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’.
As the man charged with cleaning out the stables at the scandal-struck Vatican bank, Monsignor Battista Ricca will need Machiavellian cunning, good fortune and a whiter-than-white record to have even a fighting chance.
But Pope Francis’s new banker appears to possess none of these attributes after it was reported yesterday that he was found stuck in a lift with a rent boy. Msgr Ricca, as Francis’s new primate with responsibility for the troubled financial institution, known officially as the IoR (Institute for Religious Works), is supposed to usher in new transparency and badly needed reforms after years of financial scandal.
Earlier this month, a major report from finance police and magistrates warned that a lack of checks and controls by the IoR and the Italian financial institutions it had dealings with made the Vatican’s bank a money-laundering hot spot.
It is claimed that Msgr Ricca, 57, impressed Francis with the way he ran three key residences used by cardinals, bishops and priests visiting Rome. But detailed claims have emerged detailing how in 1999, Ricca took a Vatican diplomatic posting in Uruguay and moved his lover, Patrick Haari, a Swiss army captain, in with him, to the outrage of church figures and locals in the conservative South American nation. Captain Haari was forced out by the hardline Polish nuncio Janusz Bolonek in 2001.
But there were more problems for Ricca when he was attacked in a cruising ground that year, and soon after firemen had to rescue him from a broken lift, in which he was trapped with a youth known by local police. The weekly news magazine L’Espresso claims that Msgr Ricca was able to get the position as IoR prelate because the supposedly powerful “gay lobby” in the Vatican airbrushed his colourful CV.
Gay sex scandals at the Vatican have made the headlines before. In 2010 it emerged that one of Pope Benedict’s ceremonial ushers and a member of the Vatican choir were involved in a gay prostitution ring.
Vatican spokesman Padre Federico Lombardi sought to dismiss the claims about Msgr Ricca’s private life. “What has been claimed about Msgr Ricca is not credible,” he said. Msgr Ricca himself has not yet responded to the allegations. But La Repubblica noted that the Vatican had emphasised that his appointment as prelate for the IoR was technically an interim one, thus raising the possibility that the job might not last long.
It’s common knowledge that the Catholic church has a rather poor view of gay marriage. But there is hope! Archbishop Oscar Cruz, judicial vicar of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (try saying that three times fast) just announced that it’s totally acceptable for a gay man to marry a lesbian.
There is, apparently, some logic to this. After all, if the purpose of marriage is to create dozens of horrible little children, then a man and woman who are both capable of procreation should, for the progression of the human species, put their child-creating abilities to good use, within the boundaries of marriage set out by the church, of course.
It might be worth pointing out that the original purpose of marriage was mostly to forge tribal alliances, and to establish that any offspring were legitimate, but that would be nitpicking. Besides, it’s not like Christianity is meant to be about love or anything like that, right?
If you’re thinking that this is all well and good for the Philippines, but that over here we’re seemingly much more socially advanced, you might be disappointed to know that at a recent meeting between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was agreed that marriage should remain something that exists solely between a man and a woman. It’s nice that the Church of England, an institution started because a King was sick of his wife and wanted a younger, hotter one, is taking such a strong stance on this.
So, in summary, according to the Catholic church, it doesn’t matter whether two people are in love, or genuinely want to spend their lives together, so long as one of them has a penis and the other has a vagina. Thanks Catholic Church! How could we possibly know anything about meaningful relationships without your input?
Vatican Scandal: First Money, Now Sex. Only Five Sins left!
The ongoing Vatican Scandal (now Scandals) is probably causing Pope Francis to wonder whether getting the job was such a great idea. Of course, scandal in the Catholic Church is nothing new. His predecessors had more than their fair share, so he is …
See all stories on this topic »
Vatican Bank Managers Resign Amid Broadening Financial Scandal
The director and deputy director of the Vatican bank resigned yesterday as a series of investigations lead to a renewal of the Church’s financial structures. Paolo Cipriani and his deputy Massimo Tulli stepped down “in the best interest of the …
See all stories on this topic »
Vatican sex abuse scandal: Priests paid to leave
Christian Science Monitor
Newly released documents show the cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York, in his former job, repeatedly warned the Vatican office responsible for handling clergy sex abuse of the potential forscandal in Milwaukee and urged it to defrock abusive priests.
See all stories on this topic »
|Two Vatican Bank Officials Resign Amid Latest Wave of Scandals
The Atlantic Wire
Von Freyberg became the IRW’s president in February, as one of the last acts of the now emeritus Pope Benedict XVII before he left his post. He’s a German lawyer and a member of the Knights of Malta, and Benedict tapped him for the job with the hope …
See all stories on this topic »
|Heads of Vatican Bank resign following recent scandals
According to the Vatican’s official statement, the IOR’s director Paolo Cipriani and deputy director Massimo Tulli, both laymen, tendered their resignation ‘in the best interest of the Institute and the Holy See.’ German businessman Ernst von Freyberg …
See all stories on this topic »
Catholics everywhere were flabbergasted when, merely days after celebrating his 85th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI issued a formal statement acknowledging that God probably does not exist. Nevertheless, the Pope assured believers worldwide that they were not without a place to turn for spiritual sustenance. Specifically, he urged every practicing Catholic to get an “imaginary God friend,” which he emphasized will serve virtually the same purpose of what they had previously thought of as a real God.
Since the Pope’s statement, the Vatican has, predictably, been flooded with questions and comments from clergymen, parishioners and even lapsed Catholics who still consider themselves believers. Many chastised the Pope for imposing his own doubts upon devout Catholics.
In a follow-up statement, the Pope stated that his acknowledgement that God probably does not exist is not properly categorized as a “doubt.”
As he explained, “A doubt is thinking that even though the sun has come up every morning of every day in the history of humanity, maybe, for some reason, it won’t rise tomorrow. I don’t have that kind of doubt about God. The God façade is a sham, with no evidence whatsoever to back it up. I couldn’t continue to take part in upholding it. I’ve been living a lie.”
The Pope equated his announcement with the children’s fairy tale in which an innocent but perceptive little boy points out that the naked emperor has no clothes. He emphasized, however, that despite the revolutionary nature of his atheistic message, not much really needed to change for Catholics on a practical, day-to-day level.
“Catholics can talk to and even pray to their imaginary God friend. For me, creating a personal imaginary friend, whom I call God, has been a great source of comfort,” he elaborated. “In fact, my imaginary God friend is just as effective, perhaps even more so, than the ‘God’ I used to believe was real. It’s very common for children to have imaginary friends. Now adult Catholics can have them as well.”
It remains to be seen the effect that the Pope’s statement will have on the unity and vibrancy of the Catholic Church. However, religious leaders of other faiths were delighted at the Pope’s message, anticipating a likely boon to their own religions.
