Ex-Pope Benedict XVI Still Proving His Absurdity


Readers know the Catholic Church does not get many accolades on Caffeinated Politics.  It is not hard to fathom why that is the case.  One only needs to follow the news.  And have a dose of common sense.

Former pope Benedict XVI has once again launched into one of his mentally-detached wanderings.  He has now accused opponents of wanting to silence him while associating gay marriage with the Antichrist.   This is also the same knuckle-dragger who called homosexuality an “intrinsic moral evil” and said pro-gay groups promote “deceitful propaganda.”  That is such a rewarding line coming from the Vatican!

The former Prada-wearing pontiff was never a part of the modern world.  His glee over kneeling before a rotting body part from ‘a saint’ is far more to his liking then seeing the smiles of a couple who are able to carry a baby home following a technological conception procedure.  His pleasure comes far more from the memories of indulgences and the infallibility of a pope than knowing gay couples can wed.

His latest rants are further proof as to why he is a living relic.  He also proves why there needs to always be a dead pope before a new one is elected.  Benedict XVI’s back-seat driving and desire for relevance are causing headaches for his successor. Pope Francis might read some of the history of the Catholic Church to see how the matter might be resolved.

And so it goes.

Vatican Conspiracy Over Third Secret Of Fatima, Papal Mystery Over Dual Popes

What better way to start blogging on a Sunday than to offer up a modern-day Vatican conspiracy.  When it comes to political intrigue the secrets within the Vatican can not be out done.

So far, most of the media attention has been focused on the three Fatima “secrets” that the Catholic Church believes were vouchsafed by the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in Portuguese town of Fatima in 1917.

Two of the prophecies were published back in the in the 1940s but the Third Secret – supposedly too dangerous to reveal – remained sealed in the Vatican archives.

That silence naturally inflamed the religious imaginations of true believers in the secret prophecy.

So to calm the fevers, Saint John Paul II ordered the Third Secret published in full in 2000. He also had his top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, issue an accompanying explanation of the prophecy’s graphic descriptions of persecution and murdered popes and bishops.

But conspiracy theories die hard. And this year, shortly after the May 13 feast of Our Lady of Fatima, a traditionalist blog published claims that Ratzinger – who was elected Benedict XVI after John Paul died in 2005 – told a friend that there was more in the secret than had been published.

The blog also suggested that the hidden bits were dark predictions about the current papacy of Pope Francis and the turmoil, and even heresies, that some conservatives believe Francis has encouraged.

The charges were so explosive that the Vatican press office on May 21 issued a forceful denial directly quoting the frail, 89-year-old former pope. Benedict called the reports “pure inventions, absolutely untrue” and confirmed that “the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete.”

Of course, not all Fatima devotees were convinced, and some argued that the denial was just part of the conspiracy – and so it goes.

And then there is this nugget.

But just as the Fatima story was making headlines, Benedict’s longtime personal aide, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, delivered a surprisingly candid speech that reignited the equally potent issue of whether there are two popes or one, or whether the papacy itself has been redefined.

This Is What Happens When There Are Two Living Popes

Things are said and written….

Clearly Cardinal Burke should no defenders.  The least of which is the former pope who can still write and speak and make for papal intrigue.

Vatican watchers are pointing to a letter written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this week as an indication of his approval of Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke who is soon to be ousted from his Vatican post and given a mere honorary position.

The pope’s letter came in response to an invitation to attend a traditional Latin Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica by Cardinal Burke. He had to decline the invitation because he lives as a “cloistered monk,” leaving the cloister only when “personally invited by the Pope.”

“I am very glad that the Usus antiquus [the traditional Latin Mass] now lives in full peace within the Church, also among the young, supported and celebrated by great Cardinals,” wrote Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Vatican expert Sandro Magister points out today that in writing thus, Pope Benedict is including Cardinal Burke among ‘great Cardinals’ even though Pope Francis is set to deny him both a role in the curia and the leadership of a diocese.

The Pope Is A Liberal


A great read came my way this morning.  I love to follow the workings of the Vatican, even though I am not Catholic.  This story has to be read all the way through to get the smile I did.  The article comes from the highly respected National Catholic Register.

Pope Francis’ papacy is changing everything about the Church and his comments  are a direct affront to traditional Catholics everywhere. The Washington  Post put it this way.

