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How can a fifteen minute presentation on the Roman Catholic Church change the world?

As participants in the Global Issues Network Annual Conference in Luxembourg, I am currently mentoring a team of 8 students to speak on the subject of "Living in a World of 7 billion", in which they get the opportunity to speak twice for fifteen to twenty minutes on a subject of their choosing. Having recently read shocking stories in the media on certain practices and stances of the Roman Catholic Church, the team fired up on the issue and decided to choose it as a topic.

However, in the interest of constructive discussion and perspective, as well as to avoid conflict and perhaps short-sightedness, they wish to cover both positive and negative aspects of the Roman Catholic Church's practices and stance. Positives include humanitarian aid and education, whilst negatives revolve mostly around child abuse.

In order to avoid generalizations and stark accusations, and to promote a world of tolerance and moral behavior without offending any Catholics in their audience, how do you suggest they tackle the issue? They wish only to promote fairness, justice and equality, and call to action for a more sustainable, righteous and comfortable future in a world of 7 billion. They wish only to inspire their audience and press forward for a better future.

If you are willing to help, please suggest your views on the following.

How should they structure their talk?
What issues do you suggest they cover?

And most importantly, how can they have a meaningful impact?

Thank you for your invaluable help!

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    Feb 26 2012: Living in a World of 7 billion - first thought was the churches views on contraception helped us reach this number.
    Second was people should have freedom to follow whatever religion they please.
    Third was I feel sorry for those indoctrinated by the church as children or abused by church authorities.
    Forth was, it's a human organisation, and humans are imperfect.
    Fifth, but the claims to absolute authority are part of the issue.
    Sixth it really is out of touch with modern human rights.
    Seventh, probably not the worst religion around.

    Fairness, justice and equality and the catholic church. Not an easy grouping.
    Guess you focus on the elements of fairness, justice and equality that aren't off limits.
    Perhaps even acknowledge the issues with a pope authority male exclusive leadership team, and ultimately non believers ending up in hell etc.
    But there are elements where you might focus on the teachings of Jesus.

    Anyway, this speech won't change the broader world. It might make the audience reflect or offer some refreshing insights. But suggest the biggest opportunity for change is with the students - this experience might have a lasting positive impact on the students.
    Good luck.
  • Feb 24 2012: Pray about this talk, allow Jesus to speak to you. He will guiide you what to say. However,you have to put your complete trust in him. Will you do that? I am a Catholic christian and realise that there are people in my church that have done some terrible things. Look at the whole picture. There are good people too like Maximillian Kolbe and Margaret Clitheroe. God will speak to all people if they let him people of all faiths and none. I have many many countries and different faiths.... Israeli, Muslim, Hindu etc and see God moving in them. PTL
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    Feb 21 2012: "In order to avoid generalizations and stark accusations, and to promote a world of tolerance and moral behavior without offending any Catholics in their audience, how do you suggest they tackle the issue?"

    It is hard to have any debate without offending someone, so my advice is to be honest about your information and don't hold back.
  • Feb 21 2012: I suggest they acknowledge what they know and what they do not know, e.g., truth about virgin birth, celibacy, the Jewish person referred to as "Jesus." Another thing I suggest is that the Catholic Church promote the idea of using the high holy name of HAJEAL when making reference to the one God Catholics, Muslims and Jewish people claim to believe in. HA for HASHEM, JE for JESUS, AL for ALLAH. In this way, members of these religions will understand that they share a belief in ONE GOD and are supposed to treat all with respect. The separations among people who claim to believe in one God by making up new names for religions, e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, has had negative impacts on human lives because members of each religion claim that their religion is the one true religion. One name for one God would go far in bringing monotheistic people together in positive ways, so they could stop killing each other to prove how very right they are. May HAJEAL bless you and all you love.
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      Feb 21 2012: Hi Rhona,

      This is second time I read this suggestion of yours....HAJEAL.

      Did you come up with this on your own? Or is it some movement worldwide?

      And, did you know that God's name Jehovah....which today's TED speaker Neal MacGregor mentions in his talk, has been removed from most Bible's even though it appears over 7,000 times? It has been replaced with the word LORD. And that in most of Christendom's churches God is a Trinity?

      Your idea is very unique Rhona....

      Be Well
      • Feb 22 2012: Yes, Mary. HAJEAL is my idea for dissolving the negativity among Islamic, Christian and Jewish people. I get so much resistance to this idea from religious people, that I am convinced that way too much weight is placed upon the selection of letters to spell a name for God. I am quite certain that God is utterly flexible about what She or He is called. God is far more interested in having people behave lovingly and respectfully toward each other and He or She is disgusted with anyone who kills or hurts anyone using "God" by any name as an excuse. I am an Earthling, so you may consider HAJEAL a worldwide movement. I prefer the name HAJEAL (for a while) until all Jewish, Christian and Islamic people understand how they are supposed to think, feel and behave toward members of other religions and act according to the positive nature of the God they claim to believe in. If the term "LORD" is used, I think it should be LADYLORD/LORDLADY.
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    Feb 20 2012: Kim, this is a huge undertaking for "students"....

    Can't the talks be structured where they speak of positive and negative of religions as a whole and not target one religion?

    I am not a Catholic. But, in all fairness, why speak of just one religion?

    Imperfect humans sometimes try to represent God.....and fail. To be at a Global Issues conference, and speak of one religious group seems one sided....don't you think?

    I like your idea of providing positives....and then how about offering suggestions for improvement, without going into details of the actual despicable acts...which the entire world is aware of anyways.

    There appear to be many issues people have with organized religion. I don't think it is mutually exclusive to Catholics.

    Hope what little I said helps.

    I have more ideas.....but I don't want to ramble.
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    Feb 19 2012: I think if you really want to change the world for the better with a 15 minute presentation about the Catholic church, it should be entirely about how the opinions of the Catholic church doesn't actually matter.

    When taking note of a continent of Africa (primarily several select countries within it), its hard to speak about the positives of a church who actively seek out ways to stop people using sexual protection in nations riddled with an AIDS and HIV epidemic, and go even further to promote the hatred of gays and fund the churches who instill such hatreds (I wont even get into the molestation scandals, their history of demonizing the jews, their ties with the Nazis or historical effects the catholic faith had on the western world as a whole..essentially a list so long it could never be competed ).

    You may aswell be arguing the pro's and con's of life in Stalingrad 1949 or Mussolini
    True that you may be able to find a select few positives, but im sure plenty of people listening will just be wondering (when taking all things into consideration) why you're actually bothering ..

    Its one thing to provide a talk to promote a world of tolerence and moral behaviour..Its another thing to try and talk about a faith which has neither.