“This is terrific for us,” said Rabbi David Golinkin, head of the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies. “The Catholic Church was always one-upping the Jewish faith by offering people God plus Jesus. But now we have something they don’t: a real God. People can’t but respond to that. I think we’ll get a lot of new recruits.”
The new Pope, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been charming the media and public alike with his easy-going approachable manner and simple lifestyle, but this same absence of bloated pomp and crazed hubris is allegedly ‘wearing bloody thin’ among his colleagues at the Vatican’
‘It was all a bit of a novelty at first,’ admitted Cardinal Sergio Venturi, dripping in signet rings and flanked on either side by the Swiss Guard. ‘The first thing he did when he was elected was to get an OAP pass for the municipal pool. We all thought it was rather sweet in a third world kind of way.’
‘But it gets to you after a while; we had the Dalai Lama over last week and where did His Holiness want to hold a banquet in his honour? Only ‘Il Harvestore’ again! There I was, having to explain to Tibetan Buddhism’s supreme spiritual leader about the concept of an unlimited salad bar.’
‘And if your esteemed guest wishes to visit the Ice Cream Factory for afters, order yourself a bloody crème brulee; don’t just sit there nodding benignly while the fourteenth incarnation of the Bodhisattva picks off his marshmallows.’
Another Vatican insider who wished not to be identified went even further: ‘The Holy Roman Church has a long tradition of sickening excess and sociopathic power-brokering. We have toppled whole kingdoms on a single Pontiff’s whim. Anything that stood in our way we crushed under our heel. Il Papa has got this glorious heritage and basically he’s pissing it up a wall. Ungrateful, or what?’
The Head of the Worldwide Catholic Church – or ‘Acting Chairperson’ as His Holiness has taken to calling himself – was unavailable for comment at time of going to press. He was said to be ‘lending a hand with an ecumenical Meals on Wheels service. Or something equally crap.’
One wonders how many Catholic youths are schooled in the crimes of the Popes. You can be sure they are well learned in doctrine of Papal infallibility
CRIMES OF THE POPES
A summary of the crimes and vices with which many of the
popes disgraced the chair of St. Peter; and before we conclude, the reader will see
that every villainy the imagination can conceive has been practised by the
Vicegerents of God. Peculation, theft, cruelty, murder, fornication, adultery, and
incest, not to mention still darker crimes, have all been notoriously committed by
the supreme rulers of Christendom, who sat in the seat of infallibility, and claimed
universal jurisdiction over the thoughts and consciences of mankind.
ST. DAMASUS (366-84).
He was the first to assume the title of Pontiff. His
election was opposed by Ursicinus, whose partisans accused Damasus of
adultery. [1 22:1 ] Riddle says:
“After some deadly conflicts between the followers of the two rivals,
Ursicinus was banished from the city; and a similar sentence was about
to be carried into effect against seven presbyters of his party, when the
people interfered, and lodged them for safety in one of the churches.
But even here they found no shelter from the fury of their opponents.
Armed with fire and sword, Damasus, with some of his adherents, both
of the clergy and of the laity, proceeded to the place of refuge, and left
no less than a hundred and sixty of their adversaries dead within the
sacred precincts.” [1 22:2]
That this was a massacre and not a faction fight is shown by the fact that on the
side of Damasus not a single person was killed. [1 23:3] Ammianus Marcellinus, the
contemporary historian of the event, says of the contention between Damasus and
“I do not deny, when I consider the ostentation that reigns at Rome,
that those who desire such rank and power may be justified in laboring
with all possible exertions and vehemence to obtain their wishes; since
after they have succeeded, they will be secure for the future, being
enriched by offerings from matrons, riding in carriages, dressing
splendidly, and feasting luxuriously, so that their entertainment
surpassed even royal banquets. [1 23:4]
Damasus gained the title of Auriscalpius Matronarum, ladies’ ear-scratcher. [1 23:5]
He died of fever, and the Romish Church still invokes the aid of this saintly vicar of
God in fever cases. [1 23:6]
SIXTUS III (432-40).
This pope, according to both Baronius and Platina, was
accused of debauching a virgin, but was acquitted by a Council under the Emperor
Valentina, who is said to have referred the pronouncing of the sentence to the Pope
himself, “because the judge of all ought to be judged by none.” It was without
doubt to establish this maxim that the “acts” of the Council were forged. [1 23:7 ]
ST. LEO THE GREAT (440-61).
Jortin calls him “the insolent and persecuting
Pope Leo, who applauded the massacre of the Priscillianists, and grossly
misrepresented them.” [1 23:8]
His election was violently opposed by the antipope
Laurentius, and three Councils were held to decide the schism. Accusations of the
most heinous crimes were laid against Symmachus. Bower says:
“This gave occasion to the rekindling of the war between the two
parties in Rome; and several priests, many clerks, and a great number
of citizens, fell daily in the battles that were fought in the different parts
of the city. No regard was shown by either party to rank or dignity; and
not even the sacred virgins were spared by the enraged multitude in
their fury.” [1 23:9]
Eunodius declared that the Pope was “judge in the place of the most high, pure
from all sin, and exempt from all punishment. All who fell fighting in his cause he
declared enrolled on the register of heaven.” [1 24:1 ]
ST. HORMISDAS (514-23).
He was a married man, and had a son, who was raised
to the popedom. He was full of ambition, and insolent in his demands to the
emperor, whom he exhorted to the persecution of heretics.
BONIFACE II (530-32).
His election was disputed by the antipope Dioscorus. Each
accused the other of simony, but Dioscorus opportunely died. Boniface “began his
pontificate with wreaking his vengeance on the memory of his deceased
competitor, whom he solemnly excommunicated, as guilty of simony, when he
could not clear himself from the charge, nor retort it on him, as perhaps he
otherwise might.” [1 24:2] This sentence was removed by Pope Agapetus.
He was accused of betraying the city of Rome to the Goths,
and was in consequence expelled from his see.
He was a deacon elected by bribery. He engaged himself to
obey the Empress Theodora, who gave him money to gain the suffrages of the
clergy. Anastasius tells us that he killed his own secretary in a transport of passion,
and caused his own sister’s son to be whipped to death. He is considered to have
been accessory to the banishment and death of Silverius. When banished himself
by the emperor, he speedily repented, in order to save his seat.
He was accused of poisoning his predecessor. This is
uncertain; but it is certain that, like most of his predecessors and successors, he
incited the civil powers to the persecution of heretics.
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT (590-604)
According to Gibbon, this pontiff was “a
singular mixture of simplicity and cunning, of pride and humility, of sense and
superstition.” [1 24:3] Jortin’s picture is still less flattering:
“Pope Gregory the Great was remarkable for many things — for
exalting his own authority; for running down human learning [1 25:4]
and polite literature; for burning classic authors; for patronising
ignorance and stupidity; for persecuting heretics; for flattering the
most execrable princes; and for relating a multitude of absurd,
monstrous and ridiculous lies, called miracles. He was an ambitious,
insolent prelate, under the mask of humility.”
