He that is without sin, let him cast the next stone - enough already
former New York City Mayor Ed Koch in the Jerusalem Post
Many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice. The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce.
My good friend, John Cardinal O'Connor, once said, "The Church is not a salad bar, from which to pick and choose what pleases you."
The Church has the right to demand fulfillment of all of its religious obligations by its parishioners, and indeed a right to espouse its beliefs generally.
I disagree with the Church on all of these positions. Nevertheless, it has a right to hold these views in accordance with its religious beliefs. I disagree with many tenets of Orthodox Judaism - the religion of my birth - and have chosen to follow the tenets of Conservative Judaism, while I attend an Orthodox synagogue. Orthodox Jews, like the Roman Catholic Church, can demand absolute obedience to religious rules. Those declining to adhere are free to leave.
I believe the Roman Catholic Church is a force for good in the world, not evil.