Pope John Paul II has died at 84. I saw him speak at the MCG during his Australian tour in 1986 (the Collingwood cheer squad made him a wonderful banner); Arthur Chrenkoff’s uncle has a much closer connection, as Arthur explains:

Some thirty years ago, [my uncle] and his friends from university set up the “Academic Choir Organum”. The future Pope, who was then the Archbishop of Krakow, loved being with young people and maintained special interest in cultivating the future intelligencia. It didn’t take much persuading to get him to become the choir’s patron. Three decades later, and Organum is still going strong and my uncle is now its chairman. It’s still an amateur outfit (in a sense that all its members have day jobs, some connected with music, some not - the uncle is an architect - and certainly not in a sense of their high professionalism) and some of its members are now in their early fifties, but it never ditched the “academic” tag. Over the years, as they toured around Europe they would drop by Vatican to see their former patron, and whenever John Paul would visit Poland they would see him, too, and sing for him, like in those good old days in the 1970s.
Goodbye, nice old man.

UPDATE. InstaPundit has all your Pope link needs covered.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/02/2005 at 08:17 PM
  1. Not all your needs.  DU and Indymedia are in full hue and cry… but I shall decline to post links..

    Posted by on 04/02 at 08:47 PM • permalink

  2. Final score for the 20th century:

    Ordinary Poles, 2.
    German intellectuals, 0.

    Posted by on 04/02 at 08:50 PM • permalink

  3. I also saw him during the 1986 tour.

    Just as every Anzac day highlights the diminishing number of ex-servicemen from both world wars, the death of John Paul II brings home the reality that very few world leaders now have any first hand experience with the twin evils of Nazism and communism.

    Aside from his stewardship of the Catholic Church, history will remember John Paul II as one of the people who took on eastern European communism and won.

    Posted by Adam B on 04/02 at 08:53 PM • permalink

  4. Power Line has an interesting little insight into what the NYT’s thinks of the Pope’s legacy including offending screen grab before it was changed.

    Posted by on 04/02 at 09:12 PM • permalink

  5. Sorry ...should have checked InstaPundit first .. he’s over it

    Posted by on 04/02 at 09:14 PM • permalink

  6. He was quite a man; he has been credited with actively bringing down communist states in Europe.

    He was a believer in free trade and economic freedom from the state.

    Posted by on 04/02 at 09:20 PM • permalink

  7. Tim,

    David Marr doesn’t share your sentiments. at the end of the ínsiders’today he acidly remarked that the Pope’s passing could be regarded as being a good thing.

    The self- interested toad, (Marr that is)

    Posted by on 04/02 at 10:15 PM • permalink

  8. “The Force was strong with him.”

    Posted by on 04/02 at 10:21 PM • permalink

  9. Despite holding opposing views on a number of issues and not being a Catholic myself, I feel this is a truly momentous event. I’m shocked at what David Marr is reported by Nic to have said.  Would he say similar things re death of the King of Tonga, the King of Thailand, Kofi Annan or a senior Muslim cleric in Qom or Mecca or Najaf?

    Posted by on 04/02 at 10:30 PM • permalink

  10. This hasn’t got to do with the pope rather Paul Hester’s death but it’s another example of a “self-interested toad”
    The Age

    Apologies for going off-topic.

    Posted by on 04/02 at 10:44 PM • permalink

  11. Marr’s words - I’m paraphrasing:

    “Well, the biggest story this morning of course is the death of the Pope… and the world might be a better place because of it.”

    Posted by C.L. on 04/02 at 11:05 PM • permalink

  12. Rog2, John Paul II may be characterised a free marketeer, but he also had something to say about war, describing it as “an absurd and always unfair phenomenon” which we - humanity - should question deeply.

    He also said “Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.” “Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men.”

    All in all, John Paul II warned us to beware greed, war, and violence.

    Posted by nwab on 04/03 at 12:39 AM • permalink

  13. Marr’s reaction may be due to the Popes views on sexuality, esp homosexuality.  Marr wrote the book “The High Price of Heaven” which looked at the role of the church in making pleasure seekers feel guilty. Marr doesnt like to have his style cramped.

    The Pope on the fall of communism from a Catholic and personalist perspective; "It would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to human needs.”

    The Pope describes a genuinely free and personalist market as one that "recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector…."

    Posted by on 04/03 at 12:40 AM • permalink

  14. NWAB—Does it shock you that a man can be appreciated for his good points by people who don’t agree with him 100%?

    Maybe you’re reading the New York Times a little too much?  It might be curdling your world view.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:03 AM • permalink

  15. Hey Sortelli, I don’t read the birdcage liner. More likely Tim’s Bulletin or The Australian.

    I am simply suggesting that those who claim respect for the man should not be selective when representing his views. Particularly given that those views are completely opposed to war for any reason and were recently ignored by god-fearers everywhere.

    That’s called hypocrisy. Who’s world view is curdled?

    Posted by nwab on 04/03 at 01:09 AM • permalink

  16. nwab, one more instance of you lecturing people here on hypocrisy and I’ll ban you.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 01:18 AM • permalink

  17. I also believe in the use of contraceptives. I AM A HYPOCRITE!!!

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:19 AM • permalink

  18. I think gay marriage should be legal.


    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:20 AM • permalink

  19. Oh, wait, I’M NOT CATHOLIC.


    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:20 AM • permalink

  20. It’s a good thing too, because I also support the death penalty.  All that hypocrisy caused by admiring the Pope might explode my widdle brain.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:23 AM • permalink

  21. David Marr’s snide comments are offensive but predictable. Of course, he would say that.

    Of greater concern is when actual Catholic priests bad-mouth the Pope even as he lay on his death-bed.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:26 AM • permalink

  22. So World War II should not have been fought against the Nazis, since fighting to defend against evil and overthrow it is itself unacceptable, and to do so is hypocritical on the part of a believer, war being unacceptable for any reason?  I kind of doubt that was what JPII had in mind.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:27 AM • permalink

  23. The following is ‘nwab’ moaning about ‘trolls’ at dick neville’s ‘futurist’ web-site.  QUOTE.  “ Can those who disagree with Richard’s posts please:

    (a) Address the actual points raised by Richard and refute them directly,

    (b) Recall the treatment that “trolls” recieve when visiting right-ist sites such as Tim Blair,

    and (c) Refrain from personal insult.

    If this is not possible, then please piss off. Your one-liners only show what bored idiots you all are. No one takes you seriously when you are abusive, and no one out of the tiny number of people who actually read your shit give a toss about your opinion.

