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April 4, 2005

Pope blogging. Trust Ken MacLeod to have a startling take on John Paul II:
On the one hand he is a reactionary. The contrast with the last pope to be popular beyond the RC church, John XXIII, is striking. He has beatified and canonised some of the most sinister and pathetic figures of recent times. He contributed quite significantly to, not the collapse of the Soviet bloc, but the depth of regression that followed. He has stuck to a doctrine that’s contributed directly to the spread of AIDS. The Catholic theologian Hans Kung has recently written a scathing analysis of The Pope’s Contradictions, which goes into these and other dark aspects of Wojtyla’s papacy in detail.

The other side is that he has stood for peace and human rights in a way that set his face against not only Communism but certain aspects of imperialism and neoliberalism. He condemned the attack on Iraq. He moved the church to a greater acceptance of modern science. He has been more open to other religions than previous popes. He began a repentance toward the Jewish people. He rehabilitated Galileo and apologised for the Crusades.

Like the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, he became a figurehead of an inchoate global humanism that has little to do with what he (and the others) specifically stand for. Fidel Castro is an awkward fourth in that company, but—like it or not—he belongs in it. All four of these old men have their roots in the Cold War, of which they are the last men standing. It’s a measure of the strangeness of the New World Order that they all, in very contradictory ways, have become icons of its discontents.

Elsewhere, Jeanne D’Arc delivers a thoughtful and even anguished overview of the mixed feelings that many Catholics have about the papacy of Karol Wojtyla:
How much value do I place on a note left at the Wailing Wall, asking forgiveness for centuries of Catholic anti-Semitism and mistreatment, and how much on shoving Pius XII and Anne Catherine Emmerich toward sainthood? How deeply do I value the “preference for the poor,” and how angry do I remain over the papal finger waved in Ernesto Cardenal’s face? How do I measure the relative weight of of one of the world’s most consistent powerful voices against war and economic oppression, and one of the world’s loudest voices for repression? I’m not just thinking of the most well-known forms of repression—the Church’s misogyny, its homophobia, its discomfort with anything related to sex. The intellectual repression is equally disturbing, and in the long run, probably more dangerous. Under John Paul II, this Church has renewed and elaborated its tendency to be an intellectual bully, silencing explorers and dissenters. […]

I think you need more distance than I have from the Church of the past quarter century in order to assess fairly its sins and virtues. Billmon has a fair, even wise, assessment. If you’re in a hurry, Julia does the pithier version. Although I agree with both of them, on the whole, I can’t write about it in more detail because I can’t separate the good Church from the bad Church. It seems to me that all the Church’s flaws — all John Paul’s flaws — are rooted in virtues. That’s what I wanted to write about, and that is where I’m stuck. It will take me awhile to work out exactly what I mean by that circle of sin and virtue.

Elsewhere yet, Mark A. R. Kleiman thinks Jeanne D’Arc should keep her mouth shut. [12:01 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Pope blogging.:

Emma ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 12:23 PM:

I have never understood de mortuis nil nisi bonum. Still less in this case. How much does anyone want to bet that beatification and canonization procedures are already underway somewhere for him?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 12:58 PM:

From this morning's Financial Times:

In the text of a homily prepared for delivery on Sunday at a requiem mass for John Paul, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's secretary of state and number two in the Church hierarchy, referred to the late Pope as "John Paul the Great".
The label "Great" has not been applied to a pope for 1,400 years, and even though Cardinal Sodano did not in fact speak the word when giving his sermon, it was a sign that John Paul's beatification and canonisation are a sure bet.

Emma ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:08 PM:

Damn. And here I was hoping I could talk you into betting me a tour of your offices next time I'm in town!

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:18 PM:

Putting Pope John Paul II and Fidel Castro in the same fuzzy set, for Cold War (World War III) reasons is intriguing. The Pope's visit to Cuba, attended by Castro in civvies, where the Pope condemned both Castro's repressions and unfettered Capitalism, and Fidel reacted by freeing several hundred political prisoners, seems to confirm at least part of Ken MacLeod's theory.

Putting JPII and Nelson Mandela in the same set is equally interesting, though here it seems that Winnie Mandela was the repressive one. The Pope and the Dalai Lama do have a lot in common, including sense of humor, and interest in science and technology, but they split along evangelism, with the Dalai Lama being anti-evangelistic, counseling his audience to stay Christian or Jewish or Hindu or whatever, but to add to their beliefs with whatever of value they learn from him.

And where, exactly, does the anti-Capitalist neoluddite Unabomber and various Ayatollah's fit in this analysis?


This is why I earlier gave the Kung link on the Pope's Schnozz thread:

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by)
::: March 31, 2005, 11:00 AM:

The Pope's Contradictions

By Hans Küng
[Der Spegel, English Language, March 26, 2005]

Outwardly Pope John Paul II, who has been actively involved in battling war and suppression, is a beacon of hope for those who long for freedom. Internally, however, his anti-reformist tenure has plunged the Roman Catholic church into an epochal credibility crisis.


But trust Ken MacLeod to have gone so far beyond my linkage with a cogent essay. Whether one agrees with Ken or not, one must always credit him with thinking things through to several degrees of depth, and with a knowledge of politics and history that is remarkable. Is there someone on the Right, please, who can confirm the above attempted even-handed praise?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:31 PM:

Emma, you should definitely give us a call the next time you're in town.

JVP, when you take the public figures that Ken MacLeod calls "figurehead[s] of an inchoate global humanism that has little to do with what [they] specifically stand for" and painstakingly categorize them by exactly those specifics, I can't help but think you've missed MacLeod's point by a country mile.

Another excellent weblog post on JPII: Max Sawicky's.

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:36 PM:

Billmon's post had me nodding in agreement. Thanks for all the links; must put "Jesus Symbol of God" on the to-read list.
(So far I have been able to rely on the Jesuits for intellectual honesty).

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:41 PM:

I can understand all those feelings, including Kleiman's. I don't know enough about him to know why he's saying that, but this isn't a time when the message about JPII's shortcomings is going to be heard.

When Reagan died, I just said to anyone who brought it up "I hated him and I'm glad he's dead." My goal was to end the conversation, and by and large it worked. So far no one's brought up the death of the Pope yet, at least at the office. I think I'll just say that I don't share their grief, but I'm not inclined to gloat either.

I think Jd'A is writing about her feelings on the passing of the Pope. I didn't get the sense that that was what Kleiman was talking about, but I could be wrong.

BTW, we can probably expect Wall Street to come out with "Dead Pope" jokes by the end of the week, if not the end of the day. Floor traders.

