The puffs of white smoke have arisen. Habemus Papam and all that. Pope Benedict is out, and Pope Francis is in. And although Francis’s proclaimed concern for issues of social justice, poverty, and economic inequality is certainly admirable, in various articles and stories lauding these traits, many commentators and media outlets have constructed a narrative that is far from complete. Rarely mentioned is Francis’s history of vehemently opposing the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina or his extreme (even by Papal standards) opposition to a woman’s right to an abortion, even in cases of rape.

My argument is this: Francis’s opinions on and actions taken against contraceptive use and access to abortion cancel out his proclaimed desire to remedy poverty and economic inequality. One of the simplest and most efficient ways to help the economic status of women (and, by extension, their families) is by providing access to effective methods of contraception (as the linked study illustrates, women who live in places where extreme poverty coexists with hardline Catholicism are the least likely to have access to effective means of contraception. And here’s the clincher: the study’s authors found that poor women in Latin America (Pope Francis’s domain) suffer the most from this lack of access).

So, no, I’m not buying the argument that “Pope Francis cares for the poor” or “Pope Francis has a deep concern for social justice issues and human rights”. Far from it. Pope Francis is, I’d argue, indirectly (and perhaps even directly, in some cases) responsible for the economic inequality, poverty, and social injustice he so disingenuously claims to oppose. His culpability in these matters must not be swept under the rug. Please expose it and shine a light on it wherever and however you can.

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60 Responses to Pope Francis is no friend to the poor

  1. Jose Guilherme says:

    I don’t think that logic holds. Though he opposes one of the ways in which it is possible to alleviate poverty (contraceptives)… he might desire to support or to find other means. Naturally it show that other issues are ahead of poverty.

    Like a Jehovah’s Witness that knows that a transfusion is the best way to save their lives… but refuse to compromise their beliefs and end up dead. You might question the logic… but still possible to say they wanted to live.

    • DevientGenie says:

      “Like a Jehovah’s Witness that knows that a transfusion is the best way to save their lives… but refuse to compromise their beliefs and end up dead. You might question the logic… but still possible to say they wanted to live”.

      Actions speak louder than words, Im sure youve heard that.

      Their action, or lack of action to get the transfusion is all the proof of ignorance needed to hold their view in contempt and hurl ridicule in their direction :)

      Quit coddling ignorance, its one of the biggest problems this planet faces

  2. Patricio says:

    Dear Miranda,
    Hello.
    With all due respect, I think that yer opinion about Jorge Bergoglio I s absolutely disinformed and yer did not made a proper research on him.
    Even though I’m a Buddhist I knew him for years and he is exactly as he proclaims and that way of being ethic made him lots of enemies within politics.
    And of course I absolutely disagree about yer point of view regarding being the contraception the cause of poverty and inequality. With all due respect, again, that a very, very narrow point of view.
    With all my respect.
    Sincerely.
    Patricio

    • Elena Mielke says:

      Empowering women is widely shown as one of the most effective ways to end poverty. If you waste the potential of half your workforce your country will suffer. Without the ability to control their own reproductive system women cannot effectively contribute to the workforce.
      Ergo, opposition to contraception equals opposition to ending poverty. Religion is just getting in the way.

      • Exactly. Thanks for summarizing the point so concisely/clearly, Elena.

        • Tom Venour says:

          Very narrow minded indeed, you are quite right Patricio.

          What is the purpose of religion, the popes job in the world? To follow entirely human wishes and the way of the world, or to TRY to represent what God would want for the world, what is ultimately best for us?

          What would Christ say about these issues? The Pope has no option but to decide for Christ, for God, based on what we know about his teachings. You may not like this Miranda but to criticise him for this is rather silly.

          Would he, for example, suggest that anyone suffering from hunger should feel they have the automatic right to steal? Even the pope would agree that this might be a lesser evil ( to steal) than to allow his child to die but the pope would no doubt still tell you that to steal is evil.

          It is not the Popes job to hand out condoms is it? It is his job to teach us self discipline and the most natural, God given methods of control, it matters not if we are poor or rich. ‘Equality’ and ‘rights’ as you describe them are Human concepts.

