I want to take a moment out to say something nice about the Catholic Church. No, really. I’ve been catholic bashing for years, and although I try at regular intervals to acknowledge that I know it’s a large umbrella organization and therefore includes people with the full range of attitudes on what it means to support a church, I tend to focus way more often than not on what I think are the abuses of the institution – the grounding for homophobia, in particular, but also the manipulation of fear and loneliness to make women submissive, particularly when it comes to sex and birth control, and the twisting of sexuality into an evil and the failure to recognize how this plays into the child abuse story.
Enough of that for the moment. I want to look at some positives.
One biggie, obviously, is the fact that most catholics are only culturally catholic, and not doctrinally. They leave the walking on water stuff up to the literalists and pride themselves on using their heads when it comes to birth control, for example – 80% freely admitting they use it. They stay in the church because it’s home, because mama would have a shitfit if they left, and because they want the right background for their wedding photos and some insurance for the journey to the pearly gates.
Until this piece of news came to my attention, that 80% figure was about it, however. I had trouble finding other examples of how the masses were telling the pope to piss off.
But now, thanks to TFP's website, I’ve got a nice new example. TFP, which stands for Tradition, Family, Property (and doesn’t that say it all) is an organization, apparently founded in Brazil, of arch conservatives in favor of tradition, family, and well, you know… They have branches in a number of catholic countries. Twenty-two, according to one source.
How conservative, you ask? Well, their Venezuelan branch got disbanded for trying to assassinate the pope, apparently for being too liberal.
A quick look at their American branch website shows they’re up in arms over a terrible turn of events. From their perspective, I mean. It seems that 41% of catholic universities in the U.S. have gay organizations. If that wasn’t bad enough, with the damn Jesuits it’s (are you ready for this?) 100%!!!
Georgetown has an LBGTQ resource center. It has a national coming out week and tons of other stuff going on throughout the school year. Notre Dame brought in “pro-homosexual” speakers for a so-called “Stand Against Hate” week. And Seton Hall, America’s oldest catholic college, even has a course taught by one of those homosexualists who has the temerity to say being one is OK.
If this upsets you, you can go to their website and sign a protest against “the social acceptance of unnatural vice” and other bad things.
Or, if you need an excuse to uncork another bottle of champagne, you can celebrate the fact that the Church is lumbering its way into the 20th Century.