The Pope Is Fuming


The Catholic Church rarely crosses my mind, there are vastly more important issues to dwell on, but every so often a Vatican news ticker begs pondering. The headline tonight on Vice read “”Police Broke Up A Drug Fueled Vatican Priest Orgy”. Do tell .

I was hooked at “Monsignor The Pope is reportedly “fuming” after cops allegedly busted up a Vatican based, drug fueled, gay sex orgy in the apartment of a high-ranking priest.”

According to Vice, Italian media site Il Fanto Quotidiano was first to detail shenanigans at an apartment owned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A apartment inhabited by one of the Pope’s key advisors, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. The apartment, also known as Palace of the Holy Office was reportedly raided following complaints by neighbors of odd behavior and “comings and goings” of visitors.

Police arrested Luigi Capozzi, an aide to Cardinal Coccopalmerio and reported party planner. Although arrested, Monsignor Capozzi hasn’t been charged. Vice did claim Capozzi was taken to hospital until such time as he could detox from drugs consumed at the soiree, it’s unclear if charges will ever be filed or if Rome will make it all go away. Il Fatto Quotidiano suggests Cardinal Coccopalmerio will likely face accelerated retirement in the wake of Capozzi’s arrest. Either way, the Pope is pissed.

Can’t you hear the “how could you be so careless” papal admonishments? The Pope has every right to fume. Long gone are glory days of do as I say, not as I do. Who do these sexually frustrated pedophiles think they are? Calling bullshit on numskulls doesn’t get much easier than this.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ywgpa5/police-broke-up-a-drug-fueled-vatican-priest-orgy

Pondering Pope Francis in Bolivia


Politely tuning out news from the Vatican serves as a proven method for avoiding ponders I might regret the next morning. Writing about the Catholic church is like beating a dead horse, it serves no purpose. Best intentions aside, every so often the Pope makes me queasy.

Nothing is simple, or as it seems in the halls of political and religious power.

Former ambassador Otto Reich, President George W. Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, says Pope Francis’ economic and political agenda in his trip to Latin America has gone too far. “This pope grew up in a third world country that frankly is an example of what happens when you don’t have capitalism and democracy,” Reich says. “I was very optimistic when he was named and I have been extremely disappointed in the political and economic aspects of his papacy. … He’s a victim of third world education, and Argentina is a particularly sad example.”

http://time.com/3953802/pope-francis-bolivia/

Otto Reich is referring to the pontiff’s outspoken words over the last few days of his South American trip. Pope Francis doesn’t deserve an “Otto Reiching” yet he certainly has been busy. Apologizing to indigenous people –

“I would also say, and here I wish to be quite clear, as was Saint John Paul II: I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America”

Condemning economic and environmental exploitation –

“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money,” he said. “Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.”

“Time, my brothers and sisters, seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home. Today, the scientific community realizes what the poor have long told us: harm, perhaps irreversible harm is being done to the ecosystem. The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pains, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called ‘the dung of evil.’ An unfettered pursuit of money rules.”

All this while strategically poking fires under the nose of Bolivian President Morales, who declared Bolivia a secular state in 2006, removing bibles and crosses from government buildings in an attempt to limit church power.

Bolivian President Evo Morales presents Pope Francis with a gift of a crucifix carved into a wooden hammer and sickle, the Communist symbol uniting labor and peasants in La Paz, Bolivia, on July 8.

Pope Francis receiving a hammer and sickle crucifix from Bolivian President Morales.

This all sounds great but we’ve heard it before. Pope John Paul II apologized to indigenous people in 1992. Correct me if I’m wrong but so what? Talk is cheap, did I miss action somewhere along the line? Obviously apology means something, someone needs to champion the poor and safeguard our environment. Queasy happens when that someone is arguably the most powerful religious leader in the world. Exasperating as the slickest politician,  able to raise hopes, command attention and walk away without lifting a finger.

 

 

 

Pope Spanky


Today Pope Francis solidified the Vatican stance on corporal punishment – smack your children, just don’t hit them in the face. Oh yeah – make sure your kids maintain “dignity”. The topic of his weekly general audience was “the role of fathers in the family”. Apparently a good father forgives but is able to “correct with firmness” – a really good father does so without “discouraging” the child.

