One of the core historical principles of the Roman Catholic Church is that God bestows the right to rule over human beings, and that success on the part of leaders is a sign of the blessing of heaven. Kings were believed to have the divine right to rule for the very fact that they were ruling – so long as they were Catholic kings.
What would this Catholic might-makes-right theology have to say, then, about the dwindling resources of the Catholic church itself? In Wilmington, Delaware, the nation’s credit card capital, the Catholic church is declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy rather than allow a lawsuit by victims of lecherous priests to go forward. The Diocese of Wilmington says that, gosh, it just doesn’t have the money to pay any compensation to the victims of its prolonged history of sexual abuse of children at the hands of its priests.
The Catholic Bishop of Wilmington says that the bankruptcy was a legal maneuver “that I had hoped and prayed I would never have to make”. So, hold on – if the Bishop of Wilmington, who is supposed to be very close to God as a divine intercessor, was unable to successfully pray to avoid bankruptcy, what does that say about the power of prayer?
Even if we accept the excuse that God sometimes says “no” to prayer, it means that God wants the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington to go bankrupt. Doesn’t that suggest, if we are to follow the weird logic of the divine right to rule, that the Catholic Church of Delaware has lost the favor of God?