The real church scandal

17

I have faith that the pope reads my On Faith blogs because he followed my advice in a column in 2010. “Popes sometimes choose the name of a previous pope whose reign they wish to emulate. Whether coincidental or not, Pope Benedict XVI can take the same action as a morally challenged namesake. In 1045, Pope Benedict IX resigned.”

However, since the pope has never taken any of my other advice, perhaps I shouldn’t rely on faith to justify a conclusion devoid of evidence.

How much faith do I have that the next pope will be significantly better than the current one? Not much, because Benedict appointed more than 57 percent of the cardinals who will choose his successor.Nevertheless, I remain optimistic, but only because the papal improvement bar is set so low.

Why should I even care who the next very fallible pope is? Thanks to the HBO documentary Mea Maxima Culpa, and other revelations, the world is finally paying attention to pedophilia within the church, and the next pope won’t have as much cover-up freedom as previous popes.

If Catholics choose to be counseled about marital or sexual difficulties by celibate priests, that’s their right. But I’m amazed by a church that opposes both abortion and condom use that reduces the number of abortions; that requires celibacy before marriage, yet opposes masturbation, which makes it easier to remain celibate; that requires married women to be fruitful and multiply regardless of circumstances, but prevents church leaders from being fruitful and multiplying; that encourages monogamous marriage to avoid promiscuity, yet opposes monogamous marriage for committed gays.

I especially worry about an increasingly politically engaged Church that tries to impose its religious prohibitions (contraception, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc.) on non-Catholics. If a pope can ignore the evidence and argue that condom use increases the risk of AIDS spreading, I can argue against a church that is helping to spread a virus that infects the rest of the world, not just its faithful sheep. I wish Catholics would ignore the pontiff when he pontificates theologically, and even more so when he pontificates politically.

Written By: Herb Silverman
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. Very good article, but I personally prefer observations about the future role of the Papacy coupled with more of the acerbic overtones that it truly deserves, such as those which our dearly departed Hitchens would have made had he lived long enough to witness this impending abdication.

  2. Absolutely spot on, I really wish that more articles in this vein were published.
    Religious idiocy gets away with it because it is never challenged only treated with mild to weak upraised eyebrows.

    Having respect for a belief in some ancient myth of god and his hero son etc etc…is one thing but when it is all one way and towards only one cockamamie assertion it ceases to be respect just sycophantic and biassed beyond, well belief.

    If as much respect was shown for pink fairies at the bottom of the garden photographed or otherwise or thunderbolt wielding giants, even lizard overlords from the planet Zog, then that would at least be consistent and fair.

    But that is not the case and one belief is belittled and sniggered at and the other is lauded and encouraged to be praised and used as a scale of integrity.

    When will atheism not be a bar to political ambition or joining a club or even living in peace and security?
    Such a pernicious belief as espoused by the likes of a pope or an Imam even a Rabbi interferes directly with self determination and society at a level that has become restrictive, hateful, ignorant, intolerant and downright anti-social on a scale that should shame humanity till the end of time.

    This nonsense has to be countered, there needs to be a continual challenge to it in the national media, the more exposure the more debate at all stratum of society.

    It has to be faced up to, accommodationism is a tragic failure, the theists just take and give the finger, without a doubt not willing to accommodate anyone or anybody that do not drool to the same dogma, on any level, they never intended to and that was pretty obvious.

    And the pet apologists just muddy water with vacuous and frankly ludicrous ‘insights’ and as soon as they are placed on an even keel and not on a pedestal by all responsible media all to the better I think.
    Let the audience see what is there not what the media want them to see.

    So yes the last stand before it regains its momentum is to challenge robustly and frequently and certainly not shyly, it just has to be if we want our grandchildren to live in a decent world with confidence and not one controlled and impoverished by a mythological belief in a fairy story.

    I have been told by a few folks that I am sometimes too full on and might damage the ’cause’

    Well having a cause is one thing, refusing to voice an opinion even a ‘robust’ one damages the cause in other ways, I can only claim one extenuating circumstance, I do have a passion and a reason, as do all across the spectrum on this debate, but for far to long only one side has been heard, and only one side promoted, so yes gloves off…

    What exactly do we, as atheists, have to lose that we have not lost already?

