Toad in the Hole

April 07, 2005

OK, the Late Pope

So I keep hearing stuff about how, well, the Pope was a doctrinal conservative, but he made up with the Jews. Or: He was rude to women and gays and condemned contraception as well as abortion and forbade the use of condoms that would have saved lives -- in effect, made sexual "sin," even that of another (like one's husband) a death-penalty crime -- but he was against the Iraq war and "naked capitalism" too, just as strongly.

As if it somehow balanced out. I'm sure Tom DeLay is nice to kittens and fluffy dogs, too, and he probably eats his vegetables like a Clean Plate Ranger.

But those statements aren't even true anyway. He was a doctrinal conservative? The hell. He added to Church doctrine his own well-established social opinion that women are second-class citizens in his church (whatever "separate-but-equal" spin the hierarchy might put on it) and may not ever be priests, end of discussion. I am amazed that people are even considering such a person a legitimate speaker to crowds, let alone a moral leader. He made the idea that a seminary must be a seg academy a matter of doctrine! The next thing to an ex cathedra declaration!

That old test is still useful: substitute absolutely any other group for "women" in that statement, and see what the reaction is. I do note with grim amusement that the one thing people of every race and nation can be counted on to unite around is their willingness to diss women.

I'll let "the Jews" -- right, one mass with one opinion -- decide how well JP2 satisfied them about that little unpleasantness in the 1930s and 1940s.

As for the "he was equally against war" "seamless garment" nonsense, just exercise memory a bit. Was it ever suggested by anyone in the Catholic hierarchy that John Kerry lose his Communion "privileges" for his support of the Iraq war? No. Have they, any of them, started excommunicating plutocrats? Somehow it seems never to have come up.

Was Pinochet excommunicated? Far from it; I do believe the Pope pleaded for mercy for the old mass murderer.

And of course, just as Mother Theresa didn't die in one of her own clinics, John Paul 2 was allowed to die after only a brief bout with a nasogastric feeding tube, not a surgically implanted one, and no further medical interventions. Bet they pulled the NG tube too. And that's not even invasive, as surgery to introduce a permanent feeding tube is. Anyone who thinks "that's difffferent" from Terri Schiavo's unnecessarily protracted death needs to look at the available primary evidence.

Posted at April 7, 2005 02:41 AM


But, as was pointed out to me today, he almost certainly shat in the woods.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at April 8, 2005 06:52 AM

Yeah. On whom?

Posted by: Ron at April 11, 2005 04:25 PM