Tag Archives: Ratz

In the steps of Jesus?

 

Henry Bellingham, (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Africa and the United Nations), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, made a statement last week about the expenses incurred by the taxpayer as a result of Pope Ratzinger’s visit to the United Kingdom.

This was just a four-day visit and was promulgated as  not-only as a visit by a religious leader but because the Vatican  styles itself  as a sovereign state, the holy junket doubled as a State Visit. That meant  the men in frocks not-only delivered a bit of spiritual sustenance to the clamouring flock but broke bread in the company of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

For hundreds of years, Popes have lived  in the gilded Renaissance splendour of the Apostolic Palace. They don’t immerse themselves  in the daily travails of their “subjects” so they become strangers to both earthly humility and the economic limitations known to their flock –  until the very end – when they are buried.

Only then does it dawn on the Catholic church that the faithful need to be reminded of the Pope’s humanity. Consequently, he is placed in a simple cedarwood coffin. The coffin of a humble artisan. That modest box which always manages to look so  incongruous when it’s the focal point of the memorial service within the breathtaking majesty of St Peter’s Basilica. Much like the incongruity of old men in gold-threaded dresses telling us about a modest and poor Jesus who was sent “to save us” through the bizarre medium of the triple whammy: self-sacrifice, death and resurrection.

By the time our present pope lies in state, he will have completed his last costume change , been eased into his last designer dress , tilted his last handmade pope-chapeau and struck his last vaingloriously holy- heroic stance. The only real reminder of his primped popegotism will be a pair of immaculate red leather papal slippers. The peacockery will truly be over.

Pope Ratz will have lived the life – not of a humble shepherd or carpenter – but that of a full-on Rock Star. That is the spirit in which he met his British groupies (known collectively as CATHOLICS) when he flew in on the Popejet last year.

So what about the numbers for this four-day visit?

The total cost was in excess of £9 million, one third of which was towards media facilities. The cost of the aforementioned munch-out with the Queen was over £66,000 with a low-key supper with the Foreign Secretary coming in at a parsimonious £19,000.

The Taxpayer contributed £1.67 million for the open air beatification mass which honoured Cardinal Newman – after the required miracle had finally been identified.

 An American trainee deaconnamed Sullivan who suffered from Stenosis, says that his condition was cured after he offered up a prayer to Cardinal Newman. (Coincidentally, Pope Jean-Paul ll was beatified after a French nun was cured of Parkinson’s disease after she had prayed to  him).

The Catholics (and God) truly do look after their own.

 The full cost of Cardinal Newman’s Birmingham  beatification was well over £4 million but the balance was picked up by the church.

In spite of the Popemobile (transportation costs £34,000) and security,  insurance premiums added-up to nearly £147,000.  Although police and security costs were provided from existing budgets, the Metropolitan force forked-out £300,000 more than had been budgeted-for.

Airport costs were £60,000 and official baggage cost £34,500 to transport.

The pope’s entourage accumulated hotel, minibar and other accommodation costs of  £17,500

The £6.98 million costs of the state elements are being met by the public purse with the Catholic Church asked to reimburse the taxpayer by £6.35million for pastoral events.

Direct costs already met by UK Catholic churches are estimated at around £3.8million.

An estimated 500,000 people attended events during the pope’s four-day visit – but was it all worth it?

As a Public Relations exercise, it was worth a fortune to the Vatican because in spite of Richard Dawkins’ attempt to portray Pope Ratz as a cross-dressing baby-eating monster, the pontiff’s image was boosted.

He left the UK as everyone’s favourite uncle – after having arrived as a paedophile-harbouring Nazi Panto dame.

The Pope and his entourage could never understand the caricature that is the German accent – that is only for those with English as their first language. So, when Ratz addressed the great and good in Westminster Hall -in English – we were all waiting for the inevitable: ” Your Papers pleess!”….but sadly, it never came and even for us godless ones, he came across as a gently-spoken gentle-man.

There is little doubt that much of what the public saw was staged and the work of a good PR team. In other words, it was largely  a fiction. 

Purely on that basis, the Catholic church showed great consistency as its politics, pronouncements, ambiguities, image and beliefs all have that smoke-and-mirrors quality which – even after such a sumptuously bravura performance  –  paints Pope Ratz as a puzzle – a compelling but somehow emotionally-sterile enigma.

