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Feb 11 2013

Bye bye popey

Michael Nugent gives ten reasons to be pleased that Ratzinger is hanging up his red shoes.

One, because of the Vatican’s (ridiculous) international clout.

Because the UN takes most decisions by consensus, the Holy See has been able to frustrate negotiations on population, contraception, reproductive health care and women’s rights. And Pope Benedict has ensured that the Holy See’s work at the United Nations is based on his own conservative theology.

Four, his church claims that atheists are not fully human.

The Catholic Church makes a distinction between being human and being fully human, and it does not consider atheists to be fully human. It believes that being fully human requires a relationship with its imaginary God, and that by excluding this from our philosophy we are not fully human. Most of the time they phrase it subtly, by saying that you require religious faith to be fully human, and sometimes they let the mask slip and explicitly say that atheists are not fully human.

Funny idea, isn’t it. To be “fully” human you have to subscribe to and bend the knee to a non-human imaginary other-world being. If you accept that you’re a human among humans and have no access to other-world beings, you’re less than “fully” human.

Ten, he silences priests who want a more democratic Church.

In Ireland, the Vatican under Pope Benedict has silenced several priests, including Sean Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney and Brian D’Arcy. Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who is studying for a doctorate in canon law at Rome’s Gregorian University, has described this development as dreadful. At the launch of her book ‘Quo vadis: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law’, she said that:

“There is a fear at the centre [Rome] of how they can cope with these voices”

She said that the Vatican was dealing with dissent by demanding obedience, and that this demand:

“was translated into a really, really dangerous silence where children suffered abominably”.

In a comment I suggested an eleventh: telling people in Africa not to use condoms. I think that’s the worst thing. I had a discussion about this with a woman in South Africa on Twitter, and we feel exactly alike. (Maybe I should RT her tweets to the pope, now that he’s on Twitter. He hasn’t retired yet.)

That was just a sample, as you’ll have figured out from the numbers. Read the whole thing.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    STH

    The problem is, I don’t see any reason to believe that any of that will change with the next Pope. I understand all the cardinals who will be voting were put into their positions by Benedict or John Paul, so I don’t expect any big policy changes anytime soon.

  2. 2
    Tim Harris

    Da ratz is fleeing da s(t)inking ship ob state dat is da Battycan…

    Sorry about that. In an odd mood this morning….

  3. 3
    Roger

    Not fully human? What, is the communion wafer/wine some kind of half-witted attempt at a gom jabbar? “Eat ye of this body and blood, and if ye be not fully human, ye shall surely die in that hour!”

  4. 4
    Kimpatsu

    The “not fully human” argument is fascinating, because he’s saying 137 million Japanese, 1.4 billion Chinese, and 70+ million Koreans aren’t human. That sounds a tad racist to me.

  5. 5
    Brian E

    I was sure Darth Vader killed Emperor Palpatine, yet it appears he’s abdicating in favour of a yet to be elected Grand Moff……

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    The Catholic Church makes a distinction between being human and being fully human…

    And yet they insist that all zygotes are fully human persons.

    Where along the line does a former fetus lose that fullness?

  7. 7
    Marcus Ranum

    The “not fully human” argument is fascinating, because he’s saying 137 million Japanese, 1.4 billion Chinese, and 70+ million Koreans aren’t human. That sounds a tad racist to me.

    No, see, because he’s the pope he can’t be racist when he’s talking about a sectarian issue. It’s probably more racist to assume that Japanese are buddhist, or Chinese are buddhist or taoist or whatever other assumption you appear to be making.

    The way to avoid making that comparison racist is to maintain an apples-to-apples comparison that doesn’t equate race to religion. So a fixed version of your comment might read: ” … saying that 2 billion buddhists aren’t human …”

  8. 8
    Jafafa Hots

    I heard he was forced to resign in disgrace when it was discovered he hadn’t been molesting children.

    (It’s ok if that’s considered over the line and needs to be deleted. I just hadda say it, bitter person that I am.)

  9. 9
    Bruce Gorton

    12: Under him the church pushed doctors into refusing to perform medically necessary abortions (such as in ectopic pregnancies), dooming women in some cases to painful, horrifying deaths. In one case his church even excommunicated doctors who performed an abortion on a nine year old who had been impregnated by her rapist step-father.

  10. 10
    Aratina Cage

    I agree the anti-condom pronouncement is probably the worst thing he’s done as pope, but there is really so much to choose from. Pope Palpatine has done a lot of harm to people in this world and not a single good thing that I can think of. Another act of his that really sickened me was seeing his cronies go after the more progressive elements of the Catholic Church, like the nuns who weren’t being anti-gay enough according to the men running the organization.

  11. 11
    paulirvine

    I posted a very similar No 11 to yours…only on Facebook. Unfortunately, I don’t see the church’s stance on contraception changing any time soon regardless of who fills the red shoes.

  12. 12
    Bruce Gorton

    Here are my top six reasons I am happy he resigned.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2013/02/12/top-six-reasons-why-i-am-happy-the-pope-has-resigned-gallery

  13. 13
    sailor1031

    Don’t worry; they’ll get another pope and it’ll be worse than Ratty! Whoever is really in control at RCC Inc corporate HQ obviously has a candidate in mind and it’s time for the caretaker ratcatcher to go. Let’s just hope it isn’t that snake Ouellet. There’s a certain really nasty je ne sais quoi about conservative bishops from Quebc – I think because they’ve never accepted the quiet revolution.

  14. 14
    sunny

    Just saw the following story:

    Zen Groups Distressed by Accusations Against Teacher

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/asia/zen-buddhists-roiled-by-accusations-against-teacher.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&pagewanted=all

  15. 15
    Blondin

    A good Catholic knows when to pull out.

  16. 16
    theobromine

    Well, I do have tremendous respect for Michael Nugent, but I see no reason to be happy that this pope has resigned since (echoing several other commenters), I see no reason to expect the new pope to be any better. Also, I’m undecided if it would be better to have an obviously nasty pope who might properly demonstrate the core values of the Catholic Church (i.e. to control people and collect money) in such a way that more people would choose to leave, as opposed to a “kinder gentler” pope who would give hope to the liberals (both Catholics and in the rest of Christendom).

    (and, by the way, happy Darwin Day, everyone!)

  17. 17
    Natasha

    While I’m glad pope Benny is gone I figure the fix is in and the new younger and more fascist pope is already lined up. Nothing is going to really change as the conservatives control the collage of cardinals.

  18. 18
    rnilsson

    Apparently, Thor had some input in this matter. We Swedes have bad puns about lightning conductors (åskledare; thunder leaders) and zippers (blixtlås; flash lock). Now there is no such leader …
    FLASH: Here is a bit of video from our leading tabloid (?)

  19. 19
    Paul W.

    I have to be suspicious that the real reason Ratzinger is resigning is that he expects new scandalous and even more damning revelations, likely specifically about him—probably about his involvement in the systematic pedophilia coverups. That would be good.

    I also predict that the next pope will be somebody just as bad, who knows where the all the bodies are buried. The college of Cardinals is too corrupt complicit and committed to ass-covering to elect anybody even a little bit sincerely reformist. That’s not so good.

    I would guess that the College of Cardinals is as corrupt in a certain crucial way as any other organized criminal conspiracy—you can’t even get in if you aren’t already very guilty, such that they have something major that they can hold over you as insurance against betrayal. You just can’t trust anybody who isn’t about as dirty as you are. And within such a corrupt system, the leaders are usually among the worst, the “insiders” who have the knowledge that is power over others. That’s an almost inevitable dynamic in criminal organizations.

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