Friday, June 11, 2010

Pope Concludes Year for Priests by Demanding Forgiveness, Admitting No Personal Wrongdoing, and Focusing Inward

     The Catholic Church's "Year for Priests" came to close at a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict, the Enabler, earlier today at the Vatican. As anticipated, the pope mentioned "the abuse of little ones" and promised "to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again."

     However, he offered no plan other than more of the same:  prayers to his god and promises to weed abusers out of the seminaries (a.k.a. in Vatican-speak, get rid of the gays).

     He took no personal responsibility for his role in covering-up and mishandling abusive priests and bishops that enabled pedophile-priests to rape and assault children.

     Focusing on his own needs and the needs of the abusive clerics and bishops instead of the victims, benevolent Ben begged "the persons involved," meaning those raped, abused, and bullied by priests and bishops in their god's name, to forgive the church. 

     Because nothing says pastoral care like demanding the forgiveness of those who've been abused and raped.

     “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,” Benedict told thousands of priests and faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for celebrations marking the end of the Vatican’s Year of the Priest.
     The pope’s remarks did not substantively go beyond what he had already said in a letter to Irish Catholics in March and in a private meeting with victims of sex abuse on Malta in April, but it was the first time Benedict had mentioned the crisis from Saint Peter’s Basilica, the heart of the church itself, and on an occasion focused on priests.
     “In this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light — particularly the abuse of the little ones,” the pope said.
     He added, “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, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life’s dangers.” The pope did not mention any specific actions the church was planning to take to combat abuse, as some had hoped, and victims’ groups said Benedict’s remarks did not go far enough.

     My other favorite moments came when Ben used the biblical cliche of the priest being a shepherd and using his rod and staff to guide the vulnerable, stupid flock to their god (Psalm 23).  He mixes his psalms and then quotes Fr. Mustache's favorite, Psalm 139, speaking of "the 'darkest valley' through which the Lord leads" his followers. Who better to understand a priest's use of his rod and staff and Jesus' dark valley than those raped by priests? 

     Nothing says "god loves you and is always with you" like having a priest's rod ripping up one's childhood and adolescent "dark valley."  

     Ben returned to Psalm 23's rod/staff imagery, and speaks of the use of the rod to fight and punish heretics to lead them back to the correct path of the church. Yes, priests should use violence to keep their stupid flock in order. It worked for Georg

     It's a historical fact that shepherds used their rods to break the legs of their wandering sheep to prevent them from getting away. What a loving image and how respectful of free will! (I once had a classmate in seminary get scolded for talking about this violent image during a homily.  A shepherd breaking his lambs' legs to control them roving was off limits, but a father slaughtering his innocent son on tree was beautiful.)

     Continuing with the Psalm 23 imagery, Ben focused on the anointing of one's head with oil and relates it to the eating of Jesus body and blood at the Mass, in which the priest stands in the person of Jesus. What is more sexual than rubbing oil all over one's head and talking of eating someone's body?

     The conclusion of Ben's grand homily to close the Year for Priests and address the sexual abuse/rape scandal in the church was an inward focus on his own needs and the needs of his priests:
     Give us life, make us live from you as our source, and grant that we too may be sources, wellsprings capable of bestowing the water of life in our time. We thank you for the grace of the priestly ministry. Lord bless us, and bless all those who in our time are thirsty and continue to seek. Amen.
     It's all about Ben. It's all about the priests and their wellsprings.  I think they've sprayed enough.

     I'd like to declare this coming year "The Year for Those Fucked by the Church," but it seems that Pope Ben, self-serving bishops, and pedophile priests celebrate that one every year.

Republicans' Kill ACORN but Save BP Hypocrisy

Why are all those Republicans who angrily demanded the end of federal funding for ACORN silent when it comes to billions in federal funding and tax breaks for BP?

Catholic Relics, Pope Ben Prays with a Piece of a Dead Human Heart

     A year ago when Pope Benedict declared the "Year for Priests," he quoted the Cur矇 of Ars (no comment), John Mary (no comment) Vianney, patron saint of priests, saying:
     A few moments ago, in the Choir Chapel, I was able to venerate the relic of the saintly Cur矇 of Ars: his heart. A heart that blazed with divine love, experienced amazement at the thought of the dignity of the priest, and spoke to the faithful in touching and sublime tones, telling them that “after God [sic], the priest is everything! ... Only in heaven will he fully realize what he is.”
     If you are unfamiliar with Catholic lingo, Pope Ben's proclamation might seem strange.  What does it mean to "venerate" a "relic"?  No.  It's not a sexual euphemism, although who knows how the mind of an enabler of child rapists works.

     A relic is a piece of dead person, who Catholics believe is a saint (meaning s/he went to heaven).  Catholics have so much respect for their holy deceased that they exhume saints' decomposing bodies from the ground.  They take these "earthen vessels" that their scriptures call "temples of the Holy Spirit" (meaning vessels for god) and chop them up or carve out little pieces of bone, fingernails, or in the case of Pope Ben's relic of John Mary Vianney, organ meat (a.k.a. "A heart that blazed with divine love.")

     Catholics also cover their exhumed saints' bodies with preservatives and put their heads, limbs, bodily fluids, or entire body, if it's still in tact, on display for all to see.  (Seriously, I've seen the decapitated head of Sir Oliver Plunkett in Ireland and the the plastered body of John Henry Neumann in Philadelphia.  I haven't eaten beef jerky since.)

     Back to the relics.  After chopping up holy and dead Catholics, the pieces of their beloved are then packaged into containers made of precious metals and sold by the church to priests, parishes, and individuals to be embedded in church altars, stored in drawers by those with a collective fetish for pieces of dead Catholics, and most importantly to be prayed before.

     Catholics only worship and pray to their one god, but it doesn't hurt to have a shriveled up piece of dead saint, whom one invokes by name, when hoping for the cosmic vending machine to bend the laws of physics, science, and medicine to one's will.
     If you are still confused by the concept of relics, watch an old Star Trek: the Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode in which Ferengi death rituals are portrayed.  This will clarify everything.  I wonder how much latinum the Grand Nagus is bringing in these days.

     And remember that when you're praying, after god, the dried up piece of a dead priest's heart is everything.

     Postscript:

     Isn't it a miracle how St. John Mary Vianney's body was preserved?  Who knew that Madame Tussaud did better work than the Catholic god?  You can't  even tell that his heart is missing. 
Image from Godzdogz