Showing posts with label Benedict XVI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benedict XVI. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Change of clothes

Over the last two days, the sun has reappeared at Gamone, after weeks of damp overcast skies. I decided to take out my my warm-weather working clothes, to give them an airing.

As you can see, from a sartorial viewpoint, they're not particularly attractive. I've been thinking that it might be a good idea for me to change to bright garments of the following kind:

Admittedly, if I were to start wearing stuff like that when I'm working outside at Gamone, I would have to make sure that Fitzroy didn't jump up onto me with his muddy paws, as he usually does. My summer hats, too, are rather dull:

Something of the following kind would add a gay note to Gamone:

There's no doubt about it: the ex-pope had a fabulous taste in clothes, and I'm sure we'll all miss him. Personally, I was particularly impressed by his early gold period, when Benny looked like an ancient Aztec chief.

Attired in gold lamé, the pope had a kind of Elvis look, which surely appealed to Catholic youth throughout the world.

Benny's gold period was a trend-setter for an all-too-brief moment. If only he had stuck to his job until the bitter end, the full impact of the pope's influence upon fashion would have been recognized throughout the world. Today, in any case, Catholics everywhere are hoping that his successor will look just as elegant as Benny.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

King save the God

They're colorful creatures. Kept in a domestic cage, fed periodically on spiritual tidbits (cereal wafers and cheap wine, with holy water when the weather's hot), they're most often trouble-free, and their upkeep can even be fun when you show them off in front of friends on Special Occasions. But, believers are faced with an alarming question: Might these splendid specimens be an endangered species in modern Britain?

[I make an effort to refrain from all superficial ironical remarks concerning the mating habits of the red variety, and the dangers of allowing children to play with them. As for the violet variety, thankfully, it has always been sexually vigorous.]

Strident Richard Dawkins has just thrown a spanner in the works by his organization of a most serious survey on British religiosity [access]. You can be sure that, in the future, we'll be hearing a lot about these marvelous findings.

I've never met up with Dawkins, but he has become my unchallenged scientific and literary hero of all times. What would I need to do in order to persuade him to organize similar simple (?) surveys in lands that I love such as Australia and France?

In the case of Australia, I'm aware that Dawkins might need some time to get over this fabulous face-to-face encounter with a local elected lad, Steve Fielding, a "Strine craishonist": laughing-stock of the wide world beyond Down Under, and a symbol of self-sufficient idiocy in the face of intelligence.

Do fellow-Australians still in fact support today, by their votes, this embarrassingly empty-headed nincompoop named Fielding?

I'm impressed by this fabulous photo of dark clouds over Southwark Cathedral on Australia Day 2012 (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly):

Nothing suggests that any of my ancestors might have ever been lost in spiritual bewilderment before the image of this southern London religious edifice. The Pickering people were all from thereabouts, originally, and particularly pious in various ways. But I'm not convinced that any of their long-departed souls might be disturbed today by Dawkins. On the contrary, I often tend to rediscover the fabulous reality of our genealogical and biological ancestors through Richard's instigation to marvel in the apparent mysteries of our fleeting window on the Magic of Reality [access].

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Abuse victims target Vatican

A complaint was lodged this morning urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Benedict XV and three senior Vatican officials concerning the possible concealment of cases of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The ICC will now have to decide whether it has jurisdiction in this context. Even if the outcome of this preliminary investigation were negative, as is likely, the ICC will be obliged to respond explicitly to the two American advocacy groups that filed the complaint: the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. And the ICC's response will inevitably raise public awareness of these questions.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Catholics stumped by human body

I've often felt that, for Catholics, the human body—alive or dead—is a huge problem: indeed a puzzling obstacle that sends them into a state of confusion, frenzy, panic, anguish… They proclaim and like to think that their religious preoccupations are of a profoundly spiritual, highly abstract, nature. Look at theological concepts such as the Trinity, for example, or the Immaculate Conception. But, when all is said and done, their constant stumbling block is the hunk of meat in which our alleged soul resides. Catholics don't know how to react whenever they realize that these hunks of meat have sexual desires, particularly if it's just for fun, without the honorable intention of giving rise to a tiny hunk of new meat known as a baby. On the other hand, this kind of situation has often been condoned when one of the two hunks of meat is wearing a priest's collar, while the other is young and tender.

