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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:20 PM

The best choice for pope? A nun.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-best-choice-for-pope-a-nun/2013/02/15/83c8be2e-76c6-11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: February 15

In giving up the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was brave and bold. He did the unexpected for the good of the Catholic Church. And when it selects a new pope next month, the College of Cardinals should be equally brave and bold. It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff.

Now, I know this hope of mine is the longest of long shots. I have great faith in the Holy Spirit to move papal conclaves, but I would concede that I may be running ahead of the Spirit on this one. Women, after all, are not yet able to become priests, and it is unlikely that traditionalists in the church will suddenly upend the all-male, celibate priesthood, let alone name a woman as the bishop of Rome.

Nonetheless, handing leadership to a woman — and in particular, to a nun — would vastly strengthen Catholicism, help the church solve some of its immediate problems and inspire many who have left the church to look at it with new eyes.

Consider, first, what constitutes the church’s strongest claim on public respect and affection. It is not its earthly power, the imposing beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica or even its determination to preserve its doctrine whole. Rather, the church impresses even its critics, and inspires its most loyal and most dissident members, because so many in its ranks walk the talk of the Gospel. Hundreds of thousands of nuns, priests, brothers and laypeople devote their lives to the poor, the marginalized, refugees, the disabled and the homeless, simply because Christ instructed them — us — to do so. Matthew 25:40 contains what may be the most constructive words ever written: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these my brethren, you did for me.”

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Reply The best choice for pope? A nun. (Original post)
cbayer Feb 2013 OP
goldent Feb 2013 #1
cbayer Feb 2013 #5
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #15
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #23
DreamGypsy Feb 2013 #2
cbayer Feb 2013 #4
skepticscott Feb 2013 #3
SheilaT Feb 2013 #6
cbayer Feb 2013 #7
SheilaT Feb 2013 #8
cbayer Feb 2013 #9
skepticscott Feb 2013 #11
SheilaT Feb 2013 #12
cbayer Feb 2013 #13
skepticscott Feb 2013 #14
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #16
cbayer Feb 2013 #17
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #18
cbayer Feb 2013 #19
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #20
cbayer Feb 2013 #21
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #22
cbayer Feb 2013 #24
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #25
okasha Feb 2013 #33
cbayer Feb 2013 #34
ButterflyBlood Feb 2013 #39
cbayer Feb 2013 #41
skepticscott Feb 2013 #10
ButterflyBlood Feb 2013 #38
dimbear Feb 2013 #26
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #32
goldent Feb 2013 #35
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #27
cbayer Feb 2013 #28
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #30
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #29
cbayer Feb 2013 #42
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #31
goldent Feb 2013 #36
ButterflyBlood Feb 2013 #37
goldent Feb 2013 #47
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #40
okasha Feb 2013 #44
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #45
goldent Feb 2013 #46
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #48
ButterflyBlood Feb 2013 #49
cbayer Feb 2013 #43

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:34 PM

1. Interesting idea.

Of course it has a snowball's chance in hell

I read that the pope doesn't by law have to be a cardinal. Is being a priest sufficient, or even a deacon?

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Response to goldent (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:24 PM

5. I think you are right that it's got no chance of happening.

I had also hear that the pope doesn't have to come from the ranks of cardinal, but he probably will.

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Response to goldent (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:52 PM

15. The Pope can even be a lay person .............

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:02 PM

23. But he has to be made a bishop before becoming Pope

Can. 332 §1. The Roman Pontiff obtains full and supreme power in the Church by his acceptance of legitimate election together with episcopal consecration. Therefore, a person elected to the supreme pontificate who is marked with episcopal character obtains this power from the moment of acceptance. If the person elected lacks episcopal character, however, he is to be ordained a bishop immediately.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P16.HTM


And they've made very clear that they don't regard women as being able to be made deacons, let alone bishops.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:47 PM

2. Yes. Executive Director of Nuns on the Bus organization ...

... Sister Simone Campbell.