    Posted by: nwab | March 25, 2005 07:04 AM” Hey SWAB! What’s with the ‘recieve’ thing? it’s ‘I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C’ ok?  RECEIVE. Get it? regards/ross.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 01:48 AM • permalink

  24. A great deal of the praise currently being heaped on Karol Wojtyla, by the media and other observers, is poorly informed trumpery. Many of those pundits, who seem to have lost any semblance of objectivity in reporting on John Paul II’s papacy, need a serious reality check.

    Posted by Boss Hog on 04/03 at 01:50 AM • permalink

  25. Thanks for the spelling lesson, rosceo. Much appreciated. Goddam public school system.

    You’ll also note that I am addressing the discussion at hand and am not insulting anyone.

    Excuse me while I plow through your back catalogue of insightful posts in search of a typo. ;-)

    PS Anything to say on the actual topic, mate?

    Posted by nwab on 04/03 at 01:52 AM • permalink


    That being said, godspeed JPII. Though I hold different views on many issues than you did, and I am not a Roman Catholic, I believe that you were a wonderful exemplar of your faith.

    Am I a HYPOCRITE for saying this?

    (did you know that the Greek origin of the word hypocrite meant “actor”?)

    Posted by on 04/03 at 03:24 AM • permalink

  27. God bless you Nwab.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 03:24 AM • permalink

  28. For greater accuracy, substitute ‘Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini’ for ‘Karol Wojtyla’ in Boss Hog’s post.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 03:31 AM • permalink

  29. So there’s no hope for the Pope? Then who’s the senior monsengior? The Vacar of Rome’s been called off to home. Feel free to add your own lame rhyming gags. Here’s another- we’ve had a Pope Carol, ‘bout time for Pope Daryl.

    Posted by Habib on 04/03 at 03:53 AM • permalink

  30. I think its time for nwab to fuck off to low dog’s porn site

    Posted by on 04/03 at 04:21 AM • permalink

  31. I’d think it would be depressing to go through life, doing the best you can, and then your death turns into mechanized soap opera, along with everything else the media touches.

    You won’t see a headline ``Millions worldwide indifferent to death of Pope’’ accurate though it may be.

    I never heard the Pope say anything any good, just platitudes.  Bush on the other hand has made riveting speeches sometimes; not, however, on the subject of the Pope.

    I’m bracing for a Pope retrospective by Peggy Noonan.  This will be truly awful.

    So anyway : there ought to be revulsion about the media.  As for the Pope, I didn’t know the guy.  He never said anything that struck me, just the same old crap.  It may be that the Church is hard to deal with.  Well, okay, so what.

    Bush doesn’t have much to work with either, and manages to shine occasionally at least

    Posted by rhhardin on 04/03 at 04:27 AM • permalink

  32. Another aspect to the Pope is how he died.  Indications are that did not use drugs for his health unless the need was essential, hence his Parkinsons disease symptoms were more pronounced.  medication would have reduced the tremors but reduced his mental capacity.  Similarly he denied painkillers for his latest bout of infections; the reason being that he wanted to remain in control of his mind despite the discomfort and pain.  Even to the end he remained “lucid” and continued to give instruction.

    This is a great role model for a society that has become a stranger to the aged and death and where youth is revered.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 04:31 AM • permalink

  33. The ABC is predictable if anything. The general tone of their coverage can be summed up as opposition to Iraq War – good; moral conservatism - bad.

    Catholic moral teaching on warfare is based on the notion of “just war�? codified by St Thomas Aquinas. Papal opposition to Iraqi liberation was based on the belief that all of the factors enumerated by Aquinas were not present. This is debatable and in any case, it can be argued that just war theory is outdated in this age. Attempts by DU to-opt the Pope into the “not in our name�? movement is just reprehensible. What’s more, the papal position was the position of the Vatican City State rather than the Catholic Church as a whole. Poland, Spain and Italy – all supporters of the US led coalition – have predominantly Catholic populations. Within these countries, those who opposed the coalition tended to support anti-clerical left-wing parties such as the Spanish Socialists. Papal opposition would have meant nothing to these people.

    Posted by Adam B on 04/03 at 05:14 AM • permalink

  34. This is a great role model for a society that has become a stranger to the aged and death and where youth is revered.

    Bollocks. It’s just Luddism, or a comment on the Italian health system.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:46 AM • permalink

  35. That’s what I thought about the ABC coverage- the odd bit of anti-war snorking was OK, but didn’t make up for his misogyny and homophobia; like David Marr, they were pretty chuffed he popped his Papal slippers, and were giving a solid shove to the appointment of a Third World Pope, preferably a Central American Marxist. Frankly, I don’t think the Pope’s got that much real clout- an apcrophal story of the Pope (Pius XXII I think) complaining about the treatment of Catholics, especially the Kulaks, in Russia to the supreme Soviet, met with a reply from Stalin along the lines of Fuck the Pope- how many divisions does he have? Unless the Vatican plans on mobilising the Swiss Guard and having the opposition drop dead from laughing at the uniforms, the whole Catholic Church really only has clout on its members, and not much of that now. It’s not like if you harbour heretical thoughts, Cardinals Fang and Biggles are going to lob around with the comfy chair.

    Posted by Habib on 04/03 at 05:53 AM • permalink

  36. Habib,

    I have a link to that quote on my blog

    One of his great themes was his steady echo of the words of Jesus: “Be not afraid.” He was a profoundly brave man who feared not even the totalitarian leadership of his native Poland. His first visit there as pope, in 1979, was a key event in the rise of the Solidarity movement that became an early crack in the crumbling wall of communism. During a later papal visit, the general who ruled Poland with an iron hand quite literally trembled in the papal presence. In that moment of temporal power cowed by spiritual strength, the pope provided a silent answer to the taunt of Stalin, who had dismissed the papacy by asking “how many divisions” an earlier pope had.

    Making a dictators tremble without the assistance of military force is quite an achievement.

    Posted by Adam B on 04/03 at 08:00 AM • permalink

  37. by which I mean making dictators tremble without the assistance of military force is quite an achievement (preview is for the week and all that..)

    Posted by Adam B on 04/03 at 08:07 AM • permalink

  38. John Paul’s legacy is by no means an undilutedly admirable thing-- the handling of the sex scandals was in the worst Italian-conspiratorial fashion, for one-- and yet his great achievement is undeniable.  If you wonder just how seriously to take this talk about how John Paul brought down the Berlin Wall was, read this and see how true it is:


    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:17 AM • permalink

  39. Hey, guys—I’ve just got a call from Sinead O’Connor: she’s got some pictures of the pope to send you so you can tear them up.

