Posts Tagged ‘ The pope ’

Frank says they’re sorry but…

Aug 27th, 2018 8:15 am | By

I wrote my column for The Freethinker yesterday. I wrote it about the pope’s visit to Ireland. The whole subject makes me rather cross.

The sentimental view of religion is that it makes people good, meaning kind and generous and compassionate. If that were true, surely there wouldn’t have been such an enormous gulf between how the Sisters of Mercy (oh the irony of that name) saw their administration at Goldenbridge and how the survivors saw it. Surely, surely, a religion talented at making ordinary people peculiarly kind and loving would not come up with physical and verbal abuse of captive children seized from impoverished mothers as an example of its holy work.

Also, religion is supposed to be timeless

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Francis in a homily

Sep 23rd, 2015 5:28 pm | By

The pope went ahead and “canonized” Junipero Serra, Reuters reports.

The pope later said Mass in Spanish to about 25,000 gathered inside and outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and canonized 18th-century Spanish missionary Friar Junipero Serra. The canonization was controversial because critics say that Serra beat and imprisoned Native Americans, suppressed their cultures and facilitated the spread of diseases that heavily reduced the population.

During the first canonization on U.S. soil, Francis in a homily hailed Serra as a man who “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.” Some Native American activists condemned making Serra a saint, with one, Corrina

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Female machismo

Sep 23rd, 2015 4:10 pm | By

You know how I keep saying the pope may talk a nice line about poverty and the global south and all, but what about women? Katha Pollitt says it too.

If the world consisted only of straight men, Pope Francis would be the world’s greatest voice for everything progressives believe in. He’s against inequality, racism, poverty, bigotry and, as his recent encyclical Laudato Si’ made eloquently clear, the rampant capitalism and “self-centred culture of instant gratification”—including excessive meat eating—that fuel climate change and may well destroy the planet.

Which makes a change, yes, but hello, he’s still the pope. The Catholic church is still the Catholic church, not MSF or Human Rights Watch.

I know I risk

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The maternal instinct of the church

Sep 18th, 2015 2:30 pm | By

Pope Fluffy had a few kind words for the women yesterday. He reminded them that they’re the strawberries on the cake source of tenderness and motheryness.

Calling himself “a bit feminist,” Pope Francis praised women religious for always heading to the “front lines” to bring the church’s tenderness and motherly love to those most in need.

“The church thanks you for this, it is a beautiful witness. This is being close. Be close! Close to people’s problems, real problems,” he said during an audience Sept. 17 with young consecrated women and men from around the world, including Iraq and Syria.

So feminist. So a bit feminist. He didn’t tell them to stay home and knit, he praised them for … Read the rest

They’re the strawberries on the cake

Sep 17th, 2015 1:45 pm | By

Yesterday on Fresh Air a conversation with Paul Vallely, who has written a book about the pope. Vallely puts a lot of emphasis on the pope as “the pope of the poor”:

The Pope is visiting, and he’s addressing many audiences. He’s addressing the Congress and the political elite. He’s seeing the president. He’s seeing the United Nations – world leaders to talk about sustainable development. But he’s also talking to the U.S. bishops. Most importantly, he’s talking to the ordinary people of America. And he’s mindful of a fifth audience, which is that although he’s here in the richest country in the world, he is the pope for the poor. And he’s very aware that the eyes and

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No-platform the pope

Feb 5th, 2015 12:29 pm | By

Hot news – the pope will address Congress.

Pope Francis will become the first leader of the Catholic church to address the United States Congress.

Francis will stop off in the Capitol on Sept. 24 during his week-long tour of the U.S., and speak to a joint session of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner announced the news in a Thursday morning tweet.

Why. Why will he do that. Why will the pope address Congress.

Why? Why was he invited?

Congress is the government. It’s a secular government. The pope is the head of a religious institution, and a very wicked reactionary woman-hating child-raping lawbreaking religious institution at that. Why invite him to talk to a major branch of government? … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Equine contributions

Mar 18th, 2014 5:19 pm | By

So now that you know how to conduct yourself if you have the audacity to go out in public, let’s turn our attention to Congress and the pope. Congress has asked the pope to come along and talk to them next time he’s in town, officially.

Congressional leaders have invited Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress during his expected visit to the United States next year.

He’s planning to come over in September for a conference on families. Because that makes sense, right? Having an officially celibate cleric participate in a conference on families? They should invite him to a conference on early childhood development, too; he could explain the benefits of being raped by the … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

What’s happening to the fucking Pope?

Feb 20th, 2013 10:34 am | By

We hear a lot about people going out looking for things to be offended by. Sometimes that’s not what’s going on; other times it is.

One of the latter is when an editor shouts across a noisy newsroom, responding to a delay in production, “can anyone tell what’s happening to the fucking Pope?” and a Catholic employee brings a claim in the Employment Tribunal for harassment and victimisation on the grounds of his religious belief.