Draper says that Gregory not only forbade the study of the classics, mutilated
statues, and destroyed temples but also “burned the Palatine library, founded by
Augustus Caesar.” Gibbon, however, throws doubt on this destruction, while
admitting that it was generally believed. [1 25:6]
Gregory does not appear to have been fond of women and wine, like so many other
popes; but he possessed the darker vices of bigotry and ambition. His
congratulations on the usurpation of the cruel, drunken and lascivious Phocas, after
a wholesale massacre of the emperor’s family, simply because the successful villain
favored the pretensions of Rome (p. 109), are a sufficient proof that Gregory would
scruple at nothing to advance the glory of his see.
Bower says he rendered himself so odious to the Roman
people by his avarice and cruelty to the poor, that they could not forbear abusing
him whenever he appeared. In a dreadful famine he raised the price of corn to
exorbitant rates. He accused St. Gregory of simony; but according to Baronius,
that departed saint having vainly reproved him in three different apparitions for
his covetousness, gave him in a fourth apparition so dreadful a blow on the head,
that he died soon after. [1 25:7 ]
BONIFACE III (607)
By flattering Phocas as Gregory had done, he induced him to
take the title of universal bishop from the bishop of Constantinople, and confer it
upon himself and his successors.
He commenced the custom of dipping his pen in
consecrated wine when signing the condemnation of heretics, [1 26:8] thus
sanctifying murder with the blood of Christ. Of Adeodatus, Donus I, Agatho, and
Leo II (682-683)
we only know that they carried on fierce contests with the archbishop of
Ravenna for refusing to acknowledge their supremacy. Leo II anathematised his
predecessor, Pope Honorius, for heresy. Neither Benedict II, John V, nor
Conon, lived a whole year after assuming the tiara.
ST. SERGIUS I (687-701).
He had to purchase his seat from the exarch of
Ravenna by pawning the ornaments of the tomb of St. Peter. He was accused of
adultery, but his innocence was strikingly proved; for, upon the child of whose
parentage he was accused being baptised when but eight days old, he cried out,
“The pontiff Sergius is not my father.” Bruys, the French historian of the Papacy,
says, “What I find most marvellous in this story is, not that so young a child should
speak, but that it should affirm with so much confidence that the pope was not its
He is said to have excommunicated the Emperor, Philip
Bardanes, for being of the same heresy as Pope Honorius. To oblige Constantine,
Justinian II cut out the tongue and blinded the eyes of the Archbishop of Ravenna,
who refused to pay the obedience due to the apostolic see. [1 26:2]
ST. GREGORY II (715-31). He was chiefly noted for his endowing monasteries
with the goods of the poor, and for his opposition to the Emperor Leo’s edict
against image worship. [1 26:3] Rather than obey the edict, he raised civil war both
in Italy and elsewhere. He prayed that Christ might set the Devil on the emperor,
and approved the barbarous murder of the imperial officer. Yet the priests
place in the list of saints a pontiff who, to establish the Christian idolatry of image
worship, filled Italy with carnage.
STEPHEN III (768-72).
When elected he found on the pontifical throne a lay pope,one Constantine, who, after a violent struggle, was dislodged and punished with the
loss of his eyes, many of his friends sharing the same fate.
ADRIAN I (772-95)
He made a league with Irene, the murderess of her son, to
restore image worship, and presented to Charlemagne the pretended donation of
Constantine. Avarice was the vice of this able pontiff. He left large sums to
ST. PASCAL I (817-24)
At the Diet of Compeigne this pope was charged with
being accessory to the mutilation and murder of two Roman priests. The Pope
denied the charge, but refused to deliver up the perpetrators of the crimes,
alleging that they belonged “to the family of St. Peter.”
EUGENIUS II (824-27)
He had the honor of inventing the barbarous practice of
ordeal by cold water.
He excommunicated Photius, the Greek patriarch, and the
emperor Michael as his abettor, and threatened King Lothaire with the
ecclesiastical sword if he suffered any bishop to be chosen without his
consent. [1 27 :9]
ADRIAN II (867-72) He was a married priest. He congratulated Bazilius, the
murderer of the emperor Michael, and entered into alliance with him.
JOHN VIII (872-82)
The meek and holy nature of this worthy successor of St.
Peter may be judged by his ordering the Bishop of Naples to bring him the chief
men among the Saracens in that city, and cutting their throats in the presence of
his legate. A letter of John is extant, in which he justifies Athanasius, Bishop
of Naples, for having plucked out the eyes of Sergius, Duke of Naples, who favored
the Saracens in despite of the papal anathemas. He even cites the Gospel text as to
plucking out offending eyes. Cardinal Baronius declares that this pontiff perjured
himself, and that he rather deserved the name of a woman than that of a
man. The annals of the Abbey of Fulda relate that John VIII was poisoned
by the relations of a lady whom he had seduced from her husband.
He had been repeatedly excommunicated by John VIII. He
invited Arnulf, the German emperor, to invade Italy, which he did, committing
great atrocities. Formosus, however, had a great character for piety. He is said to
have been well versed in scripture, and to have died a virgin in his eightieth year.
BONIFACE VI (896)
Even according to Baronius, he was a man of most infamous
character. He had been deposed for his scandalous life, first from the rank of subdeacon,
and afterward from the priesthood.
STEPHEN VI. (896-7)
He intruded into the see in the room of the intruder
Boniface. Being of the opposite faction to Pope Formosus, he caused the body of
that pontiff to be taken out of the tomb and to be placed, in the episcopal robes, on
the pontifical chair. Stephen then addressed the dead body thus: “Why didst thou,
being Bishop of Porto, prompted by thy ambition, usurp the universal see of
Rome?” After this mock trial Stephen, with the approbation and consent of a
Council of bishops, ordered the body to be stripped, three of the fingers (those
used in blessing) to be cut off, and the remains to be cast into the Tiber. At the
same Council all the ordinations of Formosus were declared invalid.
Then followed what Riddle calls “a rapid succession of infamous popes,” of whom
we may mention that Leo V (903) was deposed and cast into prison by his
chaplain, Christopher, who was in turn ejected and imprisoned by Sergius III
(904-11). This pontiff also had been excommunicated by John VIII. He was, says
Baronius, “the slave of every vice and the most wicked of men.” Riddle
“This Sergius III was a monster of profligacy, cruelty and vice in their most
shameless and disgusting forms. But it was this very character which made him
useful to his party, the duration of whose influence at Rome, could be insured only
by a preponderance of physical power, and this again only by violence which should
disdain all restraints of morality and religion. Sergius was the man for this purpose,
who, while he lived in concubinage with Marozia, did not hesitate to yield all the
treasures of the Roman Church as plunder to his party.” To him succeeded
other paramours of Marozia and of her mother the prostitute Theodora. John X,
for instance (914-28), received his chair because he was the lover of Theodora,
while Leo VI and Stephen VIII (929-31) were creatures of Marozia. Adultery and
assassination form the staple of the annals of their pontificates.
