Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Frank!

The first clue was the white smoke. Then the cardinals all paraded out of the Sistine Chapel wearing little "I voted" buttons. The choice was Jorge Borgoglio of Argentina, a decision nobody predicted. As I've been saying for more than eight years: Don't trust Diebold.

The new Pope is a Jesuit. They're the smart ones, and they're also the ones most likely to cause the Alex Jonesian paranoids to go into full-body conspiragasm. That I dig. Even better, the new Pope took the name Francis I as a nod toward St. Francis, the epitome of humility and poverty.

I'll probably have more to say about Things Catholic a little later. Right now, let me express a view that many of you will consider unfathomable: The Pope isn't important.

Even within the Church, he isn't nearly as important as the news media will have you believe.

Both traditionalist Catholics and fervent anti-Catholics conspire to promote silly ultra-Montanist fantasies which picture the Pope as an all-powerful temporal leader -- a prince, a sultan, an emperor, Darth Vader, the Queen of the Borgs, the ultimate programmer of the robot factory. Bullshit. All bullshit. People keep telling me: "But...but...you can't say the Pope unimportant. He has HIS OWN STATE!" Yeah, and that state is about one-third the size of the Los Angeles Zoo. Vatican City can't even provide its own electricity and garbage pick up. The Church isn't rich, despite popular fantasies.

My point is this: We no longer live in medieval times, and in today's world, nothing the Holy Father says can truly affect the laws of any country (other than Vatican City, which is really just a big art museum). I know that the previous sentence will infuriate people both inside and outside of the Church Everyone Loves to Hate, but it's true, and your hallucinations to the contrary simply do not matter.

The Pope's main job is to keep the world's Catholics on the same page theologically, a task at which all recent popes have failed miserably. You'll find far more rigor, and far less tolerance for novelty, among the Southern Baptists. The Catholic Church has liberal and conservative wings, while the Baptists are all conservatism, all the time.

Take, for example, the issue of keeping abortion legal in the United States: Catholics are split nearly 50-50, the same split we see in the country as a whole, give or take a few percentage points. Meanwhile, nearly all Baptists are anti-abortion. Yet when advocates of legalized abortion want to screech against the malign influence of religion, which denomination do they target for special hatred? Which denomination do they talk about as if it were An Extremely Powerful Entity foisting unwanted dogmas on everyone else? You got it: The Church Everyone Loves to Hate. That's because anti-Catholic fantasies are an acceptable form of bigotry.

Pope Francis looks to be quite conservative. Don't expect any changes when it comes to clerical celibacy or the ordination of women. Besides, even if Francis I were disposed toward liberalism, the Pope's personal opinions have little significance, because he has very little room to maneuver. Believe it or not, the leader is manacled by the laity. In the Catholic Church, as in American politics, conservatives gain the upper hand by constantly threatening to revolt or to secede. The Church's conservative wing prevails because the long-simmering sedevacantist rebellion scares the Vatican hierarchy, while the snarlings and sneerings of outsiders or disaffected liberals pose no threat whatsoever.

Liberals who have drifted away from the Church won't drift back if the rules are changed to allow (for example) the ordination of women. Liberal ex-Catlicks may say they'll come back, but they won't, and everyone knows that they won't. On the other hand, allowing the ordination of women would cause the conservatives to scream and yowl and exit en masse. They'll find new homes within those ultra-right-wing sedevacantist enclaves -- the wacky breakaway churches that gave us Mel Gibson -- and pretty soon sedevacantism will become more popular (and infinitely more dangerous) than anything offered by the "official" Church in Rome.

We've seen the same pattern elsewhere. A similar progression happened within the Nation of Islam, when Farrakhan's ultra-conservative splinter group became far more popular than the more "bourgeois" Nation run by Elijah Muhammed's son. (Most people don't know that Farrakhan was not the chosen successor.) In the Protestant world, ultra-conservative fundamentalist churches -- once considered fringe -- became extremely popular during the '70s and '80s by preaching Hellfire, creationism, political paranoia and Apocalypse-any-day-now. Meanwhile, mainline Protestant denominations suffered from Empty Pew Syndrome. 

