Another Perspective on the Catholic-Pagan relationship

Note: again, please forgive my delay on running this topic. Solstice season really got me again this year.

The recent furor in the Pagan community about Pope Francis labeling the exploitative practices of the banking industry as “pagan” is understandable. Such alignment really is offensive to Pagans. There may well be someone within the Pagan religious movement on the board of a major bank. But it is probably exactly one guy, odds are the person is male and it’s very unlikely his religious views are a factor in his business dealings. What Francis clearly meant by his use of the word “pagan” is “false idolatry.” He means the misplaced values that lead to behaviors such as exploiting the economically disadvantaged because there are lots of them and it’s easier to bolster profits for the rich by taking what little thoses people have.

It’s also very likely that Francis doesn’t even know of the Pagan religious movement, or of the values the different religions affiliated with that movement espouse.

He is also never going to please everyone. He is the Catholic of all Catholics; there’s some stuff people just don’t like about Catholicism that is definitely going to stay under his watch. He has no obligation to people of other faiths, period. That he has made nonjudgmental outreach to other people of the Book that are not Catholic is remarkable. As for those of us not of the book – it’s unlikely we will have access to any conversation. If anyone wishes to offer dialogue with him, you’d best start with the bridge shared value many of us have of assisting the poor after strengthening our families/connections with those we love.

Feel your feelings but be realistic. The current pope is just one man managing a 1000 year old system that moves slower than Congress when it comes to policy change. No, I’m not ignoring the long history of sexual abuse in the church. I am not ignoring how churches lavish the language of ‘you are sinful by beng” on women when they could just ask nicely if they wanted some damn cookies baked. I just don’t know where to begin with that – and I am not and never have been Catholic myself.

But as to him and us Pagans .. if it’s a conversation that happens, great. But I’d really rather see him rectify the rampant exploitative priest problem and then move on to the psychological abuse of women I see posted on every church bulletin board when I visit the Basilica downtown to have a talk with Lady Mary. I mean, seriously, blaming women for the sin of Eve is liking blaming the customer service agent for the sins of AT&T. It’s a load of crap.