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MEXICO: Religions change, or celibacy is for dogs



Religions change. Observing the Pope and the Vatican leads one to think that they are frozen in time, but in fact, changes are going on. Usually the Catholic Church follows the path marked out by the Protestants. This happened in the second half of the last century. Conservatives who objected to the changes, like Father Lefčvre of France, were viewed as an embarrassment by the Vatican. As a result of the sex scandals, many American Catholics are demanding changes. I wondered what was happening in Mexico, land of the simple cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Raśl Escalante, who represents the smaller, intellectual body of Mexican Catholics, says "I am convinced both that priests should be allowed to marry, and that women should be ordained. To be more controversial, I also believe openly gay men should be eligible for ordination. Many priests have gay sexual preferences which they keep secret. I do believe in celibacy for dogs, however; the stray dog problem in Mexico is out of control and needs to be controlled by responsible owners. Please give Jaqui my condolences". I will do so, but I have no information about the celibacy of her beloved Teodoro. Raśl goes further than I would regarding gays, whom I regard as unfortunate victims of a quirk of nature, like color blindness. I hope cures are found for both ailments.

This brings us to change in religions generally. Yesterday I had a fascinating conversation about religion in Asia with Jim Bowman, president of the Far East Broadcasting company. He comes from a family of Pentecostals, a US sect which believes that faith comes from the heart (they scorn the intellectual approach to religion) and that they should speak in divine language to God, the language of God being the strange noises they make, or rather the Spirit makes through them. The younger generation abandons this odd practice. Presbyterians and Calvinists have abandoned their belief in predestination, but they prefer not to talk about it. The Anglican (Episcopalian) Church used to insist on the 39 articles of the faith, then just on belief in the Trinity, and now they are arguing about what is the minimum requirement, if any. This helps heretics like me, although I believe in my own version of the Trinity. Don't worry. Belief in it is not a requirement for being a WAISer.

Ronald Hilton - 4/5/02


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