Archives for posts with tag: pope

The Pope has issued a letter to Catholics in Ireland. In the following, I quote from this letter, and translate the Pope’s obscure pronouncements into plain English.

I have been deeply disturbed by the information which has come to light regarding the abuse of children and vulnerable young people by members of the Church in Ireland, particularly by priests and religious.

So disturbed that I tried to prevent its ever becoming known.

I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts and the way Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them.

I’m talking about the authorities in Ireland. Not us in Rome. We had nothing to do with it. We didn’t even know about it.

For my part, considering the gravity of these offences, and the often inadequate response to them on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities in your country, I have decided to write this Pastoral Letter to express my closeness to you and to propose a path of healing, renewal and reparation.

Yes! For my part, I decided… wait for it… to write this letter.

In almost every family in Ireland, there has been someone – a son or a daughter, an aunt or an uncle – who has given his or her life to the Church. Irish families rightly esteem and cherish their loved ones who have dedicated their lives to Christ, sharing the gift of faith with others, and putting that faith into action in loving service of God and neighbour. In recent decades, however, the Church in your country has had to confront new and serious challenges to the faith arising from the rapid transformation and secularization of Irish society.

It’s those nasty secularists again. They’re the real problem here.

On several occasions since my election to the See of Peter, I have met with victims of sexual abuse, as indeed I am ready to do in the future. I have sat with them, I have listened to their stories, I have acknowledged their suffering, and I have prayed with them and for them.

Then I told them to never, ever, under penalty of excommunication, tell anyone about what that poor, misguided priest, God rest his soul, did to them.

Earlier in my pontificate, in my concern to address this matter, I asked the bishops of Ireland, ‘to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice are fully respected, and above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes’ (Address to the Bishops of Ireland, 28 October 2006).

What I did not do then, and what I would never do, is to ask the priests who have abused their holy offices to resign. That would be far too harsh.

To priests and religious who have abused children: You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals.

But not, of course, in a court of law. That would be improper.

Together with the immense harm done to victims, great damage has been done to the Church and to the public perception of the priesthood and religious life.

Remember: your income depends on the church’s reputation.

I urge you to examine your conscience, take responsibility for the sins you have committed, and humbly express your sorrow. Sincere repentance opens the door to God’s forgiveness and the grace of true amendment. By offering prayers and penances for those you have wronged, you should seek to atone personally for your actions.

Under no circumstances should you go to the police. Remember: your income depends on the church’s reputation.

To parents: You have been deeply shocked to learn of the terrible things that took place in what ought to be the safest and most secure environment of all. In today’s world it is not easy to build a home and to bring up children. This noble but demanding task is entrusted in the first place to you, their parents.

What the hell is wrong with you? How could you let this happen?

As you carry out your vital responsibilities, be assured that I remain close to you and I offer you the support of my prayers.

I will not, of course, ask the priests who have abused their holy offices to resign. That would be far too harsh.

To the priests and religious of Ireland: … At this painful time, I want to acknowledge the dedication of your priestly and religious lives and apostolates, and I invite you to reaffirm your faith in Christ, your love of his Church and your confidence in the Gospel’s promise of redemption, forgiveness and interior renewal.

Remember: your income depends on the church’s reputation.

Above all, I urge you to become ever more clearly men and women of prayer, courageously following the path of conversion, purification and reconciliation.

Under no circumstances should you go to the police.

To my brother bishops: … Serious mistakes were made …

… though not, of course, by me.

All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness.

Remember: your income depends on the church’s reputation.

Besides fully implementing the norms of canon law in addressing cases of child abuse, continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence.

Under no circumstances tell the truth to the police. Their area of competence does not include anything having to do with the Church.

Only decisive action carried out with complete honesty and transparency will restore the respect and good will of the Irish people towards the Church to which we have consecrated our lives. This must arise, first and foremost, from your own self-examination, inner purification and spiritual renewal.

Pray often. Do not say anything to the police.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ … I am praying earnestly that, by God’s grace, the wounds afflicting so many individuals and families may be healed and that the Church in Ireland may experience a season of rebirth and spiritual renewal.

What I have not done, and what I will never do, is to ask the priests who have abused their holy offices to resign. That would cut substantially into my income.

At the conclusion of my meeting with the Irish bishops, I asked that Lent this year be set aside as a time to pray for an outpouring of God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s gifts of holiness and strength upon the Church in your country. … Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration, and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose. … Through intense prayer before the real presence of the Lord, you can make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm… .

Don’t blame the priest, or the bishops, or me. Blame yourself.

I am confident that this programme will lead to a rebirth of the Church in Ireland in the fullness of God’s own truth, for it is the truth that sets us free (cf. Jn 8:32).


Pope presses Obama on abortion, stem cells – Yahoo! News

The president of the United States should not pay the slightest attention or respect to the world’s Parasite-in-Chief.

I understand that this is politics. I understand that you don’t go around pissing people off who you could have had on your side if you had simply been polite. But the Vatican is a special case, as is, for example, North Korea. You don’t meet Kim Jong-il and say it’s a great honor, and ask his advice, and ask him to pray for your friends.

Afterward, the Vatican said the leaders discussed immigration, the Middle East peace process and aid to developing nations. But the Vatican’s statement also underscored the pair’s deep disagreement on abortion. “In the course of their cordial exchanges, the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interest of all and which constitute a great challenge … such as the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience,” the statement said.

