I think many of us feel like this a lot of the time.

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i love me some Tim Minchin, Mel.  although i wonder if he still does the Pope song in light of Pope Francis the Awesome.  doesn't seem right anymore.  

Well, Francis still ain't all that and a bag of chips.  Sure, he's making lots of nice conciliatory noises, but if he can't be bothered to so much as LOOK at the situation of women within his church, then he's got a blind spot you could drive a Kenworth through.  My attitude isn't quite so negative about him as it was about Joe the Rat, but if that shepherd thinks he's going to pull the wool over my eyes, he's got another think coming.

i can tell you're skeptical of him, and that's a perfectly reasonable thing to be.  i look at it differently. i'm pretty sure he's genuine, and he's taking risks without hesitation.  the kind of tone he's setting is very anti-orthodoxy.  he's a reformer who realizes he first needs to win the messaging war and get people on his side.  then real structural changes will be possible.  and i think it is worth supporting even by atheists.  unless you think it's realistic to rid the world of religion anytime soon, then shouldn't we be rooting for the religions that do exist to do good work and not impede the progression of society?  

if you're looking at it from the perspective of "us against them" then the Pope's popularity is a negative thing.  personally i don't think that's the right lens to view him through.  

regarding the kiddie fucker thing, he has recently addressed it.  i am curious whether he'll address the recent news out of Minnesota where 30 priests were named as sexual predators.  

Matthew, he can either take the child abuse business seriously or go suck eggs.  I'm not convinced he's about to do the former, and he's shown no inclination in that direction that I'm aware of.  Worse, the story has largely fallen out of the public consciousness (mostly because the general public has the attention span of a gnat), and they seem to be all going, "wowie-zowie" over all these supposedly "liberal" gestures he's making.

Well, sorry, Frank, but my memory is still intact, and until and if you actually DO something positive about a scandal that would have decimated any other organization, your cred with me stands at ZILCH.

He is a reformer because hard circumstances dictate that he become one. A Pope cannot be a reformer by instinct. John Paul II was also described as a liberal but his realism went away with him. His successor was very orthodox. Going back and forth this way is no reason for being hopeful.

Loren:

In my opinion the Pope is acting the way he is simply to try to make the Catholic Church look better. I think he has no motive other than that.

I also think he's acting based on his background.  He has an interest in poverty; therefore he acts to bring attention to that interest and do something about it.  I still think he fails to see the forest for the trees, and it's very likely that no major member of the catholic church could hope to effect serious change for that very reason.  They have all been co-opted by their own dogma, and to expect them to do otherwise would be tantamount to expecting a fish to swim out of water.

It will take an external action, disenthralled of the church, to either force the church to change or to dismantle it.  An internal "velvet revolution" is unlikely in the extreme.

Take heart, my fellows.  There was a time when there were only 12 Christians, and one of them hung himself.

Then, again, it is kinda scary that being wrong can accumulate such a large following.

That is the scary part AW!

That was good - thanks for sharing

It is hard being right in a world full of people who are wrong. You try to spread reason, logic, and critical thinking, and all you get in return is hatred and fear. Atheism is the minority, in my opinion--the ultimate minority. There may be millions of atheists throughout the world, but we're facing billions of believers in this or that supernatural hogwash.

You are right Tony.  I'm glad we have each other here to be together and talk.

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