“Man, I am so sick of this love affair with the Pope. Sheesh,
everyone wants to just bow down and worship this guy like he’s done
so much or something. What has he done?”

Laura, who is a fan of the Pope, answers, “He’s reached out
to other religions, healed some long suffering wounds inflicted long
ago. He’s reached out to the peoples all around the globe, and held
firm on moral conviction.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “He denounced apartheid, and it
is said is partly responsible for its fall by applying political
pressure. They like to give him partial credit for helping end
communism in the world too with his intervention in Poland. So I
guess he’s stood up for equality and justice during his papacy.”

“Yes,” she agreed.

“So how come he doesn’t foster equality in his own
organization? Over fifty percent of his flock is considered a second
class citizen. Women are excluded from virtually every facet of
Church leadership, from local to national to international levels.
Woman serve a subservient roll to priests, bishops, and are
non-existent in the official Vatican power structure. The Pope
pointed out the speck in his neighbor’s eye, but failed to see the
timber in his own. Now I can’t necessarily blame him for all this,
after all he’s just following Church doctrine handed down to him for
centuries, and he’s human. In effect, he’s just going with the flow,
following the tried and the true. You can’t blame someone for that, I
guess. He implemented faithfully the tenants of the Catholic Church
handed down for centuries.”

Laura nodded, knowing I was setting her up for another round of

“Let’s recap, shall we? Under the Pope we have the following

  1. Falling western church population, with growth in Africa and
    other third world regions.
  2. Falling membership in the religious orders, 40,000 Jesuits 20
    years ago has fallen to 20,000 today, all during the Pope John
    Paul’s reign. Why? An increasing number of parishes no longer have
    full time priests. There is a critical shortage of ordained
    religious servants.
  3. Church closings throughout the western world: my hometown of
    St. Louis is currently going through some ugly infighting concerning
    assets, closings, and consolidation.
  4. Church sex scandals: one of the most horrific and damaging
    scandals to ever break anywhere anytime. You think the Spanish
    Inquisition was bad? Try inflicting the same torment on children and
    remaining quiet about for decades. How long has the Pope been Pope?
    – Long enough for him take some responsibility for sure. I didn’t
    know or I wasn’t involved have never been nor will they ever be

You name it, and the Church has stumbled on it or is doing it
poorly. Don’t blame the parishioners, blame the leadership. It’s
always the leadership’s fault.

So if you were the board of directors of, hmmm, let’s say, Hewlett
Packard, and say Carly Fiorina had a strategy to increase profits
over a 6-10 year period, and say she didn’t increase them fast enough
or lost a little bit of share. Well, you’d take a hard look at her,
and you might fire her, right? Guess what? When you see your share
fall, and when corporate scandal reigns, and the company does poorly,
you fire management. A lot of the time, you hold them criminally
responsible. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard a CEO
claim that he was just doing what his predecessor was doing. ‘Um, I
thought using my personal secretary as a sexual perk was okay. I
mean, hell, all the other CEO’s did it. Lots of low interest personal
loans to myself? Well, we’ve done that for decades.’

Well, guess what, Mr. CEO, the 1980’s and the 1990’s where great.
Profits were up, people were getting rich. Hell, the board got rich
on the stock. But Mr. CEO, it’s the 2000’s and we ain’t in Kansas
anymore. You have to be able to react. You have to be able to adapt
to a changing landscape. You’ve got to make hard decisions. What the
hell do we pay you for, huh?

So I say the same thing to the Pope. What the hell have you been
doing over there in your walled city while the Roman Catholic Church
has been falling apart? You’ve been issuing decrees on birth control,
abortion, secularism and burying your head in the “if it ain’t
broke, don’t fix it” mentality oblivious to the creaky rusty
corrupt bucket of bolts that is shedding it’s shit all over the road.
You issue a memo, take a drive in your Pope-mobile, or make a trip to
have throngs of poor Catholics in third world countries come in
droves to weep and feint at the site of your holiness? Bah! You’re an
idiot, and you got the basic stuff wrong, very wrong. You’ve been
denying half your flock the possibility of renewing the face of the
Earth, simply because they don’t have a penis. What kind of shit is
that? I would have said, grow a pair, but at this point, it ain’t
gonna happen.

The Pope should’ve spent eighty percent of his time with the
problem children of the worldwide Church, eighty percent of his time
on the tough issues, eighty percent of the time going after the lost
sheep. He can then spend twenty percent of the time tending to his
flock of believers. Wasn’t that Jesus’s message? – The sheepherder,
upon losing one of his flock leaves the rest to go and search for it.
The prodigal son? Wasn’t this the lesson? I understand the Pope is
beloved by those that are with him, but what of the lost sheep, the
disillusioned Catholics, those for whom this bloated bureaucracy has
ceased to be relevant? It’s easy to preach to those who love you.
This Pope’s challenge was to preach to those that had gone astray,
the fallen away Catholics, the disillusioned, the angry, the hurt,
and the lost.

Mr. Pope, I will grant that you’ve done more than your cowardly
predecessors. You’ve perhaps done a satisfactory job these 27 years,
but I don’t expect a satisfactory job from “Jesus’s
representative on Earth.” I expect an extraordinary job. Mr.
Pope, this is one Catholic that won’t miss you a bit. I wish we could
have fired you a long time ago, but Pope for life is the way it goes.
Ain’t tenure a bitch? You can’t fire the incompetent, and they hang
on long after they’ve ceased to be even moderately productive.
History seems to be whitewashing your papacy for political reasons
(especially those shills at Fox News), but I know what you did not
do. Shame on you for your inaction and blindness.

I’m a bit scared for who’s coming next though. Might we go from
bad to worse?

Be afraid, be very afraid.