(Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Sunday that Roman Catholic leaders must have the courage to stand up to attacks by "intolerant agnosticism" prevalent in many countries.
The pope and the Church have come under increased attack because of their opposition to homosexual marriage and women priests. The pope has repeatedly denounced what he says are attempts to push religion out of public debate.
The 85-year-old pontiff celebrated Mass on the day Christians in the West mark the Epiphany, and ordained four new archbishops including his personal secretary.
In a homily to about 10,000 people in St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, he firmly rejected suggestions the Church should change to suit public opinion.
"Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking," he said. "The approval of the prevailing wisdom, however, is not the criterion to which we submit."
In the United States, a group last month started a petition on the White House website asking the administration of President Barack Obama to list the Catholic Church as a "hate group" because of its opposition to gay marriage.
"Today's regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs," the pope said.
"Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a bishop today. He must be courageous," he said.
Read the rest here.
It sounds like the pope has been studying Star Wars? This is exactly the same kind of tactic that the evil emperor would use to confuse the issue.
"Intolerant," eh? Do I detect a pot accusing a kettle of being black?
The church itself is a vast repository of intolerance - of anything which challenges its supposed authority, of women who would be in authority, of gays and Lesbians and bisexuals and transgendered people whom the church would label as disordered or abnormal. They are equally intolerant of free thought, independent investigation and most of all, the active questioning which is skepticism. Of course they don't like it, because it has the potential to take anyone who practices it out of their control.
And yes, we are intolerant ... of their anachronistic attitude, their authoritarian presumption, and their egotistic arrogance, which has given rise to their intolerance. So, no, the church gets no rhythm from me, no support, no succor, but a voice raised in opposition, which will continue so long as I have strength to sustain it.
And I ask them: what dogmas do we employ? What is so sacrosanct about atheism or agnosticism that is reserved from examination or inquiry? If there is any absolute that I would recognize, it is the right to self-determination, the right to think and act as one sees fit, so long as said action brings no harm to another, and once again, the right to QUESTION. These are not dogmas; They Are FREEDOMS. The church, conversely, is too well known for its laundry list of absolutes. I can't help but notice that it never talks about either rights or freedoms, but focuses on presumed obligations of individuals TO ITSELF, obligations which it itself invented for no other purpose than its own self-perpetuation.
This is an attempt to paint us with the same brush that describes them, a sad and transparent act of desperation ... and one which won't work.
Oh Loren, I couldn't of said it better myself. My thoughts exactly. The Catholic Church is the epitome of intolerance. They are against women priests, birth control, a woman's right to chose, gays, lesbians, transgendered, bisexuals. science and critical thinking and reason.
We have no dogma.
"No, we're not a hate group. You're a hate group!"
Why does this remind me of something I heard on the playground when I was seven?
Exactly Humble Pie! The Catholic Church is the epitome of intolerance.
"In a homily to about 10,000 people in St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, he firmly rejected suggestions the Church should change to suit public opinion."
Like the public opinion that, perhaps, covering up the rape of countless young boys is probably a poor choice?
Yeah, I think he's already proven that he's "firmly rejected" a lot of things.
And now, with this as my first post on this site, I'd like to leave you with a song:
Tim Minchin - The Pope Song
And that is why Bennie is a DICK.
he firmly rejected suggestions the Church should change to suit public opinion
And of course that wouldn't count as intolerance - of public opinion - would it?
Initially I thought "Whoah!! Right on Popester!", don't change a thing. They guarantee their own extinction if they continue with their absolutely obsolete ideas. Then it occurred to me, their authority rests in large part in being immune to change. To change would be to invite the idea that god himself changes his mind and is therefore less than perfect. Ok, I give them points for at least seeing the pothole in front of them. I'm still unsure how perfect the pope is supposed to be in light of that whole Galileo fiasco. Anyway...
I'm surprised agnosticism has caught their eye. As opposition, what makes it inviting enough for special attention. Don't they have their hands full with the whole atheism war? All I can figure is they see questioning, completely free of dogma as being especially dangerous. At least with positive atheism they can respond that it's a misguided dogmatic religion with zealots making claims based on less than proof. Pot, meet kettle. Agnosticism?...yeah whatever guys, you go on and we'll be over here doing our own thing.
Maybe open mindedness is the real enemy to the church. We've been here quite a while so I just don't get what has them throwing the latest hissy.