The Catholic Church needs reform

The latest scandal that implicates the pope as having had a role in covering up child abuse is just the latest in a long line of abuses. Much of the problem lies both in the Church’s hard line positions and its centralisation of control. The Catholic Church was not always the centralised controlling church it is today. Allowing much more localisation would mean that crises would not go right to the top and more liberal areas can allow reforms and a different emphasis from the conservative centre.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

Too much responsibility on the Pope

Catholicism centres on the Pope. All are to do as he does. All are to believe what he believes. He is the ultimate decision maker, apart from God himself of course. In the light of all these allegations against priests being child abusers, how can one elderly gentleman be responsible for them all? The Pope would never have met these priests and yet he is being held accountable for them. This simply is not a fair representation of the Pope and his level of belief. The Catholic Church needs to reform to take the blame away from the Pope and into the smaller Parishes in which these child molesting priests reside. Power should be localised, not centralised.

No because...

Being the Pope has quite a lot responsibility,priests,bishops,and etc..are inform of the responsibility you must take on when becoming Pope.Just as the President of the United States has the responsibility of taking care of it.Just Consider the Pope as a religious president for the church,he is accountable for the priests.If a person from the U.S.A went to a different country and blow up their cities then the Presidents would be held accountable,because it is his job.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

Decentralisation would men Parishes would have greater level of control over strayed priests

With all the power centralised on the Pope, there is less control locally. Before any decision would be made, the Pope would need to be consulted. But when there are so many issues and meetings that the Pope has to attend, how can all misdemeanours be reported to him? Perhaps there is not a cover up, just a reluctance to get the Pope involved when it would take so long to get his assembly and then for a decision to be made. Like the police forgoing petty crimes to avoid excessive paper work. The solution then is to give Parishes their own power. Allow the leader of the Parish to take decisions. The let there be a higher head in the region to which the leaders of the Parishes are responsible to. This way, incidents would be reported quicker and dealt with quicker. This minimises the chances of repeat attacks on children.

No because...

"Before any decision would be made, the Pope would need to be consulted. But when there are so many issues and meetings that the Pope has to attend, how can all misdemeanours be reported to him?"

The Yes-advocate has failed to demonstrate that the Pope needs to personally deal with the cases.

On the contrary, the local bishops have actually launched their own investigations.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

It currently promotes loyalty to the institution not the laity

With such a large body of centralised power, the clergymen have a different view towards their followers; the laity, the believers who have no power to the institution. This could be seen in 1968 when John Paul II outlawed contraception once more. [[http://www.theopolitics.com/index.php?p=11&ID=54&d=1]] He went about enforcing this law by stating that any priest that disagreed would not see promotion. Therefore, against the needs of the Catholic followers, priests would give advice to not use contraception in order to achieve a higher standing in the institution. But surely what the Church should be doing is offering the correct advice for the individual circumstances rather than generic advice which aids them climb the Church ladder. It is for this reason that the Catholic Church needs reform.

No because...

The Catholic Church does not believe in targeted ethical solutions. It would make the Church even more of an irrelevance to the world if its pronouncements on, say, contraception, were that the Pope and the Church "believe" it is wrong, but individual priests may make up their own minds.

Further, the priests and cardinals who work higher up in the organisation tend have more training and experience in Catholic theology than individual parish priests. The most important descisions in any organisation must be made by those with the most knowledge and experience.

Last, having a strong institution with strong centralisation of power will help the Church solve some of its problems. If the Pope and Cardinals see the dangers and decide to act, e.g on the paedophile priests scandal, then change can be more easily brought than if power is diluted amongst all of the individual parish priests who might have little to no power whatsoever when compared to, e.g, the local Bishop.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

Catholicism has become too corporate

Whilst the Catholic Church has always had money and valued nice looking churching with expensive décor; the Vatican was not originally seen as a corporate power house the way that it is today. Currently what the Pope says is given primacy. This kind of papal dominating power is alluring to all those who witness it. Therefore the Vatican has become a business with everyone clawing each other to become the Managing Director; the mere followers (the laity) are nothing but customers. But this is a modern twist on the Vatican. If the Catholic Church wishes to enforce fundamentalist ideas such as a ban on contraception, then they need to de-modernise their power structure. Take it out of the corporate sector and make it more fundamental in its approach.

No because...
The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

To expect everyone to believe the same on every marginal issue is un realistic and inhumane

Currently, with the papal domination of all belief, all followers and clergymen are expected to believe as the Pope does. Everyone is expected to have the same opinion on every matter in hand. However, this is impossible! Relativism comes into play. Everyone in the world has had a different upbringing in a different culture and so they would have different views on marginal issues even if their core beliefs are all the same. For the Catholic Church to avoid complete dissolution it should localise the beliefs. Have smaller leaders who set the marginal issues based on the prevailing conditions of the area. The core beliefs would remain, but relativity would be taken into account.

No because...