Debbie Notkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:47 PM:

I'm given to understand, by a progressive believing Catholic whom I respect hugely, that the Frontline program on JPII was absolutely brilliant and extremely balanced. She raved about it enough that I'm thinking of checking it out myself.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 01:56 PM:

"this isn't a time when the message about JPII's shortcomings is going to be heard"

That's a pretty silly assertion.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:08 PM:

I have been repeatedly and in no uncertain terms been shut up in these past few days whenever I have tried to voice my lack of despair for the death of the old man. In one case, when gushingly reminded that "We had all had the same Pope", I pointed out that this was only if we were Catholic, and as a result people started bemoaning the bad taste of those who were bad-mouthing the Great Man.

I must say that I am, as well as vastly irritated (you'd have to live in Italy to appreciated the extent of the hagiology going on), quite baffled. Mind you, I was moved to great pity by his condition, these last few years and especially these last few days. And I am more than willing to admit that in many things his heart was in the right place.

Strangely enough, it was in the right place most especially when it came to things he could not influence directly. It's pretty easy to preach for peace when you know nobody's going to listen to you anyway. It's easy to make strongly-worded but somewhat vague pronouncement towards the respect of human rights.

Then you accept to travel to a country ruled by absolute dictator, whose hands run with blood, and not only you shake his hands, not only you greet the masses from a balcony at his side, not only you celebrate a private Mass for him and his immediate family, but you can't find the time to meet with that part of your Church that in the same country has fought against torture, kidnappings, death squads, etc.

Come to think of it, I can think of at least two instances of this pattern.

It's also easier to speak approvingly of Woman in general and then refuse to let the actual women active in the Church have any power or influence.

It's a good thing to preach forcefully against discrimination and for tolerance, but it's less good when you not only have nothing kind to say about homosexual, but actually say that holding a Gay Pride in Rome was an offence to God and the heart of Christianity.

I have been subjected to intense Popification for the past 27 years. I have listened to every Angelus, I have seen every pastolar voyaging, I have been told at length about all youth meetings. I couldn't help it because the media in this supposedly secular country never missed an opportunity of Pope-showing. I am at a loss to understand the charisma. It was obviously there, but I seem to be impermeable to it. And it's not because I'm anti-Catholic, as a matter of fact, I have quite a lot of sympathy for Catholicism in general and individual Catholics.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:17 PM:

No, no, Anna, Mark A. R. Kleiman says you should shut up. Don't you understand?

Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:19 PM:

I don't have a great deal to add, other than to stake out the prediction that, whoever the next Pope will be, he will be John Paul III.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:30 PM:

Probably isn't going to be Sistus Sestus, eh. :-)

bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:42 PM:

"this isn't a time when the message about JPII's shortcomings is going to be heard"

no, it isn't a time when ranting sabout his evil will be heard (then again, when was ever the time for the nice cuddly-wuddly popey-wopey), but pointing out inconsistencies just might slip through.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 02:45 PM:

Rob Cockerham rates the papal candidates.

Someone with more energy than me should come up with a random papal name generator. You'd have to have a list of used names.

Hey, anyone else remember the New York Times spoof that predicted the untimely death of John Paul I?

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:02 PM:

I meant, Patrick, that if you point out, right now, what a bad man he was in many ways (and I certainly didn't care for him), people who are mourning his death will be too angry to listen - and they're the ones who most need to hear it. Waiting a week might be better strategy.

You might disagree, but I don't think it's a silly assertion at all. If you do, please explain to me not only why it isn't true, but why I ought to have known better, which is what I interpret 'silly' to mean. (Or something else if that's not what you meant.)

Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:07 PM:

Sistah Sestus: brilliant coinage Anna. Thank you.

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:17 PM:

Stefan, Wikipedia has a list of popes. I don't expect to be hearing about Pope Cletus II anytime soon.

I fear from hear on it'll just be John Paul, Paul John, John Paul Paul and John, John John John John John John John John John John Baked Beans Eggs and Paul, etc.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:22 PM:

We used to call him Pope John Paul George Ringo.

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:29 PM:

Pope Ringo was made the rock upon which the Church would be built later on, after the Church's first audition with EMI.

cheem ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:34 PM:

There's a difference between discussing the Pope's shortcomings in a thoughtful fashion and playing Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead while distributing pamphlets at the memorial service.

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 03:49 PM:

I understand that the the online betting sites are taking bets on who the next Pope will be. I did a cursory inspection of the candidates and here's my short list.

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 04:21 PM:

Tell you what, Cheem, how about you go to where they're going to be having the memorial service and wait to see if anybody shows up to sing show tunes and hand out pamphlets, and then you can project moral superiority at them. The rest of us will hang out here having thoughtful discussions and making bad puns.

Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:08 PM:

There's a lot about the Catholic Church I don't understand -- especially when it comes to selecting Popes -- so I will try to keep my questions brief and to the point.

Can Ding-Dong, the Witch Is Dead truly be considered a "show tune"? I always thought that term applied to Broadway musicals as opposed to movie soundtracks.

How come they use smoke to let us know what's going on? Is this the origin of the phrase: (I'm not even going to say it cuz you already know what I mean)?

Well Shut My Mowf.

Katherine ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:37 PM:

Maybe Che Guevera more than Fidel Castro.

I'm sure Kleiman's comment is directed more at ignorant denunciations than Jeanne d'Arc's post, but he betrays real ignorance himself. This isn't even just about the dangers of hagiography--unlike Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II died in office, and they're about to vote on his successor. Granted lay Catholics don't get a vote, but saying that nothing critical should be said about his papacy out of respect for the dead is analagous to saying that nothing critical should be said about Yasser Arafat after his death & before the Palestinian elections.

I'm not arguing that John Paul II is morally comparable to Yasser Arafat--I'm only analogizing the circumstances. Respect for the dead and the mourners is crucial, but it's not the only factor, and there are ways of being respectful without being silent or dishonest.

Actually, if anything a Catholic like Jeanne d'Arc anything has more right to speak about John Paul II & her hopes and fears about the Church than your average American has to speak about Yasser Arafat & his hopes and fears about his successor.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:42 PM:

Avram, I think Cheem was disagreeing with my statement about how people would be angry if we talk to them about the Pope's shortcomings, rather than accusing us of singing and pamphleting. I.e. Cheem thinks that they'd be angry about busting into the funeral a la Fred Phelps (or should that be au Fred Phelps?), but not about the kind of thoughtful discussion we're having here.

