Ideology, Rigid Authoritarianism, & Papal Elections

Ideological thinking should not be included among criteria for papal elections. Neither should electoral criteria include factors like race, gender, geographical location, marital status, ethnicity, and so on. Of all incorrect criteria, ideological closed-mindedness is the most pivotal one to be avoided.

These erroneous factors date not from charismatic sources of the first three Christian centuries. The first Pope, Peter was a married man, Jewish; and not Italian, European, nor African. But a mixed blessing occurred when the Emperor Constantine stopped persecuting Christians and their leaders in the early fourth century. At the same time that the Emperor legalized Christianity, it began to absorb and exhibit an imperial, rigid authoritarianism, one which sought above all else to avoid the appearance of error and to cover-up sexual and other abuses, no matter what the cost to their victims.

Pope Gregory I (590-604) intensified some of these problems when he inserted a monastic strain into the papacy and into Christian tradition itself. As a style of life, monasticism may have its merits, but not if it permeates the whole of Christianity.

One Comment

  1. Laura Taylor March 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I agree! Although great that Christianity was no longer prohibited, some of its followers caste a shadow on it, as it went to the other extreme of superiority over other faiths, and stifled other equally important passions of the very people who committed so much of their energy into the papal lifestyle.

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