  3. The rcc is obsessed with sex. It places impossible and fundamentally immoral prohibitions on its followers and on its own officers. The whole edifice is a deeply unwholsome charade and a tangible threat to the physical and mental health of the dullards who follow the hypocritical gushings of the pope and his mafia of cardinals and archbishops. Here is one of the most contemptible of the the papal accomplices… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21563345

  4. A cyncial view is that one of the reasons for the existence of the RC church was to provide a safe and secret refuge for those whose sexual behaviour was not accepted by society. Now that homosexuality is being accepted by ‘normal’ societies, and discrimination against women is being outlawed, and the internet has made it possible for the widespread abuses by the clergy to become known, the refuge is no longer ‘safe’ and secret and the church is collapsing. It could have been an extremely clever way to obtain safety from the persecutions that used to befall those who were seen as sexually ‘abnormal’ in the past, especially by turning it into something people respected and feared. The obsession the church has with sexual matters certainly seems to point to it.
    Its interesting that the church is especially strong in African countries where homophobia is extreme and in some cases even legislated against…..places where homosexuals desperately need somewhere to hide from persecution. Those societies face the full force of catholic brainwashing and would not realise that the aid to orphanges etc provided by the church is possibly to provide defenseless victims for perverts to harvest.
    Perhaps we are so brainwashed and naive ourselves that we cannot believe that perverted humans would deviously and deliberately set up such a system. I think history shows that it is quite possible !

  5. In reply to #2 by kidchicago:

    Very good article, but I personally prefer observations about the future role of the Papacy coupled with more of the acerbic overtones that it truly deserves, such as those which our dearly departed Hitchens would have made had he lived long enough to witness this impending abdication.

    Maybe you should email Herb about this; let him know that if he wants any future articles to be included on this site, all that dry, ironic wit has to go. I for one am sick of all this subtlety in modern comedy, which is why I’m a fan of Michael Mcintyre and Jimmy Carr. There’s no nuance or shading in those guys’ material, I’m happy to say. Only hilarity.

  6. “Nevertheless, I remain optimistic, but only because the papal improvement bar is set so low.”

    It has to be to allow these shuffling old perverts to step over it.

    “Benedict appointed more than 57 percent of the cardinals who will choose his successor.”

    I bet a fair slice of these are also perverts or pervert protectors. I would love to see a pythonesque version of election of the new pope. Maybe it has to be done behind locked doors because they have to do a 10 min presentation on the most bizarre idea that they can think of and mud wrestle for the post or perhaps it is actually a process of leaping and creaping in the style of Jonathan Swift. It seems like last time the criteria was ‘must have served an apprenticeship and period of indoctrination in another ‘do the fuck as we like’ organisation and look like a hairy younger brother of uncle fester.

  7. “Benedict appointed more than 57 percent of the cardinals who will choose his successor.”

    Now this is an interesting little side show happening here I think.
    I remember reading a while back that Benny was extremely keen on having an a Italian pope appointed after him.
    So much so he went about raising most new Cardinals from the Italian chapter specifically to rig the following inevitable election after he gets maxwelled with the hammer.

    Apparently the Cardinals he chose were much of a muchness but all displayed the same conservative roots and desires as Benny!

    And that is the point …Benny had wanted to have his legacy proclaiming that he had reversed most Vatican 2 edicts and returned the church to traditional values. including Indulgences and the latin mass.

    It was taking it back 500yrs, one can only assume that the upsurge of the recent ‘heresy’ law demands made in the UN in the last decade can be traced to Vatican interference at some level.

    A matter of time would have seen the bonfires again, of that there is little doubt considering their character.

    So there we have a picture of a RCC in mediaeval traditional garb with all the jollies that would bring.

    So what happened?

    The sexual perversion scandals happened and out of the wild blue yonder Benny is blown completely off track and scheduled winding back the Vatican clock is put on hold indefinitely cos added to the frenzy of discovery they get a double whammy, they suddenly realize they are haemorrhaging bums on pews and at such a rate they will be extinct in less then 25 yrs.

