I am NOT writing this because I’m a sick dude. I am writing it because I am totally cynical in respect of all of the machinations, exaggerations, theatre and downright nonsense of the senior Men in Frocks who run the Holy Roman Church.
Do NOT be surprised if the Pope Emeritus expires on or soon after the installation of the new Pope…….. and finally goes to meet his God.
It will then be promulgated by the Vatican as a major miracle!
(Do not put it past them!)
Apart from doing God’s work on Earth, the Vatican is also renowned for self-inflicted scandals – both sexual and financial. This week yet another wave of Vatican fiscal turbulence has hit the headlines. The latest is by no means the first and one suspects, not the last.
In 1974 the Franklin National Bank collapsed and the Vatican lost an estimated $30 million. The bank had been owned by the Sicilian financier Michele Sindona. Bad loans and questionable foreign currency transactions had led to the collapse. Sindona died in prison after drinking cyanide-laced coffee.
Who can forget the 1982 news of Roberto Calvi being found hanged from London’s Blackfriars Bridge? Calvi had been the head of the failed Banco Ambrosiano. The bank collapse (in the days when bank collapses were not such an everyday phenomenon) was as a result of millions in loans that the bank had made to Latin American-based dummy corporations. Calvi had been known as “God’s Banker”because the majority of the Banco Ambrosiano shares were owned by the Vatican.
The apparently ritual hanging of Calvi fired rumours which suggested the involvement of P2, the very powerful and influential “black” Masonic Lodge which, at the time boasted eminent members from the worlds of politics, finance and media. For instance, the current Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was a member. (Imagine an Italian Bilderberg Group or a quasi-government with Vatican connections.)
There was talk of Mafia involvement and money-laundering on a massive scale. Needless to say, the Vatican denied any part in the frauds but nevertheless paid $250 million the the collapsed bank’s creditors.
Thirty years later, the Vatican has agreed to establish a financial watchdog – purely as a result of yet more money-laundering allegations. It has vowed to “battle” money-laundering and the financing of terrorism but in spite of this quixotic call to arms, Vatican banking still remains an enigma. The Vatican banking system with its extreme secrecy makes the average Liechtenstein bank look like Wikileaks with Tourettes.
The Vatican is a tax-haven with its own rules and is seemingly above international law. Its currencies are the Euro, scandal and secrecy. Needless to say, that automatically makes it very attractive to dishonourable people who may have things to hide.
The Vatican is now creating a financial watchdog which will be fully functional on 1st April 2011. Everything has been done it in a hurry (by Vatican standards) because the latest scandal has resulted in $31 million of its cash being seized and two of its senior officials being suspended while they and the whole affair are investigated.
The Holy See’s bank is called IOR (Institute for Religious Works) and was primarily created to manage assets earmarked for the pope’s charitable and religious works. The banks has over 40,000 account holders but their names are kept secret.
Pope Ratz is accustomed to scandal and will certainly be aware of the exploitation of banking and the rest of the financial sector by individuals and organisations who prefer to remain outside the law. Consequently, he has written an encyclical calling for “greater morality” in finance.
The recent decree has created the Financial Information Authority which will (theoretically) ensure that the Vatican’s financial (and other) institutions comply with the new regulations. As a result of these changes, the Vatican has indicated that it will share financial information with other states. Hopefully it will be more successful that the Regulatory bodies which have been established elsewhere and whose presence did not deter people such as Madoff in the States, the collapse of Lehman brothers and the subsequent near-collapse of the West’s entire banking system – from which it is yet to recover.
The following activities are now illegal in the Vatican: Human trafficking, training for terrorist acts, providing chemical and bacteriological weapons, selling or buying human organs and pollution. There is no mention of the Vatican’s second-favourite indoor sport (after table-tennis) : buggery. Perhaps that will be mentioned in future edicts.
The legislation will be passed today (31st December 2010) – that was the pledge made by the Holy See a year ago when the Vatican entered into monetary agreement with the European Union.
Meanwhile, in spite of the accelerated activity, the Vatican bank’s chairman Gotti Tedeschi and his deputy remain under investigation. They and the Vatican still maintain that the whole affair has been a “misunderstanding “but nevertheless, Roman courts have twice refused to release the seized $31 million. It would seem that the Vatican’s own secrecty laws are something of a block to this case being deal-with quickly.
Yesterday, the pope’s spokesman Federico Lombardi was aksed about the identity of the bank clients who are possibly implicated in the alleged money-laundering. He replied in typical Vatican nonsensical terms to which we have become accustomed. He said that this was a very “peculiar case” and he continued: “But I maintain that this law creates a situation in which the type of problems that were verified or unsuitable are unthinkable.”
Procrastination is a major Vatican technique in dealing with matters of sexual abuse and it seems that the same modus operandi are applied to their financial adventures. The Vatican Bank’s chairman has said that he is working “to get the Vatican to come into compliance with the norms of the Financial Action Task Force” ( The Financial Action Task Force is a policy-making body which assists countries to formulate anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing legislation).
Hopefully the construction, discussion and subsequent adoption of rules and legislation does not once again, prevent the Vatican from taking positive action. So far, the FATF has not had time to study the Vatican’s submission either in detail or in English!
A statement from FATF reads: “……however on the strength of what has been released I can say it appears to be a significant step towards compliance with the global anti-money laundering standards.”
The whole process will take years because the Vatican must enter into tax information sharing agreements with at least 12 other countries after making a formal commitment to transparency. Only then will it become an OECD White Member.
