Slow Descent Into Madness and Irrelevancy

Rochester recently got a new Catholic bishop, and the crackdown has begun. Our last bishop, who didn’t focus his attention entirely on key issues like abortion-craving sluts and their whorish need for birth control, has retired. In his place, the new bishop has decided to run the place the way Jesus intended, and of course the first thing Jesus would want him to do is something that makes the women of his diocese feel shitty.

For the better part of 40 years in churches across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, clergy ceded the floor to laypeople for the delivery of the homily — the sermon that follows the reading of the Gospel at Mass.

The practice, which dated to the mid-1970s and was simultaneously derided by the faithful for running afoul of church law and praised for its inclusiveness, has come to an end. […]

Many in the church have welcomed the shift as a long-awaited return to doctrine. Indeed, Matano said he began addressing the matter in response to complaints from parishioners.

But it also has been received with disappointment, particularly among women, who made up the majority of lay homilists and viewed the practice as a way to play a more active role in their faith.

If you want a peek into the minds of people who are running the church today, let’s look at one of the local faithful who has been deriding this practice and now has the bishop’s ear, via her blog, called “Cleansing Fire”. The subhead is “Gloriamur in Tribulationibus” or “Rejoice in Our Sufferings” and each post is “promulgated”. Here’s a little peek of her commentary on the article quoted above, in living nutcase color:
bitches_be_all_uppity
If you do visit her blog, note that it focuses on church architecture and other ephemera, supporting the bishop when he knocks uppity women down a peg, and “religious freedom”, by which she means the freedom to be excused from paying for birth control and the freedom to deny gays the right to marry.

After you’ve lost everyone who’s disgusted with the child abuse and hate, this is what’s left, and they’re running the place.






142 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    supporting the bishop when he knocks uppity women down a peg

    On first reading I read “supporting the bishop when he knocks uppity women UP“. Well, I was raised Catholic.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    Maybe the mackerel snappers can have a war and kill each other off.

  3. 3
    Mike J says:

    Paul called Junia, a mere woman, outstanding among the apostles. Even if she was one of the best apostles around, she wouldn’t be allowed to read a story.

  4. 4

    But our Awesome Hippie Pope has been cleaning house, slowly but surely. I suspect people like this and that homophobic wackaloon out in Seattle that our last Nazi Pope loved will soon be history.

  5. 5
    tokyo expat says:

    I’ve long distanced myself from the church. But stuff like this only reinforces why I’m unlikely to ever return. I don’t get women like this one who gleefully takes part in putting down other women. So much for loving thy neighbor. I wish women in every parish would stand up and walk out the doors and refuse to return until the church not only dragged itself into the 21st century but reformed itself from the inside out.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Southern Beale: You’re not Catholic, are you? Remember, The Church ™ is never wrong, it can only be wronged.

  7. 7
    the Conster says:

    Isn’t this this the point of religion? To create an ingroup, and oppress the outgroup? Pope Francis may be less harsh on the gays, but nothing he’s done yet should give any comfort to women still in the church who hope anything will change.

  8. 8
    Gindy51 says:

    @the Conster: In a word, Yes. That’s always been the whole point of any priestly class, it’s the easy life. The peons provide your bread and butter, the royalty have to come to you for vindication, and you sit around drinking, fucking, and eating to your heart’s content while getting to lord it over all around you. What’s not to like about a lifestyle like that? Sure, in some faiths, you might have to give up an outward sexuality or abstain from things where people can see you, but there is always a way to satisfy your baser desires by keeping it in the closet, so to speak.

  9. 9
    Botsplainer says:

    Francis is fighting a rear guard action, soon to lose the battle and the war.

    This was set into motion first by the selection of that asshole JPII, There was a chance to take another path after his death, but instead, the cardinals chose his main enforcer, der Panzerpope.

    Here’s the thing – the purging of societal normalcy and budding empathy got moving pretty hard under JPII, but under Ratzinger got exponentiated. The moderate voices are fewer and farther between, like particles in a dying, expanding universe. There is no room for empathy or pragmatism, only cold, unyielding authoritarian dogma, some of which is basically being hauled from the bowels of deep history as we speak.

    All that wil be left will be the assholes, and being assholes, they’ll turn on each other, destroying their own brand. There will be a remnant for centuries (if we don’t extinct ourselves), but they’ll be done as a major societal force in about 40 years.

    Can’t happen soon enough.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    Well, historically. the Church has (almost) always been a steadfast adversary of liberalism and modernity. This is a return to traditional behavior and shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @tokyo expat:

    I’ve long distanced myself from the church. But stuff like this only reinforces why I’m unlikely to ever return.

    + 1.

    To be fair, I suppose I should note that I never expected the Pope to be better on gay rights or women’s rights than any of his predecessors – just living up to their own teachings on matters other than sexuality is pretty much the best I expect from the RCC. But when that’s the best you can hope for, it really doesn’t give me much incentive to go back.

  12. 12
    Louise says:

    Spiritus Christi might need to add another service.

  13. 13
    Chris says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Isn’t that only if you stay America-centric? The Church may be burning itself out in the West (it’s already just a remnant in much of Europe), but it still has quite a bit of pull in Latin America and Africa that I don’t see going away in forty years. Within the U.S, optimistically, yes.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    Latin is coming.

  15. 15
    Exurban Mom says:

    The only thing that’s surprising here is that people are surprised. I haven’t heard of a lay person preaching a homily maybe ever in my diocese–this is just not done.

    The church is comprised of individuals who believe the church can do no wrong, or who explain away its failings and harmful treatment of children, women and LGBT folks. That would be why you won’t find me at church. The sooner people wise up that this is a horrible institution that they need to leave, the better.

    When you prioritize your financial portfolio over justice for victims of heinous crimes, you’ve lost me, and you should lose every thinking person.

  16. 16
    Ramalama says:

    My mom, who says she’s barely hanging on to Catholicism (‘by my fingernails’), is hopeful about Francis. Though she does take issue with the asshole bishops. Isn’t Francis about to issue an encyclical about stewardship on the environment (aka he believes in man-made climate change)?

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Southern Beale: I’m not Catholic, but I married into a Catholic family. I recently attended a funeral in a Catholic church, and it was comforting to see the portrait of Pope Francis on the wall rather than his predecessor glowering down at me.

    The character of the person at the top matters. That’s true in the church, in the government or in a company. Institutions will still do awful things that we don’t support, but it still matters.

    I hate a lot of what the US government does, including selling arms to murderous regimes, accidentally droning Afghan wedding parties and building an absurdly all-encompassing security state. But hell yeah it makes a difference to have a Democrat in charge rather than a Republican, even if I wish it were an even bigger difference.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    The RC Church and its defenders seem to have a lot in common with Israel and its defenders.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    After you’ve lost everyone who’s disgusted with the child abuse and hate, this is what’s left, and they’re running the place.