    What to do as the panic sets in?

    They have come up with a game plan, Africa and South America, that is where their future lies, ripe for plucking, natural resources, numbers, no infrastructure and few modern things like internet and libraries and coupled with mass ignorance, and cultural superstition and they would be unassailable in the local power structures.

    Those are the only places left on earth for them to scurry towards, in other places just to much light is shed on their nocturnal illegal activities.

    Oh but wait…Benny is a European wanting a European pope to follow…cos in the good ‘ol days only European popes were regarded as the arbiter of Catholicism in the world.

    That will not do, the new power base they want is stuffed full of legions of dark skinned victims that might not take kindly to a white boy telling them what morals, what rules and what does not and who they can or cannot marry.

    So now they want a dark skinned pope to better connect with the hordes that would deliver their scrawny asses out of the mincemeat grinder of time and ignominy.

    I think it is still an ongoing debate behind closed doors as it happens.

    They are in a bind, and they know it, but it looks like Benny might lose the prize of legacy, in other words his papacy that he manipulated, planned and coveted, has been a total unmitigated failure of the first order.

    And I think he knows it, and has basically given up!

  8. In reply to #10 by Jon Snow:

    “Benedict appointed more than 57 percent of the cardinals who will choose his successor.”

    Now this is an interesting little side show happening here I think.
    I remember reading a while back that Benny was extremely keen on having an a Italian pope appointed after him.
    So much so he went about raising most new Cardinals from the Italian chapter specifically to rig the following inevitable election after he gets maxwelled with the hammer.

    Apparently the Cardinals he chose were much of a muchness but all displayed the same conservative roots and desires as Benny!

    And that is the point …Benny had wanted to have his legacy proclaiming that he had reversed most Vatican 2 edicts and returned the church to traditional values. including Indulgences and the latin mass.

    It was taking it back 500yrs, one can only assume that the upsurge of the recent ‘heresy’ law demands made in the UN in the last decade can be traced to Vatican interference at some level.

    A matter of time would have seen the bonfires again, of that there is little doubt considering their character.

    So there we have a picture of a RCC in mediaeval traditional garb with all the jollies that would bring.

    So what happened?

    The sexual perversion scandals happened and out of the wild blue yonder Benny is blown completely off track and scheduled winding back the Vatican clock is put on hold indefinitely cos added to the frenzy of discovery they get a double whammy, they suddenly realize they are haemorrhaging bums on pews and at such a rate they will be extinct in less then 25 yrs.

    What to do as the panic sets in?

    They have come up with a game plan, Africa and South America, that is where their future lies, ripe for plucking, natural resources, numbers, no infrastructure and few modern things like internet and libraries and coupled with mass ignorance, and cultural superstition and they would be unassailable in the local power structures.

    Those are the only places left on earth for them to scurry towards, in other places just to much light is shed on their nocturnal illegal activities.

    Oh but wait…Benny is a European wanting a European pope to follow…cos in the good ‘ol days only European popes were regarded as the arbiter of Catholicism in the world.

    That will not do, the new power base they want is stuffed full of legions of dark skinned victims that might not take kindly to a white boy telling them what morals, what rules and what does not and who they can or cannot marry.

    So now they want a dark skinned pope to better connect with the hordes that would deliver their scrawny asses out of the mincemeat grinder of time and ignominy.

    I think it is still an ongoing debate behind closed doors as it happens.

    They are in a bind, and they know it, but it looks like Benny might lose the prize of legacy, in other words his papacy that he manipulated, planned and coveted, has been a total unmitigated failure of the first order.

    And I think he knows it, and has basically given up!

    good point…whats the bet it will be the dude from Nigeria… also the media are not so invasive there and the internet is not so widely available so they can carry on their perversions a bit longer.

  9. In reply to #11 by Richard01:

    good point…whats the bet it will be the dude from Nigeria… also the media are not so invasive there and the internet is not so widely available so they can carry on their perversions a bit longer.

    I think that is how the Vatican think tanks are seriously considering.

