More from RELS 348: Empire, Colonialism, and Religion

During a news conference on a plane ride to Rome, Pope Francis spoke about contraception, summarized in Philip Pallella’s story, “Pope says birth control ban doesn’t mean breed ‘like rabbits’Reuters, 19 January 2015.

The popular topic in the Catholic Church. His stance is supporting the church against “unnatural” forms of birth control, which leaves pretty much just abstinence. Instead, Pope Francis promotes “responsible parenthood”.

A significant part of the pope’s speech was his view of societies “ideological colonization”, as he sees outside perspectives as attempts to change mentalities or structures in the church.

The Pope’s views, although strong, are a great example of the remnants of colonialism in North America. The fact that there are other opinions that are being put into place that are not from the church, i.e. laws promoting the availability of contraceptives, shows how the Catholic church is not the colonial power it once was. However as leader of the Catholic church, Pope Francis still hold a significant amount of power, as he and the Catholic church are opposing law makers that are trying to supply various forms of birth control.

These views are somewhat ironic as Robert Irwin noted in, “For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies” Penguin Books, 2006, that the Catholics converted the Qur’an into French merely, “So that they might have material for their mission of conversion” (p. 104). The irony is that the Catholic Church, known for being one of the largest colonizers, feels that they are being colonized by outside opinions. It is hard to sympathize or get on board with the notion that the Catholic church is being colonized when their problem is that people are being taught that there are alternative ways to think about the world.

The discrepancy between what the Pope is advocating for, in regards to offering various forms of birth control, and what we see in North America is evidence that the influence of Colonial powers is dying out, as options for birth control are being taught and made available.

789789          #uwreligions


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