          It is his job to teach us that all life is sacred (especially when so vulnerable) and that it is everyones responsibility to help the poor and especially big families where the parent or parents are struggling to feed their young.

          likewise, it is also the role of good people or God fearing people to save the life of a child that is born to a victim of rape, to support the mother. How could the pope possibly call for the unborn child to be exterminated? Christ would no doubt want good to come from evil – ergo: re-birth. Not all mothers hate the child born of violence.

          Atheists like Miranda believe in the complete authority of self and science – the world, a future without God. This is exactly what the devil tells us, that we can define ourselves, to rule ourselves without fear of God.

          I think this is folly and I think Miranda is deluding simple people.

          • DevientGenie says:

            @tom

            Your beliefs, my beliefs, nobody’s beliefs matter. Its whats we know and what we have evidence for that matters.

            We have evidence of Evolution by natural selection, its a basic tenet of all biology.

            Inability to comprehend biology, does not validate other beliefs, it only validates ignorance of biology :)

            Deism and the idea of a creator, or intelligent designer, is one of the greatest illusions of all time.

            A true intelligent understanding of evolution and science, is so corrosive to religious beliefs, that John Scopes went to trial in Tennessee for teaching evolution in school, just 88 yrs ago.

            That same level of ignorance, caused by the poisonous effects of religion, that took John Scopes to trial, is why equal rights in a court of law are even an option in 2013.

            If there is No religion, then marriage in a court of law is as controversial as eating a Snickers bar on break :)

            Grow up. Just because someone says keep it real, actions STILL speak louder than words :)

            Denying cumulative evolution by Non random natural selection, is the equivalent to denying water is H20.

            This isnt a joke.

            Cornell University 10 Mis-Understandings of evolution.

            Everything you need to know about evolution University of Berkley

            Baylor University (baptist college) FAQ page on evolution

            The Smithsonian Institute: Evolution

            CURES 1:2–”Thinking”, if it doesn’t cure you of your religion, you’re not doing it right :)

          • Tom Venour says:

            I am a Catholic but I am not particularly relgious.

            I believe because I have read the witnesses of old and chosen to believe them. I am used to reading statements, I feel a strong strand of truth in the gospels, it is enough.

            I am Human and Humans are complex intelligent creatures. We are one universe yet to be fully discovered.

            I have no problems with the theory of evolution at all nor does the Catholic church.

            Science has become the modern religion, it has concluded on all things for all time without realising that it has barely started its journey. You are a fool sir to suggest that I need to grow up. I know my place – choose yours without foolish pride for you know nothing.

            Science is like a babe at suck.

          • DevientGenie says:

            The catholic delusion can believe what they want, Evolution by natural selection over billions of years and rib woman stories dont go together :)

            Grow up Kid :)

            Leaving the catholic religion is just a start, kick off the god stories all together and allow your human intellect to finally stretch its legs.

          • DevientGenie says:

            “Science has become the modern religion”

            Science is Not about beliefs, it is about understandings.

            Water is H2O, nobodys beliefs will change that fact.

            Evolution happened, nobodys beliefs will change that.

            Comparing science to a religion is a sick form of ignorance that only a brainwashed victim of doctrine could insinuate :)

            Keep ridiculing and putting down science as some pathetic opinion based doctrine like religion and when youre in the hospital,you’ll be thankful it isnt at all like a religion, its full of FACTS :)

            Now Grow Up :)

    • DevientGenie says:

      @patricio, there is No crying in baseball. You know that already. Walk It Off :)

      Did you write that message on your knees, you gravel like a pansy, no wonder you dont understand.

      Every time you think you want to defend the pope in any way, slap yourself :)

      Now get up, I aint heard no bell :)

  3. Giancarlo Fruzzetti says:

    My sole criticism here is that he’s the same as every other Pope, if he held different views he’d never be selected. They just want to make more and more Catholics with impunity…..women as baby factories. A better point of critique…did this man just turn the other way, or even worse support, Argentina’s Dirty War against leftists during the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. If true, his papacy is done before it even really starts. You’d think he had been vetted on this, but maybe the Vatican (which probably privately supported the Argentine junta, much as they did the purges of Franco in the 1930s) thought nobody would notice, or care.