As a child, I received a minimum of religious instruction of a Protestant (Anglican) kind. Unlike Catholics, these folk weren't obsessed by holy blood such as the drops that ooze from the wounds inflicted by a crown of thorns, or the sacred red heart that pumps this precious liquid through the hunk of meat.

I always looked upon these Catholic obsessions as somewhat yucky, like a polite religious variation on vomit or excrement. I guess I simply didn't like to be reminded that I was basically a more-or-less disgusting hunk of meat, capable of getting transformed into minced steak in a head-on automobile collision, of being roasted to a chocolate color in an air crash, of turning blue and swelling if immersed under water for a few hours, or of creating a puddle of viscous red liquid if somebody decided to plunge a knife into my precious live meat.

Catholic obsessions with the human body can become frankly sick when the meat has lost its usual energy and warmth, and been transformed into a cold corpse. In an article on Catholic diocesan archives written by a friend in Marseille, we learn that their classification system starts with an unexpected category: relics! They precede matters such as nuns, monks, hospitals, prisons, schools and even papal encyclicals. You know what they mean by relics: tiny glass flasks of solid blood that liquefy on certain occasions, ugly brownish bones that look like something the dog discovered in a trash can, polished skulls, tufts of hair, and all kinds of mummified odds and ends. It's weird that ecclesiastic authorities should still be concerned about all this archaic biological junk, as if it retained some kind of metaphysical significance.

A forensic surgeon would surely be fascinated by a nice collection of such stuff, such as you find in the treasure troves of certain cathedrals. He would start to see DNA charts flashing before his eyes, and he would praise the Church for preserving such nice specimens. But he would be furious if such-and-such a relic labeled "Saint Somebody, holy martyr" turned out to be rather a charred fragment of a dog or a cat.

Not surprisingly, Pope Benedict XVI is acutely aware of the contemporary meat situation, viewed from many different angles. And he never stops fighting to impose his beliefs.

Before Ratzi landed the big job (that's to say, back at the time he was simply a more-or-less honest citizen of Rome, spending time on grave matters such as pedophilia affairs), he used to carry a card stating that, in the case of his death, his bodily organs were to be made available for transplants. It appears that he saw this idea as "an act of love". Well, an interesting article reveals today that this is no longer the case [access article]. The potential act of love has been aborted, before it even started. The Vatican has made it known that Benny doesn't have the right to dispose of his dead meat as he sees fit.

Vatican authorities point out that, after the death of a pope, his body belongs to the Church as a whole, and must be buried intact. The article concludes with a glorious specimen of twisted thinking, of a Byzantine kind: If papal organs were donated, and the pope then happened to be made a saint, his transplanted organs—located in alien living bodies—would become relics! And that, of course, would create an awesome ecclesiastic meat problem. It would be akin to grinding up rare venison to make fast-food burgers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dawkins hears Ratzinger

Richard Dawkins must have a slight masochistic foible, otherwise I can't imagine why he would risk spoiling the lovely pagan family festival of the Winter Solstice by straining his ears to hear the pope's annual installment of rubbish. The professor is never better than when he's expressing—through writing or speech—his disgust for that ancient and abominable institution known as the Church. Click the following photo to access a brilliant short piece by Dawkins inspired by the mumblings of Ratzi.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good news in Benedict's book

The book entitled Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Sign of the Times (what a heavy-handed and uninspired title, no doubt due to the German language in which it was produced) is coming out today.

