It’s clear that BP and the Catholic Church are in a frantic battle with each other to win the ‘PR disaster’ Olympics.
While BP has done an incredible job – flooding the gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of oil and trading a mass murderer for oil rights – the gold medal ultimately has to go to the Vatican.
Yesterday they announced ‘tough new rules’ to combat corruption in the church that neatly equated the institutionalized sexual abuse of minors with the ordainment of female priests - apparently both ‘grave crimes’ that ‘equally defile’ the Catholic church.
It’s just further evidence of what a corrupt, obsolete and despicable racket the Catholic church has become. That old goat Ratzinger – a former Hitler Youth member, anti-Semite (and here) and champion of kiddie-fiddlers – is steadfastly leading the world’s oldest corporation into a black hole of moral and spiritual irrelevance from which it will (hopefully) never emerge.
The problem with the Vatican’s statement isn’t so much that they’re still against female priests – I know plenty of people who take that position, even if I totally disagree with it.
It’s that they blithely considered ordaining women to be a ‘crime’ equal to sexual abuse. It completely undermines any attempt they’ve made to make amends for their wrongs (decades of covering up institutionalized pedophilia) – and neatly reminds us that the ‘modern’ Catholic church remains irreconcilably medieval.
I happen to be an enormous fan of female priests. The reverend of our church is a woman – and she’s the one who helped me reconcile my skepticism with my spirituality.
Although I remain an unrepentant reader of Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, the Anglican church has become more a part of my life now than it ever was when I was studying at a theological university, or even going out with a girl who had ambitions to be ordained.
This is entirely because of the amazing attitude, wisdom and kindness of our (female) priest, who has made the church more relevant to me today that it's ever been, even if my skeptical attitudes towards religion might seem irreconcilable with it. If her work is any indication of the potential female Catholic priests might have, the Vatican should have been ordaining them decades ago.
But they’re not – and that’s why the Catholic church is doomed.
Ask anybody with an interest in organized religion and they’ll tell you that it’s women who drive the church forward – they make up the bulk of the congregation, and the largest portion of the active church community.
In fact, almost every church I know is fighting a constant battle to attract and keep male members.
In not recognizing the vital role women play in modern religion – and in refusing to allow them to become officially recognized leaders within it – the Catholic church is doing itself yet another great disservice (just one more in a litany of own goals they’ve scored recently.)
Shame on the Vatican and shame on Ratzinger.