U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are gathering at a moment of turbulence for them and the American church, as Pope Francis moves toward crafting new policies for carrying out his mission of mercy — a prospect that has conservative Catholics and some bishops in an uproar.They're not even hiding it under the rug anymore. It's right out there for all to see: they find Francis' "mission of mercy" an abomination. How dare the pope forgive people? How dare he welcome them? Doesn't the pope know that Catholicism is all about guilt, hell and policing people's lives? The nerve of the man, trying to disrupt so many blissful centuries of discrimination. Hmph.
"Many of the U.S. bishops have been disoriented by what this new pope is saying and I don't see them really as embracing the pope's agenda," said John Thavis, a former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service.So now they're openly fighting the pope. And why? Because he wants to welcome everyone into the Catholic tent. Not so fast, say the cardinals. This sacred space is only for people who kneel before our majesty as we decry their disgusting sins.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former St. Louis archbishop and leading voice for conservative Catholics, said the church "is like a ship without a rudder" under Francis. Burke made the comments before the pope demoted him from his position as head of the Vatican high court, a move he had anticipated.
What Burke, one of the most evil of the archbishops, means is that the pope's ship doesn't have a hateful rudder. Because hate is all these pious cardinals have ever known. It's the blood of Christ, this freely flowing river of hatred. It sustains them and makes their lives meaningful.
I truly hope the church experiences a schism over issues of hatred and discrimination. Some atheist bloggers dread this prospect because it might make one of the offshoots seem "nice" -- and that might attract more people to the meaningless faith.
But I think it would be marvelous if all the hateful people moved to one side of an impermeable barrier. There, they could spew venom for ages and attract all the hateful "believers" like a magnet. And then the new church could be ignored en masse by Americans, since they would be seen as way behind the curve. American Catholics are in favor of contraception, they're in favor of gay marriage and they're obviously in favor of divorce. Catholics divorce as readily as any other American group and they don't worry about jeebus while taking this step. It's an obvious, necessary step -- so they push their religion aside for the moment and do what they have to do. Catholics are like that: sensible, for the most part.
So yes, let's see more evil church leaders speak up. Let them spew their venom and thereby marginalize themselves for all time. It sounds like the sort of thing I could observe with pleasure: religious idiots effectively blowing up their own church. Get the popcorn, kids! It's gonna be a great show.