Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale reports that Pope Francis has a brain tumor, which was diagnosed recently.
Well, that would explain a lot of things.
The Vatican promptly dismissed the report, characterizing it as "gravely irresponsible and unworthy of attention," which does not mean untrue. The only rebuttal it could offer was to point out that "the Pope is carrying out his very intense activity in a totally normal way."
The denial may be the confirmation.
In ancient times (and perhaps even today since everything that happens in a conclave must be kept secret under threat of excommunication), a pope had to submit to a digital examination of his testicles before his election was declared valid because eunuchs were excluded from the clergy. [Deut 23: "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD."] This ceremony also insured that no female (or no female after "Pope Joan") would ever be elected pope (again).
Since it is obviously more important that a pope should have a fully working brain than the right reproductive organs in good order, perhaps all future candidates should be required to undergo a brain scan before assuming office.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
It hadn't occurred to me before, but now I believe that I have discerned the real reason for Pope Francis' trip to Cuba. He went there, like every left-wing Latin American politico, to consult with Fidel Castro about how best to consolidate his power and eliminate all vestiges of democratic discourse within the Church. Or, to put it simply, Francis wanted to learn how to be like Fidel, and how better than at the feet of the master?
Here's the proof:
Pope Francis is now effectively at war with the Vatican. If he wins, the Catholic Church could fall apart
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Pope Francis has issued a public apology for everything and anything that he has done wrong during his disastrous two-year pontificate. He has not shown contrition, however, for his fawning embrace of the Castro brothers, his refusal to meet with Cuba's political prisoners and human rights activists, or his role in initiating a dialogue between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro which led to the "normalization" of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Communist Cuba as well as the pogrom unleashed in its wake against Cuba's dissidents, which the pope witnessed himself with absolute indifference and subsequent denial during his recent trip to the island. Francis' ultimate goal and greatest sin in the offing — the lifting of the trade embargo — will insure the survival of the Castro dynasty in perpetuity with the U.S. as its co-signer and accomplice. In reconciling good and evil, Francis has done more than Christ himself wanted or presumed to do. So much for his vaunted "humility," not to mention his doctrinal purity.
Barack Obama is infamous for apologizing in the name of the U.S. for "historical wrongs" which other presidents allegedly committed, which is just another way of cutting them down a few pegs and bringing them closer to his level. The last three popes, and John Paul II in particular, have also skewered their predecessors for not being 21st century men in the 16th century. Francis stands alone, however, in his eagerness to prove his "humility" by acknowledging just what a mess he has made of everything, except as a pimp for the world's oldest dictatorship.
Sunday, October 04, 2015
Before meeting with Kim Davis, the four times married and three times divorced champion of traditional marriage, the pope granted a private audience — a "real audience" as the papal spokesman called it — to former student Obdulio "Yayo" Grassi and his Indonesian boyfriend Iwan Bagus, who have been together for 19 years, since Mr. Grassi, now 67, was 48; and Mr. Bagus, now 33, was ... you do the math. The media, of course, did not do the math. This was not just a same-sex couple but something which most people would find far more sinister and which the pope himself condemned at another venue in the harshest words he used during his trip to the U.S.
What could be more Borgian, and, at the same time, worthier of this pope, who blesses with the left hand what he condemns with the right, than to embrace in the span of 24 hours a gay couple and the scourge of gay couples? And what better defines American liberals than taking umbrage at the pope for following traditional Catholic teaching and praising him when he acts like a Unitarian Universalist? It's not a battle for the souls of the faithful anymore. The battle now is for the mind and heart of the pope. The pope appears to know this and consciously aspires to be all things to all men and nothing in particular.
In Cuba, Pope Francis gave no indication of divided loyalties. He stood with Fidel and Raúl Castro and with nobody else.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
"I spent a little time Wednesday night examining my conscience, as we used to say around the ol' confessional, as regards the meeting between Papa Francesco and noted civic layabout Kim Davis. This contemplation was prompted by two things: first, an e-conversation I had with someone who had been part of the papal travelling party and second, the appearance of E. J. Dionne on Lawrence O'Donnell's show on MSNBC. According to the first person, there were a great number of people during the pope's tour who were simply hustled in and out for informal private audiences. According to Dionne, the meeting between Davis and the pope was brokered by Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the papal nuncio to the United States at whose residence the pope stayed during his time in Washington, which is when the meeting took place. Together, these facts set off my Spidey Sense about Vatican chicanery.