    • Yes indeed- there are questions that absolutely need to be answered re: the extent of Francis’s involvement in/actions taken during Argentina’s Dirty War. I’m not informed enough to write about that, however, so I stuck to what I know and what I am informed about. I want to learn more, though, and I hope that others (those who know a great deal) will fully cover that issue, ideally in mainstream media outlets that can’t easily be dismissed or accused of being biased, etc.

      • Giancarlo Fruzzetti says:

        Miranda:

        He was publicly accused by two activist leftist Jesuit priests of failing to do anything to free them from prison where they were tortured back in the 1980s. He told them they needed to stop their activism, and their failure to heed him which led to the detention. One of the priests accused him of being responsible for handing them over to authorities in the first place (I think they were in hiding generally). Probably all true. Of course it is his word against theirs, but I’m sure this is suggestive of the Dirty War skeletons in this man’s closet. He had cordial or at least working relations with the government, unusual amongst Jesuits in Argentina at that time.

        A few links to illustrate:

        http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/345612
        http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/03/pope-francis-jorge-bergoglio-argentina-dirty-war.html

        Again, the average Mass attending Catholic knows little and cares less about this issue most likely, so it will probably be swept under the rug or ignored.

  4. Dear Ms. Hale – you do not yet know God. Pope Francis supports God’s Will. God does not give anyone the “right” to an abortion, but He permits free will in humanity. Abortion is another name for “the murder of the human child in the womb.” No one disagrees with you that rape is a vile and terrible sin. But so is abortion. Even if brought to life via rape, that living, innocent child still deserves to be loved and cherished – the child is good and innocent. God would not give the soul if He did not intend the child to live, to be loved, and to love. He gives the soul to make good of something very terrible. In another sense, though His Crucifixion was a great evil (for He was completely innocent), He showed His Power of Goodness in His Resurrection. He showed that LIFE would always be cherished in His Will. That baby who God places in the womb of that mother – that baby is good like the Resurrection is good; even though an evil occurred, God does not let “death” prevail; He sends that soul that Life and Love may prevail. The baby is a great gift. The baby is innocent; the baby is a sign that God is still near and saving and healing and gifting. But, we fail because we turn and hate instead of forgiving, and then the mother kills the baby in her hatred – in her unforgiveness. This is an awful task – to forgive such a terrible crime; we must have God in our hearts in order to forgive such a thing. But without God, we turn and hate instead, and we die in our hatred. It is not God’s Will that we hate and kill; it is God’s Will that we forgive and love.

    And so Pope Francis and the Church are following God’s Will to love and forgive.

    • That baby who God places in the womb of that mother – that baby is good like the Resurrection is good; even though an evil occurred, God does not let “death” prevail; He sends that soul that Life and Love may prevail. The baby is a great gift. The baby is innocent; the baby is a sign that God is still near and saving and healing and gifting.

      Actually Francis, according to doctrine, your statement is in error. That baby is not “good” it is in fact, sinful, tainted by original sin, (THANKS ADAM AND EVE) While it’s changed, at one time, an unbaptized baby could not get into heaven as they were still tainted.

      So no, that baby is not “innocent”, nor is it “good”. By being born, by existing from the moment of conception, it has already sinned.

      I’m somewhat surprised that you’re so ignorant of your own doctrine.

      • John C. Welch – Pray for God to help you understand. You are hurting, I know. All is not lost. Pray for help and healing. Peace.

        • DevientGenie says:

          Franky, you are just hurt because you have a dislodged fallopian tube.

          Lets heal up that ovary chute with some True Scripture :)

          BigKids 12:49–There are many ways to describe the tool known as science, however, the best way to describe science is by David Guetta, Sexy B-I-T-C-H :)

          Pathetic 8:51–You know you live in a weak ignorant consciousness when in 2013, its uncomfortable in the United States to consider equal rights to all humans :)

          STUDS 5:14– A confident straight man is Not intimidated nor is he in any way threatened by gay men, therefore, if youre a religious homophobic, your girl gets “cheered up” better with the Genie :)

      • The other thing to remember is this: evil has no control over the result; neither do you have control over the result. God makes all good in Love. Peace to you.

