Tag Archives: Pope

A day for cheap shots

What do you think of the Pope resigning? Yes, I know a lot jokes are circulating today and this might be considered a cheap shot.

But my first reaction was one of surprise – does his employment contract require only 2 weeks notice? Bloody hell, in New Zealand such short notice is usually reserved for casual labour.

I sort of expected far more notice – after all his job description did include infallibility, and a direct line with his god. And the clothing allowance must have been huge. I suspect the golden parachute in his severance clause is also pretty big.

My second reaction to the news was – is Benny a secret member of the Clergy Project. That’s a confidential on-line community for active and former clergy who have lost their supernatural beliefs. The community provides moral support and helps them with the huge adjustments resignation might require. After all, their former job required very few skills.

Saw this photograph on Facebook which suggests he might be:

Pope resigns

Credit: Shannon Phipps.

Mind you, the Onion accepts the public excuse of advancing age. In today’s article Resigning Pope No Longer Has Strength To Lead Church Backward they say the Pope has:

concluded that his declining faculties left him unable to helm the Church’s ambitious regressive agenda and guide the faith’s one billion global followers on their steady march away from modernity and cultural advancement.

“It is with sadness, but steadfast conviction, that I announce I am no longer capable of impeding social progress with the energy and endurance that is required of the highest ministry in the Roman Catholic Church,” Benedict reportedly said in Latin to the Vatican’s highest cardinals. “While I’m proud of the strides the Church has made over the past eight years, from thwarting AIDS-prevention efforts in Africa to failing to punish or even admit to decades of sexual abuse of children at the hands of clergy, it has become evident to me that, in this rapidly evolving world, I now lack the capacity to continue guiding this faith back centuries.”

“Thus, I must step down from the papacy,” he added. “But let me assure every member of the Church that the Vatican’s commitment to narrow-mindedness and social obstruction will long live on after my departure.”

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A time for hypocrisy

I guess it’s the time of the year for hypocrisy. Most of us stick to New Year resolutions, promises to lose weight, etc.  But what about the whopper from the Pope? (see Pope Very Worried About World Income Inequality While Sitting On Golden Throne).

pope-throneIn his New Year speech he urged:

“world leaders, particularly those in Europe, to make long-range plans to encourage economic growth and lessen the gap between the world’s rich and poor. . . During the speech, Benedict said the financial crisis that has rocked the world in recent years came about “because profit was all too often made absolute, to the detriment of labor, and because of unrestrained ventures in the financial areas of the economy, rather than attending to the real economy.

Sound like he ready to join one of those “Occupy” demos. Truth is he prefers to sit in his golden throne while making his appeal.

Oh well, he could always pray for the poor – means he doesn’t have to think about melting down some of those riches for the sake of charity.

Pope Benedict XVI

“Man, if only we had some valuable things we could use to raise money to help the poor! Oh well … “

Catholic popes victims of sexual abuse!

The Vatican’s janitor, Giuseppe "Beppe" Falduto, is accused of making popes watch him masturbate.

Love this Onion news article: Trusted Sistine Chapel Janitor Convicted Of Sexually Abusing Last 4 Popes. Like a lot of Onion articles it’s not only funny but also makes an ironic point.

I almost feel some sympathy for those poor, abused, popes. Apparently “Beppe” “over a period of six decades frequently exploited his position to compel Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI to engage in unwanted sexual activity.”


“Richard Blevins, a psychologist and consultant to the International Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the decades-long cycle of sexual abuse likely would have continued if no one had reported the misconduct, because in most pope abuse cases it is often difficult for the Vicar of Christ and Successor to St. Peter to speak up about what has happened to him at the hands of a trusted adult.

“Many popes feel deeply ashamed and are afraid that if they try to talk about the abuse, no one will believe them,” Blevins said. “It’s important to keep an eye out for the common signs of papal molestation, such as the Holy Father avoiding direct eye contact while saying mass or becoming shy and withdrawn during an audience with foreign dignitaries.”

Added Blevins, “I’ve talked to cardinals who say that in hindsight, there did always seem to be something wrong with each of the last four Popes whenever the janitor was mopping up nearby.””

Who would have thought it – sexual abuse going on in the very heart of the church – the one place you expect moral behaviour!

Popes cunning straw mannery?

Thanks to DavidD's Blog

One would have thought Pope Bennie would be on his best behaviour during his visit to the UK. After all, it’s not exactly as if the people are keen on squandering such money on an unnecessary “state” visit. Nor is his standing very high at the moment with the role he played in covering up child abuse in his church.

But he is hardly off the plane than he makes extraordinary remarks suggesting that atheism was the key factor in Nazism. Well we all know how that tactic is used in internet discussion, don’t we. Godwin’s Law states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.” Mike Godwin formulated this in his sarcastic observation that, given enough time, all discussions—regardless of topic or scope—inevitably wind up being about Hitler and the Nazis.

