Sunday, March 24, 2013

This blogger believes noone should mess with papal elections.

Every now and again, some idiot goes and does something so completely moronic, I feel like screaming my head off. Today, I am literally boiling with rage, and I feel as if I am spitting fire while typing this post.

Today, this came out in the newspaper. Apparently, for the final round of the annual Dato' CQ Teo Debate Challenge organised by KDU Debate Association (KDUDA) this year, the motion was "This house believes that the people and not the cardinals should elect the pope." And the winning argument was construed around the stance that "religion does change to suit society, and it is the pope's job to guide this process".

I'll give a moment for that to sink in.


WHAT THE HELL?

So in essence, the church should change itself to suit the whims and fancies and desires of society nowadays? The Catholic church should open its arms to homosexual marriage and contraception and euthanasia and everything else, and leave behind the traditions that we have painstakingly maintained for over 2000 years??

We believe, that the Catholic church was founded by Jesus Christ himself when he made Peter the first leader/pope of the church. The Catholic church is steeped in tradition and symbols and all sorts of rituals that have stood the test of time. Change has occurred, don't get me wrong, but only in light of increasing efficiency (introducing Communion ministers and altar boys), or for safety reasons (Communion in many churches worldwide now do not require the congregation to drink the blood of Christ anymore as many have to share one cup).

Yes, minute changes. Changes that still maintain the true essence and legacy that Christ himself has paved. The church does not "change to suit society" in the revolutionary sense. Matthew 5: 13-14 tells us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Christians do not conform to the values of society. We stand true to all teachings of the church, no matter what. 

The Catholic church has refused to alter its doctrine throughout the course of history, despite many challenges that "religion should change to suit society". Even to the extent of undergoing the painful process of the separation of the church by those who could no longer believe in its principles. When brother turned against brother and sister against sister, the church still stood firm against the tide.


And the method of our papal election process is not up for debate. And never will it ever be.

Like almost everything about the Catholic church, the electing of the pope has many rituals involved. The true election process has historically been shrouded in secrecy, but we do know that the cardinals sit in a conclave and have their ballot while being guided by the Holy Spirit. However, the winning candidate is not chosen by the cardinals, but chosen by God Himself.

You see, after finding out who has won the vote, the ballots are burnt, and the famous smoke watch will tell us if the church has found a new leader. Black smoke bad, white smoke good. The cardinals have zero control over who gets selected as the pope in the end. Because like how Samuel had to go through all sons of Jesse before God revealed David to be His chosen King, the cardinals will have to go through the candidates until God tells them He has chosen the Pope.

Thus, the very idea that this process should be replaced by simple democracy makes me so furious. Why would anyone even contemplate messing with the discretion of the big guy upstairs to choose a shepherd for His people?

I believe I speak for a hugeass majority of Catholics, when I say that we don't need to have a say in who becomes the new pope. If he's good enough for God, he's more than good enough for us. And this is notion is manifested through Pope Francis himself, who wasn't one of the many frontrunners, but has immediately gained all our love through his many acts of humility. I do not believe he would have won if anyone else but God was in charge of the selecting, and I believe Papa Francisco be an amazing leader.


Despite all the above, I am not writing to nitpick at the winning team's arguments. The debaters clearly had zero knowledge about the papal elections at all (including the apparently Catholic opposition), but it wasn't their fault they got such a motion. 

I am flabbergasted at the sheer audacity of KDUDA to select such a motion for teams to debate on. Whoever authorised this, I can guarantee you that you will be hearing from many youth leaders all around Malaysia. Obviously, that person is not Catholic and had not done any prior research before deciding on such a sensitive topic. All you knew was that Pope Francis was elected, and wanted an immediate hot topic, without even consulting any Catholics on how debatable the issue was in the first place.

Have you no shame at all? Do you honestly believe that the principles of any established religion, not just Catholicism, should really be reformed? And you're allowing uninformed students to debate such a motion?

I have been a participant of the Dato CQ Teo Debate Competition myself 4 years ago. The final debate is held in a large hall, and is watched by all other participants as well as supporters. I am already so outraged by merely reading a short news article about the debate, I cannot imagine how enraged the informed Catholics present must have been. 

To have one of our sacred rituals challenged by people who know nothing about it, is something that no religion should ever have to go through. Off the top of my head, it like saying Muslims and Sikhs cannot wear any form of head covering because weapons may be concealed in there. 

I know those aren't rituals but I really don't know rituals of other religions. But I'm trying to convey that the proposed change affects something dear to the religion, and the change would affect the entire identity of the religion itself. 


So again KDUDA, what the hell?

The level of sheer ignorance and insensitivity you have displayed is unbecoming for an event organiser. Simply by being too lazy and foolish to do a tiny bit of background research, you have now insulted 1.2 million Catholics in the world. You have really goofed up big time, and I hope you plan to make a big apology.

I can't find the link anymore, but I remember that upon going through a plethora of "Habemus papam" posts on the internet at 2.30am once finding out that white smoke had arose from the conclave, there was one anonymous interviewed person, that said he wished he could find out about the papal elections through a tweet instead of through a smoke signal. A TWEET INSTEAD OF A SMOKE SIGNAL.

I hope I have previously explained the papal elections in a way that conveys how Catholics take pride in our traditions, and how truly magnificent and miraculous it is that God Himself declares to the world in such an open manner that a new pope has been chosen. You are literally messing with a miracle here.

The organising committee for the Dato CQ Teo Debate Competition is no different from that anonymous person. No respect for tradition, no respect for the religion and all its people. 


Shame on you!

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