Monday, February 11, 2013

Prosecute the Pope!

Well, with the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation today, it shouldn't be much of a surprise what today's entry is going to be about. Ratzinger has only been Pope since 2005, and has only given the church about three-weeks notice until he steps down at the end of the month. The reasons cited for his resignation are his health and age... Odd, considering that most Pope's stay in office until their death. Personally, I have to wonder if the official reason is the whole truth, but more on that later. But when all is said and done, Ratzinger will be the first Pope to step down since 1415, and the first to do so willingly since 1294. I am happy to see Ratzinger go, but there are two things I will miss... 1) The ease of pointing out the absurdity that they elected a former member of the Hitler Youth. 2) The fact that he looks almost exactly like the evil Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. That comparison was always quite fitting, actually.


Next month, the Catholic church will start the process of selecting a new Pope. One can only hope that Ratzinger's successor is less conservative than he's been. Let's face it, even by Catholic standards, Ratzinger has been a Conservative among Conservatives.

Just this past Christmas, Ratzinger took time in his Christmas speech to oppose same sex couples and marriage equality. He referred to homosexuality as a choice (it's not), called homosexuals 'intrinsically disordered' (nice job loving thy neighbor), and called gay marriage a threat to world peace! Seriously? A threat to world peace? How exactly do you figure that allowing two willing people that love one another to get married is a threat to world peace? He similarly, also called abortion and euthanasia threats to world peace. Again... How?! Okay, if someone is against abortion on all cases, that is their right. But how is abortion a threat to world peace? Furthermore, how does euthanasia threaten world peace? Does he not realize that euthanasia concerns the personal like of the individual only? It's a choice to die with dignity, and at the time of your choosing. So please tell me, how does that humane option threaten world piece? Perhaps he doesn't understand what it actually is. Maybe like some talk show hosts he also thinks euthanasia permits governments the select who lives and who dies. If that's the case, he's both wrong and gullible.

Ratzinger also continued the opposition of allowing women to be ordained as priests. While such a stance is actually Biblically sound, it is also quite out of place in a day and age where woman are finally supposed to be equal to men. His opposition to stem cell research was also relentless. Yes, yield-less  opposition to one of the most promising fields of study of our day. Experimental uses of stem cells have cleared up HIV and leukemia. Stem cell use has given a person that was blind in one eye much of their sight back, and has also been used to treat progressive blindness. Stem cells have treated spinal cord injuries, diabetes, grow a replacement trachea, repair damaged heart tissue, etc, etc. I find it odd that the leader of the church who is supposed to be compassionate for his fellow man, wishes to curb these amazing treatments and the the even greater possibilities for the future. True, embryonic stem cells aren't the only type of stem cells. Actually, the replacement trachea was grown from that little boy's own stem cells. But while adult stem cells can do amazing things, embryonic stem cells can do more, and usually with better success. But whee do they come from? The simple fact is, that most come from fertility clinics. Quite often there are too many samples left over that end up being kept for a while and then just disposed of. So why the uproar over cells that can save untold lives that were due for disposal anyway? I recently saw a nice poster that asked "What if the cure for cancer lies in a person who can't afford to go to collage." A very nice thought, as I feel that education is paramount, and that we should do what we can to be sure that people get the education they need. But I similarly ask, "What if the cure for cancer is in a fertility clinic test tube that the Pope deems is off limits?" I can not respect a man that feels that these collections of cells that will never be humans, trump the rights and well-being of real people going through real suffering. One area that Ratzinger finally came around a little was on the issue of condoms, especially in Africa. The long time stance has been that condom use was not permissible or useful against the spread of AIDS. In 2010 he finally revised his position somewhat. He oddly stated that condom use was permissible in some situations, but not for the prevention of spreading HIV/AIDS. Just a year earlier, Ratzinger actually claimed that condom use would promote the spread of AIDS rather than hinder it. Such an absurd statement is hard to take seriously. It was unclear what uses e was now okay with, but it's sad that it took him ten years in the papacy to revise his antiquated stance as little as he did. But contrary to his belief, condom use would help reduce the AIDS problem in Africa. By demonizing condoms and promoting abstinence above all else, you are creating a recipe for careless unprotected sex that in may cases in Africa, leads to the further spread of HIV/AIDS. How he can sleep at night is beyond me.



Finally, we reach the elephant in the room. That's right, the Catholic child abuse scandal. As ugly as the acts perpetrated were, there is yet one more ugly fact... Ratzinger was complacent in the child sex abuse scandal! In 1979, Archbishop Ratzinger suggested only therapy for a cleric known guilty of child rape. Then Cardinal Ratzinger ignored letters of concern about ongoing abuses and simply moved offending priests from parish to parish to try and cover up their doings. In 2001, Ratzinger was now in charge of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith". This was the department in charge of the chile abuse scandal. Ratzinger's chief action was to send out a letter reminding all of the extreme consequences of the crime of  reporting the rape and torture of children at the hands of priests. The punishment for those who did not remain silent? Excommunication! But the punishment for those who actually did these evil deeds was to be moved to a new church. Can you see where the priorities are all miked up? Protecting the offender at the price of the victim or those that would do the right thing and come forward. Simply sickening! To go on, Ratzinger wrote a statute of limitations for internal investigation. This started at 18 years of age and ended ten years latter. If the victim is now too old, the church says 'tough luck for you'. Of course, they drafted this as they did, as it automatically exempted some of the oldest abuses from even being investigated. So as we have seen plainly, Ratzinger was very much aware of the problems taking place within the church, and was even personally involved. So what did he do once he was in power as Pope and had the ability to do something about it. Absolutely nothing! In my opinion, covering up child rape and protecting the rapists is just as bad as commuting the rape yourself. Morally superior, my ass! There was actually a small movement to Britain to take changes up against the Pope during a visit, however, since he is technically a head of state, the only charge that could be levied was 'crimes against humanity', and no lawyer was willing to file the charge. But now may be the chance. Once Ratzinger is no longer the Pope, he will no longer be protected by the law at he once was. It is my hope that justice will be done, and that this disgusting excuse for a human being will spend the last of his days in prison, rather than a very nice retirement home as planned. Earlier I eluded to the true reason for Ratzinger's resignation. I would be lying if I told you it wasn't a shock to just about everyone. He hadn't really given any signs that he was due to resign, then we have the news today. Given his corrupt history of the child abuse scandal, part of me has to wonder if this resignation was tactical. Perhaps he was even more involved than we know thus far? Perhaps the shit is about to hit the fan, and he wanted to be out of office on his own accord before he was forced out. The coming weeks may start to paint that picture. But let's get one thing clear... Even if no further involvement come to light, Ratzinger is a vile human being that deserves nothing more than to be prosected to the furthest extent of the law.

-BH

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