The Catholic Church does not control anyone or even force people to do anything. The catholic church gives people the opportunity to freely express their opinions. No one goes and kills people or destroys things in the name of the Lord. That happens in other religions but absolutely not in the catholic church. The catholic church makes mistakes, yes, but that does not make them a force for evil. People believe that God's fury has killed.. But in all honesty, Gods power saves. Sometimes the answer has to be no. If this world was filled with strict goodness, then there would be chaos. There most certainly needs to be some bad in this world. There are both good and bad things from the catholic church but they are definitely not a force for evil.
Certainly there have been individuals within the Church that have committed acts of injustice such as rape and murder, but this is not what the Church teaches. The Church teaches that people should love your enemies and turn the other cheek (Mathew 5:24, 5:39). Surely selflessness is a virtue that we can all agree on.
I would also like to point out that what the Pope was trying to say when he said no condoms was that there would be no need for them if everyone followed the teachings of the Church. If everyone followed the teachings of the Church by being faithful to their spouse, then there would be no need for anyone to worry about contracting or spreading sexually transmitted diseases. So if you're Catholic and you're worried that you're sinning by using a condom, just understand that you should be more worried about sinning by sleeping with someone who is not your spouse.
Finally, the Catholic Church does not hate homosexuals. This is a common misconception that is always brought up against Catholics. However, the Church is against homosexual marriage because it fails to meat one of the two requirements for a Catholic marriage. The requirements for a legitimate Catholic marriage are:
a) Love and
b) Procreation (make babies).
A homosexual marriage has the first requirement, love. However, it lacks the second requirement of procreation, and is therefore considered to be illegitimate. The point is that the Church does not approve of homosexual marriage, but it isn't just some institution of homophobic idol worshipers. As the Church is Catholic, or universal, it accepts everyone. Men and women, Jews and gentiles, heterosexual and homosexual are all welcome into the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has had 2000 years of influence on society. It has encouraged science despite the common misconception that it has not. Because of the Catholic Church we have the basis for genetics, and the first sanitization practices introduced and improved upon to the West. The Church has provided a stable political power in its earlier times and continues to be a strong force as Pope Francis lobbys for the poor and vulnerable. While scandals and other problems have shaken the Churh, she still stands and the acts of individuals do not represent the whole of the Catholic Church. The Pope only remains infallible when he speaks on faith and exercises his infallibilty.
There are countless orphanages, schools, hospitals, hospices, charities and homes for the aged managed by the Catholic Church. There are saints like Mother Teresa who took care of the homeless and dying in Calcutta, and Francis of Assisi who encouraged care for nature. There may be issues regarding priests molesting children but their acts do not define what the Catholic Church really is about. The Church might also have committed mistakes in the past, but today the Church is one of the largest charitable institutions on the planet.
The priests who molest children aren't, however, but not all priests are like that and their mission is to spread the word of Christ and to spread love and mercy across the world. I, however, as a Catholic, disagree with the many rules that the Catholic Church has made up over the years, such as no condoms. They need to focus on the teachings of Christ, rather than make up what they think Christ wanted.
Seeing as the Church has basically created Western civilization (which we all love) and is the basis for the morality of all Protestant religions (which created the US and has given us our morals and laws) then I'd have to believe the answer is yes. Also, Catholic charities and the Saints have been doing good in the world for all for 2,000. And yes, bad people have been in the Church, just like any other organization. That is the problem of evil. And another thing... atheists talking about morals? What? I don't understand how atheists believe that they can offer a legitimate opinion on what is "good" or "bad" if they have no source of what is "good" or "bad" other than their own opinion. Catholics know what is right or wrong based on authority and God, and atheists unknowingly borrow this morality. And they can't say that "society" chooses morals, that is nonsense... That means that since most people decide that killing is wrong, it is wrong... What about the school shooters? So if most people didn't think that killing was wrong, then school shooters are not bad anymore? Morals cannot be relative, that completely defeats the purpose of morals... And what if I create a colony of people who want to do "bad" things like rape and kill others? My colony has decided that killing and rape are okay, so you have no place telling me that my morals are wrong, since my society and culture say the opposite of what you do.
The Catholic Church works for good. They have worked for good in some very big ways and therefore the mistakes and missteps they make are also big. If you don't make mistakes, you aren't doing anything. Catholic monasteries have been places of peace and have worked to save entire civilizations and although the hierarchy may be "too big for its britches," the average Catholic person or priest only wants to do God's will.
Historically, the Catholic church has been a force for civilization. The Catholic monks in Ireland kept Western civilization protected during the Dark Ages. Catholic patronage sponsored some the world's most renowned artists, physicians, inventors, playwrights, musicians, architects and authors. Credit is due to the Catholic church for elevating thought during times when it was difficult to do so, for providing sanctuary to the downtrodden, for succoring the needy and countless good works that have brought nothing but good into the world. However, that positive and necessary benefit has been tarnished by such events as the Children's Crusade, the Inquisition, the Burning Times and all throughout its history, and especially now, sexual misconduct and it's coverup. Does it balance? I say, for now, yes. We, as a civilization, may not have achieved some of our lofty heights, or may not have survived - period - without the Catholic Church.