Surprisingly, the Vatican has so far not had contact with the OECD with since two meetings in early 2010.
One can sense a corner of the already over-burdened Vatican carpet being lifted and the long grass quivering in anticipation.
The Vatican Public Relations machine has lifted its skirts a tiptoed into the winter sunshine. Two weeks ago, the PR men caught our attention with Condomgate and last week they issued a statement indicating that the pope would be happy to ride a solar-powered electric Popemobile. All very cosy and light!
Yesterday they decided to have a “go” at rewriting history in the first stage of making Pope Ratz into everyone’s favourite “Onkel”.
It seems that in 1988, Das Pope wanted to find quicker ways to permanently remove priests who had raped children. Suddenly, the official line is that that the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s initiative had been blocked by Church Law and the conservative Church hierarchy which implemented it.
The law to which the Vatican PR men are referring is that which only allows for removal of offending priests when they askto be laicised (defrocked). That law was last modified in 1983 but is soon to be amended so that when a priest is accused of child rape, he can be dealt with reasonably quickly. Apparently, all those years ago, Ratz asked for a “quicker and simpler” procedure rather than what was (and still is) available – a lengthy church trial. There aren’t all that many priest-trials anyway but apparently, the powerful Cardinal Ratzinger was overruled on the grounds that a priest’s ability to defend himself would be compromised.
The documentation which kick-started Ratzinger’s rehabilitation was published last week in L’Osservatore Romano, in an article explaining an upcoming revision of the 1983 Code of Canon’s Law penal section. It seems that the Holy See finally recognises that the Code has too many loopholes to make it a deterrent to priests who have been entered by Satan and encouraged to perpetrate such heinous acts against children and parishioners.
The Vatican “Max Cliffords” are now seeking to portray Benedict as having done more than anyone else at the Vatican to crack down on paedophile priests. However, in 2001, he had requested that all abuse cases should be referred to his former office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which to many observers suggested “containment” and suppression of information rather than any serious attempt to deal with the problem.
For many years, the Cardinal’s office had been hearing from bishops who were rarely allowed to deal with priests without the rigours of Vatican procedure. Fortunately for the Vatican, the majority of bishops preferred inaction and neither various popes or more recently, Cardinal Ratzinger had a single bishop removed from office even after it had been revealed that the bishops had been complicit in many hundreds of cover-ups.
Sexual abuse victims’ representatives say that a single letter does not excuse decades of inaction or Pope Ratz’ continuing inaction in removing guilty bishops.
It is generally agreed that the pope should be judged by his actions and not by that single letter which , in fact, achieved nothing. As the clerical abuse scandal erupted earlier this year, Benedict was mired by accusations that as prefect of the congregation, he repeatedly refused bishops’ requests to have abusers removed. In reality, he has had ample opportunity to unilaterally declare changes but has continually failed to do so. When it suits the Catholic church it is a democracy and can bring all of its substantial bureaucracy to bear upon an issue and guarantee that it takes years or decades for any change to be effected.
At the time, Ratzinger was following laws and rules introduced by his predecessor Pope John Paul II, which largely left punishing such priests in the hands of local bishops, who often decided against conducting church trials because they found them too cumbersome and could lose them Vatican “brownie points”.
John Paul had also made it tougher to leave the priesthood, hoping to stem the tide of thousands of priests who left in the 1970s to marry. That was during the time when heterosexual rather than paedophilic sex was fashionable.
The priests who remained and who abused children were simply moved to other parishes where they would continue their perversions. The consequence in many countries – notably the USA was that victims sued the local parishes. That resulted in many Catholic dioceses being bankrupted.
In a March 1988 letter to Ratzinger, Cardinal Jose Rosalio Castillo who had headed the Vatican Commission which implemented the 1983 code, said that simplifying the procedures “would endanger the fundamental right of defence” of the priest whilst at the same time straying from the church’s legal-based system. That is to say, a priest’s and the church’s rights took precedence over the victims’ rights.
As the Catholic church’s victims have become braver and thus more vocal, the Vatican has been forced to streamline its own system and procedures so that a priest could be removed without the need for a church trial. Pope Ratzinger’s PR men are now making capital of the changes by portraying their man as an “I told you so” hero.
Monsignor Juan Ignacio Arrieta, the No. 2 in the Vatican’s legal department, said that very soon, proposals for revisions of the penal part of Code of Canon’s Law will be sent to Vatican consultants and advisers. So far, the study has taken over two years and there is no time-limit or target for any changes being implemented. Theoretically, it could take years for any modifications to become law.
Meanwhile the VaticanPublic Relations opportunists have begun to rewrite history and possibly the process which will ultimately have Pope Ratz declared a saint. It seems that the pope’s image is far more important than the physical, psychological damage which was and continues to be inflicted on innocent children by the perverts in dog-collars masquerading as messengers from God.
“For all the good that one of these does, you might as well shove it up your ass”
There is much confusion and theological discussion about Pope Ratz’ apparently softening views on contraception and the fact that he has appeared to support the use of condoms by prostitutes. We are missing the whole point. According to Catholic dogma, prostitutes and homosexuals are going to Hell anyway, therefore it doesn’t matter WTF they do. In fact, if the truth be told, anyone who isn’t a good Catholic is going to Hell. That means that most of us are going to meet up outside Satan’s front door.
For instance our Muslim brothers don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They’re hellbound – as are the Jews who don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah. No doubt they’ll spend an eternity disputing each others’ underworld territorial rights.
