Well how is this for synchronicity.This Saturday I was going to write a blog in defence of liberal christianity but Pope Benedict the 16th changed my plans so I as you can see I am now writing this blog on Pope Benedicts shock resignation last Monday 11/2/2013.
The question people are asking is there more to the resignation than meets the eye, in other words is it due to more than bad health.The honest answer is I do not know. Kevin Annett a Canadian vicar has stated that it may be due to a financial scandal however there is as yet no clear evidence to back this up.
Many conspiracy theorists are saying that the next pope will be the last one.This is based on the visions of the 12the century Bishop Saint Malachy.However I feel that this is a myth based on no clear evidence and that the next pope who will be elected in March 2013 will almost certainly not be the last pope.
So I will comment mainly on Pope Benedicts record during his reign from 2005 to 2013.
I feel that without doubt the catholic church has taken a wrong turn since 1968 with its humanae vitae statement banning the use of artificial birth control by catholics. A decision which is ignored by most practising catholics.This decision I feel has been the real reason for the dropping away from the church by many catholics.
Both the Polish Pope John Paul the second and Pope Benedict have been arch conservatives who have allied the church with right wing forces.
Under Pope Benedict priests who have sexually abused children have just been moved to other parishes.The ordination of new priests in Europe has virtually dried up. Under Pope Benedicts rule the church has intensified its opposition to married and women clergymen ordination.In fact the catholic church issued a statement comparing the ordination of women protestant priests to the sexual abuse of children.What a filthy statement and a slur on decent honest women clergymen.
Also Pope Benedict quickly welcomed with apparent pleasure the right wing political coups against the democractically elected left wing presidents of Honduras and Paraquay.The former president of Paraquay Fernando Lugo being a former catholic bishop.
So under Pope Benedict the church which has a certain amount of financial interests is in reality on the side of the elite despite its claims to be the ‘church of the poor’.Now personally I would describe myself as a liberal christian who thinks that christianity is a good thing and I really do believe that Jesus did rise from the dead.However in reality the christain religion probably started to go wrong in the early fourth century when it was taken over by the Roman empire.
So I feel that Pope Benedicts reign has been negative.However I also feel that whoever is elected the new pope will not make much of a difference he will be a conservative both in terms of theology and politically taking the side of the elite.
In conclusion what I feel is really need is a new christian church which incorporates the decent elements of the christian tradition.The case for this new church has been best outlined by Matthew Fox the former catholic priest in his book the popes war.If there is to be a christain renewal based on justice and helping the poor then a new christian movement is urgently needed.