      • Indeed, the doctrine does not support your position Mr. John C. Welch. The doctrine supports the Word of God which is based in love. Jesus Christ came to redeam us – even the worst sinner. No, Catholic doctrine is about love and truth, and not about hatred and classification. Pray for healing and understanding – for peaceful words and heart-felt charity for others. All is not lost. Ask the Father! :-)

        • That’s a nice dodge, but doesn’t answer original sin. Again, are you saying the Catholic Church no longer believes in original sin?

        • Mr. John C. Welch, I do not play dodge. Yours is a leading question without a reasonable basis. Whether someone is “good” or not is relative based upon the context. God loves us, and even in our “original sin” came to redeem and heal us. Men and women marry and they heal each other – and they grow up together. Friends heal each other. Parents and children heal each other. All of this is spite of the fact that we are “born in sin” as some might say. Doctor Welch, Original Sin is not a condemnation; it’s a diagnosis. So be a “doctor” and be part of the solution. :-)

          • DevientGenie says:

            GameOver 7:37–Faith is a trumped up word for opinion, morality is just a sugar coated word for common sense. Clown is a religious leader who wholeheartedly believes, and A-hole is a religious leader who knows its tripe but loves the money :)

          • Love actually does exist; there is hope.

          • DevientGenie says:

            When did I say Love didnt exist?

            Youre such a patheitc weakling liar, its obvious you and female orgasms go together like cotton candy and anchovies :)

            True Scripture will help you to pee standing up like a big boy :)

            TRUTH 10:35–Science leads children to KNOW new understandings about the universe and life, the bible leads children to NO new undertandings about the universe and life :)

            SmartyPants 10:4–Increase our chances of inspiring the next genius, take your kids to a museum or science center on Saturday or Sunday and let genius inspire them instead of jesus :)

            DUH 1:29–A childs inability to comprehend biology, is Not proof of their god.

            BigKids 1:19–Science doesnt try to prove anything. They try to disprove understandings and determine probability. The genius mind in the 21st century says it is a statistical improbability there are leprechauns at the end of rainbows with pots of gold, they say its a statistical improbability zeus and the gods of mythilogy are the reason for everything. The genesis creation story in the bible is among the leprechauns as a statistical improbability that the reason for everything is concerned with what days you hold holy in its honor :)

            Psalami 14:1–The fool hath said in his heart, there is no cumulative evolution by natural selection :)

            Recognize 10:25–Its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a man to disprove cumulative evolution by natural selection :)

          • DevientGenie: please avoid calling anyone a “liar” or using insults here. Thanks! (and this applies to anyone else reading this, too)

          • DevientGenie says:

            Youre right, calling a religious person a liar is rather redundant. Its like calling water wet :)

            Now that I have been read my Miranda Rights, lets enjoy some True Scripture :)

            DevientGenie 17:36–The Genie’s sharp stinging wit comes from a lance dipped in truth and is invaluable because of its corrective nature towards blasphemy of science and/or brilliant scientists. The sting is especially sharp and offensive to those who are slavish to ancient religious beliefs that ultimitley lead to an infestation of divisiveness in our social structure and an overexaggeration of influence into education and politics on a massive scale :)

            SCARY 7:2–christianity and islam have one thing in common, you must choose ignorance to all scientific evidence, mathematical certainties, and conclusions concerning nature and life, and instead choose to be a slave to a fictional petty bully :)

            DRAMA 6:24–Hey lazy, why not just make each creature again after your temper tantrum, instead of the whole ark drama? All knowing seems more all sissy :)

            WISHES 3:7–We just need to raise our consciousness. Just a simple small step, and all agree that questioning the origins of human life because of our current scientific knowledge is NOT somehow inherently wrong, or rude, or offensive in any way just because those truths contradict words in a holy book. Once we all agree on that, we will begin to embrace the beautiful truths and explanations for the complexity of life and ultimately have the consciousness to let go of the dull lazy answer that “god did it” :)

          • Tom Venour says:

            Miranda sows the seeds and reaps the rewards of bitterness based on wilful ignorance. It makes her life so much easier.

          • DevientGenie says:

            Tom, there is no crying in baseball, are you new here?

