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Pope Francis vs The Cardinals

By David Anderson

03 October, 2015

The visit of Pope Francis to the United States was a very powerful one, but with two serious flaws; the Sainthood of Californian Junípero Serra, reopening wounds of Colonialism (insensitivity to American Indigenous Peoples) and as now being reported; the meeting with the Kentuckian anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis. These flaws were all the more tragic as they obscured his great achievement, the 'Laudato Si' Encyclical laying out a moral case for addressing climate change.

*See Huffington Post criticism of Kim Davis meeting


*see my Amazon review of Encyclical


It gets worse. The environmental Encyclical was made public in the United States before his trip on Thursday, June 18. In the evening of June 17 a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed by a gunman, including the senior pastor. This almost totally occupied the media for several days, thus drowning out coverage of the encyclical.

With regard to his visit, the two “glitch” problems arose out of an orthodox ignorance on the part of the American catholic clergy. The US Cardinals who did all the vital planning are mostly orthodox Catholic conservatives appointed by the prior conservative orthodox popes John Paul and Benedict.

The Kentucky Archbishop who most likely engineered the Kim Davis visit to the Vatican Embassy in Washington was a Benedict appointment.

Pope Francis is an open and liberal minded person ready to bring the church into the 21st century. At 78 he may not have the years in front of him to do so, but then we shall see. Will the College appoint another like him? Doubtful. Thank’s to John Paul and Benedict it remains largely conservative.



Archbishop of Louisville

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D

Born on August 18, 1946

His Holiness Benedict XVI appointed Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. as the fourth Archbishop and ninth bishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville on June 12, 2007


Written after Benedict was named pope April 2005 (Resigned February 2013)


The Church must learn to stop trusting only its Bishops/Cardinals and their interpretation of ancient catholic doctrine and learn to trust its people. The hierarchy should be setting an example by living their lives as Jesus did, not by trying to define in the most exact terms God’s rules for a 21st century society. It should let its God take care of the future of our world through His enlightenment of all people. It should trust these people to decide on complex 21st century issues such as stem cell research, abortion, world population expansion, global warming, birth control, homosexual unions and clerical celibacy/non celibacy, and yes the right of women to become priests too. If it does not, the authority of the church will continue to diminish.

Pope Benedict XVI is the product of the late Pope John Paul II. John Paul was and will remain his template. The late Pope by appointing all ultra conservative cardinals assured the choice of Cardinal Ratzinger for Pope.

Thomas Cahill in his April 5 article in the N.Y. Times, “The Price of Infallibility” wrote:

“John Paul II was not a great religious figure. How could he be? He may in time be credited with destroying the Catholic Church. It will slowly disappear.”


By packing the College of Cardinals with “Yes” men, John Paul II assured a continuation for many years of top down catholic orthodoxy. I for one agree with Cahill that because of this, the model of the secular Europe of today may be the model for the future Church.

The Church must learn to trust God’s people in this world, all of them: Jews, Hindus, Muslims, even the doubters like agnostics and atheists. And, it needs to begin with its own catholic laity. The Church today will not even trust its own laity. If it cannot trust its own laity, how can it possibly trust others?

Like Jesus, its mission in this world should be to help people live enlightened lives, not to set out the rules for their salvation! Not only Catholics, but all Christians need to understand what scholars of the gospels are now finding; that, it is not a matter of believing in Jesus, it is a matter of trying to be like him.

A 21st century world is calling on the Roman Catholic Church to go back to Nicaea and start from scratch. It must break away from its very foundation. It must reopen the debate on all of the early writings it arbitrarily called heretical. It must reexamine itself. This is why Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) was the wrong choice. Looking at his past, he is the last person who would ever go back to Nicaea and release the hold that the popes and cardinals over the centuries have had and continue to have on the Church. He is too proud of his own intellect to do this.


David Anderson brings together a wide range of interests in his writings, namely; theology, history, evolutionary anthropology, philosophy, geopolitics, and economics. He has written three books. A fourth titled “Our Planetary Challenge - Moving Beyond a Fast Approaching Critical Fork in Our Evolutionary Road” is near completion. (see http://www.inquiryabraham.com/new-book.html ) It is about a necessary geo political, social, religious, economic paradigm shift for human survival. The book calls for a radically different understanding of the relationship of Homo sapiens to Planet earth and the cosmos. It challenges the implicit ecological legitimacy of our political, social, religious, and economic institutions and makes recommendations as to how they can be restructured in order to meet oncoming demands. It spells out in chronological detail what is likely to occur if this does not take place. David is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Hawaii (Harvard Asia Pacific) Advanced Management Program. Over a thirty year career he was an international risk manager and senior executive at several of America's premier multinational institutions. During that period he became increasingly aware of the underlying cultural, institutional and religious causes of past and present civilizational dysfunction and conflict.



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