So you should expect the Catholic Church to change at a glacial pace, if it changes at all. Does that situation bug you? Then do as I do and don't attend services in a Catholic Church. Problem solved.

As I said: The Pope has no real power. The Church is a purely voluntary association. No-one has a gun to his or her head. Yes, I know that many of you want to pretend otherwise. That's because many of you are delusional haters.

Because I know that certain topics cause certain knees to jerk in certain ways, I can guess what you're dying to tell me right now. And that's the problem: I can guess every word of it. After the age of 50, one puts a lot of effort into avoiding discussions that one has had a zillion times in the past. So don't expect me to publish any comments filled with cliches (or puerile ad hominem attacks). Disagreement is fine, but say something new. Astonish me.

(Also, please do me the honor of responding to what I've actually written, as opposed to what you imagine I've written.)

Otherwise, read Roger Ebert's piece here. It's the only intelligent thing I've recently read about the faith -- by a man who no longer seems to have much in the way of faith.
Comments:
Catholic congregations may be split on abortion but the Bishops that have Catholic Senators and Representatives ears are not. Eg my Senator Bob Casey Jr and his dad the late Bob Casey Sr former governor of PA. Look at the Georgetown University health insurance coverage flap on birth control. Obama's (sorta) position on it gave the pub-tards ammo to attack all Democrats as baby killers. Those attacks probably will peel away some vote in 2014 and 2016.

Funny thing about Obama, the Pub-tards think he's a Socialist Democrat and so do the O-bots.
 
Wow, interesting Ebert article, thanks. I agree with you on the "acceptable bigotry" which has long infuriated this atheist. I had to turn off the nauseating news-stream on MSM.

But I'm fascinated by the lure Ebert explains, especially since one of my dearest friends, distressing to me, returned to the Church after confronting the priest who abused him as a child. There is much we need to learn about this need for ceremony.

 
I don't agree with a lot in this post, but I do appreciate the following prediction of a major split in the church:

"pretty soon sedevacantism will become more popular (and infinitely more dangerous) than anything offered by the 'official' Church in Rome."

Not that I would put it like that.

Will Ratzinger keep the Castel Gondolfo?

I'm just askin'. Like everyone else I've read about the plan for him to go and live in a convent in the Vatican, cf Michelle Martin in Malonne, once the workmen have finished the wallpapering. I'll believe that when I see it.

"Vatican City can't even provide its own electricity and garbage pick up. The Church isn't rich, despite popular fantasies."

The first sentence provides hardly any support for the second.

"As I said: The Pope has no real power. The Church is a purely voluntary association. No-one has a gun to his or her head. Yes, I know that many of you want to pretend otherwise. That's because many of you are delusional haters."

God almighty, Joe!! Your conditioning is showing! You remind me of an agnostic lapsed Catholic I used to know, who was reasonable on religious issues until someone who wasn't raised Catholic talked about Vatican banking scandals, when she would say "You would say that, wouldn't you?"

"So don't expect me to publish any comments filled with cliches (or puerile ad hominem attacks). Disagreement is fine, but say something new. Astonish me."

ROFL!

Anti-conspiracists' knees jerk too! :-)

I reckon the fact that Bergoglio's very short accession speech contained a reference to himself as a man "from almost the end of the world" seems pretty remarkable.

Oh no, wait a minute, that's a standard way of referring to Buenos Aires in Italy? Is it hell?!
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I was never conditioned by anyone, b. My father was a scientist and my mother an irreligious hedonist. I am the perpetual square peg that everyone feels obligated to force into various round holes.

You are the one who has been brainwashed. Reglious bigotry is in the Brit bloodstream. Sort of like the hypocritical BBC continually harping on the Church for enabling pedophiles -- even after the Jimmy Saville scandal!