And I think my earlier statement was unclear, come to think of it, and Patrick misconstrued it as saying "well, nobody's going to talk about the Pope's shortcomings." Which WOULD be silly. Mea culpa on that, and sorry Patrick.

Is Mercury retrograde or something?

Michael, The Wizard of Oz was also a stage musical. In fact, it was a stage musical first (1903). "Ding, Dong" was part of that original adaptation. I thought this was true, so I Googled and found this page.

Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:42 PM:

I recall a conversation about Ronald Reagan on a very small discussion group that I participate in. I made a nasty remark about Reagan, one that I'll stand by the truth of and don't particularly regret. This was just a day or two after Reagan died.

One of the participants let it be known that he thought my comment was quite inappropriate, in timing if not in content. This person loved Reagan, and was distressed by Reagan's death. Because I like the guy who spoke out, and had no interest in causing him distress, I shut up.

And so I'm somewhat sympathetic to Mark A. R. Kleiman, who writes:

A note to those who have criticisms to offer of the papacy of John Paul II:

Right now would be an excellent time to keep your mouths shut and your keyboards idle.

If your criticisms are true and important -- I can easily think of some that are, and one reader has supplied me with others of which I'd been unaware --they'll still be true and important after the grass is green on his gravesite.

But there's a problem with critics maintaining a decent silence when a historical figure dies. The problem is that, while the critics are maintaining a decent silence, the figure's supporters are busy beatifying the deceased, as Anna Feruglio Dal Dan notes. We saw that in June, with Ronald Reagan. And of course in the case of John Paul II, beatification would be literal.

That said, overall I think the world suffered a great loss when John Paul II died, although I do share in the usual liberal objections to Church policy under his papacy.

Katherine ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 05:47 PM:

One last thing: American TV coverage in particular, and too many Americans in general, seem to be showing real intellectual disrespect to Karol Wojytla. Love him or hate him, we tend not to take him seriously. Either we embrace the sweet, kind man and completely ignore his teachings, or we only evaluate the teachings in terms of the hot political issues of the day, or we use some of his teachings for our political purposes and ignore--not just disagree with or disobey, but ignore--those that are inconvenient to our side.

(I think it applies less to liberal Catholics than to most other Americans because the hierarchy has forced them to face up to the contradiction between their views and the church's teachings, without forcing conservative Catholics to do so. And there are plenty of atheists, Jews, Muslims, Protestants etc. it doesn't apply to either.)

The best example I've seen so far was Larry King interviewing the actor who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ about the Pope's legacy. But turn on cable news for five seconds and you'll see another example.

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 06:19 PM:

Patrick is right. I misunderstood Ken MacLeod at first skim. I do not retract my praise.

Katherine is right. Too many Americans in show intellectual disrespect to the late Pope. I thus remind those present that young Karol Wojytla used to hang out in Budapest cafes in long intellectual discussions with secular writers and thinkers. Most notably, to me, he had boozy dialogues with Stanislaw Lem. Oh, to be a fly on those walls! By the way, I never shared a pitcher of beer with either Lem or John Paul II, or else I would surely have dropped the name by now.

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 06:44 PM:

My prediction for the next pope's handle is Innocent XIV, as a nice culture-of-life poke in the eye. I'm not taking bets on this, however.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 06:53 PM:

I don't think Karol Wojtila was a bad man. Far from it. I think he was a deeply conservative Pope, whose decisions reversed the trend of the Second Vatican Council, and where as such antidemocratic, as well as being wrong-headed and driving a lot of people away from the Church. He silenced intellectual dissent, no, he silenced intellectual debate, within the Church, left behind a vast majority of like-minded cardinals, driving the hierarchy ever farther from the flock, and where his policies actually had an impact on the world at large, it was mostly a negative impact.

It's not as if these things were not said before, especially from within the Church. But it seems to me that now is the time to remind people of them.

One of the reasons it is wise to remember the actual content of his tenure is that I suspect a lot of the love and respect he was paid was due to his certainly charismatic presence more than his real teachings. Mostly, when I heard him speak, I heard nothing but vacuities and pious vagueness. As a man he was undoubtly very likeable. It is probably wise to point out to people than likeability is not the best yardstick to measure political, or religious, worth.

As for why every critizing voice, no matter how polite, is taken as offensive - well, I think that does not reflect well on the memory of the man. There ought to be better ways to defend his legacy than to growl at people to shut the fuck up.

Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 07:13 PM:

Most powerful people are extremely likeable people when dealing with friends, allies and neutrals who might become friends and allies. Often, the more powerful they are, the more likeable they are. Good, evil, they're still likeable. I'm a journalist, and sometimes my favorite people to talk to have been outright villains.

Apropos of nothing, sf and high fantasy usually gets the likeability of powerful people wrong. John Barnes's "Mother of Storms" is a noteable exception.

Mark Kleiman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 08:21 PM:

For the record, I didn't mention Jeanne D'Arc's post, which I hadn't read. Now that I've read it, I find it to be excellent (like most of Jeanne's writing) and entirely respectful of its subject: indeed, she says much kinder thinks about the deceased than I could find it in my heart to say.

My post referred to what Cheem calls the "ding dong, the witch is dead" reaction, which strikes me as being both in poor taste and politically counterproductive.

Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 08:30 PM:

Talking about the future pope, who's going to bet with me? I speculate that the next one will be from the "good ol' U.S. of A.". Reasons: 1) North America is the main Catholic Church crisis point at the moment, and 2) that's where the main Vatican money comes from (I'm talking about voluntary donations, not investments), and the above-mentioned crisis is hitting quite harshly on the "poor" Michelangelo-enjoying vatican court.
There wouldn't be a point in nominating someone from South-America or Africa, places were the Church is already strong anyway. Wojtila was so effective at fighting the soviet bloc because he was the living proof that you could be born there and still be a right-wing, Mary-obsessed, sex-scared religious fanatic. A "clean" yankee Pope would equally act as proof that you can still serve the Roman Catholic Church in North America and not be a paedophile.

Katherine ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 08:49 PM:

"My post referred to what Cheem calls the "ding dong, the witch is dead" reaction, which strikes me as being both in poor taste and politically counterproductive."

Maybe that's what you meant. It is certainly not what you said. You said: "If your criticisms are true and important -- I can easily think of some that are, and one reader has supplied me with others of which I'd been unaware --they'll still be true and important after the grass is green on his gravesite." This strongly implies that those with true and important criticsms should keep their mouths shut too.

If you don't want people to get the wrong idea, you should correct yourself.

Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 08:59 PM:

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan said "I suspect a lot of the love and respect he was paid was due to his certainly charismatic presence."

I said elsewhere that he was a master of the 20th century media machine. He knew how to manipulate his own image as well as any politician from any country.

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 09:19 PM:


"I said elsewhere that he was a master of the 20th century media machine. He knew how to manipulate his own image as well as any politician from any country."

In which case, watch out if the holy smoke brings us Pope Elvis. Or Pope Hello Kitty. Or -- this would particularly sneaky -- Pope Mel Gibson!

Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 09:37 PM:

My post referred to what Cheem calls the "ding dong, the witch is dead" reaction, which strikes me as being both in poor taste and politically counterproductive.

This, I think, is my first comment on the subject of JPII following his demise (with the exception of my show tunes enquiry above), so I don't believe I've indulged in the "ding dong" reaction as yet. I actually don't have much desire to indulge in it, as it happens.

I'll tell you what's starting to work my last nerve, though: all the encomiums to his record as a Great Advocate of Human Rights. For gay people, this is a bit like being forced to listen to Gov. George Wallace praised as a great defender of freedom.

"In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny... and I say... segregation today... segregation tomorrow... segregation forever."

I don't doubt that there are many who feel JPII is being rightly praised as a great advocate of human rights. Probably the vast majority of mankind, come to think of it. The claim is still fraudulent, as far as I'm concerned.

People have the right to hate gay people, or to believe they choose their lifestyle, or to believe they are sinful, or what-all. They can even find homosexuality disgusting. This is permitted. This is freedom. This is their right.

And I don't think who people who hold those beliefs, even if they act on them, should be forbidden the legal protections that come with being able to marry the person they want. That would be wrong. So I guess all that makes me the Great Advocate of Human Rights, not JPII. I still don't want to be Pope, though, so don't try to make me.

As for whether saying any of that is somehow politically inexpedient, frankly, what difference does it make? I can't see how not telling the truth as I see it gets me anywhere different than were I am now. May as well tell the truth, as far as I can tell. It eases some of the burning in that last nerve of mine.

And as for the question of taste, well, I always thought Gov. George Wallace was in poor taste (until his late-in-life conversion), and since all this praise for JPII puts me in mind of Wallace, I call it a wash.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2005, 10:07 PM:

You know, the Pope was an intensely political man, as anyone who was a leader of a church under both nazism and communism was likely to be, and also quite a mystic, in his way.

It is our, and possibly his, misfortune that his reign came during such a politically symbolic and religiously literalist age.

That said, the raft of articles about Bush putting off his trip to South Carolina (all of them remembering fondly the fine work he did there during his first campaign in '00) and his lofty words about the importance of the Pope - no more trips to Bob Jones for our boy - coming from a man who takes such terrific delight in death and who idolizes the things of this world to such a distorting extent, makes me good and sick.

Meredith Tarr ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 12:52 AM:

Giacomo: I agree with the sentiments quoted in yesterday's NY Times Week In Review: that the next Pope will not be American, because most of the College of Cardinals are from Europe and the developing world, both areas very much under US influence, and they don't want to hand over the Church to the US, too. Plus, we're way too liberal here.

I am more inclined to believe that the next Pope will instead be from a Third World country, where the Church is actually expanding in numbers and influence, and the brand of Catholicism practiced is overwhelmingly dogmatic and conservative.

I have been watching events unfold over the past few days with a strange sense of detachment. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school for 9 years, so I remember the elections of both JPI and II well; but I left the Church years ago, when it became clear that as a woman there is no place for me at the table. The Catholic Church does not want me, therefore I no longer have a use for it, either.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 01:04 AM:

I'll just say, that as a conflicted Catholic, I am conflicted at this man's death.

I am scared that the results of his long tenure may, effectively, break the church, at least for the rest of my lifetime.

But I was 10 years old when he took his seat. I remember the summer of three popes, and I wish it had ended after the first conclave. I would, in all probability be mourning deeply in that event.

Deus vult is awfully hard to say.


Mark Kleiman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 01:12 AM:

Katherine, it's perfectly possible
to criticize ideas and policies
without saying mean things about the recently dead.

Lois Aleta Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 03:07 AM:

Myself being, to some extent, a product of the Cold War (I was born while the Korean War was raging), I am bemused at the joint image of Castro, Mandela, and the Dalai Lama. But I think I see Ken's point; there aren't many world figures left for whom that was the major coming-of-age and coming-of-power event.

John Paul II did some very good things. He was excellent at ecumenical relationships with, not only other Christian churches, but also with non-Christians: Jews, Muslims, even Buddhists. (Remember, he met with the Dalai Lama. One wonders if they addressed each other as "Your Holiness.")

His travels around the world brought a lot of attention to positive things, and shared the message of the Gospel with millions, rich and poor, powerful and ordinary. He seemed to genuinely like people, individually and in large crowds, and they liked him, too. This is a quality indicative of a great politician -- for a recent American example, think Bill Clinton. And I think John Paul II certainly had as much or more to do with the fall of Communism as Reagan did, especially in his support of Solidarity, though mostly it collapsed of its own weight.

I didn't agree with all of his policies -- which may be fairly obvious, since I quit going to church altogether on his watch -- but he set an excellent example for forgiveness of those who sin against you when he actually went to meet and pray with the man who had tried to kill him.

And I almost wrote him a letter to thank him when he added the new set of mysteries to the Rosary, concentrating more on Christ's ministry and teaching. I had been doing something similar in private. Now I regret not actually having written the letter.

I hope the next Pope, or maybe the one after him, will go back to the aggiornamento of John XXIII, and fulfill the promise of Vatican II instead of shrinking away from it. Especially that he and his Curia will deal more realistically with matters relating to sex and sexuality in the 21st Century instead of holding onto models of "masculine" and "feminine" that prevailed centuries ago.

But on the whole I think he did a fairly good job. I'd give him a B.

I've mentioned elsewhere that anyone who feels comfortable praying -- not just Catholics, and in these ecumenical times not even just Christians -- should ask the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinals in choosing the best possible candidate. The example I gave, "Please, God, not Ratzinger!" may do as a minimum.

Katherine ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:44 AM:

"Katherine, it's perfectly possible
to criticize ideas and policies without saying mean things about the recently dead. "

Yes. And you said "the papacy", not the man.
Look, I understand what you meant, but it's not what you said. But your follow up makes that pretty clear, so nevermind.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:50 AM:

Giacomo: I agree with the sentiments quoted in yesterday's NY Times Week In Review: that the next Pope will not be American, because most of the College of Cardinals are from Europe and the developing world, both areas very much under US influence, and they don't want to hand over the Church to the US, too. Plus, we're way too liberal here.