“One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them,'” Francis said.

“How beautiful!” Francis remarked. “He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”

Never mind the Vatican’s signature on a United Nations human rights agreement protecting the rights of a child – a treaty that explicitly requires signatories to “take all measures, including legislative and educational, to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence – including while in the care of parents.”

Vatican guidelines on hitting children remind me of Islamic instruction on how to beat your wife. Under Sharia Law, beatings are a sign of love, not hatred. As with the Vatican, men are not to hit wives in the face – apparently religion frowns on blackening eyes of women and children. (Linked below – Sharia does, and wife beating don’t s.)

http://thequrandilemma.com/uncategorized/women-under-sharia-law-the-dilemma-of-wife-beating-protocol

Pope Francis directed his comments at fathers – maybe Catholics know their place but I’m confused. Are mothers allowed to hit their kids, or is that role reserved for “father of the year”? How come men, regardless of fundamentalist faith get to beat women and children? What is it with these archaic imbeciles? Why do these men agree physical violence is warranted and justified, provided bruises are concealed and assailants convince themselves their victim maintained dignity?

I’ve had my fill of religious instruction on physical abuse. Pope Francis is delusional if he thinks the Vatican can play nice with the UN, then instruct “good fathers” to forgive children by hitting them with “dignity” anywhere but the face. Good fathers lead by example – praising a father for “forgiving” his child after a smacking, is pure unadulterated bat shit.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/05/world/europe/ap-eu-rel-vatican-spanking-kids.html?_r=0

Bad Bishop of Limburg


When the head of the world’s richest corporation suspends one of it’s executives for extravagance and an overly lavish lifestyle – I stand up and take notice. When that CEO is the pope, executive the Bishop of Limburg – you have my full attention. This is worth pondering; the Catholic church isn’t an institution known for airing their dirty laundry.

So what does it take for the Vatican to draw the line? At what point does the pope stand at attention and declare – “oh hell no”? It appears the Bishop of Limburg knows the answer to those questions – Bishop Tebartz-van Elst probably shouldn’t have spent $42 million renovating his official residence. Even if he bathed in holy water, a bath costing $20,000 is hard to explain. Travelling on a first class ticket to visit the poor in India is a no brainer. Perhaps his nickname – the “Bishop of bling” sealed the deal. Lies to the court under oath about spending, certainly didn’t further his cause.

What does the church do with a suspended Bishop? If this were a sexual abuse scandal, he might be hustled off to another diocese or “retired” to a sleepy little corner of the world. The Bishop of Bling is only 53 years old – retirement not much of an option. Pope Francis has a true papal quandary to resolve; abusive priests are old news – public admission of flagrant, self serving excess, poses an entirely new set of considerations. The outcome should prove interesting.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pope-removes-germany-s-luxury-bishop-from-diocese-1.2186497

Image from theguardian.com

Pope Tweets


I don’t know why I laughed when hearing that the Pope made his first “tweet” today. It most likely came from the visual, or perhaps my  burning desire to discover if he was an iphone or Blackberry pontiff. I pictured him surrounded by a gaggle of Cardinals, helpfully guiding him through the process. Without warning one of the imaginary Cardinals became John Cleese. Game over.

He had a million followers when he opened his Twitter account. Not bad #pontifex! Unfortunately all was not roses; the Vatican revealed  a number of negative responses. In particular the subject of abuse within the Catholic church. Not to be discouraged Benedict XVI has announced he will take questions at #askpontifex.

When the Vatican announced a few years ago that extraterrestrial life was possible; as there was no limit to God’s power, I was impressed. Now a Pope that Tweets. There is indeed no end to God’s power.

Pope to ET – Come in Please


At a scientific conference in 2009, the Vatican conceded that there may be other forms of life in the universe. In a statement issued by Vatican representative Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, who is an astronomer and director of the Vatican observatory, the Catholic Church went on record as saying -” Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.”

I for one, am pondering the Vatican. Rather an unusual position when you take their history into consideration.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2009/11/10/vatican-seeks-signs-alien-life/#ixzz256RjrkNX

File:Benedykt XVI (2010-10-17) 4.jpg

Pope Benedict XVI, from Wikepedia