    By the way, the only third world cardinal I know of who’s in the running for the next pope is Cardinal Arinze from Nigeria. From what I hear he’s at least as conservative as John Paul II was, if not more so. Picking him as next Pope would cause many lefty heads to explode as they tried to wrap their minds around the idea of conservative Catholic African.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 10:27 AM • permalink

  40. The Pope was never going to please everyone. I disagree with most of what he said, especially in regard to Church practices (let priests marry and the molestation problem will drop dramatically.) But to say he was anything less than a great man is absurd. He poked his finger through the rotting edifice of Communism. He reconciled the Church and the Jews, apologizing for past abuse and recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and despite that still managed to earn the respect of Muslims.

    My fundie-Baptist co-workers were making cracks about the Pope all week (including one preacher who said the Pope was power-hungry because he wanted to be kept on artificial life-support as long as possible, which of course is the exact opposite of what the Pope requested - but these are the types of ignoramuses who circulate Onion articles amongst each other as factual). I usually let their asshat-ery pass without comment, since they’re so pathetically stupid, but this week they’re getting an education if they open their pig-ignorant cakeholes.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:29 AM • permalink

  41. DaveS — And the left is responding with their usual style and grace, as per this from Jeff Jarvis’ site:

    This pope has no relevance to American religious thought. He’s strictly an old-world phenom. American catholics for the most part are more progressive when it comes to tolerance of gays and birth control.

    He’s just a part of a european religious heirarchy that has a dubious past including such dark moments as the spanish inquisition.

    You go ahead and get all weepy on a Saturday night, I’m going to Scores, drink some JD and get some lap dances. — Posted by bearer of light at April 2, 2005 10:41 PM

    Andrea — Most African Christians of any denomination are very old school.  That’s why many American Episocopelian congregations are affiliating with the African bishoprics now.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:45 AM • permalink

  42. Any man who would stand up to both the Nazis and the Communists is no coward.

    People can make snarky comments all they want about the Pope but there are hundreds of millions of Catholics in the world that would disagree with them.

    Bush and the Pope agreed on many social issues but the Iraq war was different, as well it should have been. I supported the war but I am not the Pope. Can we imagine the response of the Muslim world if the Pope had been enthusiastic about a coalition that is considered to be Christian invading a nation that is Muslim?

    The Pope led an amazing life and while there were scandals in the Church we don’t know enough about the internal workings of Vatican to really know what if anything he knew. We do know that bad things can happen in any large organization with or without the permission of the people running the show. This is not an excuse but it is just a reminder that the overwhelming majority of priests are innocent of these crimes.

    I think it is sad that people are willing to overlook his overall message of love and justice this man brought to the world when most of his detractors are far from perfect themselves.

    The Pope was a good man who remained true to his principles and while neither he nor his Church are or were perfect he never preached murder suicide and he was known by many people as a kind and decent man.

    Say what you will about the media but with or without them he will be mourned by millions.

    how many of use can say that?

    Posted by on 04/03 at 11:43 AM • permalink

  43. let priests marry and the molestation problem will drop dramatically

    Good god, Dave S., that has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Men don’t fuck children because they aren’t allowed to marry grown women. Do you know how many child molesters are married? Marriage is an even better way of getting your hands on kiddies than becoming a priest; lots of kiddie-diddlers marry single women with children just for that purpose. Please don’t say stupid things like that anymore.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 11:55 AM • permalink

  44. Andrea:

    I have heard other people use the molestation scandal as a reason to end celibacy in the Church.

    Priests were not always celibate. The Church began to enforce the celibacy rules centuries ago because of the fears of creating ruling or corrupt aristocracy in the church. [think the Borgias]

    I think this scandal is rather like the situation of the boy scout official here in the US who pleaded guilty to having child porn.

    Child molestors seek out situations where they know they will have unsupervised time with children and where they will be in a position of authority over them.

    such as UN peacekeepers from Timor to the Congo.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 12:45 PM • permalink

  45. I have heard other people use the molestation scandal as a reason to end celibacy in the Church.

    Those people are either stupid or disengenuous. There is absolutely nothing stopping men from having sex and getting married. Just don’t become Catholic priests. It seems to me that for Catholics the priesthood serves, or should, as a fine place for all those men who are either a) able to actually control their sexual impulses in service to something they think an even higher cause, and b) those men who are simply not interested (due to low sex drive or whatever) in sex and want a place where they won’t be bombarded by our society’s frantic insistence that we aren’t whole human beings unless we are porking or being porked by somebody every five minutes. I realize what I have to say is poison to many of the commenters here but that’s just too damn bad.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 01:05 PM • permalink

  46. Dave S, I’m going to have to chime in on the “marriage ain’t gonna fix it” theme. Admittedly my knowledge is entirely anecdotal, but the only child molestor I’ve had the misfortune to encounter (in a social sense, NOT the assault sense) is married and has five children of his own, not to mention numerous grandchildren, several of whom he, ah, got way too close to. He’ll also hit on grown women, incidentally. It has nothing to do with whether he’s married. He’s a nasty sexual omnivore and he sees no reason to exclude the kiddies from his wide-ranging affections. Sick bastard. So no, I don’t think marriage is going to do it - sure didn’t work for him.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 03:26 PM • permalink

  47. Marriage doesn’t seem to help the Episopalians with their clergy, so I doubt it will help the Catholics…

    Posted by on 04/03 at 03:34 PM • permalink

  48. Andrea - if the church accepted married priests, they would not feel the necessity to accept misogynist pedophiles.

    I still consider myself catholic, but have not beeen near a church for years because of the handling of the molestation issue.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 04:45 PM • permalink

  49. As a daily reader of this site it is not often that I feel alienated from what you have to say Tim. But goodbye nice old man. His denial of women’s rights to control of their lives by not having children, a message that western Catholic women seem to have been able to ignore, but not the women of South America or Africa, made him responsible for the poverty and degradation and death of countless. To mouth pieties about the poor while requiring them to lead lives that would never allow them to rescue themselves or their children from misery hardly equates with a nice old man for me.
    “All propaganda and misinformation directed at persuading couples that they must limit their family to one or two children should be steadfastly avoided, and couples that generously choose to have large families are to be supported.
    In defense of the human person, the church stands opposed to the imposition of limits on family size and to the promotion of methods of limiting births which separate the unitive and procreative dimensions of marital intercourse, which are contrary to the moral law inscribed on the human heart or which constitute an assault on the sacredness of life. Thus sterilization, which is more and more promoted as a method of family planning, because of its finality and its potential for the violation of human rights, especially of women, is clearly unacceptable; it poses a most grave threat to human dignity and liberty when promoted as part of a population policy. “
    The Pope to the Population conference 1994.
    Women who choose to be sterilised are having their rights violated. He also speaks of the wrongness of framing population issues in terms of women’s rights, though of course they are important! In marriage a woman enjoys the “unique” role of motherhood. The common role of propogating the species or the catholic population was the more likely interpretation of his position.
    I find his position inexcusable.
    He concluded with “mankind’s efforts to respect and conform to God’s providential plan” Whatever that is it is not anything to do with me and so on what right does he seek to impose that view on all in the world.
    “May Almighty God enlighten all those taking part in the conference’ God could have got a little more into enlightening this guy.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:19 PM • permalink

  50. Andrea - if the church accepted married priests, they would not feel the necessity to accept misogynist pedophiles.

    Good grief. People don’t understand how pedophiles operate, do they? Do you actually think they went and advertised themselves? “Hi, I want to be a priest ‘cos I’m a child molester and they won’t let me get a job at the local school.” “Well… we’re hard up, and all the men seem to want is to get married, so we’ll have to take you in.”