Last I heard, the US Church wasn't particularly liberal after the last wave of papal appointments

I am more inclined to believe that the next Pope will instead be from a Third World country, where the Church is actually expanding in numbers and influence, and the brand of Catholicism practiced is overwhelmingly dogmatic and conservative.

That is not true of Latin America, and actually all the hopes of progressive at the moment seem to be pinned on two South American candidates, Hummes and the Honduran I never remember the name of. Both seem to be somewhat close to the Liberation Theology.

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 09:08 AM:

the Honduran I never remember the name of

Do you mean Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (70 years old, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras).

I'm not sure if he's addressed as Cardinal Maradiaga or Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga? Is he liberal? I thought he's described as conservative, but in favor or social reform.

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 11:40 AM:

So Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela walk into a bar.

"What'll it be, gentlemen?>" asks the bartender.

"Cuba Libre," says Castro.

"Coffee. Black," says Mandela.

"Sweet tea with yak butter," says the Dalai Lama, "in a glass which is both half-full and half-empty."

"And what about you?" says the bartender. "We don't often get four figureheads of an inchoate global humanism."

"Bloody Mary, made with Polish vodka," says the Pope. Then his eyes narrow. "Hey, this isn't a gay bar, is it?"

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 12:19 PM:


Apropos of the general discussion, allow me to echo Maria Farrell's recommendation, on Crooked Timber, of this fantastic Fintan O'Toole essay in the Irish Times, quoted in full in this weblog post by Slugger "No Relation" O'Toole. Sample:

He was, besides, proof of one of the great political paradoxes - that people are formed in large part by that which they oppose. The Irish nationalists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were, above all, good Victorians. Bolshevism stole the clothes of Tsarism. Napoleon became just another French monarch. And John Paul absorbed much more from the Stalinism he opposed than he ever seemed to realise. He shared its distrust of liberal democracy, looking on the developed West as a weak and decadent culture. He was a fierce critic of consumer capitalism whose Bible, the Wall Street Journal, attacked his views on economics, not entirely inaccurately, as "warmed-over Marxism". And, above all, he despised and crushed internal dissent. Though the language he used was different, his alarm at deviationism and his insistence on adherence to the party line mirrored the Stalinist culture in which he operated for so long. His mixture of idealism and authoritarianism would have made him a brilliant boss of the Polish CP.
I forget who it was who, several years ago, referred to JPII as "Europe's last Communist dictator," but there's something to that. Anyway, as we bloggers say (it's in the rules), read the whole thing.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 01:19 PM:

Er... actually, I have been thinking in the last few days about how close Catholicism and Communism are. Both in the good and the bad. I wanted to compose a lengthy blog post. I would write it, but there's still this lurking worry about the next time I'll have to cross the borders into the US...

And yes, Maradiaga it was. Well, most bishops and cardinals are not exactly wildly radical, but he seems to be one of those names as "progressive".

Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 01:34 PM:

"[...] all the hopes of progressive at the moment seem to be pinned on two South American candidates[...]"

It is all very much like a royal succession, isn't it? Except that so far no-one has threatened violence. Of these people, one will be chosen as the ruler of the souls of Catholics without most of them having any say in the matter and they can only hope this will be a compassionate person who truly cares about them. And yet the reality is that no single person could live up to all the hopes for the next pope, or justify all the fears of that person; it would take a god to do that.

Why do so many of us look for a spiritual ruler outside their own hearts?

"If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will go before you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will go before you."

Katherine ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 02:47 PM:

Maradiaga is conservative on sex issues, liberal on poverty issues, prioritizes poverty issues over sex issues, and (maybe most importantly) liberal on church governance issues (someone who lived through Central America in the 1980s has lots of reasons to desire independence from Rome) and moral theology (one of his mentors is Bernard Haring, who wrote extensively about how the church should avoid the temptation of demanding blind obedience by threatening people with eternal hellfire. Boo-ya.)

Said some amazingly stupid things about the sex abuse scandal, but all in all I think he's the best hope. Which is exactly why I think he doesn't really have so much of a shot, but it's not impossible to imagine a coalition of Latin Americans,

Hummes is more authoritarian, but they seem to be coming from a similar place except maybe the moral theology part.

Maradiaga could get support from the Western European and American reformers, and much of the third-world cardinals, but it seems likely to me that Ratzinger & friends may view him as having dangerous heretical tendencies, and the curia may view him as either having dangerous heretical tendencies, or threatening to their power because of his young age and general uppityness and charisma, or threatening to their power because he's from Honduras and not Rome. So I don't see where he gets 2/3, and I don't know if the progressives are organized and determined and influential enough to hold out until 50%+1 suffices. Waiting for 50%+1 also raises the possibility of a candidate from the far right, and you apparently get excommunicated for logrolling and whip-counting, so, you know.

Caveat: only know what I've googled on this in the past week. likely I'm talking out of my a**.

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 03:00 PM:

It is all very much like a royal succession, isn't it?

Or the selection of the next CEO of a multi-national.

I am surprised to realize how much I am hoping for a progressive change here. I need to go lie down. I'm just setting myself up for disappointment, I know.
(PS: "male gerontocracy" is my phrase of the day. Looove it.)
(PPS: JVP, your posts on this thread are very funny. I want some of whatever you're smoking.)

Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 03:48 PM:

If we're following usual Spanish naming practices -- rather than some religious-name thing I wouldn't know about -- he'd be Cardinal Rodriguez. The first surname is the patronymic and is the one that is handed down and is the one that the name collapses to. The second is the matronymic and hangs around for extra information and to baffle the creators of over-simplistic forms.

Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 04:36 PM:

I'm not expecting much reform on social issues from the next Pope. I'm not expecting him to get up and say, "Guess what? I decided that birth control is just fine and so is homosexuality — as a matter of fact, I'm the next guest on 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' — wait 'til you see what the Fab Five does with the Vatican!"

I am optimistic that the next Pope will continue to be a force for good in the areas where John Paul II was a force for good. And I'm also optimistic that a younger, more vital man will be willing to take responsibility for the sex-abuse scandals in the U.S. OTOH, the next Pope may do as the Vatican has apparently been doing along along, and view those scandals as a local matter and not interfere.

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:04 PM:

Mayakda writes:

Do you mean Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (70 years old, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras).

I'm not sure if he's addressed as Cardinal Maradiaga or Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga?

