Why next pope must open up church and usher in Vatican III
Newly elected as pope, Benedict XVI gestures to the crowd in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on April 19, 2005.
February 12th, 2013
05:40 AM ET

Why next pope must open up church and usher in Vatican III

Editor's note: Paul Donovan is a lifelong Catholic and a commentator, writer and broadcaster who has contributed to The Guardian, Tablet, Universe, Irish Post and Independent Catholic News.

By Paul Donovan, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI came as a bolt from the blue to the world but not a moment too soon for many Catholics.

The Catholic Church has continued to march backwards under Pope Benedict, seeming at times to be in a state of perpetual denial, whether the issue be that of child abuse, birth control, homosexuality or the role of women.

At the heart of the church there lies a deep chauvinism that seems to have infected the whole edifice.

Women may feel discriminated against in many institutions but few have made it so blatantly clear that the woman's place remains at the kitchen sink as the Catholic Church.

The refusal to enter into a constructive dialogue about the possibility of having female clergy underlines just how male dominated the institution remains.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion • Vatican

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Correctlycenter

    The next Pope ought to obey God and His true word and lose the man-made rituals, dogmas, edicts and costumes throughout the centuries. Return to Jesus Christ...

    February 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  2. Chad

    Love the Catholic Church they're so generous to the world.

    February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Science

      Splat goes Chad !!!

      Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN


      Gravity is not up for debate !

      BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

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      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


      April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

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      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


      And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

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      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


      No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

      Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

      No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

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      Good stuff !

      The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

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      For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN


      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

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      April 7th, 2012

      08:32 PM ET

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


      Make sure to read comments

      April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

      Breaking News

      NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


      NASA: Mars could have supported life

      Star Dust we are



      May 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  3. SoldierOfConscience

    They should appoint someone who can do

    a. convince most catholics to stay off birth control
    b. fight for pro-life and end to ab0rt1on. everywhere in the world.
    c. help keep marriage as one man and one woman

    February 19, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • End Religion

      They should appoint someone who can do

      a. convince most catholics birth control is a wise choice
      b. fight for pro-choice and allow ab0rt1on. everywhere in the world.
      c. help keep marriage as 2 consenting adults

      February 19, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      End its not only about religion. Have you considered how birth control and abortion makes women into mere s3x objects? By neutering their natural fert ility it allows men to "use and throw" them without regard to any consequence? do you see?

      February 19, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      " By neutering their natural fert ility it allows men to "use and throw" them without regard to any consequence?"

      Put that club back into your animal-skin waistband, Og.

      February 19, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • End Religion

      No, I do not see your point. Women are not mindless rag dolls.

      February 19, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • HotAirAce

      They should appoint a caretaker manager to wind the entire cult down, and turn all their properties into museums of man's stupidity. The could provide space for astrologers to practice their identical to religion crafts.

      February 19, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I have no problem with a) as that would just be a cult setting and enforcing rules for their own cult members. The other two points are intrusions into non-cult member's lives so the RCC, the next Pope-A-Dope and all catholics should fuck off and keep their bullshit religion to themselves.

      February 19, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • TheSnail

      Donovan must be Gay or a sneaky writer. The Women I know in the Church are happy to be there..

      February 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  4. SoldierOfConscience

    Nonsense. they must get a real strong fellow who will reinforce the orthdoxy. Its not a buffey line, "pick what you choose". It is a 4 course meal. You eat what you are served

    February 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Buffey the Vampire Slayer

      "Buffey line"?

      February 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • clarity

      well it's not that easy to find bullshit, sheep shit and lemming shit all at one buffet for some folks, SOC – you should give you fellow deluded friends in Christ a break.

      February 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Buffet. I think Buffey is a vampire slayer. But, at any rate, people will vote with their feet. The RCC will diminish in this country year after year as in Europe.

      February 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • From a religious statistical website

      Catholics remain one of the largest religious groups in the United States but are experiencing significant internal volatility. Of all major religious groups, they have experienced the largest net loss of adherents who were raised Catholic, but these losses have been largely offset by Hispanic immigration. Although one-third (31 percent) of Americans report that they were raised Catholic, only 22 percent currently identify that way, a net loss of nine percentage points. Notably, 12% of Americans today are former Catholics. [PRRI Pre-Election American Values Survey, October 2012]

      February 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  5. Sara Howells

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyW7rMYR7A&version=3&hl=en_US&autoplay=1%5D

    February 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Dan

    First of all Jesus was on earth to teach us, not the other way around.. Its not what us Catholics want, its what Jesus wants of us Catholics...

    February 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "Its not what us Catholics want, its what Jesus wants of us Catholics..."

      Don't rush out an get bumper stickers or holy cards printed with that on it. It's incorrect grammar (and punctuation).

      (hint: "we Catholics")

      February 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      *Dang, I didn't notice that his post is from last week. Oh, well... I guess that stuff is already on the street!

      February 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
  7. Bec

    This article is pure hooey.

    February 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  8. Albertus

    I recommend this article: CNN vs. The Catholic Church


    February 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • midwest rail

      The entire column is nonsense. CNN didn't write the article, a Catholic did. That little fact is mentioned nowhere in this couple's tirade. I'm sure it made them feel good, but the entire article is a strawman in search of a post to hang on.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  9. stormcloud1968

    Sadly, Mr Donovan is representative of many (not all, not even most) Catholics who have been baptized and confirmed into the Church, probably even went to Catholic schools and attend mass most weeks, but don't actually know the faith. You'd think that a large organization like CNN that is in the new business and would want to protect their journalistic integrity would at least confirm their information by spending a few minutes looking up an issue in the Catechism before publishing something that would make them look so incompetent.

    February 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  10. Tara

    This article is comical. I know you're Catholic, but even my 9 year old knows most of this article is factually incorrect.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  11. tammie

    and now it begins, hang on because were in for a wild ride, dont be decieved, amen

    February 12, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  12. Saraswati

    What's odd about the Catholic church is that they aren't biblically fundamentalist in the way that many US protestand groups are. Most Catholics believe more-or-less in evolution and think much of the bible is metaphorical. So the church has the power to change and grow, but it is really the establishment that won't let it. It is very hard, for example, for a group of men who have (at least in theory and often in practice) given up both se'x and family to admit that that sacrifice was a waste and move to change it.

    February 12, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 12, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      February 12, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  14. Saraswati

    "Women may feel discriminated against in many insti’tutions but few have made it so blatantly clear that the woman's place remains at the kitchen sink as the Catholic Church."

    For a lifelong Catholic this is an absurd and ignorant statement about one’s own religion. Certainly the Catholic Church needs a radical overhaul on the role of women. Certainly, too, the church makes a statement that men and women are not equal and do not have the same roles. But we're also talking about an insti’tution in which women are supported by the church not only in educational roles through to graduate and post-doctoral education, but are often employed in important "secular" roles as lawyers and administrators of church affairs.

    I don't know if the Catholic Church should continue as an insti’tution. It certainly needs a radical overhaul on women's and other issues if it is to survive. But to make false claims about the way a religious group operates is only to promote ignorance.

    February 12, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Karen

      Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God"." That sounds pretty equal to me. Saying that in order to be equal, men and women must be able to fulfill the same roles is ludicrous. It's like saying that in order to be equal, everyone needs to have the same abilities, talents, intelligence, etc. Every person is unique, and thank God for that!

      February 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  15. Why not....

    Oy vey! Why not have the RCC return to its roots and appoint some nice Jewish boy to be the next Pope, preferably one that can get laid from time to time? Reuben the first, nice ring to that!

    February 12, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • ..

      Pee Wee Herman? Apt.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:28 am |
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