New Pope Frankie

imagesSo, 520 years after the discovery of the New World, the Catholic Church finally gets around to choosing a Western hemisphere pope. (Not bad for an institution that took over 300 years to actually admit the Earth goes around the Sun.) A bit of marketing to perk up a tired old brand? (Of course, he’s still an Italian by ancestry.)

The very first thing I heard about him was that he believes globalization damages the poor. Such belief is indeed an article of faith for the anti-capitalist left. It’s just one of many articles of faith that defy reality. In fact globalization has been a tremendous force lifting a billion people out of poverty.

Well, even if he’s economically clueless, at least it’s nice that he wants to help the poor and oppressed. But it seems he was pretty quiet, as a leading churchman, during the ‘70s Argentine “dirty war” in which politically inconvenient people were tortured and thrown from airplanes into the sea.

Cartoon by Danziger

Cartoon by Danziger

And let’s see how well this new guy deals with the ongoing problem of priestly pedophiles and their enablers. While the violation of children is disgusting enough, what always particularly struck me is this: surely any priest who molests children cannot possibly truly believe the fundamental tenets of the faith he professes to serve. So they are not just predators and rapists but frauds besides. Given this, it’s even more disgusting that they’re protected by higher-ups — who must likewise be frauds, traducing the faith they too claim to hold. So much for the idea of a God that sees all and punishes sin, with eternal roasting. Maybe the only ones who actually believe it are the poor schnooks in the pews.

And then there’s the scandal you don’t even know about: the huge Vatican bank scandal.

Another thing: all those who consider themselves good Catholics while rejecting key church teachings. Fine to reject such bosh, but a religion is not a mere label, it’s a set of beliefs, and if you don’t believe Catholic doctrine, maybe you can still be a Christian, but not a Catholic. According to its rules, Catholicism is what the Pope says it is. Admittedly, some of what popes say doesn’t make much sense. The whole celibate male-only priesthood thing, for example, is nowhere prescribed in the Bible, and actually just reflects some archaic fetishistic meshugass incompatible with the modern world. Pope Francis says it’s not doctrine but discipline. As if it makes priests better people. I don’t think so — and nor do all those scarred by the resulting priestly buggery. Changing this “discipline” would not destroy Catholicism; might just help save it.

Then there’s the birth control ban, again actually extra-Biblical, and reflecting a tortured casuistical twisting of ancient ideas that were barbarous to begin with. More unnecessary craziness that damages the church.

But here I am, violating one of my own basic principles: that in matters of religion, logic and reason cannot apply.

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2 Responses to “New Pope Frankie”

  1. Scott Perlman Says:

    The act of believing in something based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof is really the definition of faith and why I believe all religions are irrational. I think we are aligned on that fact. And all faiths have rules, laws and customs that are both humorous and dangerous. The Catholic church has Stigmata, exorcism, Papal Infallibility, and indulgences to name a few of the more famous.

    But not all faiths have as significant a “corporate culture” as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is like a corporation in many ways. It has its brand that it attempts to protect at all costs. To the average “consumer” it presents a “product” that is appropriate and spiritually satisfying. But relative to their treatment of pedophile priests I believe the higher-ups rationalize their actions that harm a few while saving the many as appropriate and even righteous. Are they much different than Pacific Gas and Electric who tried to protect their brand at the expense of a town they poisoned with hexavalent chromium (see Erin Brockovich)? Or perhaps even more related, are the Catholic Church leaders just like those at Penn State that attempted to cover up the atrocities committed by Assistant Coach Sandusky?

    Who is more at fault, Sandusky or the Administration? I believe that Sandusky was completely responsible for all those children he abused until the administration had even an inkling of what was really happening. But after the Penn State leaders had even a suspicion and took no action, they became 50/50 coconspirators.

    I have no issues with any Catholic any more that with any other religious person. I cannot say the same for the Catholic hierarchy.

  2. frank S. Robinson Says:

    Of course they rationalize their actions. Everybody rationalizes their actions. The worst monsters rationalize their actions.

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