Pope Ratz latest edict was a few days ago. In it he said that embryos aren’t just biological material but dynamic, autonomous individuals and therefore we should all show more respect for human life at its earliest stages. On the Pope’s behalf, the Vatican urged bishops around the world to make the the Popes pre-Advent Mass a vigil for “nascent human life.”
The Vatican knows a great deal about respect for “nascent human life” – right up to the time when it starts to wear short trousers.
The coming of Jesus once again took a back seat to arguments and reinterpretations of the Pope’s words on HIV-AIDS and the nonsense about condom-users “edging towards a greater morality because they’re aiming to protect their partners from an HIV infection.”
According to two papally-approved “clarifications” delivered by a Vatican spokesman, Pope Ratz is NOT changing church teaching on artificial contraception. On the contrary, according to the Infallible One, “There is a need to protect human life from the moment of conception”. He said “It’s not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and marvelously ordered, a new individual of the human species.” He also pointed out that science has showed us how autonomous the embryo is and how it interacts with the mother. The Vatican is selective in which aspects of science it supports – ask any palaeontologist or evolutionist.
Finally, without any hint of irony, Pope Ratz said, “Unfortunately, even after birth the life of children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, misery, sickness, abuse, violence and exploitation.”
You said it, mate.
If you are a devout Catholic, please do not read this. It is offensive. However, it is offensive for a reason. There are many of us who have little or no respect for a church so heavily populated by perverts without conscience. Their way of life, their dresses and their views, attract ridicule and I am always very pleased to supply them with as much ridicule and bad taste as they deserve.
If you’ve had an abortion, you will be pleased to hear that your murdered baby will greet you in the afterlife crying “Momma!” If you’re gay and you have HIV/AIDS, it is God’s punishment because you are “intrinsically disordered”. Women who have aborted foetuses and homosexuals who have engaged in any sort of “congress” are sinners.
These are the views of Belgian Archbishop Andre Leonard. Last January he was tasked by Pope Ratz to “energise” Belgium’s Roman Catholics because he thought that in the last 30 years, Belgian Catholics had become “too liberalised”.
Belgium is famous for only three things: Chocolates, Paedophile rings and Hercule Poirot, so an Archbishop who is anti the prosecution of paedophile priests and who thinks that AIDS is a form of justice for homosexuals is the ideal candidate for dragging the Belgian Catholics back into the Dark Ages.
Pope Ratz is known as an an uber-conservative and in the spirit of God having created man in his own image, Ratz is busying himself appointing traditionalist conservatives to his front-line so that Catholics can be shepherded towards a return to traditional values, the literal interpretation of the gospels and the strictest application of Catholic dogma.
Needless to say, there are some Vatican progressives (those whose minds reside in as recently as the 19th century) who feel that such appointments will further erode the church’s image and amplify the issues which have proved to be such a massive public relations disaster to the geriatric Vatican virgins and their flock.
The Archbishop Leonard case has not been helped by his spokesman, Juergen Mettepenningen resigning last week. The whole controversy seems destined to develop into a full-blown public revolt, especially after Mettepenningen referred to Leonard as a “loose cannon who thinks that everyone else is wrong” and that he could “no longer morally defend” his former boss.
In spite of the fact that the Vatican refers to Catholic women who have aborted foetuses as “sinners”, it is the most widely-used contraceptive method within the Catholic church. The figures are staggering. The latest figures show that worldwide, there are 42 million abortions per year. Catholic women account for 31.3% of that number. That means that annually, the Vatican has at least 13 million additional women “sinners”.
In 1990, a law was passed in Belgium which liberalised abortion but still, the Belgians continue to have one of the lowest abortion rates in the world. Nevertheless, the Vatican remains unhappy that these “murders” take place and Archbishop Leonard is its new “voice”.
The Vatican continues to be confused and to confuse. On one hand, the Catholic base is unhappy with Leonard’s prognostications but on the other hand his views dovetail exactly with the church’s teachings.
Also, the Vatican admits it has no tolerance for paedophiles, but rarely subjects paedophile priests to full canonical trials, instead telling them to live out their years in prayer and penance. Leonard definitely supports this view.
Make no mistake, Leonard’s views have not suddenly been formed since his appointment. On the contrary, he was appointed because of his views. The pope knew very well what type of individual he was appointing.
Belgium has ten bishops and two of them have already challenged Leonard. Yves Leterme, the Belgian Prime Minister has also condemned the newly-appointed archbishop.
You may recall that several weeks after Leonard’s appointment, Roger Vengheluwe, the then Archbishop of Bruges retired. He then admitted that, for many years, he had been molesting his own nephew. Consequently, the police raided Leonard’s office in the hope of finding evidence – on the assumption that Leonard would have known about Vangheluwe’s misdemeanours. Several months later, Leonard demonstrated his total lack of public relations knowledge by stating on Belgian television:
“If they are no longer priests, have no more (church) responsibilities, I doubt that taking some kind of vengeance … is a humane solution. Do they really want a priest, aged 85, to be put in stocks and publicly humiliated? I think most victims don’t want that.”
That statement supported the Vatican’s imagined view that there is “occupational dispensation” for priests who have buggered children. Paedophilia should be punished by law – except if you are lucky enough to be a priest and you “repent” and/or retire. Then you enjoy the full protection of the Holy See because the Vatican’s Men in Dresses believe that a third party would have been responsible for your sins. Satan himself – but that’s another debate.
Archbishop Leonard clearly demonstrates that no amount of good Catholic education can override limpet-like dogma.
