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Religion Last Updated: Jan 28th, 2009 - 01:12:19

Part II: The 2008 Wholly Hypocrite of the Year Award goes to . . .
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 28, 2009, 00:20

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So many worthy candidates. But only one can win. But hail to the Wholly Hypocrite of the Year runners-up. Second runner-up: The Church of Jesus Christ and Later-day Saints. First runner-up: Pastor Rick Warren.

And now, for the winner . . .

His hypocrisy -- as well as that of his apostolic predecessors and the organization they head -- are legendary and spans millennia:

History of the Papacy.By Rev. J.A. Wylie, LL.D.
Chapter I.
Origin of the Papacy.

The Papacy, next to Christianity, is the great FACT of the modern world. Of the two, the former, unhappily, has proved in some respects the more powerful spring in human affairs, and has acted the more public part on the stage of the world. Fully to trace the rise and development of this stupendous system, were to write a history of Western Europe. The decay of empires -- the extinction of religious systems -- the dissolution and renewal of society -- the rise of new States -- the change of manners, customs, and laws -- the policy of courts -- the wars of kings -- the decay and revival of letters, of philosophy and of arts -- all connect themselves with the history of the Papacy, to whose growth they ministered, and whose destiny they helped to unfold. On so wide a field of investigation neither our time nor our limits permit us to enter. Let it suffice that we indicate, in general terms, the main causes that contributed to the rise of this tremendous Power, and the successive stages that marked the course of its portentous development.

The first rise of the Papacy is undoubtedly to be sought for in the corruption of human nature. . . .

Spirituality is an inherent part of being human. It�s a personally liberating and uplifting experience, an encouragement to grow and evolve to more conscious perceptions of realities and respect for all people and living things. But when personal spirituality is organized into a religion, an institution is produced and as all institutions it produces a hierarchy that produces dogma which often has very little to do with spirituality and everything to do with maintaining social and political control. Hence, the �holy� Roman Catholic Church and its dictator, the �infallible� Pope.

During the first thousand years of its existence the Church solidified its iron grip on Europe -- by whatever means necessary -- but the second millennia saw hypocrisy burst into full bloom as the Papacy flexed its murderous muscle.

The Cathars were a truly Christian sect. They followed the example of Jesus: poverty, humility, tending to the sick, infirm, disenfranchised. They formed an anti-sacerdotal party in opposition to the Holy See, protesting what they perceived to be the moral, spiritual and political corruption of the Church. That was something the Pope, resplendent in his expensive robes, miters and palatial home from whence he issued bulls and power-hungry edicts could not tolerate.

The Cathars had already been condemned by several Church Councils -- the Council of Tours (1163) and of the Third Council of the Lateran (1179) -- but when Pope Innocent III, �One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages� according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, came to power in 1198, he declared the Cathars heretics and ordered their extermination. The 300-year �Holy� Inquisition had begun. Tens of thousands -- if not millions -- were tortured and murdered ad majorem gloriam Dei.

The last known Cathar prefect, Guillaume B�libaste, was executed in 1321. While Columbus was �discovering� the New World which, of course, led to the wholesale slaughter of indigenous peoples by �righteous� Christians, another of the Church�s �holy� Princes was being crowned Pope. Rodrigo Borgia, by a two-thirds majority secured by his own vote, was proclaimed Pope on the morning of 11 August 1492:

notwithstanding the magnificence of his household and his passion for card-playing, he was strictly abstemious in eating and drinking, and a careful administrator, he became one of the wealthiest men of his time. . . . his relations with the Roman lady, Vanozza Catanei, the mother of his four children: Juan, Caesar, Lucrezia and Jofre, born, respectively according to Gregorovius (Lucrezia Borgia 13) in 1474, 1476, 1480, and 1482.

But enough of the Church�s sordid history, let�s get to Pope Benedict XVI�s winning credentials. Tracing them must begin with his predecessor -- for whom then Cardinal Ratzinger was known as �God�s Rottweiler.

Sorry . . . that�s an insult to Rottweilers.

Ratzinger was the Pope�s dogmatic henchman and the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition. The name change was purely cosmetic. The Onion may be satire, but their satire has roots in previous actions, such as �forgiving� Galileo:

Pope Forgives Molested Children
MAY 22, 2002 | ISSUE 38�19

VATICAN CITY -- Calling forgiveness �one of the highest virtues taught to us by Jesus,� Pope John Paul II issued a papal decree Monday absolving priest-molested children of all sin.