"Before we continue, let us stipulate a few things. First of all, let us stipulate that there are more than a few members of the Church's permanent bureaucracy, both within the Clan Of The Red Beanie and without, who are not happy that this gentleman got elected Pope, and who are not happy with what he's done and said since he was. Second, let us stipulate that many members of this group are loyal to both former pope Josef Ratzinger and, through him, to the memory (and to what they perceive as the legacy) of John Paul II who, for good and ill, had a much different idea of how to wield a papacy than Papa Francesco does. Third, let us stipulate that this opposition to the current pope has been active and vocal, to say nothing of paranoid. Finally, let us stipulate that, for over 2000 years, the Vatican has been a hotbed of intrigue, betrayal, and sanctified ratfcking on a very high scale. (It also has been a hotbed of, well, hot beds, but that's neither here nor there at the moment.)" —Charles P. Pierce, "Was the Pope Actually Swindled into Meeting Kim Davis?" on Esquire.com, October 1, 2015
Try to swallow the spoiled style, reeking with various bacteria, and consider what Mr. Pierce is actually saying. No, not that Pope Francis is an addle-brained imbecile at the mercy of Ratzinger's minions (not that we are disputing that premise). For our purposes it is far more interesting that there was allegedly a revolving door at the papal nuncio's Washington residence through which "a great number of people ... were simply hustled in and out for informal private audiences" with the pope: Kim Davis, the thrice-divorced champion of the sanctity of marriage, being just one in a long line of lay supplicants to meet with the pope and receive his blessing.
In Cuba, the only "lay supplicant" with whom the pope deigned to meet was Fidel Castro. The pope specifically excluded Cuban political prisoners and human rights activists from his sight and presence, and even admitted as much to reporters on the flight from Santiago de Cuba to Washington:
"[F]irst, it was very clear that I was not going to give audiences because not only the dissidents asked for audiences, but also audiences [were requested] from other sectors, including from the chief of state. And, no, I am on a visit to a nation, and just that. I know that I hadn’t planned any audience with the dissidents or the others."
His trip, Francis said, was not political and neither was he himself political. In Cuba, at least. In his address to a joint session of Congress, the mask came off: the pope confessed himself to be a political animal since his boyhood days at his grandmother's knee. And he proved that he still was when he politicized his every action in this country, seeking to impress the left while not completely alienating the right — a challenge for the most deft of politicians let alone for the most daft of popes (My God, Pierce's style is contagious!).
The Vatican acknowledged today that “Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”
What distinguishes a "real audience" from an unreal audience?
In any case, no Cuban was granted a "real audience" or even an "unreal audience" with the pope except Fidel Castro, and in his case the pope not only solicited the audience but actually went to Castro's home to meet him.
As for "the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability," it was conspicuous by its absence when it came to meeting with Cubans whose last name was not Castro.
"I am not completely up-to-date on the problems facing Cuba [when asked by an Italian reporter to assess the last 40 years (1958-1998) of Cuban history]. I am still studying, but according to the news and what the [Cuban] bishops have told me, there has been progress. For example, in the extension of education and in the area of health care. I am sure that this is in fact so, because Marx's followers did the same everywhere, including the Soviet bloc. From that perspective there has been progress in the means of delivering those services; but as refers to the human being, his rights as an individual, there has probably been less progress. That is where progress remains to be made. We live caught between two opposed ideologies: the Communist or Marxist and the liberal or individualistic. We must search for and find a just solution [i.e. third way]" — John Paul II, accepting the pernicious myth of social progress under Communism while rejecting individualism as the only means to obtain both freedom and social justice, quoted in Ibid.
“I want to express the interest with which I observe the determination of the Cuban authorities to maintain and develop the achievements made in the fields of health care, education at its various levels, and culture in its different expressions. The Holy See believes that by guaranteeing these conditions of human existence [you] erect some of the pillars of the building of peace, which is not only the absence of war but also the ability to enjoy an integral human promotion of the health and harmonic growth of the body and spirit of all the members of a society.”
“For its part, Cuba distinguishes itself for its spirit of solidarity, made evident by the shipment of personnel and material resources to satisfy the basic necessities of several populations in cases of natural calamities, conflicts or poverty. The Church's Social Doctrine has developed much in recent years, precisely to illuminate the situations that require that dimension of solidarity in the pursuit of justice and truth.” — John Paul II, praising Cuban "internationalism" and the fraudulent "achievements" of the Castro dictatorship as "pillars of peace," at the presentation of the credentials of Raúl Roa Kouri as the regime's ambassador to the Vatican, January 8, 2005
Pope John Paul II and "Ché" Guevara Honored in One Monument
Notable and Still Unforgettable: Pope John Paul II Praises "Ché" Guevara