Current State of Affairs of the Catholic Religion

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On April 2nd, 2005 Pope John Paul II died at the age of 84. He had a significant Papacy filled with caring compassionate speeches and defended hard-line Catholic ideals. Whether your Catholic or not, religious or not, his life should be reflected on with admiration and respect. He was a great man who did wonderful things for humanity. His death, however, has made me reflect on the religion that I was born into, and I am here to explain why I feel that the Church has possibly lost touch with its intended mission. The main figure and role model for the Catholic religion is and always will be Jesus Christ. Why is it then, that this religion has strayed from His original teachings on some very fundamental issues? One of these issues I hope the Church addresses with their new Pope is the discrimination of women in the priesthood. Jesus was a remarkable man for his time in that he made it a point to include women in his life as friends, confidants, and followers. So then why is it that more than 2000 years since his death, the only priests I am seeing are men? Are women less holy? Can women not have God speak to them to follow the priesthood? Are men the only sex that can preach the word of Jesus Christ? It is extremely disappointing that the Catholic religion has not changed this outdated, foolish policy. If Jesus was so radical in his time for making women equal at his table, then surely the Catholic religion today can be equally as bold by allowing females the right to be ordained. The rule that women cannot be priests simply because they are “unclean” is as ridiculous as anything I have heard in my life, and to defend that doctrine is dead wrong. Finally, one of the reasons I admire the life of Jesus, more than any of his famed miracles, was his treatment of all people from all walks of life. He forgave and prayed with prostitutes, lepers, the sick, the meager, the poor and the evilest of sinners. He considered these people as his equals. This is in distinct contrast with the current message that Catholics are preaching when it comes to gays and lesbians. The religion is continuing to shun homosexuals, in some parts of the country turning to politics to get a ban on gays desire to be married. This outrageous referendum that is occurring on banning gay marriage is one of many reasons why our fore fathers fully intended to keep church and state separate. Who is the Catholic religion to say that gays cannot fulfill their desire to get married on a political level? Instead, the Church should be a leader in the fight to allow homosexuals to join in on holy matrimony. It is only then that gays and lesbians can be proud of their religion and become an equal, important, and vital part of the Parish they belong too. It is time that Catholicism stop their discriminatory ways towards women, gays and lesbians. I pray, on my own, that the next Pope makes changes to turn the religion into what it was intended to be, a religion to be shared by all, in peace and love, following the ways and life of Jesus Christ.

Bill TierneyClass of 2005