(Not to mention that other BBC pedophilia scandal which resulted in the one occasion when a Cannonfire post was yanked off the internet by Google...)

By the way, among that fabled lost Cannon library (mentioned in an earlier post) was just about every book about the Vatican banking scandal published in English. So don't think you can take me to school on THAT score.

You should take a closer look at "In God's Name," by David Yallop. He would always contrive to make incidents in which the Church was ripped off sound like incidents in which the Church did the ripping off.

Ah, the Brits. They just can't help themselves.

You never answered a question that I once posed to you. Are British children taught in school about British responsibility for the Irish famine and evictions, which killed millions? Are British kids made to feel appropriately guilty for the sins of their ancestors, the way white American wkids are taught to feel the full responsibility of slavery and the massacres of the Native Americans?

I suspect that British schoolbooks treat that history the way Japanese schoolbooks treat the Rape of Nanking...
 
By the way, b: Why on earth would you CARE about the Castle Gandolfo and who lives in it? Do you own it? Was it purchased with your tax dollars? Is it any of your business?

That's just one example of the freaky way the British (otherwise the most reasonable of peoples) start to think when it comes to Catholicism...
 
"Catholic congregations may be split on abortion but the Bishops that have Catholic Senators and Representatives ears are not. Eg my Senator Bob Casey Jr and his dad the late Bob Casey Sr former governor of PA. Look at the Georgetown University health insurance coverage flap on birth control."

Pols listen to numbers -- numbers of dollars, numbers of votes, numbers of angry letters, etc. What do the numbers tell us about attitudes toward abortion?

The most Catholic states in the union are places like Massachusetts, Marytland, NJ, and so forth. Abortion clinics are pretty easy to find in those places. Not so easy in southern states. If Roe-v-Wade is ever struck down, abortion will be a state-by-state law, and people from Southern Baptist territory will be driving into Catlick territory to get the job done.

So let's not kid ourselves.
 
Opus Dei would never allow a Liberation Theology Jesuit into the Popeseat.

BTW; Joseph; Did you know that the etymology of 'Francis' is Frenchman?

Oh, those quatrains !

Ben
 
My father is agnostic. But my mother is dedicated to her parish. She never utters the "a" word, has not mentioned her opinion of gay marriage and has had only two children.

I've tried my father's religion at times to the disappointment of his loving wife (my mom). Some how once adrift I always return for the solace of (some) of its melody, ritual, pomp, and hope of a mythical, once almighty, corporal power. I'm a Joseph Campbell Catholic. Probably the worst kind of Catholic. So you're right, for the most part, the Pope doesn't matter. At least not to me. But someone needs to be bank president of the bake sale.

The grand clerics of the day in most religions don't really matter to the majority of members. It's the spiritual transcendence in one's heart and self that do. Plus taking the Eucharist is an interestingly uplifting communal and tribal experience. - US Interloper
 
More Women have been excommunicated from Catholicism than Practicing Pedophile Priests.
 
final part

Another question I recall, regarding Victor Ostrovsky - yep, I've read his two books, although I skim-read the bits about his sexual exploits. His work is surely aimed at more than one market.

I care about the Castel Gondolfo because I like to look for what's behind certain media stories, in order to help me and other people build up critical skills at thinking for ourselves, to help dent and erode the power of the official monologue. Successful predictions work well. In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if Ratzinger keeps that building. That would hook up with a 'two popes' scenario. Now that the Jesuits have seized the papacy, a split in the church is inevitable. He should, of course, employ reliable coffee-tasters. But maybe it's not my business, whom he employs.

My critical activity is not based on a self-perception as a citizen, on 'where my tax money goes'.

You mention how Catholicism is seen in Britain, which is a big and interesting subject.

As is how it is seen in the US. Interesting how the Catholic hierarchy plays a major role in all five of Dan Brown's novels, for instance. I understand Brown is a Yankee too, right? And abortion seems to have been one of the two main issues in US politics for years, the other being gun ownership. That fits nicely with keeping Catholic stuff on the telly.

