|The Poop on the (VERY) Late Pope’s Apologies||Jul 25, ’08 9:54 PM
Pope John Paul II, during the Day-of-Pardon Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, apologized for the horrors the church had visited upon people over the past two millennia: sins “in the service of the truth,” sins against the “people of the covenant” (Jews), sins against Christian unity, sins against the dignity of women and minorities, sins against respect for peace and cultures, love, and human rights. A spokesman for the pope made it clear that the pope was seeking an actual pardon from God, and not apologizing to the individuals who had been harmed.
TORTURE, GENOCIDE, WAR, OTHER MURDERS:
The phrase “violence (sins) in the service of truth” is an often-used reference to the treatment of heretics during the Inquisition, to the Crusades, and to the forced conversions of native peoples. Other confessions touched on treatment of racial and ethnic groups and “contempt for their cultures and religious traditions,” and towards women “who are all too often humiliated” and marginalized. The Roma (gypsies) were also mentioned as having suffered: slavery? stealing of children? death camps? O yes!
Jewish leaders welcomed the Pope’s apologies for the past misdeeds, but expressed disappointment that he did not make specific mention of the church’s role during the Holocaust, particularly the controversial role played by Pope Pius XII, who many Jews believe turned a blind eye to the Nazi death camps. Israel’s chief rabbi, Meir Lau, said he expected more, and described himself as “deeply frustrated” by John Paul’s failure to mention the Holocaust by name. “I hope deeply that the Pope…whom I appreciate very much for his…condemning anti-Semitism, will complete the asking of forgiveness,” Rabbi Lau admonshed. Jewish leaders called on the Vatican to open its archives to allow investigation of the church’s role during World War II.
POTICAL MACHINATIONS, WAR, PLUNDER:
Pope John Paul II asked for forgiveness for Roman Catholic sins against the Orthodox faith during his controversial visit to Greece. He asked God to pardon sins committed during the last 1,000 years since the two churches split; in particular he asked pardon for the sacking of Constantinople by Catholic Crusaders in 1204. He told the Greek Orthodox leader Archbishop Christodoulos, “For the occasions past and present, when the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by actions and omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of him.” Archbishop Christodoulos had presented him with a list of “offences”, from the 11th century Great Schism that divided Christianity into Eastern and Western branches, to the plight of modern Cyprus. The pope cited the 1204 sacking of Constantinople (the present day Istanbul) as an act that filled today’s Catholics with “deep regret”.
1202: Pope “Innocent” III launches the Fourth Crusade.
1203: Crusaders impose pro-Roman emperors.
1204: Nationalists depose the emperors, and crusaders sack the city, and divide the spoils
Orthodox monks staged protests before the Pope’s visit, and the Pope’s welcoming committee included no members of the Orthodox Church.
ABUSE THROUGH ETHNOCENTRISM:
The Pope apologized to China for “errors” made by missionaries in the past, and called for diplomatic ties to be restored. China is one of the few states in the world that has no diplomatic relations with the Vatican and the BBC’s Rome correspondent said that this apology marks an unprecedented gesture toward normalizing relations. In the past China has made two conditions for re-establishing relations – first, the transfer of diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Beijing, and, second, an apology for past errors. The Pope said: “I feel deep sadness for those errors and limits of the past, and I regret that in many people these failings may have given the impression of a lack of respect and esteem for the Chinese people on the part of the Catholic Church.” The pontiff avoided detailing the Church’s mistakes in its evangelical efforts in China. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said relations could be normalized but only if the Vatican accepted that “it cannot interfere in China’s internal affairs using the pretext of religious issues.”
MORE OF THE SAME:
November 23, 2001- Pope John Paul II apologized to Australia’s Aborigines and other indigenous peoples of Oceania for past “shameful injustices” of the Roman Catholic Church, in a message posted on the Internet. The pontiff wrote that the church “apologized unreservedly” for the part played by its members “especially where children were forcibly separated from their families”. The apology was included in a report by the special Synod on Oceania held in the Vatican in 1998, following the papal apology to China.
