weight, and made herself more attractive to her husband he might not abuse her so often. And this is what so many priests tell their female parishioners.
Envy: I watched the two factions of the Vatican – the conservatives and liberals – put on a decades long fight over who will get to rule, each one envious of the one who is in control at any given time.
Greed: As half the world is in starvation mode, the Vatican continues to hold on to its billions and billions of dollars and miles of prime land all over the world when its riches could end the starvation of millions of children. If that isn’t greed what is?
And the wrath of the church is wielded in excommunication for those who defend themselves against the man-made half of the church rules. Ask the nuns of the United States who tried to help the state of their fellow women, and were attacked by the Vatican.
And then there is lust. Where do you want to start with that?
Now we have anew pope, and he is most likely trying to figure out how to simplify the religion so that, as the last pope said that sometimes he felt  “it appeared  God was sleeping.”
Here is something to keep in mind while you are simplifying.
Those in authority in the Catholic church make the rules, they enforce the rules against their parishioners with a self-importance that rivals that of the Roman emperors while they themselves break all those rules which the church says are the major sins.
What does that tell those of us who believe the following?

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day, He rose again.
He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

We do not feel we have been told we had to believe in misguided authorities within the church to be good Catholics, especially when they are in a state of sin.



  1. I like catholics. It’s the ones who over indulge themselfs and become cathaholics that have lost their way and still so many follow. They are the lost souls, those who follow.

  2. Oy Vey!

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