These are lies. This is not a matter of opinion. These words, “the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience,” are lies. The reference to “life” is shorthand for the Catholic position that abortion is evil, even if it would have saved a mother instead of an embryo. It is not life he wants to protect, it is his rule. And by “the right to abide by one’s conscience” he does not mean that a mother has any rights. This is a claim on his part to the right to tell women what to do.

Even in his gift to the U.S. leader, the pope sought to underscore his beliefs. Benedict gave Obama a copy of a Vatican document on bioethics that hardened the church’s opposition to using embryos for stem cell research, cloning and in-vitro fertilization. … “Yes, this is what we had talked about,” Obama said, telling the pope he would read it on the flight to his next stop, Ghana.

Some gift! Why on Earth would Mr. Obama read such a document? Can he really imagine there is anything in it but lies?

Just this week, Benedict issued a major document calling for a new world financial order guided by ethics and a search for the common good, denouncing a profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for the global financial meltdown.

Ethics and a search for the common good? There is only one way the Pope could contribute to these goals: by renouncing his post and repudiating the Church. He might then humbly offer to help the next U.S. president bring charges against the Vatican to the International Criminal Court, if she is interested.

[This was written when the “pope” was visiting the “president.” I wasn’t sure how to finish it. Now I’m just going to post it, because, as a famous philosopher once said, “Oh, what the hell.”]

Can any news possibly be less interesting than one evil old man visiting another and lying to us about what the whole thing means? The event would become news only if news-people reported it factually rather than as a clueless and relentless spiel of rote clichés. That would be news. But they do not know how, or they do not want to, or they do not dare. Such is the unspoken, unnoticed, insidious power behind this throroughly fake event. You will speak of this meeting, they are told–no, they know without being told, in the manner that such meetings are allowed to be described, and no other. You will treat us and our doings with unconditional respect, deference, and obedience. For an air of extra authenticity, speak as if you are personally awed by both our Presences, and bravely choose to moderate your adoration to the tones proper to a true journalist. Oh you can be a devout believer and tell the public the truth also. This is the truth–these feelings you have. It’s truer than the regular, newspaper kind of truth, deeper and healthier and longer-lasting and more beautiful. We could–you could do without newspapers, but not without faith. Without faith–without us, you are nothing. We hold the entire key to the sense of your life, to the drama without which it has no meaning, the salt without which it has no savor.

For the “pope” to visit with the “president” means nothing. No, it means less than nothing; it erodes meaning rather than deepening it.

Who is this “pope” who is visiting? A figurehead travels around the world from his palace to visit other figureheads. It makes sense that a man with so much misery to answer for would cross the Atlantic to make a show of solidarity with another man just as evil–that makes sense in a social way, in a “the enemy of my friend is my friend” kind of way. Again, this does not qualify as news. When gangs meet to decide which other gangs to murder next, that is not news. That’s the same as every day, nothing has changed, evil people are still evil. Fuck them. I don’t want to hear about them and their despicable games. That shit sticks to you and affects your mind. When they are picked up and put in jail so that we ordinary people don’t have to be afraid of them anymore, that will be news. Don’t tell me about murderers continuing to murder unless you’re also going to do something about it. I don’t want them to be an the news. They don’t deserve to be famous. They deserve to be utterly unknown and impotent. Don’t let them get a “name,” that’s all they have. Without their notoriety they are nothing, they are slime we can step over so we don’t ruin our Vans. They are nothing. If people could see how small and shriveled and sick they are inside, their best friends would puke.

Oh, yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. “President,” Mr. “Vice-President,” and Ms. “Secretary of State.” May you burn in hell.

And you too, Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Of course, you’re familiar with the “scripture.” You would know just how certain and terrible is your fiery fate, if you believed any of it for a second.

I have to stop ranting and get back to the present point. Who or what is this “pope” who visited the “president”? When the Times reports on the activities of the “pope,” what does this noun refer to?

It’s not the guy–Joe Ratzinger. We don’t know anything about him–what makes him laugh, his family ties and troubles, whether he’d rather look at Cosmo or Playguy. He has been long since erased from the public eye. But that is who is riding in the “pope-mobile.” That’s him: Joe Ratzinger. You can change the name and the clothes and the job description, but you can’t change a person very much.

That’s not who the Times covers. They do not cover Ratso. They are complicit in the Ratso cover-up. To them Ratso is not interesting, Ratso is not news; and I agree with them on this. But at least Ratso exists. This “Benedict” thing is a construct, a figurehead, a cover, a lie from beginning to end. “Benedict” is no more real, or newsworthy, than Aunt Jemima.

There is someone, or something, the press is not covering. There is a man, who lives in a place, who has a job. It’s an important job, in the sense that it seriously affects many other human beings. The guy has a lot of power, and he uses it to benefit his organization, his buddies and colleagues, as opposed to the billions of members who faithfully pay their salaries. This is not even controversial. This is a matter of pure fact to anyone who won’t play the game of Don’t Dare Think That. This man is as evil as they come. And he is real. But he does not appear in the New York Times, just as the real President of the United States does not. The two proud papier-mâché figures appear, who do nothing, mean nothing, and are nothing. They are much safer to write about. You can’t get in much trouble with the real pope or president if you stick to writing about the fake pope and president.