Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farewell the Humble Pilgrim

John Wayne, meet Pope Benedict… because he’s just a humble pilgrim now. Well, not really, but damn, that is one hell of an awesome pitch, right?

If Benedict was, in fact, the ‘humble pilgrim’ he claims now to be, he would not have been helicoptered off to Gandolfo Castle as his ‘last’ public image. He would not insist on wearing the white garb of his office, those most holy robes exclusive to the office of Pope. Do I expect that he would head down to Africa, to be a missionary to the people there? No, and that’s a good thing for the people of Africa. They need a few breaks to go their way… the Catholic Church and their voodooistic insistence that the use of condom will put you on the express train to hell has already taken enough of a toll on those people. That anyone who claims to represent God on earth could possible watch impassively while thousands of people contract AIDS every day, all of which could be prevented by the use of a small piece of latex that costs two cents to make, is totally unfathomable. Yet it is this, among other things, that high-geared Mother Teresa to sainthood. Go figure. Yes, she fed the poor. Perhaps if they were given even a remote chance of not having to face a slow agonising death from HIV, then maybe they might have been able to help create food, instead of needing constant assistance, their families needing constant assistance, their poor, starving, orphaned, dying children needing constant assistance. Talk about your holy make-work projects. A condom… Satan’s tool, yet it could save millions of lives. But, I digress.

The Pope is going to retire into humble oblivion… where he will still be addressed with the lofty title of His Holiness. Yeah, there ain’t no ego in that, is there. How much more pilgrimish can he possibly hope to be? He will retire, living his life out in Vatican City… where all the poor, humble pilgrims hang out. More importantly, it’s where he will always have immunity from the law, and if you don’t believe that is the driving force to all of this early retirement brouhaha, you really have been drinking too much of the koolaid.

His spokesmen scream with outrage when someone speculates about what is really happening. They accuse the media of putting political spin on the upcoming conclave… because we are supposed to believe that there are no politics involved. It’s rather insulting. Of course the position is political. That’s ALL it is. It is the politics of God, and the catholic church is one of the best at playing this game. If it was about holy vision, if it was about doing God’s work, there would be NO issue of sexual abuse because it would have been dealt with according to the laws of the people, because all people would be answerable for what they do, and no one who serves God would ever knowingly put a child at risk. There would be no issue of not being able to use a credit card to purchase a tchotsky in Vatican City, because there would be no hint of money laundering. There would be no exclusion of women, and men would be allowed to be married, to rejoice in the gifts that God gives to each of us, the most primary and important being the gift of love. There would be no condemnation of gays or Jews or anyone else. How can there be, if you are the true representative of God, who loves us all?

If the catholic church was about God, it would sell its billions of dollars of art to help feed and house those in needs. The Pope, as head of this church that is really about God, would not care about the ring, the red freaking shoes, the white and gold trappings. None of that would matter, because his office wouldn’t be political. There would be no whispered stories about the prostitution ring being run out of the Vatican, or the acolytes who are forced into performing for the carnal satisfaction of those higher up, because there would be no political influence that creates the higher-ups who abuse their power. If the office of Pope was about God, and not politics, when the first allegations about the murder of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, were mentioned, it would have been openly and transparently investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice, because that is what you do when you so love and respect the people in your community. No, being Pope has NOTHING to do with God, and EVERYTHING to do with politics of the church, of maintaining a ‘Good Old Boys’ club that dabbles in every sort of questionable activity and does so with impunity AND reckless abandon. If it was about God, Pope John Paul I would never have been murdered in the first place, but… wait… perhaps he was the one who was going to make it about God, and not about the other bullshit. More’s the pity.

I will go one step further though, with regard to Cardinal Ratzinger’s hasty departure. We will, at some point in the near future, discover the true reason. It will be about scandal, it will be ugly, and it will land squarely on this Ratzinger’s plate. It will be about innocent victims and horrible pain inflicted on others. How can it not be? He knew about the sexual abuse and he worked to cover it. He has known about the prostitution rings, the abuse, the harm and deaths that have resulted from his decisions regarding condoms, the hatred caused by his words and positions, his misogyny and disrespect. None of this, though, is enough to make the man step down… the man who is still so concerned with his political posturing that he cannot truly be a humble priest. A humble priest would be devoured by what he knows is coming up, and that would never do, not for this man. He needs the protection. It might be word about the murder of a pope that he at the very least was aware of, the destruction of evidence of that crime, or the perpetration of yet more crimes, but something more is coming. Mark my words… that whop-whop-whop of the rotors will not be the last news clip we will see of Cardinal Ratzinger.

John Wayne, up there in that great round-up in the sky, rest easy. Cardinal Ratzinger is one faux pilgrim you will not have to worry about.