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Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, March 29, 2010

Benny the Rat, and All His Pals

I love Yahoo! Answers.

Benedict the Demon from Hell, why do you demand the resignation of your Bishops for your crimes?
It is well documented that you in your role as the Holy Lord Inquisitor of the Faith instructed all the Bishops of this Earth to protect the child abusing Priests in order to save the name of the 'Holy Catholic Church'
You should resign! You are the worst transgressor. You are a child abuser!. You are filth beneath the feet of the children of Ireland!
May you rest in Hell for a while until you are fully sorry for your misdeeds.

(These were the words of someone who called himself Gone Beyond. He got a lot of flack from Catholics -one of whom decided to respond with a lengthy list of Protestant worthies who had been found abusing children- and I responded with:)

Ah. Talkin' about Benny the Rat, eh? Well, let's see...

Okay; they (The Vatican) seem to have decided a while ago that they'd rather pay huge court settlements than fix the problem. Also, they're a sovereign nation whose ruler is also the head of the church: Benny the Rat, that is.

Now, while there's a longstanding tradition of mentoring that includes having sex with your charges that goes back to ancient Greece (at least), the last time anyone was dumb enough to use that as a legal defense was centuries ago. The point is, nothing will be done because the church rarely changes. Gonna convene a council against the big guy? Good luck with that.

But past a certain point they'll have to decide between wholesale bankruptcy and changing their ways. I suspect the result will be a schism between western and European Catholicism.

Not that you care; you're crazy.

And I meant all of it -just to forestall any suggestion of me being a little cavalier on the subject. (Ultimately I discovered that the author probably isn't as crazy as his/her writing style suggests, either: I'm pretty sure it's actually just very elaborate performance art, and said so, for which I recieved a 'Best Answer' award. )

I genuinely think that the Catholic church decided several decades ago that they would rather continue to pay massive out-of-court settlements with no admission of guilt (and let's take a moment to savor the paradox in that one: the whole point of Catholicism is standardized confession of sins) in lieu of doing any serious work in combatting the problem.
But now people are nowhere near as scared to come forward as they once were. So maybe it would be time to make substantive changes, rather than just doling out hush money you no longer really have.

But as it happens, they'll be set for a while, financially. The Vatican is the Mafia, basically, with everyone paying Up, and then some of it trickling back down to dioceses all over the world. They've been doing this for a very long time, and they're pretty set. I imagine that The Vatican's financial records aren't publicly available, but I've never gone looking , either.

Again as I say, The Vat is a sovereign nation. Unless we felt like a military invasion/occupation to topple its dictatorship (and we've been very fond of those lately), there probably isn't much that could be done in the way of official condemnation. Benny the Rat is currently the Pontiff of the Holy See, the Archbishop of Rome, and President of a Country that Professes to have Dominion over Souls. People still listen to him because he's a Double Threat (at least).

The church has also been a giant Closet for centuries, where families all over the world sent their children that they felt were probably homosexual, or at very least just weren't going to be fitting in so hot with society at large. And then there's the doctrine of Clerical Celibacy: so your reward for going into the priesthood or nunnery is that you will never be able to express one of your basic biological drives. As a member of the clergy, you could go wherever you wanted during Carnival and go back to your monastery or wherever no questions asked, but this practice ended in the 13th century, so now you don't even get to have annual sex.

So then these people who don't get to have sex are -for some fucking reason- given dominion over the children in their flock (when they're not delivering marriage counseling). As is often the case when big people are given charge over little people (or powerful people ruling over powerless people, anyway), abuses will occur. It seems that they've been doing so in this case for centuries, and the Church being what it is, they're only now starting to talk about something the rest of us have been nervously joking about for quite a while.

Lastly, the Church is almost certainly not going to discipline its own leader. The last time that happened, the guy was already dead. He'd been accused of everything from rape to murder while he'd been alive, but he was Pope, y'know? Not a lot you can do about that.

So they exhumed him, put his corpse up in a chair, yelled at it for a few weeks, found it guilty and stripped it of its papal vestments, threw it in the Tiber river. Justice was done.

(The problem here is that there have been a lot of crooked Popes. This makes research difficult to say the least. I was thinking of one of your Renaissance Popes -a Medici, a Borgia- but the only one I can find was Pope Formosus, who died in the late 890's. Here's a picture of him.)

And then this morning, Dan Savage quotes the same thing everyone else has been quoting for the last twenty-four hours: Pope Benedict isn't concerned by "petty gossip."

That's pure Chairman of the Board talking there: We Are Not Concerned With The Likes Of You. Have you trampled civilizations underfoot for the Glory of God? I thought not. Well, We Have. Have you been terrorizing small children and other simple-minded folk with other-worldly boogy-men for well over a thousand years, and have seen all of your critics go to their graves, largely unrewarded? No? We Have.

Boy, you always forget exactly how arrogant these fuckers are until moments like these, eh? It seems like some sort of cartoonish grotesque that you've dreamt up, until dude turns around and actually starts talking like this. And then you remember: oh, so this is why I hate religion!


Blogger disco boy said...


though i can't help but feel that as long as the catholics have dominion over the brown people and the brown-speaking people (most of whom, unless they have personal experience, are not... uh... fortunate enough to have an outlet to the media who reports on such transgressions), their power-in-numbers will continue on wanderingly.

it's no longer about keeping the decision makers happy. it must be about keeping the overwhelming masses in the dark. act like it never happened, and the... say... 71% of south americans have yet to hear about the european and north american buttfuckery that took place.


6:31 PM  
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10:01 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

Deb and I have coined a word up in the largely Italian, Portuguese and Irish environs we live in, it is a combination of the words ethnic and catholic: "Cathnic." And what it really means to be cathnic is to be dead certain about when you do and don't get to kick someone's ass. A Cathnic person hates to be told, "Well maybe, we're not sure. Scientists opinions are divided." They are much more comfortable believing the first idiot who tells them it's... oh, say, the tarot cards, or the tea leaves, or the bible, or or the priest that is the source of knowledge about what is going on.... All things going against this knowledge threaten the fabric of reality and must be destroyed, which is fun, of course. This is an old story we know well, but the point is, religion is appealing to humans, because, it seems, the less reasonable the source of knowledge the more readily it is believed and religion is the least reasonable source possible. Sorry, if this doesn't make sense. Tired, late, etc. just wanted to relate the neologism 'cathnic' mostly. be well.

6:14 PM  

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