    Thanks to certain US fudagelicals poisoning the homosexual question and managing to get draconian barbarism installed in Africa, that is one less worry the RCC has to fuss with.

    Women questions are mute, they have no base in the scheme of things, perfect for a paternal scam, and as is obvious, no real infrastructure and no access to knowledge of reality,

    No internet, no hospitals in the boondocks, no education, very little government to queer a religious pitch, and all that possible land as well as spurious resources, and a folk that live by supernatural signs and portents, it is a low hanging fruit as low as they come for theist greed and ambition.

    Witness the RCC at work, the move in, the usurping of the indigenous gods, the switch and bait, and voilà you have a bastardized Catholic religion still harking to old ways underneath but with the Jesuit veneer on top, and tithing is always a possibility, or more likely scalping governments around the world for juicy aid packages to help the Catholics in their mission of mercy, always more then one way to skin a cat.
    And the bonus is always the kicker, numbers for Catholic headlines to boast about, about another billion guilt ridden souls in a decade maybe, not bad turnover, if they pull it off.

    Will it work, not for long, reality and modern technology and the baggage of knowledge always encroaches sooner rather then later, might add another ten yrs to their longevity but it is just a reprieve not a solution, the Catholics hope for the latter but will settle for the former cos time has to be played for, anything can happen in ten yrs.

    It is a opportunity that only happens once in a life time, and the RCC are in no state to get picky, they are rotting on the vine and they know it.

    They need a bolt hole..Africa is it and very handy to!

    South America is a old playing ground, they just about scalped all they can there and folks are starting to notice,

    But they have a wide open playing field in Africa, just got to knife a few protestants in the back and all will be theirs…. that must remind them of 12th century Europe, ripe and ready to be well and truly plucked, no Catholic enclave can resist that little treasure.

  10. In reply to #3 by Jon Snow:

    I have been told by a few folks that I am sometimes too full on and might damage the ’cause’

    Well having a cause is one thing, refusing to voice an opinion even a ‘robust’ one damages the cause in other ways, I can only claim one extenuating circumstance, I do have a passion and a reason, as do all across the spectrum on this debate, but for far to long only one side has been heard, and only one side promoted, so yes gloves off…

    What exactly do we, as atheists, have to lose that we have not lost already?

    Have to totally agree with you. I don’t like the “softly softly” approach when dealing with religions and their leaders and those that protect them.

    At least the full-on approach draws attention the “the cause” and gets people thinking about their ridiculous and damaging beliefs.

  11. I sometimes wonder if popes get elected the way Putney Swope did.

    Putney Swope, the only black man on the executive board of an advertising firm, is accidentally put in charge after the unexpected death of the chairman of the board: each board member actually believed that he, himself, should be elected chairman, but the bylaws of the corporation prohibit voting for oneself, so each individual member voted his secret ballot for the person that no one else would vote for: Putney Swope.

  12. the problem with papal infalibilty is you can do anything you want, except compromise or re-evaluate decisions in the light of evidence.

    I agree with the sentiment, much as it’d be nice to see a pope who’d make a change for the better in the worlds poorest countries, i can’t help myself wishing for the church to continue digging its own infallable grave. that said it’s easy for me. if the church were to collapse right now would the vacuum it leaves be filled with a new enlightenment? can’t see it somehow, not when the church has been happy for people to remain ignorant and superstitious this long.

  13. “But I’m amazed by a church that opposes both abortion and condom use that reduces the number of abortions; that requires celibacy before marriage, yet opposes masturbation, which makes it easier to remain celibate; that requires married women to be fruitful and multiply regardless of circumstances, but prevents church leaders from being fruitful and multiplying; that encourages monogamous marriage to avoid promiscuity, yet opposes monogamous marriage for committed gays.”

    Well, that is because the doctrines are not meant to make people’s lives better. They are created so that no believer regardless of how sincere or devoted will be able to live a life without constant guilt and shame! That’s the whole idea of original sin, which i something the Catholic church has refined and made an art of. A person without guilt or shame is the worst enemy to all organized religions. Why? Well, simply because the main commodity they deal with is salvation. Without guilt, fear and shame there’s no need for salvation!

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