Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Et Orbi

Just like with ordinary people, there are some Popes the camera loves and some the camera despises.
Photogenic John Paul II’s successor, Benedict XVI, has, seemingly, never met a camera that liked him.
The ferret-like Joseph Ratzinger, with his sunken, black-rimmed eyes, unkempt hair and repulsive hands, just cannot manage to fit the individually-sized costume that once so beautifully framed Karol Wotija’s mastery of the world media stage.
God, sometimes, works in mysterious ways.

The mincing red-shoed steps Benedict displayed at his 2-hour outdoor installation on April 24th have not been mimicked in the absolutist policy directives spewing from the very political one-time head of the Holy Office of the Inquisition since springtime.
He has rid himself, by forced resignation, of a troublesome Catholic magazine editor.
He twisted World Youth Day to his own personal political agenda; telling a group visiting the Papal summer residence that he was “animated by…the not few difficulties, the obstacles and the problems that… accompany the authentic search for Christ and faithful adhesion to his Gospel."
He demanded the Bush administration protect him from liability in a Texas lawsuit for protecting the abuser of three young boys.
And, he has been relentless, as only a man who plotted for a throne can be, in his campaign to vilify homosexuals and to smear them with the Church’s own 1,000 year history of pederasty.
Benedict’s demonstrated iron grip stems from a revealing confession announced during his installation homily (PDF):

My real program of governance is…the word and the will of the Lord… He himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history.

Benedict, in a triumph of the “nice work if you can get it” philosophy, believes himself transmogrified into God the Father and homosexuals into an Adam-fixated snake entwined about the Tree of Knowledge.
A document of "instruction” soon to be released from the hand of God XVI reaffirms the Church’s well-known historic bans on homosexuality among the hoi polloi while skimping on documented instances of homosexually-inflamed heterosexual male pederasty among the Princes and near Princes of the Church.
According to a story printed in yesterday’s New York Times:

Gay priests say they are being scapegoated for crimes committed by pedophiles and covered up by bishops who never faced any discipline…"I feel like a Jew in Berlin in the 1930's," said a 48-year-old gay priest who has spent 18 years in a religious order…Many of the gay priests said that the expected Vatican policy and the seminary visits would drive gay priests more deeply underground and create the same unhealthy, sexually repressed climate that prevailed in seminaries before reforms in the 1980's and 90's.

As many American noted during the 2004 presidential race, demonizing a particular group can be a very effective means of blurring other, peskier issues and a master political, and almost Rovian, distance sprinter like Joseph Ratzinger has grabbed and wielded this odious baton with fiendish gusto.
Here, within the geographic bounds of the Diocese of Covington in quasi-rural northern Kentucky, Benedict’s church will begin paying the largest settlement in US history for the molestation of more than 700 children during a 50-year cover-up of these crimes by the Diocese.
Benedict’s allegedly God-inspired broad brush becomes absurd here in Kentucky when examining the settlement dispersal rules hammered out between the Church and the lawyers for the abuse victims.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Claimants will be grouped into four categories, based on the nature and severity of the abuse. Compensation will range from $5,000 to $450,000 each.

One pales when considering the awkward parsing Church fathers will utilize to spread this thin butter of absolution over the widest area possible of the very course bread of their sins.
In his installation homily Benedict utilized a long tortured metaphor of sin as a desert:

The desert of abandonment, of loneliness, of destroyed love… the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity…external deserts in the world are growing…the earth’s treasures…they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction.

In this passage, the former Joseph Ratzinger perhaps offers a window into his own frustration-beset soul and a glimmer of the intractability of an earth-bound Church’s battle with powerful men and worldly sin.

NOTE--A priestly quick fix.

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