He holds a philosophy degree from the Leuven Catholic University and completed theological studies at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was also a member of the International Theological Commission, which then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed as prefect of the Vatican’s orthodoxy office.
Leonard took over from Cardinal Godfried Danneels. Danneels had opposed key Vatican edicts such as a ban on condoms in AIDS prevention. During his tenure, Belgium legalised euthanasia and same-sex marriages. Those are two primary Vatican obsessions and because Danneels had demonstrated progressive credentials by not actively trying to slow down the pace of change, he had to go. Hence Leonard’s appointment
Vatican officials now acknowledge concern about the simmering Belgian state of affairs but have refrained from direct comment saying they don’t want to inflame “an already tense situation”.
Gabriel Ringlet, a former deputy dean of the Universite Catholique de Louvain, wants Leonard to resign — a highly unlikely prospect and one that would be unprecedented in Belgium.
It seems that in the current atmosphere, a bishop cannot be too conservative. Pope Ratz does not appear to be worried about the decline of Catholicism in the West because he feels that once the liberals have gone, the Catholic church will be able to return to basics.
As the winds of change blow through the Roman Catholic church, it seems that this pope is “not for turning” – in spite of the fact that the winds are blowing the church backwards into an age that for the rest of us, disappeared several hundred years ago.
The Popejet has finally left this green and pleasant land. As predicted, thanks to a the combination of Pope-propaganda and tens of thousands of infatuated flag wavers, droolers and the intellectually stunted, Pope Ratz has morphed.
Whereas a week ago he was a cross-dressing pantomime villain in a white zuccetto pixie hat and magic red slippers, today he is perceived as the sainted love child of Mother Teresa and Santa Claus.
He arrived in Edinburgh as gatekeeper and guardian to an evil worldwide, out-of-touch misogynistic, inflexibly autocratic paedophile ring and left as everyone’s favourite grandad.
There is a saying “never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”.On that basis, the Roman Catholic Church has (and has always had) the most powerful congregation in the world. But when push comes to shove, members of any club will close ranks. Last weekend, British Catholics closed ranks around Pope Ratz.
The press were at their obsequious best and seemed to be raiding their Patience Strong Annuals for inspiration. Tough hairy-arsed journos adopted the narrative style of Valentine card poets. They wimped-out.
The crowds lining the streets became “Ecstatic worshipers cheering their hero”. There was “a sea of followers clutching Rosary beads.” The crowd was chanting ” We love you Benedict , we do.” whereas others “wept with emotion.”
Even that hard-nosed “no shit” Scouser and ace Daily Mirror scribe Brian Reade forgot what a great writer he is and offered: “…the pontiff wore a glow brighter than the autumn sun.”. Thankfully, he stopped there because it looked as if we were about to be regaled with “Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels……….”
A collective madness seemed to grip our best commentators. A miracle? No – just the Ratz PR machine and the sort of propaganda that Dr Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of.
Here is a short extract which explains the thinking behind the application of any type of propaganda. It shows how our collective perception can be changed when emotion triumphs over reason:
“Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (…) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning.” (from “Mein Kamp” by A. Hitler)
There isn’t another nation in the world which is ruled by sentiment more than the United Kingdom. We were easy prey.
Remember what the Pope said on Day 1 of his visit? He started quite badly because the most memorable Ratzphrase was “aggressive secularism”. That short phrase suggested that we are a nation of religion-bashers – which we’re not. When questioned about that particular phrase, almost every “interpretation” began with the phrase “What His Holiness meant was……..” That was the beginning of the German Pope’s rehabilitation in the eyes of a sentimentally compassionate nation.
What was overlooked is that conflict has never been caused by aggressive secularism. On the contrary, it is religious fundamentalism which divides us – the sort of religious fundamentalism practiced by mad Mullahs and infallible Popes.
The Pope is being hailed for “apologising” to FOUR victims of sex abuse and then publicly acknowledging that the Catholic church does have a paedophilia problem. However, he still will not sanction the release the Vatican’s case papers on the HUNDREDS of the church’s victims who have been abused over the years and whose abusers continue to offer Mass to their god and who remain a constant danger to children.
The Pope promised to rid the Catholic church of paedophiles. While he’s at it, he might as well have a go at getting rid of gravity, rain or Vanessa Feltz.
His final act was to beatify 19th century Cardinal Newman. That was another message – this time to the Church of England’s senior clergy. Newman was an Anglican vicar who converted to Catholicism. The very flaky evidence of a Newman-related miracle which is required to create a saint, suggests that this was even more propaganda. A nod-and-a-wink to the growing number of disaffected Anglican priests.
On the last day it emerged that Pope Ratz enjoyed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. You may be thinking ” Lumee guvnor…he’s one of us…fancy that!”
(I”m of to play my Popemon game on my new Sony Popestation.)
The Vatican crossed-keys emblem is already casting its wide, bigoted and bloated shadow over the United Kingdom – and that was before Pope Ratz had been lifted onto the Popejet clutching his maximum allowance of Holy Water.
A member of the Vatican’s German High Command has unfortunately been laid low with a sudden attack of unspecified diplomatic illness. Cardinal Walter Kasper’s indisposition is well in keeping with the Vatican’s policy of avoidance over confrontation. All that Herr Kasper is suffering from is a mild case of “foot in mouth”disease. He shouldn’t be afraid to accompany Pope Ratz on his junket – we Brits are a forgiving lot,
So what was Kasper’s sin? In a careless moment, he revealed the true slimy underbelly of the Vatican’s views which, as we Brits knew all along, continues to fester in the concrete theological strait-jacket of the Dark Ages.