JOHN XI (931-36)
He was the son of Pope Sergius III. by Marozia, and if possible
he surpassed his parents in crime. Elected pope at the age of eighteen, Alberic, his
half brother, expelled him from Rome and imprisoned their mother Marozia.
Stephen VIII (939-942) made himself so obnoxious to the Romans that they
JOHN XII (956-64)
the son of Alberic, was the first to change his name, which
was originally Octavian. He nominated himself pope at the age of seventeen. Wilks
says: “His profaneness and debaucheries exceeded all bounds. He was publicly
accused of concubinage, incest, and simony.” This pope was so notorious for his
licentiousness that female pilgrims dared not present themselves in Rome.
Bower says that he had changed the Lateran Palace, once the abode of saints, into
a brothel, and there cohabited with his father’s concubine; that women were afraid
to come from other countries to visit the tombs of the apostles at Rome; that he
spared none, and had within a few days forced married women, widows, and
virgins to comply with his impure desires. He was at length deposed by Otho, at
the solicitation of a council of bishops and laymen, on charges of sacrilege, simony,
blasphemy, and cruel mutilation. He had deprived one deacon of his right hand and
made him a eunuch. He put out the eyes of Benedict, his ghostly father, cut off the
nose of the keeper of the archives, and scourged the Bishop of Spires. On
the deposition of John, Leo VII was put in his place. John fulminated anathemas
against his opponents, and soon after died, from a blow on the head while in bed
with a married woman. Jortin remarks that “Baronius says, from
Luitprandus, that it was the Devil who gave John that blow; but it seems not
probable that Satan would have used his good friend in such a manner. It is more
likely that it might be the husband of the adulteress.”
Mosheim says “that the history of the Roman pontiffs of this century [the tenth] is
a history of monsters, a history of the most atrocious villainies and crimes, is
acknowledged by all writers of distinction, and even by the advocates of
BONIFACE VII (974)
The old authors in derision call him Maliface. Having had his
predecessor Benedict murdered, he plundered the Basilica and escaped with his
spoils to Constantinople, whence he afterwards returned and murdered John XIV
(984), then on the papal throne.
GREGORY V (996-99)
He was turned out of his see by Crescentius, who elected
the antipope John. Upon Gregory’s restoration he had this unfortunate creature
deprived of sight, cut off his nose, and tore out his tongue. He then ordered him to
be led through the streets in a tattered sacerdotal suit, and mounted upon an ass
with his face to the tail, which he held in his hand.
SERGIUS IV (1009-12)
This pope was called Os Porci, or Swine’s Mouth. Of his
doings little is known, but he is asserted to have gravely declared “that the pope
could not be damned, but that, do what he would, he must be saved.”
BENEDICT VIII (1012-24)
He saved the city of Rome from a great storm, which
it seems was caused by some Jews. The Jews being immediately executed the
JOHN XIX (1024-33)
He was a layman, brother of Benedict, yet he was raised to
the see. Wilks says:
“It was by gold, and not by imperial power, that the Romans consented
to this uncanonical election. The rapacity of this pope was so great that
he offered to sell the title of ‘Universal Bishop’ to the see of
Constantinople for a sum of money!”
By his exactions, debauchery and tyranny, he became so odious to the Romans
that he had to flee for his life.
BENEDICT IX (1033-46)
A nephew of the last two pontiffs. Some say he was
raised to the papacy at the age of twelve — others, at eighteen. He “stained the
sacred office with murder, adultery, and every other heinous crime.” [1 31 :1 ]
Desiderius, afterwards pope under the name of Victor III, styles Benedict the
successor of Simon the sorcerer, and not of Simon the apostle, and paints him as
one abandoned to all manner of vice. Being eager to possess the person and
property of a female cousin, he sold the papacy to John Gratianus, “the most
religious man of his time,” for a sum of money, and consecrated him as Gregory VI.
Benedict afterwards poisoned Pope Damasus II. The Romans, weary of his crimes,
expelled him from the city, but he was reinstated by Conrad. “But,” says Jortin,
“as he continued his scandalous course of life, and found himself despised and
detested both by clergy and laity, he agreed to retire, and to abandon himself more
freely to his pleasures.” Stipulating therefore to receive a sum of money, he
resigned his place to Gratianus, called Gregory VI, and went to live in his own
Mosheim calls Benedict IX “a most flagitious man and capable of every
We have already seen how Benedict, Sylvester, and Gregory, were alike declared
unworthy of the pontificate, and Clement placed in the see, and by what means
Hildebrand contrived to extend the papal power. This great pontiff, Gregory VII
(1073-85), has been accused of poisoning his predecessors in order to obtain the
popedom, and also of committing adultery with Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, who
bestowed all her possessions on the pope. But these accusations probably arose
from the spite of the many enemies aroused by Hildebrand’s high-handed
PASCAL II (1099-1118)
He was a disciple of Hildebrand, and inherited his
ambition without his talents. He compelled Henry IV to abdicate, but on his son
Henry V marching against him, after a sanguinary struggle, he gave up to the
emperor the right of investiture. Afterwards he excommunicated all who should
declare his own grant to be valid.
ADRIAN IV (1154-59)
The only Englishman who ever became pope. He caused
Arnold of Brescia to be burnt at the stake (1154) for preaching against papal
corruption. The Irish should remember that it was this pope who, in virtue of the
pretended Donation of Constantine, made over to Henry II of England the right to
take and govern Ireland on condition of the pope receiving an annual tribute of one
penny for each house.
ALEXANDER III (1159-81)
The Lateran Council (1179) declared war against all
heretics, and a crusade against them was sanctioned by this pontiff.
CLEMENT III (1188-1191). He published the third crusade (1189).
INNOCENT III (1198-1216) also preached a crusade. He claimed for his see
universal empire and established the Inquisition to support the claim. He
excommunicated Philip II of France and put the whole nation under interdict.
Afterwards he placed England under interdict, excommunicated John, bestowed
the crown on Philip of France, and published a crusade against England. He also
instituted a crusade against the Albigenses, butchering them by tens of thousands
with every circumstance of atrocity.
GREGORY IX (1227-41).
He formally established the Inquisition; and, to support
his ambition and the unbridled luxury of his court, raised taxes in France, England
and Germany, excommunicated kings, and incited nations to revolt; finally causing
himself to be driven from Rome.
INNOCENT IV (1243-54).
