There’s such a thing as being too special

The pope’s co-workers circle the holy wagons.

A prominent cardinal, in a marked departure from tradition, stood near Pope Benedict XVI at Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday and delivered pointedly public support in the face of growing anger over the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal…The remarks…came among a chorus of denunciations by church officials of what they have framed as a campaign of denigration of the church and its pontiff…“Holy Father, the people of God are with you, and do not let themselves be impressed by the gossip of the moment, by the challenges that sometimes strike at the community of believers,” Cardinal Sodano said.

In other words, the people who criticize the pope and the Vatican are not the people of God, and the notion that the suffering of the victims is more important than the suffering of the Vatican hierarchy is mere petty gossip, and the whole thing is just one of those ‘challenges’ that make clerics even stronger.

Many in the church hierarchy, from local bishops to the cardinals who run the church, have grown increasingly aggressive in the face of sweeping criticism, and more specifically, at charges that Benedict failed to act…In the culture of the church hierarchy, the mere idea of a pope — the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, the successor of the prince of the apostles, the supreme pontiff of the universal church and sovereign of the Vatican city state, as his official titles have it — being called to account like the secular head of a corporation is incomprehensible.

And there’s your problem right there. The pope is not ‘the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth,’ because that’s a magical phrase that refers to some kind of employment relationship with a guy who died two thousand years ago. People don’t get to tell other people what to do and demand all kinds of special deference and respect because they have a self-declared connection with some long-dead human being. It’s silly enough when monarchs do it, and it’s even sillier when ‘popes’ do it.

This is what is wrong with the Catholic church. It’s a bad, diseased way to think, and it’s exactly what’s wrong with them. They think they are in a special caste elevated above other human beings, because of their ‘ordination,’ and this is a terrible, wretched, dangerous way for humans to think. This is obvious. It makes them think they can do no wrong. It makes them sanctimonious instead of good. It makes them incapable (from all appearances, at least) of thinking clearly about their own actions.

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