Showing posts with label Inquisition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inquisition. Show all posts

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Response to Archbishop Dolan's "Afterthoughts" and "Apology" Concerning the Same-Sex Marriage Battle in New York

Hello, readers.  I apologize for the long absence.  For my own well-being, I had to take a break from confronting the hatred out there.  That said, much has happened in New York where same-sex couples will now enjoy the state-level civil rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy.

Image Credit:   CBS News/Mike Segar
Archbishop Timothy Dolan just posted his "Afterthoughts" on his experience of being the mouthpiece for the anti-gay side of the New York marriage equality battle of the past few months.  In the response, which you can read in full here, he compares himself to John the Baptist and Thomas Moore, who were both beheaded.  He also "apologizes" to any gay persons who may have been offended by anything that he said.  (If you recall, he compared same-sex couples marrying to marrying his mother and that polygamy would follow gay rights.)

Here is my response.

Dear +Tim,

You are correct about one thing: "Finally, last point, for us in the Church, not much changes." Exactly, because in the U.S.A. there is a separation of church and state. You can discriminate as much as you want to in your churches and sacraments. That's what you purchase with your tax exemption. But know this: when you come after people's civil rights, you give up your claim to tax exemption. We will continue to fight you to retain our civil rights.

Those of us who are fighting for equal civil rights for LGBT persons are not "theophobic" or anti-religion; we're anti-theocracy. We don't care about your sacramental rights or rites.

I would think you would be anti-theocracy as well, since that's the real reason Thomas Moore was beheaded--he lived in a state where the King believed he was the hand of his god and not the pope's god. World history and your Old Testament show that there is a great danger marrying church and state; it always ends very bloody.

As for your "apology" to those of us who were "unintentionally" hurt by your "defense" of marriage, now you just dilute yourself. You said so many things that were based on unscientific, outdated and historically-abused stereotypes about homosexuals (i.e. the way you linked same-sex marriages to incest, polygamy, and such). You calculated your responses to hit below the belt and to stir the fears of your followers. You stoked hatred against LGBT persons who have been historically repressed and even tortured and murdered (see the Inquisition) in the name of your church.

Your "apology" is as hollow as the arguments you made against marriage equality. How do you look yourself in the mirror in the morning? How do you look gay priests and youth in the eyes? Do you have any idea how hurtful, demoralizing, and harmful your characterizations of homosexuals are? Your "apology" shows how out of touch you are with the virtue of compassion.

Yours outside of Christ,

Heretic Tom

Postscript: In case you forgot, +Tim, here's what the church did to gays in the Inquisition.
Source: Woodcut. Published in the 'Speculum in oculis Domini abominatium' by Franziscus Grotius, Leipzig,1474.  Reproduced in 'Inquisition torture instruments from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Age, "Qua d'Arno, Florence, 1985.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary Pope Benedict: Five Years of Scandal, Hypocrisy, and Permanent Crisis, the Seeding of Generation Benedict

     Happy fifth anniversary, Pope Benedict Ratzinger! 

     Congratulations, Benny, on five years of constant crisis, and we're not just talking about sexual abuse, although you've been stellar in your denial and cover-up.  We're talking about your relationship with the worlds' Jewish population.  How about those Muslim-Catholic relations?  Let's not forget your condemnations of the world's gays as "filth," which include most of your priests (possibly even yourself).  What about forbidding condoms to prevent HIV?  Your encouraging religious schism in other Christian denominations?  Turning a blind eye to genocideRape?  You must be doing something right to inspire such wonders in the name of your god and savior.

     Newser reports:
     Today marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict's ascension to the papacy, but they aren't exactly popping champagne at the beleaguered Vatican. At the moment Benedict is embroiled in a massive pedophilia scandal that could define his papal legacy, and it's not like he's had a charmed papacy until now, Sylvia Poggioli reports in a rather scathing piece for NPR. Benedict's a lousy communicator, and he's attracted a host of critics.
     “This is a papacy of permanent crisis,” says one veteran Vatican correspondent, citing incidents like his comments about condoms and AIDs, or his various kerfuffles with Muslims and Jews. One Swiss theologian and longtime colleague of Benedict's has actually advised bishops to actively disobey him when he eschews necessary reforms. And the head of the Association of Young German Catholics says Benedict has utterly failed to reach kids. “There's no such thing as a generation Benedict,” he says.

     Wood?  Hmm.

Image Credits of Possible Gifts for Pope Benedict XVI's Fifth (Wooden) Anniversary:
Wooden sewing machine for Pope Ben's vestments: Planet Pink n Green
Wooden machine gun for use in killing non-believers: Pixdaus
Wooden torture rack for encouraging religious homogeneity: Find Target
Wooden egg thingy for sticking where the sun don't shine: Dear Ada
Wooden good luck phallus for overcoming the sexual abuse scandal: Thailand Stories

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bring It on, Benny!