Surely this defies the whole point of religion! With any monotheism, should it not be the case that all are t believe and act as God stated in the Holy Scriptures? To say that the Catholic Church needs to account for different world views is to submit the will of God to the people. But surely, God being the almighty, the omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent should not have to submit to the will of the mere mortals? To try and adapt religion to cater for the current beliefs of people is not in a religious spirit. Religion is what it is, people either believe or they do not. Religion should not be subject to localised/localized changing; even of the marginal issues.

Christianity is certainly not confined to Catholicism. Or always agreeing with the pope; certainly most Christians feel the need for the church to do something about sexual abusing priests.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

Clerical rape of children is, in part, due to the celibacy of priests and must change

Rape and sexual torure of children is widespread within the Catholic church, so much so that it can not be a mere co-incidence. One reason is the unnatural staright jacket of priestal celibacy, which is manifested in the sickening crimes committed by the Chritsian brothers. There is no basis for enforced celibacy and by making sex such a taboo the church has, and continues to, force priests down the path of rape and crime as they release their sexual tension. In no way is this excusing the repulsive, sinister and vile individuals at the heart of these traumatic cases but the church must re-assess and reform its policies to ensure it doesn't happen again. It is too far-reaching to accept the rapes a Catholic co-incidence, something has toi change.

No because...

Celibacy requires 'not' mating; which obviously does not entail raping boys.

Nuns are not busy raping children; now are they?

Understood that sexual tension from repression can cause desperate measures; but that certainly does not justify statutory rape. Priests could secretly visit prostitutes but they do choir boys(and again this is NOT something most priests do).

The problem is that such behavior is ignored and dismissed by the Pope himself; who strictly opposes homosexuality.

The attitudes of the priests is not dissimilar to that of frat boys(members of a college fraternity), members of secret (boys')societies/clubs, and other all-male groups.

Fraternity members are encouraged to have frequent sex; yet commit 90% more gang rapes than their non-fraternity college boy counterparts. The problem is not repression/suppression
but the spread; one priest gets away with it and he's followed by many who know there no consequences for there actions from the church.

The argument also ignores the fact, that child abuse goes on in non-celibate clergy (Protestant, Orthodox, Judaism, Islam). The abuser is also most likely a family member. If celibacy was a critical factor, we would not except these facts. The argument also fails to address the fact, that the priests who do abuse are a very small minority of the celibate clergy.

The Catholic Church needs reform
Yes because...

To an extent

I agree that the rule of celibacy could contribute to priests 'loneliness' and drive them to such acts. Are these priests all evil, or are their actions a result of being bound by Human law, which tells them they cannot marry, or have a relationship, with anyone except God?

The Bible says, 'go forth and multiply' and their is clear encouragement of relationships in the example of Mary and Joseph. This human ideal that the Catholic Church has adopted seems to appear as follows: "To be truly Holy, you must fix your eyes on God and nobody else. A wife, would be a distraction to your discipline so you must not mate nor marry."

I think this is wrongly placed. If you take away the right of a priest to marry, your saying that he can't be fully Holy if he's married and presumably bearing children with his wife. What right have the Vatican got to do this? It appears to be one of those interpretations that has gone horribly wrong.

Who are the Church, made of Humans, to say who's Holy and who isn't. Holy is the acceptance of God and His way into your life. Not whether you're having sex with your wife! In short I feel that the Catholc Church needs to reform it's policy on priests. The whole thing appears to be fabricated.

The Bible didn't say it. So neither should they.

No because...

The argument begs the question in favor of Sola Scripture/Bible Alone-theology. The Catholic Church recognize three authorities: Sacred Scripture (The Bible), Sacred Tradition (The writtings of the Church Fathers) and the Magisterium (the college of bishops headed by the Bishop of Rome).

Ignoring the above point, the Bible actually praises celibacy in several verses. An example respectively from the Old Testament, The Gospels and the Epistles:

"The word of the Lord came to me: 'You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place'" (Jer. 16:1-2).

"Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it" (Matt 19:12)

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord (1Cor 7:32-35)

The Catholic Church needs reform
No because...

There's already been a reform

The reform already happened, although it is usually not called "the reform", but "the Reformation". Anyone who wants to be a part of a church characterized other than the Catholic church, has many alternatives: Anglicanism, Presbitarianism, Pentacost, and so on, and so forth. Still not happy? Creating a new church is always a possibility.

The Catholic church represents those who chose to stick with the idea of the Pope as God's representative on Earth despite the shortcomings of this idea; this applies to other elements of Catholicism which may be controversial today.

For this reason, all of the Yes points are pretty much irrelevant.

Yes because...

The Reformation was not actually a reformation of the Catholic Church but a reformation of Christianity. Therefore the Catholic Church itself has not had a reform.

Furthermore, the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism reach far and beyond that of the Pope. They are different belief systems altogether with Protestantism being far more secular as a belief system. The Catholic Church is not defined by the Pope as a representative but as the totality of the belief system. This is what needs to remain in tact if Catholicism is to remain Catholicism through the reformation.



The Catholic Church needs reform

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