    Try to face it: pedophiles joined the priesthood because it was a great place to network (they could count on the cultural it-can’t-happen-here blindness and the topheavy entrenched bureaucracy as well as the natural wagons-circling that human social groups do when threatened by any trouble to protect them as they worked their way through the kiddies and altar boys), not because the church deliberately hired them because—what, the church hates children and wants to torment them? So you’re upset and left the church, yay for you.

    There may be good arguments for letting priests marry again but claiming it will dissuade pedophile priests is not one of them. I see you also totally ignored what I said about many pedophiles being married themselves.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 05:23 PM • permalink

  51. Well, technically a married man who really wants to become a priest could become Eastern Catholic and train for the priesthood, they allow it and have a special dispensation for it. It would take a lot of work, but becoming a priest isn’t exactly the work of a moment, anyway. Also, I think we should look at more general trends; are the seminaries of faiths which permit married priests overflowing? The Anglicans don’t seem to be pulling in much in the way of vocations lately. It seems to me that in North America at least the trend is against becoming a priest/minister of ANY kind, and loosening the rules doesn’t do much to change that; in fact, it encourages thoughts of “Why should I bother to train when my life won’t be any different anyway?” It’s like conversion, in a way; why convert to a faith which doesn’t have much in the way of rules to hang onto? (I have known a few people who grew up in no faith who converted to Unitarianism, but you can talk with them for a long time before the word “faith” comes up; essentially they converted because they liked the UUs’ social attitudes).

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:26 PM • permalink

  52. Ros,

    Wanna feel alienated? Let me help you.

    Here’s the thing: it wasn’t the Pope’s neato idea to tell his followers that artificial birth control and abortion are wrong, it’s been Catholic teaching for centuries. And there’s one sure-fire way not to get pregnant or get a venereal disease: don’t fuck. Oh and by the way, rape is also against church teaching so you can tuck that argument back in your file of notions. And here’s another thing: lots of Catholics, especially in those “poverty stricken” countries you are being so patronizing over, are a lot more conservative than even if this pope was. It’s only in the decadent, pleasure-addicted West where the very idea that someone, somewhere, is not participating in the great sex race drives so many people frantic. Most of the rest of the world thinks the entire Western Cultural sphere of influence needs a cold shower. If you think lots of Catholics dropped the church because its teachings made them feel all guilty about their fun, wait until they pick a pope who’s a now, with-it dude who transforms the church into a branch of the Unitarian Universalists with incense and robes.

    It really makes me laugh to see so many whiners about some institution somewhere not doing things their way. It’s called freedom of choice, people—join another church if you don’t like the one you’re in. Just don’t complain when other people don’t follow you.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 05:32 PM • permalink

  53. wait until they pick a pope who’s a now, with-it dude who transforms the church into a branch of the Unitarian Universalists with incense and robes.


    It hurts! It hurts! Make the bad mental image go away!

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:38 PM • permalink

  54. Andrea,

    I appreciate your comments and agree with all of them.

    What has pissed me off about the church was the “wagon circling”.  An immediate hard-line response as soon as the first allegations started to emerge would have saved a lot of grief and I believe that there are many decent men and women who could serve without the need to defile children

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:40 PM • permalink

  55. His denial of women’s rights .... made him responsible for the poverty and degradation and death of countless.

    Now thats a long bow to draw Ros.  The Pope argued for womens rights, its the Moscow trained cadres that are muddying the waters.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:48 PM • permalink

  56. Leftist folly tells Third World women not to have children and then wants to deny them western advances such as GM food that could have fed child number three.

    Sounds like the Catholic Church has less to do with social engineering in the Third World than Western Leftists.

    The answer to starvation was never to tell a woman to stop having children.

    The answer lies in ridding the world of corrupt despots.

    Hello, Robert Mugabe - who said at the weekend he wants to rule until he’s 100.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 05:58 PM • permalink

  57. Whoa Andrea. Even as an orthodox Catholic, I’m tempted to write to the next Bishop of Rome and get a special dispensation for your ordination. You’ve got more stones than many of the touchy-feely clergy around the traps!

    The Catholic.. er, position, on matters sexual is quite simple: sex is a gift from God, the primary objectives of which are “unitive and procreative.” Using contraception is akin to saying to God “Er thanks for offering, but we don’t need your gift - this is about us.” The Church doesn’t demand that couples reproduce every time they get it on, just that the union is open to life, to God’s gift.

    If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other denominations to choose from.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 06:00 PM • permalink

  58. Thank you, Andrea, for your decency. I no longer feel comfortable reading this blog, or that I am enjoying reading commentary of like minded people. But thank you, you are kind.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 06:15 PM • permalink

  59. Thank you, Andrea, for your decency. I no longer feel comfortable reading this blog, or that I am enjoying reading commentary of like minded people. But thank you, you are kind.

    What the fuck?

    Well, anyway—rest assured I probably don’t think like you or anyone else. I know I’m a freak.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 06:21 PM • permalink

  60. I was genuinely thanking you for the logical arguments you were presenting. I don’t think your a freak at all, I think you make supreme sense. As I said and meant, thank you. I’m very turned off by some of the other comments I’m reading, that’s all.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 06:28 PM • permalink

  61. And here’s another thing: lots of Catholics, especially in those poverty stricken countries you are being so patronizing over, are a lot more conservative than even if this pope was. It’s only in the decadent, pleasure-addicted West where the very idea that someone, somewhere, is not participating in the great sex race drives so many people frantic

    Well said Andrea.

    Posted by Adam B on 04/03 at 06:34 PM • permalink

  62. Actually, you can be married and a “normal” Roman rite Catholic priest.

    In Adelaide, South Australia, there is a Father Fleming. He was a married with children Anglican minister who converted to Roman Catholicism.
    They allowed him to become a priest - and his wife is still alive and still his wife.

    It is not quite correct to say that "The Church doesn’t demand that couples reproduce every time they get it on, just that the union is open to life, to God’s gift.”