In a couple of weeks, if he gets the nod, he'll have a simpler name and it won't matter.

Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:12 PM:

"I'm also optimistic that a younger, more vital man will be willing to take responsibility for the sex-abuse scandals in the U.S."

Isn't excusing such scandals is an old story in the church? I would think it would take a very radical pope to act on those scandals.

Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:21 PM:

I am surprised to realize how much I am hoping for a progressive change here. I need to go lie down. I'm just setting myself up for disappointment, I know

Of all the cardinals making up the Conclave, only two were part of the same Conclave that elected Wojtila: Ratzinger and an American. All the others were carefully selected by Wojtila, which was anything but open to dissent. I wouldn't hold much hope of somebody significantly closer to the values and principles of Vatican II to be elected, alas.

Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:22 PM:

Slightly orthogonal to the main thread, but related to Cardinals, I have always enjoyed press references to the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Sin.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:32 PM:

Chris Quinones, I hereby award you a gold star for Unrecognized Inside Baseball.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 05:46 PM:

Yes, for some time those in the know have been pointing to Cardinal Rat (the Grand Inquisitor, make no mistake) as probable king-maker for the next Pope. Not a hopeful sign.

Maybe he'll drop dead or something. I won't pray for it, but if it happens I will dance.

Keith ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 06:02 PM:

Pope John Paul II was a bone fide son of a bitch who was the figurehead of one of the most repressive institutions in history.

Karol Wojtila was a nice man, good with children and animals, tolerated Bono and was said by his friends and admirers to have a cracking sense of humor.

That both people happened to inhabit the same body is an all too-common occurence, and it is a misfirtune of greatest concern that these inconsistancies must be glossed over by those looking to judge a man by his shoe size or sum him up neetly.

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 06:40 PM:

Teresa, thanks. How 'bout that Mets bullpen?

pericat ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 08:57 PM:

shameless self promotions in pope blogging r us.

CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 12:27 AM:

TNH, Chris -- you want to let the rest of us in on the joke? I'm guessing Amis hinted at it in The Alteration, but Wikipedia doesn't bear me out.

Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 02:12 AM:

Jonathan - I'll stick a (Via) on the Kung link (having just seen how to do that for comments).

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 05:45 AM:

Ken MacLeod:

There is much power in the Vivid Via source attribution links. They subVert the chrono-hierarchical blog paradigm, Valorizing heterozygosity in the apotheosis of Matrix Management. Those Victimized by Viacom, not on the Vibex ichor-oozing edge are left wondering -- Viable Paradise? Viadge as obsolete for Voyage? Viador = Veedor, an official invested with inspecting or controlling power? But WE know, in our Viary way, o fellow Viator, remembering Robert SilVerberg's mushroomy madness on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. AVaunt! I see the via links tangling the Web until it becomes the Veb. Leisure of the Theory Class, he Veblenned, Veblensmanly... Tangle, and do look at the pretty Tanglecube.

Oh. Vait a minute. That's a reply to mayakda's via "JVP, your posts on this thread are very funny. I want some of whatever you're smoking." When they almost made Chess an Olympic sport, there was controversy about whether caffeine and nicotine were performance-enhancing drugs. "If there were anything I could take to play chess better, I would," said a grandmaster, best known for sitzfleisch and zugzwang.

Or, to put it another way, I am not funny consciously, but when exhausted by rewrites and zapped by coffee, my unconscious mind can sneak in a zinger. I've just rewritten 20,000 words in the past 12 hours down to half its length, on the orders of a referee or two, for the three papers (Nanotechnology and Quantum Computing, both the brainchildren of Feynman) my wife and I are presenting 7-8 Apr 2005 at the regional conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, while at the same time expanding Yet Another Treatment on Murder at a Con, some sonnets, two tax returns, an Appellate Brief, and some equations Tony Noe and I just posted on The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences." My neural tangle was twitching up a storm, and something funny snuck out before I could crush it with self-aware critical thinking. Nothing is funny if I try to explain it...

ajay ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 10:26 AM:

Nice try, "Jonathan", but you're a long way from passing that Turing Test right now.

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 12:14 PM:

FWIW, I've never read The Alteration.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 03:07 PM:

Well, as long as we're shamelessly linking to our Popeblogging...

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 03:19 PM:

Ken MacLeod:

After a burst of sleep, taking my son to school, and having my first coffee fix of the day, I hope I am more coherent. So, since you say:

Science Fiction after the Future Went Away
a feature by Ken MacLeod

"New Wave SF grew out of the realisation that the 'decadent future societies', glanced at and frowned upon in the backdrops of Agenda SF, had already arrived. Sex and drugs and rock and roll, the Vietnam War, the strange 60s notion that linked the birth-control pill to fears of over-population, all became more important determinants of what went on in SF than the increasingly expensive and bureaucratic manned space programme...."

would you now say that the late Pope John Paul II has contributed to the changes in Science Fiction subsequently, as it derailed further from its original Agenda? And do you think, from a Libertarian/Socialist perspective, or whatever, that he agreed with Stanislaw Lem on metaphysical or political notions? And what would Gene Wolfe do if he were elevated to the papacy? Okay, maybe not coherent yet, but there's at least one question in all this...

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 04:03 PM:

Julia, I rmember seeing that Houston Chronicle article and thinking it was really gross. Talk about riding on someone's coattails. Thanks for the rebuttal.

CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2005, 07:54 PM:

Chris: "That bugger Innocent. We'll give him Innocent! He was a Switzer, and you can't whack them for contrariness. [goes on to describe how Innocent was told contraception was necessary and immediately bulled against it.}"

CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2005, 07:10 PM:

And a question for those specializing in Catholic neepery. Today's Boston Globe discusses the funeral, including that the triple coffin will go in the niche where John XXIII's was at one time. True? If so, why? I don't think the conservatives would go so far as to grub up his bones....

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2005, 10:20 PM:

Ken MacLeod:

Should we add the late "People's Princess" Diana to the short list of figurehead of an inchoate global humanism?

Roger Sandall: Conspicuous Compassion

"... it’s hard to say exactly why we felt so nauseated by the goings-on in Westminster Abbey. Was it because the grief being displayed was insincere? Was it social aversion—an unwillingness to be even vicariously drawn into Diana’s circle of admirers? Or was it because we were tired of her promiscuous causes, her mindlessly diffuse compassion, and because the canonization of a young woman whose death was a direct result of living dangerously seemed entirely grotesque? ..."