    “Something unexpected and extraordinary is happening in  the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is rescuing the faith from those who hunker  down in gilded cathedrals and wield doctrine like a sword. The edifice of  fortress Catholicism – in which progressive Catholics, gay Catholics, Catholic  women and others who love the church but often feel marginalized by the  hierarchy – is starting to crumble.”

Now, as much as many of us traditional minded churchgoers have tried to spin  it as in continuity with Pope Benedict, I think it is time we face facts. The  press is right. The Pope is a liberal and I have the quotes to prove it!

Pope Benedict Rebuffed On Gay Marriage Wants To Resurrect Latin

It has been a rough week for conservative Pope Benedict as not only the United States, but the world made moves towards modern thinking and full civil rights for gay people.

There were the four ballot measures in America that made clear statements the electorate is more enlightened and mature about gay marriage, and not interested in conservative attempts to limit equality.  Meanwhile Spain upheld its gay marriage law, and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized next year.

This all flies in the face of Pope Benedict who has deemed gay marriage unacceptable, and even allowed the Vatican to scorn gay marriage proponents in media outlets it controls.  The remarks from Vatican outlets about the need for folks who argue for full civil rights for gay people to also rationalize polygamy is just plain distasteful.  Did they also not have column space to add something about beastiality?  Afterall, why not throw out all the anti-gay crap at one time?

So what does a shrinking and meaner Catholic Church do to rally the troops in the face of modernity concerning gay marriage?

The Vatican is trying to resurrect Latin!

I did not know if I should first laugh, or swallow my coffee quickly so not to have it come out my nose.

Pope Benedict seemingly is just not aware of the changing world in which he lives.  The question is will the cardinals who will select the next pope once this one gives up the fisherman’s ring allow for a more inclusive mentality to take hold of the Vatican.

I strongly suspect, given the make up of the curia and the conservative element that holds sway among the red-hatted crowd, that progress will be all up-hill.

But there is clearly something amiss in the Catholic Church when it comes to leadership, and the following story is proof of that problem.

Perhaps priests should once again turn their backs to the faithful….or is that next weeks pronouncement from Pope Benedict?

Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree Saturday creating a new pontifical academy for Latin studies to try to boost interest in the official language of the Roman Catholic Church that is nevertheless out of widespread use elsewhere.

Benedict acknowledged Latin’s fall from grace in his decree, saying future priests often learn only a “superficial” knowledge of Latin in their seminaries. The new academy will promote Latin through conferences, publications and instruction in Catholic schools, universities and seminaries, he wrote.

As expected, the decree and its founding statutes were written in Latin.

Benedict’s move is further evidence of his attempt to restore the church to its traditional roots as it battles to prevent the faithful from straying in today’s increasingly secular world. Benedict has been promoting this “new evangelization” to try to reassert Christianity’s place in society in parts of the world where it has fallen by the wayside, a victim of competition from Pentecostal churches and its priest sex abuse scandals.

Pope Benedict Gave Blessing In Arabic

Not quite “Allahu Akbar”.

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday pronounced a blessing in Arabic at his weekly audience in front of 20,000 pilgrims on St Peter’s Square — the first time the language has been used at such an event.

“The pope prays for all Arabic speakers. May God bless you all!” the pope said in Arabic at the audience, after a bishop read out an Arabic translation of the pope’s comments praising the results of the Second Vatican Council.

The landmark Council, which began 50 years ago this week, is a “compass” for the Catholic Church “in the middle of the storms”, the pope said.



Bishop Morlino Out Of Sync With Pope Benedict Over Role Of Government

It should come as no surprise that Bishop Morlino has taken a shine to the handsome, and conservative Republican vice-presidential candidate.   Morlino is only too happy to continually praise Paul Ryan.

What does surprise me, however, is the distance that Morlino places himself with Pope Benedict when discussing the larger umbrella topics that are at the very heart of the presidential election.  That topic would be the role of government in the lives of our citizenry.

This also raises the question if the bishop believes in papal  infallibility?

Here is the crux of the issue, as reported in today’s Wisconsin State Journal.

“If people begin to look to government for everything, that’s how we get  toward a state-imposed socialism, which is never acceptable from a Catholic  point of view because it’s contrary to reason, which says that human labor  should yield its fruits, and that those who labor own the fruits,” Morlino  said.