But Bennie must be so desperate he actually started by invoking Goodwin’s law!

Of course he is well known for attempting to get a campaign going against the “evil secularism” he sees in Europe. He was helped in this by the Islamic leader King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (see Interfaith dialogue to fight against human rights).

However, perhaps Paul Kirby has a point when she suggests this silly statement is an attempt at a tactical diversion (see Calling all Pope Protestors). After all, Bennie is no fool and he has presumable worked hard, together with the UK government, to limit the embarrassment this visit will cause. Paula says:

“My conclusion is that the Nazi remarks were a deliberate attempt to deflect the anticipated protests about the scandal of the child sex abuse cover-ups in the RCC.

We know from comments made before the visit that both the Vatican and the UK govt were deeply concerned that the visit might be overshadowed by the sex abuse issue; so what could be more natural than that they would have put their heads together to try to find a way to prevent that happening? And what better method could they possibly find than to launch an attack on the likely protestors – an attack of such grotesque obscenity that we would be immediately deflected into protesting about that rather than the real issue?

It is inconceivable to me that the UK government didn’t know exactly what was going to be in the pope’s speech at Holyroodhouse this morning. Not only that, but had that Nazi comparison been made about ANY other group in British society, government officials would have been falling over one another in their rush to distance themselves from it. The fact this hasn’t happened suggests very strongly to me that this was a put-up job, an indicator of their determination to prevent the visit turning into an embarrassment to the pope (and therefore the government), as well as of the depth of their fear that it might.”

Paula is appealing to demonstrators not to be distracted. She warns “If the protests during the rest of his tour focus on his comments about Nazis and valueless secularists, rather than the issue he fears most, then he will be chortling all the way back to the Vatican on Sunday.”

And that issue is child abuse.

Image credit Pope Godwin

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Moral leadership on stem cells?

Pope Benny’s recent comments on Aids in Africa reminded me of an experience I had as a child in the early 1950s. I used to help my Father (he was a milk delivery man) in the early mornings. One morning we found a wallet dropped outside the local Catholic Church before the early morning mass.  I remember my Mother’s moral indignation when they discovered a condom, alongside a rosary, in the wallet. “Hypocritical Catholics” was her comment.

8 cells

8 cells

But I think it’s wrong to accuse members of a religion of hypocrisy because they refuse to go along with the “moral” demands of the Church dogma. With the “moral” exhortations of the Church leadership.

We know that many Catholics condemned the Pope for his comment on condoms and Aids, and most Catholics also ignore the Church’s ban on the use of contraceptives. People have all sorts of emotional, family and historical reasons for their membership of a religion. The moral exhortations of the Church leadership may well be irrelevant to most members.

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Out of touch with reality

Have a look at this Herald Cartoon: Out of touch with reality.

“He might be in touch with God but he’s definitely not in touch with reality.”

Mind you – I think that it’s safe to assume that anyone who claims they are in touch with God, is out of touch with reality.

And what’s this about the Pope condemning “sorcery and withccraft?” Isn’t this a case of pots and kettles?


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The Pope visits New York

This is an old joke but, I think, a clever one. And I am sure most Catholics, and indeed most other Christians, can appreciate it. When I first heard it the city was Atlanta. I guess New York is topical for the current visit.

In my version of the joke the limousine driver is an elderly African-American. I have in mind someone like the chauffeur (played by Morgan Freeman) in the film Driving Miss Daisy.

Seems to me this little detail adds to the humour.

Thanks to Institute for Humanist Studies:

The Pope Visits New York

The pope goes to New York. He is picked up at the airport by a limousine.

He looks at the beautiful car and says to the driver, “You know, I hardly ever get to drive. Would you please let me?”

The driver is understandably hesitant and says, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m supposed to do that.”

But the pope persists, “Please?” The driver finally lets up. “Oh, all right, I can’t really say no to the oope.”

So the pope takes the wheel, and boy, is he a speed demon! He hits the gas and goes around 100 mph in a 45 zone. A policeman notices and pulls him over.

The cop walks up and asks the pope to roll down the window. Startled and surprised, the young officer asks the pope to wait a minute.

He goes back to his patrol car and radios the chief.

Cop: Chief, I have a problem.

Chief: What sort of problem?

Cop: Well, you see, I pulled over this guy for driving way over the speed limit but it’s someone really important.

Chief: Important like the mayor?

Cop: No, no, much more important than that.

Chief: Important like the governor?

Cop: Wayyyyyy more important than that.

Chief: Like the president?

Cop: More.

Chief: Who’s more important than the president?

Cop: I don’t know, but he’s got the pope DRIVING for him!