Thursday, April 1st, 2010
49

Pope Pulls Awesome April 1 Joke

APRIL LOLS!"Pope Benedict, accused by victims' lawyers of being ultimately responsible for a cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests, cannot be called to testify at any trial because he has immunity as a head of state, a top Vatican legal official said on Thursday." OMG LOL, POPE RATZI, you are TOO MUCH! GOOD ONE.

No but seriously, get ready to get deposed, schmuck.

49 Comments / Post A Comment

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Yeah, that worked for Nixon.

#56 (#56)

coup d'etat, motherfudger!

Well, ok, he can be deposed, but he'll be speaking ex cathedra and so it has to be taken as infallibly true. Booyeah!

HiredGoons (#603)

Yeah, putting him under oath is kind of 'redundant'; and we all saw how well swearing on the bible works with these people.

jfruh (#713)

The popes were actually the sovereign rulers of a stripe of land running from Rome to Ravenna — about a quarter of Italy, more or less — right up until 1870; when Italy was unified and the Italians took this over, the pope locked himself in the Vatican palace compound and refused to come out, and his successors did the same, right up until 1929, when Mussolini signed a treaty that recognized said Vatican palace compound as a phoney-baloney "independent country" ruled by the pope.

The reason for all this drama-queenery was SITUATIONS EXACTLY LIKE THIS. The popes of old were not specifically worried about being hauled into court to testify about covering up rape of little boys (after all, according to Ross Douthat, that only started in the '60s!), but in the larger sense insisted that they couldn't be subject to the law of any earthly government. So, in fact, Benedict is probably entirely correct in making this argument. Thanks a fucking lot, Mussolini!

jetztinberlin (#392)

Yeah, I didn't want to be the one to bring this up, but tragically, I think he might be right?

KarenUhOh (#19)

It's a sin to swear.

roboloki (#1,724)

show me on the voodoo doll where the bad pope touched you.

I hear when the jury has reached a verdict, they'll be required to put up a puff of white smoke.

eric.lassard (#3,646)

Calling the pope a "schmuck" — now there's for that insightful contribution to the discourse. Voltaire would be proud.

You prefer putz?

eric.lassard (#3,646)

For comparison, I looked over the Awl's coverage of Osama bin Laden. strangely, nowhere was he referred to as a "schmuck" (or even "putz"). So I gather the Pope is more pernicious (or deserving of scorn) than Osama?

For comparison, Osama fessed up to his crimes. Le pap smear is responsible for the rapes of uncounted innocent children and is hiding under his tail wishing it will all go away. I'm no Bill Maher here but even you can see the difference.

KarenUhOh (#19)

The pope is penicious.

eric.lassard (#3,646)

For a website whose motto is "Be Less Stupid," this discussion is rather, shall we say, unenlightened.

I'm not saying the pope's actions have been above reproach. But he is not personally responsible for raping anyone. Need it be pointed out that bin Laden was directly responsible for murdering thousands? Suggesting moral equivalence between the two is rather disturbing even if it is a joke.

No, Voltaire would be disappointed that Choire hasn't called for the Pope's defenestration.

Obama did not pilot the planes either. Denying moral equivalence between the two is rather disturbing even if it is a joke.

Eric, you're the one who brought up the comparison. Why are your shorts all in a twist about it now?

Slava (#216)

What on earth are you talking about Eric?
Since when is comparing the pope to jewelry, a trinket or a brooch such a horrible thing?!

Slava (#216)

@kitten_witawip: OBAMA?!?!?

eric.lassard (#3,646)

Re: Bin Laden, I wonder how many people would agree with you there.

Re: Voltaire, a call for defenestration is perfectly reasonable. Anything is preferable to infantile name-calling.

All this casual vitriol about the church, pope, etc, reminds me of this point — "Anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism of the intellectual." Peter Viereck, 1959

Was he knuckle-deep in boy-ass when he said that?

C_Webb (#855)

Choire, can we put "Casual vitriol" on a t-shirt?

Bill Donohue, is that you? C'mon, fess up, I'd know your papist paranoia anywhere!

eric.lassard (#3,646)

My shorts are untwisted. The point of the initial comparison was to note that, in the editorial coverage of the Awl, the Pope gets called a "schmuck," while bin Laden, to cite another individual who might be more deserving of derogatory insults, has so far evaded any malevolent description. Hence it appears there's a lack of perspective or fairness.

As for the inquiry about what Viereck was doing when he made his point, it's hard to say. Excerpt from his NY Times obituary: "Professor Viereck … was an admirer of the New Deal, a supporter of Adlai Stevenson and an anti-Communist who made it clear that he had little use for Senator Joseph R. McCarthy."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/arts/19viereck.html

speaking of casual vitriol, I have no objection to criticism of catholicism but the flippancy and vulgarity seen here does nothing to advance the cause of civil discourse.

and no this is not Bill Donohue and I'm not an advocate of his.

