Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging “mistakes” that he “deeply regretted,” issued an unusual letter Thursday attempting to quiet a storm of protest over his embrace of an excommunicated bishop who denied that Nazis killed Jews in gas chambers. The letter also appeared to be a broader attempt to answer recent criticism of his papacy.
For once, the pope is right. There were mistakes. Bad mistakes. (Of course, the pope has yet to fix this mistake – apologies are nice, but why is this anti-Semite still a bishop?)
Catholics are taught the pope is infallible. Basically, we were supposed to believe the pope is never wrong. “Papal infallibility” is another of those made-up concepts designed to preserve authority and power. It’s absurd, of course. But, Benedict has admitted the pope isn’t infallible.
So, let’s not stop here with the mistake about the Nazi-loving Bishops. The pope should start admitting to other mistakes. I’ll start a list. Most of these are as made-up and faulty as the doctrine of papal infallibility:
the way the Catholic Church treats women;
the virulent homophobia (which isn’t only wrong, it’s hypocritical considering all the gay priests around. D.C. is crawling with gay priests who hold prominent positions in the church);
the sex-abuse scandal, over which many church leaders are still in denial;
denying contraception, which is bad enough. But, that is compounded by the Catholic church’s vehement objection to condoms even when they can save lives;
letting the homophobic, racist Bill Donohue act like the leader of the U.S. Catholic Church; and the double standard for Republicans, who start wars, implement the death penalty, abuse the poor and worship money above all else (pretty sure those all run counter to church teaching)
That’s a just a starter list. Since the pope is admitting mistakes, he should keep going. He’s admitted to the world’s Catholics that he is not infallible. So, the Catholic church can start rectifying other mistakes.