Those with an abundance are obligated to share with those who lack basics,  Morlino said, but the best way to do that is at the level closest to the people  in need, a Catholic principle called subsidiarity.

“It’s just common sense,” Morlino said. “In other words, if I can help you  directly, why should we bring it to the mayor or the government or the president  of the United States, if I can just help you?”

Those words from Morlino seem rather political and titled towards a Republican point of view.  But how does Pope Benedict view the larger issues of government, and assisting people with programs, and state aid?

But when it comes to economic justice, Pope Benedict XVI is to the left of President Obama. Heck, he is even to the left of Nancy Pelosi.

Those who read the pope’s 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)” will not be surprised by this new document. In that encyclical, the pope decried “corruption and illegality” among economic and political elites in both rich and poor countries. He told financiers they must rediscover the ethical foundation of their activity and stop abusing savers. He wants a radical rethinking of economics so that it is guided not simply by profits but by “an ethics which is people-centered.”

Benedict notes that economic “inequalities are on the increase” across the globe. He does not accept the trickle-down theory, which says that all boats will rise with the economic tide. Benedict condemns the “scandal of glaring inequalities” and sees a role for government in the redistribution of wealth.

The pope also disagrees with those who believe that the economy should be free of government regulation. An unregulated economy “shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way,” he writes. This has “led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise.”

Falling under the sway of the rugged good looks of Ryan might be easy to do, but following the advice of the Pope seems more sensible when it comes to understanding how government must be involved with the citizenry.

Pope Benedict Does Not Attend Funeral For Cardinal Martini

There were many who wondered what Pope Benedict would do when it came to attending the funeral in Milan of Cardinal Martini.

In the end the pope shuttered himself in the Vatican, and did not attend.  There will be lots to chew on about that decision.  The greatest ‘sin’ that Martini committed was speaking truth about the Catholic Church.  The institution is woefully out of touch for the vast majority of its members.

The danger of not attending the last obsequies of such a high-ranking prince of the Church is that it might appear cowardly, tantamount to a public admission that a rift had grown up between them. But to attend will take real nerves, and humility, for Carlo Maria Martini’s parting shot was a devastating and – coming from a cardinal – an almost unprecedented attack on the Catholic Church’s leadership, in effect on the Pope himself, in the form of a final interview with an Italian newspaper.

The Cardinal pulled no punches in his indictment of the contemporary Church, describing it as moribund and out of touch. It was 200 years behind the times on numerous social issues, he said, which was why churches built to hold great congregations now served huddles. By failing to accommodate itself to new kinds of patterns of family life, he added, the Church risked throwing away contact with the next generation. “Why don’t we rouse ourselves?” he concluded. “Are we afraid?”

The answer to that question from beyond the grave, is, alas, yes. The rest of the Catholic hierarchy is afraid of its authoritarian leader, and seems unwilling even to question, let alone oppose, his hard-line views on contraception, homosexual relationships, the remarriage of divorced people in church, the admission of women to the priesthood, the abolition of clerical celibacy and a lot of other issues.

This culture of silence is not surprising. A policy of replacing liberal bishops and cardinals with conservatives of the same stamp as the Pope, which has been in place since the late 1970s, when Benedict’s predecessor and hero, Karol Wojtyla, became Pope John Paul II, has cleansed the Church’s inner sanctum of questioning minds. Martini’s promotion to Archbishop of Milan in 1979 came just before the clampdown got going. In other words, we may have heard the last of the more open-minded Catholic leaders, and we may be wrong if we imagine that the Cardinal’s call for modernisation will restart a debate inside the Church on topics that the Pope regards as off-limits.

To the Pope’s conservative allies, this can only be good: the less discussion the better. They tend to see all or most of the changes that took place in the Church since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s as regrettable, and prize obedience as a virtue. Their allies, in a sense, are those militant atheists who draw satisfaction from the sight of the Catholic Church, and all the other churches, rendering itself ridiculous in the eyes of the modern world by tying itself up in the moth-eaten brocade of worn-out dogmas.

Most of the rest of us will feel regretful that the doors of the papal apartments remain so tightly closed to voices like that of the Cardinal – if only because what he said in his interview ought to have been blindingly obvious.