Tens of thousands of Brazilian pilgrims were left disappointed today, by the pontiff’s inability to produce a Royal Baby. Although Pope Francis promised to bring people to the ‘open arms of Christ the Redeemer’, there is a sense that the Duchess of Cambridge has ‘raised the bar’ for global figures.
While the rest of the world is gripped by baby fever, the head of the Catholic Church has stubbornly refused ‘to take one for the team’. A reproducing Bishop of Rome could allow for more youthful Popes, an hereditary College of Cardinals and lucrative reality TV shows. Many priests have been valiantly trying for to get altar boys pregnant for generations, but Pope Francis has so far avoided opening his papal womb to the public. ‘The Vatican has been ‘dining-out’ on this one miracle birth for two thousand years,’ criticised one reporter. ‘Whereas your Windsors, they’ve been popping out sprogs left, right and centre. Some of them even in wedlock!’
Crowds flooded to Rio de Janeiro, with mothers holding up babies as visual clues for Pope Francis or in some cases passing him bouquets of flowers in the hope of pollinating him. Later the Pope ironically visited Our Lady of the Conception, but completely failed to inseminate himself. Protestors began to line the streets as soon as it became known that his vestments were not concealing ‘a baby bump’. Police were forced to fire tear gas and said a homemade explosive device was discovered at the shrine. One Cardinal commented: ‘We are in the wonderment business, so the miracle of childbirth should be something any Pope can do’.
The latest scandal is less grisly, but equally bizarre. On July 1st the IOR’s director, Paolo Cipriani, and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, resigned three days after the Italian authorities arrested and jailed aVatican cleric, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano. He …
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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican posted a 2.2 million euro ($2.85 million) budget surplus for 2012, an improvement from the previous year and some good news as it struggles to cope with a scandalinvolving its embattled bank. In its annual financial …
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… and deposition testimony from Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, who during his time of Milwaukee’s archbishop between 2002 and 2009 appealed to the the Vatican on numerous occasions to help address the fallout from the scandal.
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Vatican financial watchdog now part of network
Malta Independent Online
Nonetheless, the Vatican is reeling under a spate of scandals, including one in which a Vaticanaccountant is jailed in Rome while prosecutors probe an alleged plot to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash in a private plane from Switzerland …
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The New York Times editorial called the Cardinal’s actions “shocking” and stated Milwaukee “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority,”citing evidence newly available in 6,000 pages of documents.
The hard hitting editorial states “Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.”
Cardinal Dolan, has denied the allegation and described the charges as “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.”
However The Times says the new documents make clear “he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.”
“The release of about 6,000 pages of documents provided a grim backstage look at the scandal, graphically detailing the patterns of serial abuse by dozens of priests who were systematically rotated to new assignments as church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority.”
The Times writes that “It is disturbing that the current Milwaukee leader, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said last week that the church underwent an “arc of understanding” across time to come to grips with the scandal — as if the statutory rapes of children were not always a glaring crime in the eyes of society as well as the church itself.
The Times editorial concludes “The documents showed how the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests. Yet the same bureaucracy approved Cardinal Dolan’s $57 million transfer just days after the Wisconsin court allowed victims’ damage suits.”
“The first thing he said when shown the papal apartments at the Vatican was ‘There is room for three hundred people here’ – next thing we knew the place was packed with raving clergymen!” says Cardinal Hugo Strangler, describing the changes being wrought in the Vatican by the recently-elected Pope Francis. “The rave went on all night, with His Holiness himself on the decks, spinning us some wicked mixes of Pat Boone and Cliff Richard! The younger priests were putting away the communion wine and wafers like the world was about to end!” According to Cardinal Strangler, who participated in the conclave which elected Pope Francis, the impromptu rave is typical of the new Pontiff’s interest in using popular culture as a vehicle for disseminating the word of God. “He’s really down with the kids,” explains Strangler. “He’s got his finger firmly on the pulse of popular culture – even his Papal name reflects this.” Contrary to popular belief, the Cardinal claims, the new Pope isn’t named for St Francis of Assisi, but rather for Francis Rossi of Status Quo. “By honouring this titan of modern pop music, His Holiness is hoping to demonstrate to the youth of the world that the church still has relevance,” he says. “He’s planning to get down with the kids soon – bringing his Stratocaster out onto the balcony at St Peter’s Square and thrashing out a few classic Quo covers.”
The Pope’s guitar has allegedly already had at least one outing in aid of interdenominational harmony, with Rome rife with rumours of an impromptu jam session involving Pope Francis on lead guitar, his Coptic equivalent on bass and the Dalai Lama on drums. “It is said to have happened in a basement bar near the Vatican, the day after the Holy Father was appointed,” says the Cardinal. “He’d apparently gone to settle his hotel bill, then bumped into the other two spiritual leaders outside the bar and one thing led to another. It is said that they thrashed out a number of old Jimi Hendrix numbers, including Voodoo Child and Purple Haze.” Indeed, stories about the unconventional new Pope’s populist antics are rife throughout the Italian capital, including the claim that the evening after his official inauguration, Pope Francis attended a karaoke night at a local bar, belting out a number of popular hymns and Gregorian chants, to the delight of the rest of the audience. “He is clearly a Pope of the people – in touch with the common man,” comments Strangler. “He understands that we must start preaching the gospel in terms that modern ordinary people can understand, if the church is to survive.”
