Recently, I reviewed a PBS program on the Inquisition in the obscene depths of that horror. In my younger days I cried easily but not so in my seventh decade. Last evening I wept.
It is easy to admit to being undereducated in matters of faith and morals. I will write what I think I know.
The Pope is infallible when speaking on matters of faith and morals. He has the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit. This infallibility is an attribute of all Popes, historical and current.
Church teaching gives God the attributes of omnipotence and omniscience, all-powerful and all-knowing. The Church also teaches that man is created in the image and likeness of God.
Now a step back to the Inquisition and Pope John Paul. This Pope of the Inquisition wrote against and brought humiliation and harm to the Jewish people, herding them into locked ghettos at night, forcing them to wear yellow hats by day. This happened while the Pope was overseeing the horrors of the Inquisition. All manner of suffering removed those who disagreed with the church.
Church defenders tell us that all such matters can only be understood the context of time and culture. The Inquisition gets blurred and softened by saying that an understanding of the society of the times explains false imprisonment, torture and murder.
Had not the gentle man, Jesus, lived and taught His message of peace and justice? Had He not walked in simple robes forgiving, restoring and gently admonishing when His chosen twelve strayed?
Where was the attribute of omnipotence and omniscience when the Inquisition cleared a disagreement with boiling oil/turpentine or with a bonfire to char the flesh of a heretic? Remember that the same church teaches the story of Jesus using spit and dirt to restore eyesight.
God knows no time or culture. God’s omniscience simply IS, correct? Was the Pope not listening or was Jesus’ message not one approved by the Holy Spirit?
For the sake of understanding, let’s leave the time and culture of the Inquisition and move to modern conundrums. The teaching is that God created all people in His/Her image and likeness. That still stands, right?
Two huge albatross pull Church equality into disbelief. If God created gender inclusive ‘men’ in His/Her image and likeness am I not as much reflection of God as is any ordained person? If my soul reflects God as does any ‘male’, why am I not a fully accepted member of the Church?
Could it be that the same infallibility that fostered the Inquisition is the papal gift that excludes women from ordination? Riddle me this. Help me sort.