The pope visits Fátima

The pope is telling everyone what to do, again – not that he ever stopped, but still it’s interesting to see that he apparently feels no shyness or hesitation, no doubts about his moral authority, even now that it has been searchingly and thoroughly revealed that he and his church have been protecting child rapists and bullying their victims for many decades.

This is interesting, in its way. I think ordinarily people who have been morally compromised the way the pope has become a little bashful about pretending to be moral bosses. It’s interesting that the pope doesn’t, especially since the content of his moral bossing is so godawful – so harmful for actual existing people, so fretful about imaginary people and arbitrary rules.

Benedict called for initiatives aimed at protecting “the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.”

Like that. Pretending that divorce and gay marriage are insidious and dangerous threats to the common good. (You can make a case that divorce can be partially harmful to the common good, but then you can also make a case that indissoluble marriage can be partially harmful to the common good.) Prating about divorce and abortion and gay marriage when he and his tyrannical church have done real harm to thousands of real children. Talking as if he were better than other people because he wears the white dress. Talking as if he were even minimally decent.

Benedict has endeavored to shape a new identity for the church as a “creative minority” in an increasingly secular Europe. On Thursday, he denounced “the pressure exerted by the prevailing culture, which constantly holds up a lifestyle based on the law of the stronger, on easy and attractive gain.”

The law of the stronger is it – as in the all-powerful church that gets to shelter criminals from the law and get away with it year after year? Easy and attractive gain is it – as in the children trained to revere the church and its priests, who are such easy pickings for men who enjoy raping children? That kind of thing?

The pope also told the social service groups to find alternatives to state financing so they would not be subject to legislation at odds with Catholic teaching, urging them to “ensure that Christian charitable activity is granted autonomy and independence from politics and ideologies

Meaning, of course, politics and ideologies that favor equality and frown on discrimination against people for arbitrary reasons. The pope can’t be doing with those politics and ideologies, he prefers “Catholic teaching” that gay people are sinful.

Bust him! Read him his rights, cuff him, book him, let him phone his lawyer.

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