Thursday, April 04, 2013

We Have A Pope!

The Antichrist Or What?

It's been a while since the cardinals of the church elected a new pope, the very first Francesco, after St. Francis of Assisi, but I have been gathering my thoughts and couldn't write about this earlier.

Much is made among students of Catholicism about the prophecies of St. Malachi, the 12th century Irish saint. It is said that his accurate portrayal of the last four popes (he uses symbolic language so I do not know) proves that his characterization of this pope as "Peter the Roman", who will shelter the remaining followers of the church in the times of tribulation. Therefore, he will be the last pope, it is said, during the rule of the Antichrist.

I've known for the last two years that Pope Benedict would not be long for the papacy. When asked, I said "the next one would be Italian" and it turned out to be so, as the former Jorge Mario Bergolio was born to Italian parents in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1936. And that yes, instead of appointing a liberal pope, it would be a conservative. The church could have shown it was ready to accept its faults of the past. Instead, it appointed a pope who worked with the dictators of Argentina and enabled the kidnapping and torture of two priests   This is denied by his biographer, and now by one of the priests, FWIW. The fact remain that while the Brazilian bishopric made social issues their priority, the Argentinian church was er, unusually timid.

So I did go to Rome over Easter, to be there, for many reasons. And I walk to St. Peter's Square in the Vatican to see what I can see. There's a mural of Jesus handing gold keys to St. Peter, the keys to the kingdom, and there's the problem I have with the church. St. Peter was jealous of Mary Magdalen, Jesus's wife, and therefore the direction of the church was set on a different path than what Jesus envisioned. Every element, from the Gnostics to the Cathars, was ruthlessly excised, and its treatment of Muslims and Jews during the Crusades wasn't exemplary.

It is an institution that can and has done good over the years, but all such institutions must evolve, or perish. In the church's case, I see only corruption and irrelevancy, no matter how many photo ops and small gestures are made by the new pope.

The Antichrist exists as an energy and not a person, that inhabits all of us in one way or the other, but also, within the institutions of organized religion, politics, and high finance. So until we balance the rift between the male and female energies that are reflected in us, the Catholic Church and all such religions and institutions are merely vehicles for this corruption. There must be social and economic justice, there has to be an end to the suppression of the sacred feminine and respect for Mother Earth, and until this is done, there will be no peace. And so I just do not see the church changing, sorry. In this, the new pope is truly "Peter the Roman".

The real struggle will happen outside of organized religion, as people of spirituality gather together and form new models. There is a struggle, only just begun. And the Christ, and God, exists in all of us. We can bring great change.

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