Uncommon Sense

October 27, 2017

Catholics at War … Get the Popcorn

You won’t like me when I’m angry.”

In a long read article in The Guardian (The War Against Pope Francis) we are treated to the kinds of behaviors clerics deplore … in “the flock,” but by the shepherds themselves, hmm, apparently not so much.

For example, consider the following paragraph in that piece: “This summer, one prominent English priest said to me: ‘We can’t wait for him to die. It’s unprintable what we say in private. Whenever two priests meet, they talk about how awful Bergoglio is … he’s like Caligula: if he had a horse, he’d make him cardinal.” Of course, after 10 minutes of fluent complaint, he added: ‘You mustn’t print any of this, or I’ll be sacked.’” (Note: Bergoglio is the pope’s given name and using it is a sign the speaker doesn’t consider him a “real pope;” if he did he would refer to him as Pope Francis, or any of the other bullshit titles he possesses.)

Gosh, “we can’t wait for him to die,” is that statement describing an attitude, like a child who “can’t wait for Christmas morning” or a statement of intent? If it is a statement of intent, one hopes it suggests some sort of legal proceeding rather than the time tested methods used to remove a troublesome prelate: poison or a pillow in the night

Here’s another “In 2015, American journalist Ross Douthat, a convert to Catholicism, wrote a piece for the Atlantic magazine headlined Will Pope Francis Break the Church?; a Spectator blogpost by the English traditionalist Damian Thompson threatened that ‘Pope Francis is now at war with the Vatican. If he wins, the church could fall apart.’ The pope’s views on divorce and homosexuality, according to an Archbishop from Kazakhstan, had allowed ‘the smoke of Satan’ to enter the church.

Ah, the threat of the smoke of Satan which, if one has asthma, might actually kill.

So, what’s the buzz, tell us what’s happening? The article expands …

The crunch point has come in a fight over his views on divorce. Breaking with centuries, if not millennia, of Catholic theory, Pope Francis has tried to encourage Catholic priests to give communion to some divorced and remarried couples, or to families where unmarried parents are cohabiting. His enemies are trying to force him to abandon and renounce this effort.

The question is particularly poisonous because it is almost entirely theoretical. In practice, in most of the world, divorced and remarried couples are routinely offered communion. Pope Francis is not proposing a revolution, but the bureaucratic recognition of a system that already exists, and might even be essential to the survival of the church. If the rules were literally applied, no one whose marriage had failed could ever have sex again. This is not a practical way to ensure there are future generations of Catholics.

Ah, Jesus (Remember him?) was willing to forgive whores and brutal tax collectors (armed thugs who collected taxes anyway they wanted to) but the modern Catholics can’t abide a divorce, even when studies show people get remarried at a huge rate, so divorce doesn’t undermine the institution of marriage; it undermines the ability of the church to control behavior. (The older church was more pragmatic; it would have sold indulgences (if an annulment wouldn’t do): good for one divorce, but I digress.) I guess this is one of those issues in which Catholics have rules on the books, and then ignore them. Let’s see, there are the 92% of American Catholic women who use artificial birth control, which is strictly verboten, and now we find out that “In practice, in most of the world, divorced and remarried couples are routinely offered communion,” also strictly verboten. And the ass-covering Vatican officials are willing to not only tolerate a schism over this, but to create one. Who was it who said “with friends like these you don’t need enemies?”

To top things off for now, the article stated: “Last month, 62 disaffected Catholics, including one retired bishop and a former head of the Vatican bank, published an open letter that accused Francis of seven specific counts of heretical teaching.

To accuse a sitting pope of heresy is the nuclear option in Catholic arguments. Doctrine holds that the pope cannot be wrong when he speaks on the central questions of the faith; so if he is wrong, he can’t be pope. On the other hand, if this pope is right, all his predecessors must have been wrong.

Oooh, I wonder if this is one of Satan’s dilemmas, or just an ordinary one.

This has the possibility of being the greatest spectator event of the century. No matter how it plays out Amazon or Netflix will make a bingable miniseries. (Too bad Sydney Greenstreet is dead, he would have been a great Pope Francis.) And, one also hopes, enough Catholics are so disgusted by the antics of the Vatican that they will look elsewhere for their … spiritual guidance. (I’m sorry, I can’t quite use the term spiritual guidance without seeing in my cartoon mind a sign that reads “This Way to the Haunted Mansion” or a Victorian book entitled “A Guide to Spirits, Ghosts, Spectres, and Other Ectoplasmic Manifestations.” If people using this term are referring more to something akin to “lifting one’s spirits” or as in high school “building team spirit,” one needs a cheerleader, not a dour Catholic, celibate, uneducated “advisor,” especially as a marriage counselor.)


  1. Be nice if they entered a worthwhile war… against evangelicals.


    Comment by john zande — October 27, 2017 @ 10:55 am | Reply

    • But the evangelicals in the U.S> are packing serious heat. Wouldn’t be much of a fight: excommunication vs AR-15s.

      On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 27, 2017 @ 11:04 am | Reply

      • Good point.


        Comment by john zande — October 27, 2017 @ 11:12 am | Reply

        • In the U.S. we always think “Guns First” … except when we really should think about guns as a national issue, then it is never the right time.

          On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:12 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — October 27, 2017 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  2. Not in this country! Doctors are not allowed to mention that keeping a gun in your house hugely increases the likelihood you will get shot (by federal law!).


    Comment by Steve Ruis — October 27, 2017 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  3. What we really need is weekend colosseum events where the religious of the world must fight one another with wooden clubs until all are dead … live on pay per view!


    Comment by Zach — November 2, 2017 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

    • Jeez, I would pay for that. It would really show which religion god was behind. (And you can bet the religious leaders wouldn’t be looking for a man of strong faith to represent them, they would be looking for a strong man of whatever faith.

      On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 12:51 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 2, 2017 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

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