Father Tony

B16. Not the vitamin. The bromide.

Filed By Father Tony | March 22, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: abstinence education, Arthur Miller, Benedict XVI, condoms, Diana Ross, Miley Cyrus, Roman Catholic Church, T.S. Eliot

It's hard to justify slapping an old man in a dress, but B16 has earned it. He can't seem to get an inoffensive word out of his mouth.

He pardoned a weird English bishop hiding out in Argentina without doing the simple homework that would have shown the guy to be a Holocaust-denier. After getting some irate phone calls from significant world-leaders, he un-un-excommunicated the weird bishop, announcing that the guy would need to distance himself from that kind of thinking before the Vatican would exonerate him.

Why did B16 spend time trying to legitimize that bishop? He did so, as part of his continuous effort to strengthen the extremely conservative end of the Roman Catholic Church. (The weird bishop had been ordained by a renegade archbishop who was bitterly opposed to some of the modernizing changes made to Catholicism in the second half of the 20th century.)

In an unprecedented harrumph, B16 wrote a letter to all the Catholic bishops on the planet with what seemed to be an apology for having made a mistake about the weird one, but what turned out to be a gripe. He was pissed that the faithful did not rally immediately to support him but rather were among the first and most ferocious to attack him.

In the same letter, he goes on to say that he will be paying more attention to what is being said about him on the internet! This is a spectacular disclosure because it shows us his true colors. He is not a man who follows his spiritual instincts. He is a man who plays to an audience. But he is also a man who has no clue about that audience. He is very much like the elderly Diana Ross, wondering why she can no longer fill an arena, but too proud to play a lounge or a casino.

A quick trip to Africa is a great way for a pope to feel the love. It's one of the few places where Catholicism is growing. Let's not however, pretend, as does B16, that the reason for that growth is love for God's word as presented by Catholic clergy and nuns. It has more to do with the fact that in the poorest parts of the world, a parish hall with a ping pong table and a case of colored sugar water is bound to attract kids who will then learn to sing hymns. Cue Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary. Those who live in poverty, holding no Miley Cyrus tickets, will run in hordes to the tarmac to cheer the well-shod exotic in immaculate white and his magenta circus.

While on the papal jet, even before his arrival in Africa, B16 delivered his opinion that condoms might actually be part of the cause of the HIV epidemic. He supposed that we would all appreciate his logic. Abstinence is a perfect preventative. Condoms sometimes fail. Therefore, substituting condoms for abstinence facilitates an increase in the spread of HIV.

I was fascinated by the reaction to this. It seemed to reflect an exhaustion on the part of those who hope for excellence and inspiration from a pope, and are ordinarily angered when they receive the opposite. The world seems to have finally made up its mind that B16 is a Gerontius, a dull head among windy spaces. We don't much mind the prattling of such a one but we would never be guided by his bitterly irrelevant words. We allow this type of old man a comfortable route to the grave. We are respectful of a lifetime spent wrestling with big issues and reaching big conclusions. But the world moves forward and the old man's voice grows weaker. The naked children who ran to greet him in Africa grow up to learn the meaning of suffering and disease. They vaguely recall his gleaming smile.

Attention must be paid to such a man. Pope Willy Loman is speaking. It won't hurt us to kiss his ring while it is still warm.

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Dr. Ratzinger spent the time trying to legitimise him because their views are so very inimicable. The Bishop that you are referring to also stated, without condemnation or correction from Rome, that secondary education and beyond is not only wasted on women, it is dangerous as it may lead them away from their god ordained role of meekly giving borth to a gaggle of new Catholics.

He is hugely antifeminist/antiwoman. Ive lived through that kind of thinking in Ireland during the "Special Relationship" between the government and the Church in the time of Archbishop McQuaid. Dr Ratzinger said nothing in condemnation of Bishop Williamson's extremist views in that regard. I would presume to posit that the Bishop and Dr Ratzinger are in agreement in that regard.

So you see that Ratzinger wants diversity, an artists palette of views ranging from black to charcoal gray.

This is the aspect of Williamson that appeals to Ratzinger:

"A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman. Did this lawyeress check her hairdo before coming into court? If she did, she is a distracted lawyer. If she did not, she is one distorted woman."

“women going to university is part of the whole massive onslaught on God’s Nature which characterises our times”.

"Women’s trousers are an assault upon woman’s womanhood”.

“women’s trousers, as worn today, short or long, modest or immodest, tight or loose … represent a deep-lying revolt against the order willed by God”.

"because of all kinds of natural reasons, almost no girl should go to any university!"

"Since modern man does not want her to do what God meant her to do, namely to have children, she takes her revenge by invading all kinds of things that man is meant to do."

"any Catholic with the least respect for Tradition recognizes that women should not be priests - can he deny that if few women went to university, almost none would wish to be priests? Alas, women going to university is part of the whole massive onslaught on God’s Nature which characterizes our times. That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls: true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls."

Dear MH,
I knew he was weird.
I did not know he was as weird as that.

Father Tony;
Apparently the Vatican did not think those views at all weird. They did not issue a word of criticism concerning those statements, nor did thay demand a recantation, or distance hemselves from them.

They, in fact, uttered nary a peep about Williamson's overboard misogyny.

They did state that Williamson's holocaust views were in opposition to Church teaching and that he would have to recant, which I believe he has done.

