Speaking at daily Mass last Thursday, Pope Francis warned Christians against turning their faith into a rigid ideology.
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology,” he said, according to Radio Vatican. “And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid.
“And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”
Read the rest here.
So ... does the tiger propose to change its own stripes? Check me on this, but if the RCC has been about nothing else, it has been about IDEOLOGY, about dogma, about doctrine and the diktat of the bible, never mind the bullshit it has invented on its own, independent of any other putative "holy text." Indeed, Francis' recent predecessors (Paul VI, JPII, Benedict) were ideologues, plain and simple, and that same ideology gets reflected in people like Rick Santorum, who would turn Washington, DC into Vatican City West, given a chance. Is catholicism supposed to all of a sudden completely reinvent itself, based on "true prayer," as Francis suggests? If so, then they are substituting one brand of snake oil for another.
The sad fact is that, if the catholic church wishes to abandon or deemphasize its own ideology, it might as well tell its people to take the rest of this century off and ask the last guy leaving to turn off the lights.
Without their ideology, their party is over ... and just as well.
I would suggest that he needs to do more than just read his bible; he needs to recognize the ocean of ideology which Vatican City is currently drowning in. If he wants to remove the speck from his followers' eye, he'd better check the log that is his own first.
Log my rear end! It's more like a lumber yard.
Not if we have anything to say about it, it won't!
Loren, what we say will make 'fuck all' difference to the presence, power and influence of the church. Even Josef Stalin couldn't defeat the church when millions of soldiers and citizens were dying in the Fascist onslaught and religion assuaged the fears of those facing imminent death in battle. The U.S.S.R was an Atheist state and following it's demise there has been a resurgence of Christianity and Islam. The old superpower is gone just like it's predecessor, Imperial Russia, while the church remains and has become even more powerful and influential.
The church will remain for as long as the earth can continue to support our species and only with our demise will it cease to exist.
Sadly, I agree, Napoleon.
There is an enormous difference between the Soviet Union of half a century ago and what's going on now, and that difference, from where I sit, is the internet. That kind of (relatively) free, uncensored, and available information has caused a great deal of the breakdown in religious authority that we see currently. I suspect it's a large part of the reason why atheist organizations like A|N and so many others aren't just around but flourish the way they do.
If the death of religion isn't already a fait accompli, it's because we're still young on the learning and growth cycle. Atheism as a concept has been around for a while, but atheism nurtured and enhanced by the internet is a pretty new phenomenon, even as science is still overhauling religion after roughly four centuries of practical existence. I still think we're talking about a century at minimum before religion in the first world can be reduced to more irritation than serious threat, but I think it remains a possibility, so long as the means of free and unfettered communication represented by the internet remains available. In places like Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, it may be a lot longer, though religion's loss of influence in the West may catalyze its disintegration elsewhere. Honestly, I don't know.
My sense is that the possibility exists ... and to the minor degree that I can, I support that possibility.
I think some of the countries you've mentioned, Iran, Pakistan, etc. and also China see the threat of internet exposure, which is why those governments have bans on internet usage.
I was irritated a few years ago when Google caved into Chinese demands and provided internet access but with restrictions. Looking back, now I believe something is better than nothing. AND....there's always people who find ways to hack the system and have complete access. More power to them.
BTW, I mentioned China in my last post. I realize the Chinese government isn't censoring the web for religious purposes. Just wanted to make that clear.
No ... but their reason for censoring the internet is the same reason religion should be scared shitless of the internet:
Free speech is corrosive to bullshit ... and they're both full of it.
Carl & Co, I have an addendum to why I think religion's back can be broken. Over the last week and change, I've been enjoying going through the science-fiction series Babylon 5. In the episode, "Intersections in Real Time," a captive Captain Sheridan tells his interrogator why he'll never win:
Capt. John Sheridan: You know, it's funny, I was thinking about what you said, that the preeminent truth of our age is that you cannot fight the system. But if, as you say, the truth is fluid, that the truth is subjective, then maybe you can fight the system. As long as just one person refuses to be broken, refuses to bow down.
Interrogator: But can you win?
Capt. John Sheridan: Every time I say "no."
I say "no" ... as do a lot of others here on A|N, most if not all of us. Others are saying "no" every day, more and more ... to the point where protestantism is no longer the majority belief in the US. As I stated earlier, we're still young on this curve ... but we are growing. As Sam Harris famously stated, "You see religion on a hundred fronts losing the argument," and they are. The BS they have relied on for centuries if not millennia has been exposed to the harsh light of public scrutiny and analysis, and it is fracturing and failing because of it.
What is required from this point is to be constant in our stance and as I have said here many times:
Don't ... Back ... Down ... EVER.
The Jesuit order, of which Pope Francis is a product, has long included many men who have rejected conservative Catholic ideology, and some have been expelled for that reason. None of them ever became Pope before, however.