    Quoted for truth.

    And it’s a scary thing when people like that get a hold of the “praise the lord with suffering” bit and run with it.

  20. 20
    Miki says:

    Hate, hate, hate the RC church hierarchy. Here in Frostbite Falls we’ve seen an especially odious bunch of pedophile-protecting pricks parade through for the past several decades. Minnesota Public Radio just did a really excellent radio documentary on the 3 bishops who conspired to cover up years of continuing abuse (http://minnesota.publicradio.o.....cumentary/) .

    I am not now and have never been and will never be an RC, but man-o-man the damage and betrayal done to the laity by corrupt clergy takes my breath away – and kinda breaks my heart.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, good analogy. I don’t see that much of a connection between what Francis is doing and the choice for Rocheter bishop. And unlike the U.S. president, Francis can only choose from the current crop of priests to fill any openings.

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    @tokyo expat: I totally get them. Its not just a female problem. There are a lot of authoritarian followers out there who prefer to reign over slaves than serve in harmony with equals. They get their kicks, and their self importance, from kicking down and kissing up. This woman is in a long line of such people. The end result will be “fewer but better” Catholics as the only hope the Catholic Church has is in keeping women and their children in the Church. If they lose the next generation of women because they won’t let those women minister to each other, work together, speak in church then the Church dies in one generation.

    In the old days the Church could rely on enormous families to “give” children to the Church because they couldn’t support them otherwise. You could rely on women fostering Church attendance and religiosity because (for example) being the mother of a priest or a nun brought a lot of social benefit to the family. But gleefully stripping women of any sense of ownership or delight in the Church itself? That is really counterproductive in a multi-cultural, multi-religious world. Those women can and will end up moving over to Episcopalianism or Protestantism-wherever they feel respected and wanted.

  23. 23
    Donut says:

    @Exurban Mom:

    Lay person-led homilies were allowed in the church my family attended in Southern Illinois in the 70s and 80s. I grew up in a liberal-ish college town, so maybe my experience is not typical. I don’t know. In addition to the main church in town, there was also a fairly large and well-attended Catholic student center, complete with bearded, acoustic guitar-playing guys doing original jams about Jesus. After our long-time guy left the clergy after falling in love with a divorcee/mom parishioner, the Bishop replaced him with a true socially liberal fella. For example, he was the type who never preached on abortion, but slammed the death penalty regularly.

    Wow. I have not thought about this stuff in a long time, but thinking it through now, I guess my parish was positively hedonistic in comparison.

    Anyway, back on point, I remember the practice of lay person homily very well. We also had lay people (meaning both men and women) giving communion. Weekly catechism groups were also led by a lot of women. I remember at least two former nuns, anyway.

    Man, what a cesspool of semi-modernity that church was. I guess this is atypical?

  24. 24
    J R in WV says:

    I can’t comment substantively.

    Those who know my commenting may understand.

  25. 25
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    After you’ve lost everyone who’s disgusted with the child abuse and hate, this is what’s left, and they’re running the place.

    The problem is, much like the GOP, those who do stay are not only even crazier, they still hold inordinate amount of power to make people’s lives miserable.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gindy51:

    That’s always been the whole point of any priestly class, it’s the easy life.

    In the case of the Catholic church, it is the bishop class that has the easy, lordly life. More than a few priests live a life of abject poverty ministering to forgotten people, the societal lepers. How many times have we read of priests and nuns getting shot in the Amazonian jungles because they stood up for the land rights of their indigenous parishioners?

    And I say this as one of a class room of children who literally had the religion beat out of us in the 5th and 6th grades by a demon possessed nun while a whole school of Catholics listened and did nothing. Sister Kathleen finally got sent to Columbia after she hit a girl with a fistful of keys. Took over a hundred stitches to put her face back together. I guess in Columbia the limit is 200.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    @Donut: Carbondale huh?

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And I say this as one of a class room of children who literally had the religion beat out of us in the 5th and 6th grades by a demon possessed nun while a whole school of Catholics listened and did nothing. Sister Kathleen finally got sent to Columbia after she hit a girl with a fistful of keys. Took over a hundred stitches to put her face back together. I guess in Columbia the limit is 200.

    Holy shit. That’s terrible. Beyond terrible.

    I went to catholic school (grade school) and in 4th grade our teacher actually made kids who misbehaved sit in the big pull-out drawer of his desk. We thought that was bad. It only took one year for them to get rid of that guy. It was our school’s one foray into trying a “lay teacher” instead of all nuns. Didn’t work out very well.

    The rest of the nuns just had the “ruler madness” thing where they’d smack you with a ruler across the hand. I loved the Blues Brothers scenes with the nuns.

  29. 29
    gnomedad says:

    The love of ultra-conservative Catholic intellectuals for jargon puts Silicon Valley to shame.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @gnomedad:

    The Trinity is the epitome of synergy.

  31. 31
    VOR says:

    @Miki: The RC Bishop here in Frostbite Falls inserted himself in the 2012 election by spending a fair amount of Church money on mailings to all Catholic households reminding them that the church was against gay marriage. It backfired spectacularly as the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, originally created as a way to boost Republican turnout, instead boosted Democratic turnout in the election.

    And there were the sermons praising the religious faith of Mitt Romney. Seriously, a RC church was lauding the faith of a Mormon.

    I’ve personally heard the Bishop say he wants a smaller, less inclusive church. “fewer but better” as another poster put it. And here I thought Catholic meant Universal.

  32. 32
    C.V. Danes says:

    …only if obedience isn’t at the heart of that faith.

    Faith does not require obedience. Doctrine does. Someone should explain the difference to her.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @VOR:

    I’ve personally heard the Bishop say he wants a smaller, less inclusive church. “fewer but better” as another poster put it.

    It makes perfect sense to me for a conservative to have that view. Once you believe that your institution has obtained a certain authoritativeness in society that is distinct from the people who are members of the institution, there is no way you can find value in the “extraneous,” non-conforming members. I think that’s a pattern that repeats itself in a lot of segments of society.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    I used a bad word, I don’t know which.

    Help with moderation, please.

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: I sprung your comment. No idea why that went in moderation. The ways of FYWP are as mysterious as those of the FSM.

  36. 36
    RedKitten says:

    I don’t get women like this one who gleefully takes part in putting down other women.

    aimai has it exactly right. There are a lot of women out there who choose to work within the existing power structure in our society. So they trash other women, take away their rights, and disavow feminism — all in the hopes of being granted some crumbs of power by the patriarchy. They’re only fooling themselves, of course, as they are nothing more than useful tools for those men who would happily see all women subservient.

