Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

What's Up With That Creepy Old Pope Quitting, Anyway?

When the most trusted man in America says something like "What's going on here?", then something is most certainly going on here. Popes, after all, do not "quit" like some deluded star of a network situation comedy. Popes "quit" in the way the mythological first pope, Saint Peter, gave up the duties of his office: by upside-down crucifixion. Or, more generally, death. As Joseph Ratzinger is not technically dead, he is the pope until death, unless he believes he is mightier than God and Jesus combined. You don't tell God, "I'm tired, I've had it." You don't do this! From The Ten Commandments to maybe Mel Gibson's movie about the Jews torturing Jesus, a constant theme is that the tired servant of the Lord just doesn't want to do it anymore. And then the Lord says, "I am the Lord God, and thou art my servant, and thou shalt do whatever I say. No quitting."

From Piers Morgan to the millions and millions of children sexually assaulted by the black-clad ritual magicians of Ratzinger's global syndicate, people are wondering what's up with the soon-to-be ex-pope. Today, we hear that Ratzinger has a pacemaker to keep his heart going. Oh big deal, Dick Cheney has dozens of pacemakers and gets a new heart every eight weeks, and that never slowed him down. Here is how God deals with hearts and heart health, when you're pope: You are pope until God stops your heart. Is that so confusing? Should it be writ in Latin, or the original German?

That's how popes roll.Because of the pope's historical power—his political power, not his less-understood magickal powers—the Bishop of Rome has been the focus of every possible conspiracy, Machiavellian and otherwise, since the once humble church assumed the administrative and judicial power of the fallen Rome.

That means *I'm* the King of the Cats!By the Middle Ages, when a succession of comically horrific popes also decided which German tribal strongman would be "Holy Roman Emperor," the pope's earthly power was well established. Until the 16th Century, popes were still handing out these titles, and the pontiff was a symbol of terrestrial and supernatural supremacy, wealth and privilege. Today, the pope is CEO of a severely damaged brand. Bankruptcy, both moral and financial, is taking down dioceses around the world. In the Europe that created Catholicism, barely half of the population even believes in a generic God, let alone a specifically Catholic god that speaks through a group of vulgar old mafiosi dressed like cosplayers at a Renaissance Fair.

Still, there's only one globally recognized bizarrely costumed man in a fish-head hat and a golden dress sitting upon a jeweled Roman throne claiming to speak for Jesus, an illiterate street preacher who was supposedly executed by Roman authorities. As the born-again Christian and observant Jew known as Bob Dylan said after he was summoned to the Vatican to perform for John Paul II, "He's the Pope. You know what I mean? There's only one Pope, right?"

So when something weird happens regarding the pope, those who look for Signs are compelled to watch closely—especially when, for the first time since the dueling papacies of Avignon and Rome from 1378 to 1417, there will be two living popes on Earth.

"This is disconcerting, he is leaving his flock," said Alessandra Mussolini, a parliamentarian who is granddaughter of Italy's wartime dictator.

"The pope is not any man. He is the vicar of Christ. He should stay on to the end, go ahead and bear his cross to the end. This is a huge sign of world destabilization that will weaken the Church."

When a World War II dictator's granddaughter is making noise about "world destabilization," we might as well all prepare for something.

Writing at Gawker, the occultist and self-proclaimed Rosicrucian Max Read notes that the current papal conspiracy has a modern component more interesting than Ratzinger's use of Twitter as an anti-homosexual propaganda tool:

Last year's "Vatileaks" scandal, in which the pope's butler Paolo Gabriele provided Italian journalists with a number of confidential Vatican documents—revealing corruption, intrigue and infighting at the highest levels of the church. "Knowing that one of his closest aides had betrayed him must have left him very isolated and powerless. The Pope must have felt that power was slipping away from him, his power to govern," The Table editor Elena Curti told Metro. Did Vatileaks take down the pope? Or were the scandals it uncovered just a taste of what's to come—and is Benedict's abdication a preemptory move?

There are always insane secret wars going on within the modern-day Vatican, from these Vatileaks to bizarre Swiss Guard murders and homosexual love triangles and the absurd P2 scandal that involved Vatican-run masonic lodges, international financial crime and the hanged body of Vatican banker Roberto Calvi found swinging from the scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London. You could go down an inescapable Internet rabbit hole trying to find all the dirt on the P2 Vatican lodge, or you could just listen to this George Harrison song about it:

In the case of the Pope Who Quit, there are many signs of a major power struggle between the powerful old European and North American protectors of the child rapists and the newer, mostly brown- and black-skinned church leaders, in Africa and Latin America, where congregations are growing rather than dying out. What else could explain double-fired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony suddenly being called to Rome to elect the next pope? Shouldn't Mahony be in federal prison?

