I’ve recently discovered something else that Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses have in common:
Their church leaders don’t want to hear what they think and don’t want to act on their suggestions – even when those ideas might improve the credibility of the religion.
Here is a recent article written by Will Heaven from the British newspaper The Telegraph:
The Church doesn’t want to hear
what ordinary Catholics think.
It’s easier that way
A poll of 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals that they disagree strongly with the Church on a whole range of moral issues, all newspapers report today.
Surprised? I’m not. It’s blindingly obvious to most Catholics that – away from a few hives of traditionalism – the faithful have departed from official doctrine. What were once views held only by radical Catholics have become mainstream.
To give you an idea, here are some figures from the Univision poll in question: 86% of French Catholics think priests should be allowed to marry; 82% of Spanish Catholics think divorcees who remarry aren’t “living in sin”; 73% of Polish Catholics think abortion should be allowed in some cases; 93% of Brazilian Catholics support the use of contraception. Oh, and 54% of US Catholics support gay marriage.
Despite the cries from both current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower refuses to change anything that continues to be harmful – or even life-threatening – to faithful followers and their families. Their blood transfusion policies (mostly confusing and often difficult to clearly define – especially during emergency situations) and their continued insistence on protecting pedophiles and other violent criminals within their membership are only two examples.
Recently, during a court case in central California, one of the Watchtower’s top attorneys declared in open court that the Watchtower was in fact “a hierarchy, just like the Catholic Church.” That was an amazing admission by someone so prominent in the organization – especially after over a century of official declaration by Watchtower leaders that the Watchtower was “not like the Catholic Church” and was simply a tightly knit association of Bible Students. The Watchtower was just a non-profit publishing corporation managed by a central governing body in New York.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are usually rebuffed whenever they try to make suggestions – or whenever they notice that something doesn’t seem quite right and try to bring it to the attention of the elders. Look in the Watchtower or Awake! magazines – or better yet, go to the Watchtower’s official website at JW.org – and see if you can find any links that encourage (or allow) you to offer suggestions, make complaints, or take issue with anything the Watchtower does or says. If there is, they certainly make it difficult to find. They do provide a corporate phone number on their website, but try finding a contact form or an email address that you can use to direct your inquiries.