  37. 37
    Miki says:

    @VOR: Yes, it did backfire. His arrogance blinded him to the facts on the ground. Nienstedt is a truly horrible lying sack of shit.

    I’m not a big fan of Jeff Anderson but I hope he prevails in his public nuisance claim against the diocese.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Thank you. FYWP is truly a great and terrible god.

  39. 39
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Here’s a little peek of her commentary

    Who cares what she thinks? Doesn’t she have sammiches to make? She’s doesn’t have much self awareness, does she.

  40. 40
    Donut says:

    @raven:

    Yessir, that’s the place. St. Francis Xavier was the parish.

  41. 41
    Botsplainer says:

    @VOR:

    Pure Remnant theology – I used to see that a lot from Freeper Catholics. The theory is to purge and purify, and when everybody sees how outstanding the pure remnant is – Latin masses, opulent worship spaces, families with a dozen kids (complete with worn out, harried moms and alcoholic working class fathers enslaved to the economic interests of the few wealthy parishioners lucky enough to have issues with reproducing), lots of slut-shaming, pedo closeted priests and financial shenanigans galore, they’ll flock to it like flies on shit.

    I didn’t say it was much of a model, but it is a model.

  42. 42
    Bex says:

    @Mike J: Junia was renamed Junius in several translations of the Bible, until scholars realized that there was no such Roman male name. Wonder why it was changed in the first place…hmmmm?

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @VOR:

    I’ve personally heard the Bishop say he wants a smaller, less inclusive church.

    Why do I think 27% would make him happy?

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @VOR:

    I’ve personally heard the Bishop say he wants a smaller, less inclusive church. “fewer but better” as another poster put it. And here I thought Catholic meant Universal.

    I’ve read similar things from Protestant equivalents on the Facebook grapevine. RWNJ Christians are aware of the number of people they’re losing, but consider it a feature not a bug, as the people who remain will be the Few, the Proud, the Elect. Anyone who’s driven out by the psychopaths obviously didn’t have a strong enough faith in the first place.

    Of course, as their share of the population decreases, I assume their efforts to enshrine into law the religion they couldn’t convince other people to follow will only increase.

  45. 45
    Emma says:

    @aimai: One dear friend spent a lot of years working quietly within the Church. At one point she was the leading member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (for those of you not RC, the charity arm of many churches, and here in South Florida they kept a lot of people afloat during the recent debacles). She got so fed up that she withdrew from everything except going to Sunday Mass. Refuses all pleas to do anything else, and since she’s a good organizer, she gets plenty.

  46. 46
    Botsplainer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Figure the average parish has between 1200 and 2500 on the rolls. Half don’t bother at all, a third of those left come for funerals, fish fries, Casino nights Christmas and Easter, and their kids get married there. After that, you have a dog’s breakfast of congregants – some from duty borne of habit. That number – 27% – of that dog’s breakfast can still fill in the front of the pews nicely, and lead an asshole priest to think that the pure asshole remnant slobbering over his words is the vanguard of his movement to take it all back.

  47. 47
    efroh says:

    “Gloriamur in Tribulationibus” Ah, one of the sadists. Never fails to amaze me, just how many people get off on suffering.

  48. 48
    Botsplainer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Figure the average parish has between 1200 and 2500 on the rolls. Half don’t bother at all, a third of those left come for funerals, fish fries, Cas!no nights Christmas and Easter, and their kids get married there. After that, you have a dog’s breakfast of congregants – some from duty borne of habit. That number – 27% – of that dog’s breakfast can still fill in the front of the pews nicely, and lead an asshole priest to think that the pure asshole remnant slobbering over his words is the vanguard of his movement to take it all back.

  49. 49
    Punchy says:

    @WaterGirl: I went to a Catholic school NOT taught by nuns and saw none of those bad habits. Was taught 6th grade by a long-haired hipster dude. Perhaps my school was not normal.

    And I set the speed record for reciting the books of the Bible from memory. So there’s that.

  50. 50
    Senyordave says:

    The vitriol in this blog pots is really stunning. These weren’t a bunch of women who stormed into the church and made demads. I would imagine that they are sincere women of faith who enjoyed a more active role. I think this blogger would have been right at home during the dark ages, she could have assisted in some type of torture.

  51. 51
    Senyordave says:

    To be clear, I was referring to the “Cleacnsing Fire” blog post.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @RedKitten: But “crumbs of power” is exactly what they have.

  53. 53
    Cervantes says:

    @Exurban Mom:

    The sooner people wise up that this is a horrible institution that they need to leave, the better. When you prioritize your financial portfolio over justice for victims of heinous crimes, you’ve lost me, and you should lose every thinking person.

    Amen.

  54. 54
    the Conster says:

    @efroh:

    Never fails to amaze me, just how many people get off on other people’s suffering.

    fixt for accuracy

    If Jesus’s suffering is ultimately good for me, so is yours. QED.

  55. 55
    Cervantes says:

    @Punchy: I assume you mean the names of the books. If not, well, that would be sort of impressive, yet disturbing.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I’ve wondered about church attendance rolls ever since that one time I was invited to some missionary church, started going there and then eventually quit because, well, they were fundie fucking nuts.

    But at some point during my attendance, I remember signing up (just a name on a roll). Sometime after I left, I saw something about the number of converts their denomination claimed, remembered that signup thing, and went, huh – I don’t think they ever removed me, did they? For a missionary church whose whole purpose is supposedly to win converts, you don’t have much incentive to keep close track of the people who leave you… wait a minute, how many people do they have on the “official” rolls who in reality are just guys who stopped by for a service or two and then decided it wasn’t their thing?

  57. 57
    Botsplainer says:

    @Chris:

    Of course, as their share of the population decreases, I assume their efforts to enshrine into law the religion they couldn’t convince other people to follow will only increase.

    Southern Baptists have been hemhorraging members over the past 20 years, when their purges really intensified. Their answer – every time somebody sounds an alarm – has been “more purity”. The cycle intensifies.

    Interestingly, my take is that each time a congregant finds a new church home, two or three more drop out completely.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    After reading this I went to my morning comics and what popped up? A perfect gem for this post.

  59. 59
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    For someone who supposedly hates homilies by lay women, she sure loves to give a sermon and I don’t see “SJ” after her name.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    FYWP
    In mod for who know what. Don’t recognize any of the 12 thousand deadly words in there.

