By Adam Burdzy | United States
In the 16th century, the Catholic Church experienced a Reformation. Martin Luther, the chief architect behind the religious movement, didn’t agree with the Catholic Church about some key beliefs and practices. Luther published his 95 Theses, a list of controversial topics and discussion points in the Catholic Church at the time. King Henry VIII of England just wanted to divorce his wife because she wouldn’t provide him with a baby boy to be the next king (current science shows that it is entirely his fault that he couldn’t have a son). The Pope told him he could not divorce, so Henry ignored the pope’s decision made the Church of England. These individuals saw a problem with the Church, so they took action into their own hands and attempted to fix it.
It is now 2018, and the Church still needs fixing. Corruption at the core has turned officials evil. The primary example is the Pope. As the head of the Catholic Church, the infallible Pope is supposed to be a role model to all Catholics. He is the spiritual leader who has one goal: to get as many people to convert and stay Catholic. He also must do so with the intention of getting as many people to be saved by God’s grace (in layman terms, not burn in Hell). Today, however, many people do not like or approve of what Pope Francis is doing. Most religious conservatives and libertarians disprove of how the Pope puts his nose into matters involving politics. Pope Francis has been seen discussing policies with popular and powerful liberals, such as former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry. He made it known through these encounters that he supports such policies such as the Iran Nuclear deal and the large intake of refugees from the Middle East by Europe. The Pope also is a strong believer in global warming and climate change.
These main three issues that the Pope discussed had many right-leaning Catholics infuriated for justifiable reasons. Even though the Pope has the right to believe whatever he want to, he is abusing his papal power. The Pope is believed to be completely true when he speaks of religious matters. This does not make him infallible when he talks politics. The way he presents his politics, however, is done in a way where the political issue is connected to a Catholic teaching or value in a vague way. An example is the refugee issue. For many years, people from the Middle East, mostly fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, have been entering into Europe as refugees. These men, women, and children use up a ton of taxpayer euros, and while this has caused a fiery debate inside and outside of Europe, the Pope has decided to take a side, saying it is a Catholic’s duty to take care of others.
We cannot, however, blame the Pope for everything. The Catholic Church as a whole has done some questionable acts. For example, the Chinese government has had a feud with the Catholic Church for decades now, in which they appointed bishops without the consent of the Pope. Instead of the Church simply saying no, the Vatican allowed for seven bishops to be appointed, not by the Church, but instead by the government of China. The Church, who has no political power, has been sleeping with foreign governments, which has led to the deterioration of trust. It is believed that every priest and bishop in the Catholic Church has something called Apostolic succession. Christ gave St. Peter the power to appoint religious men to the priesthood, and this line of succession can be traced down to every priest, except for these 7 bishops. This gives the Church a bad reputation for not sticking to their Canon Law, which is equivalent to the United State’s Constitution. For the Church to do this would be the same as disregarding the confirming power of the Senate.
What happened to the Pope? Isn’t he supposed to be a spiritual figure instead of a political pawn for the left? Of course, Pope Francis wasn’t the only bad Pope the Catholic Church has had. Pope Boniface the VIII was a pedophile, Alexander VI bribed his way into becoming Pope, and Leo X allowed for the Church to sell indulgences, which promised heaven to those who bought them. Pope Francis is just a byproduct of the already corrupt system that the Church has become. This is to blame for the failure of the Church to keep people going to Church. A new study from the PEW research center shows that 21% of Americans are Catholic and that 13% of adults who were born and raised as Catholics have become either Protestant or not religious.
So what can the Church do? They can toughen up and mind their own business. They can focus on being a spiritual force and going back to their Canon Law. They should stop trying to be “hip” as many modern Catholic Churches have tried and failed. People want a true, non-political place of worship where they can grow in faith and become part of a community where they feel welcomed. If you are reading this, Pope Francis, do us all a favor and fix the corruption, not for Catholics, but for God.
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