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.”