  61. 61
    japa21 says:

    I belong to one of the larger Catholic churches northwest of Chicago. I am somewhat of a traditionalist modernist in that I have strong feelings about the liturgy but feel there is a lot of leeway allowed.
    Our church has frequently had lay people do the homily or have had split duties, the priest doing a short homily followed by a lay person. I have never heard anyone complain about that. Women play a major role in our church, leading many of the various ministries.
    We have a couple of openly gay people also involved in the ministries.
    Again, not a single complain.
    I have some issues with things at the church, but I feel that anybody that doesn’t have any issues about any organization they belong to probably doesn’t have a serious commitment to that organization.

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Lousy homilies and service were contributing factors to me leaving the Catholic Church. Catholic priests tend to be really bad at it. I did have some experiences with parishes where the priest really made you think and inspired you, but that was rare. I gotta say Baptists have much higher standards on that score.

    Of course there were other things, that’s why I don’t attend church now even though I have choices. The atheism, for one thing.

  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Over and above the abuse that I, myself, had visited upon me by a too-brainwashed mother and the Pittsburgh diocese, I witnessed (and this was not the first time or last time she did this) a nun who hit misbehaving students at the Catholic school I attended for one year in first grade with the big brass bell they used to signal the start and end of recess. It was probably a five or so pound bell. She’d hit kids right over the head with it.

    Thankfully, she (and she was the principal of the school) asked my parents to take me out of school in the middle of first grade because, as she told them, I wasn’t socially developed enough to be in first grade. I know it was because I was always questioning everything that was said in religion class and they didn’t want me infecting the rest of the class with my skepticism, which I had even at that very young age. I went to the public elementary school and was a star student with tons of friends and a teacher who still is in contact with me after fifty years.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Sister Kathleen finally got sent to Columbia after she hit a girl with a fistful of keys. Took over a hundred stitches to put her face back together. I guess in Columbia the limit is 200.

    !

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s kind of funny in that, when I was going thru it, it was just the way things were. “It must be OK because nobody stops it.” Even now, if I begin recounting it, talking about specific episodes which happened on an almost daily basis, it doesn’t seem so bad. I find myself saying, “Oh knock it off Tom, you’re just being a drama queen.” But then I look at the totality…

    My parents yanked me out of that school after 6th grade and sent me to public. By the time I left I had acquired a violence I still struggle with. My little sister was subjected to it. She no longer remembers, but I do. I can never forget the look on her face as she screamed at me how much she hated me. That was when it stopped, for her. It started coming out again when my oldest son was 1, but when he was 2 he gave me a look that was all too familiar and I swore I would never again lay a hand on a child for even the lightest of reprimands. He never was again. My youngest was never spanked or had his hand slapped or any such thing. Still, no matter how deeply I bury it, it is always with me. It always will be.

    My mother, a born and bred Southern Baptist apologized to me years later. She said, “I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know what. You never did talk much and right then, you just shut up.” I did not know then how to respond other than to say, “I know.” and give her a hug.

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @geg6:

    It was probably a five or so pound bell. She’d hit kids right over the head with it.

    !

  67. 67
    RoonieRoo says:

    She sounds EXACTLY like Rob Dreher.

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Chris: Define “pull”.

    Do you mean that historically the right wing oligarchs in Latin America had the ear of powerful bishops? Sure. That one of their own or someone once perceived as one of their own is now pope? But bad news, he claimed he’d had a spiritual transformation in the meantime and is talking up s*c*Iism. Oops.

    Latin America was in a process of changing decades ago. The American Right (especially aristocrats and big business) freaked out and through the CIA retarded and thwarted that process for decades. Just because the Church and rightists have been able to pull an Ireland in some countries does not mean they have that sort of popular support for their theocratic/fascist ambitions.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @tokyo expat:

    I don’t get women like this one who gleefully takes part in putting down other women.

    Does it help if you compare them to the women members of the House Republican caucus?

  70. 70
    Face says:

    I went to a Catholic school NOT taught by nuns and saw none of those bad habits

    I see what ya did there.

    Sister Kathleen finally got sent to Columbia after she hit a girl with a fistful of keys

    Unless “Columbia” is slang for “prison”, there can be no better anecdote for the bullshit that is the Catholic Church. Some woman can slash a kid’s visage with a weapon and not face charges?

  71. 71
    gbear says:

    I’ve been to exactly one catholic funeral for an ex-employer. The large church was packed with friends and professional acquaintances. My ex-boss wasn’t much of a church-goer although it appeared that his family was, so every reading throughout the whole service was about the sinfulness of life and how death was the only salvation. Even his children (one of whom was also an ex- boss) were reading scripture passages talking about how we are unworthy sinners that can only be saved by death. It was awful. No celebration of the man’s life at all.
    At one point in the service the priest called the deceased by the wrong name – Bob instead of Bill – and I was ready to walk out, but my current bosses were at the service along with many other people I had to deal with professionally, so I just spent the rest of the service marvelling at how horrid it all was.

  72. 72
    aimai says:

    Karen Armstrong, the noted scholar of world religions, wrote a very good book about her experiences as a Novice.. She really wanted to be a Nun and she choose it–much to her family’s shock–but after a few years of the crazy abuse she took in the system she left. One of the things that was going on during her 7 years in the convent was that the rules kept changing for the older Nuns as the Church itself grappled with various problems with modernity. So the older Nuns who had understood and thrived under one kind of system felt very under threat when old benefits and rules were changed.

  73. 73
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Ramalama: I wish my grandmother had lived to see Francis become Pope. Though she never said a word against Benedict I know that she was personally opposed to everything he stood for. In the last years of her life she endured her home parish going through a financial scandal where a priest embezzled thousands from a building fund established to retrofit the church with wheelchair access and then the archbishop refused to forgive any of the debt, forcing the laity to somehow find the resources just to keep the doors open and the lights on. It was the only Catholic service I’ve ever been to in my life when the homily was followed by a financial report by a lay person. After Grandma died the archdiocese did forgive some of the debt and they moved on. Just a block away from the Catholic church there is an Episcopalian church which had a female pastor. Right before she died my Grandmother came out with some horrible stuff about why Irish people are Catholics and must distrust the English. She told this “people of the soup” story I’d never heard from her (in happier times, she’d made light of her own grandmother’s animosity towards the English). I feel like she must have really struggled with staying a Catholic given her feminism and the way the parish was treated and everything, and fell back on the horror stories she was told (not saying they’re not true, btw) as a small child.

  74. 74
    Punchy says:

    can slash a kid’s visage with a weapon and not face charges

    And I see what you did there.

  75. 75
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The character of the person at the top matters. That’s true in the church, in the government or in a company. Institutions will still do awful things that we don’t support, but it still matters.

    Yes. Institutional structures are important as well, but they aren’t everything. Leadership does matter. And the sad thing is, the things we think are leadership qualities are usually signs of someone who has no business being near the levers of power.