I don't intend to purchase it, but I've been reading excerpts in the French and British press, and I must say that some of Ratzinger's words are encouraging. I like particularly his candid remarks about the church being constantly under attack, and the idea of his resigning from the papacy. He is quoted as saying: "When the danger is great you should not run away. That's why […] it is certainly not the time to retire. You can resign in a moment of peace or when you can no longer carry on but you must not run away from danger. If a pope comes to realize that he is no longer capable physically, psychologically and spiritually of continuing in office, then he has the right, the obligation, to resign."

If only the pressure on the Vatican were so intense that it finally drove Benny up the wall and forced him to back down (for personal reasons), his resignation would be a great victory for enlightened humanity in our combat against the archaic forces of religious obscurity. So, it's our duty to try to discourage and exhaust him morally—day in, day out—until the holy chief of the church is as worn out and useless as a holey condom.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vatican fashions

An excellent article by Diane La Phung in the French Internet daily Rue 89 examines a fascinating subject: the new style of papal wear introduced by Joseph Ratzinger.

The journalist draws our attention to something we might not have noticed, particularly those of us who don't necessarily devote much time to the adoration of Ratzi's image and the scrutiny of his sartorial habits. Fashions have changed at the Vatican since the death of John-Paul II. Like his thinking, the dress style of Benedict XVI is resolutely turned towards the past. His appearance is reactionary, in harmony with his theology and his worldview. Consider, for example, this golden image of Ratzi wrapped up like a chocolate. The author of the article goes so far as to suggest that Benedict XVI is reintroducing archaic papal fashions that were cast into Purgatory after Vatican II.

Right down to the level of his splendid crimson leather slippers, Ratzi is bedecked in exotic gear that seems to date from the epoch of the Teddy Boy culture, Mods and Rockers, or Greaser culture in the US.

John-Paul II had more rustic tastes in clothing, such as this hand-embroidered chasuble. Today, many of the elegant old-fashioned items of apparel being brought back into fashion by Benedict XVI have simply been taken out of mothballs in the vast Vatican wardrobes. Sometimes this leads to Ratzi wearing stuff that is no longer tolerated by environmentally-aware youth: for example, borders of natural fur, and collars in swan down.

In general, as a good catholic, Benny is fond of the color of blood. My favorite image is that of the pope pulling a dainty red bonnet called the Camauro down over his ears [photo Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters].

One imagines Ratzi, dressed up like this, jumping into his popemobile and going out to deliver Christmas gifts to the children of Rome.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vatican baby blues

Nothing less than ridicule will put an end to antiquated conflicts labeled Vatican versus Science. In the right corner (Jesus saved the robber to his right), there's this silly old German lightweight contender.

He's an aging virgin mother-fucker (approximate terms ?) who knows fuck-all about procreation and babies, not to mention Science. But he seems to have a big Vatican mouth… God only knows why (when persecuted communities throughout the planet are seeking rightly to promote their woes). Curiously, while others remain condemned to silence, the Vatican's big ugly mouth still persists in vomiting worldly magical crap of bygone eras.

Meanwhile, in the opposite corner, there's a Man with a capital M: the British scientist Robert Edwards, whose achievements are illustrious. And this great gentleman has just won the Nobel Prize for Medicine!

Latest news. The Vatican isn't happy with the choice of the Nobel Prize. I say: Fuck the pope and his crazy associates! The world must strive to get rid of would-be spiritual guides in Rome, the sooner the better.

ADDENDUM: This morning, a French media celebration of the work of Robert Edwards includes a splendid pedagogical illustration of the "in glass" fertilization process. It's so limpid (pictures say so much more than words) that even silly old Benny should be able to understand it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ratzinger is an enemy of education

Watching this amateur video of Richard Dawkins standing up in a London crowd and speaking out against the pope, I was immediately reminded of the great Bertrand Russell, back in the Cold War days, addressing the throngs at Trafalgar Square on the dangers of nuclear weapons.

