Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Black Smoke, White Smoke

On the other hand, perhaps it was a good idea not getting the Vienna Boys' Choir to perform for the conclave...

The Vienna Boys' Choir was rather thrilled at the exclusion


With the retirement of Pope Benedict, following the example of the Emperor Diocletian and going off to tend a vegetable garden, the Catholic Church is at a crossroads again–namely, how to look like they’re dealing with the problem of priestly and episcopal pederasty while selecting in the conclave of the College of Cardinals a colleague who tacitly condoned the problem by doing nothing about it. One thing for certain–he will be from the conservative wing of the Church in order to complete the return of Catholicism to the 19th century after Vatican II dragged it, protesting and screaming, into the 20th century. Ahhh, decisions, decisions. God forbid we have another Pope like John XXIII who’d actually done things like save Jews in the Holocaust, visit a prison on the 2nd day of his Papacy, and had a predilection for sneaking out of the Vatican to talk to people and find out what they thought.

Father Roncalli (John’s real name) was no saint–and won’t be if the Church has anything to say about it. But he was probably the closest pope to one in the last few centuries. His stance to pederasty was pretty clear–and at the same time muddled. On the one hand, he expressly taught that those seminarians who showed a tendency to homosexuality and pederasty were to be barred from ordination. That was back in 1961 and the world’s attitude about homosexuality has been thoroughly revised. Given the misunderstanding of the time, the connection between the two is understandable since the greater bulk of priestly crimes of this type have been with boys rather than girls.

On the other hand, there is a document from 1962 issued under Pope John’s seal that instructs that the investigation of cases involving “‘worst crime’, described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with ‘youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)’” to be dealt with in absolute secrecy. While the penalties for priests involve suspension from celebration of the sacraments through defrocking, (which are not mentioned in the news article but can be found in the linked pdf) nonetheless, there you have the paradox in a nutshell. The horrible nature of the crime is admitted, yet the door is opened to the cover-ups that have exploded in the last 20 years.

My bet is that if John XXIII knew how his instructions would be used to justify the cover-ups, he would have made sure that the cover-up of crimes was dealt with with equal severity. At least, one hopes.

PS: I hate Daylight Saving Time.

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Who’d'a Thunk The Belgians Would Be So Creative?

Young Frankenstein homage, exhuming the Belgian archbishop with ties to the child abuse scandal..

The Belgians thought it would be better to hire local labor to exhume the Cardinal...

Well, it has been an eventful week. General MacArthur shot his mouth off again to the press and Harry Truman was forced to sack him. Oooops, I mean General McChrystal shot his mouth off to a reporter from Rolling Stone and Obama, after months of McChrystal’s badmouthing and leaking, was finally forced into firing him. McChrystal’s boss and predecessor, General Petraeus, will take over operations in Afghanistan that, suprise! surprise! we’ve been told will probably take even longer. After all, those 50 al-Qaeda in the mountains need to be kept from rejoining the rest of their crew … in PAKISTAN. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re trying to keep out the Taliban too so we can keep our friend Karzai in power–who, it has been speculated, has already joined the Taliban. Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows, but the United States will continue to waste money and troops there because we won’t accept defeat in a war that lost its meaning 5 years ago.

Anyway, on to the real story…no, not the one about Fox and Friends wondering what that BP robot was thinking when it accidentally knocked the cap off the Gulf gusher–Jon Stewart already handled that. Hey, guys, The Terminator was just a MOVIE. No, I’m talking about the latest development in the ongoing story of Churchly pederasty. Holy Hercule Poirot! The Belgian fuzz raided church offices to seize evidence about priestly child abuse and its coverup. You gotta hand it to those Belgians. They ain’t sitting on their hands with this one. But the icing on the cake was the opening of two Cardinal’s tombs–what, did they think they were going to catch them in a smoking erection? Evidently, somebody thought that evidence might have been buried with the prelates, instead of being burned like anyone with half a mind would have done. On the other hand, the Church is full of bureaucrats, better photocopy those papers before you burn them, just in case we need them again!

While giving the Belgian police high marks for energy, initiative and creativity, I have to ask what they were smoking. Did someone read/watch The Da Vinci Code one too many times? How about Young Frankenstein? In any case, Our Holy Father is in a state of Righteous Dudgeon–something he forgot about doing while HE was in charge of investigating priestly child abuse–How DARE they act like the Church was full of bankers? I mean, criminals! “Huff! Huff!” he huffed, “Thou Shalt Not Hear the end of this!” And the former Hitlerjugend member from Bavaria (in what was to become WEST Germany) called the Belgian cops worse than Communists!

The Belgian church is now thinking of suing the Belgian police if the Jesuits can torture out a legal basis for the suit.

Finally, as we heard this morning. Robert Byrd, longest serving Senator in US history, passed away last night. Byrd was a living example that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, having turned from a member of the KKK to one of the most reliably liberal members of the Senate. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family, the Senate and the people of West Virginia.

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