 

Holy Homo!

There has been another mealy-mouthed apology from Pope Ratz. Another apology without acceptance of either liability or accountability.

Satan wasn’t mentioned but the Vatican  has already   indicated that he is implicated. Otherwise, how could the Vatican possibly accept the well-established fact that Catholic priests  have been buggering children for several hundred years. It seems that “vulnerable” priests succumbed to Satan while god wasn’t looking.

Below is the latest apology offered and recited by the pope. The apology offered was for the “little ones” with the addendum of a rather ambitious promise that “such abuse will never happen again.”  Such extravagant words  seem to imply that Satan has been defeated so, in effect none of us need worry.

Pope Ratz has tamed Satan. Job done.

These are the words spoken by Ratz during last Friday’s mass which was attended by about 15,000 priests who were marking the end of the Roman Catholic Year for Priests.

“We, too, insistently beg forgiveness from god and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again…………In admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey,”  pledged 83-year-old man of the world and geriatric virgin, Pope Ratz. 

“Accompany priests along their journey”?  It always helps if you have someone alongside to hold your cassock – prevents it from becoming too creased.

No-one has yet put-forward any indication how the Catholic church intends to weed-out any paedophiles or rapists during the priest-selection process. Young men who attend a church school, followed by a seminary are unlikely to be assessed accurately before they celebrate their first mass  and are  then let loose into communities containing all that irresistible soft young flesh.

You never know. There have been occasions when  that Satan has shown himself to be a pretty crafty customer and theoretically could put temptation before them.

This is said to be the pope’s most direct apology for the many thousands of cases of clerical abuse. However, surely it would put everyone’s mind at rest if the Vatican told us what the problem is. Is it a poor selection process? Is it the unnatural state of celibacy? Perhaps a predilection to homosexual paedophilia is compulsory?

Whatever the problem is, it is time for the Catholic church to acknowledge it. Otherwise, it will continue to treat the symptom and not the root cause.

Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) have said that  they aren’t buying the latest apology.

“We’ve heard apologies over and over again. It’s not a credible apology until you’re  willing to do something about it,” said SNAP   coordinator Peter Pollard.

SNAP says they want to see more responsibility from the Catholic hierarchy.

“Accountability helps a lot, when someone is accountable it’s a lot easier to forgive,” Pollard said.

Meanwhile a Catholic spokesman has said,  “We agree words aren’t enough and that’s why the Catholic church has put in comprehensive programes to make sure abuse doesn’t happen again.”

However, the Vatican has not indicated what those “programmes” are. Furthermore, the Vatican, Pope Ratz and his band of men in dresses and pointy hats need to let us know how many perverts are still celebrating mass every Sunday. Perhaps a register of priests who have offended would be a good start. A sex offenders’ register is good enough for the laity – let’s have one for the priesthood. The United States has Megan’s Law, the United Kingdom has Sarah’s Law, so why not a Benedict’s Law?

Whatever the effect of the Pope’s words, some Catholics are hoping they’ll at least see some action. One would have thought that by now, the pope and the Vatican would have already received some sort of word or guidance from their god. They have to understand that the Catholic hierarchy cannot be allowed to continue to lurch from inquiry to inquiry whilst young children continue to be molested and screwed senseless by  institutional depravity supported by management misinformation and intransigence.

The general consensus seems to be that something needs to be done and it needs to be done NOW. 

Portuguese Ratz Ass.

Pope Ratz has blamed the Catholic church’s “own sins” for the worldwide outbreak of Ratz Ass  and  not a campaign mounted by enemies of the church. He has  called for “profound purification” (WTF?) and so  end what he called the “greatest persecution”  that the church has endured. He didn’t mention whether or not  he considered the “persecution” as justified.

He is a Pope bending (sic) to the inevitable and this all seems like a too-late dose (sic) of self-preservation by an old man who still has to explain both his and his brother’s involvement in the abuse of a German boys’ choir. Still, let’s not dwell on negatives.

His comments placed responsibility for the pervert-priest crisis squarely on the sins of paedophile priests, repudiating the Vatican’s initial response to the scandal which  blamed the media as well as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates for mounting what it called a “campaign against the church and the pope”. Paranoid paedo perverts have never presented a particularly edifying  or rational argument and one assumes that the Vatican’s initial response has to be considered as the Pope’s response.