"In the 1998 essay collection Faking It: the Sentimentalisation of Modern Society the British philosopher Anthony O’Hear takes seriously both the attendance at the funeral and the emotions displayed: 'The media, for all their undoubted power, could not have forced millions of people to come to London… (or) made tens of thousands of people queue for eight hours to sign the 43 condolence books or lay carpets of flowers around the royal palaces.'"

"Moreover, the mourners were neither hysterical nor deranged. 'They were in fact quiet, orderly, and in demeanour dignified… and their emotion, it has to be said, was genuine...' In other words there is little point in straining to interpret their behavior as purely artificial, or insincere, and even less point in pretending that it illustrates La Rochefoucauld’s witticism that 'hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.'"

"O’Hear suggests instead that what repelled us about her media canonization in Westminster Abbey on September 6th, 1997, was the canonization of all she stood for—'the elevation of feeling, image and spontaneity over reason, reality, and restraint'—combined with a determination to have her highly privileged royal person portrayed as a victim among victims...."

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2005, 03:27 PM:

Ken MacLeod:

Should we add Jimmy Carter to the short list of figureheads of an inchoate global humanism?

Who Invented the 1980s?
The Carter decade.
by Philip Jenkins
Books & Culture, March/April 2005

"While any reconstruction of alternative realities must be speculative, we might reasonably ask just how different the America of the Eighties would have been if Jimmy Carter had won the 1980 election—and that could have happened quite easily. Any number of events might have transformed the political landscape of that year. Carter's Tehran hostage rescue might have succeeded in April 1980, while through the summer, Reagan supporters worried that Carter might arrange an October Surprise, a last-minute diplomatic breakthrough that would bring the hostages home in time for the election. And in that case, how different would the 1980s have been? After all, the New Cold War was already in progress following the Afghanistan crisis of 1980...."

Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2005, 11:04 AM:

I don't know enough to even begin to guess who will be elected to the Papacy. But I'm led to expect that the odds favour an older man, conservative but not hidebound.

The world has changed a lot over the time of the last Papacy. It's possible that the Conclave will end up with a compromise; not a hard-liner who will not change, but somebody who will set a new course to the same port, in the new winds of the 21st Century.

And not somebody who will outlive the people voting for him.

Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2005, 05:36 AM:

Jonathan Vos Post:

Diana is definitely in the 'inchoate global humanism' pantheon. Not so sure about Jimmy Carter. The whole phenomenon of media euhemerism is odd. Perhaps to find out 'how the gods were made' we need to study not savages but ourselves.

In other news, it seems Cardinal Ratzinger is in with a shout.

Ivor Manuel prophet ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2005, 08:31 PM:

The INNOCENTS and their FAMILIES are the losers in WAR in IRAQ.

Up until today; 1,571+ innocent American soldiers have been killed in IRAQ.
Soldiers who were wounded, lost body parts, or were paralyzed, and have become chronically ill with physical or mental illnesses. Also, soldiers that have been evacuated due to non combatant wounds or other injuries and diseases are over 17,000.
Other innocent soldiers from coalition troops dead number 176.

All the dead and those wounded are Innocent, because they were defending (and still are) the erroneous Vision of FREEDOM of a utopian political demagogue; whom had received power from the people to lead them and enlighten a dark World with Mercy and Love (if he in deed was a follower of CHRIST as he had said). However, he deceived the people with his own vision of “WAR on TERROR” for PEACE; Instead of using that power for good he used it to steal, kill and destroy because he is also a liar

As it is written and the MESSIAH says:
“VERILY, verily, I say unto to you, He that enters not by the door (employing His “Gospel of PEACE”) into the sheepfold (to lead the Faithful), but climbs up some other way, (“Advance of Freedom and PEACE through WAR”) the same is a thief and a robber. “Yes, he has stolen the FAITH and the WEALTH of the PEOPLE with lies; and has used THEM to kill and destroy;”

Innocent Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. BOMBING are estimated to be between 21,000 and 25,000 in two years; most of them elders, women and children. IRAQ is in chaos and all people including American soldiers and their families of the nation are suffering. Is this not a WAR CRIME against the people of IRAQ and all humanity? Can we humanly say that this insane killing and human suffering should be called Liberation?


The Word of GOD written says:
“Woe to him (unrighteous king) that increases that which is not his! (Afghanistan and Iraq) How long? And to him that covers himself with thick clay!
“Because you have spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil you; Because of men’s blood and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.”
“Woe to him (of unrighteous actions) that covets an evil covetousness to his house; that he may set his nest on high; that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
“You have consulted shame to your house by cutting off (crippling) many people, and have sin against your soul!”
“Woe to him (the anti-CHRIST) that builds a town (Iraq) with blood (instead of Mercy and Love), and establishes a city with iniquity!” That is the vision that was embraced by the prophet Habakkuk for an appointed time in chapter two; and Ivor Manuel prophet says: “The time is now America, open your eyes and awake to RIGHTEOUSNESS!”
“Though you exalt yourself as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, thence will I bring you down, says the LORD.” Obadiah 4
“Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:15
“Open your eyes wide; read and understand for the “Judgment of GOD” is coming down upon sleeping AMERICA!”

PAT ROBERTSON from the 700 CLUB said something like this: “GOD told me that He is going to remove some Judges from their benches.”
But what I hear My GOD and Our MESSAIH say is this:

“Political leaders of AMERICA, REPENT! You have misled the Nation.”
“Shepherds of AMERICA, REPENT! You have misled My PEOPLE.
“Military Leaders of AMERICA, REPENT! You have misled the World.”
“Because you don’t believe in ME, UNRIGHTEOUS is your JUDGEMENT.”
LORD and SERVANT of all PEOPLE, My New Name.

“AWAKE to RIGHTEOUSNESS, and SIN NOT: For some HAVE NOT the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: I speak this to YOUR SHAME.” I Corinthians 15: 34.
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.” “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” Isaiah 28

I am here to publish and declare the TRUE FREEDOM for PEACE; which is MERCY and LOVE and the DOCTRINE of OUR LORD; and the NEW NAME of the LORD, which is JESUS ALEUZENEV, LORD and SERVANT of all PEOPLE. Revelation 3:12. Thus says Ivor Manuel, prophet branch of the LORD; praying for you and PEACE for the World
“And My LORD MESSAIAH said unto me, Thou must PROPHESY AGAIN before many PEOPLES, and NATIONS and TONGUES, and KINGS.” Revelation 10: 11.
Ivor Manuel, prophet branch of the LORD; prays for you and PEACE for the WORLD. OPEN YOUR EYES AMERICA!

