benedictGather ’round, children, and listen to a tale of the Good Old Days, as told by Pope Benedict nee Ratzinger. He’s a Man of God, so he obviously wouldn’t lie! You’ll remember that when we left off, he was about to tell us that

paedophilia wasn’t considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.

“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.


[By the way, it should tell you how stung the Catholic Church is over its loss of moral authority when the Pope is making excuses, in his Christmas address, for the fact that the corporation over which he is the CEO has become, in the words of Sara Benincasa, “the world’s oldest and largest child-fuckery concern.”]

Moving on…

“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

When, pray tell, was this taught in any orthodox corner of Christendom? Please, senile former Hitler Youth child-rapist protector man in flowing robes and pretty headdress, ‘splain some more how back in the good old days, child rape was simply “not the best option,” but certainly not evil.

The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.

I know, I know, it’s so embarrassing when people find out about this huge child raping problem the Church has, I mean, it was such a surprise and all, not least of which to the Pope. Oh wait. My memory’s not failing me completely yet, so let’s all remember another story.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a priest in Wisconsin named Lawrence Murphy!  He used his position of power to rape over 200 children, but there’s a twist!  These children were deaf.  When the abuse came to light, at least in the inner sancta of the Roman Catholic Church, they of course defrocked him immediately and made sure he was never near a child again.  HA HA, JUST KIDDING:

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.

The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.

But, you see, it only became shocking, embarrassing and humiliating in 2010. Why? Because the child-rapists got caught, and Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope, is having to answer for the fact that he, in an official capacity, did everything in his power to protect what is apparently the holy right of priests to have sex with the kids in their parishes.

Here’s what the Church is doing in Wisconsin to make amends for distract local Catholics from the inconvenient facts about the 200 deaf children and the rape and whatnot:

Well, the Vatican has finally found it in its black (but gold-plated!) and shriveled husk of a heart to do something for Wisconsin: they’ve blessed a ghost sighting as genuine. Woo hoo! That’ll fix everything right up!

The church has declared that a sighting in 1859 of a blond Mary hovering between two trees was real and worthy, and the local Catholic church is now busily expanding their parking lot to cope with the expected influx of gullible suckers pilgrims who will flock to the site to imagine a floating cheerleader for Jesus.

No really. What had happened was:

…[O]n October 9, 1859, the Queen of Heaven manifested herself to Adele Brise in Champion (Robinsonville), Wisconsin, USA.


“As they approached the hallowed spot, Adele could see the beautiful lady, clothed in dazzling white, with a yellow sash around her waist. Her dress fell to her feet in graceful folds. She had a crown of stars around her head, and her long, golden, wavy hair fell loosely around her shoulders. Such a heavenly light shone around her that Adele could hardly look back at her sweet face. Overcome by this heavenly light and the beauty of her amiable visitor, Adele fell on her knees.

” ‘In God’s name, who are you and what do you want of me?’ asked Adele, as she had been directed.

“ ‘I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning, and that is well. But you must do more. Make a general confession, and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them’

“ ‘Adele, who is it?” said one of the women. ‘O why can’t we see her as you do?’ said another weeping.

“ ‘Kneel,’ said Adele, ‘the Lady says she is the Queen of Heaven.’ Our Blessed Lady turned, looked kindly at them, and said, ‘Blessed are they that believe without seeing. What are you doing here in idleness…while your companions are working in the vineyard of my Son?’

Oh, for god’s sake. The woman was either hallucinating or lying. Or on drugs. She certainly wasn’t laying the foundations for the the Vatican to, 150 years later, distract all the faithful morons from the fact that 200 DEAF CHILDREN WERE RAPED BY A PRIEST. PZ Myers ties this little fairytale up with a bow:

That settles it. It must have been a magical manifestation if it was invisible. Invisible and blond, just like I always imagined a Middle Eastern Semitic peasant woman. And the statement that you’re blessed if you believe without seeing is pitch-perfect Catholicism.

Dear, dear Catholics: Stop. Just stop. I know many of you are fervent in your desires to change the Catholic Church from the inside out, but until and unless the entire patriarchal institution — the celibate priests, the secretive power structure, the lack of women in any positions of power, and all the rest — is changed, this will continue.

As it stands, the Church, for this and many other reasons, is one of the most evil forces on God’s Green Earth, and no one with a sense of morality or dignity should support it.