    Sex when the woman is post-menapausal is not forbidden, nor is sex when the woman is pregnant. In neither case is the “union open to life”.

    Men with no sperm count or very low sperm count can bang away ok, even though there is no possibility of life.

    And, of course, couples can choose to have sex at times when they know that the woman is in the infertile stage of her period.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 06:42 PM • permalink

  63. Pog-ma-thon - I think “open to life” is still an OK way to describe it. It doesn’t mean that life is likely, or even possible - just that you’re not specifically preventing it. If either half (or both) of a couple are infertile, they can still be “open to life” - it just doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what they’re going to *get*. But that’s their bodies not functioning in a fertile way, not because of their intent or doing. Similarly with menopause; no child will come out of that, but that’s your body’s doing, not yours. (And there have been infertile couples and older thought-they-were-menopausal couples, though not many, who were “surprised” - so being “open to life” even under tremendously unlikely circumstances can occasionally result in life getting through). Think of it as sort of a gloss on “Where there’s life, there’s hope” only put non-contraceptive sex in the place of “life” :).

    Posted by on 04/03 at 06:57 PM • permalink

  64. Mary Eberstadt has written on molestation by Catholic priests in, “The Elephant in the Sacristy” at the Weekly Standard.

    Some interesting quotes:

    "The uproar over priestly sex abuse,” [Stanley Kurtz] argues, “offers spectacular confirmation of nearly every warning ever issued by the opponents of gay marriage.” The American church presents “a case in which gay sexual culture has not been tamed, but has instead dramatically subverted a venerable social institution.” ...

    The author of these and many other unminced words on the subject is no icon of Catholic traditionalists, but rather their bete noire Andrew Greeley--jet-setting Jesuit sociologist, racy novel writer, and no one’s idea of a Church reactionary.  Here is Greeley again, in 1990, urging the archdiocese of Chicago to “clean out the pedophiles, break up the gay cliques, tighten up the seminary, and restore the good name of the priesthood.” ...

    Greeley was quoted years ago saying, that “the two phenomena [of homosexuality and pedophilia] shade into one another."

    It’s quite long but worth a read.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 07:06 PM • permalink

  65. I would’ve thought Catholic girls would’ve been pretty safe anyway, what with the moustaches and such.

    Posted by Habib on 04/03 at 07:15 PM • permalink

  66. Ros:

    I am a woman and I am not a Catholic but I think blaming this Pope for the poverty of the third world etc is way over the top.

    In fact third world birth rates are falling.

    I have a friend who lives in Costa Rica and runs a small tourist place there. He says the Europeans make the worse guests because they go down to the beaches and get naked and the locals do not like that. The locals are coservative Catholic and consider the naked people on the beach to be heathens.

    Now if these people were Muslims and the idea was whether or not to keep make the little lady keep her head covered and her mouth shut in public… they would be more likely to be respectful of the locals. But they are just Catholics so to who cares?

    This Pope has travelled more and talked to more people and has been tireless in his calls for economic justice for the poor.

    But you know he is the Pope, he is not going to say..hey yeah sure.. just get yourself fixed and have a good time.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 07:42 PM • permalink

  67. that should be...whether or not to make the little lady…

    if I was not so damn lazy I would read these things before I post them.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 07:45 PM • permalink

  68. Habib, I believe the velour dressing gown is one of the most effective forms of contraception. It is not known if this is acceptable to Catholics, however.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 08:14 PM • permalink

  69. Terry If you think that blaming the Pope for the world’s poverty is a bit over the top then you might reconsider what you identified as my position. I held him responsible through his policies for the poverty of countless individuals not for world poverty. Your interpretation a little over the top I think. And I would agree that third world birth rates are decreasing, but that doesn’t excuse policies that reduce that falling birth rate. I don’t understand what naked people on a beach have to do with the Pope’s insistence on no artificial birth control? I assume that was a general comment and not related to what I said. 
    Andrea I also assume that the reference to rape was a response to a possible rejoinder that the Pope opposed the provision of abortion to Bosnian women who were pregnant because of rape, not fucking, by Serb soldiers. Most of them were Muslims, again what is his right to dictate what those not of his faith should be allowed to do or not do. Further I am not a catholic so I do not have to accept Papal infallibility and as I live in a world in which he had considerable influence and power I am also entitled to question the morality of and outcomes of the policies of this man. I am trying to understand why a reference to birth-rates evident in western catholic societies being markedly lower than that in African or South American as a contrast is patronising.
    Illiboc you seem to be implying that the Pope was for GM food. Maybe, maybe not, Catholic Telecommunications Oct 2004 notes that the Pope was hinting at a thumbs down for GM crops.
    Janice I couldn’t get to your link. But if I am to be criticised for drawing a long bow by saying there is a direct link between no artificial birth control, women’s rights and poverty and death then I think that “the two phenomena [of homosexuality and paedophilia] shade into one another.” is also really stretching it. Many of the Catholic churches paedophiles were actually into little girls (and bigger ones, hence the babies they produced). To draw even a correlation between homosexuality and paedophilia is simply unsustainable.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 08:55 PM • permalink

  70. Ros:

    Maybe it was the line “making him responsible for the death and degradation of millions” that gave me that impression.

    I think the Pope was a good man. I don’t agree with all the tenets of the church but I respected him and I think dumping on him right after he died is kinda tacky.

    And the whole child molesting thing goes way and beyond this church. I sure as hell do not justify it, but I don’t think every teacher or boy scout leader should be treated badly for the behavior of a few and the same goes for Catholic priests.

    This Pope stood up to forces of evil that had killed millions and almost lost his life for doing that. Now if the fact that the Pope is Catholic offends you then I would say that is your problem, not his.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 09:07 PM • permalink

  71. can’t be the Millions line Terry, I didn’t say that. Why is rejecting Papal infallibility mean that I am offended by the Pope being Catholic, rather than I disagree with it.
    Dumping on him just after he died, didn’t like him before he died. Just as I thought that the beatification of the murderous Arafat should be left unquestioned just because he died.
    Couldn’t agree more that groups of people shouldn’t be demonised for the sins of the few, like people who are homosexual being condemned as being especially inclined to paedophilia. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with an individuals morality or decency.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 09:28 PM • permalink

  72. Ros:

    Maybe you should make yourself a little plainer. You said what you said.

    But the man was 84 years old, consider what the world was like when he came into it.

    He inspired millions. Sorry he did not live up to your exalted ideas and support birth control and gay marriage and just whatever he needed to support to get on your good side.

