The trouble with the Pope is…

  • March 17, 2013

…a fundamental one, and it’s one that the Catholic church really can’t resile from.

The trouble with the Pope is that the whole concept is so ludicrous, that it’s only the simplest and least educated people, concerned almost solely with survival and with no scientific knowledge to draw upon, who could let it through their plausibility radar. I doubt there is a single Cardinal in the Catholic church who genuinely, in their heart of hearts, really truly believes that God is personally choosing the Pope through them, but that’s what Catholics are supposed to believe.

If God is really personally nominating a human to be his “King on Earth” – to basically be him on Earth, then isn’t he making a bit of a balls-up of the whole thing? Why would he work through the Cardinals to elect Popes who have been shown throughout history to be very bad men? How does that make sense? What is God saying? That He himself can sometimes be a corrupt philandering homosexual paedophile, in direct contravention of the words in the Bible?

And that’s the problem. The vast majority of sane people don’t really think the Pope is God on Earth – they think he’s a senior Catholic who, for whatever reason, won enough support from other senior Catholics to be elected into the role. Even most educated Catholics, I think, would probably say that if asked. BUT, the Catholic doctrine says he’s God on Earth for Catholics…so if you’re a Catholic, you have to believe that and do what he tells you to do as you would if God himself were to descend from the heavens and tell you.

In reality, what happens is Catholics cherry pick the things the Pope says or does that they are prepared to go along with. An example is birth control, where Pope John Paul II decreed that no Catholic was allowed to use a condom – an appalling decree in the face of the HIV epidemic at the time. How many Catholics ignored that decree? My bet is plenty did.

And the whole underpinning of the Catholic church is built on this foundation, of an infallible “God on Earth” Pope. In truth it’s a farcical lie and we see it unravelling bit by bit, as education spreads and inoculates people against such primitive and implausible beliefs.

I give Catholicism 50 years before it’s consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Less outlandish, and dare I say it, hubristic religions may last a little longer.


Leave a reply

Fields marked with * are required