It is one of the few organizations that holds the line still on morality in it's teaching. Sadly some of it's members have not held to it, But the teaching remains.
It also gave us the education system and health care we so value in starting the first hospitals. And people did not get turned away at Catholic hospitals even if they couldn't pay.
It has some house cleaning to do in all fairness, But has done much good.
The possible question could be which kind of force is in question. Nevertheless, Catholic Church plays major role in the following areas of our society such as spiritual values, moral values where she teaches and analyses the problems of the world and finally provides network of works eg. Social, education
Was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. [MP3]
third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. (which was 666
When theists claim atheists have no means to claim moral authority, they are mistaken in thinking a moral system mandated by a supernatural authority is actually moral. If such were the case, our capacity to evaluate the moral proclamations of God would be null, and we would be expected to follow those morals without question. Atheists like Sam Harris make a claim for a morality informed by neuroscience based on wellbeing, and maximizing that wellbeing for everyone. It is a complex topic and if you are interested in the possibility of objective morality not hinged on a supernatural dictator, this is worth looking up. This process allows allows for correcting our notions of morality. All religions, including the RCC, offer no corrective mechanism to find what is truly moral. God tells you what is moral, and we cannot question God's morals. We are effectively rendered unthinking slaves on the question of what is moral.
To say that morals are not intrinsic on some base level is to ignore how our societies were formed in the first place. It is preposterous to suppose a society could form if we did not understand fundamentals like: do not murder each other, do not steal from each other, do not commit perjury. Groups could not cooperate enough to feed and shelter themselves without such an understanding at some base level. Even primates have this base behavior mediator to allow them to cooperate and coalesce into small groups. To say we need God to know these things are bad is totally ignore what we already see in nature and in our ancient history.
....And you will understand that an organization which follows an outdated, hypocritical book is man-made. Man-made in a time of people supporting oppression of all. Many atheists know more about the bible than the "faithful" because they have actually taken the time to read the bible from cover to cover and realized the ridiculousness. I have spoken to many Catholics and barely any of them have read the entire bible, nor looked further into verses not spoken by their priest.
I would just like to point out that the patron saint of the catholic statesmen Thomas More burned 6 people alive for dearing to read the bible in English.
How can anybody in their rightmind call that man a saint. The catholic church does nothing but incite argument and force religion upon children. thay are very assertive in their beliefs and denounce the morals of any Athiest. I have nothing against Catholics, but rather catholisism.
No, the Catholic Church is not a force for good. The Catholic Church has been embarrassed. With a multitude of sexual abuse accusations and allegations of cover-ups, the Catholic has lost all credibility. The only thing really holding it together anymore is its wealth and power. The Catholic Church has become more of a business than a religion. It is no longer the infallible institution it once was, and it no longer has the unswerving loyalty it once had.
You can be a Catholic and be a good person, they are numerous and most people probably have one in their lives. The official representation of the Catholic Church, on the other hand, is still in the stone age and the world has long since moved past what it preaches. There's not much to indicate that is changing soon with how firmly they cling to their traditions, but it's safe to say there are many modern Catholics that cringe when the Church makes a formal announcement in recent years.
More africans have died of aids because of the catholich church and laws on contraception than jews to the holocaust (another movement backed by the catholic church). While the opulence of the vatican could go towards feeding the starving and helping those who dont have a voice, it goes towards protecting pedophiles and giving women and homosexuals a sense of inferiority. To say it is or was ever a force for good would be insane.
Sadly that is the final lasting impression I get from it. We have become a more Enlightened Society throughout the years, but that Enlightenment came as the Church lost its ability to strangle science in the crib. Now we explore the world and all the advances in the last 200 years were not pushed by the Church but by scientists unshackled from it and able to think beyond its commandments.
I should note, the Bible could very well be true (It is important to note it could also be false), but it was written by Men and all Men are fallible. All men are fallible. I pray that the Pope is a true holy man, but I know he does not know everything and that he will make mistakes. As such, the premise that he is infallible is ludicrous.
Finally, I remember reading once in a debate about Asexuality and Catholicism (I'm ace) one person wrote (had to look it up...) "The Church isn't concerned about what people ARE but with what they DO." Any organization that cannot look at people for who they are and instead judge them based entirely on what they do is doomed to never be a force for Good. They may be a force for Dogma, for Justice (as they see it), or a force for Control, but it can never be a force of Mercy or Goodness, save in the most general of terms.
I feel as though the Catholic Church is more about power and control than spirituality. Historically, the Church believed itself to be infallible. The fact the Church has persecuted scientists like Galileo and Isaac Newton and perpetrated the atrocities during the Inquisition show that they have never been very accepting.
The Catholic Church has the potential to be a force for good because it is a very influential organization for nearly a billion people on earth. But its dogma right now is arcane, discriminatory and sexist. Until the church is willing to make fundamental changes, it can't be a force for good.