Xopher finds possible comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2005, 01:37 PM:

Irrelevant to the thread, though not particularly offensive. Links to the site given at the bottom. Haven't clicked through to find out what kind of site it is. Probably the SAME kind of STUFF that's in THIS comment.

Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2005, 04:08 PM:

Xopher, I followed the link through to the site and it explains at some length that President Bush is the Anti-Christ. Don't you think that's more of a public service link than a spam link?

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2005, 05:10 PM:

Well, PSAs can be spammed. It depends on how they're transmitted, doesn't it?

That said, however, maybe I was too hasty...after all this thread is about Pope Rat, and if he and Dubya are the same person that's appropriate news here...

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2005, 03:22 PM:

"And there are many more characteristics of this sort of system, which we can find parallels for in both religious and atheist forms of totalitarianism:
• the concept of heresy and its punishment;
• the concept of apostasy;
• an inquisition with the powers of a secret police force, or a secret police force with the powers of an inquisition.
• a complex procedural apparatus of betrayal, denunciation, confession, trial and execution."
A Subtle School of Morals, by Philip Pullman

Ivor Manuel prophet ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2005, 07:27 PM:


It has been said:
“A PICTURE speaks more than WORDS or a THOUSAND WORDS.”
But I tell you: “Open your Eyes wide; read and understand the WORDS of REVELATION.” Chapter 6: 2-8
It is written:
“And when He, MESSAIH had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see! (This is the warning voice of a peaceful sacrificial calf; this represents a warning for the people of the World; for the poor and the innocent of the Earth, that are about to suffer what is coming). And there went another horse that was read (WAR-horse, Blood); and power was given unto him that sat there to take PEACE from the Earth (This is the first #6, a man starting WARS and intimidating nations to change and obey his military power or will face his WAR; he stumbled at CHRIST’ teachings and robed the people of their FAITH; that is the GOSPEL of PEACE by MERCY and LOVE; this is the anti-CHRIST), and that they should kill one another; (Iraqis killing Iraqis) and there was given unto him a great sword (American military; air power and Weapons of Mass Destruction).”

“And when MESSAIH opened the third seal, I hear the third beast (warning of voice of ego centered man) say; Come and see! And I beheld, and lo a black horse (DARK TIMES as the result of his WARS); and he that sat on him had a pair of balances on his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beast say: A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny: but hurt not the Oil and the Wine.”
(The voice in the midst is Satan; he is giving instructions to the man sitting on the horse to negotiate control of the World, using goods and military power; the pair of balances is the tree of Good and Evil; this is the second #6; the anti-CRISTO man).”

And when MESSAIH had opened the forth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say (voice of flying eagle), Come and see! And I looked, and behold a pale horse: (this horse represents famine and diseases as the cause of WARS). And his name that sat on him was DEATH and HELL follow with him. And power was given unto them (WAR COALITIONS) over the fourth part of the Earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger and with death, and with all the beast of the Earth.”
(This is the third #6, a flying eagle represents control of air space, a raptor, a thief, a man getting ready to seize the World by WAR COALITIONS and air power; the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; the anti-CRISTO 666.)

Open your eyes wide and read this now!
As I was riding my white mare along Lake Pocket, testing the obedience of this wonderful creature with the Aleuzenev reins, a neck collar intertwined with three cords of rope used without a bit or bridle; the sound of her nostrils sounded like a furnace. She bolted in a gallop with all liberties, arching and stretching her neck out in jubilee. The wind musically whistling in my ears as the strength of the beast of Kings kept me in the middle Kingdom, between Earth and Heaven; in rhythmical rappel of the Earth, with the fury and the power of thunder. As the morning star shone from above, I saw the “Light of the Glory of GOD” shinning mystically; and as I stopped to get off the horse and kneel in prayer; I head His voice saying: Stay on profeta, what is bothering you?
To My LORD and brother I answered; I know you well, but the reincarnation of the son of perdition; who is he?
My LORD responded: “You already know this, because long before he became the king of the Earth I had revealed him to you.” He continued speaking: “But the man is the leader of a hypocritical nation; a nation that commits abominations worshiping Force and WAR rather than PEACE. Who take their sons and daughters borne to me; the poor and the innocent soldiers, whom have not received the Love of the Truth that they may be Saved; and they train them to kill and hate their own brethren. And to sacrifice blood in honor of Satan, the god of WAR with lying wonders in the name of PEACE. He is a proud leader who shall do according to his will, who bribes the nations to ally themselves, to take what is not his to be bootie unto them, and to divide the land for gain.” “Thus says the LORD: Is not WAR TERROR and retaliation a threat to PEACE? Woe to him that that builds a town with blood and establishes a city with iniquity. Who can read, let him understand what is written in the BIBLE and proclaim to the World brethren, what I AM saying to My profeta. Thus says the LORD and Servant of all people; the Prince of PEACE; Jesus; the Living ONE and My Father YHWH, Blessed be His Name. Yes, Aleuzenev, the New Name of My GOD, and the name of His City, which is New JERUSALEM; and My New Name.”

Then, I, His servant said: “LORD; that man is in deed the king of the Bottomless Pit, Abaddon and Apollyon, the wicked destroyer that shall be revealed. The commander in Chief of the red, black, and pale horses that will bring WAR, FAMINE and PESTILENCE to the World at large; Death and HELL, 666, the anti-CHRIST whom in the English language his name is pronounced “GWARB,” and his servant “TWARB,” and the false prophet “PR.”

Then He said: “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you My brother and servant; do not be afraid of Death, because Death is among you. Be afraid of not knowing the Living ONE while you live. Pray for PEACE and the people of the World; ride prosperously because of TRUTH and MEEKNESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and your right hand shall teach you terrible things.”

As the vision vanished I continued riding and praising Aleluya! Amen! Aleuzenev! Adonai! LORD of PEACE and SERVANT of all people! Then, I heard Him laugh, and I remembered all that was written in Psalm 2.

I am here to publish and declare the TRUE FREEDOM for PEACE; which is MERCY and LOVE and the DOCTRINE of OUR LORD; and the NEW NAME of the LORD, which is JESUS ALEUZENEV, LORD and SERVANT of all PEOPLE. Revelation 3:12. Thus says Ivor Manuel, prophet branch of the LORD; praying for you and PEACE for the World.

Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2005, 08:17 PM:

Oh, cut it out, Vanna.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2005, 11:51 PM:

Do insane rantings count as comment spam? No live links there, so maybe not.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2005, 08:34 AM:

rasff award to Michael Weholt.