There is every possibility this generation is witnessing the beginnings of the decline and fall of the Roman Catholic Church. After a mere 8 years in the position of Pope, Joseph Ratzinger is only one of two Popes to resign although there is speculation that number is five. An interesting parallel is that the other confirmed resignation was Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 in the midst of an intense political schism in the church. Rumours abound that it has been inter-political machinations which have brought about Joseph Ratzinger’s demise.
David Nicholls, president of the AFA, said, “No matter what the reason is for the resignation, the trail of death and suffering left by Joseph Ratzinger’s adherence to and reinvigorating of antiquated Catholic traditions has brought the Church’s reputation amongst its own adherents and the wider community to a low and possibly irrecoverable position.”
The raft of socially naive and dangerous edicts emanating from the Pope include reinforcing the second-rate status of women, acute hostility to homosexuality, continuation of the hard line on abortion, opposition to voluntary euthanasia, obstruction to the use of condoms in HIV/AIDs-ravaged countries and fortifying that artificial birth control is wrong.
Nicholls said, “Under this Pope, socially-progressive programs have been vehemently opposed against the wishes of the people, at least in developed nations. By various surveys it is known that the majority of RC adherents in these countries do not support such antiquated dictates.”
The Roman Catholic Church is losing its members in the West at a rapid rate not only because of lack of progressive thought but mainly because of its sullied reputation. The gains in developing nations outstrip this loss and it would be no surprise if the Vatican were to cut its Western losses and choose a Pope from Africa, South America or the Philippines. The numerical advantage is obvious.
Nicholls added, “The Catholic Church has crossed swords with modernity and has lost that battle. Its power-base may linger, supported by developing nations for some time to come, but the writing is on the wall that the ensuing schisms will eventually mean the total downfall of this anachronistic institution.”
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