Britain today, said Kasper, is “a secular and pluralist country. Sometimes, when you land at Heathrow, you think you have entered a third world country.”
He then went on to make remarks about the Church of England , its married priests, ordained women and the Vatfact that the CoE is in just as much trouble as the Roman Catholic Church in spite of its liberal approach.
Yes, Herr Kasper, we Brits are an increasingly secular society and real democracy, does make us pluralist. It’s no good hankering after the good old days when the Roman Catholic Church was the overwhelming power in the “civilised” world.
Let’s get another thing straight with the Vatican Men in Frocks. Here in the United Kingdom, barely 9% of the population is Roman Catholic – that makes the Catholics a minority Christian Sect. We view the old men from the Vatican as an amusing curiosity from a bygone era – a relic.
What really upset Cardinal Kasper is our British tolerance and sense of fair play. A few weeks ago there was unease which soon developed into whispers. Then there were dark murmurings which finally morphed into a very vocal crescendo of opinion directed at the Vatican and its intensely unfair treatment of those poor young people sexually mutilated by what can only be described as Vatican-sanctioned Institutionalised paedophilia.
It is our collective compassion which forces us to speak-out. Not atheism or pluralism.
Make no mistake, Cardinal Casper was speaking for the Vatican, probably under the mistaken impression that we Brits would somehow cower before the Papal red slipper of Catholic oppression – but the Vatican is so out-of-touch that our collective outrage has genuinely stunned Pope Ratz and his cross-dressing lackeys.
There are three things that we want to hear when Pope Ratz speaks to the assembled great at good in the draughty cave that is Westminster Hall:
1. He should announce ZERO TOLERANCE of clerical paedophilia and other Catholic depravities.
2. Confirm that Homosexuals are NOT evil
3. Agree to turn over to the Police all papers relating-to sexual crimes committed by priests. That’s at both Diocesan and Vatican level.
STOP PRESS: The Popejet has just taken off!! Unusually, I have opened a comments box on this page so that if you wish, you can express your support and love of Pope Ratz.
“Look on the bright side. Jesus loves you.”
It is estimated that the number of Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom is near 6 million – about 9% of the population. That number has been greatly boosted by various Polish migrations during the last 100 years-or-so.
Catholic Polish immigrants first arrived in the UK during the 19th Century – after the partition of Poland.
250,000 more Poles were allowed to settle here after the end of the Second World War.
It is estimated that in the last few years, since Poland’s membership of the European Union, up to a million more souls have arrived from Poland and settled here.
Without the latest inflow of Polish Catholics, the number of British Catholics would be of the order of 7% of the population.
Compare that with 45% of us not admitting to any religion, 20.9% Church of England and 17.7% other Christians.
Contrary to popular rumour, only 2.7% of the population is Muslim.
Most denominations have been pretty stable but in the last 20 years, the Catholic congregation has halved and currently, depending on the “in-out” nature of Polish immigration to the United Kingdom, the overall number of Catholics is going up and down like a seminarian’s shorts.
This is NOT a Catholic country and so the £20 million four-day visit of Pope Benedict is shaping up to be not-only a monumental waste of time and resources but a Public Relations disaster.
Education and free-speech are enemies of Catholicism. We have lots of both over here. Perhaps the Holy See should concentrate on countries where the Fear of God is still a weapon and where the uneducated, hungry and desperate NEED the Catholic Church to give them their own brand of hope.
We certainly do not.
The Polish Pope Jean-Paul ll was universally loved and respected from Day1 – even before he’d spoken to the world. Contrast that to the scary Pope Benedict who pontificates and looks like the bastard child of Heinrich Himmler and an albino meerkat.
His image is that of a rodent-like weirdo in a white dress, silly hat and red buckled shoes.
He neither looks nor sounds pleasant which means that whatever his message, the static produced by his poor image is so loud that it just about swamps his words.
Pope Benedict is suffering from Brown Syndrome and it is preventing him from making any real emotional and spiritual contact with his worldwide Roman Catholic flock.
So what is Brown Syndrome? It is a complete dissipation of charm when placed in a public or stressful situation. There are two main symptoms. The first is the adoption of an aggressively autocratic attitude and the physical manifestation is often an inability to smile except by contorting the mouth into a grotesque grin-facsimile.
It has been shown and demonstrated on many occasions that real leadership is not a trick which can be pulled off by anyone. Those who theorise about “leadership” will trot out the usual stuff about a leader having to be a great communicator with an ability to convey a vision etc etc.
What is very often missing – and it is often the difference between a great leader and a wrongly-promoted manager – is charisma or just plain simple charm. It is the only attribute that is impossible to fake.
The goal of any leader is very straightforward: It is the ability to inspire others to follow. Without charisma, it is an impossibility.
A leader needs to have the ability to inspire. In Pope Ratz’ case, it is too late – even his God would be hard-pushed to help him.
There is also a small element of acting involved in the leadership matrix and that is for the leader to always stay (or act) positive – especially in the face of adversity. Acting positive is a comparatively easy trick.
Unfortunately for Brown Syndrome sufferers, adversity and pressure both produce negativity and autocracy in equal doses and they certainly will not act positive when feeling negative. It is not in their repertoire.
If any leader is suffering from Brown Syndrome, no amount of coaching and training will give them charm. They are genetically programmed to be a charisma-free miserable bastard and that is how they remain. There may be moments where the lack of charm is forgotten but when placed under any kind of pressure, they will always revert to type.
