Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bishop Lugo 1

If you've been following my blog, you know I try to describe biology and show how complex it is. I explain Intelligent Design Theory and how Charles Darwin's descriptions of evolution are showing to be incompatible with the new findings in science. I intend to continue ID once a week, probably Fridays, continuing with the cell membrane. But I've also said that I will eventually talk about other topics, and that time has come.

I am in favor of ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church, especially as Deacons. I'll describe some history of Deacons in the Church as time goes by, but first I want to get to the reason I'm ready to pursue this subject.

This week outrageous revelations concerning former Bishop Fernando Lugo of Paraguay has made its way to the headlines. If I had written a novel describing his story, no one would call it believable. Now, I could write a novel-length discourse on how terrible can be true life.

Lugo first made his appearance in international papers when he became a candidate for the presidency of Paraguay. He came into conflict with the Vatican then, as reported by Catholic News Service. He was a Bishop who supposedly cared for and supported the poor, and was associated with the Liberation Theology movement. He won the presidency, taking it away from the ruling power of many years. He celebrated his victory with Hugo Chavez on the stage with him, singing "Cambio, Todo Cambio," a theme song of the leftist movement of Latin America. It means Change, Everything Changes.

And now, as reported by the International Herald Tribune, he has admitted to being the father of at least one child, with two other women saying he fathered theirs also. If true, at least one would have been born while he was an active bishop. To make things worse, a fellow bishop has admitted that Lugo's actions have been known, but not made public, by Paraguayan Church authority for some time (same article).

I ask you, is truth not stranger than fiction?

I am very distressed by the recent revelations. It is a sham to say you stand for the poor when you oppress them yourself. One woman stated that he took advantage of her through knowledge of her great material need. And then there are those who knew about it and covered-up. Did they not warn other young women of this predator? Did they not inform their fellow citizens who were asked to vote for a man who said he stood for the poor and yet, unknown to them, repeatedly broke his vows?

I try to be careful to avoid false logic. Though many would argue this tragic situation has nothing to do with women’s ordination, I believe in this case it does. The lack of equality in this area of the Catholic Church leads to a less respectful attitude on the part of individuals. I believe it contributes to an attitude that pervades all cultures, some more subtle than others. The Church authority calls on others to treat women fairly, but the Church has no equal in its own obligations and potentials in that regard. And yet it continues to insist on interpretations of the Bible which, whether or not sincerely believed by those in Church power, are too comfortable to those same persons to prompt re-examination. Many people have spent their time and energy into changing this 2000-year-old problem. I must join them, and we will not stop until it is solved.

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