The Church has to take a lead and abolish its outdated values
Published 09/11/2010 | 05:00
There is an old and wise saying that tells us "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
The awful results of allowing groups and/or individuals to hold total power of any sort have been well proven in the past two decades. One prime example would be the Roman Catholic Church, which wielded absolute power in Ireland for at least a century -- and we all know what happened as a result of that.
Along with church scandals, the horrors that emerged from the Mahon Tribunal alone should be enough to show us what happens when individuals or groups are allowed too much control. Given the strength of the public outcry regarding the financial pain we are undergoing, why don't we, the voting public, now instill some change in the way in which all our representatives manage our affairs.
There is real rage now being articulated regarding the waste and abuse of power by the Government, trade unions and semi-State bodies. This represents a genuine opportunity to make the necessary alterations to the way our country is run.
The members of the Catholic Church should also seize the moment and usher in the changes that could, and should, have occurred centuries ago.
Along with us hopefully getting rid of at least half of our Government ministers with their open-ended expense accounts, plus most of the many senior civil servants who appear accountable to no one, we must now try to encourage our Church leaders to show, by example, the way forward.
Let us assume that you believe in the existence of a God and, on that basis, we might examine the teachings of Jesus and all the other noted religious leaders and prophets of the past. There is one unifying message in their teachings and that is that wealth and power corrupt, and we can only find true peace and salvation by caring for our fellow men and shunning the accumulation of riches.
"Cast away your earthly goods and follow me," Jesus reputedly said. Inspiring words indeed, but why then are his ministers not doing so? Why do the churches accumulate great wealth and why do some of their hierarchy live in relative luxury when many of their flock, who pay for their lifestyles, face poverty and hardship?