�Though grave and terrible sins have been committed, our Lord teaches us to turn the other cheek and forgive those who sin against us,� said the pope, reading a prepared statement from a balcony overlooking St. Peter�s Square. �That is why, despite the terrible wrongs they have committed, the church must move on and forgive these children for their misdeeds.�

 . . .�We must send a clear message to these hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of children whose sinful ways have tempted so many of the church�s servants into lustful violation of their holy vows of celibacy. The church forgives them for their transgressions and looks upon them not with intolerance, but compassion.� . . . [italics added]

Would the Pope have the audacity to blame the children for their victimization by priests?

Would the Pope have the audacity to then �forgive� innocent children for the crimes committed against them.


And just in case anyone forgot what those crimes involved, read the indictment handed down by a Philadelphia Grand Jury. It detailed rampant pedophilia and sexual abuse as well as decades of well-planned, sinister cover-up orchestrated by two Philadelphia cardinals, the late John Krol and the now retired Anthony Bevilacqua. Both were outspoken opponents of civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans.

Here are just a few of the documented examples of what predator priests did under the protection of Krol and Bevilacqua:

An 11-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by a priest who took her for an abortion when she became pregnant.

A fifth grader was molested by a priest inside a confessional.

A teenage girl was groped by a priest while she lay immobilized in traction in a hospital room.

A priest offered money to boys in exchange for sadomasochistic acts of bondage and wrote a letter asking a boy to make him his �slave.� The priest remains in ministry.

A sadistic priest enjoyed having children play the roles of Jesus and other biblical characters in parish Passion plays. He made them disrobe and whip each other until they had cuts, bruises and welts.

A priest falsely told a 12-year-old boy his mother knew of the assaults and consented to the rape of her son.

The grand jury found that many victims were abused for years and that many priests abused multiple victims, sometimes preying on members of the same family. Father Albert T. Kostelnick had 18 victims. Father James J. Brzyski, whose conduct the report described as a �criminal rampage,� abused 17 victims, many of them from a single parish. Father Nicholas V. Cudemo abused 16 victims and was allowed to stay in his pastoral role for decades after the first abuse report in 1966.

And how did the archdiocese respond to the grand jury�s painstakingly documented report? In a truly disgusting display of perverted self-interest and hypocrisy, they claimed to be victims of media bias and -- ready for this? -- persecuted by gays!

No criminal charges could be filed against the Philadelphia priests or against �Prince of the Church� Bevilacqua, despite the evidence presented in the grand jury�s report:

After reviewing thousands of documents from Archdiocese files and hearing . . . from over a hundred witnesses, we, the Grand Jurors, were taken aback by the extent of sexual exploitation within the Philadelphia Archdiocese . . .

Cardinal Bevilacqua, Cardinal Krol and their top aides all abdicated their duty to protect children. They concealed priests� sexual abuses instead of exposing them. . . .

There is no doubt that the cardinals and their top aides knew that Philadelphia priests were abusing children. There is no doubt that these officials engaged in a continuous, concerted campaign of cover-up over the priests� sexual offenses . . .

Sexually abusive priests were either left quietly in place or �recycled� to unsuspecting new parishes -- vastly expanding the number of children who were abused. . . .

Documents clearly established that Cardinal Bevilacqua knew that the priests had admitted abusing minors. They also established that he alone was responsible for subsequently placing or leaving the priests in parishes where they would present a severe danger to children . . .

Cardinal Bevilacqua had a strict policy, according to his aides, that forbid informing parishioners . . . The Cardinal, in fact, encouraged that parishioners be misinformed. . . .

Archdiocese officials at the highest levels received reports of abuse . . . They chose not to conduct any meaningful investigation . . . They left dangerous priests in place or transferred them to different parishes as a means of concealment . . . They never alerted parents of the dangers poses by these offenders . . . They intimidated and retaliated against victims and witnesses . . . They manipulated �treatment� efforts in order to create a false impression of action . . . They did many of these things in a conscious effort to simply to avoid civil liability.

Church officials treated abusers and pedophile priests gently, with good wishes and promotions. Bevilacqua included one molester, the Rev. Albert Kostelnick, who had the greatest number of victims, at a 1997 luncheon honoring priests, and promoted him even though the church had received a constant stream of abuse allegations against him, including an eyewitness account from a fellow priest.

