- - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Pope Francis has been getting considerable attention for his so-called agenda of change. In many ways it’s quite refreshing to see a pontiff who is not afraid to break the mold. He has spoken passionately about globalization and his perception of how it has resulted in mass inequality. And even though I believe he’s dead wrong on the causes (and more importantly the solutions), I respect what he’s attempting to do as a spiritual leader.

The pope’s inequality arguments, however, would carry more weight if he were not presiding over perhaps the largest organization in the world to have institutionalized discrimination. A clear violation of the 11th commandment — ‘Thou shalt not be hypocritical.’ It’s kind of like Al Gore admonishing us for our carbon footprint, or President Obama lecturing on transparency. One shouldn’t throw stones in a glass popemobile.

To the pope’s credit, though, he has demonstrated a more tolerant tone on the sensitive (to many Catholics) social topics of homosexuality and divorce. But make no mistake, if you’ve committed one or both of those “sins” you’re still going to burn in hell as far as the Church is concerned. But at least Pope Francis will give you a soothing pat before you’re sent on your way to eternal damnation.

Of course, let us not forget the proverbial elephant in the room: the Catholic Church’s prohibition on female priests. Unfortunately the proselytizing on inequality rings a bit hollow when the evangelical organization is shutting out half the population from its top jobs.

So while the current pope has proven to be unafraid to mix theology and politics, it hasn’t taken long for the marriage of the two to show which one carries the dominant gene.

The ‘Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ approach was a dead giveaway.

CHUCK DIETRICK

Pittsburgh

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