He conspired against the life of the Emperor Frederic,
through the agency of the Franciscan monks. To avoid confronting his accuser, he
retired to France, summoned a council at Lyons (1244), and excommunicated and
deposed the emperor, whom he coolly denominated his vassal. He also
excommunicated the kings of Arragon and Portugal, giving the crown of the latter
to the Count of Bologna. He persecuted the Ghibellines, and pretending to have the
right of disposing of the crown of the two Sicilies, offered it to Richard, Earl of
Cornwall, brother to Henry III of England. Innocent made exorbitant claims to the
bishoprics and benefices in England. [1 33:1 ]
BONIFACE VIII (1294-1303).
He had his predecessor, Celestine, put in prison,
where he died. [1 33:2] He openly styled himself “King of Kings,” trafficked in
indulgences, and declared all excluded from heaven who disputed his claim to
universal dominion. He persecuted the Ghibellines, and ordered the city of
Bragneste to be entirely destroyed. He was publicly accused of simony,
assassination, usury, of living in concubinage with his two nieces and having
children by them, and of using the money received for indulgences to pay the
Saracens for invading Italy.
CLEMENT V (1305-1314)
He is noted for his cruel suppression of the order of
Knights Templar, so as to appropriate their property. He summoned the grand
master of the Templars under false pretexts to his court, and issued a bull against
the order in which he brought against it the most unfounded and absurd charges,
and finally pronounced its abolition, having the Grand Master and many leading
members burnt alive. [1 34:4] After sharing the spoils of the Templars with the king
of France, Clement V fixed his court at Avignon, and gave himself publicly to the
most criminal debaucheries. He preached a new crusade against the Turks and
gave each new crusader the right to release four souls from purgatory. Dante
places him in hell.
JOHN XXII (1316-34)
Like his predecessors, he persecuted and burnt heretics.
He anathematised the emperor of Germany and the king of France, and preached
a new crusade. Money was raised in abundance by the sale of indulgences, and was
misappropriated by the pope. He left enormous treasures. Villani, whose brother
was one of the papal commission, states that this successor of the fisherman
amassed altogether twenty-five million florins. [1 34:5] Gieseler says: “He
arbitrarily disposed of the Benefices of all countries, chiefly in favor of his own
nephews, and the members of his curia.”
URBAN VI (1378-89)
In his time occurred what is known as “the great Western
schism,” which lasted from 1378 till the Council of Constance (1414). There were
during that time two popes, one residing at Rome and the other at Avignon. But
which of the popes was the true one and which the antipope has not yet been
decided. Urban VI was a ferocious despot. He ordered six cardinals, whom he
suspected of opposing him, to be brutally tortured. Nor was his competitor,
Clement VII, behind him in violence and crime. For fifty years they and their
successors excited bloody wars and excommunicated one another. The schism,
which cost thousands of lives, was ended by the deposition of John XXIII (1415),
who was found guilty of murder and incest. He was accused before the Council of
having seduced two hundred nuns. Theodoric de Niem informs us that he kept two
hundred mistresses in Bologna, and he is described by his own secretary as a
monster of avarice, ambition, lewdness and cruelty. The same author says
that an act of accusation, prepared against him, presented a complete catalogue of
every mortal crime.
MARTIN V (1417-31)
His crimes were not of a kind to be censured by a Council of
bishops. He had John Huss and Jerome of Prague burnt alive, and to put down
their heresies excited civil war in Bohemia. He wrote to the Duke of Lithuania: “Be
assured thou sinnest mortally in keeping faith with heretics.”
EUGENIUS IV (1431-47) His first act was to put to torture the treasurer of his
predecessor, Martin V. He seized that pontiff’s treasures and sent to the scaffold
two hundred Roman citizens, friends of the late pope. The Council of Basle
was called and deposed the pope, setting up an antipope, Felix V. Civil war and
much cruelty of course followed.
PAUL II (1464-71)
He broke all the engagements he had made to the conclave
prior to his election. He persecuted with the greatest cruelty and perfidy the Count
of Anguillara. He strove to kindle a general war throughout Italy, and
excommunicated the king of Bohemia for protecting the Hussites against his
persecutions. He also persecuted the Fratricelli. “His love of money,” says
Symonds, “was such that, when bishoprics fell vacant, he often refused to fill them
up, drawing their revenues for his own use, and draining Christendom as a Verres
or a Memmius sucked a Roman province dry. His court was luxurious, and in
private he was addicted to all the sensual lusts.” The same writer says that
“He seized the chief members of the Roman Academy, imprisoned them, put them
to the torture, and killed some of them upon the rack.” He died suddenly,
leaving behind him an immense treasure in money and jewels, amassed by his
avarice and extortion.
SIXTUS IV (1471-84). He strove to excel his predecessors in crime. According to
Symonds, “He began his career with a lie; for though he succeeded, to that demon
of avarice, Paul, who had spent his time in amassing money which he did not use,
he declared that he had only found five thousand florins in the papal treasury.”
The historian continues:
“This assertion was proved false by the prodigality with which he
lavished wealth immediately upon his nephews. It is difficult even to
hint at the horrible suspicions which were cast upon the birth of two of
the Pope’s nephews and upon the nature of his weakness for them: yet
the private life of Sixtus rendered the most monstrous stories plausible,
while his public treatment of these men recalled to mind the partiality
of Nero for Doryphorus … The Holy Father himself was wont to say, A
Pope needs only pen and ink to get what sum he wants.’ … Fictitious
dearths were created; the value of wheat was raised to famine prices;
good grain was sold out of the kingdom, and bad imported in exchange;
while Sixtus forced his subjects to purchase from his stores, and made a
profit by the hunger and disease of his emaciated provinces.”
“He was restrained by no scruple from rendering his spiritual power
subservient to his worldly views, or from debasing it by a mixture with
those temporary intrigues in which his ambition had involved him. The
Medici being peculiarly in his way, he took part in the Florentine
troubles; and, as is notorious, brought upon himself the suspicion of
being privy to the conspiracy of the Pazzi, and to the assassination
which they perpetrated on the steps of the altar of the cathedral: the
suspicion that he, the father of the faithful, was an accomplice of such
acts! When the Venetians ceased to favor the scheme of his nephew, as
they had done for a considerable time, the pope was not satisfied with
deserting them in a war into which he himself had driven them; he
went so far as to excommunicate them for persisting in it. He acted
with no less violence in Rome: he persecuted the Colonnas with great
ferocity: he seized Marino from them; he caused the prothonotary
Colonna to be attacked, arrested and executed in his own house. The
mother of Colonna came to San Celso in Branchi, where the body lay —
she lifted the severed head by the hair, and cried ‘Behold the head of
my son! Such is the faith of the pope. He promised that if we would give
up Marino to him he would set my son at liberty; he has Marino: and
my son is in our hands — but dead! Behold thus does the pope keep his
Jortin says that “Sixtus IV erected a famous bawdy-house at Rome, and the
Roman prostitutes paid his holiness a weekly tax, which amounted sometimes to
twenty thousand ducats a year.”
