The latest revelations of sexual misconduct by two prominent American and  British Cardinals are just another part of the sad saga of rot and corruption that has been allowed to fester under flowing cassocks and smokey rituals for centuries. The sadness, disappointment and disillusionment felt by Catholics around the world is overwhelming, whether they are practising or not. When will the clergy get it? This 2000 year old institution, the so-called “Only True Church” is in big need of a shake-up. “Let us pray”, that the new Pope will find the strength, grace and courage to lift Catholicism out of the dark abyss into which it has fallen. Otherwise all bets are off. The very survival of an institution that was initially based upon love, compassion and respect for all human life and which has contributed in so many ways to what is best in Western civilisation, is at stake.

A good place to start would be a reconsideration of the proclamation that priests be male and celibate. Why must the best and brightest youth of the world who want to follow the word and deed of Jesus Christ be disqualified because they are of the female gender or do not want to relinquish their human need and right for loving life-long companionship and family.  Change, is the only way to survive and thrive. Maybe that’s what Jesus had in mind when he rode that donkey through all those palm branches on Palm Sunday. Time to make a clean sweep.