            You know the rules, Walk It Off :)

            At the end of the day, fancy words wont change the fact that humans who believe in an intelligent designer, are Not intelligent :)

    • Wild Edric says:

      Which is all well and good – well maybe – providing there actually is a God! Now according to all known facts & Definitions, the God that is recognised by so many is what exactly? An Alien Life Form – that’s what!
      God = Alien or God = non existent – but not both. http://bit.ly/HmFhPW

      • One day God will surprise you.

        • DevientGenie says:

          One day god will surprise you like Annie. Youre always a day away.

          Very well thought out argument franky.

          You seem to think as much as a worm jumps :)

          Youre just hurting and need some True Scripture :)

          Recognize 12:9–Humans live longer, better, and more comfortable lives, when they use their science to advance mankind, religions are zits and hemorrhoids all over advancing mankind :)

          BigKids 4:46–Actually the whole planets obsession with an idol that monitors their sex life is so childish, unless you step back from the situation objectively, the ridiculous nature of that belief will Not be evident, and the ball and chain of outdated beliefs keep dragging Mankind down, so far down and unaccountable, they blame the gun :)

          BigKids 6:33–Get a clue kids, without the pages of barbarism, slavery, sexism, who to kill and why, and the obvious plagiarism from other nonsense throughout time, the bible would be as thick as a dime :)

          Ouchies 11:6–Proliferating a religious fairy tale in front of the Genie is akin to jumping off a high dive platform into an industrial sized wood chipper :)

          • I’m very sorry for your affliction. I pray that you are able to trust more one day and heal.

          • DevientGenie says:

            Ned Flanders Statement:

            “I will pray for you. From all of your postings I have read, you are obviously a very disturbed and lost person”

            Reply:

            Thank you for your prayers. We need more than just prayers, I wish people understood prayers alone not going to do the trick. We need to open some fortune cookies WITH the power of grayskull, ITS THE ONLY WAY :)

            Its either that or the reason for everything came to the middle east and went all Chris Angel—David Blaine–Copperfield on some bread and fish thousands of years ago.

            Nice try, without the power of grayskull the world is worthless. Until the world accepts and embraces the power of grayskull, get used to Never having world peace :)

            All I know is if your son or daughter was gay, unlike those who pray, I would hope the world allowed them equal rights, and removed the shame of being born with a certain sexual orientation :)

    • DevientGenie says:

      @francis, your display of gibberish is astounding. Congratulations, you are delusional and brainwashed, well played :)

      Your main issue is passing off tripe as true scripture :)

      To all those who cover your religious delusion by calling it a “disagreement” or “difference of opinion”, please have a seat with your like minded peers, the Elvis, Hitler and Tupac are alive groups, and the flat earth-ers group :)

      True Scripture, will help you see more relevance to the 21st Century, Not that watered down tripe from back in the day :)

      CURES 1:1–Free Thought is Not a curse, it’s the cure :)

      SAD 10:52–Theres more evidence that religion is a poison then there is evidence for gods :)

      Buddies 9:17–The reason for zombie worms that have sex in whale bones, made an appearance in the middle east so we would know to obey or get a spanking. That was nice to let us know that, because, thats what friends are for :)

      RIDDLES 8:36–christiasn vs islam, who is dumber? mormon :)

      There is nothing sacred about humans in the bible. The main characters, the Old T Bully and the New T Sexist, those a-holes are sacred.

      Humans are worthless, dumb, born sinful, perverted, ungrateful, etc etc, whatever sky daddy wants to nit pick about, is listed somewhere in the holy binky :)

      If we did treat the human as sacred, then the human is deserving respect, if the human is deserving of respect, then gay marriage would be as controversial as eating a Snickers bar on break.

      However, disrespect is placed upon those who are black, oh wait, that was yesterdays “good ol’ religious folk” today’s Bigot is a bully to gays, much to the delight of the Morality Masters written in the holy binky :)

      Delusional 10:56–If millions of people want to believe the reason for the sub atomic world and DNA, is concerned, then by all means we should deny equal rights to marriage :)

      Well played christian nation, well played :)

      • You don’t know what you’re doing.