And what did Bevilacqua have to say when he testified before the grand jury? As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, �in his testimony before the Grand Jury, Cardinal Bevilacqua was still attempting to evade responsibility for placing known sexual offenders in parishes where they had easy access to hundreds of children . . . He often suggested he might not have known all the facts and that he delegated the handling of these matters to his Secretary of Clergy. He repeatedly claimed to have no memory of incidents and priests we will never forget.�

In similar hypocritical hyperbole, Pope Benedict XVI�s 2008 Christmas homily spoke of the plight of children �who are denied the love of their parents�:

Let us think of those street children who do not have the blessing of a family home, of those children who are brutally exploited as soldiers and made instruments of violence, instead of messengers of reconciliation and peace. . . . Let us think of those children who are victims of the industry of pornography and every other appalling form of abuse, and thus are traumatized in the depths of their soul.

But it was by order of the Pope -- nothing happens in the Catholic Church without the Pope�s blessing -- that untold numbers of children should be denied the love of parents and �the blessing of a family home�:

Catholic Charities stuns state, ends adoptions: Gay issue stirred move by agency
By Patricia Wen, Globe Staff | March 11, 2006

In a stunning turn of events, Archbishop Sean P. O�Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of Boston announced yesterday that the agency will end its adoption work, deciding to abandon its founding mission, rather than comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.

Catholic adoption agencies in California followed suit �

Catholic Charities in San Francisco severs links to homosexual adoptions

San Francisco, Oct 5, 2008 / 01:18 am (
CNA) - The cultural battle over the identity of the family is taking another turn in California as the Archdiocese of San Francisco�s Catholic Charities plans to cut its relationship with an adoption agency that works to place children with homosexuals.

As did those throughout the United Kingdom. So much for the Wholly Hypocrite of the Year�s feigned concern about children denied the love of parents and �the blessing of a family home.�

But he wasn�t done yet. The Pope is supposedly �the Vicar of Christ upon earth.� The first definition of �vicar� in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is �one serving as a substitute or agent.� Does THIS look like or have any connection to the poor, itinerant preacher called Jesus who surrounded himself with the indigent and disenfranchised?

Or how about this video clip of Benedict, dressed in clothing that costs more than most Third World Catholics make in a year, as he traverses his palace and ascends to his golden throne.

The Vatican has consistently opposed the death penalty, as has Benedict XVI. It was part of their �sanctity of life� doctrine until, of course, it involved gays:

This week [December 1, 2008] the Vatican�s permanent observer to the United Nations, said the Holy See would oppose a resolution that would protect gays from being killed, just because they are gay, because it would �add new categories of those protected from discrimination� and could lead to reverse discrimination against traditional heterosexual marriage.

The French resolution, scheduled to be proposed this week, recommends protecting Gays and Lesbians from being jailed or killed because of their sexual orientation and is being introduced to the UN on behalf of the European Union.

But Archbishop Celestino Migliore said, if adopted, the resolution would create �new and implacable discriminations,� and also said that states which do not recognize same-sex unions as �matrimony� will be pilloried and made objects of pressure.

However, the French resolution, which is supported by all 27 members of the European Union, says absolutely nothing about gay marriage; it is about ending jail and death penalty sentences gays yet face in more than 85 countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen where you can still be killed for being gay.

An editorial in Italy�s mainstream La Stampa newspaper said the Vatican�s reasoning was �grotesque.� Another editorial in Rome�s La Repubblica newspaper said the Vatican�s position �leaves one dumbstruck.�
. . .

They have also said that the Vatican�s reasoning smacked of �total idiocy and madness� and what the Vatican really feared was a �chain reaction in favor of legally recognized homosexual unions in countries, like Italy, where there is currently no legislation.�

Have another look at the Vatican�s excuse for once again sanctimoniously advocating oppression and discrimination: �the Holy See would oppose a resolution that would protect gays from being killed, just because they are gay, because it would �add new categories of those protected from discrimination� and could lead to reverse discrimination against traditional heterosexual marriage.�

Beyond the obvious question -- �Shouldn�t everyone be protected from �discrimination�?� -- if you try to find any semblance of logic in the Holy See�s �thinking,� especially given the Vatican�s longstanding opposition to the death penalty (except, of course, when they were issuing it), you�re brain will probably explode.

And then there�s the equally absurd non sequitur statement that the U.N. resolution -- which said absolutely nothing about marriage -- �could lead to reverse discrimination against traditional heterosexual marriage.� HOW? WHY?

With all �due respect� -- and little is due -- to Archbishop Migliore and the Holy See, that�s a preposterous statement and an insult to every thinking human being on the planet. The Vatican and its henchmen have been twisting the truth -- and Christianity -- to suit their own socio-political purposes so long that perhaps they don�t realize that people in the twenty-first century as not as uninformed or as uneducated as those in the Middle Ages when the Church ruled with an iron, Inquisitional fist and righteously meted out the death penalty.

