Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter, Passover, Catholics, Protestants: What Are Friends For?

Citing "an Irish friend," the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom we might call the Anglican Pope, slagged off the Catholic Church for its handling of pedophile-priest scandals. But before we'd figured out what His Grace was saying, exactly, along comes Father Raniero Cantalamessa, pastor to Auld Red Socks himself in Rome, and he cites "a Jewish friend" to invoke antisemitism as a sort of allegory to the growing rage against the Catholic Church.

I will cite my imaginary Zoroastrian friend in order to assert my claim that both these geezers should just administer the sacraments, visit the sick, bury the dead, and shut their big yappers. If they and all the rest of that class that wears its collars backwards had been attending solely to those minor obligations of their trade all these years, we all would have had a great deal less misery.

Archbishop Rowan Williams appears to have only now discovered that the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has a slight difficulty in the reputation department, "suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility - that's not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland." He might have had a point there somewhere except that the Catholic Church has been squandering its credibility among the Catholic Irish for some generations now, and this is hardly a "problem" for Ireland. It's been positively liberating.

Father Cantalamessa's astonishing discovery is that sometimes Passover and Easter fall during the same week. This gives him the notion that his Easter homily might allow a disingenuous comparison between antisemitism as collective punishment (for what crime he does specify) and the transfer of personal responsibility for child-molesting to the pope and the church itself. Or something. Cantalamessa is a smart guy. If you die and and go to heaven and years later your widow and the guy she ended up marrying eventually show up, Cantalamessa can explain who's legitimately married to whom.

Anyway, say that in the spirit of the Easter-Passover thing Cantalamessa had wanted to make the point that Rome's indifference and complicity in the abuse of countless Catholic victims by predatory priests owes its origins to the same institutional pathology at work in Rome's historical indifference and complicity in the sufferings of the Jews. He might have had an arguable if unnecessary indictment to propose. But that would have invited the unpleasant inference that his bishops were like Nazis or something. Which would have been embarrassing.

But nevermind. My imaginary Zoroastrian friend just interrupted me to say we're all getting it completely wrong. To assert his claim, he cites his "former Living Marxism correspondent friend" Brendan O'Neill, who says Catholic-bashing is the thing to keep your eye on and illiberalism, scaremongering and elitism are behind it. I think this means that Brendan would want to have Father Cantalamessa's cake and eat it at Archbishop Williams' table.

I miss Noreen. She can properly interrogate touchy ecumenical subjects. True, she flirts with a view of certain Old Testament events that might be considered slightly schismatic, but still.


Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Like Jon Stewart said: Everyone wants to be a Jew.

5:21 AM  
Blogger faisalgazi said...

You have been Spittooned (a good thing)!

5:32 AM  
Blogger Thermblog said...

Well if anyone cared about the ACORN fiasco, I would have a look at the evidence against the Pope.

However, as the messed media completely ignored the exposure of ACORN's acceptance of child prostitution and Barack O'Banzai's description of the whole thing as, "not a major national issue" I shall assume this is more of the usual anti-Christian behaviour of the Left-At-Large and wish everyone Happy Easter.

2:15 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Very good mr. thermblog: So now that the "left at large" has disappointed you so, you can happily ignore yet more evidence of yet more priests buggering and otherwise fucking up the lives of yet more children. But hey, you can console yourself that you're not one of the "left at large" and just assume all the anguished stories are
just "anti-Christian behaviour."

On the other hand, you might consider how absurd and outrageous, not to mention unchristian, it is for you to equate workers in a single office in a single town giving tips on tax evasion to a prostitute and her pimp to the ongoing rape of untold number of children in dozens of countries, including canada lest we forget (Mt. Cashel, etc.), by individuals who claim to be so moral they can pontificate on how we should lead our lives.
Yes, that's an accurate equation for sure.

4:49 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Zoroastrian friend... you have an easy life then, Terry. My imaginary Bahaian chum, while being a teetotaler and peacenik, encourages me to do stuff that time and again causes me all kinds of misunderstandings with gendarmes.

5:26 AM  

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