I'm not the kind of person to disrespect a religious leader.
But screw the pope.
I've made no secret of the fact that I was raised Catholic. I was baptized... I attended Sunday School... I took communion... I went to church when I could. Even after I stopped attending service, I still maintained ties with the Catholic church so I could help with projects and fund-raising events and such. On top of that, I continued to go to Easter Sunday mass and Midnight Christmas mass long after I had stopped calling myself a Catholic... all because I missed the ritual and community of it all.
Despite eventually embracing different beliefs, I still loved the church.
Partly because I still had many friends and family who were members, but mostly because of the tremendous respect, admiration, and affection I had towards Pope John Paul II. He was a truly great man, and did remarkable things to make the Catholic Church less insular and more a part of the world community. He was a tireless advocate of human rights. He reached out to other religions in an effort to create a new era of acceptance and understanding between faiths. He was the embodiment of Christian ideals. He was a brilliant writer. He spoke a dozen languages. He made public apologies for historical wrongs of his church. He was a true leader... inspirational not only to his followers, but to everyone.
Not that I agreed with everything he did or stood for... that would be impossible for anybody. But I never lost respect for him.
And now all of John Paul II's hard work is systematically being destroyed by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, despite being a member of Hitler's Youth and his best efforts to drag the church back to the dark ages. But then he refused to see the Dalai Lama at the Vatican, and I was done. Who refuses to see the Dalai Lama? The pope offended an aspect of my faith (as he had already done to so many others) and so I was done. Done.
And then today Pope Benedict un-excommunicated four renegade bishops which John Paul II had excommunicated. That's his privilege, but one of these bishops was Richard Williamson, a Holocaust-denying anti-Semitic asshole. Pissing all over John Paul II's legacy is one thing... but this is unforgivable. And I honestly don't give a shit why Benedict did it. He's done a very shameful thing, and I am deeply saddened for Catholics who have been tied to denial of this horrific act...
Somehow, I'm beyond done.
It's not even that he's a Holocaust denier. I mean, it is crazy given the mountains of evidence he claims doesn't exist (not to mention the testimony of not only the Jews who either survived or were forced to work at the camps, but also the Nazis interrogated after the war). For me it's the casual and condescending way that he dismisses the deaths of the people he admits were killed. Like a couple hundred thousand exterminated is a perfectly okay amount because it's not the nearly six million that has been estimated. What kind of priest has an attitude like this? As a man of God, shouldn't he be even a little horrified?
I'm wondering if now is the time for me to enact a hostile takeover of the papacy...
One of the hallmarks of being pope is infallibility. Obviously the current pope doesn't fit the bill. He's making mistakes right and left (as today's decision should make painfully obvious).
I'll get started on the "Dave Is My Pope" shirts.
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I too am what is typically called a lapsed Catholic. Sister Mary Clare lost me in Grade 3 when she told me that animals don’t have a soul even though humans are animals. Sister Mary Hardy lost me in Grade 9 when she refused to entertain the concept of evolution. Fr Joe at our local parish lost me when he told my mother she had sinned and her soul would be damned for using contraception and ‘our’ (and I use the term loosely) new Pope lost me when he recently spoke out saying that mankind needed saving from the blurring of gender distinctions which was as much a threat to mankind’s continuing existence as global warming and other environmental threats. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7796663.stm)
A dear friend of our family is a Catholic priest in a large Qld town and he tells me that recently his bishop was dragged over the coals for having the audacity to suggest that the Catholic church needs to welcome women and married priests into the clergy to help replace the current aging generation of priests or else they will find they are unable to minister their congregations.
Until the Catholic church is pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st century, they will continue to alienate and disappoint the remaining faithful.
I’m done too.
Save one of those shirts for me!
I don’t understand Catholicism. I do remember thinking, though, that I did not like the new pope. (hahaha, I typed poop first by mistake) But at that time I had no idea why I didn’t like him. He doesn’t have my respect either.
The whole concept of Papal Infallibility is one of the stupidest and weakest parts of Catholic dogma.
Well, sure, if it were anybody but me.
If you were Pope, I’d become a Catholic… or whatever it would be called. I’m also buying the t-shirt – the kids can have chocolate pudding for dinner so I can pay for it. Win/win, really.
I was going to save this until I could record the video, but seems you need it.
You know it’s YOU, Daaaaaaaave
Whenever we get weary and we’ve had enough
Feel like throwing up
You know it’s YOU, Daaaaaaaave
Giving us the courage and the strength we need
We believe, that it’s true.
Dave’s my pope too.
I still don’t understand how people can deny the Holocaust ever happened. I wish we could take them all to one of the human ovens and lock them in and then slowly turn up the heat. They’d probably still deny it, though, wouldn’t they?
Ever notice how this Pope and Emperor Palpatine look alike? Its uncanny.
I say we stage a coup, make you Pope, and make Holy Communion chocolate pudding instead of unleavened cracker bread.
