Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success

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A perfect storm

Q: Will Pope Benedict be so damaged by the clergy abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church in Europe that his papacy never recovers? Or does the crisis offer him an opportunity to distinguish his leadership from John Paul II's wildly successful years as Pope?

This is a lose-lose deal! Pope Benedict will always be remembered as the pope who had the worst scandal in history happen during his watch. Okay, that Inquisition period was a bit painful, but I think you get my point.

The damage is intensified because the media can't leave it alone. It's the perfect storm of controversy: it mixes sex, religion, hypocrisy and cover-up. When you think about it, there is not much left to be embarrassed about unless we find out that somehow Sarah Palin is involved!

I predict we'll soon be longing for the good old-fashioned criticisms of Catholicism we felt more comfortable with: Spanish Conquistadors forcefully converting indigenous peoples, making fun of the bulletproof Popemobile (I personally like clergy under glass), and seemingly sadistic nuns practicing bad habits.

As a believer in God, and having some knowledge beyond my personal experience of religion, I want to make it clear that Catholicism has made some very good contributions to the world, and could continue to do so. However, religion is almost never the problem. It is the fact that humans suffer from all-too-human shortcomings that create the scandals, the pain, and the desertion from faith.

The success of a Pope has a lot to do with the problems he faces during the time of his reign. Some will have better opportunities than others to make a difference and/or improve public opinion.

Pope Leo I had an intimidating discussion with Attila the Hun (a world-class conquering bad guy with a deadly combination of horse-sense and body odor) that caused "Mr. Hun?" to back down from a siege of Italy -- and shortly afterward conveniently drop dead. That single act created the power and positioning that all future Popes would enjoy.

We have experienced great historical moments through the power of religion and faith, but in the 21st century, not so much. I think if God were watching all this right now, He'd say, "What in the hell are you people doing?"!

By Garrison Wynn  |  April 8, 2010; 10:32 AM ET  | Category:  Responding to scandal Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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