     The Washington Post reports:
     Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: Go forth and blog.
     In last week's message, "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word," Pope Ben embraced the digital age.  He wants his priests on the internet in order to blog about "truth" and the "absolute." 

     The truth: the former head of the Inquisition (a.k.a. CFD), this blogging commandment gives Ben and his conservative watchdogs a great way to police any priests who lean to the left.

     Bring it on, Ben!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Saint Nazi I

     Remember back when German Pope Benedict XVI started off the new year with a bang by lifting the excommunication of Lefebvrite and holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson and welcomed him back into the Roman Catholic fold?  Well, apparently that wasn't enough spitting in the face of the world's Jewish population, because over the weekend, Pope Ben presented a grand Hanukkah present: yet another bullet in the back of years of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

     On Saturday, Pope Ben moved two of his predecessor popes, John Paul II and Pius XII, closer to possible sainthood by signing a decree on the "heroic virtues" of his predecessors and calling for their worthy imitation.  Zenit reports:
     "What pedagogical wisdom is manifested in such an itinerary," the Pope continued [in the decree]. "In a first step, the people of God are invited to look to these brothers and sisters who, after a first accurate discernment, are proposed as models of Christian life; then they are exhorted to develop a cult of veneration and invocation circumscribed by the ambit of the local Churches and the religious orders."
     "Pedagogical wisdom"?  Seriously?  From a church that for centuries has harbored child rapists and since being confronted about this has defended not the children, not the victims, but it own pocketbooks?  We're supposed to take this church seriously on matters of pedagogy and morality?

     "Heroic virtues"?  "Imitating" Pope Pius XII?  Pius XII remained silent in the face of the Nazi's and the holocaust.  He just plain didn't speak out.  He signed a Concordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany, recognizing the Nazi government. The RCC can't deny that, but what they claim is that Pius did all sorts of secret behind-the-scenes work to save Jews, of course, the supposed proof of this is locked away in the Vatican's secret archives and we mere gentiles are to accept holy (dysfunctional) mother (fucking) church's word on these secret archives, as if two thousand years of bloody history have shown us that trusting the word of the RCC is wise.

     Among those to criticise him [Pope Ben] was the World Jewish Congress, whose president, Ronald Lauder, said: "As long as the archives about the crucial period 1939 to 1945 remain closed, and until a consensus on his [Pius XII's] actions ‑ or inaction ‑ concerning the persecution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust is established, a beatification is inopportune and premature.
     "While it is entirely a matter for the Catholic church to decide on whom religious honours are bestowed, there are strong concerns about Pius XII's political role during world war two which should not be ignored."
     He called on the Vatican to immediately open the files on the controversial figure. "Given the importance of good relations between Catholics and the Jews, and following the difficult events of the past year, it would be appreciated if the Vatican showed more sensitivity on this matter," he added, referring to Benedict's rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying cleric, Richard Williamson.
     The incident sparked worldwide condemnation from prominent Jewish groups and individuals and placed an additional strain on interfaith relations, which were already under pressure after the pope issued an edict permitting a prayer that called for the conversion of Jews.
     In France, the country's chief rabbi urged the Vatican to abandon its mission to beatify Pius. Gilles Bernheim said: "Given Pius XII's silence during and after the Shoah [Holocaust], I don't want to believe that Catholics see in Pius XII an example of morality for humankind."
      I couldn't agree with Rabbi Bernheim more, but Pope Ben (who was himself a member of Hitler Youth) has made it very clear that the concerns of mere laity, gentiles, non-believing heathens, and especially Jews are of no interest to Himself.  Pope Ben described his reasoning in Saturday's decree noting:
     The Church undertakes these processes because "in the itinerary of recognition of sanctity, there emerges a spiritual and pastoral wealth that involves the whole Christian community."
     He [Pope Ben] defined sanctity as the "transfiguration of persons and human realities into the image of the risen Christ," and added that it "represents the ultimate purpose of the plan of divine salvation."
     Ben's "ultimate purpose" is thus spelled out very clearly and is neither to appease nor to dialogue with persons of other belief systems, but is instead to transform them into the so-called "risen" Christ, to make them Catholic Christians, so they can be "saved."  The Catholic church's official teaching is that the true church of Christ subsists in the Roman Catholic church (Lumen Gentium, Vatican II), and while this remains the "official" teaching of the church, the mission of the RCC will be to convert the world.

     If Pope Ben really believed that the church was going to last forever, then what's the rush?  Why push to canonize a controversial figure like Pius XII?  Why put at risk all the work of the past century that went into Jewish-Catholic dialogue?  Would it not be prudent, or dog-forbid pastoral, to wait another hundred or so years to canonize Pius?  This is definitely not the time.  But Ben's not interested in the pastoral, nor is he interested in what's good for inter-religious dialogue.

