Catholic? You share the blame.

An Onymous Lefty claims that protests against the Pope's visit to the UK are aimed at the church, not its members.  His reasoning is that it's the church hierarchy at fault for its various ills, not the members.  As an ex-Catholic, I have to take issue with this.

At every Mass (and you're required to go to Mass every week) Catholics recite the Nicene Creed, part of which states:
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

Now the background here is that during the Reformation the Roman Catholic church got really serious about preventing schisms.  No dissent is allowed within the Catholic church.  The word of the Pope is infallible, and church canon is not to be argued over.  Catholicism doesn't have the rich history of debate and discussion that you find in Protestant churches, or for that matter non-Christian religions like Judaism and Islam.

The idea of a "dissident Catholic" is a nonsense construction. If you disagree with some aspect of Church law you have two choices: cease to be Catholic, or submit to Papal authority.

So do you call yourself Catholic?  Well I'm afraid that means you have to take responsibility for all the bad things the Church does in your name.  Covering up child abuse. Increasing poverty and the spread of AIDS by banning condoms and birth control. Defaming homosexuals.  All your fault while you continue to support the Church.