  76. 76
    Bobby B. says:

    In nomine Dei nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi!

  77. 77
    RSR says:

    When we lived in Rochester we attended St. Mary’s. It was way left for a Catholic church, which we enjoyed. We didn’t live far from St. Mary’s, but it wasn’t our parish church.

  78. 78
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Donut:

    Anyway, back on point, I remember the practice of lay person homily very well. We also had lay people (meaning both men and women) giving communion. Weekly catechism groups were also led by a lot of women. I remember at least two former nuns, anyway.

    It was Vatican II. Which popes after John XXIII worked frantically to roll back.

  79. 79
    low-tech cyclist says:

    As I see it: God gave these women gifts of ability and talent, and lay preaching gave them the opportunity to use those gifts in the service of the Lord and their faith community. Now that the new bishop has told the women to fuck off (probably sounds less vulgar when he says it in Latin), the women are understandably upset: why would God give them these gifts if he didn’t want them to use those gifts in his service?

    But this nutcase apparently thinks that makes perfect sense, and that religion is rightly a top-down enterprise where ‘community’ is a misnomer because you should either agree with what the folks above you tell you, or you should shut up, so what is there to talk about anyway?

  80. 80
    Citizen_X says:

    her blog, called “Cleansing Fire”.

    There’s your first clue.

  81. 81
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    So a layman cant give a homily, but can a lay person eat hominy? Can the homely give homiles on hominy?

  82. 82
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @gbear: Oh lord, I was at a coworker’s funeral, there were multiple pastors present but let’s say Baptist (Black church, naturally), and he was a young man (eta: when he died–in fact he was murdered) so they got this preacher up there who really, REALLY pissed me off and made me want to spit. He was giving an “old time sermon” with a lot of “hah”‘s at the end of each line, deliberately mispronounced words to sound country or whatever it is yet it was clear listening to him that he was highly educated (studied Greek in the seminary or bible college or what have you) and then he goes on this tear about Hell because here’s the chance to “save” all of this young man’s young friends, basically implying that my coworker, a good man, was roasting in hell right now and you would too. I was furious. I talked to some other attendees and they felt it was pretty normal.

    Recently I went to a funeral of a coworker and mentor who was much older when he passed and they talked about his life and how he had touched people’s lives. Liked it a lot better. But the pastor who presided was actually his brother in law, I think. Much more respectful of the deceased and his family.

  83. 83
    Ruckus says:

    @gbear:
    Went to a friends wedding at a catholic church not too long ago, expecting a normal wedding. But that would be too costly and time consuming so they married 10 couples at the same time. It struck me that the whole thing was far more about the church than it was about the people getting married. I was not impressed.
    I spent one year of HS in a catholic school(I’m not catholic – or anything else any more – in small part due to that year). No nuns, just fathers and brothers from the seminary next door along with a couple of lay teachers. Some were OK dudes, most were creepy. The vice principle was a total asshole, girls were an abomination, dating was considered almost a sin, one that quite possibly could get you excommunicated. But the kicker for me was the visit from the local cardinal. Arrived in a Rolls Royce, put up in all his finery and wearing enough gold, rubies, and diamonds to finance a third world country for at least a year. I knew then it was all a grift for the upper levels to live the good life while keeping the common people rather poor and under their thumbs. Nothing has managed to change that view in 50 yrs.

  84. 84
    tokyo expat says:

    @Cervantes: Thought about that after. I don’t get those women either. I try to stay far away from them, too. It probably helps that I’m in Japan.

  85. 85
    ellie says:

    @Southern Beale: My mother, a formerly very devout Catholic who stopped going to church because of the sexual abuse scandal and the way women have and continue to be treated, told me last week that she thinks Pope Francis isn’t what he seems. Her words were that she thinks he is the anti-christ.

  86. 86
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Priests and nuns and monks as well have lived in poverty since there was a Catholic church to this day, but let’s be clear that over the centuries there have been plenty of fat monks (see Europe before the Black Death) and parish priests living the easy life. Let me tell you in some Catholic areas of the US parish priests may take a vow of poverty (ETA: brainfart! more coffee! parish priests do NOT take a vow of poverty, duh!! sorry for the betisme) but want for fucking nothing. And when somebody has everything given to them and not enough to do, the boredom, sexual perversion doesn’t take long to follow. So in the city you might find very active Franciscan priests and brothers ministering to the poor working their tails off with limited funds and in the same city you have parish priests with nice cars, nice apartments, plenty of money, always telling the parishioners they need to chip in more to the building fund, but of course if they knock someone up the church will hire a top flight lawyer at whatever per hour to tell the court with a straight face that the man has no assets and can’t pay child support.

    If you think major league sports with their “it’s a business! it’s a game!” two faced bullshit is bad, they’ve got nothing on the Catholic church.

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yeah. One kid got brain damage from it. Of course, no one did anything about that. He died not long after high school from a drug overdose. He was fine until she hit him and after that, never the same.

  88. 88

    There has always been a strain of Pharisee-ism within the church. First it was, “Well, okay, I guess we’ll accept the Greek-speaking Jews, but they’re not really like us.” Then it was, “Look, Gentiles are definitely out, okay? There can’t be Gentile Christians. They have to become Jews first through conversion and circumcision.”

    Then, “Okay, I guess God wants Gentiles too. But we can’t have these sinners and heathen running around there simply loving one another because that’s what Jesus said was most important and He said He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. These sinners really need some strict rules about what they can and can’t do.”

    And so on, and so forth… there’s always been that conflict and tension between the inclusive folks who say, “Love,” and those who want strict guidelines and orthodoxy and rules to follow.

    Unfortunately, I think once the church became part of the state in Rome, it elevated the latter group because it made the masses easier to control and rule.

  89. 89
    Cervantes says:

    @geg6: All part of God’s plan, no doubt.

  90. 90
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @VOR:

    And there were the sermons praising the religious faith of Mitt Romney. Seriously, a RC church was lauding the faith of a Mormon.

    I’ve personally heard the Bishop say he wants a smaller, less inclusive church. “fewer but better” as another poster put it. And here I thought Catholic meant Universal.

    Wow, fuckers showed their true colors. Here are a few for me:

    The Boston Archdiocese, with the assent of JPII, making dissident Episcopalian clergymen Catholic priests (despite the fact they are married and ordinarily Western rite Catholics REFUSE to ordain married men). The reason? The US Episcopal Church getting female celebrants and a female bishop. So it’s basically a he-man woman haters club.

    The monsignor (oh, he was proud of that title, wore his stupid hat to mass on Sunday!!) at my suburban Maryland (DC area) parish railing about the loss of prayer in schools as if parish schools hadn’t been founded to keep Catholic kids away from coercive Protestant religious instruction and prayer in schools in the 19th century. But forgetting where you came from is practically the secret handshake of conservatism.

