Blue Heron in flight

Monday, February 25, 2013

Papist probity

The Catholic church seems to be embroiled in a lot of tumult these days with all of the sordid sexual shenanigans now coming to light. The top english cardinal, Keith O'Brien, a noted homophobe named "bigot of the year" by gay rights groups, has just resigned, with new allegations arising regarding his own personal homosexual conduct, with four different priests that goes back to at least 1980. Not surprising, scientific studies have borne out that adamant homophobes are quite often closeted gays.

Archbishop Mahoney was found to have shielded pedophile priests from the authorities for years in what looks like a cynical game of cat and mouse. He answers his critics on his blog, well, sort of. Seemingly every day of late brings a new shocker regarding improprieties in the Vatican and church hierarchy. Meanwhile the pontiff rides into the sunset, the first pope since Celestine seven centuries ago to surrender the popehood and the keys to the popemobile. You have to wonder what gives? Why does the papal enclave look more like Bear's Night at the Stud than a religious convocation?
...La Repubblica said the cardinals' report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.La Repubblica's report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a "sting" organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.
In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.

From Michelangelo Signorile... Back in 2000, during World Pride, which coincided with the church's Great Jubilee, word on the street was that the city of Rome had cut down the bushes at the Circus Maximus because too many Vatican priests were caught having sex in the shrubs. (But not to worry: They apparently shifted over to that old standby of outdoor gay cruising, the Monte Caprino.)
But things went far more public in 2007, when Monsignor Thomas Stenico of the Congregation for Clergy was videotaped by Italian TV, in a sting via hidden camera, with a man he'd met in an online gay chat room whom he'd brought back to his Vatican apartment for sex. In 2010 Vatican usher Angelo Balducci, a so-called "Gentleman of His Holiness," was exposed via police wiretaps as running a prostitution ring out of the Vatican, securing hot young men for a Nigerian member of the Vatican choir. As John L. Allen Jr. at the National Catholic Reporter notes, "it would be a little surprising if [those incidents] hadn't" induced the Vatican to undertake an investigation of secret gays in its ranks.
Now I am not one to either catholic bash or gay bash. I think that consenting adults should be able to have sexual relations with any other consenting adults regardless of gender or orientation if it is their druthers. Really none of my business who is playing hide the kielbasa in the holy city. Kids and altar boys are of course off limits. And regarding religion, everybody is free to believe whatever they want to believe as long as it doesn't interfere with anybody else's life.

The hypocrisy of the message of condemnation regarding gay marriage and so called family values is I suppose what bothers most critics about the actions and positions of the Catholic prelate. How about you get your own house in order before you start hectoring people who have made their own personal moral choices?
I hate to say it but the scandal begs the tough question? Is is possible that Pope Benedict himself is gay? Is that where this thing is headed? Lets look at the checklist; rarely seen out with the nuns, favors ermine and red prada shoes, loves to watch reruns of Sex and the City, wants to buy a Shih tzu...uh, check. Is domino dominus "numero uno" about to fall off his saintly perch?
Young Mister Ratzinger - Hitler Jugend

Where might we see Benedict next? Ministering to the poor and the downtrodden at the Dinah Shore Open in Palm Springs, Acapulco, Provincetown, Mikonos perhaps?

I think what would be cool is to have a large clergy coming out day. All of the closeted priests, ministers, rabbis, nuns, vicars, cardinals, right down to the neighborhood parish priest, just let go, admit what everybody already knew and stop hating yourselves so much.

You will all feel better and be able to go on with your lives more honestly. People will feel like it is easier to confide in people that are not living a big fat falsehood.

If you still believe in god, ask him or her to help give you the strength.


Ken Seals said...

You are so right on!
However, you need to work the key word "jesus" into the text a little more. SEO is important, you know.

Unknown said...

Actually the truth has finally reached the Vatican, and this Pope, who along with Cardinals Mahony, O'Brien and the Pope's other hand picked Cardinals and Bishops are scrambling for cover. Benedict kicked some nuns out of their convent last fall and has been re-furbishing his safe hide out in Rome, where he hopes to ride out the many scandals now on his door step. In the meantime damage control has turned into press bashing, a sure sign that its not working.
All these are good and healthy signs.
I was speaking to an Asian Catholic last week who thought they should elect a pope from Asia or South America, a Bishop untouched by the pedaphillia, gay and cover-up scandals. I answered that allegations of sexual misconduct in the clergy did not surface spontaneously within the United States, Ireland and Germany, but have been slowly uncovered on a regional basis over time and always over the objections of the local Bishops. In my experience, incest and sex crimes are pretty evident and wide spread in South America and Asia, and I don't believe the clergy in those regions is immune.