The Appellant, a casual sub-editor on the Times Newspaper, was a Roman Catholic. He was working at the Times during the visit to the United Kingdom of the Pope in 2010. During March the Times was preparing a story about the Pope relating to allegations

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Go, Joseph, and tweet-sin no more

Dec 30th, 2012 11:09 am | By

Kevin Smith of CFI-Canada did another “Ask the Experts” for the Ottawa Citizen – this one on the burning question, “What are your ‘spiritual’ New Year’s resolutions?”

Dam’ fool question. To be nicer to my fellow humans? To see more spooky things? To be a better dualist?

Kevin hints at a similar sort of doubt, but then gives them a reply anyway.

My motivation comes from an unlikely source: the Pope. God’s deputy has taken up  Twitter, and he’s surprisingly adept at pontificating in 140 characters or less.  Recently, he committed what I consider his first tweet-sin, when he charged  atheists with denying human dignity. He wrote, “When you deny God, you deny  human dignity. Whoever defends God is defending

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

What dialogue?

Dec 17th, 2012 11:33 am | By

The pope has his message of peace for the new year all written and typed up and translated and posted online. The pope is way ahead of the game! The pope can kick back and watch some football.

Well it won’t have been very difficult. It doesn’t break any new ground. Somebody could have put it together by cutting and pasting from previous messages of peace for the new year.

It’s not very rich in what you might call self-awareness or self-knowledge.

In addition to the varied forms of terrorism and international crime, peace is also endangered by those forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which distort the true nature of religion, which is called to foster fellowship and reconciliation among

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Ratzinger at home

Oct 8th, 2011 9:45 am | By

The pope talked to the Bundestag a couple of weeks ago, and according to the Iona Institute, his remarks went down a treat. The II says they gave him a two-minute standing ovation, as if he’d sung an aria or acted Hamlet.

(Why, one wonders? German boy made good? Big famous holy guy in gleaming white outfit? Name recognition? Why?)

His talk was the usual bullshit – the Catholic church had a great deal to do with the wonderful flawless perfect morality we have today, even though the morality we have today is quite different from the morality we had when the Catholic church had real power and didn’t hesitate to use it, and even though the pope spends … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Ratzinger’s finest hour

Jan 19th, 2011 4:47 pm | By

Brothers and sisters, join with me once again in reading the holy and most sanctified letter of the bishop of Rome to his beloved members of The Church in Ireland, and see with your own weeping eyes how he places all the blame gently but firmly on them, pretending with all the oiliness of a can of sardines and all the unction of a tube of BenGay that the higher ups in Rome knew nothing whatever about it and were going about their business in innocent piety and pious innocence while those Celtic ruffians were making a dog’s breakfast of things over there on the edge of the known world. We have read it before, my dear siblings, we … Read the rest

Vatican to clamp down on liberal secular opinion

Jun 9th, 2010 12:01 pm | By

And how about those fun-loving guys at the Vatican?

Vatican investigators to Ireland appointed by Pope Benedict XVI are to clamp down on liberal secular opinion in an intensive drive to re-impose traditional respect for clergy, according to informed sources in the Catholic Church.

Uh…what? The investigators have been appointed to go to Ireland by the pope to investigate the church’s long history of tormenting children and shielding child-raping priests from the law. Why then do they think the job is to re-impose traditional respect for clergy? And why the fuck do they think the way to do that is to “clamp down” on secular liberal opinion (which frowns on practices like sticking children in prisons and then starving … Read the rest

Don’t mess with the Vatican

Jun 2nd, 2010 12:28 pm | By

Okay, I give up – why is the Obama administration siding with the Vatican against people who think it should be accountable for its many crimes?

Faced with a number of court cases in the United States that have named the pope himself as a defendant in the enabling and covering up of many rapes, the Vatican has evolved the strategy of claiming that the Holy See is in effect a sovereign state and thus possessed of immunity from prosecution. It has now been announced that the Obama administration will be advising the Supreme Court to adopt this view of the matter.

Why? What’s the thinking? Why should a church be declared a sovereign state? Why especially should the Obama … Read the rest

Another bit of postmodernist irony from the Vatican

Jun 2nd, 2010 11:12 am | By

You have to admire the Vatican for sheer effrontery. Which archbishops did it choose to send on an ‘apostolic visit’ to Ireland to look into the way Catholic priests and nuns have been tormenting Irish children for generations? Why, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who decided

in 1985, when he was bishop of Arundel and Brighton, to move the priest Fr Michael Hill to a chaplaincy at Gatwick airport. Eighteen months previously the cardinal had removed Hill from ministry because of child abuse allegations but then allowed him back to work at the airport where Hill abused a child. Hill was jailed in 2002.

And Seán O’Malley:

in his diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, the district attorney in 2002 was so disturbed at

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The pope visits Fátima

May 14th, 2010 3:05 pm | By

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 … Read the rest