a quick one

I try not to post on topical matters if I have nothing better to contribute than my own outrage, but two headlines from the past week demonstrate the incredible cynicism of the Catholic Church, in its willingness to elevate dogma over responsivity to human suffering.

Why, for example, should the Pope continue to insist that Africans refrain from using condoms? There are a great many severe moral evils taking place on that continent on which the Vatican’s commentary would be entirely appropriate, and so if the Pope cannot be a pragmatist with regards to this issue, he can at least remain silent. Or does nothing outrage God like a latex-sheathed cock? The civilized world acknowledges that insisting that people who face an incredibly high risk for contracting HIV refrain from using protection demonstrates a complete lack of responsibility. Maybe the Catholics would like to join us there. Bonus fact: Catholicism grows faster in Africa than any other continent, but it takes the Pope four years to make a single visit… what does this portend?

Lest one rush to the certainly unwarranted conclusion that the Catholic Church simply doesn’t care about the wellbeing of black people: the suffering of Jews, too, does not merit a re-evaluation of doctrine. During his trip to Israel, the Pope will not visit the Holocaust museum because it contains “controversial wording” as to the complicity of Pope Pius in Hitler’s genocide. How mature. How appropriate a reminder, at least, that Benedict is not a singularity, not an exceptionally unwise and craven person, but the heir to a millennial legacy of stupidity and cowardice  cloaked in gold. If the Catholic Church cannot lay down its petty agenda for the exculpation of Pius, they could be at least superficially less crass about it if they pretended that they were listening to the victims and carefully considering the available facts. Refusing to visit a museum, which is both a memorial and a historical record, makes it plain that the Catholic Church will consider neither as a possible challenge to its own moral certitude.

The headlines aside, what truly frustrates in this enterprise is the futility of speaking about it at all. Isn’t this the same bloodied wall that Voltaire was banging his head against how many centuries ago? At what point do reactionaries actually just become fossils? How long can one ugly, craggy edifice of an institution persist? Is there a prayer for erosion?


~ by staticandme on March 18, 2009.

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