A major scientist such as Russell or Dawkins, speaking his mind publicly and brilliantly on fundamental issues, demonstrates a marvelous British tradition of outdoor oratory. It's the Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park, but with beautifully simple and powerful words worthy of Winston Churchill in wartime London. In decades to come, I'm sure that people will be using the Internet (or whatever system has replaced it) to hear and admire the Dawkins anti-papist speech of Saturday, September 18, 2010.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

British expert on Catholic crimes

In the context of the pope and priestly pedophilia, the brilliant British barrister Geoffrey Robertson knows what he's talking about, and he talks well.

In this Al Jazeera interview, he sums up the situation excellently.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The artist as a young man

Lovers of religious art might marvel at the sensitivity and tenderness behind this flowery "Mary and child". The Virgin appears to be depicted as a gypsy woman. From a physical viewpoint, she's the kind of female who might be put aboard an airliner bound for Romania if Sarkozy's police were to find her hanging around in France today.

The artist who painted the gypsy Virgin and her child is mentioned in the novel Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut. The narrator, named Rudy Waltz, is talking of his father Otto, enrolled in a painting school.
… a professor handed him back his portfolio, saying that his work was ludicrous. And there was another young man in rags there, and he, too, had his portfolio returned with scorn.

His name was Adolf Hitler. He was a native Austrian. He had come from Linz.

And Father was so mad at the professor that he got his revenge there and then. He asked to see some of Hitler's work, with the professor looking on. He picked a picture at random, and he said it was a brilliant piece of work, and he bought it from Hitler for more cash on the spot than the professor, probably, could earn in a month or more.

Only an hour before, Hitler had sold his overcoat so that he could get a little something to eat, even though winter was coming on. So there is a chance that, if it weren't for my father, Hitler might have died of pneumonia or malnutrition in 1910.
The subject of the painting purchased by Otto Waltz was the Minorite Church in Vienna. I believe that Hitler's painting of this place exists in reality (maybe in the hands of a private collector), but I can't find a copy of it on the web. Meanwhile, people tend to forget that Hitler was a painter of religious subjects, just as they tend to forget his love for children.

I can't imagine why Joseph Ratzinger has tried to give the impression that Hitler didn't even believe in God, that he was an evil atheist.

Well yes, I can in fact imagine why the pope has talked this way. He's playing his role as the descendant of Saint Peter, the great fisherman. In fishing terms, Ratzi's allusions to atheism and secularism might be thought of as bait, designed to catch his critics. He knows that we'll all get caught by starting to waste our time (as I've been doing) producing evidence to prove that Hitler and the Nazis were not at all atheists. And while everybody's talking about atheism and secularism, they won't be talking about the sexual abuse of minors. Well played, Ratzi! But we haven't really been duped.

Ratzinger invents an atheistic Hitler

Yesterday, in his Edinburgh speech, Benedict XVI referred to the "Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews". He urged the British to "reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century", and he encouraged "respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate".

Ratzi needs to reread his Hitler, and browse through a few old Nazi photo albums.

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."
— Adolf Hitler, speech in Berlin, 24 October 1933 [Norman Baynes, The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, vol 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942]

In fact, the pope's allusions to "atheist extremism" and "aggressive forms of secularism" are a lukewarm attempt to draw people's attention away from the elephant in the drawing room: priestly pedophilia.

Here's a simple hymn of joy by Tim Minchin:

Consider yourself blessed for being able to listen to this Pope Song, for it might not stay around for long, free of charge, on the Internet.

ADDENDUM: There's a long list of relevant Hitler quotes on the Pharyngula blog [display] and an anthology of Nazi church-oriented photos with captions on another website [display].

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pulp nation

I know little about Joseph Stalin's sense of humor, but I would imagine that he was cracking a joke when he once asked sarcastically: "How many divisions does the pope have?" It would be amusing, I think, to poll Catholics concerning their knowledge of the nature and origins of the tiny state, the Vatican, of which the pope is the chief. Many people probably think it's simply a suburb of Rome, where the pope happens to reside… which it is, in a way. Others might imagine the Vatican as an ancient autonomous territory, akin to Monaco or Liechtenstein, set up back in the days of Saint Peter and his companions. In fact, the Vatican is a relatively young "nation", of a quite artificial kind, founded on 11 February 1929.

