Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New pope

Many people are expressing their hope that the new pope will not be as conservative as his predecessor regarding issues of contraception and homosexuality. Many are pointing to the aids epidemic in Africa and stating that the pope has a resposibility to slow the spread through more liberal policies.

This is a tempting but ultimately fruitless position to put yourself in. The pope is not democratically elected; he is not answerable to the people, not even to catholics or even the priesthood. He is the head of a faith who is chosen in secret by a select few for reasons we (the outside world) will never be party to. He is as entitled to his opinions as anybody else and is ultimately only answerable to his own faith.

If you want to help the sick in Africa then you have to look to your own faith. The catholic priest cannot simply parrot official church dogma coming out of the Vatican he is morally bound to do what he believes to be right, regardless of any backlash against himself. Surely this is one thing any Christian can agree on: Jesus stood up against blindly following the organised religion of the day. It is no good hoping the pope will give you the thumbs up to promote condom use or whatever, if that is what you believe to be the morally correct thing to do.

The true Christian believes that they will only be judged by God - there will be no pope or church to hide behind when that judgment takes place.