  91. 91
    Jado says:

    Oh, to go back to the good old days – fire and brimstone; soldiers with swords and axes righteously smiting the heathen; Jews and other heretics broken on the rack…

    And the screaming – ohhhhh, the screaming. Dear Lord Jesus, I love the screaming. And the blood. Rivers of it.

    Oh. if only the old days of the Catholic Church could live again

  92. 92
    RaflW says:

    We here in Minneapolis-St Paul are in a drawn out child sex abuse scandal. It’s quite something to watch as a non-Catholic. I feel terrible for the many victims, but the archbishop is (surprise!) being an idiot. He’s also a gay-basher extraordinaire, so I don’t mind him being roasted on a spit of public opinion.

    AN MPR NEWS INVESTIGATION
    Betrayed by Silence
    For decades, leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have been reassigning, excusing and overlooking sexually abusive priests among their ranks. Some received additional retirement benefits. In August, a top church lawyer, shocked at what she saw, brought the story to MPR News. What happened next is still unfolding.

  93. 93
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): My special hatred is reserved for the Archbishops. Yes there are some priests living well, but over the years I have met a few of those Franciscans. So when someone seems to be painting with too broad a brush I feel compelled to speak up on their behalf. After all, they take the words of “Jesus” far more seriously than they do the words of their “Church”.

  94. 94
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Bex: Deaconess was also poskened to mean a Deacon’s wife. No way women could have had positions of teaching an authority in the early church despite all the evidence that they did.

  95. 95
    maurinsky says:

    I come from an Irish Catholic family – 3 aunts are nuns, 1 uncle is a priest. I went to Catholic school for 2 years of high school (my older sister was asked to not return for her senior year and my mother said if they wouldn’t take her, they couldn’t have me, either) (BTW: in my religion class, I was taught that the story of Genesis was an allegory of universal and human development, which makes a lot more sense than taking it literally).

    I am not a Catholic anymore, but I do take the church’s money to sing. I was scheduled to cantor the week of the Hobby Lobby decision, and I was dreading the experience and planning little mind trips to take during the homily, but as it turned out, the focus of the homily that week was on the children entering the country from Central America, and how we should be welcoming them and caring for them. What happens in each parish, in my experience, is driven partly by the Bishop, but mostly by the priest – the priest in the church where I sing happens to be very proud of being officially reprimanded for reading at his gay nephew’s gay wedding. I will never be an observant Catholic again because I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe in any of the people/organizations that claim to represent the concept I don’t believe in, but they can be very nice people sometimes and they pay me quite well.

  96. 96
    The Moar You Know says:

    Those of you suckers who think that this cuddly new pope is going to change anything significant had better think again.

    He’s throwing out some meaningless bones about compassion for the poor and promising not to actively discriminate against anyone. He might even climb on board with acknowledging climate change (note that said climate change is a real threat to quite a bit of their precious property portfolio)!

    In the meantime, he’s made it very clear that women still aren’t worthy of being treated as fellow human beings, and you baby incubators better get back in the fucking rear of the bus with a quickness.

  97. 97

    This is not so uncommon, I see it all the time, women buying into doctrines that completely sideline them and not respect either their humanity or individuality. Not restricted only to Catholics either.

  98. 98
    Cervantes says:

    @Face:

    Unless “Columbia” is slang for “prison”, there can be no better anecdote for the bullshit that is the Catholic Church.

    Probably meant they shipped her off to South America.

    Some woman can slash a kid’s visage with a weapon and not face charges?

    Yes. Have you heard about what her male counterparts did?

    And their crimes are still being countenanced by the Church.

  99. 99
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Ruckus:

    Went to a friends wedding at a catholic church not too long ago, expecting a normal wedding. But that would be too costly and time consuming so they married 10 couples at the same time. It struck me that the whole thing was far more about the church than it was about the people getting married. I was not impressed.

    Where in the world was this? I never heard of such a thing. Maybe a double wedding with twins but other than that, traditionally Catholic families saved money on weddings by sewing their own dresses, having the reception at the bride’s parents house, stuff like that. You pay a fee to the celebrant and to any musicians hired but the fee to the celebrant should be affordable. Just weird. Sounds like a cult.

  100. 100
    Hill Dweller says:

    The DC Circuit sided with the kooks trying to throw out the ACA subsidies in federally run exchanges.

  101. 101

    Check out The Thinking Housewife for a peek into what makes women like the one described above, tick. I think it is fear. They are so afraid of everything and everyone that they want to cling to something that does not change, which is impossible, since nothing not even the Catholic Church has remained static.

  102. 102
    RedKitten says:

    I have no patience for the Catholic Church anymore. Mind you, I have no patience for religion in general. My stepdad died a month ago, and seeing the amount of sheer bullshit being spouted about Jesus, as a way to “comfort” my mom, just raises my hackles. My poor mom is being told by friends, family and clergy to take comfort in Jesus…and at 2 in the morning, is wailing on her bathroom floor, asking him why he took the love of her life away from her. How on earth can these people find COMFORT in the notion of such a being? I find it much more comforting to just realize that life is random, and that both good and bad things will happen to us in life, and that there is no reason or meaning behind it — it is just what happens. Am I weird to think that way?

  103. 103
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @The Moar You Know: Have you seen “Inside the Vatican” by Frontline this year? It’s available streaming on their website but I’m going to warn everybody out there, there are some really harsh segments with clerical rape survivors talking frankly about their experiences.

    They go into the details of Benedict’s and Francis’ tenures from an administrative, political point of view rather than dealing as much with their doctrinal pronouncements (of course Benedict was ridiculous on this score–as Chief Inquisitor he was most famous for his homophobic 1986 “Halloween Letter” and as Pope one of his first public talks was some Islamophobic crap about the clash of civilizations, just classic German xenophobic garbage aimed at their Turkish minority population). I was amazed to find out that Benedict was just a really shitty leader and administrator, let his chief of staff run him, and was totally ineffective in everything he was trying to do (for example, cleaning up Vatican Bank which clearly was important to him). It went into Vatileaks and the issues that led to his voluntary resigning. So there is more than PR going on with Francis. Already he has gotten most of the way to accomplishing what John Paul I died for, stopping the use of the Vatican Bank as a convenient moneylaundering outfit for the mafia (and politicians and other crooks). He also has broken with John Paul II’s attitudes on a lot of things which means real change that the Church hasn’t seen in a long time. Francis seems very determined. He brought his own people in and they are plugging away. JPII ran the church as a giant money-Hoover, elevating people like Mother Theresa (spit) who raised a lot of money for the Vatican’s coffers, and turning away from those doing work in the trenches who could have really used even the most basic help for their physical safety. Francis is really not with that at all. He’s made that very clear with his actions, it is not just talk. It’s not clear how far he can go and maintain power but like I said, he obviously has organizational skills that he is putting to good use.

