In defense of Catholics.
It has become the fashion of the season to stomp on Catholics… to paraphrase a well-known song, sternly. Never mind that they should be protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as any minority. And that most of the prejudice against them is entirely out of line. I have been thinking about this in vain for some time now – reading various blogs, articles, and even in serious newspapers, I wonder how powerful the Catholic Church must be. One of the first things everyone accuses it of is – being powerful.
And so I’m sorry. We only have to turn on our common sense to see a flaw. How powerful? Did she bring an interstate treaty to fruition between the Czech Republic and the Vatican? We are the only post-communist country (and perhaps the only one in Europe) that does not have a treaty with the Vatican. And it is an international political embarrassment, especially since it has been a little while since November 1989.
Has the Czech Catholic Church succeeded in separating itself from the state? Everyone is calling for separation, yet the negotiations are moving at such a pace that the snails are racing against it in Formula One. A Look at the tug-of-war over the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague – formerly the spiritual seat, the cathedral is supposed to be for the celebration of mass and the glorification of God, and yet the Catholic Church has failed to have control oversight of it.
So how powerful? In what ways can the Catholic Church influence whom today? Has it managed to put a reference to the Christian foundations of Europe in the preamble of the European Constitution? Even if it hasn’t succeeded with those Christian roots, which is an inescapable historical truth. Do you see any power dictating the terms here? Or one defeat, one defeat after another? In the same way, the Catholic Church is accused of being rich. Oh, come on. On the Vatican website. (www.The Vatican.VA), English speakers can read the economic summaries for the past few years, and they might be surprised. Is the Czech Church somehow rich? If it has to sell off churches not only in the north of Bohemia? When there is no money to repair, many others?
The Catholic Church would need to return the properties which – I should point out – legally belonged to her. It received them as a gift from the nobles who supported the Church. When in communist times, everything belonged to everyone and nothing to the Church. And in the wannabe democratic era. Still nothing. Even on Wikipedia, you can read that “as a result of 40 years of persecution from, the economic situation of the entire Czech Church is very bad…
Since the fall of communism, only a tiny fraction of church property has been returned so far, which was generally an unprofitable and disastrous state… In general, the Church suffers from a massive lack of finances.” So how rich? Where? The Catholic Church is accused of determining the lives of others and telling them what to do. Have you
ever been forced to do what the Catholic Church says? Have you ever read any “Catholic decree”? Well, I haven’t. And even if there were any such decrees, no one would ever…would follow. Do all drivers yield to pedestrians in crosswalks? Do they, do all smokers obey the no smoking at bus stops? And they’re the ones affected by these laws. Why would ordinary citizens of the country follow the recommendations of a near-minority group? (According to the last census in 2001, 26.8% of the population adhere to the Catholic Church. Of the people of the Czech Republic, only 4% regularly attend Sunday services).
People are also very bothered by the fact that the leaders of the Catholic Church comment on everything. Well, so what? When an idiot is in a pub or at a discussion on an article here on iTunes, why shouldn’t the Church? Does everyone have the right to his opinion? According to the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, they are even free to express their opinion. After all, if there is some of, say, a homosexual organization, they have the right to do so. And lo and behold – a statement from the Catholic Church appears, and the fire is on the roof. Even if the information is accurate. Even if it’s just Catholic fire codes in a church…
The Catholic Church is supposedly full of homosexuals and pedophiles. Full? Statistically, one in ten on Earth is a pedophile or a homosexual. Why should the Catholic Church be an exception? It’s just that it’s never written anywhere anymore that they did expose a bishop over there, but that maybe it wasn’t as much as the victims claim, and that perhaps the prospect of a fat severance package played a role. And nowhere does it say that, when the Catholic Church says. That there are millions and millions of priests all over the world, including in the Czech Republic, who Millions and millions of people have been helped. Whether in the time of totalitarianism or now – with advice, help, financial contribution, recommendation, accommodation…
I have met more priests and religions in my life with whom it was possible to have a normal chat and go for a beer but also expect help from them than those who would try to help my family and me any harm. But prejudices are prejudices. According to them, the Catholic Church is powerful, wealthy, sinless, and has no say in anything.
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