(Anti-bigoted amusing fact: the once-rabid Protestant figure in Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley, always used to vote the same way as MPs belonging to the Church of Rome whenever anything to do with abortion got voted on in the House of Commons.)

Gay marriage gets a lot of spiel nowadays too, which is another religion-friendly issue. (It's beginning to in Britain as well. One politician recently got flak for stating the obvious fact that most people who have children would like to get grandchildren. Commentators opened their mouths in horror, doubtless worried about how this outrageous guy was discriminating against gay men who pick each other up in public toilets and forget about each other 5 minutes later.)
 
Sandro -- A. Your source?

B. Even if you do have a source, your point is irrelevant to my point -- which was NOT "Catholic = good" but "Pope = unimportant." Again, I asked you to respond to what I actually wrote, not to what you IMAGINE I wrote.

C. Female laity are a large group and priests are a small group, and pedo priests are only 3-4 percent of that. Also, those caught or accused tend to leave of their own accord. So your comparison is...strange.

D. How often does ANYONE get excommunicated for ANYTHING in recent times?
 
What was the BBC paedophile scandal that led to Google yanking a Cannonfire article?? I'd be very interested to know!

(It's a mistake to define the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal as exclusively a BBC thing. Health-service, police, royal-family and synagogue connections are also important. Yorkshire Ripper links are very intriguing too.)

When you say "the" Vatican banking scandal, you mean the Sindona-Gelli-Marcinkus one from 30 years ago?

I knew one of Yallop's researchers, including when he went on live TV and referred to a Brit cabinet minister being closely financially involved with leading figures in P2. He chickened out of naming the guy, Nicholas Ridley, Thatcher's environment secretary.

In that book, Yallop keeps to his theme in the non-expansive and non-thought-provoking way that most mass-market book authors do, especially after their manuscripts have been scrubbed. I wouldn't expect otherwise from such a book. Sure, some writers about Catholic church stuff are a bit 'Protestant'. Shock horror, priests at the Vatican are in it with the mafia! :) Maybe church leaders did get ripped off by other hoods on occasion. The mafia have got a hand in every big business operation in Italy.

I love attacking hypocrisy - but as when doing anything critical, pitfalls and distracting ideologies await.

Anyway, what about the ongoing Vatican bank scandal? The one relating to the failure to implement EU money-laundering rules. The bank was without a guy in charge for a whole year in relation to that, until Ratzinger appointed Ernst von Freyberg, after he annnounced he'd abdicate.

After the Vatican bank got told they were too dirty for an EU 'cleanliness' badge, its officials promised to clean up their act. At the beginning of this year they got told that they'd failed to do so.

In response, the Italian national bank ordered Deutsche Bank Italia, which handles card transactions on Vatican territory, to stop doing so. So for the last 2 months, all tourists buying stuff in the Vatican have had to pay cash only.

See also Milan-area healthcare corruption, involving powerful church figures such as Angelo Scola and his associate Roberto Formigoni, president of Lombardy for nearly 20 years.

My guess would be that Scola - in some respects the most papabile cardinals - backed Bergoglio. Hello Communion and Liberation.

But the Jesuits play a much bigger and longer game than C&L. (Or Opus Dei, for that matter.) If the question runs "Is A, an influential guy in X but with a background in Y, really working for interests associated with X or ones associated with Y"", then when Y is defined as the Jesuits (or the Zionists), the null hypothesis should be "yes".

Here is the big-picture European background to recent papal-throne and Vatican-bank events:

1) Italy's lack of a government.

2) Possibility that Italy will be new Greece, very soon and with enormous effects.

3) EU and German financial involvement in relation to the above.

4) Efforts by some to make an enormous amount of money as stuff comes crashing down.

Of course older themes are getting braided in.

The situation is tenser than you appear to believe.