The document emphasized that the identity and culture of Aboriginal people “are gravely threatened,” and said the church would “support the cause of all indigenous peoples who seek a just and equitable recognition of their identity and their rights, and, further, would support their aspirations for a just solution to the complex question of the alienation of their lands”. Pope Paul also apologized, “Sexual abuse by some clergy has caused great suffering and spiritual harm to the victims,” the Pope said in a small part of the 120-page document. “Sexual abuse has been very damaging in the life of the church and has become an obstacle to the proclamation of the Gospel.”
MISOGYNY, RAPE, MURDER OF WOMEN, ETHNOCENTRISM:
In what appeared to be a reference to the sexual abuse of nuns in parts of the developing world, the Pope continued: “The synod fathers wish to apologize unreservedly to the victims for the pain and disillusionment caused to them.” He said the church in Oceania was seeking what he called “open and just” procedures to respond to complaints.
The church, he said, also was “unequivocally committed to compassionate and effective care for the victims, their families, the whole community and the offenders themselves“.
MORE OF THE SAME (spectacular examples):
Last March, the National Catholic Reporter, a major US-based Catholic weekly, ran a series of articles on internal reports in the Vatican about the sexual abuse of nuns and other women by priests and bishops around the world. The Vatican acknowledged the problem. The internal reports said some priests and missionaries had raped nuns, and had in some cases forced the victims to have abortions. The author of one of the internal reports was nun/physician Dr/Sister Maura O’Donohue, who presented it to the head of a Vatican department in February 1995. The Vatican ordered a working group to study the problem with Dr/Sister O’Donohue. Among her specific references was one in which a priest forced a nun to have an abortion, after which she died. He then officiated at her funeral. In the NCR story, a former Canadian nun said the church did nothing after she was raped by her supervisor/priest during an April 1985 retreat in Durban, South Africa. The woman, a nun for 24 years at the time, said her superiors imposed a gag order on her after the rape.
FLACCID ATTEMPT TO PATCH PAST WRONGS:
Pope Paul II was the first pope to set foot inside a mosque. The Vatican said it was the first time that Muslims and Christians have prayed together in an organized way. It is seen as an attempt to bring Christianity and Islam closer together. Traditionally, Islam has been tolerant of Christianity than Christianity has been of Islam, but modern-day Islam is often divisively fundamentalist. The Pope wants it seen that Islam does not sanction violence.
That was for starters.
Possibly John Paul II was looking for material. Right off the top, here are some:
1. The crusade against “witchcraft”
2. The crusade against alternative sexual persuasions and their adherents (ongoing!)
3. The crusade against women who have not taken vows of chastity, in that they end being used for breeding stock and virtual slaves (ongoing!)
4. Ancient history: Revising the Bible to suit Roman politics, including switching the blame for Jesus’ death from the Romans (who were instrumental via Constantine for Christianity’s ultimate “success”) to the Jews
5. Ancient history: Deleting many gospels to suit the church’s power mongers, and destroying what gospels that were “left over”
6. Allowing John I of Aragon to forbid the common people of Spain a Bible in the vernacular…on pain of death! The first legal bible in Spanish waited until 1793 for distribution.
7. Ancient history: Instituting a hierarchy as Jesus’ church
8. Ancient history: Arranging for deities to be exclusively male…general misogyny. Some of the discarded gospels, for example, included in their trinity both sexes. (ongoing!)
9. Warring/interfering with institutions/people of learning (Galileo, for one, because of his “outrageous” claim that the earth was heliocentric) and not giving up Galileo’s condemnation until 1992!)
10. Selling “indulgences”
11. Murdering many people who sought to eliminate the RC Church’s evil practices
12. Putting political ambitions and personal grandiosity above the search for truth (ongoing!)
13. Condoning slavery, even within the church itself, until 1890.
14. Until 1870, castrating pre-pubescent boys so they could serve in the church’s choirs, supplying the high voices, because we couldn’t expect WOMEN to sing in church, could we?
15. Creating and condoning the Holy Office of the Inquisition (Little need be said!), finally disbanded in 1834.
AND THE WORST DECISION:
16. Moving against the needs of all humanity (via discouraging contraceptives), which has increased population (and will continue to do so) creating a demand for resources impossible to supply, which is a prime factor in causing wars now. However, in the future such practices will produce global starvation. At present, overpopulation is causing continuing eco-disasters in the forms of destroying innumerable species of plants and animals, and many other changes we (are going to) regret…but not as much as our progeny will! (ongoing!)