Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The difference of heaven and earth.



I am a Catholic. I was baptized and grew up in the teachings of my Roman Catholic Church. But to be truly Catholic also means appreciating all of creation and looking at the world from a universal perspective. It means adopting a holistic outlook that encourages personal growth and social transformation. It means not being afraid to ask questions about faith, about the Church, or about the world in which we live.

This saddens me, but every time I turn around it seems that there is a new crisis facing my Church that erodes or reflects poorly on its values, standards, and integrity, especially of its leaders. Take for example the case involving a nine year old girl in Brazil who had been raped by his step father and got pregnant because of it.

Know what happened? A Brazilian bishop excommunicated the girl’s mother and the doctor who performed the procedure, but did nothing to censure or punish the rapist! I think before thinking about excommunication, it is necessary for the church to protect the girl’s innocent life and bring her back to a level of humanity. The church should have defended the girl, hugged and held her tenderly to make her feel that they were on her side.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and now my church appears to the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensible and devoid of mercy...

Another issue, which I am sure everyone by now has heard about, is the latest news of Pope Benedict XVI visit to Africa where he courted the ire of the people of Cameroon by denouncing the use of condoms.

But of course, condoms are certainly an important issue in a country where more than five percent of the adult population has tested positive for HIV! But the pontiff said in his speech that AIDS is a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms. He said condoms even aggravate the problem. Instead, the Pope suggested that to overcome it, people should have spiritual and human awakening, and be a friend for those who suffer.

Yes sure, we can make friends with people living with AIDS, (PLWA). But to really help them, we need to help them secure the necessary medication, and help promote the use of condoms.

Is the Pope living in the 21st century?

Alain Fogue, a PLWA worker, remark: “He lives in Heaven and we are on earth.”

7 comments:

Tracey said...

i'm sorry for Catholics (my step father is strict catholic) But the pope is a prat! Religion causes so many problems through out the world, what's wrong with quietly believing in what you want, but don't preach to others?
As usual, very interesting and thought provoking, Odette!
Love Tracey x x x

Anonymous said...

separate faith and spirituality with organized religion. the institutional church is not infallible, forgive me, its rules created by people prone to human weaknesses, including stupid interpretations, no matter how good the intentions. faith and practice arent always in conformity. precisely, what the institutional church and its leaders aren't always to be believed nor followed blindly. i remain to be in the roman catholic church because its part of my history and upbringing, but i definitely do not and cannot condone its actions that i deem contrary to my own values and beliefs. same can be said with other organized religions.

joy oh/pleasing (still posting as anonymous hahaha)

blue_butterfly said...

Pleasing 410,
hello again! yes, you are very right. our church is not perfect, but then Christ is, so let's just fasten our eyes on him...

blue_butterfly said...

Tracey,
for the pope to suggest that condom use contributes to the HIV problem is not merely contrary to scientific evidence and global consensus, it contributes to fueling HIV infection and its consequences - sickness and death.
so i think such outrageous comments are not appropriate coming from the highest office in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, esp. since the catholics in africa rely on the spiritual guidance of the Pope.
but that doesnt make me hate my religion nor the pope, but i think his remark is insulting to the tireless efforts of committed scientific, public health and human rights leaders around the world to protect the poorest of the poor from HIV. infection

Tracey said...

I have another award for you Odette if you want to come and get it!
xxx

Angry American said...

I don't hold much stock in organized religions. Personally, I've chucked a lot of what I learned as a christian out the window. I'll give one example why. Let's take only the religions based on the bible. Every single one, whether they follow the old testament or the new or both makes no difference.

They're all based entirely on "MAN" interpreting words written by "MEN" through the translation of three languages. In many cases, there were no hebrew words to translate directely from some latin words. This was also the case with some hebrew words that have no exact english translation. How the hell can you possibly base your entire belief system on a book when it doesn't even have all the words of the original two languages it was translated from? And, that's only the tip of the iceburg. There are many things about the sources for the modern bible that nobody will ever know for sure.

"So what?" you might ask. It's simple. It still boils down to men's opinions of other men's opinions about words writtin by other men. Including the words that were purposly left out as well as words supposedly spoken by god himself. Where's the audio or video recordings of these things? You show me some and I'll STFU.

So many times, I've heard somebody say "oh everything we need to know is in the bible" BULLSHIT!!! I just want to bitch slap them upside the head. There are so many complicated problems that have all been created by humans and our technology that aren't in the bible.

In fact, what if we took any average joe off the street, and tossed him into the "Way Back Machine" and sent him back to biblical times? Can you even imagine what they would do to him when they saw him with our current fassion, cell phone, iPod, paper and plastic cards of all kinds, photo IDs, etc?

My guess is, he might end up being stoned to death or spend the rest of his life in prison. Because, every time he opened his mouth and talked about things like cars, TVs, PCs, the internet, etc, he'd be convincing them, more and more, that he's been sent by satan or IS satan.

There are also so many things that we now know and continue to study that are either only touched on, or left out of the bible entirely. Tell me, how the hell can the bible have all our answers? The more we learn, the more we find out we don't know jack sh*t about the universe. Where in the bible is this problem alone explained?

My point is, there are so many things in the world that so many religions totally ignore or twist into opinions that these things are evil. When it comes to religions (psychotic extremists and brainwashed terrorists not included), one man's evil is another man's stairway to heaven. But no one religion, or one book on earth, has all the answers. I don't care who said what or who wrote what in which book.

ALL!!! religions are missing important pieces of this puzzle. And, that's what we're all going to be stuck with untill god or jesus or whomever comes down from heaven and tells us otherwise.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

blue_butterfly said...

Tracey,
Thanks for the new award!!! tsup, tsup...!

AA,
heeeeeeeeeeey, i didn't know you knew stuff i know for certain you dont know. but now i know better... Lol!

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