Monday, 29 June 2015

Catholic Church Just Doesn't Get It!

Anthony Colin Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney. Inconceivable tht he would not have approved the letter.
Catholic church writes to companies that support same-sex marriage | World news | The Guardian

The Catholic Church really doesn't get it.

It's not just the paedophile priests and nuns, abuse of vulnerable adults, financial corruption, support for autocratic right-wing dictatorships, the sale of 'confiscated' children, the systematic, sometimes brutal, cover-ups, the habitual avoidance of responsibilities for their crimes and casual hypocrisy of the church and it's clerics, bad though they are, that are causing people to vote with their feet and stay away from church.

A recent survey, conducted by a concerned Catholic priest in the USA, found that a major cause of people leaving the faith was the opposition of the church to equality issues such as equal marriage rights for gay people, female reproductive rights and female priests (although what women would want to be a minister in a church of misogynistic bigots is beyond me).

The massive rejection of Catholic moral authority, as seen in the recent Republic of Ireland referendum on same-sex marriage, signifies that what people are now rejecting overwhelmingly is not so much the stink of corruption and hypocrisy but what the Church itself stands for. What people are rejecting in droves is the dogma and doctrines of the Church itself, especially the sanctimonious condemnation and hate for anyone who isn't one of them. People are rejecting the notion that somehow the Christian churches (not just the Catholic one) own the institution of marriage, just as they would like to own education, law, politics, science, literature, theatre - everything in fact, at least in so far as it affects every detail of our lives.

The extent to which the Catholic Church has failed to understand why it is losing the battle for support, can be seen in this crass and counterproductive attempt to influence moves to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia. In a crude attempt to threaten and bully businesses who had supported, or were thinking of supporting, a change to the Marriage Act, the business manager for the Sydney Roman Catholic Archdiocese wrote a letter worthy of any protection racketeer, pointing out:

[The Catholic Church is a] significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international... [many] employees, customers, partners, suppliers [belong to the Catholic faith]... You are publicly supporting a strategic, political and well-funded campaign designed to pressure the federal government into changing the Marriage Act. I wonder whether you have questioned whether it is the role of a corporation such as yours to be participating in such an ­important matter that impacts all of Australian society now and into the future. For corporations to speak on such issues on behalf of shareholders, employees, clients/customers, suppliers and other stakeholders is indeed overstepping their purpose and is to be strongly resisted.

It's inconceivable that this letter didn't cross the desk of the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, who replaced Cardinal Pell, currently living it up in Rome in his luxury apartment in an upmarket suburb, provided and furnished with money from the Vatican whose finances he was brought in to sort out.

The letter came as a response to the public endorsement of an open letter posted on the website of the gay right advocacy group, AME by the big four Australian banks, McDonalds, KPMG, Twitter, Qantas, Telstra and Airbnb.

It seems though that it may have been counter-productive, as firms see the commercial benefit in being as dissociated from sanctimonious Catholic bigotry as possible and instead associated with enlightened Humanism. 72% of Australian marriages are now civil marriages and even 67% of Australian Catholics supported same-sex marriage in a survey last year, yet the Catholic Church still feels it has the right to interfere and meddle not even as a representative of a majority of its members, but as advocates of bigotry, hate, division and dogma.

What the Catholic Church just doesn't get, is that modern Humanism is growing and developing, and above all moving forward, as old dogmas are examined and found wanting, to be replaced by better, more inclusive, less hateful and less divisive social ethics. Modern Humanism is able to do this with consummate ease because it doesn't require adherence to dogmas and doctrines because it is not a cult requiring an in-group and out-group mentality. The only test of a 'good' humanist ethic is if it increases the sum-total of human happiness, creates a more secure society in a balanced environment, and reduces strife and hate.

There is no such thing as a victimless crime. What consenting adults do in private is no concern of anyone but the participants. Seeking to impose control over the bedroom activities of consenting adults, using the threat of punishment by an imaginary invisible friend from a Bronze Age superstitions, simply doesn't work on the vast majority of educated people nowadays. The Catholic Church is caught between ditching its dogma - and so ceasing to be Catholic - or continuing on its present road to irrelevance and the long-overdue refuse tip of old, irrelevant and risible ancient superstitions.

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