?uuid=nVvdGrruEeGIZ-z2y3k17w

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:23 PM

4. She'd be my first choice.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:22 PM

3. So I guess this means

that those priests raping little boys were....

And really..Dionne is just the latest delusionist in a long line, who wants desperately for the Catholic Church to be something other than what makes it the Catholic Church. Lots of churches and lots of secular organizations help people. He needs more than wishful thinking to justify all the baggage the RCC brings with it.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:23 PM

6. Ummm, I wouldn't be the least bit

surprised if the Catholic Church actually has it in writing somewhere about the Pope needing certain specific genitalia.

I tend to get very frustrated by this kind of daydreaming. Yeah, it would be nice if a woman become Pope. ( Popess? Popette? What would we call her?) Anyway, to say it has a snowball's chance is to vastly overestimate the possibility. This is a church that not only won't let women be priests, but clings to a totally outmoded notion of mandatory celibacy as well as the idiocy of Papal Infallibility.

Quite frankly, and I'm speaking as one raised Catholic here, the Catholic Church will never change so long as people who want it to change actually stay in the church. If those people became priests, and eventually some became cardinals and in the far distant future one of them became the Pope, then and only then will there be significant reform. Meanwhile, those who want serious reform are simply not part of the structure that can bring about change.

Heck, just think about where we'd be if not for the Protestant Reformation. We'd still all be living in a feudal system. The sun would still revolve around the earth. We'd have absolutely no evidence based science, would know nothing of evolution and so on. On the up side, we wouldn't have industrialization, and without modern sanitation and vaccines, the world population would be perhaps a billion, tops, so no global warming.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:35 PM

7. He realizes that it is just his fantasy at this point, but makes a great case

for how it could put the catholic church back on track.

I doubt we will see it in our lifetime, but giving nuns more opportunity for leadership positions would be a good first step.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:58 PM

8. The problem, in my very humble opinion,

about saying this sort of thing, even when recognizing it's a fantasy, is that it encourages Catholics to stay in the Church, deluding themselves that somehow their (liberal) presence matters or will change anything. It won't. I think they should leave. That's just my opinion.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:05 PM

9. Well, I disagree with you pretty completely there.

It's not going away and the only way to change it is from within.

Their liberal presence does matter. As he points out, it's almost as if there are two RCC's - the one run by men and the one run by women.

His point, which I agree with, is that the one run by women exemplifies what they should be about, while the one run by men has become corrupted beyond recognition.

I don't think anyone should be told that they should just leave an organization that has both good and bad, particularly if they are working hard for the side of the good.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:12 PM

11. You keep showing that warm and fuzzy picture

Perhaps you'd care to share with us all of the real, concrete reforms in the Catholic Church that your busfulla nuns has brought about. What significant policies and practices of the Catholic Church have they gotten changed?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:13 PM

12. I would have more confidence in the change from within

if I had seen any signs of it in the last fifty years. Certainly, we can disagree about this. I am under the impression that our soon to be retired Pope has said in effect that Vatican II went too far. It's clear that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church remains conservative to the point of being reactionary. They absolutely refuse to consider women as real people, think that celibate old men (too many of whom have been practicing pedophiles) can tell everyone else exactly how to live their lives.

There comes a time when beating one's head against the wall should cease. It does not hurt the wall at all. But the head, now that's a different story.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:16 PM

13. I heard an interesting analysis yesterday that noted what a profound change it is that

this pope is stepping down. As this hasn't happened for 100's of years, they pointed out that this could set a precedent that could be a game changer in terms of the church becoming somewhat more flexible and adaptable.

I have known too many very good catholics to paint them all with the same brush. While it won't come easily, I believe the institution can change.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:31 PM

14. "Profound change" based on what?

It's not a "change" in any substantive policy or doctrine of the Catholic Church, and certainly nothing that bespeaks greater liberalism in any way whatsoever.

