This new beacon, like a lighthouse, not only shines the spotlight forward onto the Oceans of need, but backward onto an establishment that had become bankrupt, irrelevant. The previous incumbent, breaking six hundred years of precedent, resigned because of ill health. This excuse was later amended to say he received some type of message from God. Well, I guess if anyone has a shot at it – but we would hope for some consistency, especially considering that his health one year later seems just fine.
A more plausible explanation: the ever-expanding Vatican scandals, combined with dwindling credibility and the suspect long-term financial outlook of Vatican Venture, Inc. Like any corporation with a plummeting stock price resulting from a faulty product and tainted leadership, the CEO had to step down.
How much time had Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) spent trying to cement his predecessor’s (Pope John Paul II, 1978–2005) conservative coup, harping on about issues that bear no relevance to actually helping a humanity facing real world crises; issues that have no relevance to poverty, hunger, disease, and war. The fact is that Catholic doctrine is burdened by perhaps the most backward, damaging notion, that has no obvious bearing on the teachings of Jesus: blocking access to contraception. Contraception is absolutely vital to fighting overpopulation, disease, the subversion of women. Blocking contraception is a form of manslaughter – people will suffer and die. Now 98% of American Catholic women ignore this tragic dogma – something aging white men should respect.
So I suspect Pope Benedict had to go. The irony is that if the Pope is infallible, why is it that for the first time in my memory a Pope has now actually gotten round to making infallible comments, taking infallible actions? The sheer power, relevance, bravery and intelligence of what Pope Francis has been doing is on the one hand exciting, but on the other hand – you want to just pull your hair out at the absurdity of this not being said before. Now, some in the Vatican are searching for the fine print, to safeguard their dogma – but really – digging into the fine print?
But Pope Francis not only fully understands that the focus on Abortion, Contraception, Homosexuality is destructive; , he does not appear to have much time for the fine print either:
“The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” Francis said. “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”
The Pope devoted his 2014 Christmas address to targeting the absurdity of the Churches dogma. Pope Francis excoriated the Vatican bureaucracy in his traditional Christmas address on Monday, saying that some of the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Roman Catholic Church suffer from a “spiritual Alzheimer’s.”
So how does Pope Francis deal the divisive issue of homosexuality – an issue which is only headed one way in most developed countries? What does he have to say to homophobes?
“If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?
He is also aware of the Church’s backward view on women:
“The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions”.
What does he have to say about the Moochers?
“The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!”
What does to have to say to the religious fundamentalists who preach hate, intolerance of others with different views?
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”
What does he have to say to those people who are oblivious to growing Income Discrepancy?
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
What does he have to say about the gas guzzlers, the frackers, the drill baby drillers, climate deniers, the environmental Asset Strippers?
“Safeguard Creation,” he said. “Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!”
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,”
Wherever he goes, he reaches out, but not in a wimpish way. He visits Palestine:
“The ‘two-state solution’ must become a reality,”
He invites the leaders of Israel and Palestine to visit and pray in the Vatican – knowing full well that one party cannot be seen to say no. Whilst on route to Bethlehem (Palestine – or Occupied territories, depending on your politics) he stops the motorcade to get out and pray at a separating wall, beneath a military watchtower, demonstrating to the Palestinians a concern for their issues as well.
You know that the Pope is doing great work – when he drives the haters from their caves. This is what Rush Limbaugh, the Stupidparty’s second most successful propagandist (second to Roger Ailes) has to say about the Pope:
“This is the president citing the pope, his new best friend, because the pope is ripping America, the pope ripping capitalism. And Obama’s having an orgasm. Jeremiah Wright is beside himself. Jeremiah Wright thought he was Obama’s preacher; now pope somehow has co-opted Obama.”
It won’t be long before Rush and his minions start boycotting Italian restaurants or demanding freedom pizzas. But let us pivot from hate and ignorance back to love and respect for the facts, with Pope Francis saying:
“When we exploit Creation, we destroy the sign of God’s love for us. In destroying Creation, we are saying to God, `I don’t like it! This is not good!’ `So what do you like?’ `I like myself!’ Here, this is sin. Do you see?”
Pope Francis is saying that humanity’s destruction of the planet is a sinful act, likening it to self-idolatry. Let me repeat – to destroy the planet is a sinful act. No, the Pope is not ripping America – he is ripping the sandy foundations of the Stupidparty house, that is made of straw – and the big bad Pope has just huffed and puffed and blown that house down.
Do you see?