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles says he will help elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who suddenly announced that he's resigning.

Mahony also participated in the conclave that elected Benedict in 2005 [...] Mahony is the former head of the Los Angeles archdiocese, where he has been barred from public duties by the current archbishop because of revelations about his past handling of clergy pedophile cases.

But the most likely scenario is that Ratzinger is/was the "Last Pope" as foretold by various prophecies and GeoCities sites, and this means the Demons shall be released from their chains, deep beneath the New Madrid seismic fault, and the New Oppressor will stomp around the Earth on a road of bones.

19 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#1,720)

Congratulations! You wrote a piece about Ratzinger without using the word "nazi"! *places laurel upon your brow*

Bittersweet (#765)

@deepomega Agreed. I'm taking a leaf off that laurel crown, however, for use of "magickal."

jfruh (#713)

I love that this has a "Silvio Berlusconi" tag on it even though he isn't mentioned at all in the article, because come on you know he's involved SOMEHOW. (Actually, BRB, pitching a wacky sitcom in which high rents force Berlusconi and Ratzinger to share a two-bedroom Rome apartment.)

@jfruh : 'At's 'a what I call 'a bunga-BENEDICTION! (laugh track, applause)

Kjle Risch (#3,504)

@jfruh It's not the 1950's anymore. They can share a one-bedroom apartment.

jbsquare (#793)

@jfruh He is/was involved in the P2 lodge. And since he can't hold public office I'm sure he is probably behind this resignation so he can be the next pope.

GiovanniGF (#224)

I know Masaccio is the shit and all, but wouldn't it be easier to nail St. Peter to the cross flat on the ground and then lift him up? Or at least do it standing in front of him instead of nailing from behind? Just sayin'.

@GiovanniGF : …standing in front of him instead of nailing from behind…

Point taken; Saint Peter was one of the first missionaries, after all.

GiovanniGF (#224)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose I was really hoping to avoid that interpretation of "nailing" but some things are just not possible I guess.

@GiovanniGF : Oh my goodness of course not.

Jared (#1,227)

popes also decided which German tribal strongman would be "Holy Roman Emperor,"

Not really. The German tribal strongmen elected the Emperor themselves, and then the pope (sometimes) crowned him. If he didn't want to, they just ignored him. The Pope and the Emperor were usually enemies, since they had the two best claims to having the Most Important Job in (Western) Christianity.

Jesus, an illiterate street preacher who was supposedly executed by Roman authorities

Why "supposedly?" That's actually the best-documented thing about Jesus. Ancient Romans were pretty good bureaucrats.


jfruh (#713)

@Jared up until the 1500s, if he didn't crown them, they didn't get to call themselves emperor. Sometimes the pope would crown rivals!

@Jared I think you'll find that it's spelled "paedanticism."

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

@Jared The ancient Romans were indeed pretty good bureaucrats; but nevertheless, there is no definite contemporary documentation of Jesus's execution. If Pontius Pilate kept a day planner, it hasn't survived. Every mention of Jesus, not just the Gospels, dates from decades later.

Vulpes (#946)

So what do Ancient Astronaut Theorists think about this? How are the Ancient Aliens involved? I only believe Giorio Tsukalos's hair when it comes to these conspiracy matters.

This is an enjoyable and partially successful effort to deride the church in its current (and cyclical) state of decadence while lampooning the paranoid conspiracy theories that throughout history have "missed the point" (overemphasizing the occult over corruption, child-rape) while at the same time keeping church leaders rightfully on the defensive. Fun and provocative!

At the same time, some of this is gratuitous and uncreative ("cosplayers at a Renaissance Fair") and some of the ecclesiology is imprecise ("speaks for Jesus"), although on this latter point, these fuzzy notions are so widely believed (or held in disbelief) that your point is still fair.

I'm curious, though, to know what you think to be the cause of growth in the Latin American and African congregations that puts their rise into conflict with "powerful old European and North American protectors of the child rapists." Is it that the church in the global south is inclusive and dedicated to social justice, free of corruption and scandal? Are Catholics everywhere flocking to a liberal church that Cardinal Turkson or Cardinal Arinze will try to bring about? What would you say are the stakes within church politics today, and what are the substantive disagreements that different election outcomes might raise or resolve?

And do you think that Mahony is being invited as a theological, political ally to Ratzinger? Or to shore up the "white" vote?

Anyhow, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Ratzinger's resignation is a good move for the church and the world, since his sinful handling of scandal after scandal and tragedy after tragedy (not to mention autistic levels of cultural insensitivity) renders mute his outspoken progressiveness on immigration, economic justice, and environmental stewardship. It would be nice if the church could prioritize those things again over anti-homosexual propaganda, though I'm not holding my breath. A new CEO at least opens the possibility.

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