Greetings web denizens, heathens, zealots and the rest of you!
So it’s time to pick a new pope! The conclave of cardinals are sitting about in Rome now and will soon being voting on which of them gets to inherit the pointy hat and ruby slippers.
The process itself a tad dull, given that the head of the church purports to be the moral voice for the entire planet. The cardinals vote in secret and send out a puff of smoke, black or white, to indicate if they have chosen a pope or not.
The cardinals should all have to live together in a house, and compete to stay in the competition. You know, “Name that circle of Dante’s Hell” contest. A Stations of the Cross obstacle course. Wafer eating contest. Wrestling in those inflatable Sumo suits. (‘Cause that is just awesome) And, since the Vatican has been a viper’s den of infighting, scandal and betrayal lately, just watching this guys interact will be entertaining enough. At the end of each show, another cardinal is voted out of the house and the final two have to race to build the bonfire that will send out the puff of smoke to indicate who won.
Well, that or they could use the Joker’s method of “tryouts” from The Dark Knight:
If it seems like I am taking the selection of a new top Catholic priest as seriously I would take the claims of holistic dentistry, it’s because the entire thing has become a bit of a circus side show, with the strong man and dog faced boy replaced by a old men in robes.
I mean, how many times in the last year have we read stories coming out of Rome about scandals in the Vatican bank and corruption scandals and the like on top of the annual insult to human dignity that is the seemingly never ending scandal of priests raping children.
(And seriously, if anyone posts a comment akin to “well one bad apple spoils the bunch” about the child abuse scandals in the church, lava might actually burst from my ears. How many more times does it have to happen before it can be admitted that this isn’t an apple apple or two, but a rot right at the core? Consider how often it is reported in Europe and North America where there is a free press and a functioning justice system. What goes on in places like latin America where these things don’t have the same influence or freedom?)
The pope is the moral leader of millions upon millions of Catholics around the globe and purports to have the authority to tell the rest of the world how to behave. The last pope had little problem telling us how gay marriage was a clear and present danger to the survival of the species, for instance, and generally telling democratically elected governments that allowing gay marriage would be the worst thing since the cast of Glee started singing AC/DC covers.
The massive weight of the irony here is enough to create a black hole. An old celibate man, appointed by a closed group of old celibate men, tells elected governments how their citizens ought to conduct their private lives. Um…
The whole thing would be hilariously funny and irrelevant if it were not for the fact that some of the cardinals choosing the new pope are actually neck deep in the whole sex abuse by priests thing. Like Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, for instance, was part of the cover up to hide the abuse by priests.The New York Times described his actions by noting that “no member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy fought longer and more energetically than Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to conceal the decades-long scandal involving the rape and intimidation of children by rogue priests. For years, the cardinal withheld seamy church records from parents, victims and the public, brandishing endless litigation and fatuous claims of confidentiality. ”
Although now publicly exposed for his wrong doing, despite being known to be involved in the protection of rapists who prey upon children, the Vatican saw fit to bring Mahony to Rome to vote on the selection of a new pope.
Just let that thought ripen in your mind for a bit. The church that claims to be the moral light of the world sought out a man known to hide child abusers to vote upon who should lead said organization. That is a rather like bringing in a bunch of known mob leaders to vote on who should be the Attorney General.
If that doesn’t indicate why I don’t take the Papal Conclave seriously, and why the entire affair is, frankly, a pitiful farce, I don’t know what will.