Vatican's measure of sin shows why they are no longer relevant

Apparently its big news to someone that the Vatican has a secret tribunal to deal with what they consider to be “the most heinous sins”.  Really?  Shocker.  I thought the Vatican was all about transparency.  You can read the Telegraph’s version here.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, or “tribunal of conscience”, has been shrouded in secrecy ever since it was established by Pope Alexander III in 1179 and until now has never provided details of the cases it scrutinises.

They are considered so heinous by the Catholic Church that only the Pope can grant absolution to those who perpetrate them.

So, what might you consider “the most heinous of crimes”? Use your sickest fantasy of offenses against humanity and I guarantee you are not even close.

While priests and bishops can deal with confessions of sins as grave as murder or even genocide, the tribunal is reserved for crimes which are viewed by the Church as even more serious.

They include attempting to assassinate the Pope, a priest abusing the confidentiality of the confessional by revealing the nature of the sin and the person who admitted to it, or a priest who has sex with someone and then offers forgiveness for the act.

Yes, the Vatican considers an “attempt” on the life of the pope a worse sin than genocide. A little self-serving, don’t you think?

Oh, and you know what else is a worse sin than genocide and, apparently, rogering defenseless young children by a member of the clergy? Defiling the Eucharist. Toss a cracker and its papal forgiveness or you’re out.

How can they not see how ridiculous this is? Why is time and breath wasted on this nonsense?

With followers in the millions they squander their influence on petty, stupid dogmatic bullshit like this. It’s just sad.

This is why we need separation of church and state.  Can you imagine if capricious nonsense like this was the lay of the land?

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Is it a full moon or something?

Yeah, I know, nothing special really happens during a full moon other than bright nights but there seems to be something in the air.

Maybe it’s the Presidential transition, the holiday season or people just taking their minds off the recession but there seems to be more attention being paid to issues of god.  The crazies seem crazier and those defending reason and the real world seem to be pushing a little harder.

I’m not complaining, mind you. Let’s put our cards on the table and see where it takes us. It is so hard to make progress on something considered taboo.  So, here are a few samplings of the rumbling maybe they’re portentous maybe not.

Kentucky’s department of Homeland Security to look to god first BY LAW.

By law, god (which one??) is acknowledged as Kentucky’s first line of defense against terrorism and must be mentioned in all documents.  Crazy and embarrassing if you’re from Kentucky.  The law is a few years old and it really hasn’t been followed too closely by the people in the Homeland Security department of the state of Kentucky, but it is still on the books and there is a state senator pushing for compliance.

Freedom From Religion Foundation erects sign along side nativity scene in Olympia, Washington legislative building.

Actually an expansion of a tradition the foundation has been carrying out in Wisconsin for many years, the signs recognize the winter solstice and  bear quotes denying gods and religion.  (full disclosure: I’m always a little giddy when my donations cause a stir!)

Witch Doctor arrested after admitting to killing 110 children.

The Witch-Children of Akwa Ibon

In a horrific tale of scape-goating and superstitious ignorance,  self-styled Bishops merge christian and indigenous beliefs to sow hysteria for their own advancement.  It is most often defenseless children that are accused of possesion and witchcraft with the families paying for exorcisms to relieve what they believe is bad luck brought on by these children.  If the exorcism does not “succeed” the children are turned out from the family or killed outright.

Pedophile priest resigns

A horror that has become so common that it risks being considered trite and boring, a Catholic priest has sent pope Benedict his resignation after admitting to molesting boys in his parish.

As I said, just a sampling.

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Priests are people too. Aren't they?

Added parishioner Viola Czajkowski: “I don’t see how a priest who took vows could possibly do something like this and have mass every day while this was going on.”

The “something like this” was seduce a vulnerable lady who was getting a divorce.

This kind of magical thinking always amazes me.  What did this person think?  That in a Harry Potter kind of way, priests taking vows had a hex on them to prevent them from acting human?  Where do they think all those priest jokes come from, anyway?

No question, Elvis Elano, deserves scorn.  Not for breaking some ridiculous vows (Do priests take vows for anything other than chastity?) but for abusing a position of authority and responsibility to take advantage of someone, potentially, vulnerable.

This is really no different than if it had been a doctor, teacher, counselor or relative.  People have an expectation that they can bring their problems to “professionals” without being preyed upon.  But don’t be shocked in particular  because the predator is a priest, he’s just a guy with strange job.

A woman takes a lover home during the day, while her husband is at work. Unbeknownst to her, her 9 year old son was hiding in the closet. Her husband comes home unexpectedly, so she puts the lover in the closet with the little boy.The little boy says, “Dark in here.”
The man says, “Yes it is.”
Boy- “I have a baseball.”
Man- “That’s nice.”
Boy- “Want to buy it?”
Man- “No, thanks.”
Boy- “My dad’s outside.”
Man- “OK, how much?”
Boy- “$250.”

In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the mom’s lover are in the closet together.

Boy- “Dark in here.”
Man- “Yes, it is.”
Boy- “I have a baseball glove.”
The lover, remembering the last time, asks the boy, “How much?”
Boy- “$750.”
Man- “Fine.”

A few days later, the father says to the boy, “Grab your glove. Let’s go outside and toss the baseball back and forth.”
The boy says, “I can’t. I sold them.”
The father asks, “How much did you sell them for?”
The son says “$1,000.”
The father says, “That’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that. That is way more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.”

They go to church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door.

The boy says, “Dark in here.”
The priest says, “Don’t start that sh*t again.”

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Let the punishment fit the crime???

So, I was committed to my next entry being something different.  Maybe a movie or book review, since I’ve been reading a lot lately and “Iron Man” rocked.  Sadly, I haven’t had the time or discipline to do so. Then this drops in my lap and I just had to do it.

Headline, Story and Joke all rolled into one. How could I resist?

“Priest sent to prison for having sex with inmates”

Thanks, Fark !

“When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.” — Oscar Wilde

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