The Next Pope Will Fail Too; Pres. Obama Must Act Now, says Jerry Slevin on his Christian Catholicism blog
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I thank “Vatican Gate” for this link.
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The Next Pope Will Fail Too; Pres. Obama Must Act Now
While it may seem overly pessimistic to say that the next Pope will fail too, it is just being realistic; and yet there is also room for much optimism. The papal resignation is tantamount to an admission of failure and will lead to de-mystification of the papacy quickly. Pope Benedict XVI, soon to again be non-Pontiff, Joseph Ratzinger, and his Vatican clique led by Cardinal Sodano et al., have already set the stage for the next failure.
The sudden call for a quick election conclave substantiallly diminishes any chance of a real opposition being mounted by non-Vatican Cardinals. Since the Pope apparently knew for some time he would resign, the suddenness seems well planned. The recent public shaming of Cardinal Mahony, evidentally with a papal blessing, and the related inevitable aggravated prosecution risk for Mahony, should chill any real opposition anyway, as was likely Ratzinger’s intention. Ratzinger will soon be living a few hundred yards away from the new Pope in his refurbished retirement base, hardly a monastery, that was built 20 years ago to house a dozen nuns that were reportedly all moved out by last November when renovation started. Perhaps they joined Nuns on the Bus?
Of course, the media loves the chance to report superficially the “papal election horserace”, even if their picks are uninformed and wild speculation, often intended apparently to garner some local readers or repay or enhance old sources. It is nice theater; but mainly irrelevant. Ratzinger and Sodano already likely know who will be the next Pope and one would be foolish to bet against them. Since the weather is bad in Rome this time of year, perhaps Cardinals might save some money by just mailing in blank proxies to Sodano.
The reason for some optimism is that the Vatican clique’s apparent raw power grab will now just accelerate the sinking of the Vatican Titanic that much sooner. Even overly trusting Catholics will see through the clerical charade. Various prosecutors and survivors lawyers can now be expected to be able to reach Ratzinger, who may lose his legal immunity in a few weeks. While they may not serve him with subpoenas in Vatican City, they will wait for their chance, perhaps aided by Ratzinger’s former butler or another “Vatileaker”. It will likely only be a matter of time, even if no more scandals erupt as predictably they will. Once the rule of international law starts pulling hard directly on papal threads, the Vatican hierarchy can expect to be quickly uncovered and forced to initiate reforms, perhaps after some senior officials face prosecution, which cannot be too far off
Yes, Cardinals likely will now go to Rome, but they could have demanded first that a conference be convened soon, before any election occurs, to be held far away from Rome to address seriously and comprehensively the Church’s major problems, which are just getting worse with the recent decades of papal inattention and will continue to get worse if Ratzinger and Sodano elect their man. The Cardinals should realize that they could be next to be shamed, like Mahony just was, unless they act to change the status quo. But it does not appear that the carefully selected and subservient Cardinals will even try to save themselves, so forget about saving innocent children.
Catholics are not waiting on Cardinals. Australian and Irish Catholics have already gotten their governments to act.Now many from different faiths and no faith all across the USA, and even worldwide, including some of those harmed by the abuse of the deaf victims in Milwaukee, have already signed my petition calling on President Obama to step up. They have indicated they have had enough with the domination of local prosecutors and legislators by the Catholic hierarchy and its well paid apologists and lawyers. More signatures, including yours, will help accelerate the establishment of the U.S. national investigation commission, especially important now when the Vatican may be at a turning point.
We all have a moral obligation to protect children and signing a petition is a simple, yet potentially effective, way towards meeting that obligation. Please take a minute and sign it at:http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-investigate-child-sexual-abuse-by-priests-rabbis-religious-leaders
Please, as well, ask those you respect and who value children to sign it also. If you are active in a U.S. advocacy group, ask your leadership to support the petition. Similarly reticent progressive Catholic voices, like the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal, seem reluctant to press for the positive prospects of President Obama establishing a U.S. national investigation commission. They need now to take a stand.
What are they all waiting for? Blogging, writing, debating and prayer, however admirable and well intentioned, have to date barely influenced the Vatican clique and their subservient U.S. Bishops on reforms and will likely do little more in the future, certainly in the near term as more children are raped by priests, while duped Catholics continue to contribute enabling compicit bishops to protect priest pedophiles and predators perpetually.
I have separately proposed that President Obama consider appointing First Lady, Michelle Obama, to chair the new Obama commission. She is well respected as a Harvard lawyer and devoted mother. She would be an ideal choice with her established credibility if she were willing to accept the appointment.
The First Lady of the USA could consult with another effective former practicing lawyer, Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister, who just established a national investigation commission that already has the Catholic hierarchy and the Vatican running for cover.
Prime Minister Gillard recently disclosed that the tipping points in her decision to call for a national commission were the numerous disclosures that the Catholic Bishops, as part of their cover-up, moved predatory priests to avoid prosecution to other states and even other countries, where the predators continued their sexual abuse of more trusting and innocent children. The multistate and multinational dimensions of the crimes against children apparently convinced Prime Minister Gillard she had to take action at the Federal level.This moving of predatory priests interstate and across national borders has, of course, happened repeatedly in the USA as well, necessitating a Federal response in the USA as well.
If the First Lady would oversee this, President Obama would still be able to focus on his many other priorities, including resisting the Vatican’s and its plutocratic Republican contributors’ unrelenting and opportunistic efforts to derail Obamacare over contraception insurance and immigration reform over gay marriage.
U.S. voters recently made clear their rejection of the Vatican’s lobbying efforts to deny marriage equality for gay U.S citizens. Now the Vatican appears to be trying to deny it for gay immigrants. As to the Vatican’s relentless and futile anti-contraception crusade, 79 year old conservative Cologne Cardinal Meisner, recently approved a “morning after” pill of the type that, only a few months ago, many U.S. Bishops were condemning President Obama for helping U.S. women gain affordable access to. Does the Vatican understand how contraceptive pills work? Does the Vatican understand that President Obama has been re-elected?
If there tragically were not over 200 million “unplanned” children living miserably in countries where Vatican lobbying effectively denied their parents access to affordable contraception, a dispute among octogenerian celibates over permissible forms of contraception would make good political satire! But sadly, the Vatican’s anti-contraceptive efforts, apparently mainly to please the Vatican’s plutocratic Republican donors by keeping family planning wedge issues in political play, will very likely only fail again, while these efforts continue nevertheless to burden families and children.
Does the right hand talk to the left among Cardinals and the Vatican clique? Do the unprecedented, selective and well orchestrated shaming by an Opus Dei Archbishop of Cardinal Mahony, and the unexpected support from Cardinal Meisner for contraception that is reportedly starting to stir up German Bishops, indicate a Cardinals’ revolt is brewing. Will this revolt affect the papal elections next month? We may soon find out.
For more analysis of the powerful political influence of the Catholic hierarchy here, please see my remarks at http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-lN
For more analysis of how the emerging divisions among Cardinals might have changed the papal election process, please see my remarks athttp://wp.me/P2YEZ3-gW
Finally, I hope some of you will consider linking this statement to your comments at appropriate websites, such as at:
(1) National Catholic Reporter ( http://ncronline.org ) and of
(2) Commonweal ( http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/ ).