Papal Bull

The pope arriving at Heathrow, a somewhat stoned looking Boris Johnson in attendance

I was going to write about Cardinal Walter Kaspar today. He’s the one, if you recall, who said,

“When you land at Heathrow you think at times that you have landed in a third world country.”

Well, perhaps he does think that. So what? I don’t care what he thinks, do you? This is a man who believes in virgin births, talking snakes, transubstantiation and flying zombies; as a general principle I don’t value the opinions of a broken brain as highly as those emanating from a sane one. He also stated that British Airways discriminated against him because he was wearing a cross. Who would notice a cross around the neck of an elderly man wearing a maroon satin dress and a silly hat? I don’t buy any of it, but the kookie cardinal pulled out of the pope’s visit to the UK on account of an attack of gout. In vaticanspeak gout is a disease contracted from going around with your foot in your mouth.

But his boss, the pope, puts him to shame when it comes to moronic utterances. Try this for size: he compares atheism to naziism. Huh? How does the cretinous cleric square that circle? As a former member of the Hitler Youth he should know better than most that Hitler was himself a Catholic and justified his genocidal slaughter of the Jews by blaming them for the death of Christ. (Hitler seemed not to know that Christ himself was a Jew.) The Catholic churches’ shameful record in that horrifying chapter of history is well documented, so I won’t go into it here.

When did you last hear of mobs of atheists torching homes, setting off suicide bombs in public places or flying aeroplanes into skyscrapers? Or marching in jackboots and starting world wars? What? Never? Me neither, so what the hell is this imbecilic priest talking about?

Here’s another little gem:

“Secularism is a dictatorship of relativism which threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man’s nature, his destiny and his ultimate good.”

These are words, and I recognize them as English words, and they are arranged in a fashion which seems to indicate that they are supposed to form a sentence, but an essential ingredient of an English sentence is lacking: meaning. These words mean absolutely nothing at all. It’s postmodernist drivel signifying nothing. Do none of the people who flock to hear this rubbish recognize it for what it is: rubbish? There is some light at the end of the tunnel, it seems. There were thousands of tickets to the papal mass in Glasgow unsold.

I don’t want to harp on the Catholic clergy’s hobby of buggering choirboys at every opportunity, but the pope said something rather revealing when he alluded to the subject. He said he was “shocked and saddened by the sex abuse scandal.” He was shocked and saddened by the scandal, not by the abuse itself. To him, raping children is OK as long no one finds out about it.

It’s time to define a term I’m going to use. When I say evil I don’t mean it in the sense meant by religionists: something bad emanating from a malign supernatural being, but in a secular sense of something that greatly increases the amount of suffering and unhappiness in the world. The Catholic clergy’s systematic rape of children is evil, and the pope’s milksop condemnation of it is evil. There isn’t another word that fits the enormity of their actions.

The pope’s dogmatic insistence that wearing condoms is contrary to the wishes of his god has been the direct cause of millions of deaths from AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. I find it very hard to believe that the pope cannot foresee the consequences of his actions, and that therefore he should be held responsible for them. So why is he walking about in freedom instead of looking upon the world through the bars of his prison (or lunatic asylum) cell?

You Muslims, Protestants, Jews and members of other cults should not sit there looking smug because you aren’t Catholics. Your brand of nonsense is just as conducive to evil as is the nonsense of the Catholics. The only way we are able to live lives untainted by evil is to live rationally, making moral decisions based on objective criteria. If we abdicate our reason in favour of some imaginary supernatural lawgiver we can rationalise any act, no matter how heinous. That’s why aeroplanes are flown into buildings, children raped and dance halls blown up.

Isn’t that a dictatorship of relativism?

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Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License

5 Responses to Papal Bull

  1. Con-Tester says:

    It’s been some time since I’ve read the word “enormity” being used correctly… 😉

    I find it very hard to believe that the pope cannot foresee the consequences of his actions, and that therefore he should be held responsible for them.

    An essential dimension, perhaps the deciding one, that is often missed in these kinds of questions concerning RC doctrine is that of papal infallibility pertaining to scriptural interpretation. If pope X declared Y to be a “fact,” citing Z scriptural justification (note: not limited to the bible), then no other RC official, including all subsequent pontiffs, can ever revoke or recant “truth” Y, and Y becomes an irrevocable part of the RC’s canon of belief. And so it is with the RC’s stance on contraception. Such is the price of “infallibility” in perpetuity – itself a doctrine derived, ironically, from nothing more plausible than an assertion of its own truth by fiat. No wonder question-begging is rarely viewed as a logical fallacy by the RC’s board of directors.

    Oh, and thanks Mark for an entertaining, informative, well-constructed and, above all, level-headed read. 🙂

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Con-tester. I don’t claim any expertise in catholic doctrine–I don’t believe there is any rational foundation for their dogma, whether the subject is contraception, cosmology, medical research or this bizarre notion they have of ‘original sin’. What you say about papal infallibility is interesting because it should be a self-defeating proposition. If pope Fathead XII states (infallibly) that proposition X is true, and this is later proven to be false, then not only Fathead XII is discredited, but the entire hierarchy of God, church and the papacy. The peasants should leave the church in their droves. But they don’t. Faith trumps facts every time. Perhaps there is an evolutionary reason for this, something like the peacock’s feathers. If I were a peacock I would choose to have dowdy feathers, live a quiet, celibate life rather than have magnificent plumage, get my leg over once, then get eaten by some toothy passer-by. but then, I’m probably in a minority.

  3. Con-Tester says:

    Mark, you are clearly right about this infallibility clause potentially spelling disaster for the whole enterprise, but this implication has yet to sink into the minds of the RCC’s following. The Vatican’s condemnation of Galileo’s work took a mere 400 years to rescind and close scrutiny reveals that the main reason for retracting the condemnation was that the cardinals, rather than the pope, were mistaken, even though the pope agreed with the cardinals’ findings. In recent times, the RCC has merely become a little more circumspect about making pronouncements on scientific matters but its PR machine and spindoctoring antics are as fecund and ripe as ever.

    The RCC also (and not surprisingly) insists that its own authority and tradition far outweigh any serious doctrinal challenges, wherever they may originate. It is why they very vehemently opposed translation as well as publication of the bible. So, by RCC standards, Protestants and Anglicans are heretics and always will remain such.

    In short, the point I’m trying to convey is that even if the pope privately agreed that his church should rethink its stance on various issues such as female priests or contraception, the policy rules of the organisation he is part of prevent him from doing so. The conclave of upper-echelon cardinals and bishops would probably rather have the man assassinated than permit him to make any contra-doctrinal pronouncements. That is not to say, however, that I entertain any sympathy for the bloke at all.

    • Mark says:

      I agree that the pope’s straitjacketed by church doctrine, but it still doesn’t in any way excuse his actions (or inaction). If he believes that the churches’ dogma is harmful, then he should either say so or resign; failure to do so is criminal neglect. (Can a pope resign?). If he doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with it he’s either psychotically deluded or impenetrably stupid, in which case he should be confined to a mental hospital or home for the soft-headed.

  4. Con-Tester says:

    A papal appointment (by election), like a Catholic marriage, is “’til death us do part” – which is probably a contributing factor to some of them dying in suspicious circumstances. And yes, informed consent is a necessary and sufficient condition for someone’s culpability to obtain.

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