Observe Pope Benedict. When he smiles, his eyes do not move. They do not move because he is not really smiling. On the contrary, he looks even more like a meerkat who’s just about to devour a particularly tasty-looking lizard or larva. A “smiling ” Gordon Brown tended to look as if he was on the receiving end of a poorly administered cavity search.
The Pope , like Gordon Brown in his heyday(!) is faking it and because of the telephoto lens and television close-up, we all know.
Because a charmless leader is NOT a persuader, he has to rely on a dictatorial approach. Pope Benedict leads by papal pronouncement. Gordon Brown led by skulking behind the curtains of self-created dogma and intransigence. ” Do what I say….or else!”
Witnessing the emergence of two such similarly ineffective leaders more-or-less simultaneously is a very unusual event. It is the religious and political equivalent of the appearance of Halley’s comet.
Both were (and still are) basically decent men but their very poor image, caused only by their lack of charisma, has ultimately made them figures of fun.
The final nail in Pope Ratz’ coffin will hit us when and if he tries to communicate with us Brits in English.
Countless war films and British actors’ very poor (but funny) attempts at a German accent mean that as soon as he opens his mouth, we will think of Herr Flick and the Madonna with the big boobies or “Ve haff ways of making you talk”
Let’s hope that his personal advisors are more effective than his publicists.
“Bless you all – except all those gaylords who wrote to the Times”
Religious organisations are notoriosly bad at marketing and Pope Ratz’ visit to the United Kingdom is no exception.
There is the usual collection of Ratz tea mugs, T-shirts and Rosaries.
Below is a selection of major missed opportunities which, with the right publicity could have generated MILLIONS!
WARNING: IF YOU ARE RELIGIOUS AND HAVE BEEN ENTERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OR ANYTHING ELSE CATHOLIC, PLEASE DO NOT SCROLL DOWN ANY FURTHER. YOU MAY BE WILL BE OFFENDED.
THE SPORTS EQUIPMENT:
THE TOUR T-SHIRT:
THE FAST FOOD:
THE TURIN SHROUD DUVET SET:
THE TV SHOW:
THE COSMETICS RANGE:
FOR THE YOUNG CATHOLIC:
SOMETHING ELSE FOR THE YOUNG CATHOLIC:
THE ORIGINAL “HOLY SHIT!”:
” For what I am about to receive……..”
Next Sunday (June 20th), in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Ratz will ordain 14 deacons for the Diocese of Rome announced the The Vatican Information Service .
The ordination Mass will begin at 9:30 a.m.
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, as well as the auxiliary bishops of the diocese, the superiors of the seminaries, and pastors of the deacons will concelebrate the Mass with the Pope.
Meanwhile, four priests from the Gallipoli area of southern Italy had been suspended by their bishop monsignor Domenico Caliandro following claims of abuse. Another priest from Caravaggio near Cremona was also suspended.
Monsignor Dante Lafranconi, bishop of Cremona, confirmed that the priest had been suspended and asked to attend a “rehabilitation course” and also pointed out no official police complaint had been made.
Perhaps other states which have paedophile problems should contact the Catholic church and ask them to what a paedophile rehabilitation course consists of and whether they have a similar course for gay priests. It would also be interesting for them to say why child rape is not considered to be a crime worthy of police involvement.
The increasing reportage of clerical paedophilia and subsequent priest defrocking must be worrying the Vatican Human Resources department. They really will have to “up” their recruitment. The current average age of a priest is 60.
Earlier this month the Vatican’s chief prosecutor, in dealing with abusing priests, warned that they “faced the fires of Hell for their sins.”
That’s all right then. We’ll leave it to Satan and his crew to dish out the punishment.
Mind you, if all rapists and child defilers are going to be spending an eternity enjoying the fires of Hell perhaps we shouldn’t bother even trying to catch them. We couldn’t ever match that sort of punishment.
Funny though that when a priest is screwing a child, he feels that the experience is worth an eternity of burning in Hell.
Presumably, these priests do believe in Hell and er…. um…. God?
“Mark 10:13-16. THAT’S what I’m talking about!”
Today the Vatican will make its most robust defence yet against claims that it is liable for U.S. bishops who not-only allowed their priests to molest children but were then complicit in hundreds of cover-ups. The Vatican will continue to say that bishops are not its employees and that the 1962 Vatican document “Crimen Sollicitationis” did not require or encourage priests or bishops to remain silent.
The Vatican’s arguments are designed to persuade American Courts to dismiss a federal lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds but it could also affect moves to sue the Holy See.
The Vatican’s U.S. attorney, Jeffrey Lena said yesterday that there is no evidence the 1962 document was even known to the archdiocese in question — much less used — and that it certainly did NOT prevent bishops from reporting priestly buggery and other crimes to the police
Lena also said that the confidentiality imposed by Crimen Sollicitationis did not supersede civil (secular) law and was designed to be applied applied only in formal canonical processes. However, it was also implicit that bishops had the discretion to suspend church law if there was a conflict with criminal law. Lena said: “It is important that people — particularly people who have suffered abuse — know that, contrary to what some plaintiffs’ lawyers have consistently told the media, the canon law did not bar reporting of these crimes to the civil authorities.
