Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pope Condemns... Uh... Himself

Nothing incites the unsheathing of my poison pen quite like religion. The ultimate in denial and intellectual blindness, religion (or even a vague, unstructured, personalized "belief in a higher power") is a psychological contagion that has left few areas of human endeavor uninfected.

Witness the Pope's latest exhortation, in which he "condemned unbridled 'pagan' passion for power, possessions and money as a modern-day plague" and "decried 'insatiable greed' and said 'the love of money is the root of all evil.'"

This from the leader of a privately held multinational corporation whose net worth is estimated to be somewhere around $10 - $12 billion dollars, with significant investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, and real estate, and which has been called "the biggest tax evader in Italy."

The Catholic Church has a long and illustrious history of glorifying poverty in the abstract while in actuality accumulating vast wealth. The Middle Ages were characterized by exceedingly pious men pointing out this hypocrisy, thereby inviting the papacy's wrath.

What makes this latest papal miasma-expectoration especially disgusting is that the largest population of devout Catholics in the world is in Central and South America, regions not known for their economic prosperity or conspicuous consumption. The risk of those particular Catholics somehow jeopardizing their souls through a money- or possession-induced sickness of the spirit seems rather low to me. (Although I suppose it's hard to disagree that "the love of money is the root of all evil" when you live in a world where the two most profitable industries are kidnapping for ransom and cocaine production.)

There are many valid reasons to deride Catholicism as the cruel, witless, anachronistic joke that it is, but I have a hard time imagining even the most ardent of its brainwashees denying the hypocrisy intrinsic in these words coming from their ancient, cloistered, pompous leader.

Fuck the Pope and the two-thousand-year-old horse he rode in on.

No comments: