Friday, April 2, 2010

The End of Popery.... but not Potpourri

In fact, potpourri season is just beginning, even as Popery's prospects seem to grow shorter and darker by the day. In the not too distant future I am going to have a predictions post, because, as silly an enterprise as making prognostications can be, it's still fun. But back to The (most un-fun) Catholic Church, which strikes this pagan as being in the not so early stages of a terminal decline. It's high time really. When one considers what is known about The Church's treachery throughout history, and then factors in that which is not known-but is bubbling to the surface like so much pus on a burst blister- it's a slam dunk that eventually the deeply corrupt, nay, perverse organism that is The Catholic Church should crumble once and for all.

We seem to live in a time where immense and pernicious frauds are being unmasked. From the U.S. banking and financial system, to The Catholic Church, there is more revealed rot about than one can reckon with. For those of an astrological bent, these stresses are the sign of a new age, one whose entrance is marked by the extinction of destructive institutions of one kind or another. What a comforting thought. Having said that, I give two to one odds that Pope Ratzinger represents either the final or the penultimate Pope.

The Church, which started with one leader, said to be Christ's disciple, Peter, has survived a schism that gave rise to The Eastern Orthodox Church, a period where two Popes operated simultaneously, and The Reformation, to name a few stresses, some of which were self generated. But the seemingly never ending revelations of systematic molestation by priests of child parishioners all across the western world, complete with denials and coverups that seem to lead all the way to The Pontiff himself, may represent something of a last straw. In the meantime, the shamelessness of some number of the Catholic clergy seems to know no bounds. And on that note, may those of you who celebrate it, have a Happy Easter.

10 comments:

Debra said...

Well, Edwardo, since I get in trouble fighting in the saloon, maybe I can "fight" with you without your taking it personally ? In good sport ?
I completely disagree with you on this subject.
I will do a post in the saloon one of these days (when things cool down a bit...) about what's at stake in the pedophilia issue.
Something to get you salivating...
To me what's at stake in this issue is the transmission problem. A battle for property, if you wish, or the hearts and minds of our children.
Looking back to the 19th century, you can get a taste of what collective hysteria looks like, and just how subject to influence we really are.
Towards the end of the 19th century, hypnotism on stages and in the salons became so disruptive of the social body that it was outlawed, I think.
Because people were doing some pretty outrageous things.
So... on the pedophilia issue, I think that collective hysteria has got the better of us. And the Church, too, unfortunately.
The only pedophile I ever knew was married, and had two children... He was not in the Church.
On the other hand, war of the worlds is going on in the tussle to control our children's bodies, minds, and what they think....
And the Church is an excellent target for the many many people who are very DISAPPOINTED over the failure of the democratic ideal, you know ?
The Catholic Church has been around for about 2000 years now. Let me see... how long have you and I been around ? How long have our modern "republics" been around ? And "democracy" ?
The Catholic Church was not JUST a corrupt institution. And "it" did NOT commit many of the most heinous acts that we think it did.
How did we get these ideas ?
Because.. our "Republican" (not the party..) forefathers felt the overwhelming need to discredit and destroy the church in order to establish their OWN AGENDA. Very logical, right ?
But it's NOT because our forefathers felt the need to discredit the Church to establish THEIR agenda that WE need fall into that trap now, right ?
Over here, Régine Pernoud (now dead), a renowned medievalist, wrote a short book called "Pour en finir avec le Moyen Âge", that debunks many of our most outrageous prejudices about our ancestors, and some of our prejudices about the Church. I don't know if the book has been translated, but then, maybe you can read it in French ??

Edwardo said...

"The only pedophile I ever knew was married, and had two children... He was not in the Church."

I guess I have a few response to that, in no order of preference.

1.) How do you know that Mr. Married with kids was the "only pedophile" you knew- which, in this case, is entirely on point? Not having known any, or known that I've known any pedophiles, I must say I have noticed that, as a breed, they do go to great lengths to hide their proclivities.

2.) The fact that the one pedophile you think you knew was a "family man" doesn't for a second preclude pedophiles from, how do I put this, inhabiting all walks of life, which, clearly, they do. However, some set ups, like the Catholic Church, are clearly irresistible, for obvious reasons, and so have more than their fair share.

3.) The hysteria defense is duly noted, but I, for one, wouldn't do what you seem to be doing, which is overemphasize it. Other Christian sects, and other organized religions, which, in the main, I am no fan of, have their problems, but they do not have this particular problem, Deb.

"The Catholic Church has been around for about 2000 years now. Let me see... how long have you and I been around ? "

-Is this supposed to be "a point" because, if so, you aren't making it. Longevity, or brevity, for that matter, proves nothing.


"How long have our modern "republics" been around ? And "democracy" ? The Catholic Church was not JUST a corrupt institution.'

-This is a straw man argument as I never claimed it was JUST a corrupt institution. However, it is corrupt to a critical degree and in particularly unacceptable ways, and therein lies the rub.

"And "it" did NOT commit many of the most heinous acts that we think it did."

-Says you, and apparently a French scholar named Pernoud. Lord knows, The Church has its defenders. However, the missionary activities alone, where The Catholic Church rode herd on brutal colonization efforts in places like Mexico, Central America, and South America, have been enough to preclude a vast number of would be apologists, present company excluded, from tasking themselves with "setting the record straight."

attempter said...

Hey, the pope's doing the right thing:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/pope-forgives-molested-children,101/

The part that's not a joke is how they actually do blame the children. For the pope, for these priests, for molestors in general, it's the satanic children who seduce them.

Your prediction is in line with that of Malachi (sp?), I think.

Debra said...

Other set ups, like the school system, are also great places for pedophiles to hang out. And they do hang out in the school system. And not just the religious schools..
How do I know that this guy was the only pedophile I knew ? Well...outside of the fact that he admitted it, and not under duress (to be considered, of course, we know how confessions are sometimes obtained...)... Obviously I don't know, but this is a rather specious argument, because what can be said about all the pedophiles that we don't know about ?
How about we run back down through history and start diagnosing our ancestors, while we're at it ?
What's to stop us ? How far will we go ? Back to prehistoric times ?
This is another form that counting the angels on the head of a pin takes. (I like doing that, and you too, obviously, but not in any and every form it takes.)
Yep, longevity proves something. Our classics are still around, and come in and out of fashion regularly because there's something in them that keeps appealing to the human heart.
Among the things that Regine Pernoud says, and that I find THOUGHT PROVOKING is that in many instances, in the colonization debate, the Church, should I say.. THE PRIESTS, exerted a... RESTRAINING influence on the brutal exploitation that... the POLITICAL POWER took.
The Church is the men and the women who make it up. And those men and those women were flesh and blood people who in some circumstances gave in to the incredible temptation of power and greed, and in others, did NOT give in.
Our continual harping on the raping and pillaging of colonization does NOT take into account the positive aspects of colonization, and there WERE positive effects. (But we are a collectively depressed society these days...)
The civilization of the Sioux Indians would not have become what it was if some Hopis ? Navahos ? had not managed to capture horses from the Spanish in New Mexico and disseminate them into other Indian tribes. Originally there were NO HORSES in the New World. They were imported by the Spanish.
Once you start opening the recent history books, and dig in to the stuff that the people who are looking at sources are producing, you will realize that it is only LOGICAL that our ancestors behaved much like we do now. No worse, no better.
So... two hundred years from now, people will be looking back on US and saying "my God, look at this fantastic pedophilia collective hysteria, these people were witch hunting."
And I will agree. We ARE witch hunting.
The witches are not the same, but we are STILL witch hunting. (And there are innocent people behind bars who have been convicted of pedophilia, I hope you know this. The Nation did an article ten years ago about some poor sod who was unjustly convicted of pedophilia (not a priest, a teacher), and I believe what the Nation wrote).
I try to not give in to witch hunting.
I like my people.. flesh and blood, and not labels, not abstractions.
Why believe me ?
Régine Pernoud is NOT obscure.
Now.... in the U.S. of A, which is ONLY ONE COUNTRY OUT OF HOW MANY ?? she is not known, perhaps.
Does that make her obscure, because AMERICANS have not heard of her ?
Snort.

Edwardo said...

Deb, you argue in most peculiar ways, one of which is to put words in the mouths of those who disagree with you. You've done it twice now. The most recent example involves the following,

"Régine Pernoud is NOT obscure."

where you seem to be suggesting that I said such a thing. I didn't. It's a head scratcher, Deb.

Another Deb strategem is the propensity to compare apples to broccoli, as in the following example.

You start with this:

"The Catholic Church has been around for about 2000 years now. Let me see... how long have you and I been around"

and wind up with this:

"Yep, longevity proves something. Our classics are still around, and come in and out of fashion regularly because there's something in them that keeps appealing to the human heart."

Why not say that redwoods have been around since before humans walked upright, since, by your reasoning, we might as well (temporally speaking) compare an institution like The Catholic Church, a dynamic human institution, with a book, whose contents, whatever we may think of them, are frozen in amber.

Debra said...

Mea culpa, Edwardo, on the "obscure" issue.
That was me getting inordinately defensive as I can do sometimes. My... inferiority complex peeking through, if you like... (believe it or not).
But Edwardo.. dynamic institutions made up of flesh and blood people, in the case of the Catholic Church (and Protestant one) are FOUNDED on the Bible, which last time I checked was a book (written by flesh and blood people, I think).
Now take a look at that book.
Look how many interpretations of it there have been/are. Looks what it means to the Jews. The different sects of Christianity. Islam, even.
ALL THAT FOR ONE BOOK ?
Are you trying to tell me that its contents are set in stone ?
If they ARE, we certainly do not perceive them to be set in stone (frozen in amber..).
That BOOK has been around for a while now.
But I may be overstepping myself saying that the Catholic Church is founded on that book.
I don't know the Catholic Church all that well, granted. (But the Bible is becoming increasingly important for the people of the Catholic Church now, at any rate.)
Redwoods were not MADE by human beings.
Books ARE. Book are reinterpreted all through time. There is no one "true" interpretation of any book.
Institutions are made by human beings, too.
And they are not set in stone either.
So, I stick to my analogy.
It works for me, even if it is not perfect, granted.

Edwardo said...

Debra wrote:

"made up of flesh and blood people, in the case of the Catholic Church (and Protestant one) are FOUNDED on the Bible."

And the U.S. is supposedly founded on its Constitution, but we barely resemble a Constitutional Republic these days, ergo my comment about dynamic flesh and blood organisms.

"Are you trying to tell me that its (The Bible's) contents are set in stone ?"

In essence, yes, though clearly there have been great attempts throughout history made to "revise." The King James Bible comes to mind. The Book's contents, in the main, change very little over time, while whole new sets of people and civilizations-I use that term advisedly-dramatically alter. Having said that, where people are concerned, some things change very little if at all.

"But I may be overstepping myself saying that the Catholic Church is founded on that book.
I don't know the Catholic Church all that well, granted. (But the Bible is becoming increasingly important for the people of the Catholic Church now, at any rate.)"

If so, that makes a lot of sense to me if that trend is, in any way, about ridding oneself of 'The onerous middleman, namely The Church itself.

Debra said...

Yeah, but Edwardo, onerous middlemen are a great help in TRANSMITTING ideas.
You and me, us little ole ATOMS MAY NOT do such a great job of transmitting our ideas, even with the Internet.
Think about it...
Christianity got going in a time when there was no Internet, no mass access to the written word.
Like... an adman's dream.
While we remain addicted to sophisticated publicity strategies to sell cars, the...uh CHURCH has been around for quite a while without these strategies.
(Not now, maybe...)
Without the INSTITUTION of the Church, Jesus of Nazareth would have fallen into oblivion, in all probability.
Institutions are the pits, I agree with you.
But... NOT institutions is the pits too.
In a different way.
Like Thai says...

Edwardo said...

"Yeah, but Edwardo, onerous middlemen are a great help in TRANSMITTING ideas."

I forgot to add odious. And you can have them. They may have served a purpose in the early days getting the word out-and I am not even going to broach the question of whether the world would have been better off had they not- But, basically, middlemen are for people who don't want to do the work themselves whether it's real estate or religion.

Debra said...

Oh, Edwardo...
I don't think that you can see THE EXTENT to which the PROTESTANT work ethic (!!!) of your ancestors enters into the prejudice that you just replied.
And we could go on about how the lovely idea of "grace" that the Protestants developed to try to get out of the Catholic rut of "buying salvation with money or good deeds", was deviated from its original trajectory.
Because... when you get right down to it, the greatest obstacles for making a BEAUTIFUL WORLD where we could be laughing, smiling, enjoying ourselves are... OUR SMOTHERING FEAR AND INSECURITY THAT SOMEHOW WE ARE NOT UP FOR THE TASK.
Somehow, we are just NOT GOOD ENOUGH to bring this about. IN OUR OWN MINDS. We have no faith in ourselves.
So much waste, Edwardo.
And... Jesus of Nazareth saw this acutely. Very acutely...