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The Empire Strikes Back

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Late last week the Pope and his band of institutional stalwarts said they would try to do better with cases of pederasty/pedophilia arising in the Church, including (imagine!) letting bishops and other nomenclatura of the Church know that hiding these crimes from civil authorities is naughty and should not be countenanced.

The New York Times article on the announcement was quick to point out that along with the pederasty concession, the geniuses in the Vatican decided to equate the crime of ordaining or being female clergy to pederasty--child rape.

So, it was with a great deal of "attagirl" and appreciation that we read Maureen Dowd this morning in the Times and her dismay at the peckerwood attitudes of the Curia and their all too implicated leader. Maureen nails them all and brought my thoughts to the conclusion that the Vatican is completely incapable of renewing itself and the Church they have created from the toil and gullibility of the Catholic masses. I believe with Ms. Dowd that the Vatican has thrown down one of their medieval gauntlets and, unbeknownst to themselves, have forfeited the last vestige of goodwill they might have had.

Then, as luck would have it, I read Frank Rich's very interesting and informative piece about Mel Gibson. Ordinarily I would not have given the subject another second of my time ... and certainly none of his movies my money ... ever ... but Rich is a one-in-a-million journalist and writer, so I read about the machinations and evil-doings of Gibson and his pals ... and of the the Church ... so vile as to challenge the imagination to believe.

I began my series of comments on the crisis of the clergy in the Roman Catholic Church with the hope that Benedict XVI could rise above his past and see the forest in which his vocation is lost. Clearly he has not seen it, but more importantly, he has rejected the strong voices of reason from the new world ... and the old ... calling for modernization of the Church. He and the College of Cardinals and the Curia have with the announcement this week dug in their heels against what they see as unacceptable forces of change. And, so, the die is cast.

The Roman Catholic Church will persist of its own momentum and the need of human beings to find some kind of solace in a universe that is much too large and indifferent for them to grasp and to remain sane amid their own sorrows and afflictions. The Church will push its medieval notions of the human being and, for the lack of a reasonable alternative, the poor and beset will continue to tithe themselves into penury and disconsolation. But, and this is the fulcrum of history ... this very moment ... the educated and those who have means to express their chagrin and disbelief will leave the church and form new alliances among themselves to achieve the message of their theology. The Roman Catholic Church will become in the coming century a very pallid and hollow remnant of weak men's egos and mistakes. You saw the moment when it happened.

JB

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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese History, (more...)
 

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