Instead of just posting unjustified fuzzies, how about actually providing their evidence, analysis and logical arguments showing why this is going to make the church "more flexible and adaptable"

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:05 PM

16. Care to name some organizations that have been changed from the inside that became better??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:10 PM

17. Really? You are not aware of a single one?

Let's just keep it in the religion arena for simplicity sake and start with the Episcopal Church.

Have you never been part of an organization that you helped changed from the inside? If that's the case, then that's a shame.

That's something I spent most of my professional career doing.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:20 PM

18. You made the statement that they needed to stay so they could change it from the inside

I did not make that statement
I asked for example and you gave me one ......... What shape was the Episcopal Church in that they needed to change?? ............

I do not think it matters if I have been part of an organization that needed to change to survive in the modern world for all I did was ask a question and made no statement where I needed to explain myself

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:34 PM

19. Well, they had policies about women and GLBT that have been changed, to start with.

And they changed them from inside, though it wasn't without a fight. It wasn't about survival, it was about correcting policies and positions that some members thought were wrong.

I am quite surprised that you have never been part of such an organization. Are you the member of any organizations at this time that you feel could use some change?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #19)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:26 PM

20. From what I have read about the Church they have for the most part been in front of the curve

All the organizations I have belonged to have been perfect .........

For the most part I followed my own drummer

The Roman Catholic Church is so entrenched it will take a major event for them to change
Either mass exodus or the second coming where Jessa bans them from preaching the word of god


I am reminded of a book I read were the second coming occurred and the Catholic Church refused to heed the warnings of the daughter of god. I can not remember the name............

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:40 PM

21. I wrote another post on this, but you may not have seen it.

I heard an analysis last night of the pope's resignation. It is a major event because it's so unprecedented. He has basically paved the way for future pope's to step down for a variety of reasons, which I think is a good thing.

To say you follow your own drummer, Angry Dragon, is an understatement.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:55 PM

22. To follow your own drummer is the only true path

To let someone else do the drumming only lets you follow their path

Other Popes have quit so it has precedence
The problems with him quitting is that there are many questions of why.
He does not look well or is is it because he is afraid of being tried for crimes .........
Too many secrets in the Catholic Church.
All I know is that if I had the true path to god and salvation I would open all the doors so everyone could investigate it. No questions would go unanswered. Everything would be open because I would have nothing to hide. That is one way I judge a religion.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:05 PM

24. Technically, it's not unprecedented, but it has been hundreds of years.

Agree that there are many questions, but if he is being pressured out because of his complicity or lack of action in the crimes committed by the church, that's a good thing, imo. There is an opportunity for change here. I don't hold out a lot of hope, but we shall see.

They don't have the true path. IMO, no one has the true path, including believers and non-believers. Those that think they do are only fooling themselves.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:10 PM

25. You hold the true path inside of you become one with the universe

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Response to cbayer (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:10 PM

33. Stepping outside the religious arena

the Democratic Party.

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Response to okasha (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:18 PM

34. No kidding, and just about every other organization out there.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:11 AM

39. Here's the two big issues I see with the example:

The first is that the Episcopal Church actually has a semi-democratic structure, laity are allowed to vote on issues and have a say. The Catholic structure is very specifically top down with no input from the laity. It's actually a similar form to the Soviet Union's government, and we saw plenty of Soviet defectors, but no one insisting that it could be reformed from within.

The second is that if you add all the reforms people want to the Catholic Church, you basically have the Episcopal Church. The difference becomes pointless. Imagine if the Republicans and Democrats adopted the exact same platform. What's the point? I guarantee if that happened you'd see tons of conservative schisms. Now I know most liberal Catholics probably wouldn't be bothered by this, but you then basically will be left with a church just the same as the Episcopal Church. So why bother with that instead of becoming Episcopalian?

This is like someone insisting on trying to reform the Republican Party instead of just becoming a Democrat.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:20 AM

41. Well, I guess we can split hairs on the internal structure and the mechanism/routes used

for change, but that would just provide excuses for doing nothing, imo.

If being part of the RCC is what is important to an individual, then so be it. If they choose to remain a part of it, support the parts they believe in and challenge those they don't, then so be it.

