Friday, December 21, 2012

Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Your Holiness,

My purpose is to address a number of grievances I hold against the Roman Catholic Church. As an American Catholic with the right to free speech, I feel that it is both my right and duty to do so.

Recently I read about the Vatican's decision to excommunicate, dismiss and laicize Father Roy Bourgeois for his refusal to recant his stated view that women ought to be ordained as priests. I denounce this decision on the grounds that continued sexist policies have no place in the twenty-first century, especially in a religious order - such as yours - whose priesthood is in decline. Furthermore, Father Bourgeois' decades of tireless work in humanitarian causes, particularly his battle against the continued U.S. policies of financial and military support for regimes that commit human rights violations and atrocities in Latin America, should prove his worth to your organization and its aim of spiritual salvation.

I question the Church's supposedly anti-war stance, and why with all the vast wealth and influence at your fingertips, more cannot be done for the cause of peace.

I question the Church's supposedly anti-poverty stance on similar grounds, given the fact of your organization's vast wealth. If the Vatican deemed the cause of feeding the hungry of utmost importance, perhaps its wealthy, comfortable hierarchy could part ways with a few of those precious, expensive relics and luxurious apartments in Rome. Proceeds from the sales could directly benefit the residents of Nairobi, Kenya's Kibera slum, for instance.

I denounce the Church's policy of cover-ups in cases of sexual abuse against minors.

Finally, I denounce the dogma of papal infallibility, for the history of the Papacy is filled with papal error.


James Wesley Nichols