    I went to my ex mother in law’s funeral and while I did not always like the woman I had the good grace to show respect for the dead.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 09:49 PM • permalink

  73. And comparing the Pope to Arafat is mindnumbingly stupid.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 09:50 PM • permalink

  74. Underscore- also known as the Passion Killer. Highly effective, even at some range. I don’t know if there’s a Papal Bull out dealing with subterfuge as contraception- the flannie dressing gown, curlers, hair-net and cucumber facial mask, late-night garlic-sausage snack breath, unshaved legs that feel like the cat’s scratching post- these are all artificial methods of avoiding contraception, and I would have thought as such frowned upon by the Vatican.

    Posted by Habib on 04/03 at 09:50 PM • permalink

  75. Ros, are you Catholic? If you aren’t, what do you care what the head of another church says to his followers? AIDs et al is spread in Africa by the high incidences of extramarital sex, not to mention rape, not a lack of some magical “birth control” cure for it. In a place like Africa I would guess that a church that encourages sexual fidelity (and not raping women) is a lot more helpful to halting unwed births and the spread of AIDs than handing people there some pills and condoms—on a continent where not everyone has electricity much less proper storage for medication and latex condoms in their homes (would you trust a rubber that had been sitting on a shelf in an un-electrified home in the African heat?)—and telling them “just keep on with what you are doing.” When you come right down to it the only thing that will halt venereal disease, unwanted pregnancy, and the ills that come from that is discipline, and people usually won’t discipline themselves if they see someone they hold to be an authority telling them it’s okay to run free and wild.

    And as for the Muslim victims of rape in Bosnia, 1) I wasn’t referring to them, as I thought that the subject was poverty-stricken Third World countries, not war-ravaged European ones, and 2) I don’t see how the leader of one religious body could possibly have any sayso over what the members of a completely different religion do. Any prohibitions against abortion for Muslim women have to come from their own religion or culture. If you have some sort of proof that the Catholic church forbade Muslim women to get abortions after being raped, please provide it, or I will simply think you are talking out of your hat. Of course a Catholic position would be that it is not the fault of the unborn how they came to get there, so why kill them, but they have no control over people not of their beliefs.

    And by the way, you have completely missed my and other people here pointing out to you that not only are many people of many third world nations more conservative than Americans, Australians, and Western Europeans, but they rather resent people from our part of the world coming to them and telling them to act in ways they consider nasty and sinful. Liberals et al talk a lot about the “disrespect” Christians and Western conservatives and so on show the third world peoples, and then they go right on treating the beliefs and practices of those same people like children’s games. I’m sick of it.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 10:02 PM • permalink

  76. Christopher Hitchens, the notorious Iraq-hawk and idol smasher, has written an obituary for the Pope in Slate which is a real hatchet job. In it he accuses JP II of, among other things, supervising a ring of child sex abusre clerics. I dont know whether the allegation has any substance, although going by Hitchens evidentiary standards in regards to Iraq’s WMDs one is entitled to feel skeptical of his claim. But you have to wonder about a the chutzpah of guy who was once a communist revolutionary being so eager to smear other people for their political sins.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:11 PM • permalink

  77. Please, Jack, tell us more about this “chutzpah”.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:23 PM • permalink

  78. I once heard Hitchens, during his period in Washington, say to Adams on LNL that in the White House the Clintons both slept in different beds, but never alone, and always with other women.

    That was the level of his commentary, cheap and viscous gossip.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:25 PM • permalink

  79. Terry you seem to be conflating the comments on this subject, I also have said nothing at all about gay marriage. For many people in the world comparing Arafat with the Pope would be unacceptable but not because they thought the Pope was the good guy.
    Your mother in law wasn’t a public figure with influence over millions was she. Perhaps you could nominate a period over which it is unacceptable to speak of those who have recently died in other than positive terms or I am guessing you feel that if one can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.
    The catholic church is now to name a new Pope and determine as a result it’s attitudes on many issues that because of it’s total adherence to papal infallibity (one of it’s beliefs that catholics are questioning) it has not been able to confront up until now. The Pope and his beliefs and policies are as open to question as any leader’s anywhere, and to all who will be subject to the outcomes of those policies.

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:30 PM • permalink

  80. For many people in the world comparing Arafat with the Pope would be unacceptable but not because they thought the Pope was the good guy.

    And that’s relevant how? Do we get to determine someone’s moral character by popular vote now? There are certain parts of the world where Hitler would be more popular than the Pope. This doesn’t say so much about the Pope as it does about the people doing the voting.

    And I’ll repeat what others have asked: are you Catholic? If you are, you seem to have been badly taught. Papal infallibility does not mean that whatever the Pope says must be accepted as doctrine by everyone in the church; that occurs only when he speaks ex cathedra, and that is NOT COMMON. (BTW this principal wasn’t even established until the 1800s). What you do not understand is that the Pope - any Pope - must work within a certain framework; he cannot simply say that “contraception is cool now” or whatever because it strikes at the root of fundamental church doctrine. It would be like the Dalai Lama saying “You know that reincarnation thing? That’s so not happening” or Joseph Smith saying “Gold tablets? Ha! GOTCHA!” No matter who is elected as Pope, he cannot make contraception et al OK with the church, because it’s simply not possible in the framework of the church as it’s established. (And it’s nice to know that “Catholics are questioning” doctrines; funny, I didn’t get polled. Again Ros, are you Catholic? Because I don’t particularly like having someone outside my religion telling me what I *should* be believing).

    Posted by on 04/03 at 10:52 PM • permalink

  81. It’s like when the Southern Baptists came out against gay people doing something or other and made their spiel about men being the head of the household and suddenly there were all these gay activists and upset feminists—none of whom were members of the Southern Baptist church—holding hysterical shriekfests.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/03 at 11:38 PM • permalink

  82. Take a look at the following nauseating contributors on the SMH letters Page

    V. Marshall - Erskineville

    Michael Ryan - Paddington

    Gary Cook - Balmain

    Perhaps someone would care to explain how Catholic moral teaching effects anyone other than practicing Catholics?

    Posted by Adam B on 04/04 at 12:16 AM • permalink

  83. Adam,

    It effects others only insamuch as it is all true and good!

    For Catholics there exists a revealed truth which cannot be proven by scientific methods or by logic. Whilst not unreasonable, this body of truth is unprovable - hence the need for faith.

    In the bad old days, the Church often put to fire and the sword those who refused to believe. Though we fortunately live in more enlightened times, the Church can be as dogmatic, uncompromising and pre-postmodern as ever.

    But it now respects the right of non-Catholics to be wrong ;)

    Posted by on 04/04 at 12:51 AM • permalink

  84. D’oh! That second para should probably start “Catholics KNOW...”!

    Posted by on 04/04 at 12:53 AM • permalink

  85. comment # 78 by rog2 on 04/03 at 11:25 PM

    That was the level of [Hitchen’s] commentary, cheap and viscous gossip.

    Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair, a glossy celebrity magazine, which entails retailing a fair amount of bitchy gossip.
    I find his diatribes against charismatic theological authorities (eg Dalai Lama) pretty risible, given his credulity in regards to charismatic ideological authorities (eg Trotsky).
    In fairness one should add that he has sided with some good causes, for example the Kurds and Bosnian independence movements. And he can write with great flair and literary erudition.
    His ideological posture is riddled with double standards in that he demands far more accountability and responsibility from the Church fathers, in matters of less mortal risk, than he has demonstrated in the prosecution of his own militant enterprises.
    He enjoys the pose of Establishment gadfly or contrarian, albeit of the Tory Anarchist persuasion. And delights in sparing no editorial expense whilst hob-nobbing with the rich, famous and powerful. This puts him into Schumpeter’s class of intellectuals who are:
    people who wield the power of the spoken and written word [in] the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs.
    The critical attitude
    [arises] no less from the intellectual’s situation as an onlooker—in most cases, also an outsider—than from the fact that his main chance of asserting himself lies in his actual or potential nuisance value.

    Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, p 147

    Posted by on 04/04 at 01:07 AM • permalink

  86. Jack,

    I came to a similar conclusion (on Hitchens) a while ago, he’s all smoke and mirrors, a clever construction disguising some personality flaw(s) I dont want to really know about.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 01:25 AM • permalink

  87. Interesting snippet on our local radio, a commentator was in Rome about 2 years ago and had an audience with the Pope.  This happened daily and was a public affair.  Anyway they wheeled the Pope in, the commentator was shocked at his physical condition, he was dribbling and seemed unconnected.

    At the front where a bunch of young Americans, being very voluble (as Americans do) shouting

    John Paul II
    We love you!

    John Paul II
    We love you!

    Seemingly out of nowhere came (his) voice

    John Paul II
    He loves you!

    He hadnt lost his humour!

    Posted by on 04/04 at 01:34 AM • permalink

  88. I am not a practicing Catholic and I disagree with several church practices and doctrines. What irritates me is the way certain people in the western societies forget that the church is a voluntary association operating within the context of a liberal-democratic political culture (in the west).

    The authority of the Catholic Church (and all Christian churches) in civic matters has been undermined by an aggressively secularist media who view mainstream religion as little more than an object of ridicule.  They cannot accept that the church, like any component within civil society, is entitled to use what influence it has to effect public policy. The Church has been on the losing side of most cultural battles in the last 30 years and yet people still become paranoid and irrational about what little remaining influence the church has.  These very same people have no problem with using the compulsory machinery of the state to interfere with peoples personal liberty in furtherance of their own social engineering goals.  Then, to compound their stupidity and double-standards, they accuse their opponents of hypocrisy!

    Posted by Adam B on 04/04 at 02:21 AM • permalink

  89. Jack Marx being a case in point.

    Posted by Adam B on 04/04 at 04:06 AM • permalink

  90. Ros, #69

    Try copying and pasting this into your browser:


    You wrote:

    Many of the Catholic churches paedophiles were actually into little girls (and bigger ones, hence the babies they produced). To draw even a correlation between homosexuality and paedophilia is simply unsustainable.

    No doubt, but only if you’re using the technical meaning of the word “paedophile”, i.e., someone who has sex with pre-pubescent children.  Most of the people talking about priestly ‘paedophiles’ use the word more loosely.  They usually use it to refer to anyone who has sex with a person younger than the legal age of consent.  Those with a professional interest in the abuse of older children use a variety of terms to describe the perpetrators.  They call them ephebophiles, hebophiles or pederasts.

    So when we come to look at these sort of child sexual abusers they turn out to be very much more common than paedophiles (using the technical definition) and they turn out to be almost exclusively homosexual.

    At http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27539

    Stephen Rubino, a lawyer who has represented over 300 alleged victims of priest abuse, estimates 85 percent of the victims have been teen-age boys.

    At http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex8.htm

    Donald Cozzens, former vicar of priests at the Diocese of Cleveland, OH, wrote in the year 2000 about his experience in the Midwest: “... Our respective diocesan experience revealed that roughly 90 percent of priest abusers targeted teenage boys as their victims. ...
    More recently, in 2002, he quoted other estimates that “90 percent to 95 percent, and some estimates say as high as 98 percent of the victims of clergy acting out [are] teenage boys."

    At http://www.catholicleague.org/research/abuse_in_social_context.htm

    Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals.  Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University, found that “80 to 90% of all priests who in fact abuse minors have sexually engaged with adolescent boys, not prepubescent children.  Thus, the teenager is more at risk than the young altar boy or girls of any age.�?

    I’m quite prepared to believe that there are homosexuals who aren’t in the slightest bit interested in having sex with teenaged or younger boys.  But please don’t pretend that there aren’t a substantial number who are pederasts.

    Pederasty: “an ancient Greek word that referred to sexual relationships between men and boys.  Pederastic relationships often involved a teacher and a pupil, and the “love of boys” was praised by Greek philosophers like Plato.” From http://gayhistory.com/rev2/words/pederasty.htm

    Posted by on 04/04 at 04:17 AM • permalink

  91. Anyway, “Goodbye, nice old man” was fine by me.

    Not being Catholic I never took much notice of what he wrote for Catholics but I sure thought he was a nice old man.  And a faithful servant of God too.  I don’t know any Christian denomination, group, whatever you want to call it, that I think is right about everything.  I’m sure I’m not right about everything.  But if JPII is not in heaven right now, loaded with rewards, I’d be very surprised.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 04:36 AM • permalink

