When in Doubt, Pontificate

What was that we were saying about certainty, and religion, and the Vatican? There just keeps on being more to say. There is for instance this lovely story about a Calgary bishop who announced that the Canadian Prime Minister’s eternal salvation is in jeopardy and that he could burn in hell. Oh well I suppose I could look on the bright side, couldn’t I. He didn’t say ‘The Prime Minister is definitely without question going to burn in hell,’ he said that he could. He said his salvation is in jeopardy, not that it’s already lost. Quite admirably flexible and latitudinarian, really! Or perhaps he is just (as we vulgar Yanks like to put it) covering his ass. Hedging his bets, in case he finds out sometime down the road that in fact Chrétien is not burning in hell. He doesn’t want to look foolish among the other denizens of the afterlife, now does he.

It’s interesting – now I know this is an obvious point, but it’s still interesting – how definite and positive and convinced and unwavering and certain the Catholic Church is that ‘To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral,’ even though they are helpless to come up with any actual reason such a law would be harmful to the common good, when they are so havering and wavering on the grave immorality of their own priests who grope children. They gesture at ‘scripture’ and they say homosexual unions are not remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family, but that just argues in a circle, obviously. People who don’t believe in the Vatican’s deity and consider the bible an interesting but not quite bang up to date book written by humans, are not going to find those convincing reasons, are they. So what else do you have, Vatters? Nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Except, apparently, a strong urge to protect your own followers even when they have in fact actually done some things generally considered harmful to the common good. And yet the Vatican doesn’t hesitate to get up there on its hind legs and order everyone about. Oh it’s enough to make a cat laugh.

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