However, Pope Francis’ pop culture approach to the Catholic faith and, in particular, his calls for it to become the church of the poor, have not met with universal approval in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. “All this ‘Pope a Go Go’ business is all very well, but he’s riskin’ making us a laughin’ stock,” declares Brendan O’Fugh, Bishop of Skibbereen. “At a time when we need to be reassertin’ our moral authority, in the wake of all these kiddie fiddlin’ allegations and the like, the last thing we need is the Pope jitterbuggin’ round the Basilica and singin’ duets with Justin Beiber!” O’Fugh is also suspicious of Pope Francis’ commitment to use the wealth of the church to help the world’s poor. “Look, the poor are poor because it is all part of God’s feckin’ plan, alright? Who are we to question His scheme of things?” says the exasperated cleric. “He creates us all equal, doesn’t He? If some lazy bastards can’t be bothered to get off their arses and make somethin’ of themselves, that’s their problem. The Almighty gave us free will, for feck’s sake, didn’t he? It’s their choice! If we bale ‘em out we’re just goin’ against God’s will!” O’Fugh is worried at the form that Pope Francis’ attempts to help the poor might take. “If we’re not careful, he’ll be holdin’ a feckin’ car boot sale in St Peter’s Square, floggin’ off all of our art treasures at bargain basement prices and givin’ the proceeds to some feckin’ beggars or gyppos!” he declares. “Next thing, he’ll be turning our bloody cathedrals and churches into doss houses! Look, if he really wanted to help the poor, he’d start advocatin’ contraception, wouldn’t he? But that’s not goin’ to happen, is it?”
O’Fugh had favoured a more conservative candidate for the Papacy, following Pope Benedict’s resignation, most specifically Cardinal Franco Hatchet. “He’s the sort of fellah we need to bring some dignity and respect back to the church,” enthuses the bishop. “I know people are always sayin’ he’s some kind of knee-jerk reactionary, but he has some pretty progressive ideas.” O’Fugh has been particularly impressed by Hatchet’s recent theological papers in which he has attempted to show that suicide might not be a mortal sin under certain circumstances – if committed in the name of God, for instance. “There’s no doubt that it opens up some fascinatin’ possibilities,” he muses. “Like the idea of Catholic suicide bombers who could instil real fear into the infidels and sinners. I mean, it’s worked wonders for the Muslims – nobody messes with them, do they? Not that I’m actually advocatin’ sendin’ out our parishioners to blow up abortion clinics – though that would make the bitches think twice about murderin’ their babies – I’m just sayin’ that you don’t see anyone takin’ the piss out of the Muslims now, do you? You don’t get any feckin’ comedians or gobshites on the web crackin’ jokes about Imams buggerin’ kiddies, do you?”
Most leading theologians agree that Hatchet’s already slim chances of becoming Pope were dashed completely by his recent intervention in the child abuse scandals which had threatened to engulf Benedict XVI’s papacy. “All he said was that we were lookin’ at it from the wrong perspective,” says Bishop O’Fugh. “Those kiddies weren’t victims – they were blessed! The so-called abuse they suffered at the hands of priests were actually a test from God – the Bible’s full of that sort of thing: just look at the Book of Job! It was a brilliant bit of scholarship on Hatchet’s part – an attempt to reconcile this alleged abuse with the fact that its alleged perpetrators were supposedly agents of the Almighty!” Controversially, O’Fugh is convinced that the election of Pope Francis was a mistake and is calling for a re-run of the ballot. “I have it on good authority that the white smoke billowin’ out of the chimney was a mistake – they hadn’t actually elected a new Pope at that point,” he confides. “As I understand it, the Cardinals had found a stash of kiddie porn in the room – probably planted by bloody protestants or atheists – and, in order to avoid another scandal, burned the filth in the stove, inadvertently causin’ the white smoke. When they realised what had happened, they panicked and picked a new Pope by drawin’ lots! I mean, they felt that had no choice, the media were clamourin’ for a name and those bloody marchin’ bands were already stampin’ around the square!”
Mea Maxima Culpa Silence in the House
An unholy coincidence? Pope Benedict‘s once-in-600-year ‘abdication’ is highly suspicious in context to the timing of the ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’ doc release. Alex Gibney took some 4 years in researching this well crafted and informative film, which exposes an endemic, global,
cover-up of deviant Catholic priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes:
primarily on one prolific paedophile priest who operates a reign of terror at a
school for deaf children in the US, then widens the story out to expose the
Catholic church’s complicity on a jaw-dropping scale.As a top Cardinal at the time, Ratzinger took ‘ownership’ of the
hundreds/thousands of abuses reported – and locked them deep within the Vatican
archives. A gobsmacking expose by the award-winning doc maker (Enron,
Taxi to the Dark Side, among others), which merits a very public spotlight.
I urge believers and non-believers alike to get to a screening and spread a ‘call to action’, before he takes cover (tho’ if one was to be generous, it m
Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, was named Stonewall‘s Bigot of the Year last night, despite threats from Barclays and Coutts to withdraw their sponsorship of the awards over the category.
Cardinal O’Brien was “honoured” for his outspoken attacks on proposals to legalise same-sex marriage at the gay and lesbian campaign group’s annual awards. (© Independent News Service)