Sorry for the following long post everyone. It's a topic that interests me, I fell strongly about, and have learned to have noninflammatory discussions about. I hope everyone else can do the same if they decide to participate. I will try to separate the "political" from the "theological" or "religious", which by avoiding, will probably decrease a lot of flame, I hope.Originally Posted by Herman Witkam
Although I'll admit that the Roman Catholic Church has condoned and been a party to the killing of thousands of people (Christian and Non-Christians) in the distant past (Crusades, Reformation, etc), they aren't "killing" anyone in Africa simply by having a stance on something (whether I agree with them or not, I don't in fact).
People are killing themselves by having unprotected , drug use, horrible medical practices, etc. The Catholic Church is not forcing them to do these things. Is the church helping them at all, by continuing that stance? No. But are they "killing" them? No.
I will try to approach this from a "Catholicism as a political and world entity" standpoint, rather than a "theological" standpoint, since discussing about belief systems is going to be pointless, and will also end with this thread being closed. While I can relate to your anger of the Catholic Church (although I disagreed with your statement), you might want to be careful with the threads you start, or more importantly, how you say what you say. We are now in the "new and improved" off topic area, as Ern stated.
I happen to be a Lutheran, and am well aware of the corruption, the killing of others, etc., etc. of the Roman Catholic Church, both past and present. I will be the first to admit that corruption exists in all churches, not just Catholicism. My dislike of the Papacy, it's history, it's organization and methods, etc. is based on a LOT of research in to the Reformation and history. My fiance' is Catholic. My father is a Lutheran minister and will be preaching our wedding in a Catholic church. Wow, huh?
While some of my problems with Catholicism are idolatry (using so many symbols, trinkets, beads, pictures of saints, relics, etc), apparent results of neuroticism, penances, purgatory, methods and reasons for sainting someone, and so much that is not based on any kind of scripture at all..., those are theological differences (kind of), and I'm not going to try to change anyone's methods of prayer (or who they pray to, also a big problem I have with it) as long as it works for them and provides them with comfort.
However, I will voice my opinion on an organization that has a profound political effect on so many people. While I don't believe that organizations are a horrible thing, people within those organizations can definitely be corrupt and self serving, especially on the level of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope was not a bad guy. He was probably a very great guy, even if I disagree with a lot of his theology.
The problem that I have is in the way he is/was viewed by followers. There are a lot of followers that view the Pope to be "God on Earth", or at least, come extremely close to that view.... That's where I feel no qualms about voicing my opinion, that as fellow Christians, it is an incredibly wrong belief (not that I have any control of anybody else's beliefs). If a Buddhist or another religion wants to believe that their political leader or whatever is "God on Earth", fine. But when my fellow Christians are seen almost worshipping another human being who was elected by fellow human beings, that angers me.
Some (not all) Catholics need to be reminded that the Pope may be their leader, as Catholics who are, of course, also Christians. The Pope is not, however, the leader of non Catholic Christians. The Pope is only a political figure to me. I do not delight in his death. As a fellow human being and a Christian, I empathize with those who mourn him for whatever reasons. I will not, however, shed any tears, just as I don't shed any tears when other political figures die.
But to get back to your statement and reiterate my response....
The Catholic Church is not "killing" anyone by having that stance on condom use, even though I disagree with their stance. That's like saying that a car maker is killling me because I choose not to wear a seat belt and get in an accident, or that the maker of the sun is killing me because I choose not to wear sunscreen.
I realize the problems in Africa, and my fiance who is in medical school and I actually plan to go there and help out some day. I am a pilot. She will be a doctor. There is a neat organization called "The Flying Doctors" and another one called "Doctors without Borders" that would be great for both of us to be a part of. But, once again, the people aren't being directly "killed" by the Catholic Church....... That happened hundreds of years ago.