Perusing the Internet I glanced at an article about the recent conclave of Cardinals to choose the new Pope. The article said the Pope doesn’t necessarily have to be a priest.
While partaking of a lenten fish fry (St. Florians’ famous fish fry) I asked the pastor if it was true.
He said ‘yes’ – under certain conditions.
I said: “I volunteer.”
Astonished, he responded: “You’re out of your mind.”
Shaken, not stirred, I continued in that vein and he asked doubiously if I wanted to run (his) parish. I think he needs a sheepdog.
Be that as it may, you could do worse then having me as your next Pope. As a student of history I understand that all institutions become corrupted over time and some become so utterly corrupted that they turn, like a snake swallowing its own tail, on the very purpose of their founding.
I also understand that “The True Church” is not a thing built of brick and mortar but “The True Church” is a thing built wholely of flesh.
I am confident the Roman Catholic Church will survive the current crisis – not that reform is immediately in the offing or some Superhero will step forward, but because Christ the unassailable is Head. It is no ordinary institution. You can condemn the rites and dogma and you can condemn the individual men of flesh who run the church, but you’ll find no fault in Christ.
In teaching World History at Marquette University the Jesuits were unabashed in retelling the tales of the many church scandals that rocked the RCC over the past two millennia.
Scandals are good.
When a scandal sends outrage coursing through the populace it indicates a moral scruple is still quite lively and present within that populace. What you see is a scandal, but what you might not see is the moral scruple it mirrors, antagonizes and provokes. It is a bit odd to take a degree of comfort in a scandal, but there it is.
For various reasons, I have not been a member of the RCC since the age of 12, but I fully understand the purpose of this august cultural institution. I also know the difference between the ideal and the real.
I have no personal complaint about my treatment within its walls or by its people as a child. The priests, nuns, brothers and missionaries were aloof, decent and to the point of the task at hand, and that task was to give each and every child a Conscience, a Moral Compass, and an Ideal Code of Right Conduct. If they were wrong in doing so, then they were wrong. I would not be the person I am without them.
The imagination soars! I would do many wonderful things as Pope.
One criticisim I have of past Popes is that they never understood their chief rival for the people’s affection – the Mass Media.
Propaganda is a neutral term and a neutral technology. Propaganda can be used for good or evil. The RCC’s core mission is the propagation of the faith. The Mass Media is junk food for the mind and the children are starving for something better.
With the exception of The Creation itself, all things are ruled by cause and effect. The current infestation of the Church by pædophiles and feminists may well be rooted in the aftermath of World War II, a war that left millions of widows and orphans.
The Church is right and the Church is wrong.
The Priesthood is right and the Priesthood is wrong.
But both have their place in The Kingdom of Heaven.
“The True Church” is not a thing of brick and mortar.
I, Pope? You could do worse.