...above the din of bells ringing and smoke pouring from the Vatican's chimney, was the sound of thousands of Catholics shuddering at the prospect of Pope Benedict XVI. Feminism is a curse, priestly pedophilia isn't so bad, and, Mein Gott, descension shall not be tolerated! This guy makes John Paul the Sequel look open-minded. Women - it's a good thing Benedict XVI is 77, otherwise, y'all'd be all knock'd up and pregnut! The menfolks is goin' to the church! Take care of th' youngins'.
Personally, I think he should drop the dict and just go as Pope Benny. Sounds much friendlier, and would help him put a happy tone on his otherwise dour personality. He's got to do something - it boggles my mind at how the Vatican has turned a blind eye to US Catholics during this priest pedophilia scandal. Do they think this is just going to "go away?" Probably - that was their MO during the `40s,`50s and `60s when the majority of this abuse happened anyway.
If I ran any other religious congregation - synagogue, temple, strip mall worship center - I'd put out a sign "Any Catholics Looking for a Change? Come on in!" I'd have a big ole' lapsed Catholic open house, with bingo, hot cross buns and fish on fridays. To make them feel at home, I'd yell at them for being bad Catholics.
But let's face it - there is a huge gap between modern American Catholics and the uber-conservative tone the Vatican has taken over the past quarter century. We're jaded, bitter, and really would like to believe in our beliefs. Our beliefs are just not shared with the men who run the place. Let's do a recap:
America thinks Iran is bad.
Vatican thinks Iran is bad.
America and Vatican are friends.
America thinks Soviet Union is really bad.
Vatican thinks Soviet Union is really bad.
America and Vatican really are friends.
America thinks Iraq is bad
Vatican thinks Iraq is kinda naughty.
America and Vatican are still friends.
America thinks pedophiliac priests are really bad.
Vatican thinks pedophiliac priests are just "misunderstood."
That's the same fuzzy logic that galls me about Michael Jackson's supporters. Dude made three good albums 20 years ago, and has been diddling little kids ever since. At what point does "Thriller" even out the loss of a child's innocence and soul? One child? Two? Five? When do you say "No more kids for you, Michael, even if you did make "Smooth Criminal?"
Same thing with the priest scandal. If the pedophilia wasn't institutionalized, buried, repressed - hell - tolerated and accepted - by the Church, this would have easily been the case of a handful of bad priests with bad urges and bad actions. But when the whole organization is implicit in the scandal, what does that say about any of it?
So, welcome Pope Benedict XVI, of Germany, the country known for keen, progressive thought. Welcome to the current state of the Catholic Church, and please make some amends, otherwise it's going to be awfully lonely in that Vatican City apartment, with just a bunch of paintings and sculptures to keep you company.
Benedict XVI - what does this guy think he is, a Super Bowl?