When I find people preaching to catholics about what they should or should not do or which denominations they should choose, I find that pretty arrogant.

I know you looked at it and made your own decision. I doubt you were goaded or coerced. Everyone is entitled to that.

This reminds me of the shelves and shelves of self-help books one sees. Everyone that has figured it out for themselves thinks they have the solution for everyone else, when, in fact, the only problems they have solved are their own. That makes those shelves and shelves of books utterly useless, imo.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:08 PM

10. Thank you...and no need to be humble about it

Your opinion is spot-on.

It's always been deeply ironic that when you ask people like this why they don't just leave the Catholic Church for one that is more in tune with human equality and decency, they say something like "I've been a Catholic all my life..I can't imagine being anything else", even though that's exactly what they're imagining.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:06 AM

38. I agree with you completely

I made the decision to leave a long time ago, and I have never regretted it.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:12 PM

26. To answer your question, Papessa, which see. n/t

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:46 PM

32. it does

Can. 1024 Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3O.HTM


And that, combined with the requirement (see reply #23) for anyone elected to be made a bishop before they become Pope puts the kibosh on any dreams of a nun being made Pope. It would require the rewriting of the basic law of the church.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:48 PM

35. I think saying an organization like the RRC cannot have change from within

ignores history. I can understand why it may seem this way, because change is slow and we tend to look at things over such a small time period - we think 20 years ago is a long time, even though the RCC is 2000 years old.. But just fifty years ago Masses were said in Latin and you would never see a women in the Sanctuary in the way you do today. That's just my opinion.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:14 PM

27. Or, Bill Maher

Like he said, everybody already knows he doesn't like kids. And, he'll bring his own puff of white smoke.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:15 PM

28. Well, he would definitely carry on the misogynistic history.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:17 PM

30. True

but at least little boys will be safe

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:16 PM

29. Why not just end it all

People don't need the church to tell them how to live. And with all the pedophiles, it's time they closed shop. Sell the Vatican to pay their victims what is due.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:22 AM

42. Lol, like church suicide?

People generally don't need anyone to tell them how to live, including people who are not members of churches.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:38 PM

31. Obviously, I can't say what current practices are, however, that the pope be male...

...supposedly was literally checked out, as shown in the Borgias television show where the chosen pope has to sit down on a special chair and be felt up (under his gown) by a chosen acolyte who confirmed to the waiting and watching cardinals that, yes, indeed, he was male. This was done because of widespread belief in the myth of Pope Joan--a woman who, the story went, disguised herself as a man and was made Pope. This story has been pretty well destroyed and proven to be fiction, however it was widely believed by laymen and church alike back in the day.

I will add that while there are references to the above practice, there are none that can absolutely confirm it. And as none of us here, I presume, are Cardinals and in on the current rites, rituals, etc. of a chosen Pope, there's no saying if this practice, if it did happen, still happens. But all signs point to the RCC as still arguing that as Jesus and the apostles were all male (never mind Mary there...), so must the leaders of the church be, the Pope most especially.

This has long been their argument against women priests; the RCC is just too misogynistic; they find it impossible to make the small leap of letting women be priests; I see no way for them, even in fantasyland, making the larger leap of letting one be a Pope.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:42 PM

36. Keep in mind that it has been less than 100 years

that women were allowed to vote in the US (and it took men to decide to allow it). It may seem crazy now, but it was not that many generations ago. And not much before that, people were allowed to own other people, as property. So I'm really mystified as to how people believe that changes cannot occur in the RCC. The way it tends to work is this - women will not be able to become priests until the day they can. There is plenty of scripture that can be used to support it - it is just a matter of time, It will occur within 100 years, in my opinion. I understand that to many here, that seems like an eternity, but civilization will continue long after we are all gone.

