As usual, the secular media is in a contrived lather about the election of a new Pope in Vatican City, even as church attendance falls and the institution’s reputation is in tatters. Personally, I don’t care one bit about this concubine or conclave or whatever the hell it’s called. There is a fairly good chance that a man who fancies himself conservative will be elevated to infallibility, even though he may be a closeted, self-loathing homosexual who campaigns against gay rights, or a pedophile, or simply an enabler of child rapists, who has shuffled them around to avoid embarrassing the church. (That strategy sure worked out well, didn’t it?)

Daily news from the Roman Catholic Church just seems to get more untoward and tawdry by the day. Here are a couple of recent highlights:

Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric, Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has resigned his position as archbishop of Edinburgh and St. Andrews amid allegations of “inappropriate behavior” just days before he would have taken part in the conclave to elect the next pontiff. The Observer reported that three priests and a former priest had filed complaints to the Vatican alleging that the cardinal approached them in an inappropriate manner. (O’Brien was a crusader against marriage equality, even as he was shamelessly abusing his authority by playing gay grab-ass with priests)

Here is another gem from a church that likes to point fingers and condemn my marriage:

To onlookers, Monsignor Kevin Wallin’s fall from grace at his Connecticut parish was like something out of “Breaking Bad,” the television series about a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a methamphetamine lord.

The suspended Roman Catholic priest was arrested on federal drug charges this month for allegedly having methamphetamine mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and making more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his apartment in Waterbury in the second half of last year.

Along the way, authorities said, he bought a small adult video and sex toy shop in the nearby town of North Haven named “Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place,” apparently to launder all the money he was making. He has pleaded not guilty, and jury selection in his trial is scheduled to begin March 21.

This scandal is equal parts hilarious and hideous, but the super-gay name of the masturbation center/sex toy shop used to launder the narcotics money is what will most likely Pope-Benedict2drive the homophobes in Rome to distraction. On the plus side, none of the videos at the store featured underage boys.

Am I the only one fed up with the media’s obsequious coverage of the upcoming conclave? It is degrading for the largely secular media to be groveling at a church that discriminates against women, bashes gays,  and protects child molesters.

Now, I could see some excitement if there was genuine hope that a new Pope might enact key reforms. However, we all know that a conservative clone will be elected, thanks to the past two Pontiff’s stacking the deck with like-minded Cardinals. Given this sad reality, we can expect virtually no change and staunch enforcement of the status quo. So, why is the media hyperventilating? Why are some moderate Catholics doing the False Hope dance, pretending things might be different this time? What evidence do these dupes have that change is afoot?

This conclave is all just one big show designed to lift cable ratings. The cable networks know people enjoy pomp, drama, and fancy costumes. So, they pump up this event to increase advertising revenue. When the circus is over, the cable executives will deposit their money in the bank. Back in Rome, it will be business as usual, with the institution stuck in the Middle Ages.

Really, people, is this a reason to celebrate?