Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pandemics, Paedophilia and the Papacy

Aspirational and Fallible
Humans are fallible. But we are also aspirational.

We are prone to acts of incredible nastiness. And also kindness.

But I think the Pope is taking the fucking piss.

I was brought up Catholic (as I have quite frequently referred to on this blog). It can be difficult for me to separate the religion from the culture.

I remember learning about the concepts of heaven and hell, original sin, saying the rosary in school, hearing the nativity story. I was an altar boy. I had my first confession, communion and confirmation.

I am a soldier of Christ. I received the full indoctrination.

It's true you know!
But some of the stuff coming out of the Vatican is complete fucking bollocks - first up - the AIDS pandemic (it's not an epidemic).

I remember hearing and seeing a programme on TV about the official Vatican line being that condoms do not prevent AIDS.* I could barely believe what I was hearing. The pope still says that condoms could make the problem worse in Africa. He preaches abstinence and fidelity in circumstances where this is practically impossible.

Two-thirds of the global total number of people infected with HIV are in Africa.

The Pope is out of touch with reality.

Second, apart from this shit-pile, there's the stuff about paedophilia.

The 11th Commandment...
I don't think that anyone can disagree about how horrific the idea of a paedophile actually is. To most of us, we think of these people as needing a lot of help at the very least. Others feel they should be tortured and killed.

Whatever the opinion, the idea that paedophilia is - in effect - institutionalised by the Catholic Church...oh that's a whole other level of behaving like a total cunt.**

The Pope is accountable for a whole institution. He's a spiritual leader. He's a Catholic's direct line to God. His word is law (he abolished Limbo!)

He fucking knew what was going on. He was a priest. He knows what priests have to deal with. He understands what it's like to be a man.

But why isn't he being held accountable for the actions of his institution? What would happen to a Headteacher if one of the staff at their school was found to be committing paedophilia? Would it be ignored.

No of course it fucking wouldn't. All Hell would break loose.

And the best the Pope can offer is an apology?

Let's see...there have been child abuse scandals in: Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Ireland the U.S. and here. And that's only the ones we hear about. Brazilian Catholic author Paulo Coelho called for priests to be allowed to marry and for a civil law case to be pursued.

Richard Dawkins' idea of putting the Pope on trial and the leaked memo from a British civil servant are just media flak designed to distract and divert.

The fact is, the Pope is the head of an outdated institution that is completely missing the point of life in the 21st century. If the Catholic Church is to remain relevant it needs to listen and update itself rather than get stuck on religious dogma.

That's fair enough then...but related to this is what has really incensed me.

And that's the reaction of people in my cultural community.

I received, on three separate occasions, a request to sign an online petition to get the Pope to come to this country. This was created in response to another petition by the British Secular Society opposing a Papal visit.

Holy fuck don't these people think? Is their devotion to the Catholic faith that blind? Even more than their ability to use email properly? Instead of considering the opinion of who would be receiving the email, they just select everyone in their address book and hit the forward button...assuming everyone would be grateful to receive such bullshit in their inbox...allowing themselves to feel a semblance of participation in something they feel can give them and their narrow-minded friends the appearance of sounding intelligent.

Shut Your Fucking Mouth And Use Your Fucking Brain.***

At the end of it all I'm still left with the thought that humans are fallible.

But we are also aspirational.

*I'm assuming that the AIDS virus actually exists for the purposes of this post

** On a side note - how come a word for female genitalia is regarded as the most offensive in the English language?

*** This is actually the title of a song by the Wildhearts

Big up Urban75 for the pics