For the first time in over 600 years – and only the second time in history – the leader of the Catholic Church has let his instincts – and not God – determine his faith.
Today, the world’s media is buzzing with news that the 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28.
Sighting “advanced age” as just cause to break with traditions, the Pope announced his retirement while most of the western world was asleep.
Organized religion – particularly the Catholic Church – has taken quite a beating over the years.
As science and technology continues to advance, and we see the world for the way it really is – and not necessarily how our ancestors once thought it was – we are a world which is losing faith.
With the scandalous $2.2 billion the Catholic Church has had to pay to victims of sexual abuse by their clergy, it’s only continued the downward spiral of organized religion even further.
So news of the Pope’s resignation is another blow to the church, and to religion as a whole.
Most Papal leaders don’t chose their own fate – that’s God’s decision – so the only way they retire is literally by death.
Having a Pope decide his own fate, shows a lack in faith by the one person who’s job it is to instill it in others.
This resignation comes shortly after the Pope began his official Twitter account, and began spreading his religious tweets around the world in numerous languages.
Perhaps the Pope’s own experience with technology has shown him his true age, and in part formed his decision to quit his job so suddenly?
Scientific and technological advances have always clashed with the beliefs of organized religion, yet in the end, it’s the science which has proof to back it’s claims, while religion has always claimed it’s a matter of faith.
From Copernicus that found out the Sun was the centre of the galaxy, not the Earth, as the Catholic Church believed, to Galileo’s first glimpses into the heavens using his own home-made eye-piece – both were banished by the Catholic Church for their scientific discoveries which we know to be true today.
The constant tug-o-war between religious beliefs and scientifically provable theories continues to this day. The whole Right to Life movement sprung forth from religious beliefs about the when a fetus is considered a person, and there is still a controversial movement trying to encourage our public education system to teach we all came from Adam and Eve, not from a Darwin-based theory of evolution, as science as proven.
I remember growing up in the suburbs of Canada’s largest city – Toronto – and every morning, my school day started by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
I went to a public school, and not being of the Catholic Faith, I never identified with that prayer. I just did it because everyone else did – and being a young kid, I didn’t know any better.
Looking back, I sometimes feel cheated by the very people that taught me to read and write, because they forced their religious beliefs upon me at a time when I was too young to even think of such things. Not that saying the Lord’s Prayer damaged me in some way, but too make it appear a normal part of everyday life for everyone, when it is not, was an abuse of power.
It was only a few years ago that the Lord’s Prayer was officially dropped from the public school system which I went through, as educators finally came to the realization that not everyone believes in the same religion, and maybe there was something unethical in their preaching’s.
Our society continues to evolve and grow as our world becomes smaller, through technology.
Perhaps the time has come for us all to question our faith – and resign our religious beliefs – just as the leader of the Catholic Church did today?