Peace be unto him who would share his chocolate pudding with Dave…
Is that all? We’re all saved!
Pope Dave could reinstate some of the earlier traditions with a new twist in his quest to get us all to become vegetarian, too. Meatless Fridays but, instead of fish – chocolate pudding!!
My whole life, I’ve never heard anything good about the Catholic church. The whole concept of that religion pisses me off.
I can’t wait to get one of those shirts.
Now that’s a shirt I’d buy!
I would totally buy a ‘Dave is my pope’ t-shirt.
Whenever I hear about the papacy, I think of Margaret Cho’s skit where she talks about how gay the pope is. How he is running around in a gold lame dress, living with 500 men with the world’s finest antiques. Queen please!
I am not Catholic, but John Paul II really did do a lot of good. This new joke of a pope gives me the creeps – even his face looks demonic!
That dude’s blog is just freaking strange. His rant against The Sound of Music reads like sarcasm from a decent writer or plain stupidity from a bad one. Given his other views (women shouldn’t wear pants or go to college?!?), I’m going with plain stupidity from a bad writer. What a dick!
someone get me the pope on the phone. i want an explanation.
This makes me beyond sad. Beyond. Not your opinion – but the destruction of Pope John Paul II’s legacy.
Benedict is like our own Dubya.
One thing though – papal infallibility is often misunderstood, I think. There are very few things that are truly infallible. Not EVERYTHING he says is automatically considered infallible. It has to be specifically designated as such.
But still. This is a clear reminder that The Church is a very, very human institution.
The Catholic Church lost me when I made my first confession and had to actually wrack my brain to think of something to confess. I was a little kid, what could I have possibly done? It seemed a bit dumb to me.
I like the rituals too, oddly. But that’s not really the basis of faith, is it?
Pope Benedict scares me. He looks mean. And honestly… Hilter Youth? What were these people thinking making him the Pope.
I’m voting for you.
Can I get a ride in the Popemobile?
Like you, I parted ways with the Catholic church many moons ago and have since moved on to different philosophies when it comes to my spirituality. It saddens me that this Pope is undoing the great work of Pope John Paul.
dave is my pope whether I get a shirt or not.
I’ve never quite understood the logic behind Holocaust deniers. There’s actual proof that it happened. Photographs, eyewitness accounts, admissions of guilt, mass graves. It’s not a theory, it’s not someone’s grand delusion. It happened. Arsewipes.
See, the denial of the Holocaust thing is enough for me to be completely unimpressed.
I’ve never understood how anyone could deny the holocaust happened. One of the most moving places I visited in Europe was the Mauthausen Concentration Camp…
After this Pope is dead, they should elevate one of the priests that have been implicated in the whole child rape thing. That would be icing.
I’ll take two. Stupid pope.
We are raising our kids Catholic (I am not Catholic but my husband is) but I have A LOT of issues with things the kids are taught to blindly believe. Luckily, my husband is fine with me voicing my opinions in a respectful way and showing that there are many different ways to look at things.
That being said, if you were the Pope, maybe I would finally convert!
This saddens me greatly. For years I’ve been impressed at the positions of the Catholic Church as compared to, say, the Baptist Church, on various political issues. Looks like that’s likely to change. Too bad.
Dave I read your blog most days. I happened to read it today and I’m interested in what the Pope had to say about the holocaust. I’m Jewish but not religious but the holocaust is important to the entire world. The video you provided doesn’t work on my computer. It starts, stops and when I click the mouse, it starts again for a few seconds. Is there another source I can use to hear this man’s remarks?
Unfortunately, it’s the only one I know.
Basically, the guy says that there’s no evidence of The Holocaust. He runs through the same old arguments that deniers have been using since WWII ended. My favorite is when he says that they couldn’t have used cyanide gas chambers, because cyanide is deadly, and would have collected in air pockets in the clothing, killing the person removing the bodies. Apparently the use of a gas mask is beyond his comprehension, but whatever.
If you follow the link I gave above the video, just search for “gas chamber” at the hdot.org site and you’ll be able to read all about it.
But, as I said, it’s not so much that he’s a denier, that’s old news… it’s that he so casually dismisses the hundreds of thousands of people he admits died. Like that’s no big deal, because it’s not 6 million big. Even if this fantasy WERE true, that’s disgusting enough that he shouldn’t be preaching to anybody.
= shudder =
You’d make a great Pope. And Benedict is the Dubya Bush of the Catholic Church.
Do I have to be catholic to vote for you?
I’m not Catholic and yet I remember weeping when Pope John Paul II died. I was devastated and, I agree, that Benedict is a joke.
You can be my pope any day, baby!
Sigh. I think I love you. (Great, now, I have that David Cassidy song in my head.) Thanks A LOT Pope Benedict.
My mom forced us into a stint as Catholics when I was growing up. I’m still recovering.