Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You will pay the price for your lack of vision!

I'm not a fan of Catholicism. Also, bears shit in the woods.
Anyway, this video got me thinking about some of the things that I've always found disturbing about the Catholic church.

What is the deal with all the titles and the hierarchy? I'm not calling anyone "lord" or "Eminence" or "grace." I'm certainly not calling anyone "father" who isn't Merl Muse. Not on their best day, let alone after they've covered up years of child abuse. But their terrible, terrible sins aside, who do they think they are? What have they done that they feel like they deserved these titles in the first place?

And the pope! The king of Catholics! The thrilla' in vanilla! Who gives a shit? He's just another Catholic with a bigger hat and a bulletproof car, right? Maybe you have to be a Catholic to understand the subtle nuances of the selection process for pope, but to me it seems that the list of requirements goes like this:
1. Be Catholic
2. Be old
3. Be white
4. Enjoy being looked up to and revered for no apparent reason.
5. How do you feel about hats? The bigger the better you say? Perfect!

Does that sound like you? Then you, my friend, may have an exciting career in poping ahead of you. All kidding aside, if there are any Catholics that read this and could help me understand why your church is run the way it is, I'd love to hear from you.

Also, I'm a little bit obsessed with New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples In Stereo right now. There are a few songs I could live without but overall its a fantastic record that sat on my Ipod without attention for far too long.


  1. i grew up catholic and went to catholic school preschool through high school, but i only go to church on holidays when i'm visiting my parents mostly because they make me. But i still consider myself to be catholic i suppose. But that is one of the big reasons i don't like the catholic church. There's so much emphasis put on popes, cardinals, bishops etc etc and i don't identify with that AT ALL. When i was in art school and taking art history classes we learned all about St. Paul's cathedral in the Vatican and it always bothered me that it's so gaudy and over the top. It's beautiful from an art/architecture standpoint, but to me it never related to what the religion is basically about. Jesus wasn't rich and living in marble covered buildings. I don't understand where all the grandeur came from. Same with the pope. I don't give two shits about the dude. Any decisions he makes have zero effect on me and what i believe. it's all just a bunch of pomp and circumstance.

  2. As a recovering cradle catholic I can offer a few little morsels of mostly-truth:

    The pope is kind of like Catholic president. He's elected by a ridiculously complicated electoral college and it's always someone that most Catholics have never even heard of before the old pope died. But it's a small elite pool of potential-popes that the highest-ranking cardinals choose from, so we're supposed to believe that he's the truest example of Catholic face on the whole planet- basically he was such a great priest they made him a bishop and when he was good at that they made him a... all the way up to pope. Catholic CEO.

    Anyway. Pope historically was a king-God not unlike Pharaohs. Basically his word was taken to be god's word on earth. But in recent years I think most Catholics don't take him that seriously- he's just like the king of the priests, most famous Catholic, and his word is law in the catholic world. He gets the biggest hat to show that he's God's BFF.

    One thing I think that can't be said too often, however, is that some priests are bad people, but not all priests are bad people. I grew up catholic and though I never connected with the religion, I attended a church for years with a priest who really was an amazing and gracious person, who did good work in our parish and served as a great community leader. While I don't agree with him about the afterlife or communion, I do take offense to the public labeling of all priests as child molesters because he was a good man and a good friend.

    It's pretty much the same way I feel when any people make sweeping statements about diverse groups of people based on the actions of a few more-famous ones.

    But yeah, Pope? Silly hat.

  3. Paging my crazy ex boyfriend to this entry (not really, you probably don't want to sit through it).

  4. No, I think "poping" is the right term in this context. I could be mistaken but I believe that "Popeteering" has more to do with animating the pope in the classic Disney style, you know, like the Imagineers do.

  5. Poping makes me think of hip hop dancers. and Now I'm thinking about the Pope dancing hip hop. Thanks.

  6. The hierarchy in the Catholic church developed out of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Roman law was one of the few things to survive. Rome, however, had depended on the men who interpreted and executed laws rather than the laws themselves. These men were propertied and of high standing. Bishops were some of the only propertied men left, and was usually the only person in his diocese (aside from his scribes) who knew how to read and write. Interpreting and executing laws, and introducing the ruler to the concepts of justice and good government became the tasks of a bishop. Their power, of course, grew. They started appointing one another, and this developed into the hierarchy they have even now.

    I'm not Catholic and wasn't even brought up as such. But this issue was discussed in my Celtic history class, as one of the key conflicts between the Roman and Celtic churches was the tendency of the Irish to accord more power to abbots. "Romani" Catholics (or "Vanilla" Catholics) were outraged.