Catholic Explorer

Issues of Special Importance

On this page, I will be examining both topical issues in Catholicism (the news of the day, so to speak) and long-running themes and debates (some of which go back two centuries, if not more!).

As always, feel free to chime in with your questions, comments, and angry retorts! This is meant to be a journey of discovery and refinement of ideas rather than a soapbox.

Medical marijuana laws have passed in more than 20 states in the US and a number of states are discussing their own medical marijuana legislation. Where does the Church stand on medical marijuana? As posted by the  Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2291)….”The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct cooperation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.”  However, Catholic health care ethicists do acknowledge that  medical marijuana has potential merits and pitfalls. One of their concerns is that political and medical considerations aren’t being consistently managed from state to state as medical cannabis legalization spreads. Since marijuana has shown to be effective therapy for persons with a number of conditions such as certain types of cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, end-of-life diseases in which the person suffers from a lack of appetite, some Catholic health care ethicists find medical cannabis as possibly “acceptable.”

Jesuit Father Peter Clark, director of the Institute of Catholic Bioethics writes on medical marijuana cases where such treatment is considered useful. He believes the real debate is about the political ramifications of legalization and implementation of the varying state laws. On some Catholic forums that discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana as edibles, questions constantly are asked if it’s ok to eat marijuana edibles, if it is for medical reasons? Some would answer that cannabis a a plant that God created, probably on the 6th day. If He created it, there must be a purpose for it. After all, some would claim it is a miracle plant that has literally thousands of uses. Perhaps God truly gave us cannabis as a gift to provide for so many of our needs. If you do plan to eat marijuana edibles, make sure that children do not has access to them. A young child is not going to know if a cookie, lollipop, or soda left laying around is cannabis infused or not.

We recently saw a living Pope resign. He no longer plays an active role in the direction of the church. The new Pope has taken some very big strides in the right direction. There were many unanswered questions asked when the sitting pope just decided he would no longer be able to lead. He says it was sent down to him from heaven. He said it was god’s will. He was not considerate of the ramifications of those actions. Many people have publicly questioned his sexuality. This was even before he resigned. He had, what some might call, an attractive assistant who he took with him when he left public eye. There were many strange things about the event which should raise questions in most peoples mind but it seems that the church members are happy to just ignore those issues or sweep them under the rug. With all of the credible scientific discoveries of the last century it seems that the Catholic church is reeling to catch it’s breath. They recently proclaimed that it was not for them to judge the sexual orientation of members but this has long since been a staple of the religion.

Please keep in mind this all comes after some very serious allegations against several of the clergy members who have been accused of improper association with children. Many of who’m were young men in the care of adults who were trusted in the community & by their parents due to their association with the church. These are all signs that point to a major reform in the views & opinions of the church in the very near future in order to keep the business of religion alive. They must put people in the seats in order to pay the bills. Some people might not like that I refer to the Catholic church as a business but it is the largest & oldest business known to exist. There is no arguing that. If the church wants to continue to be prevalent in peoples life’s they are going to have to make some serious changes in structure & opinion. They are going to have to face some serious problems from the past & address the core issues in an attempt to fix the system which a lot of people feel is broken.

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