Posted: 12/02/2013 at 09:15
As with any institution be it religious or governmental, there is good and bad. Unfortunately, while there are no doubt good Catholics who live good lives, the Church has a long track record of centuries of bigotry, dodgy politics, cruelty and repression. Recent revelations about exporting of children to the colonies, locking up and abusing women in the Irish Republic and the sex scandals around the world are cases in point. This pope was deeply implicated in early sex scandals and preferred to cover up than deal with the problem.
I can well understand the earlier poster's anger if they have suffered through anything the church has done. I can also understand deep scepticism about the amount of wealth the Church hoards but feel myself that all those magnificent buildings are our joint heritage and are worth preserving as testament to the ingenuity and skills of our forebears. They don't, however, need all those grace and favour residencies, fancy frocks or limos.
World poverty will not be solved till all politicians and business people are free of greed and corruption - pie in the sky really but getting better in some quarters though progress is slow in others. Just look at all the bribery and 'lobbying' that goes on in US politics and all the lobbying in national parliaments and the EU and the diverting of international aid to the third worl to private swiss bank accounts.
Let this pope retire and look to his conscience. Let the Catholic church elect a modern, forward thinking pope who will recognise the equal humanity of women and gay people. Some hope I expect.
More importantly, let everyone recognise their own responsibility for their own moral behaviour within their family, social and national circles and not seek to hide behind religion and divine absolution. And yes, gardeners are practical, pragmatic, optimistic and patient people and we could do worse than require our leaders to be gardeners too. It would do wonders for their hubris and teach them humility.