  92. Andrea I am beginning to suspect that none here read the posts, they just give a quick skim and decide for themselves what it is that the person they have categorised would say. So re am I a catholic, (Andrea and Sonetka) see post 69, prior to posts 75 and 80.
    Next I didn’t say the Pope forbade, rather he and the Church opposed Yes the Pope and his cohorts were of the view that it wasn’t the fault of the embryo but they had a right to act to try and prevent women not of their faith from having abortions.
    However thanks for the challenge. I ended up learning a lot more about the Holy See and its Non-Member State Permanent Observer status within the UN one way the church tries to require their morality for all.(but at the same time won’t sign up to International Convention on Civil and Political Rights nor the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women or the European Council’s Declaration for Human Rights). Indeed what is a religion doing there. Some pearls, Pope John Paul II , “that the “true advancement�? of women requires recognition of “the value of their maternal and family role, by com-parison with all other public roles and all other professions.�? . Liked this one “ member of the Holy See delegation to the UN asserted that “the work of women in the home is the basis for the happiness of the whole human race.�?�?  Holy See’s report to UN in preparation for Beijing declaring that women do not have an equality of roles and functions rather the specificity of women should be protected. Also wanted respect for women’s rights replaced with respect for women’s status. 1993, the Pope called on women who had been raped during the conflict in Bosnia to “accept the enemy” into them, and to make him the “flesh of their own flesh.” The pope asked women “to transform an act of violence into an act of love and welcome. Can’t site the primary on that though so am unsure as to it’s veracity. Hope it is not true, what a raped pregnant woman feels about being told to accept the enemy into them doesn’t bear thinking about. However from the pope’s own pen, “In every case it should be emphasized most clearly that since the unborn child is in no way responsible for the disgraceful acts accomplished, he or she is innocent and therefore cannot be treated as the aggressor�?
    More on the UN. Not just object to abortion for rape but emergency contraception for rape victims Kosova. Or withdrawing funding to UNICEF and threatening to stop catholic organisations from raising funds for it Sources Joanna Manning, a reuter’s report, Catholics for a Free Choice.
    The infallibility, as it seems that my views lose validity because I am not a Catholic I will finish with some Catholic views on infallibility
    “Even for many Catholics, this pope at the end of his physical strength, refusing to relinquish his power, is the symbol of a fraudulent church that has calcified and become senile behind its glittering façade.
    This pope, while preaching against mass poverty and suffering in the world, makes himself partially responsible for this suffering as a result of his attitudes toward birth control and explosive population growth.�? Hans Kung
    Or Stephen Mumford, Catholics for Free Choice amongst other accomplishments.
    “This principle was not created until 1870, the very year when the pope lost all temporal power with the creation of the country of Italy. Up to that moment, the Vatican was still executing so-called heretics, people whom it viewed as posing a threat to papal power. But suddenly this source of power was gone.
    The Vatican urgently needed a new source of power. It could no longer control the laity by means of its governance, as it had in the papal states which would later become Italy. But it could control the laity directly by adopting a policy of psychological coercion founded on a new doctrine—that of papal infallibility.
    This was a brilliant concept—and it worked—for a century.” This opposition to contraception was an attempt to halt the erosion of the churches credibility and power? Again I quote Catholics.
    So the Papal Commission on Population and Birth Control (1964 to 1966). The Commission concluded that it was not possible to make a change to contraception without undermining papal authority—but that the Church should make the change anyway because it was the right thing to do! The lay members voted 60 to 4 for change, and the clerics, 9 to 6 for change. Whose was the minority report that scuppered it because “that a change on the birth control issue would destroy the principle of papal infallibility and that infallibility was the fundamental principle of the Church upon which all else rests.
    The principle of infallibility must be protected at all costs.�? Pope Paul John II.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 05:16 AM • permalink

  93. Ros you are pretty adamant on the fallability of the Pope, yet you have still made no case other than assertion that the Pope was “responsible through his policies for the poverty of countless individuals not for world poverty.”

    How do you differentiate in real terms between catholics and non-catholics in the “poverty and degradation and death of countless”? 

    I agree that women require recognition of “the value of their maternal and family role, by comparison with all other public roles and all other professions.” For too long the role of women in the family home has been has been undervalued, and women need to hear that from other women (they never listen to men).

    Posted by on 04/04 at 06:04 AM • permalink

  94. Well, Ros, maybe it’s because of the way you write. I admit I find it difficult to make much headway into your clabber; perhaps if you would do simple things like put spaces between your paragraphs and not write so many run-on sentences I wouldn’t “miss” things you have written.

    Please no excuses about how you “write the way you talk” or you write “emotionally” or how rude it is to correct someone’s writing or “you don’t have time.” If you don’t want to be misread or misunderstood on an internet forum then you need to write with more clarity.

    By the way, your insistence that the Catholic church holds women down and keeps them poor and pregnant falls apart in the face of all those devout Catholic women in Western countries, many of whom actually follow Catholic teaching to the letter (no Pill or condoms, no abortion, no sex outside marriage, having lots of chilfren, etc.) and have managed not only to keep from being poor, but to prosper. Kindly tell me how this is so, and why women in third world countries can’t do the same thing.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/04 at 06:41 AM • permalink

  95. Ros:

    My remarks about gay marriage and the Pope were meant to go toward general attitudes regarding the Church and its traditional and unenlightened attitudes toward homosexuality. and I think you know that.

    In South Africa there was a rumor in the country side that raping young girls who did not have Aids would cure men of the disease. Now when one is confronting cultural attitudes such as this a condom is pretty useless. Don’t have sex has more of a chance of working and the church preaches monogamy and celibacy. It is not easy, but then again neither is dying of Aids.

    I hear that UN peacekeepers are raping young children and not much is said about that but if the Pope or for that matter the Bush administration question the UN or unicef in its family policies that is a terrible thing.Why? Maybe they need to be questioned.

    As I said I am not a Catholic, I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. I left the church many years ago, but when my grandmother died her last words were “Thank you Jesus I am catching the train to happiness”.

    Now I could have said her ideas were archaic or even destructive, but I respected her whether I shared her beliefs or not.

    I do not doubt that there are many people who will not share the traditional values of this Pope. But few if any of them are in a position to cast moral judgments about him.

    As for him hanging on to power, well I have to say Popes ususally do. It is not as if there is a term limit or a retirement age. I am sure the Pope believed that God would end his tenure when He thought it was time.

    cheer up, they are going to pick a new Pope, maybe they will get Bono to do it.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 06:46 AM • permalink

  96. Christopher Hitchins is another case. I agree with him on some things but the man can be an ass.

    I remember after Edward Said died Hitchins did a warm and fuzzy eulogy on him in which he described Said helping xome lady in NYC shop for the perfect hand bag. no kidding.

    Hitchins, the old marxist, saying nice things about the anti American Jew hater who liked to shop in expensive American shops. weird.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 06:50 AM • permalink

  97. My mother only had two children and she did not use birth control.

    It was called the rhythm method.

    But I don’t think the traditon of stressing motherhood is meant to keep women down so much as it meant to strengthen the family. Maybe the world could use a little more of that.

    It seems that in the state of Florida today a man can leave his wife and live with another woman and still be the first woman’s husband and wield life and death power over her, or so says the secular state.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 06:58 AM • permalink

  98. Ros, Janice — Now, now, don’t you know the gay community wants to have it both ways (you should excuse the term) on this issue.

    For example, when one of the pedo priests back east was sent to jail, gay activist groups loudly declared this was NOT a gay scandal.  When that same priest got shanked, the same groups just as loudly declared it WAS a gay hate crime.

    I guess they want to pitch but not catch.

    Posted by on 04/04 at 09:33 AM • permalink

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