Showing posts with label Catholicism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholicism. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

French Catholic steps into the political arena

One would have imagined that the Church in France has had time enough to realize that politics should be left to the elected representatives of the citizens of the French Republic. Gone are the dark days when old-fashioned priests in black cassocks imagined that the nation might be guided, if not governed, by dogmatic voices from the pulpits of "the Oldest Daughter of the Roman Church". Apparently the message has not yet got through to a dull cardinal in Paris, André 23.


He has proposed a prayer, intended to be professed by priests throughout France, stating that "children and young people must cease to be objects of the desires and conflicts of adults, so that they can take full advantage of the love of a father and a mother". Behind the euphemistic language, which beats around the bush, the cardinal is revealing his homophobic nature, opposed to granting same-sex couples the right to marry and bring up children.

Ecclesiastic behavior of this backward kind is outrageous in the French Republic of 2012. But I wouldn't imagine that André 23 has many followers who might listen to his words, take him seriously, and pray along with him.

You may recall that I quoted already this dumb cardinal back on 4 January 2009 [display]:


André XXIII  seems to have the habit of wasting precious opportunities (as they say in French) of keeping his silly mouth shut.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

US women encouraged to quit the Church

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the US Freedom from Religion Foundation placed a full-page ad in the New York Times encouraging women to escape "from incense-fogged ritual, from ideas uttered long ago by ignorant men, from blind obedience to an illusory religious authority".


Click here to access a jpeg image of the ad (which you must enlarge to read). It ends with an entreaty: "Please, exit en mass."

NOTE: The play on words in the expression "en mass" is amusing and no doubt catchy, but etymologically unfounded. The French words masse (physical mass) and messe (religious ritual) have quite unconnected origins.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Celebrating November 22

Christine and I were legally divorced on 22 November 1977. Subsequently, the numbers representing that date, 221177, stuck in my mind to such an extent that I used them as a locking code on an elegant leather case that I purchased out in Bangkok, in 1982, when my children and I were visiting my aunt and uncle, Nancy and Peter.

 
[Click to enlarge slightly, then ESCAPE to return to blog.]

I've never really used this case in an everyday fashion, because it's a little too big for a briefcase, and far too small for a suitcase. In other words, it's one of those useless objects that gather dust.

Incidentally, let me point out (in case some of my readers might have overlooked the significance of November 22) that this is the feast day of Saint Cecilia, a 2nd-century martyr in Rome who is considered as the patroness of musicians. In Roman Catholic iconography, she is often depicted with a musical instrument in her hands.

Now, if you happen to have a friend named Cecilia (Cécile in French), I invite you to express your wishes for a joyful feast day by sending her the following delightful image of a saintly maiden.

Notice that two fingers of her right hand are outstretched, at the same time as a single finger of her left hand. This detail is important, since it refers to an observation concerning her incorruptible body, discovered long after her death. Her fingers were positioned in that way. Cecilia's followers said that clearly, by this posthumous gesture, the saint was indicating that she believed in the trinity.







WARNING: The theological sense of Saint Cecilia's finger message must not be confused with that of this saintly woman... whose body might well be somewhat more corruptible than that of Cecilia. While emerging from ritual matinal ablutions in the ocean, to cleanse her naked soul, this pious young lady uses her outstretched fingers—in much the same style as Cecilia—to affirm vigorously and unequivocally that she believes in one and only one god. Heathens refer to this body language as Fuck off!

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.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ireland finally attacks the pope

Enda Kenny is the Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland. On 20 July, in the Dáil Éireann (lower house) of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament), Kenny delivered an extraordinarily virulent speech motivated by the recently-published report concerning the failure of the Catholic diocese of Cloyne to handle cases of sexual abuse of children by 19 priests. He castigated explicitly the Vatican in a style that would have been unthinkable up until recently.



This amazing speech will surely go down in Irish history as marking the moment when the once almighty church was finally brought to reckoning.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tempest in Rome

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And—like the baseless fabric of this vision —
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

OK, it's still wishful thinking... but the end is near, the clowns will soon be discarding their funny robes, and the grand circus will be closing down. The writing is on the wall.

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 21, 2010

Dodgy Oz journalism

A fine article by Jason Ball on the website of the Young Australian Skeptics examines blatant cases of inaccurate Australian journalism concerning the recent Atheist Convention in Melbourne.

[Click the banner to access the article]

Those Oz journalists were really dumb to imagine for an instant that Dawkins might have been been referring to the present incumbent of the Vatican as "Pope Nazi".

An excellent evocation of the stubborn refusal of Pius XII to condemn the Shoah was provided in the film by Costa-Gavras entitled Amen.



The idea that this gutless pope might be venerated as a Roman Catholic saint is disgusting. Moreover this crazy project reveals yet another aspect of the twisted character of Ratzinger.

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.