The 1962 document describes how church authorities should deal procedurally with cases of
1. Abuse of children by priests.
2. Cases where sex is solicited in the confessional.
3. Cases of homosexuality and bestiality (sexual congress with animals).
Looking at the very short list above only gives a small insight into the depravity of some clergy and how difficult it must be for the Catholic geriatric virgin men of the Vatican to both come to terms with and understand the scale of the issues that they are being asked to deal with. It is very likely that for instance, the concept of a priest shagging a goat or dog is totally outside the mental capabilities of the Catholic men-in-long-dresses Vatican hierarchy. After all, even the highest levels within the Catholic hierarchy have difficulty understanding condoms, so the concept for instance, of a priest wrapping a hamster in gaffer tape and then having sex with it must be a bit “out there”. Their coping mechanisms are probably at breaking point. There are few references to “Pet Shop Boys” in the Bible.
Others see Crimen Sollicitationis as “a smoking gun”. Some say that it is evidence of a ‘written’ policy which demands that no mention of priestly sex abuse be made by a bishop to “outsiders” such as police .
The contra legal case is going to be about nothing less than holding the Vatican accountable for the bishops’ repeated failures to report to civil authorities The Vatican is trying to fend off this first case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence. The negligence for the failure of bishops to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who assaulted and molested.
The case was originally filed in 2004 by three men who claim that decades ago,they were abused by priests and they claim negligence by the Vatican. The case is being observed by many thousands of victims across the United States and the Vatican’s fear is that if the case against the Vatican is proved, the floodgates will open and many thousands of other claims will surface worldwide. In effect, the Vatican is attempting to disassociate itself from its administrators and managers (the bishops).
In 2003, 243 sex abuse victims settled with the Archdiocese of Louisville for $25.3 million. The Vatican is now seeking to dismiss the suit before Pope Benedict XVI can be questioned or documents subpoenaed.
The Vatican is expected to assert that bishops aren’t its employees because they aren’t paid by Rome. In addition, it is claimed that they don’t act on Rome’s behalf and aren’t controlled day-to-day by the pope. These are the same parameters which courts use to determine whether employers are liable for the actions of their employees.
The major stumbling block for any court is likely to be the religious nature of the relationship between bishops and their pope as a basis for civil liability because it entangles the court in an analysis of religious doctrine that dates back to the apostles. Many also believe that the relationship between the pope and his army of administrators may be based on a fiction. That, however is another argument which may jeopardise the relationship between church and state.
The lawyers will invoke religious authority to construct a civil employment relationship. That will make it inappropriate for the court to consider religious doctrine but courts tend to avoid constructing civil relationships out of religious materials.
The clear allegation is that the Vatican had clear and direct control over bishops, mandated a policy of secrecy and is therefore liable for the bishops’ failure to report abuse.
Previous rulings may mean that the lawyers do no need to prove that bishops were employees of the Vatican but merely “officials.”
Bishops take an oath of office. The pope appoints, disciplines and removes bishops. If a bishop wants to spend more than £3.5 ($5million) he must ask permission from Rome and if he wants to take a three-month sabbatical, he needs the Holy See’s approval. All these factors point to an employer/employee relationship. In addition, it can be argued that the Catholic church provides its bishops and priests with the tools of their trade, clothing and accommodation.
The Vatican is claiming that Day-to-day monitoring has to be proved in order for it to be shown to be responsible. That should prove to be a fatuous argument. For instance, the chairman of BP is ultimately responsible for the oil spillage off the US coast. He is also responsible for the consequences and Barack Obama has said that BP will be held to account and will have to bear 100% of the cost of any clean-up and subsequent law suits from those who have lost their livelihoods. The Vatican should also stand up and be counted and graciously accept their responsibility for its rogue priests and bishops.
The Vatican’s wriggling doesn’t stop there. They are also invoking the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which protects sovereign states from being sued in U.S. courts except under certain circumstances. There is also the argument that Crimen Sollicitationis did not appear at diocese level.
All bishops knew about the document, even if they had not read it. The fact that they had not seen it is just another example of the Vatican’s culture of secrecy which has been perpetuated for many centuries and which is the root cause of their present problems. The fact that the document was not publicly known is not any way evidence that it was not a viable piece of ecclesiastical legislation.
Let us hope that the “just” Catholic god continues to play by the book and has abandoned not-only the perverted priests but their incompetent (or scheming) masters.
The paradox is that the Vatican geriatrics and their advisors have no doubt prayed for guidance and so it would seem that their god has told them to contest all legal action. If he is still backing his boys, they must be doing the right thing. Plus, as we are often reminded, the pope is infallible. That could also mean that thousands of degenerate priests will go unpunished.
Is that the Will of God? Or is the the will of frightened old men who have solicited God’s guidance but always with one eye on their bank balance.
|People were bringing little children
to Jesus to have him touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this,
he was indignant.
He said to them,
“Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth,
anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God
like a little child
will never enter it.”
And he took the children
in his arms, put his hands on them
and blessed them.
PLEASE DO NOT VIEW THE ABOVE VIDEO IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC OR IF PEOPLE EVER REFER TO YOU AS “YOUR HOLINESS”
There have been at least 100 cases of clerical sex abuse reported in Italy in the past 10 years, a top ranking Italian church official has said.
However, Mariano Crociata, the second-highest ranked official at the Italian bishops’ conference, declined to say how many of the cases resulted in any action against any of the priests who had been investigated. ‘It’s a number that gives you an idea of the situation,’ he said yesterday.
The Catholic Church has been engulfed in a scandal involving sex abuse accusations by paedophile priests in countries including the US, Germany, Austria and Italy.
The Vatican has also been accused of covering up sex abuse charges by not taking action against suspected paedophile priests or turning them over to police.