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Response to goldent (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:05 AM

37. Doesn't matter to me, I'm not belonging to any organization that doesn't treat women as equals now

I don't give a shit which church I was raised in. I won't belong to or attend one that doesn't ordain women.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:44 PM

47. That's ok with me. Thank God we have a choice.

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Response to goldent (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:49 AM

40. But it's a uniquely self-sustaining system of groupthink

The cardinals under 80 appoint the Pope; the Pope then appoints the new cardinals.

The current Pope says it's impossible for the church to ordain women:

The church has 'no authority' to ordain women. The point is not that we are saying we don't want to, but that we can't

http://ncronline.org/news/women-religious/pope-has-no-authority-ordain-women


The previous pope said it too.

Every single cardinal eligible to vote for the next pope was appointed either by one of those 2 popes. Saying "it will happen when it happens" is really no use. A useful thing would be to say "I'm leaving the RCC until those in charge fix it, by: ordaining women, dropping their opposition to contraception, dropping their homophobia, stopping the cover-up of pedophilia ...".

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:01 AM

44. Radical change has occurred before.

Look at the difference between Pius XII and John XXIII.

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Response to okasha (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:53 PM

45. And look at how recent popes have worked to undo those radical changes....

Also, the focus on most of those radical changes were on services and ceremonies--which I understand meant a lot to Catholics, especially at that time (early 60's). But radical John XXIII was in making services more "friendly" to the laity, he still stopped short of approving contraception or putting an end to celibacy or allowing divorce. And since John XXIII? Fifty years have gone by and church hasn't made any more changes--especially in regards to women, this in spite of women being allowed to fight in the military, being voted in as prime ministers, being world leaders, movers, and shakers.

Still, the Church stays the same on the topic of women as it pretty much always has--and that goes for John XXIII who's most radical change in regards to nuns was to let them wear more comfortable clothing. That, I think says it all. In fifty years, that's as radical as the church has been willing be. Now bishops are attacking nuns for feeding the poor rather than being more vocal against abortion and gays. Sounds like they prefer to undo the "radical" changes that led to independent nuns rather than go forward and pave the way for such nuns to be church leaders.

Yes, radical change can occur--but rarely does it occur when things are controlled from the top down rather than from the bottom up. You might as well argue the trickle down theory of economics. It's in place to keep things status quo, not to change them.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:36 PM

46. In the world of governance and politics

the impossible has an interesting habit of becoming possible overnight. I believe we had a US president that made quite a change in his attitude towards gay marriage.

There is no doubt in my mind that changes in the role of women in the church are coming. I think priesthood is inevitable, after which the steps to bishop, cardinal, and pope will be smaller. But keep in mind, my prediction is that priesthood for women will occur within 100 years (I'm still hoping it occurs in my lifetime, but acknowledge that it might not).

Regarding my leaving the RRC, it has a snowball's chance in hell.

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Response to goldent (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:16 PM

48. Look at contraception

It's 45 years since Humanae Vitae. A commission had recommended that contraception, for married couples, would be acceptable; but the Pope decided it wasn't, and that attitude had ruled the official stance ever since (there's recently been the slight "use condoms if one of you is HIV positive" exception, but that's for health), despite it being obvious that the vast majority of Catholics want to use it at some time (and, when they can obtain and afford contraception, they do). Catholic popes have stuck to what their predecessor said; they just hate to acknowledge that a pope can be wrong.

If most Catholics are like you, and say you won't leave the church, whatever faults stay in place, what are the chances of a pope saying "this absolute ban on ordaining women, which we've had for nearly 2000 years - all these popes and cardinals, who appointed us, they were wrong all along! We should have been sharing our power with another half of our society. Silly us"? The problem is that they see no need to evolve, if there's no pressure from people leaving.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:05 PM

49. Exactly. If you take leaving off the table, you have no way to force change.

The Catholic Church is not a democracy, so it's not like the liberals can just elect liberal cardinals and thus a liberal Pope. The only way to vote is to vote with your feet. If you're not willing to do that, "working for change" is just pissing into the wind.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:24 AM

43. I remember that scene and had no idea they went to that extreme to make sure

they weren't getting a female infiltrator, lol.


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