     In our current era of inter-religious dialogue, we are supposed to believe that people of different faith traditions, or just even different factions within a tradition, can get along and live in peace, but this is a fallacy.  As long as the world's religions believe that they individually are the only way to god, enlightenment, salvation, goodness, or whatever you want to call it, then there will never truly be dialogue amongst the world's religions.  There will be mere tolerance, which at this point in religion's bloody history would be a huge improvement, but true dialogue is between people who stand upon even footing with one another.  This dialogue is not possible between religions who each claim sole authority and insight into the will of their gods.  This, in my opinion, is the idolatry of religion: idolatry of the "truth."

     As for John Paul II becoming a saint and calling others to imitate his "virtue," well, that's debatable, too, as history will show that his attack upon the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS to be responsible for the deaths of millions from the virus in the name of JPII's precious abstinence.  Of course, similar damages against humanity can be argued at the hands of fundamentalist Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but Catholics won't listen to those arguments.  They need their saints, and as Pope Ben encouraged on Saturday, their "cults."

     Is it just me, or is there something very self-serving and even a bit sinister about a sitting pope being able to push his predecessors for sainthood?  Isn't that a bit like a politician also being a lobbyist while being on the payroll of the company for which he/she is lobbying?  This is just one more example of what I call the theological incest of the RCC.
 Image Credits:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Hate the Crusades and the Inquisition

On Tuesday, voters in Maine (Question 1), Washington (Referendum 71), and Kalamazoo will go to the polls to decide whether same sex couples "deserve" equal rights.  I find this repulsive.

The organization leading the financial way to take away gay rights in Maine: the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has now donated more than $550,000 to the Yes on 1 campaign, making it the single largest donor in the crusade to strip away the legal, equal marriage rights of Maine's same sex couples.  A spokesperson from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, said the last donation of $152,600 came from the diocese's "rainy day" fund.  This from a diocese that is closing parishes and a church that is closing parishes across the country.  Apparently, it's more important to strip people of their rights than to preserve generations old parish communities in the Catholic Church, or perhaps to spend money fighting poverty, disease, and homelessnessWhat would Jesus do? (Isa 58:6-7, Lk 4:18)

This is nothing new.  Last year in California, the Catholic Church joined forces with two of their theological enemies, the Mormon Church and the fundamentalist Christian churches, to endorse Yes on 8 and to raise $39.9 million in their crusade to take away the legal and equal marriage rights of same sex couples in California.  The largest donation total, $1.4 million coming from the Catholic Knights of Columbus.  Here's a link to a site where you can look up who donated for and against CA Prop 8.

Some argue that the names of donors and people who sign referendum, propositions, questions (whatever the fuck you want to call them) should remain secret.  This is hogwash.  (Maine's court agrees!) We live in a democracy, and if my rights are being voted away, I deserve to know who's paying for this to happen, so I can decide whether I want to give them my money.

This is why I don't understand how anyone who supports marriage equality, women's rights, or scientific research can still tithe to the Catholic Church.  Part of their money is paying for lobbyists and referendums to do the exact opposite!  This is why I struggle with the fact that many of my family members and friends continue to support the Catholic Church, not only by putting their butts in the pews but also by digging deep into their pocketbooks, all the while knowing the abuse I endured and saw covered up in the church, not to mention the millions of other atrocities of the present, the recent past, and of history.

The Crusades and the Inquisition didn't end hundreds of years ago, they continue today, only instead of swords and torture chambers the Catholic Church is utilizing their coffers, ballot initiatives, lobbyists, scare tactics, Vatican censures, and reparative therapists/spiritual directors to fight their divine battles.

The disgruntled people in the pews need to stand up to their hierarchy and put an end to this contemporary crusade.  Of course, this will never happen.  I, for one, know what it's like to be a serf in the Catholic Church and to live in fear of being burnt at the stake and losing everything.  But, after walking through the fire, I'm glad that I lost everything.

Postscript: I had to join the Knights of Columbus while in seminary.  It was one of those things that was expected of all good priests.  The Knights have a daddy-complex and feel unjustly neglected if Father doesn't join, so one of the burdens of priesthood is having to join the K of C and suffering through the drudgery of their meetings.

     Anyway, the secret ceremony I had to got through to get inducted was so lame.  All those butch knights put on costumes.  They had a skull sitting on a folding table and read monotonously from a prescribed script about life, death, and brotherhood.  I think there may have been holy water involved, but I don't remember.  The fake skull, I do remember.

     I was inducted with a childhood friend back in my hometown, and we bit our tongues through the entire cheesy ceremony.  I had to pull hair out of my thighs to induce pain, so hard it was to stifle my laughter. When my friend and I got outside after the ceremony, we laughed for ten minutes.  The whole secret ceremony was ridiculous and very homo erotic, and that was only the 1st Degree.  I've always wondered what getting the 3rd or 4th Degree entailed.  Now, I'll never know.  A small sacrifice to pay for my integrity, happiness, and freedom.