Pope Ratzo is touring the U.S., about which some people with nothing better to do apparently give a shit. Amazingly, there are still those who actually think the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church still have some kind of moral authority as an institution that deserves to be leading the world, rather than what it is, a bunch of dirty old men playing dressup in expensive robes. Naturally, even Bush is kissing his ass. "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded," said the president responsible for launching an illegal invasion of a sovereign mideast nation under false pretenses, that has since taken the lives of over 4000 American soldiers and nearly a million civilians, "we need your message that all human life is sacred."
Now, Ratzo has been paying lip service to those people whose lives are still shattered by the pedophilia scandal that rocked the Church but, disappointingly, did not bring it down. As Bill Maher pointed out recently on his TV show (to a muted, wary reaction from an audience that obviously can't bring themselves to purge the virus of religion from their lives no matter how bad these people are revealed to be), if the Pope had been merely the CEO of a national chain of day care centers, and had been found to be covering up massive pedophilia within his company, he'd be doing 25-to-life right this very minute. Fortunately for the Catholics, they can get away with crimes that not even the FLDS can get away with. It isn't just that if you cloak your child-rape in religion, people in America will give you a pass. Americans would simply prefer it to be a humongous, obscenely rich religion.
Now, Ratzo's role in covering up the kiddie-diddlers in the priesthood is well documented. He infamously stonewalled any investigation against accused abuser Marcial Maciel, on the grounds that Maciel was too close a friend to then-Pope John Paul II. Ratzo's past shows an unfortunate pattern of putting the protection of the Church before that of its people.
But here, touring the U.S., where the scandal is still very much an open wound, he knows, for political reasons, he must address it. So he goes around stating the obvious — that the abuse was "evil," yada yada, without coming out unequivocally and assuring grieving survivors and their families that some heads will roll for it — while, in classically priestly fashion, saving his most dire warnings for, that's right, the "threat" of secularism.
"Perhaps America's brand of secularism poses a particular problem," the pope said, according to the prepared text of his speech. "It allows for professing belief in God, and respects the public role of religion and the churches, but at the same time it can subtly reduce religious belief to a lowest common denominator."
I would suggest that what reduces religious belief to a lowest common denominator is the absurd nature of that sort of belief itself, and the fact that even the most uneducated twit, who wouldn't know a molecule from a motorcycle, can still gleefully accept and embrace the notion of an invisible sky-daddy who will grant you your fondest wishes as long as you're all good little girls and boys.
I honestly don't see the point of the Pope's visit, or why it would be of any interest to anyone who isn't a devout Catholic. Yet he is feted by politicians as if he is some sort of head of state, with valuable and worthwhile proclamations to make about the human condition. Seriously, what has this church done for humanity in the last five centuries that merits the kind of respect the Pope is accorded on these photo-op tours? Did they cure polio and smallpox? Put men on the moon? Come up with a solution for global warming? Why give a man who systematically covered up a series of crimes so heinous that even the SCOTUS is weighing putting people to death for it such a celebrity welcome, while research programs on the cutting edge of science designed to actually improve the standard of living for humanity have to scrape through loose change in the bottom drawer for funding?
great post, thank you!ReplyDelete
check out Ray Comforts recent blog entry about this. He makes nearly every point that Bill made in new rules, except goes on to make the case that catholics arent real christians.ReplyDelete
"Now, Ratzo's role in covering up the kiddie-diddlers in the priesthood is well documented."ReplyDelete
"Well documented" is more than a slight exaggeration. The documentary made strong allegations but supplied incredibly weak evidence to back them up. The documentary-makers relied upon a left-wing church critic, Thomas Doyle, a man with serious credibility issues. Doyle, who's biases are strongly against the church none-the-less later claimed "I do not believe now nor have I ever believed it to be proof of an explicit conspiracy, in the conventional sense, engineered by top Vatican officials, to cover up cases of clergy sexual abuse." So there is not a shred of evidence to back up the claims that Ratzinger had any involvement in abuse cover-up. The only people that are repeating the claims are those too stupid to understand the lack of evidence, or those too biased or dishonest to care whether the claims are true or not.
You'd already said why the gov pays him so much respect. He's the head of an obscenely rich organization. And money talks while integrity walks, donchaknow. C'mon, this is a crew that puts the foxes in charge of the henhouse and kill the "financially disadvantaged's" children on a whim; you really think that shaking hands with a kiddiddler condoner with deep pockets will give them pause? Scam artists gotta compare notes on occasion, to keep tabs on things.ReplyDelete
as if he is some sort of head of stateReplyDelete
Ah, but as the boss of the Vatican, he is some sort of head of state. Of course, you could argue that the Vatican is a state in name only, so maybe it'd be more accurate to say that the pope is a head of some sort of state.
You don't see the point in his visit? I do. It's political. Nothing like walking onto the White House lawn and have everyone bend over backwards for you to show your clout and reinforce your self-proclaimed importance in the Western world. No doubt he's going to bring up something about the election...ReplyDelete
...so maybe it'd be more accurate to say that the pope is a head of some sort of state.ReplyDelete
A state of mind, perhaps?
Pope Ratzo continues to reward Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who covered up the Boston pedophilia crimes, with the prestigious position of archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.ReplyDelete
Pope Ratzo rewarded Cardinal William Joseph Levada, who shielded a pedophile in the Diocese of Portland, Ore., for approximately nine years, with the position of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Rewarding those who cover-up sex abuse crimes encourages others to do the same.
A state of mind, perhaps?
State of denial, state of confusion...
Naah. Too easy.
(PS: are you by any chance the Martin Wagner behind "Hepcats"?)
That was many many long years ago, but yeah. I tell you, nothing will convince you — except perhaps dodging shells on the front lines — that there's no benevolent sky-father watching over you than working in small press and underground comics. Then again, I work in independent film now, which probably isn't any wiser.ReplyDelete
Itell you, nothing will convince you — except perhaps dodging shells on the front lines — that there's no benevolent sky-father watching over you than working in small press and underground comics.ReplyDelete
Oh, I think there's something to be said for system administration. IBM's AIX should be Exhibit A in any discussion of the Problem of Evil.
And, of course, what kind of benevolent deity designed those morons who come to me with their problems?
(Also, from my professional perspective, an interventionist god is a god who's too stupid or incompetent to automate the universe.)
Oh, I think there's something to be said for system administration.ReplyDelete
Yeah, well, I bet you got a regular paycheck and insurance. :-P
Martin: completely off-topic, but you wouldn't happen to be related to Paschal Wagner, would you? :-)ReplyDelete