So, there’s a new Pope. I scratched out notes on what exactly to write about the momentous occasion – but is it really a new Pope? I suppose I could talk about how he is just another bigot against same-sex marriage, and gays adopting children – calling it a form of discrimination that would “seriously damage the family.” Or about his complete lack of any kind of reform, also being against the use of contraceptives and abortion. Though one can tell just by beginning to type J-O-R… into google, that there are plenty of other sites and articles beating that horse to death.
No, I want to talk about how he is just another old fart. The facts above really shouldn’t shock anyone; his beliefs aren’t extremist Catholic policy. He holds a system of beliefs right in line with the grumpy, ancient, and dying leadership of the Catholic church. Jorge is 76. You cannot expect fresh, new, and youthful changes from a person that is a part of the old power that pushed the Biblically shady agendas forward in the first place. Damn, I guess that’s the cost of having a religious system that tosses out any kind of democracy in favor of “Divine selection.” It’s totally not a popularity contest if you can claim God told you to vote for him.
In Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, a very ancient vampire named Armand tries to make ties with the main character Louis in order to integrate into a modern world. He fears that he is losing touch, and says “The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that finally kills us.” Armand is old, and he has no understanding of the world of younger men (or vampires). Likewise, the Catholic church, hoping to change its own drowning image needed a Louis, not an Armand. You can’t teach an old Pope new tricks. And that’s really not completely about his age. It has much more to do with the age of the system he is deeply engrossed in and helped to build. Jorge is in no way any kind of liberal or fresh Pope. Just a different dude, same hat.
And yet not a single bit of this matters, because all of the cane rattles and pointy hat waiving in the world won’t change the fact that the Vatican loses control over its flock by the day. A large portion of the Catholic church, 47-54 percent in fact, believe that abortion should she fully legal. On contraceptives? As high as 82 percent of Catholics claim that birth control is “morally acceptable.” The numbers for gay rights come in at 73% for laws prohibiting workplace discrimination, 60% for adoption rights, and 43% for marriage. And those numbers are rising by the day. The power center of the Vatican isn’t losing a fight against the world, but rather its own flock.
The Vatican can have all of the outdated beliefs they want. I really don’t care anymore. The numbers show that their official stance on most issues amounts to little more than the incoherent ramblings of Grandpa about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Pope, your followers just don’t care. Why are so many people still Catholics if they don’t even agree with the foundational values of their own church? I once heard a coworker say about a city equality law, “I’m torn about how to vote. I mean, I support gays having equal rights, but our church (Catholic) is against homosexuality. I don’t know how to vote.” It boggled my mind. Questions about contraceptives thrown toward any Catholic I have ever known are only met with snickers. There is a law in my town that every house must provide a post to tie horses. It may be the law, but no one takes it seriously – a metaphor for Catholic dogma.
So, we really should just not give a collective damn about who they selected for Pope. The proof is in the numbers. It is a bloated, aging organization, dying a little more each day. Bleeding out by way of a majority of its own followers that do not take it seriously. An appropriate way describe it, on this Ides of March. Pope, your Brutus will be irrelevancy. Scientists are on the verge of finding the Higgs Boson particle, putting the Papacy on its way to a metaphoric retirement home.
If nothing else, the youth aren’t buying it, Pope. Maybe because you live in a multi-million dollar city and beg followers for money to feed the poor. You don’t get to puff your chest about a simple life Jorge, when you trade in your apartment for a golden city. Though that shouldn’t slow tithing, let us not forget people when that offering plate is passed at mass to, “Render unto Caesar…”
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