        • DevientGenie says:

          That was deep franky, real deep. “You dont know what youre doing”

          Translation: Questioning lifes origins and coming to conclusions and understandings based on logic, reason and evidence is wrong :)

          Good cut, good cut franky. You’ll get ‘em next time :)

          True Scripture will shed some light :)

          Evolution 7:44–Everything is fine, janitor chalkboard problem solvers are all over it. They have been all over cumulative evolution by natural selection for over 150 yrs now. Its moon landing true and rib woman is false :)

          FunFacts 9:9–Look up Aveling, he was a thorn in Darwins side. Darwin was obviously, extremely intelligent, but a pansy. Agnostic Darwin whined about Aveling’s approach to religious beliefs. Aveling declaring that agnostic is simply atheist writ respectable and atheist is agnostic writ aggressive :)

          DevientGenie 8:35–Although its extremely frightening to be diagnosed delusional from indoctrination of religious poisons, and even though it seems scary to get rid of your religion, its important to understand, that together, we can find the cure :)

          SOLDIERS 7:57–The majority of the brilliant minded scientists are not outspoken. They have the attitude “religion will always be in the way of the truth, there is nothing I can do about it, plus we cant tell the people everything we know, they cant handle it, it’ll break their hearts” Fortunately, the few who do stand up and fight for logic and reason, are diligent and wholeheartedly sincere in their quest to discourage religion from infecting its poison into our government, our schools, and anywhere else influential in a childs development :)

          CaptainObvious 7:33–Morality is nothing more than a trumped up word for common sense. Congratulations, you have designed your life around an idiotic jewish zombie resurrection story that promises eternal happiness for obedience written by violent sexist control freaks with a severe lack of common sense.

          Well played, christian nation, well played :)

          CURES 1:2–”Thinking”, if it doesn’t cure you of your religion, you’re not doing it right :)

          • I’m sorry that you have been given such a view of religion. I hope that you find healing, spiritual light, and peace.

          • DevientGenie says:

            Gullible Nation:

            1) Believes all planets, stars and galaxies were created by a being that had a human sacrifice and resurrection in the middle east thousands of years ago.

            2) Believes denying humans equal marriage rights is ok because the reason for gravity is concerned

            3) Believes that the reason for the sub atomic world of particles and DNA was all created by a being that knows how to keep slaves and told us how in his holy book :)

            4) Believes that the reason for the earths rotation, helps Ray Lewis win Superbowl but still allows birth defects :)

  5. asquith says:

    Excellent stuff this, if depressing that we’re still fightting the battles Bradlaugh and Foote were suupposed to have won. I also agree with Giancarlo Fruzetti, have you read this?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/04/argenitina-videla-bergoglio-repentance

    Presumably this is no bad thing in the eyes of Catholic conservatives, who are also nowhere to be seen when the Vatican opposes Iraq and the death penalty and supports action on climate change. And that’s another thing that bothers me. They ignore their own religion when it doesn’t suit them, but they demand that I live by their law? No, I won’t.

    • Not true. I recommend that you read more about what the Catholic Church is doing in the world. Also, how many generation came before you and how many family members were their and were they poor or rich? If they were poor and had children, is that because the forced them to? Of course not! And why are you in the world? Maybe it’s because one of your grandmothers had an 11th child one day? You don’t really know do you? God said be fruitful and multiply to Abraham. Did not one of his grandchildren have 12 children who led the 12 tribes of Israel?

      • Wild Edric says:

        Unfortunately I read all too often what the catholic church is doing in the world…….

        • I suppose that if the media only saw what you write here, they could also make up a story about you which is not entirely true. Understand that many in the media lie or distort facts in order to play politics.

    • Yes, this is absolutely spot-on:

      They ignore their own religion when it doesn’t suit them, but they demand that I live by their law? No, I won’t.

    • Tom Venour says:

      Who is demanding you live by any law? Or is it simply God and ANY law that bothers you?

      You are simply the typical Anarchist – so very boring.

      Give me an alternative to believe in please Miranda, what is it that has given you this great sense of peace – pray tell? But please be honest. From my point of view there is no real peace on this earth, we are always struggling with evil in ourselves and others. The church and Christ gives me some sanity, it makes sense. Science alone cannot do this – for me.

      You may well be right about individuals ignoring their own tenets. Yet why do you expect perfect people in an imperfect world? Are you by any chance throwing the first stone here?

      You are confused Miranda, between hypocrits and poor priests or fallible popes and the rituals of the catholic church that are based firmly on the gospels, the church itself.