The Vatican was the bastard offspring of Benito Mussolini and a wishy-washy pope, Pius XI, who never once had the courage to oppose the ugly Fascist dictator in an outspoken manner. Finally, Mussolini may have even been responsible for assassinating the pontiff by means of a mortal injection on 10 February 1939.

It's good to reflect upon these murky origins of the Vatican when we see Benedict XVI about to set foot in Britain, where he'll be treated, as usual, as a chief of state.

But the visit will surely be marred by all kinds of allusions to the current scandals about pedophilia within the church. It's not by chance that the distinguished British barrister Geoffrey Robertson has just brought out a book that examines in depth the international legal grounds for granting—or not granting—diplomatic immunity to such a straw-man leader during his four-day visit to the UK.

Click the cover image to access pertinent comments by Paula Kirby (on the Richard Dawkins website) of this recently-published book.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot under the dog collar

Ratzi and his colleagues at Vatican City (a Mickey Mouse "state" created in 1929 under Benito Mussolini) are furious because Belgian police have "violated" a pair of episcopal tombs during a search for evidence in the crypt of the cathedral in the city of Mechelon, in the Flemish province of Antwerp. What a pity, retrospectively, that Benny and his friends never got quite so upset in recent times when the living bodies of innocent youth were being violated, in every corner of the globe, by predatory priests. Meanwhile, Vatican City needs to realize that it's unorthodox, indeed legally wrong, for aliens to attempt to intervene in judicial inquiries conducted within a sovereign state such as Belgium.

Having made that straightforward remark, I must admit that there's often a Tintin streak to certain happenings in Belgium. (As my readers surely know, the Tintin comic books were one of that nation's most famous creations.) Was it maybe a Belgian police dog akin to Milou (apparently called Snowy in English), sniffing around in the cathedral, that caused the inspectors to imagine that the current archbishop might have concealed secret documents in the tombs of his predecessors? But Ratzi wouldn't understand that point of view. Ah, the world would be a better and brighter place if popes had the habit of reading comics!

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday (Monday), the US Supreme Court made a momentous move concerning the possible responsibility of the Vatican City in the context of cases of pedophile priests pursued in the USA. On the surface, the court's decision appears to be neutral, in that it has decided not to pronounce a ruling on the question of the Vatican's possible immunity. But this refusal to provide a ruling is the Supreme Court's way of confirming a recent decision of an appeals court, which had engaged explicitly the Vatican's responsibility. So, the anti-papist ball is surely starting to roll in God's Own Country.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moving finger mauls

No, my pretty Benny, it's not good enough to simply ask for pardon for the sins of the past, and pray that they won't reoccur.

The moving finger of a priestly pedophile mauls an innocent child and, having mauled, moves on, maybe to other children. And all your pardons won't rub out an iota of the damage done. It's your entire system of prelates, priests and nuns that's rotten at the core, and the world wants no more of it. There's no longer any room for you and your mates, Benny, on the stage of enlightened humanity! We're not interested in your pleas for pardon. We just want you and your church to leave the current scene, as rapidly as possible, and be relegated to history books… where your posterity, in any case, is assured.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

King-sized Jesus in Oklahoma

I found this funny story in the excellent Pharyngula blog by PZ Myers [access].

The history of Catholicism is filled with magic happenings. In the case of St Francis of Assisi (the fellow who preached to birds), we encounter the phenomenon of a talking cross, shown here:

In the church of San Damiano, the image of Jesus on the cross said to Francis: "Repair my church. As you see, it is falling into a state of total ruin." Francis immediately set about repairing the actual building, but he soon realized that the words of the cross of San Damiano were to be interpreted as a metaphorical order, meaning that it was rather the ecclesiastical institution and its members that were in need of repair. So Francis finally started work on that much bigger task.

