Pope Assails Secularism (Update) genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions


Pope Benedict XVI continued his attacks on secularism and asserted that low birth rates in Canada were the evidence of the growing problem. Read the full article here.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that low birth rates in Canada are the result of the "pervasive effects of secularism" and asked the country's bishops to counter the trend by preaching the truth of Christ.

Benedict, who has spoken out several times in favor of large families, blamed Canada's low birth rate on social ills and moral ambiguities that result from secular ideology.

"Like many countries ... Canada is today suffering from the pervasive effects of secularism," Benedict told visiting bishops from Canada. "One of the more dramatic symptoms of this mentality, clearly evident in your own region, is the plummeting birth rate."

In my opinion, the linkage of low birth rates to secularism is an absurd generalization. The assertion seems to argue that having more children is an inherent good and a necessity. I'll offer my own generalization to expose the degree to which oversimplifications become the rhetoric of institutional ideologies. "The accumulation of wealth by the Catholic Church, that includes seeking money from struggling parishioners, is responsible for the pervasive poverty in the world." Taking it a step further, it seems far more logical to conclude that the growing cost of raising children has a much larger impact on the decline in birth rates in developed countries than does secularism. Consequently, one could easily make the generalized argument that the church is simply motivated by monetary considerations when it promotes higher birth rates...with the obvious intention being to create more Catholics to contribute more money to preserve the institution.

Separately, Benedict told the new Spanish ambassador to the Holy See that family based on marriage should not be "replaced or confused" by other institutions -- an allusion to gay marriage, which is legal in Spain.

Continuing with my generalization, the church opposes gay marriage and homosexuality because neither has the likelihood to create more Catholics who will contribute more money. Given the waning influence of the Catholic Church, particularly in Europe, it seems obvious that these antiquated doctrines no longer withstand the tests of reality. As people have become more aware and more educated, they have begun to rely on their own ability to understand the world in which they live...leaving behind much of what they see as irrelevant rhetoric.


Original Posting:

Pope Benedict has condemned gay unions; calling gay love weak. My own speculation on what is actually "weak" follows excerpts from the article.

From Bloomberg:

``Only the foundation of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of forming the basis of a society that becomes the home of all men,'' Benedict told a convention of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute today. The pope said ``confusing marriage with other types of unions based on a love that is weak'' should be avoided.

Still, more than 71 percent of Italians are favorable to gay civil unions such as those allowed in the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to a January report by research group Eurispes.

While the 1929 Lateran Treaty outlines the separation of church and state in Italy, about 43 percent of Italians believe the pope has meddled excessively in politics, according to the Eurispes report, published Jan. 17.

In my opinion, what seems weak to me is the character of the priests who violated the law and their vows when they decided to molest innocent young children. What seems weak to me is a hierarchy that allowed the molesting to go on for decades. What seems weak to me is those in positions of authority who covered up the molesting and moved priests from parish to parish knowing full well they were likely to re-offend.

What seems really weak to me is that these hypocrites think they hold infallible moral authority. History is riddled with examples of the Catholic Church burying its collective head in the sand when courage and candor was needed. See a prior Thought Theater posting on the silence of the church during the Holocaust and their continued misguided opposition to condoms with regards to the AIDS epidemic here.

Daniel DiRito | May 21, 2006 | 12:06 PM
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1 On May 21, 2006 at 8:47 PM, Jimi wrote —

Dear Pope B.,

I have only anecdotal evidence but I think I know what is happening here in the U.S. and Canada. My wife and I waited until we were in our 30's for kids so we could pay off our college education's and save for a downpayment on a house.

The factories, then software companies in town closed over the last 5-10 years and money is tight. It was an extra $100 a month on the health policy to cover childbirth. Proof of non-pregnancy required. My wife and I work full time and can barely afford the costs of raising two kids. Our paychecks have been flat for the last 5 years and our share of the medical coverage has increased dramaticaly every year.

We are sorry, we can't afford a big family and to tithe the Church. Heck, we haven't tithed the church in years. We also are surely incapable of supporting another child. Unless we are supposed to live in poverty? One more thing, what's this BS about 'weak love'? Is the Church to set standards and graduations of Love? WWJS?

I'm punchy today Daniel - Thanks!

2 On May 22, 2006 at 12:41 PM, Daniel wrote —


Great comments. It always bothers me when I hear clergy telling people how to live. They haven't had to face the realities of life since they are automatically fed, clothed, and housed with the hard earned money of their parishioners.

I think part of their objective is to create dependency...people who are dependent rarely question those they depend upon. If they can get people to accept their doctrines, they have a captive audience. Unfortunately, they often operate on the principle of do as I say, not as I do.

I think their influence will continue to wane and I for one will be glad to see it happen.

Thanks again for the comments.


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