      When you last went to Mass did you judge the man – the priest – or did you consider what was actually happening in the Mass and why the church is reluctant to ‘modernise’ and what the rituals represented etc?

      You throw in feelings – usually from other people – but are rather weak on reasoned debate.

      • DevientGenie says:

        Science is so beautiful and inspiring you would need a heart made of stone to not feel awe inspired from what we know in 2013 :)

        Learn Science: Its how you put on your Big Kid Pants :)

  6. jschwaller@cfl.rr.com says:

    Nice article MCH. Thanks for the insights!

    • Thank you! :) & If you have a chance (& if you haven’t yet), I recommend reading the study I linked to in my post: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0040031 It provides some very interesting info/insights regarding the relationship between the enforcement of conservative Catholic doctrine (specifically regarding the availability of safe & effective contraception) and the economic inequality and poverty that plagues nations such as Argentina.

      • Wild Edric says:

        But Miranda, isn’t that what all religion is about? Keep the Poor and Downtrodden poor and downtrodden by promising them some rewards in an “Afterlife” – stop them revolting or questioning too much. Great Idea – you couldn’t make it up. I see the poverty Stricken North Korean people singing the praises of their great “Leader” – the one and same who keeps them that way while their neighbours just across the border enjoy a much better time of things. Then I watch the mindless souls following statues through the streets of Spain and many other countries – its all the same tactics really……..

  7. mmurray57 says:

    Nice post. A refreshing change from the media coverage in Australia which seems to be orgasmic at the idea that the Pope gets a bus and checks himself out of his hotel. Sigh.

    I’m increasingly suspicious of RCC devotion to the poor. I think there is too much of an element of worship of the poor’s suffering rather than an attempt to alleviate it and a large dash of the “deserving poor” concept. What the RCC likes best is the uneducated poor who have large families and go to mass loyally. If you raise their living standards they become educated middle-class who use contraceptives, attend mass irregularly and have atheistic children.

    Michael

    • Thank you! & Oh goodness, I know exactly what you mean re: the fawning media coverage. It’s been like that here in the U.S., too. Last night, while scrolling through my Twitter “news” list, I swear that every fourth or fifth tweet was a story gushing about Francis’s “humility” and “simplicity”, etc. The fawning stories are everywhere. Ugh.

      & Your second paragraph is absolutely spot-on. That’s the m.o. of the Catholic Church hierarchy/leadership, although they’d never admit it, of course. Also, it’s a perfect description of Mother Teresa’s hypocritical/harmful actions, as Hitch so brilliantly explained.

    • Patrick says:

      Too right. Mother Teresa used to describe the suffering of the poor as “beautiful” and refused to provide palliative care to the terminally ill, telling them that when they are in pain “Jesus is kissing you”. I am convinced that this woman was no angel of mercy but rather a sick sadist who sought out the poor and downtrodden for reasons that would shock the conscience of most sane and decent people.

  8. Functional Atheist says:

    I appreciate your specific concerns, Miranda, and you make valid points.

    Having said that, I think taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is also valid, and need not be the stance of a naive apologist.

    He just got the job. While I do not expect seismic shifts on contraceptives or abortion, he might make substantive changes in other areas, and even a shift in terms of tone and emphasis regarding issues of sexual morality might amount to a non-negligible change.

    So I prefer to withhold judgment and wait for more evidence.

    I also think that perfection is the enemy of progress–even in a best-case scenario I have no doubt that I’ll have serious areas of disagreement with this Pope. That does not mean that he’s incapable of making improvements to the deeply flawed institution which he now leads.

    • DevientGenie says:

      Dysfunctional atheist, shame on you for defending the poop in any way. :)

      There is no saving or improving the poops institution.

      Religion is poisonous, divisive and destructive, either you get that or your part of the problem :)

  9. martincx says:

    I agree

  10. DevientGenie says:

    Poor people cannot afford a quality college education. How does infecting a young mind with religious doctrine helping?

    Whether poor or rich, denying a child the truth about the universe and life based on evidence while simultaneously convincing them the reason for the stars and galaxies, the entire sub atomic world and DNA, is concerned with their obedience, and what they do naked, is child abuse.

    Well played mental slaves, well played :)

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