Crociata said Italian law did not require the Catholic Church to report the suspected priests to police.
We are in Holy Week – the most important time in the Roman Catholic calendar. This is the time leading up to the moment when the dead Jesus Christ rose from the dead, thus establishing himself as the Son of God and putting into motion a series of events which would culminate in the formation of the Roman Catholic church.
Pope Benedict XVI (Ratz) opened Holy Week yesterday, amid one of the most serious crises facing the church in decades, with protesters in London demanding he resign and calls in Switzerland for a central registry for pedophile priests.
Benedict made no direct mention of the scandal in his Palm Sunday homily. But one of the prayers, recited in Portuguese during Mass, was “for the young and for those charged with educating them and protecting them.” This may have been a reference to all the young people who have been abused by perverted priests.
As is the custom in the Roman Catholic church, events and issues are rarely referred-to directly. Parables and riddles are preferred as these are open to interpretation and confusion and have been the staple diet of Catholics for two millennia.
In his homily, Pope Ratz said that Jesus guides the faithful “toward the courage that doesn’t let us be intimidated by the chatting of dominant opinions, towards patience that supports others.” That riddle was probably a reference to the media who are being blamed by the Vatican for spreading tittle-tattle about priests who allegedly beat, humiliated, raped and sodomised young children. The Vatican’s argument being that everyone’s “at it”, so why should the media wish to single out Catholic priests. The Vatican has even pointed out that most child abuse takes place within the family and that all sorts of other institutions abuse children.
Palm Sunday commemorates Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and is the start of the church’s Holy Week, which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion, death and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
This year, Holy Week is very different because this most important Catholic feast does not sit alone in the limelight. The most solemn week on the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, has been stained by the clerical abuse scandal that has spread across Europe to the pope’s own native Germany. This is a scandal which “has legs” and eventually may totally swamp the Vatican. Meanwhile the Vatican closes ranks, squirms and protects the man who is simultaneously at the top, centre and bottom(!) of the rapidly snowballing scandal – Pope Ratz.
One very basic principle is worth remembering. The pope is God’s main man here on earth and as such, he is infallible, which means that he is always right. Even if the Cardinals and Archbishops secretly believe that something that the pope has said is utter tripe, they are bound to support him. They know that if their pope was to be impeached, there would be a domino-effect which would drive not only clergy but also “believers” from the church. The faithful have always believed in the pope’s infallibility but cracks are now beginning to surface. There is dissent. Papal infallibility has taken a heavy knock.
Yesterday in London, the apathy capital of the world, a few dozen people gathered outside Westminster Cathedral to demand that the pope resign. Demonstrators carried placards saying “Pope? Nope!” and “Don’t Turn a Blind Eye.”
The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols insisted the pope wouldn’t — and shouldn’t — quit. “In fact, it is the other way around,” he told BBC television. “He is the one above all else in Rome that has tackled this thing head on.” No he hasn’t, Vincent! If he had tackled the issues head-on , something would be happening NOW. Priests would by now be languishing in prison cells and not still out there on the streets, slavering at the thought of young worldly pleasures yet to come their way.
Illegal pleasures without sanctions must be a very attractive proposition and even a powerful recruitment tool for the Catholic church. Where else is it possible to screw young children, feign self-loathing and shame, be forgiven by God himself and then be moved to a new parish where there’s fresh young meat to be had?
A church is populated and managed at its highest level by unwordly, virgin, unsophisticated innocent old men. The added advantage of daily access to children must be a paedophile’s dream. The Catholic church is administered by old men who do not see sex as a bodily function but as something so precious for some reason, they should give it up “for God”.
Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Catholic church is populated by sexually-frustrated men and women who on many occasions have been forced to sublimate their feelings in very unnatural ways, the Vatican rejects suggestions that the celibacy of its priests and nuns has caused the sexual abuse of children. As recently as this month, Pope Ratz has reaffirmed celibacy as a “gift to God”.
It seems that the pope will be adopting the Gordon Brown method and convening an inquiry, probably in lieu of an Interpol investigation. Then, one presumes, the guilty priests will be prayed-for, forgiven and claim their rightful place in heaven. In the old days, they may have gone to Purgatory but that’s been all but scrapped.
The Roman Catholic church is so used to not letting facts get in the way of faith, that it believes the same principles must apply to all aspects of life. They have all the known names and places and should publish them immediately. The world is screaming-out for the facts and not mealy-mouthed mutterings about “mistakes”, “moral credibility” or “regaining trust”.
It seems that Catholic priests are allowed to fuck kids but not talk about it.
The really worrying thing is that this may only be the tip of the iceberg and that the Vatican already knows far more than it is divulging. There may be thousands of other Catholics who were or still are being assaulted by clergy but are too frightened or embarrassed to come forward to face their abusers.
The really frightened ones will not come forward until the Vatican wakes up, creates an atmosphere of understanding and humility and punishes the transgressors here on earth. Only then will the Roman Catholic church resurrect itself.
Pope Ratz should reflect on this as he demonstrates his own humility when he washes the feet of 12 laymen on Holy Thursday in a ritual which symbolically fulfills the command of Jesus at the Last Supper::
When He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and resumed His place, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you (John 13:12-15).
Pope Ratz should bring the ritual bang up-to-date, line up 12 priests and instead of washing their feet, he should give their genitals a good scrub. They would not-only be physically and spiritually cleansed but the ritual could also bring real meaning to the phrase “Second Coming”.