    Just found the program fascinating and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

  104. 104
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RedKitten: I’m sorry about your stepdad. How awful for your mom.

    My husband and I have experienced the loss of two parents in four months (my mom and his dad), so I’ve had the opportunity to observe how believers and non-believers react to death. I’m still trying to make sense of it all.

    I don’t find the concept of a deity comforting, but a lot of people do, even if it doesn’t explain why their loss happened. I think it’s all about fear, but it’s something I don’t really understand.

    Anyway, I am sorry for your loss.

  105. 105
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RedKitten: At the end of my mother’s life she wanted nothing more to do with the Catholic Church. I don’t know if she lost her faith in Jesus as Christ or just the Church, but I do know she felt quite capable of making peace with whatever God’s there may be on her own.

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I don’t find the concept of a deity comforting,

    Personally, I find it rather abhorrent. If there is a God, and he is omniscient and omnipotent, than why is their sexual abuse of children? Is it because he likes to watch?

  107. 107
    charluckles says:

    I don’t understand the comments in that newspaper article suggesting that this will bring back people to the church. I come from a long line of fairly conservative Catholics, but if there is one thing that fires them up, its exactly this kind of heavy handed, exclusionary action. A large number of my generation of the family have left the church and never looked back, and the remainder that still attend so so for the community and spiritual benefits, they have no patience for this kind of garbage.

  108. 108
    RedKitten says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Mine actually went to church this past Sunday morning, for the first time in decades. She’s always been a “Christmas Catholic”. I’m torn. On one hand, if going to church keeps her busy and brings her comfort, I’m happy for her. On the other hand, I’m very fearful that she may, in her grief, cling more fiercely to her faith and that it may cause conflict between us.

  109. 109
    piratedan says:

    FUCKING GOP ACTIVIST JUDGES!

  110. 110
    Chris says:

    @RedKitten:

    I thought the whole “take comfort cause he’s with Jesus” thing was ghoulish and callous even when I didn’t have any doubts about the whole thing.

    It’s like saying “well, you’ll get over her” to someone after an especially bad breakup/divorce (only the subject matter makes it a lot worse in this case): the fact that it’s true doesn’t make you saying it any less of a trite, unhelpful cliché, with a very loud subtext of “go away and stop bothering me, I’ve got more interesting things to do than help you work through your pain.”

  111. 111
    RedKitten says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s my opinion as well. And don’t give me any of that “there is sin because of free will” bullshit. If I saw some guy raping a kid, I would not sit there and watch and say, “Oh, you just wait, pal, you are SO going to get punished for this in a few years!”

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @Punchy: Maybe it’s a crap shoot, like so much else. Your comment about the bible triggered a memory for me. I used to be a party trick for my parents – I can remember being 4 or 5 and being pulled out of my room during grown-up parties so everyone could see my party trick – being able to read from the bible at my young age.

    Two of my dad’s sisters were nuns of the same order as my grade school, so I never got the ruler on the knuckles myself. My sisters and I had to be good girls – my parents would get the skinny on us at christmas when we went to visit the aunts who were nuns.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Children learn what they live. For good or for bad. So sorry to hear you still struggle with it, but awfully glad you know yourself and are able acknowledge the struggle and make decisions about how you want to act.

    Interesting conversation with your mom. I find myself wondering if you ever talk about this with your wife or your kids, but it is none of my business so I won’t presume to ask.

  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @gbear: Yeah, my mom’s funeral was kind of the last straw for me. My mom had cancer of the mouth and was given 6 months to live; she lived 18 months, which she did not consider a blessing. You should have as much time as you need to get your affairs in order, and not one minute more. That’s what she used to say.

    What she endured during that 18 months was horrible. So when the stupid priest at the funeral started talking about how the wages of sin is death and that Blossom (my mom’s name) had to die because she was a sinner, I thought my head was going to explode. No one deserved what she went through, no one.

    My mom could be the bitch from hell sometimes, and I have some stories to prove it, but no god I recognize would put someone through that because they were a sinner. (She could also be wonderful at times.)

  115. 115
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: I remember one religious discussion in my family. Waaaay back, when my sister told me, on a kid-to-kid basis that she didn’t think there really was a big old guy up in the sky. I said I didn’t think so either. And that was about it.

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @geg6: It’s a wonder that you don’t experience PTSD at the mere mention of the catholic church.

  117. 117
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF: Kids are magnificent.

  118. 118
    WereBear says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m so sorry.

    We lost Mr WereBear’s mother last fall after two years of jaw cancer; she told me if they had been honest with her, she wouldn’t have gone through with any ofit. And she was one of the “lucky ones” as her surgery was considered a “success.”

    The struggles people go through with religion has made me consider it something that gives with one hand and takes away with the other. For myself, spiritual practice has incredible rewards. I hope we are all moving in that direction.

  119. 119
    Digital Amish says:

    Everyday I thank the FSM that I’m a lapsed Catholic.

  120. 120
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: If I was uncomfortable talking about it, I wouldn’t have hit the “Submit Comment” button.(I did think about it) For several, and different, reasons, I have talked to all of them about it. When I was in HS, I had an anger inside of me that I just did not understand until years later. I saw the same develop in my youngest at about the same age. (he witnessed a lot of abuse of his mother by his stepfather, the eventual cause of my removing them from that household and the years of litigation that followed, that only ended when she went to prison)(he blamed me) He ended up in the judicial system and thru the court ordered counseling a lot of bridges were rebuilt.

  121. 121
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RedKitten: If it gives her comfort than that is a good thing and I would smile and accept it. My father had Alzheimers and at times nothing could give him comfort. It was tuff to sit with him while he prayed for Jesus to come and take him.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    That’s rough. Glad some bridges were rebuilt. It’s encouraging to see your persistence paying off.

  123. 123
    smintheus says:

    @efroh: Yes. “Gloriamur” is the indicative mood, not the subjunctive, and means “we glory/take pride in sufferings”.

  124. 124
    HumboldtBlue says:

    If you are still part of the Catholic church, fuck you. You deserve all the nastiness, all the foulness and all the ugliness the world can throw at you.

  125. 125
    Thlayli says:

    Something I’ve noticed, that is unique to the RCC, is that people who leave it have this violent reaction to it, loudly calling themselves “lapsed Catholic” or “ex-Catholic”. You never hear anyone describe themselves as an “ex-Buddhist”.