INNOCENT VIII (1484-92).
Schlegel, in his notes to Mosheim, says he “lived so
shamefully before he mounted the Roman throne, that he had sixteen illegitimate
children to make provision for. Yet on the papal throne he played the zealot against
the Germans, whom he accused of magic, and also against the Hussites, whom he
well-nigh exterminated.” Wilks says: “He obtained the votes of the
cardinals by bribery, and violated all his promises.” [1 37 :8] The practice of selling
offices prevailed under him as well as under his predecessors. “In corruption,” says
Symonds, ” he advanced a step even beyond Sixtus, by establishing a bank at
Rome for the sale of pardons. Each sin had its price, which might be paid at the
convenience of the criminal: one hundred and fifty ducats of the tax were poured
into the Papal coffers; the surplus fell to Franceschetto, the Pope’s son.” [1 37 :9]
The Vice-Chancellor of this rapacious pontiff, on being asked why indulgences were
permitted for the worst scandals, made answer that “God wills not the death of a
sinner, but rather that he should pay and live.” It must be added that “the traffic
which Innocent and Franceschetto carried on in theft and murder filled the
Campagna with brigands and assassins.” The Pope’s vices cost him so much
that he even pledged the papal tiara as a security for money.
ALEXANDER VI (1492-1503)
Roderic Borgia was one of the most depraved
wretches that ever lived. His passions were so unbridled that, having conceived a
liking for a widow and two daughters, he made them all subservient to his
brutality. Wilks calls him “a man of most abandoned morals, deep duplicity, and
unscrupulous ambition. Like his predecessors, he had but one object at heart, the
temporal and hereditary aggrandisement of his family.” Mosheim says: “So
many and so great villainies, crimes and enormities are recorded of him, that it
must be certain he was destitute not only of all religion, but also of decency and
shame.” This pope, at a certain feast, had fifty courtesans dancing, who, at a
given signal, threw off every vestige of clothing and — we draw a veil over the
scene! “To describe him,” says Symonds, “as the Genius of Evil, whose sensualities,
as unrestrained as Nero’s, were relieved against the background of flame and
smoke which Christianity had raised for fleshly sins, is justifiable.” [1 38:4] His
besetting vice was sensuality; in oriental fashion he maintained a harem in the
Vatican. He invited the Sultan Bajazet to enter Europe and relieve him of the
princes who opposed his intrigues in favor of his children.
In regard to his death we follow Ranke:
“It was but too certain that he once meditated taking off one of the
richest of the cardinals by poison. His intended victim, however,
contrived, by means of presents, promises and prayers, to gain over his
head cook, and the dish which had been prepared for the cardinal was
placed before the pope. He died of the poison he had destined for
another.” [1 38:5]
JULIUS II (1503-13)
He obtained the pontificate by fraud and bribery, [1 38:6]
and boldly took the sword to extend his dominion. [1 38:7 ] Mosheim says:
“That this Julius II possessed, besides other vices, very great ferocity,
arrogance, vanity, and a mad passion for war, is proved by abundant
testimony. In the first place, he formed an alliance with the Emperor
and the King of France, and made war upon the Venetians. He next laid
siege to Ferrara. And at last, drawing the Venetians, the Swiss and the
Spaniards, to engage in the war with him, he made an attack on Lewis
XII, the king of France. Nor, so long as he lived, did he cease from
embroiling all Europe.”
PAUL III (1531-49)
He was as much a man of the world as any of his
predecessors. He acknowledged an illegitimate son and daughter. [1 38:9] The
emperor once remonstrated with him on having promoted two of his grandsons to
the cardinalate at too early an age. He replied that he would do as his predecessors
had done — that there were examples of infants in the cradle being made
We now close this horrid list of criminals. Since the Reformation the popes have
been obliged to live more decently, or at least to conceal their vices instead of
flaunting them before the world. Should the Protestants object that they are in no
way responsible for the crimes of the Papacy, we shall cheerfully concede the plea;
but at the same time we beg to remind them that Catholics are also Christians, and
that the historian must deal with the whole system through all the centuries.
Besides, as Michelet observed, Protestantism is after all only an estuary, and
Catholicism the great sea.
We were later to learn that indeed the vices were well concealed and that levels of debauchery went unchecked for many more centuries right up to the present time
In this Danish cartoonist image, John Paul II is the Sun as the Infallible most powerful Pope of the Catholics with seven rays of the 7 Sacraments, he is in his white papal uniform and his two papal hands pulls up the children”s robes because he enabled and allowed thousands of pedophiles rapists-priests to go on freely sodomizing and raping little boys (and girls) during his longest reigning papacy of 26 years, together with Cardinal Josef Ratzinger his right-hand man.
According to Tibetologist Melvyn Goldstein, the Tibetan system under the Dalai Lama met all the requirements of feudalism, under which:
1.) Serfs inherited their social position.
2.) A serf, unlike a slave had rights and possessed but did not own productive resources (land).
3.) The lord had the legal right to command his serfs, including judicial authority over him or her.
There is a mountain of historical data showing that in pre-1950 Tibet, aristocratic lamas and secular landowners controlled the vast majority of the country’s resources, while the rest of the country lived in poverty and were often subjected to torture, otherwise known as judicial mutilation. There’s a good article in the Guardian on this very subject. What we don’t hear about Tibet
As for the Dalai Lama himself, he was more like a monarch of a theocratic system and the only difference between him and other monarchs is that the monarchy was not hereditary but based on religious ritual. So it’s more like if the Pope were to rule an entire country rather than just Vatican City.
So in short, the Dalai Lama isn’t exactly this saintly holy man like many in the West think. At best he’s just an exiled leader who wants his power back and at worst, he’s a tool of the West backed by the National Endowment for Democracy, which itself is funded by the CIA. Whether that has any bearing on the Tibetan people‘s right to self determination is a different matter entirely.
From 1 January 2010, Irish blasphemy law came into being. Blasphemy is a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine. The law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.
This law is both silly and dangerous. It is silly because medieval religious laws have no place in a modern secular republic, where the criminal law should protect people and not ideas. And it is dangerous because it incentivises religious outrage, and because Islamic States led by Pakistan are already using the wording of this Irish law to promote new blasphemy laws at UN level.
We believe in the golden rule: that we have a right to be treated justly, and that we have a responsibility to treat other people justly. Blasphemy laws are unjust: they silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilised society, people have a right to to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous.
Publication of 25 blasphemous quotes
In this context we now publish a list of 25 blasphemous quotes, which have previously been published by or uttered by or attributed to Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Mark Twain, Tom Lehrer, Randy Newman, James Kirkup, Monty Python, Rev Ian Paisley, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Frank Zappa, Salman Rushdie, Bjork, Amanda Donohoe, George Carlin, Paul Woodfull, Jerry Springer the Opera, Tim Minchin, Richard Dawkins, Pope Benedict XVI, Christopher Hitchens, PZ Myers, Ian O’Doherty, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Dermot Ahern.
