Cults: April 2008 Archives

As Barry reported here on Sunday during a quick foray out of the affected area with his laptop, our larger neighborhood was without any internet connection all weekend. Our contact with the outside world was restored late on Monday, but circumstances conspired to prevent my return to blogging until today.

I found the experience fairly excruciating even though I don't have a livelihood dependent upon the net. I didn't have my little silver friend for three whole days; I had no little speakers podium or picture outlet, and no way to reach those published by anyone else; no incoming or outgoing mail; maybe most important for someone as curious and information-hungry as me, no instant reference sources; and of course no news. The news blackout in particular made it feel like the arrival of a new dark age, especially since neither radio nor television is a part of my own or Barry's life. I will say however that living with only a blank screen this past weekend was not without a silver lining: We were spared the obscenity of the all-pope/all-the-time broadcast media coverage (Barry peeked every so often and it seems Ratzinger had bought NY1) with which entertainment news smothered the city, and apparently much of the nation as well.

Before starting anything new I'm going to be dutiful and finish up my series of short posts on art spotted at the New York fairs late last month; I'll be looking back at Pulse, Volta, Bridge and Disarmory.

Goya Inquisition Scene (1816) oil on panel 18" x 28.75" [three notes: beginning in the Middle Ages the Church had prescribed the conical hat, generally yellow, as a distinguishing mark for Jews; Jewish conversos were the principal concern of the Spanish Inquisition; from 1981 until 2005 Josef Ratzinger was head of the Vatican department formerly known as the Inquisition]

I just did a search from this site, and I see that there are already two pages listing my various posts on Josef Ratzinger. I was hoping he'd be dead before I'd have to do another or, even better, irretrievably compromised by some spectacular scandal. I really didn't want to have to think about this man again, and I certainly wasn't going to display another picture of that freaky face*. Virtually everything he stands for disgusts me.

Okay, except maybe the part about "peace", but I know he doesn't actually mean it and, like the Dalai Lama, he's certainly not going to embarrass our own "infernal" warrior king while he's over here. By the way, I also don't anyone believe a word he says about freedom or democracy. I was raised a Catholic, educated by Augustinians and Jesuits and studied history as an undergraduate and graduate student for ten years. I can assure you that the Church establishment has never cared what form governments assume so long as church interests aren't compromised. [cf. Eugenio Pacelli and Reichskonkordat]

Also this week, don't expect any homilies on capital punishment from Ratzinger, who we are repeatedly reminded has a boundless respect for life. Might hurt the sensibilities of the former "Texecutionor".

But the holy fiend is coming to New York again, and although both he and his office are increasingly irrelevant, apparently even to most Catholics, I just can't maintain my blackout on the latest Ratzinger developments. I was struck by something I saw in the joint statement he and his D.C. host just issued. George Bush. Now there's another pathetic excuse for an appointed ruler (so who's using whom on this visit?). It seems they both wanted us to know how much they respect human rights and diversity. I'm used to these lies from the White House but I just couldn't ignore it coming from our sanctimonious short-term visitor, since he's never ignored me or many of my friends, or anyone else whose integrity and rights he regularly impugns. I'm talking about all queers and all women, just for starters, but you can certainly add anyone not of the strictest, doctrinally-acceptable religious persuasion (that is, his own).

There is one incident in particular in Ratzinger's past, one which I cannot forget, one which was never disavowed. It's a statment which continues to reflect this narrow, clueless disciplinarian's real approach to the diversity of mankind rather than the "respect for his vast pluralistic society", he affected yesterday in Washington. In 1992, during a period of particularly virulent antigay violence in the U.S., he authorized a Vatican proclamation which said that that when lesbians and gay men demand civil rights, "neither the Church nor society should be surprised when ... irrational and violent reactions increase".

Perfectly consistent with the Church's traditional mode of addressing its own evils: Blame the victim.

Still we bleed, queers of every gender and our straight sisters as well, not least because of his vile ministry.

Josef Ratzinger arrives in New York on Friday. I'm sincerely hoping that at least some New Yorkers will know how to receive him properly.

although I'm not the first to notice that, on the other hand, his devoted personal secretary is pretty damn hot, even if this is way off subject (maybe)

[image from]

ADDENDUM: [in the form of an appendix] For the complete text of a document describing queers as a "troubling moral and social phenomenon" and denying them a status from which they might argue for their rights, see the letter, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons" on this Vatican site. This is a document which Ratzinger had authored, as head of Roman curia office once known as the Holy Inquisition. It was published by his old boss Karol Wojtyła in 2003.

This page is an archive of entries in the Cults category from April 2008.

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