Slava :-|

"the flippancy and vulgarity seen here does nothing to advance the cause of civil discourse."

Let me guess, you're new here, right?

eric.lassard (#3,646)

"New here" — I've been reading the awl since it started. I didn't look at the comments too closely until recently. The petty nastiness on display reminds me of these lines from Matthew Arnold.

"Great qualities are trodden down,
And littleness united
Is become invincible."

All this over the word "schmuck"? Eric, darling, "schmuck" isn't even that bad of a word.

I haven't been to Mass in years, but I still have more-or-less fond memories. I continue to be grateful to the Church for all of the art, music, and literature it has sponsored over the millennia. I have lots of love for all the Catholics who have worked for social justice. I I think Jesuits are kinda hot. I really don't hate the Catholic Church. But I cannot understand how someone who professes to love the Church can be more outraged over silly comments on a blog than by the evil men who hurt children and permit others to hurt children all in the name of Christ.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I've never seen someone so offended by the term 'schmuck.'

Slava (#216)

@petejayhawk…
From Wikipedia: "In his book "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People," standup comedian Lenny Bruce wrote that he was arrested "by a Yiddish undercover agent" for saying the word "schmuck" onstage."

eric.lassard (#3,646)

first off I never said I love the church. I'm a neutral observer. moreover the misdeeds of some people in the church are certainly horrendous, no argument. All I object to is the incivility of the discourse on the topic. If a similar problem were to arise with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism I don't imagine it would be discussed in the same vituperative way.

OK, I finally get it. April Fool's, right, Eric? I mean, no one drops quotes from Matthew Arnold for real. Pretty good, actually, you had me going. Well-played, sir.

Persistence (#4,071)

Osama bin Laden did not personally murder anyone on 9/11/01, nor did the pope personally rape all those children. They are both responsible though, one for orchestrating and the other for covering up.

All you object to is the incivility? You're David Broder, aren't you?

eric.lassard (#3,646)

No, not April Fool's. Nobody quotes Matthew Arnold anymore because his idealism is embarassing in a cynical and vacuous age. "Culture and Anarchy" is a book with a great deal of relevance for our times.

erikonymous (#3,231)

No, but your pompousness should be embarrassing to you. I can practically hear your cufflinks hit the keyboard. Or is typing also beneath you? Please tell me you had your manservant type this!
Also, anyone who makes a straw tiger comparison between the Pope and Osama, then chides others for making the same comparison in counterargument to your original point, has no ground on which to criticize others' discourse.
For the record, the Pope is a schmuck, Osama bin Laden is something worse, and you, sir, are a douche. I'm guessing also a grad student. Good luck with that!
And, acting like an age in which this kinda shit was settled by duels and women couldn't vote (among about a thousand other examples) is better than ours is not helping your argument either.

andj (#1,074)

"Less deserving of scorn than Osama bin Laden" is my all-time favourite defense of a public figure.

eric.lassard (#3,646)

My Bin Laden comparison seems to have fallen flat. It seems I underestimated the moral relativism prevailing among Awl readers. So take another example, someone whose awfulness is not in question: Sarah Palin. [mention of this name should induce a pavlovian response of rage and irritability among sophisticated thinkers.] Not even Sarah Palin has been described as a "schmuck" by the Awl's editorial staff. But the pope has.

And I got called a "douche," that most meaningless of all pejoratives! Sorry, dude I'll take off my cufflinks and try to use shorter words and shit. It should already be clear I have a high threshold for embarrassment. But it's refreshing to see philistinism encapsulated in such a refreshing way.

rajma (#2,918)

Eric, I would kindly suggest you go read the essay by Sidney Blumenthal wrote on the difference between civility and decency, and only resume commenting in this thread when you are yourself capable of distinguishing the two phenomena.

eric.lassard (#3,646)

Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton apparatchik, is not a credible authority on either concept.

jfruh (#713)

This spat seems to be over, but I would like to add that one of the reasons that it seems to strange to me is that "schmuck," to my ear, is an extremely mild pejorative. I'd never call Osama bin Laden or Sarah Palin a schmuck because I think much worse of them than that. Schmuck frankly sounds halfway affectionate.

rula (#3,558)

The dark circles under his eyes always spelled trouble.
Opus Dei is skeerier than Scientology.

Xenu told you to say that.

How many legal divisions does the Pope have?

fitta (#526)

The horrible truth is that Josef is right as a technical legal matter, and he will never be deposed in an American legal proceeding (unless someone has pix of him in his Nazi uniform raping a kid and the Vatican de-Popes him — but I think they would just poison him rather than do that).

HiredGoons (#603)

Surely an Inquisition can get to the bottom of this!?

C_Webb (#855)

I'm all about the bastinado.

Bettytron (#575)

He'd never expect it!

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