Despite these quotes being abusive and insulting in relation to matters held sacred by various religions, we unreservedly support the right of these people to have published or uttered them, and we unreservedly support the right of any Irish citizen to make comparable statements about matters held sacred by any religion without fear of being criminalised, and without having to prove to a court that a reasonable person would find any particular value in the statement.
Campaign begins to repeal the Irish blasphemy law
We ask Fianna Fail and the Green Party to repeal their anachronistic blasphemy law, as part of the revision of the Defamation Act that is included within the Act. We ask them to hold a referendum to remove the reference to blasphemy from the Irish Constitution.
We also ask all TDs and Senators to support a referendum to remove references to God from the Irish Constitution, including the clauses that prevent atheists from being appointed as President of Ireland or as a Judge without swearing a religious oath asking God to direct them in their work.
If you run a website, blog or other media publication, please feel free to republish this statement and the list of quotes yourself, in order to show your support for the campaign to repeal the Irish blasphemy law and to promote a rational, ethical, secular Ireland.
List of 25 Blasphemous Quotes Published by Atheist Ireland
1. Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.
2. Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.
3. Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.
4. Mark Twain, describing the Christian Bible in Letters from the Earth, 1909: “Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy – he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.” Twain’s book was published posthumously in 1939. His daughter, Clara Clemens, at first objected to it being published, but later changed her mind in 1960 when she believed that public opinion had grown more tolerant of the expression of such ideas. That was half a century before Fianna Fail and the Green Party imposed a new blasphemy law on the people of Ireland.
5. Tom Lehrer, The Vatican Rag, 1963: “Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional. There, the guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is, try playing it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer. Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!”
6. Randy Newman, God’s Song, 1972: “And the Lord said: I burn down your cities – how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind.”
7. James Kirkup, The Love That Dares to Speak its Name, 1976: “While they prepared the tomb I kept guard over him. His mother and the Magdalen had gone to fetch clean linen to shroud his nakedness. I was alone with him… I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft, still throbbed, anointed with death’s final ejaculation.” This extract is from a poem that led to the last successful blasphemy prosecution in Britain, when Denis Lemon was given a suspended prison sentence after he published it in the now-defunct magazine Gay News. In 2002, a public reading of the poem, on the steps of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, failed to lead to any prosecution. In 2008, the British Parliament abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.
8. Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979: “Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.”
9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”
10. Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1989: “In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.”
11. Frank Zappa, 1989: “If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”
12. Salman Rushdie, 1990: “The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – uncertainty, progress, change – into crimes.” In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because of blasphemous passages in Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.
13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”
14. Amanda Donohoe on her role in the Ken Russell movie Lair of the White Worm, 1995: “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”
15. George Carlin, 1999: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”
16. Paul Woodfull as Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly, The Ballad of Jaysus Christ, 2000: “He said me ma’s a virgin and sure no one disagreed, Cause they knew a lad who walks on water’s handy with his feet… Jaysus oh Jaysus, as cool as bleedin’ ice, With all the scrubbers in Israel he could not be enticed, Jaysus oh Jaysus, it’s funny you never rode, Cause it’s you I do be shoutin’ for each time I shoot me load.”
17. Jesus Christ, in Jerry Springer The Opera, 2003: “Actually, I’m a bit gay.” In 2005, the Christian Institute tried to bring a prosecution against the BBC for screening Jerry Springer the Opera, but the UK courts refused to issue a summons.
18. Tim Minchin, Ten-foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins, 2005: “So you’re gonna live in paradise, With a ten-foot cock and a few hundred virgins, So you’re gonna sacrifice your life, For a shot at the greener grass, And when the Lord comes down with his shiny rod of judgment, He’s gonna kick my heathen ass.”
19. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, 2006: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In 2007 Turkish publisher Erol Karaaslan was charged with the crime of insulting believers for publishing a Turkish translation of The God Delusion. He was acquitted in 2008, but another charge was brought in 2009. Karaaslan told the court that “it is a right to criticise religions and beliefs as part of the freedom of thought and expression.”
20. Pope Benedict XVI quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor, 2006: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” This statement has already led to both outrage and condemnation of the outrage. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim body, said it was a “character assassination of the prophet Muhammad”. The Malaysian Prime Minister said that “the Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created.” Pakistan’s foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence”. The European Commission said that “reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable.”
21. Christopher Hitchens in God is not Great, 2007: “There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.”
22. PZ Myers, on the Roman Catholic communion host, 2008: “You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university… However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel.”
23. Ian O’Doherty, 2009: “(If defamation of religion was illegal) it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.”
24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent… we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.
25. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister for Justice, introducing his blasphemy law at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting, 2009, and referring to comments made about him personally: “They are blasphemous.” Deputy Pat Rabbitte replied: “Given the Minister’s self-image, it could very well be that we are blaspheming,” and Minister Ahern replied: “Deputy Rabbitte says that I am close to the baby Jesus, I am so pure.” So here we have an Irish Justice Minister joking about himself being blasphemed, at a parliamentary Justice Committee discussing his own blasphemy law, that could make his own jokes illegal.
Finally, as a bonus, Micheal Martin, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, opposing attempts by Islamic States to make defamation of religion a crime at UN level, 2009: “We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” Just months after Minister Martin made this comment, his colleague Dermot Ahern introduced Ireland’s new blasphemy law.
The Vatican has just announced that, despite what Pope Francis said in his homily earlier this week, atheists are still going to hell.
What a relief. For a brief moment there it was possible to imagine a brave new world of compassion, generosity and acceptance, not qualities we have come to associate with the Holy See.
Said Pope Francis this week: ‘The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!’
That seemed like a pretty clear admission that people of other faiths and none have intrinsic worth to God and will be saved alongside the faithful. But this turned out to be wishful thinking.
Although they are otherwise good, moral people they are still doomed to burn in a lake of fire for having the temerity to have been born outside of Catholicism or having chosen to remain so.
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, spelled it out for the world on Thursday. People who know about the Catholic church ‘cannot be saved’ if they ‘refuse to enter her or remain in her,’ he said.
So that’s one tall order of eternal hellfire for the rest of us, then.
It makes for an interesting spectacle to see the infallible pope being corrected by his handlers, doesn’t it? For a moment it was possible to recall the welcoming and indulgent style of the short lived Pope John Paul I in the unexpectedly all-embracing words of Pope Francis. But you’ll recall how quickly John Paul I was replaced by the much more doctrinaire John Paul II.