  126. 126
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Thlayli: I don’t think that’s unique to the Catholic Church. I am happily an ex-Baptist and know many others just as thankful to have shaken off that blanket of superstition and hypocrisy.

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HumboldtBlue: The exact same thing can be said of Americans.

  128. 128
    MaryRC says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The Thinking Housewife (who is, as my gran used to say, a piece of work) is actually a sedevacantist, meaning that she believes that the current Pope is not the true pope and that there hasn’t been a legitimate pope since the death of Pius XII. Since the Second Vatican Council issued in a reign of hereticism and no heretic can be the pope, then every pope from John XIII has been a phony. We’re in Mel-Gibson’s-dad territory here where it is, actually, possible to be more Catholic than the pope.

    Nonetheless the fact that his 5 predecessors were also heretics doesn’t spare Francis from his special share of abuse from the Thinking Housewife. Apparently she is able to view Francis as both a buffoon who’s hopelessly out of his depth and an evil mastermind who’s out to destroy the institution he commands (much like that Obama fellow, in fact). If she believes that he’s not the Pope you would wonder why she cares what he does, but something about this guy makes her even crazier than she used to be. I wonder what it could be.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Thlayli:

    Something I’ve noticed, that is unique to the RCC, is that people who leave it have this violent reaction to it, loudly calling themselves “lapsed Catholic” or “ex-Catholic”. You never hear anyone describe themselves as an “ex-Buddhist”.

    You probably would hear more people calling themselves “ex-Buddhists” if there were more people in the US who had been raised as Buddhists from infancy. American Catholicism is a cultural identity in addition to being a religion, which is why you hear people calling themselves lapsed or ex-Catholics. If you’re of Irish, Italian, or Mexican descent and you don’t go to church, you’re probably an ex-Catholic.

  130. 130
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Amen to that. If you were part of a persecuted Buddhist ethnic minority in a country and you had renounced Buddhism you’d call yourself a lapsed or ex-Buddhist as well to make it clear you didn’t belong to the dominant group’s religion or so as not to erase your ethnic heritage. Being Catholic in the US is like an ethnicity, or used to be. It has strong cultural aspects even if you went to public school. (The mix of who is in the pews in Catholic churches in the US has changed dramatically in the last 20 years.)

  131. 131
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @MaryRC: I did a double take but I think you mean John XXIII, he and VCII were hated by ultra-right conservative nutjobs everywhere. Francis is the biggest radical since Good Pope John, certainly the best personality–my grandparents owned a book, “Wit and Wisdom of Pope John XXIII”, let’s just say none of the popes that followed had any artifacts in their home at all–and there was a story that’s always stuck with me of John XXIII visiting a critically ill child in an Italian hospital and on learning the boy’s name is Arcangelo he tells the boy that his name is just Angelo. No wonder the conservatives are seething in their bile. Christianity isn’t supposed to be kind, open, welcoming, have a sense of humor, socially responsible, respect lay people as equals, and hesitate to deliver towering screeds about modernity and sexuality!

  132. 132
    MaryRC says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Oops, yes — I left out an “X” in John XXIII. Although there are some sedevacantists who claim that the See has been vacant since the death of Pius X in 1914 (I don’t know what Pius XI & XII did to offend them), I don’t think they go back as far as 972!

  133. 133
    Chet says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And I say this as one of a class room of children who literally had the religion beat out of us in the 5th and 6th grades by a demon possessed nun while a whole school of Catholics listened and did nothing. Sister Kathleen finally got sent to Columbia after she hit a girl with a fistful of keys. Took over a hundred stitches to put her face back together. I guess in Columbia the limit is 200.

    See, who says there isn’t a role for women in the traditional Church?

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    When my father was in elementary school, a nun once beat his hand bloody with a ruler because he used his left hand for penmanship. My 6-foot-tall redheaded Irish grandmother went down to the school and told the nun what she would do to her if that nun ever dared touch her Johnny again.

  135. 135
    IdahoFlaneuse says:

    @Chris: Mr Flaneur was raised as a Mormon. He stopped attending almost 50 years ago, but we were still getting “elders” at the door on a regular basis. He told them to stop bothering us, but they explained that unless he sent the church a signed statement that he was no longer a member they would continue to “minister” to him. He told them to get stuffed. So far they haven’t been back.

  136. 136
    karen says:

    Bring the Magdalene Laundries to Rochester!

    Seriously, I really believe that’s the Vatican’s wet dream.

  137. 137
    Splitting Image says:

    @MaryRC:

    The Thinking Housewife (who is, as my gran used to say, a piece of work) is actually a sedevacantist, meaning that she believes that the current Pope is not the true pope and that there hasn’t been a legitimate pope since the death of Pius XII. Since the Second Vatican Council issued in a reign of hereticism and no heretic can be the pope, then every pope from John XIII has been a phony. We’re in Mel-Gibson’s-dad territory here where it is, actually, possible to be more Catholic than the pope.

    Reminds me of the group who think that the real U.S. government was abolished in the 1870s and that they don’t have to pay taxes to the current one if they spell “United States” with a small “u”. The proof is that some U.S. flags have fringe or something.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):
    At work so getting back to you way late.

    Sounds like a cult.

    What would make you think that? The fact that it is a cult? Any group that asks you to follow stupid rituals, demands you pay them money, demands that you believe and support crazy, believes their crazy is the only true answer to asinine questions, that in my opinion is a cult. Just because it’s been going on for centuries doesn’t make it any different than scientology or Jim Jones’s little gathering.

  139. 139

    […] – After you’ve lost everyone who’s disgusted with the child abuse and hate, this is what’s left,… […]

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @RedKitten:
    Not at all. Yours is the sane view.
    Picture yourself as a cat. You are born, you grow, you eat, you procreate(unless someone decides you don’t need to), you get old, you get weak, you die. Sounds like a normal life. But if you are a cat you may get eaten by a coyote way before all of that happens. Does the world change at all? In the overall scope of things, no. Will someone miss you? Most likely. Will they move on? Most likely.
    Life is a series of random events, so good, some even grand, some not so good, some horrible. The not so good and the horrible suck for those involved but unless you are attacked by someone you know or someone who thinks they know you, these are random events. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc, etc strike at random. Yes living in CA I may have more earthquakes, Soonergrunt may have more tornadoes in OK but the actual events are random. And yes if god is responsible for each one then he is truly an asshole. Which is a damn good reason for disliking/disbelieving in religion.

  141. 141
    Ramalama says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): My dad was a monk (yes before he decided to leave and marry), and his best friends until the day he died were all monks. There were few priests he did take to, likening a lot of them to politicians. I think he was hopeful about Francis. My mother certainly is.

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