Saturday, June 22, 2013

the pope on trial

It's not exactly new news that the former pope and some of his minions are the target of a complaint in the International Criminal Court.

L-R: Current and former popes
The Roman Catholic Church, the largest corporation on earth, stands accused of centuries-old systemic complicity in a variety of abuses, most notably the priestly sexual abuses of children in its charge. Suggesting that the Vatican was not complicit in these heinous crimes or that the Mother Church is somehow beyond reproach and deserves to be saved ... well, it beggars the imagination of any sane man.

A friend sent along a link (above) today to a book review of "Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict." The review gives the writer leave to resurrect what has been resurrected in the past and will, with any luck, be resurrected in future. The pure malevolence of the situation deserves no less.

Every individual tale is a tale of horror that glistens and winks with endless facets. And the institutionalized tale is no less horrific, no less faceted, no less gruesome in its endless, endless detail. Anyone looking into the matter must recognize that whatever aspects are brought into focus require the viewer to set aside all the other facets. I mean, this thing is HUGE, GINORMOUS and dispiriting in its vastness. If I were to understand it all, when would I have time to mow the lawn? I mean that literally.

(Consider as just one minuscule example this collection of official church documents dating back to 309 AD ... all of them relating to sexual dysfunction within the church that may claim no dysfunction. I've read them. And when I finished reading them, I was literally numbed ... I literally could find no words... and those documents barely scratch any credible surface.)

But the nagging doubt crossed my mind this morning: That just as the so-called espionage accusations leveled against Pfc. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden will probably lapse into forgetfulness due to their endless implications and facets, so too will the Vatican and its minions survive relatively unscathed. The problem is too large and complex, too woven into the social fabric, to be resolved with anything as pointed and relieving as a "guilty" verdict. Manning and Snowden will go to jail because, well, the institutions against which they arrayed themselves are too amorphous, too huge, too mentally challenging to allow anything less. And the Vatican? Well, to mix metaphors, the Vatican has more tentacles than a dog has fleas.

It's like punching a pillow ... the pillow survives ... and the slugger has to mow the lawn.

Galling? Sure. And no reason not to try.

But still.

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