There’s no question that Pope Francis sees the divinity in all human beings, but that’s a message that comes with caveats. God may make them all, Jew and Gentile, but unless they’re Catholic they’re ultimately kindling. The Vatican waited 24 hours to correct him, but they corrected him.
Yes, yes, the Council of Trent clearly taught that Jesus Christ, humanity’s one and only Redeemer, redeemed both Jew and Gentile. But there is a huge difference between redemption and salvation. See how that works? Judas Iscariot was redeemed by Christ’s death on the cross, but he was not saved – Catholics believe he is damned in hell.
To be justified requires faith – and that faith must be Catholic. You see where this is going?
If I was Pope Francis, I’d be employing a food tester right about now.
Edward Pentin’s Perspective: A 43-year-old Mexican father of two, who claims to be possessed by demons — and whom Pope Francis prayed over earlier this month in what some witnesses likened to a public exorcism — insists that he still has demons inside him.
Identified only as Angel V., the man told Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo that he had undergone some 30 exorcisms by 10 exorcists, including the renowned Roman exorcist Rev. Gabriel Amorth, who all tried unsuccessfully to free him from his affliction. The interview was reported in the Italian daily La Stampa.
“I still have the demons inside me, they have not gone away,” the man said, noting that he felt much better after the Pope prayed over him. El Mundo reported that the man is able to walk. He was in a wheelchair when he met Pope Francis on May 19 at the conclusion of Mass on Pentecost Sunday.
Pope Francis laid his hands on the wheelchair-bound man in St Peter’s Square. The man’s expressions and the fact that he was known to be possessed made it appear to be an exorcism, although the Vatican denied the assertion, saying the Pope “did not intend to perform any exorcism” but simply prayed “for a suffering person who had been brought before him.”
An exorcism is, in the strict sense, a “casting out” of evil spirits using a very precise ritual. The Pope performed what is called a “laying on of hands” — a very ancient practice, going back to the Old Testament. In Christian tradition, it continues to be an act of blessing, and is also offered as an act of primarily spiritual healing by an ordained priest or bishop.
Angel V., who is married and lives in the state of Michoacán, claims to have been possessed by demons since 1999.
The Rev. Juan Rivas, a well-known Mexican priest, who accompanied Angel V. to Rome and was with him when he met the Pope, confirmed in an interview with El Mundo that Angel V. had been subjected to 30 exorcisms but “the demons that live in him do not want to leave him.” Rivas, a popular figure in Mexico and a member of the Legionaries of Christ, recalled how Angel kissed the pontiff’s ring and immediately fell into a trance.
“The Pope then laid his hands on his head and at that moment a terrible sound was heard (from him), like the roar of a lion,” Rivas said. “All those who were there heard it perfectly well. The Pope for sure heard it [but] he continued with his prayer, as if he had faced similar situations before.”
In the interview, Angel V. recalled the first time the demons entered him in 1999 when he was on a bus in Mexico. He felt “an energy” had entered the bus. “I did not see it with my eyes, but I perceived it,” he recalled. “I noted that it came close to me, and then stopped in front of me. Then, suddenly, I noted that something like a stake pierced my chest and, little by little, I had the sensation that it was opening my ribs.”
It felt like a heart attack, he added, and he thought he would die.
From then on, he said, his health started deteriorating: he vomited whatever he ate; he felt pains in his whole body, as if he was full of needles; he began to have difficulty in walking and breathing. “I could not sleep, and when I managed to sleep I had terrible nightmares connected with the evil one,” he asserted. He began to fall into trances in which he blasphemed, and spoke in unknown languages.
Medical doctors gave him thorough examinations but “could not get to the cause of my problems,” he said. Priests gave him Extreme Unction (a sacrament administered to the sick) four times, but this only “relieved” but did not remove his problem. The Catholic said he prays to God which helps him.
Knowing that he is possessed, he said is a source of “much fear,” but he also feels “very dirty at the thought that there was an evildoer within me.” His family reacted with incredulity, while some of his siblings were skeptical and thought he was psychologically unbalanced, he said.
For the past few years, Angel has sought out exorcists, including a leading Spanish priest, the Rev. Jose Antonio Fortea, who carried out exorcisms on him, and Amorth in Rome, but none could cast out his demons.
The possession turned into “a nightmare,” he said, causing him to lose a publicity company he owned and forcing him to sell some real estate. His family though has stood by him. “Fortunately, my children have never seen me in a trance, though they know I am ill,” he explained, adding that the past eight months have been particularly difficult.
One night he had a dream about Pope Francis, and when he woke up from the dream he turned on the TV and saw the Pope celebrating Mass exactly as he had seen in his dream “and then the idea came into my head that I should go to Rome.”
At that time he was reading a book by Amorth, “The Last Exorcist,” which included details of how both Benedict XVI and John Paul II carried out exorcisms on people brought to them. Angel V. asked Rivas, whom he has known for two years, to accompany him to the Vatican.
Amorth believes Angel is without doubt possessed, and that it is a possession “with a message.” “Not only is he possessed, but the devil who lives in him finds himself obliged by God to transmit a message,” he said.
Urgent: Should the Pope change the Catholic Church?
“Angel is a good man. He has been chosen by the Lord to give a message to the Mexican clergy and to tell the bishops that they have to do an act of reparation for the law on abortion that was approved in Mexico City in 2007, which was an insult to the Virgin,” according to Amorth. “Until they . . . do this, Angel will not be liberated.”
Edward Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002. He has covered the Pope and the Holy See for a number of publications, including Newsweek, and The Sunday Times
For a man who seeks to imitate a noble personage, he could play worse than a Pope.
In Rome, however, it is a predilection fraught with potential problems.
For the past several weeks, according to Britain’s Telegraph, the papal lookalike, dressed in a white cassock and decorated with a skull cap and a crucifix on a necklace, has been entertaining tourists near the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the broad avenue that leads up to the Colosseum and a lucrative spot for attracting passers-by. … Some would drop a few euro coins into his silver tray.
“John Paul was a great Pope. Lots of people ask to have their photograph taken with me,” he told the paper, as he sat on a chair and smiled broadly as he held a Bible.
Police who detained him told him he will be hit with a fine of between about $200 to more than $1,200, depending on a court’s decision.
“The problem was that he looked a lot like Karol Wojtyla. He was detained for usurpation of title which is a misdemeanour,” a police spokeswoman told AFP.
“The cassock he was wearing has been confiscated,” she said, adding that the action had been taken after an anonymous complaint.
The Slovak was one of several buskers and street artists who try their luck along the street, from bands of Peruvian pipers to fake centurions and legionaries and performers who stand stock still dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
“If he had been dressed like Tutankhamen nothing would have happened,” another police officer said.
Local media had joked that the fake Pope had brought the number of pontiffs in Rome to three, along with Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who is living out his retirement in a former convent in the Vatican.
via Clerical Whispers.
via Clerical Whispers.