Over the centuries, the San Damiano Cross has inspired countless reproductions. The latest copy, some three meters in height, has been hung above the altar of a church in Oklahoma. And the least that can be said is that it's well hung.

This copy was executed by a local artist named Janet Jaime. She has highlighted the abdominal muscles of Jesus to such an extent that a naive observer might imagine that the King of Glory is exhibiting a king-sized erection. Needless to say, this copy has given rise to controversy among Catholic parishioners in the Oklahoma town of Warr Acres, where the church is located. The artist, though, gives the impression that she doesn't understand what the fuss is all about.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the illicit sexual behavior of certain Catholic prelates and priests. The last thing the Church needed was yet another much-publicized sex-oriented incident, particularly when it takes the form of a giant phallus emerging from the crucified body of the Lord. One can't help wondering whether this Oklahoma painting is in fact yet another element of an international conspiracy, orchestrated by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, aimed at screwing Joseph Ratzinger. And, talking about screwing, that awesome Oklahoma apparatus elicits an exclamation of admiration. In a word, as Mary Magdalene might have gasped: Jesus!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Disgusting comparison

An idiotic priest at the Vatican named Raniero Cantalamessa dared to say in a Good Friday homily in St Peter's Basilica, heard by Benedict XVI, that an unidentified Jewish friend had likened accusations against the pope and the church to the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism". People should inform this mindless priest (at the same time that they punch his silly face) that innocent Jews, prior to being pursued in recent times by Nazis, and exterminated massively, had never been accused of raping children. So, the comparison is frankly disgusting.

I'm saddened to see that The Australian has thought it worthwhile to present this story amply, as if it were newsworthy [display].

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday (Easter Sunday), the silly old bugger apologized formally for his disgusting comparison, which had stirred up indignation throughout the world, and even given rise to an official statement of disapproval by Vatican authorities.

Consequently, maybe I should act in the spirit of Christian charity concerning those who repent, and take back my suggestion about punching the predicator in the face. Maybe not...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Law, not the Lord, will decide

Computer atheists refer kindly to the pope as Benny Hex, since 16-based counting is designated as hexadecimal. More rapidly than expected, our red-robed hero is losing all his aura... if ever he had any. He's coming through loud and clear as a slimy little Catholic creep.

I used to be surprised (delighted, in fact) when my Catholic friend Natacha dared to refer to ultra-pious old ladies as "holy font frogs".

The pope is that kind of creature. But he might not hop around for long, for there are all kinds of laws condemning individuals who aid and abet sex criminals. The pope imagines that it's the Lord—through the Vatican—who arbitrates all things. He's grossly misled. The ordinary law of civilized nations determines what's right and what's wrong, particularly in the case of known individuals who have raped children. Benny Hex needs to update his antiquated catechism.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dawkins says Ratzinger is "the perfect pope"

[Click the image to access the Dawkins article]

In The Washington Post, this is splendid "strident" Dawkins (he hates that adjective), at his anti-papistical best. I love the final paragraph:

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.

Dawkins is an outspoken Englishman of the finest kind. A nice but weird association has sprung into his mind. When Dawkins is confronted by nasty foes (such as Ratzinger, the "leering old villain in a frock"), he speaks in the intense poetic style of Winston Churchill during the Blitz.

Monday, March 15, 2010

There is indeed evil

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil...

It might work for monkeys... but there's no way in the world that this approach can be adopted by those who see themselves as followers of Jesus, men of God. The church of Rome is crumbling, not because it has been attacked by infidels, but through its own internal forces of decay and destruction. And Captain Ratzinger will probably (hopefully) go down with his rotting ship.

Click the photo of Benedict XVI to discover a scathing article by Christopher Hitchens entitled The Great Catholic Cover-Up. His subtitle is eloquent: The pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it.