Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Pope in Spain: spreading poison

Few heads of State have ever managed to visit a country and slag off their hosts at the same time. Ratzinger just did it.

What is it with this Pope? Bad manners? A twisted propensity for poisoned confrontation? A rabid desire to interfere in a sovereign state's internal affairs even when it's against the most basic diplomatic protocol? Or is his a simple case of sheer ignorance?

How else can anyone begin to comprehend the poisonous comments as those spurted out by Pope Benedict XVI on his current official visit to Spain?

As he consacrated Barcelona's Sagrada Familia and paid tribute to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela, Pope Benedict lashed out at Spanish society and its Socialist-led Government, slamming the country's "strong and aggressive secularism" and its "form of anti-clericalism akin to that last seen in the 1930s". The latter was a clear nod to the Civil War and the days when Republican troops killed thousands of priests and pillaged churches in rage at the clergy's backing of Franco's military coup d'etat.

An interesting way, that was, to show gratitude to a country which just forked out €13,333 per minute (each minute!) - in the middle of its biggest economic crisis in decades - so that his trip could take place without a glitch.

And yet, whoever briefed Ratzinger forgot that few countries are as generous as Spain when it comes down to the Church's privileges.

Since Franco's death took away that appalling brand of national catholicism so dear to the Vatican's hierarchy, 21-st century Spain has not amended a single one of the Church's prerogatives. Amongst them, huge fiscal incentives and direct state-funding of the Catholic church. So much for Ratzinger's talk of aggressive secularism and parallels with the Civil War, each year the Spanish State subsidises Catholic activities to the tune of 6 million Euros.

But Benedict XVI went further. The former Hitler Youth member charged against Spain's recent easing of restrictions on abortion (note that legislation in Spain is still way more restrictive then anywhere in northern Europe) and took a swipe at the country's liberal policy on same-sex marriage, legalised by the Socialist Party (PSOE) soon after they office in 2004.

"Spain needs to be re-evangelised", were Joseph Ratzinger's exact words.

"The Church supports natural order when it comes to the family as an institution", the Pope added in Barcelona, calling for governments to introduce "economic measures" to incentivise what he dubbed "the natural family", so that "the woman can find her complete fulfilment at home (does he mean in the kitchen?) as well as at work". Incidentally, in the midst of his verbal diarrohea, the 84-year-old white-clad bloke did not say a single word about the enormous paedo scandal that has been marring the Catholic Church the world over.

Pope Ratzinger can blame modern times as much as he wants. If Spain's rapid de-christianisation is bugging him so much, he should lay the blame on the Vatican's incapacity to grasp humanity and do soul searching rather than spreading poison and prejudice.


seamus breathnach said...

Spreading poison is the Pope's main business. His predeessors did it in the time of the Crusades, and the Apostolic Succession has benefitted from it ever since.

Why should Spain pay millions to hear these insults. When I was young heterosexual men and women could not kiss on the streets in Spain -- and this is what the RC Church wants Spain and the World to return to -- just to prop up the most corrupt celibate and paedophile institution in the world!

Much too much license has been given the RC Church to abuse people (adults as well as children, intellecutally and emotionally as well as sexually, and philosophically as well as prayerfully).

Quite recently in the UK, before he began his expensive tour, he actually claimed that all the dedicated hierarchy of C of E was inauthentic, that they were not 'real' priests (like his own 'Holy Roman' celibates).

Some of us who watched at this insulting Pharaoh being graciously welcomed by the Queen, wondered for a moment if she was 'authentic' enough for the Fascist Roman??

Who else but Catholcis would put up with such ignorance from the White Pope and such devastation from the Black Pope? It's time, I think, to enter the schools and spread the Gospel of Francesco Carotta (War Jesust Caesar?) and Joseph Atwill ('Caesar's Messiah), so that the next generation ad infinitum, know a charlatan when they see one. . . It's the least we can do for peace in the world.

Seamus Breathnach,,

Hitch Cock said...

Equating the killings of a civil war with a democratically elected government promoting sexual equality? Welcome to the Pope and his world of peace love and understanding.