The rest of the big-picture background includes:

* the Jesuit takeover of the papacy, which relates to a 'paradigm shift' (never mind Kuhn; this term suits Jesuit aims down to the fucking ground!) in the relation between

a) the church hierarchy

b) the 'organic' Catholic 'community, i.e. what members of the culture do and think that make them view themselves as Catholics, which is patently obviously much more than having respect for the Pope or the rest of the priesthood
 
B, the British 'tude toward the Roman Church is simple. An island filled with the most rational, logical, un-neurotic people in the world suddenly goes bugfuck NUTS anytime someone mentions the RCs. And that's the way it has been since Hank 8.

Seriously, I do want to know how the British slaughter of the Irish is taught in school. Here in America, when our history is taught, white schoolkids are more or less forced to spend months, years, staring at huge signs featuring the words "FEEL GUILTY!" (And, I would add, properly so.) But I don't think that's how it works in the UK.

In America, RCs are considered spooky. The fundamentalists still hate Catholicsm, although many of them pretend not to. But the spooky factor also intrigues them.

You know all of those end-of-the-world flicks produced in the late 1990s (e.g. "Stigmata," "End of Days")? The intended audience for those movies was Prot, but the main characters were always Catlicks. When it comes to following clues in newly-rediscovered religious texts written in ancient languages, who ya gonna call? Certainly not the followers of Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye and the Pat Robertson. THOSE guys can barely speak English.

Catlicks have a rep (at least in the U.S.) for being learned. To a working class Americano, education is a strange and mysterious thing.

Also, American fundies have a sneaking fascination with Marian apparitions and bleeding hosts and all of that other stuff. The fundies invariably ascribe such events to the Debbil. But they also have a sneaking fascination with the Debbil.

So that explains Dan Brown's little forays into Catlick-land. The RCs are considered spooky, and Americans LIKE spooky. Americans don't trust Spooky Things. In fact, they often get very paranoid about anything that reeks of spookiness. But they can't help being fascinated by That Which Is Spooky.

A final word about Brown: You know as well as I do that every twenty years someone is going to make a million bucks by repackaging Pierre Plantard's little exercise in leg-yanking. The next event should hit in 2023-25. Perhaps you should start writing it now.
 
Oh, and b? About "coffee tasters" and "two Pope" theories and all that other spooky stuff that seems to intrigue you?

Come off it. This ain't the Middle Ages. The world simply doesn't work that way.
 
"What was the BBC paedophile scandal that led to Google yanking a Cannonfire article??"

Here:

http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/11/who-did-it-child-abuse-mystery.html

It's still available in the US. but UK servers are blocked. Something something McAlpine.


 
Will children be able to pick up the soap without fear of the Secret Sacrament?
 
I think it's a mistake to overly discount the secular reach and impact of the RCC or the pope.

Consider the non-medieval timeline of my own lifetime and just before.

The Allies in WW II found the pope's Christmastime encyclical powerful enough to reprint it in six- or seven-figure numbers and air drop it, for propaganda purposes, into German-controlled territory. That pope saved up to 400,000 Jews from capture, while paradoxically or not, the church later had a key role in the ratlines, smuggling Nazis.

In the mid-'60s, a reaction to the Catholic-influenced law in Connecticut led to the Griswold case, where a right to privacy was first promulgated, and which reasoning was key to the Roe v Wade decision.

Pope John Paul II was a key figure in the Poland/Solidarity situation, making common cause with Reagan and Thatcher in that crack in the dam that presaged the end of the Soviet empire.

And the church's social justice teaching led to the murder/rape of the Maryknoll sisters, and the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero by D'Aubuisson's death squad killers.

Since Bill Casey and Al Haig or before them, there has been a high level national security presence in our country of Roman Catholics, typically as members of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta.

What members of the SCOTUS there are who are not Jewish, are all Catholics.

With their world-wide reach, a superb intel organization, and a near two millenia presence at the heart of Europe, the Catholics and the pope are not wholly anachronisms, but active participants in world events to a considerable degree, as I see it.

XI



 
If we're not in the Middle Ages, why is there still a papacy?