Speaking on the Popejet en route to Portugal, Benedict said the Catholic church had always suffered from problems of its own making but that “today we see it in a truly terrifying way.”

“The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church,” the pontiff said. “The church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice.”   As usual, he made no direct reference to the shagging or other forms of violation of young boys.

The comments, although bland, marked Ratz’ most thorough admission of the church’s guilt. Previously he has blamed the abusers themselves and in the case of Ireland, the bishops who failed to stop them.

He was responding to journalists’ questions, submitted in advance aboard the Popejet as he flew to Portugal. His four-day visit will take him from Lisbon to the   Fatima shrine and then  to Porto.

It is not known whether Ratzwould make further remarks about the sex-scandal during the trip, but there have been no reported cases of sex abuse in Portugal, unlike in Malta, where last month, Ratz  met abuse victims.

Despite the Vatican’s initial defensive response to hundreds of clerical abuse reports in Europe, Pope Ratz  has promised that the church would take action to protect children and make abusive priests face justice. He has already started firing pervs and  accepting the resignations of a few bishops who either admitted they molested youngsters or covered up for priests who did.

The real question is how does a church populated by virgin geriatrics and perverts go about “protecting children”. Are the Pope’s statements yet more PR crap or is there a plan?

Critics say that he still hasn’t done nearly enough to repair the damage or protect children from a culture of secrecy that allowed priests to rape and molest children for decades. Some have noted that while Benedict has accepted some bishops’ resignations, no bishop has been  punished or defrocked, even those who admitted molesting children. Neither have there been any prosecutions which suggests that the Catholic church still puts church law above secular law.

“Many are tiring of hearing about his ‘strong comments.'” They want to see strong action,”said David Clohessy, director of  U.S. victims’ group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Portugal has not experienced the surge in reports of abuse by priests which has emerged in other European countries, including Ratz’ native Germany. Portugal is about to be plunged into a financial crisis at least on the scale of the current Greek meltdown, so its mind is on other things.

Perhaps that is why Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva referred to the financial crisis in his speech greeting Pope Ratz at Lisbon airport. He said that the Pope  was “visiting at a time of uncertainty that had tested Portugal’s strength as a community”.

“In these times, men require someone bearing a message of hope to meet their thirst for justice and solidarity,” he told the pontiff.

Church bells rang out as the pontiff proceeded through Lisbon from the airport in his Popemobile. Several thousand people lined the streets on a rainy day, some shouting, “Viva o Papa!”   However, some stretches of the route were very thinly attended.

Ratz  said the crisis demonstrated the need for greater moral responsibility in running the global financial system and noted that he outlined his vision for more ethics in finance in his 2009 encyclical “Charity in Truth.”

He called for greater dialogue within the financial system about ethical considerations. Obviously, a financial crisis and the opportunity for the head man from the Vatican to comment is very useful but the “elephant in the room” remains the unpunished sexual excesses of the Catholic clergy.

Ratz also called for “greater dialogue between faith and the secular world”.

Portugal is approximately 90 percent Catholic but only  2 million of the country’s 10.6 million people describe themselves as practicing their faith. The rest are probably using their Sunday mornings to sit in a bucket on calamine lotion as they speak to their therapist.

Joking apart, the Vatican and its reps have a lot to deal with in what used to be a totally pro-Vatican Catholic country.

In 2007, the  Portuguese  government passed a law allowing abortion. In 2008, it introduced a law allowing a judge to grant a divorce even if one spouse opposed. In January, Parliament passed a bill seeking to make the country the sixth in Europe allowing same-sex couples to marry.  It seems as if the Vatican’s influence is waning.

In his airport remarks, das Pope sharply criticized Portugal’s abortion law, saying public officials must give “essential consideration” to issues that affect human life. Nothing like an 80-year old Catholic unmarried German virgin giving advice to pregnant women.

“The point at issue is not an ethical confrontation between a secular and religious system, so much as a question about the meaning that we give to our freedom,” he said. Clear as mud, as ever.

Benedict also praised Portugal’s Catholic heritage, saying it was a “great force of faith” in spreading Catholicism around the globe, from Brazil to Africa, during colonial times. Those far-off days must have been Manna from heaven for the missionary priests as they got stuck into virgin territories.

Despite the country’s increasingly secular bent (oops!), religious sentiment runs deep.

