The Catholic Church Is Not a Democracy

Pope Benedict's surprise resignation has set off a frenzy of speculation as to who the next pope will be and what changes he might bring to Catholicism. Benedict was well-known as an enforcer of orthodoxy, cracking down harshly on nuns, supporters of same-sex marriage and other progressive factions within the church, and the beleaguered liberals in Catholicism are hoping that the next pope will bring a change of direction.However, the odds of this are slim. All of the cardinals who'll elect … [Read more...]

The Church Isn’t Too Good at Introspection

AbandonedChurch

While doing research for another post, I came across a slew of articles with a common theme: young people are leaving the Catholic church at a high rate, and the church's apologists are trying to figure out how they can stem this tide.They're not wrong about this, either. A 1999 survey found that only 14% of Catholics born after 1960 say the church is "very important" in their lives, and a 2009 Gallup poll found that church-going among Catholics has declined dramatically since the 1950s. A … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: February 10

Coffee

• No matter how many compromises the Obama administration offers, Catholic bishops just don't want people to have access to birth control.• Beliefnet is afraid of feminism, telling liberal Christian pastor and blogger Kristine Holmgren that she wasn't allowed to use the word in her header or her blog (at which point, to her credit, she broke ties with them).• Astrophysicists have calculated, on the basis of data from NASA's Kepler telescope, that six percent of red dwarf … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Let’s Have A Rousing Welcome for the Pope

Postcards

On a related note to my last post, you've probably heard that the Pope recently took a bold step forward into the 21st century by joining Twitter. This is significant because it marks, to my knowledge, the first time that the Catholic church has ever taken a bold step forward on anything. (He chose the Twitter handle @Pontifex, I assume because @Popehat was already taken.)It's an interesting experiment, but I'm not expecting it to last. It's not just that the Pope's tweets so far have been di … [Read more...]

Reasons to Quit the Catholic Church: A Coda

PopeBenedict

Even though I just published a long list of reasons why good people should leave the Catholic church, it seems like new ones are piling up every time I turn around. Herewith are some of the latest arguments for all people of common sense and conscience to sever their association with this corrupt medieval dictatorship. First of all, via WWJTD?, this jaw-dropping story: Pope Benedict met with and personally blessed Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who's one of the most fe … [Read more...]

What the Bishops Have to Say For Themselves

Ireland's Catholic bishops have released an official statement on the death of Savita Halappanavar, to my surprise. It may well be that the outcry was so great, they felt obligated to respond. If so, it would be a rare instance of the church being swayed by external pressure. However, the statement itself doesn't say anything new or specific. Mostly, it just reiterates the church's stance on abortion, which is this:Where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

My latest column has been posted on AlterNet, 50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church. In it, as you might have guessed from the title, I list fifty arguments for why the Roman Catholic church is a thoroughly immoral organization and an enemy of progress. If this gets a good reception, I'll write a sequel with fifty more! Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:Savita's death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and … [Read more...]

Catholic Bloggers Don’t Understand Catholic Doctrine

Following up on my post about the preventable death of Savita Halappanavar due to anti-choice theology, three Catholic blogs at Patheos have weighed in: "Savita's tragic death could have been avoided", "Savita's Death and Common Sense", "and Savita Halappanavar's Death". All three of them take the same position: that Savita's death was an avoidable and tragic accident, that her life could have been saved in a way consistent with Catholic law. Here's how one of them puts it:Even if you are … [Read more...]

For Savita

Savita Halappanavar is dead, and she shouldn't be. That has to be the beginning and end of anything anyone writes about this. Savita was 31 years old, married, four months pregnant with her first child, a dentist who lived near Galway in Ireland. Last month, she went to the hospital with what she thought were back pains, but the doctors soon determined she was having a miscarriage. In these cases, there's no chance of the fetus surviving, but the mother is at grave risk of infection the longer … [Read more...]

German Catholics, It’s Time to Quit the Church

I've been writing a lot lately about reasons to quit the Catholic church, and judging by the demographic trends in many Western countries, there are a lot of people whose thinking runs along similar lines. I didn't think the church would ever deign to acknowledge its apostates, but it appears that I was wrong. I found this out from reading this story out of Germany, which taught me something I didn't know: in that country, if you officially record your religious affiliation as Protestant, … [Read more...]


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