Since the Church did make a demand of correction of error on another topic, I can only conclude that Dr Ratzinger sees no error in the views on women expressed by the Good Bishop/

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 23, 2009 1:28 AM

I think the catholic cult’s leadership is terrified by Ratzinger’s candor, not his ignorance.

As an authentic descendent of the howling madness of the Dark Ages, Der pope is a forcefully unambiguous voice in the catholic cult. He’s a racist who'll gladly see millions die of HIV/AIDS because they're afraid of condoms and medicine. He’s a bitter misogynist and homophobe. A not particularly ex Nazi, Ratzinger says Jews have no right to criticize the strong connections between Pacelli’s papacy and Hitler’s Chancellorship and refuses to apologize for the catholic cults role in the genocides against Jews, Poles and Soviet citizens. Just as Pacelli provided a Vatican escape route for the SS, Ratzinger continues to provide asylum for accessories to child rape in the precincts of Vatican City, where, unaccountably, the age of consent for sex with boys, at 12 years old, is the lowest in the world.

In an age when the catholic cults bureaucrats are busily trying to distance themselves from Hitler, child rapists, anti-Semitism and the long shadow of the Inquisition Ratzinger’s pronouncements are simply an honest look at what that cult really stands for.

We don’t get to examine the Vatican’s finances but you can bet that every time he opens his mouth donations drop. lf he lives to be 100 he’ll reduce the catholic cult to rubble. They’ll end up putting up a sign at the exit from Vatican City reading, “Will the last one out please turn out the lights.”

Dear Bill Perdue,
Elsewhere have I said that it is refreshing to hear someone make clear the inedible aspects of contemporary Roman Catholicism. B16 does exactly that, and if his voice should irritate the western world, and if they stop contributing, the humbling of the church will be a healthy thing, ultimately. It is my fervent hope that once cut down to the roots, the church will enjoy a renaissance in which priests marry and women are ordained and consensual adult sex is a private matter.

PS: what is your source for the "12 yr old age of consent in the Vatican" fact?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 23, 2009 3:15 PM

"The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Europe. The Vatican City has the lowest age of consent in Europe (set at 12) while Turkey and Malta have the highest, set at 18."

"There is an equal age of consent set at 12 years of age in Art. 331 (1). When there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student, etc.) the age of consent is 15 years in Art. 331 (2)"

These laws were adapted from Italian Law at the time of the 1927 Mussolini Concordant, the Lateran Treaty. Italian law has since changed. Several other nations have low AoC laws but most impose a higher limit if an adult is involved.
Helmut Graupner, Sexualität, Jugendschutz und Menschenrechte - Band 2 Verlag Peter Lang, Frankfurt - Berlin - Bern - New York - Paris - Wien 1997, ISBN 3-631-31790-5, Vatican State: pages 700ff


These laws are starkly contrasted the roman cults persistent defense of priests who rape children, particularly in the US, the EU, the Philippines and Latin America.

"However, the Vatican City is a Roman Catholic theocratic city state and thus homosexuality and cross-dressing are both strongly frowned upon by the Holy See and those working there. Thus any public displays of affection or public acknowledgment of homosexuality or cross-dressing is likely prohibited or taboo."

I got interested in AoC laws reading about the homophobic attacks on the new Mayor of Portland in the Adams/Breedlove imbroglio. There wasn’t any sex, just a kiss or two, but the right wing, especially the LGBT right wing were grabbing their torches and pitchforks. What amazed me was the wide variance of laws in US states. If Sam and Beau had driven up the 5 to Washington they’d have been legal.

My opinion is that AoC laws should be regularized in the US and that the discussion setting them should take into account the opinions of pubescent/post-pubescent youths, including LGBT youth.

I likewise think that priests and prelates who escaped to Vatican City to avoid rape and accessory to rape charges like Bernard Law of Boston should be charged and extradited, but I’m not holding my breath.

Dear MH,
I don't think his initial take-back of his Holocaust-denial was good enough for the Vatican. I am not sure how that stands, but if he is made whole with Rome, let's make some noise about the business of his misogyny. We'll have the old goat singing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" yet. (Where did you find those quotes?)

Reverend Anthony;
The quotes come from the good Bishop's letters to the Pius X society of Canada. The letters have been recently been taken down, except for the Bishop's apology to the King of Sweeden

This summed it up succinctly:

In the same letter, he goes on to say that he will be paying more attention to what is being said about him on the internet! This is a spectacular disclosure because it shows us his true colors. He is not a man who follows his spiritual instincts. He is a man who plays to an audience.

He always reminded me of the kid on the playground that was always nasty and rude to everyone but then craved attention and friendship. Rather like Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter books...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 23, 2009 9:16 AM

The only thing that I can add to the above is the important hypocrisy of the African church where priests already have wives, girlfriends etc. and Rome looks the other way. As always the religion is used as a means of control and organization of people. They learned well, being the only organized anything during the Dark Ages.

He was pissed that the faithful did not rally immediately to support him but rather were among the first and most ferocious to attack him.

And that'll be the saving grace of Catholicism, if it's ever to recover in developed nations. Can you imagine the same happening among fundamentalist Protestants? Pat Robertson could deny the Holocaust on the 700 Club and my grandmother would still send him her monthly check.

As for the condoms comments, Rick Warren believes pretty much the same things and he's invited to speak at the Presidential invocation, whereas Benedict was denounced by France and Germany's governments. Whether that says more about Protestants or about Americans, I don't know, but the reaction to the Pope was swift while we still accept exactly the same chicanery in the US from our religious leaders.