At least 500,000 people are expected to attend the Pope’s Mass in Fatima on May 13th. It’s  the anniversary of the day in 1917 when three Portuguese shepherd children reported having visions of the Virgin Mary.

Such happenings have always been enough for the Catholic church to stake a claim.  Plus the bonus of children!

A match made in Heaven.

Pope is screwed !!

Pope Ratz is reported to have broken his silence on the Catholic abuse scandal. Unfortunately, he has not been able to bring himself to utter the phrases “paedophile priests”, “child abuse”,”complicit bishops”, “cover-up” or “sex crimes”. Instead, he has attempted to implicate his entire flock by saying that “we Christians” must repent for our sins and recognise mistakes.

His comments have been dismissed my various victims’ support groups because he still has not said that he intends to take steps to protect children from perverted priests.

This is what he said:

“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent’, which seemed too tough. But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives……  Open ourselves to forgiveness … and let ourselves be transformed. The pain of repentance, which is a purification and transformation, is a grace because it is renewal and the work of divine mercy.” 

The Vatican’s centuries-old culture of cover-up and secrecy has given priests a totally free hand to molest and rape children. There is no indication that the Catholic church intends to do anything to stop these outrages. Molesting children still appears to  be the Vatican’s main participation sport.

The Vatican persists in showing a total disregard for the issues by encouraging a siege-mentality by referring to facts and admissions as an “attack” on the church. If a rapist is accused of rape, it is NOT an attack – it is an accusation and if the rapist confesses, it can legitimately be filed under “fact”.

If, however, the Vatican was able to say that these many thousands of accusations, confessions and convictions were false, then the furore could conceivably be termed “an attack”.As things stand, the Catholic church’s managers and administrators are in denial and are begig to realise that they have painted themselves into an unholy corner.

“Factual disclosures are not ‘attacks’ and ‘penance’ protects no one…. it’s hard to have faith that he is able to honestly and effectively deal with this growing crisis,” said Mark Serrano, a spokesman for the U.S-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

It is now time for the Pope to show some of the humility that church leaders are famous for and accept responsibility for his workforce. Unless of course fucking children is one of the unwritten job benefits which the clergy is not willing to surrender.

So far, remarks from the Vatican have been symbolic and abstract and no-one has actually said anything simple such as ” Sorry for raping defenceless children and we will ensure that it will never happen again.”

It took Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi to confirm that Ratz was referring to the scandal with his  comments – that is how clear they were.  Summaries of the pontiff’s remarks were reported on the front page of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and on Vatican Radio.

On Monday, the Vatican website showed what it claimed had been a long-standing church policy telling bishops that they should report abuse crimes to police, where civil laws require it.

But critics have said the guidelines were merely a deceptive attempt by Rome to rewrite history, designed to shield the Vatican from blame by shifting responsibility  onto the bishops. The Vatican appears to be washing its hands.

The Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, a canon lawyer who has been the main expert witness for victims in hundreds of lawsuits, called the guidelines a “failed attempt at damage control through revision of history.”

He noted that senior Vatican officials, including the current Vatican No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, were quoted in 2002 as saying the church shouldn’t require bishops to report abusive priests to police because it would violate the trust the two shared.

This week, Doyle wrote:  “The newly created canonical tradition of referral to civil authorities is the result of one thing: public outrage, the exposure from the media and the pressure for accountability in civil courts.”

A letter confirmed by the Vatican on Thursday showed that a top Holy See official Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyosin 2001 went so far as to congratulate a French bishop Pierre Pican for shielding a priest who was convicted of raping and sexually abusing minors.

Four days earlier, a French court gave Pican, then bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux in northwestern France, a suspended prison sentence for concealing knowledge about the Rev. Rene Bissey. Bissey was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2000 for raping and sexually abusing 11 minors in the 1990s.

In the letter, Hoyos wrote: “I congratulate you for not having turned in a priest to the civil administration, and I am delighted to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all the other bishops of the world, will have preferred prison rather than to turn in its son-priest.”

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that the letter proved that cases of sexual abuse of minors needed to be handled in a “rigorous and consistent” manner by the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. Another example of the Vatican’s “double-think”.

Until 2001, cases of sex abuse were handled by local dioceses and some Vatican offices. In 2001 new norms required bishops to refer all clerical sex abuse cases to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope.

The noose is tightening – but not fast enough.