The Jesuits will, I think, get rid of it in its present form.

The General Curia in Rome - the Jesuit one.

Coffee tasters was a reference to Michele Sindona, who died after drinking poisoned coffee.

I think Yallop made the point that no prison officer in Italy is going to conduct an anal search on a visitor who's a priest.

I read the 'banned in UK' post. The Andrea Davison thing is crap, I think. Some nutter was putting it out that she was in the Ecuadorean embassy with Assange.

The connections from Jimmy Savile's two charities are very interesting indeed.

Also his connections to the Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey, where lots of children's teeth were found - later denied, cops taken off the case, shades of the Dutroux case in Belgium. Savile denied ever having been there until a photo came out. You may be interested in stuff by Leah McGrath Goodman, who got herself banned from both Jersey and the UK.

Ben Fellows, former child actor, has publicly accused current Tory cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke of sexually abusing him. That story got swamped. Clarke has not made any public statement. Clarke is a well-known asset of Big Tobacco, and was involved in smuggling that killer drug into Asia.
 
19270203-20100111 Jean-Yves Calvez
Is considered one of the gratest jesuit thinkers of the XX. century.
French economist,philosoph, theologist, priest, Specialist in the Catholic Church' social doctrine.
1956 He published his work "The Thinking of Karl Marx", which was quoted by the French Comunist Party.
Because of this work he was several times invited to several meetings in comunist countries.
1971-1983 He was assistant to the then General of the Jesuit Congregation, Pedro Arrupe.
19810800-1983 As Pedro Arrupe was not able to act on his duties, because of a cerebral stroke, Jean-Yves Calvez stayed at the side of Paolo Dezza, the Pontifical delegate nominated by John-Paul II.
Calvez and Dezza jointly prepared for the 33. Congregation of the Jesuit order, which choose Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach as its new general.
Some sectores of the C.Church considered Calvez to be a leftist" thinker.
A lot more could be said.
Now, You go and do Your homework.
As it happened, I have read the book very recently and in a language foreign to me.
It is the BEST written introduction to what is vulgo known as "marxism".
Besides a very few footnotes, it contains no critics against the marxist doctrine.
Contrary to most "anti-lefty" propagandists, it provides a benchmark to the real theoretical
position of the most anti-comunist
organsation in the world.
For a good reason, I guess.
->
 
Anon - what "theoretical position"? At one level, they teach x. At the next, not-x. At the next, that x and not-x are two ways of looking at the same thing. God exists. God does not exist. You get the picture. At the next level, it doesn't matter. At the top, they teach what they already 'know' - it's about power. Power over other people. Power for its own sake.

"I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it."

It's long been my view that the character of O'Brien in Orwell's 1984 is a Jesuit.

See too Julius Evola's 'order State'.

Hitler called Himmler, the head of the SS, "my Ignatius Loyola".

You probably know about the role of the Jesuits in the Piltdown Man affair and the origins of modern astrophysics. Their methods are used in practically all psychotherapeutic 'schools', by Steinerites and other cultists, etc. etc.

Research into the connections between the Jesuits and Elsevier, the scientific publisher, would doubtless bear fruit.

The recent mould-breaking coup in the Vatican - Ratzinger out, Bergoglio in - must have required enormous resources. Was Ratzinger owned by the Jesuits? He may have been. Big changes will come, soon.

Bergoglio's reference to being the man from almost the end of the world...get that! :)
 
-> b : 8:05 AM
"the real theoretical position"
Admittedly, this is not as clear as intended.
An example : Not to be true, implies KNOWLEDGE of truth.(
or error)
If "marxism" was truth, and the leadership of the church
(who are not idiots)
UNDERSTANDS "marxism" as true
it follows, that all means they use to convince people against "marxism" MUST be CONSCIOUS propaganda lies.
The same aplies then to governments, media, etc.
(if not, NOT)
Why would anybody fight, as they do, something, they dont hold for true?
->
 
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