Born and raised an Irish Catholic, I believe it is my duty to offer the Church some free advice before they select a new Pope. Right now seems like a good time to convene a much overdue Third Vatican Council. The conclave of cardinals will be meeting next month, and I am told that between 75-80 cardinals are indeed loyal readers of The Noonan World Report. Therefore, I am hopeful that some bold changes will be taken under consideration.
As with any profitable business, the Church must capitalize on its strengths. In my view, the Catholic Church has some clear competitive advantages: most notably its brand awareness, fund-raising capacity, and Jesus. No doubt the brand has been damaged by the child sexual abuse scandal. But some transparency and a little common sense can go a long way in this regard. First off, stop raping little boys. And if you learn that one of your priests is molesting children, don’t play legal games with the statute of limitations. Have him tried in a criminal court, and do not allocate resources to defend him. When he is convicted and sent to prison, he will most likely experience many years of rape himself. This new policy will not only act as a deterrent for future predators, but it will also save millions of dollars in unnecessary legal fees.
In regards to fund-raising and growth opportunities, some gender tolerance could prove to be a useful tool. The patriarchal business model is not as effective in 2013 as it was in 213 A.D. Your target market is humans, and half of the human population is female. Unfortunately, the power gap has narrowed somewhat between males and females over the past 2,000 years. I understand abortion is off the table, but let’s chill out on the contraception issue. We should all agree that life does not begin at ejaculation. Also, given the weakness in our current priest labor market, perhaps now it is time to allow women into the clergy. Granted they are annoying at times, but if trained properly, I believe they can perform the task of priest effectively. The male market is saturated, so it’s time to expand. Add these provisions to our Vatican III reforms.
In addition to these structural changes, I also believe there needs to be some fundamental changes in theology. Let’s make it simple – get rid of the Old Testament altogether. To be brutally honest, the Old Testament is total bullshit. It is a collection of revisionist history that has been lost in translation over 5,000 years. Quite frankly, it is Jewish Scripture, and it has proven to be more effective at starting wars and confusing Catholics than anything else. I grew up in Catholic schools wondering why the Old Testament god was such a douchebag compared to the New Testament god. It never made any sense. So as part of the Vatican III accord, the Church should relentlessly promote the teachings of Jesus, and stop printing the Old Testament in new publications of the Bible.
Jesus was a total beast. It is impossible to disagree with anything he ever said or did. As a religious organization, or business, you should be promoting your best product. And Jesus is without a doubt the iPhone of the Catholic Church. So instead of lobbying against gay and women’s rights, it would serve the Church’s interest to start pumping the only non-controversial asset in its arsenal.