“Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,” he said.
While I know Pope Benedict XVI was referring to (and admonishing after a fashion) American Catholics for having a different view on a number of issues than those put forth by the church, that simple sentence irks me. Religion and spiritual belief is the utmost private matter. The Vatican has nothing on which to stand when chastising American Catholics (or anyone for that matter) for adopting positions supposedly contrary to the Church and it’s teachings. This is especially so considering some of the Vatican’s positions and organization rules contradict the Bible itself.
I admire the intent of the Roman Catholic Church to encourage people to live more peaceably with one another, be charitable, and promote cooperation. Unfortunately, the reality is far more ugly with religion and the Bible used as a means and justification to deprive and to hate and to deny and to condemn those who dissent or differ. In my humble opinion, the biggest problem the RCC (and all religions sects derived from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition) have is they’ve forgotten the true message: integrity, peacefulness, forgiveness, and compassion.
I suppose this is just my general disdain and distrust of organized religion. For me there is a complete separation between faith and belief vs religion. Anyway, just some meandering thoughts here…