- - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Pope Francis is infallible, or so his flock believes, in matters of Catholic religious doctrine. His clerical robes and position as leader of Roman Catholicism, however, grant him no special expertise when it comes to other subjects fraught with dispute. He brings nothing new to the table with respect to the vicissitudes of climate, the vexing Palestinian problem, changing hemlines in women’s fashion or any other of the problems that beset us.

Many people grant religious authorities a credence they do not deserve when they address contemporary problems, especially when they speak of the moral dimension of the issue. Contrary to popular belief in many precincts, morality is not based in religion, although all religions propagate their own moral code, often a set of rules (as in Shariah law) that are rejected by most others on the planet.

Morality changes as society evolves. What was once rejected becomes acceptable; think artificial methods of birth control among Catholics even if the Church rejects them. There are many other examples. We should study and think about important issues. We should listen to speakers with special expertise on a specific subject, and we should then formulate our own approach. That is what thinking human beings do and it is, I suspect, what God had in mind when he crafted a Garden of Eden containing the potential for evil.

PAUL BLOUSTEIN

Cincinnati

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