And who can forget Benedict�s claim that saving the world from gays is like saving the rain forest:

Pope likens �saving� gays to saving the rainforest
Mon 22 Dec 2008

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

�(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed,� the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican�s central administration.

�The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.� . . .

Let�s forget for a moment that the Pope and his �Church� have done virtually nothing to help preserve the rainforest, what was the intent of the Pontiff�s analogy?

The rainforest provides oxygen for the planet. Do gay people suck up too much of it? Would the Pope like to suffocate all gay people so he and his minions would have more oxygen to inhale so they can exhale more hypocritical hot air? Sometimes what people mean to say is not what can be understood from what they say. Protecting the rainforest is extremely important, so is protecting gay people from exploiters such as Benedict XVI and other self-righteous -- and wealthy -- purveyors of �God�s will.�

If the Pope really wants to protect �man� from �man,� perhaps he and his underlings should stop pitting gay men against straight men, gay women against straight women, and especially stop pitting parents against their gay children:

Study: Family behavior key to health of gay youth
By The Associated Press

(San Francisco) Young gay people whose parents or guardians responded negatively when they revealed their sexual orientation were more likely to attempt suicide, experience severe depression and use drugs than those whose families accepted the news, according to a new study. [Read�s report]

The way in which parents or guardians respond to a youth�s sexual orientation profoundly influences the child�s mental health as an adult, say researchers at San Francisco State University, whose findings appear in Monday�s journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. . . .

The Pope might also want to consider allowing pedophile priests to be prosecuted despite any �statute of limitations� civil law provides, especially since the Vatican has just divorced itself from Italian civil law.

Vatican divorces from Italian law
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The Vatican City State, the world�s smallest sovereign state, has decided to divorce itself from Italian law.

Vatican legal experts say there are too many laws in Italian civil and criminal codes, and that they frequently conflict with Church principles. . . .

�Church principles.� Like protecting pedophile priests? Or covering up their own homosexual saints who left a considerable body of love poetry dedicated to their partners?

He was the refuge of my spirit, the sweet solace of my griefs, whose heart of love received me when fatigued by labors, whose counsel refreshed me when plunged in sadness and grief . . . What more is there, then, that I can say? Was it not a foretaste of blessedness thus to love and thus to be loved?
--Saint Aelred, from his eulogy for his lover, Simon

But I�m glad the Pope divorced his despotic state from civil and civilized law, especially since under Italian law one could be jailed for five years for criticizing the Pope. Yet the Vatican continues to cast itself as �victim.�

But what solidified Benedict XVI as the winner of the 2008 Wholly Hypocrite of the Year Award was his Christmas message:

Pope: world faces ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during economic crisis

The Pope has warned that the world faces ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during the present economic crisis.

Pope Benedict XVI, following in the tradition of his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, who made the principle of subsidiarity in world affairs a cornerstone of his papacy, called for a �spirit of authentic solidarity� to be embraced to enable people in all nations, rich and poor, to be helped. . . .

Delivering his traditional Christmas Day message, Urbi et Orbi or �to the city and the world� from the balcony of St Peter�s, where many thousands had gathered to hear him speak, he said the �heart of the Christian message is meant for all men and women.�

Pope appeals for Middle East peace at mass
Pope �spreading fear� of homosexuality . . .

In a clear reference to the present economic uncertainty, he said the Christian message applied to �wherever an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations.�

He said: �In each of these places may the light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.�

Benedict said he hoped the light of Christmas would radiate to places where �the basics needed for survival are missing.� . . .

Two of those who posted comments on this article said it better than I could:

I love these �charitable organizations� who have marble countertops in their office space, high quality hardwood flooring and executives that get paid annual salaries that could easily support four to five poor families. The pot calling the kettle black has got to change first.
Sarah Flemington, USA

This is great. Wearing robes that cost more than the homes on a city block, presiding over the organization that has hoarded phenomenal wealth -- much of it from oppressed societies in Central and South America, the Pope decries selfishness. What a blot on the face of Christianity.
D. Phillips, Paris, Texas

Hypocrisy in words, actions, deeds, desires, and attire are not only blots �on the face of Christianity.� They�re eyes to see the hypocrisy that underwrites the institution.

Hence the undisputed winner of the 2008 Wholly Hypocrite of the Year Award: Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church.

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