Pope Benny is going to “aphasia” himself out by giving up the very Papacy itself for Lent. This being such an historic moment in Catholic history, WinnieToons thought it would be only appropriate to take “respectful” a look back at the 265th Pope, who began his checkered career of public service as a Hitler Youth brown shirt. Pope Benedict XVI has transitioned seamlessly from one misguided cult to another. But let’s start with his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
When Benny the Sixteenth was anointed by pure white smoke, the Catholic Church was already embroiled in multiple international scandals concerning sexual impropriety, and up to their eyeballs in lawsuits. The faith that makes other people feel terrible about their own sexuality and human failings has had centuries of closet debauchery, thievery and other misguided behavior unbecoming of the Lord’s Representatives Here On Earth. It all started with hoarding stuff. The Catholic Church has a LOT of stuff. In fact they could cure world hunger and disease with one single basement yard sale. And it was the acquisition of “stuff” that resulted in Popes and priests being prevented from marrying—in the fourth century (306 AD to be precise)—the Catholic clergy, prior to that had wives and mistresses kind of like normal people. Ultimately priests were prevented from marrying because those clergymen would try to leave all their accumulated gold, graven images and embroidered drag outfits to their sons. That meant the Church got to inherit less “stuff.”
Christian doctrine, strictly followed, isn’t supposed to be focusing on collecting “stuff” but we’re all glad that Bernini and Michelangelo, among others created breathtaking masterpieces depicting religious mythology. It’s all beautiful “stuff,” but it isn’t exactly a reflection of a “vow of poverty.” Catholicism has been so obsessed with “stuff,” that the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome is filled to the brim with privately owned artistic masterpieces collected by one of history’s past Pope’s “nephews,” appointed as the Papal Art Collector, giving birth to the term “nepotism” which is derived from the Latin word for nephew. Proving that the Catholic Church was already off message well over seventeen centuries ago.
With priests no longer marrying, there was a period in the dark ages where nuns were abused like slave whores, but homosexuality, while officially damned by the Church, was as rampant as backroom sex in a gay bathhouse in the Big Apple’s “meatpacking district.” Of course, the most vulnerable being the young people, male or female given over to the whims of mere humans who abused their role as faith leaders believing a “holy” status left them above reproach. It has taken centuries to shed light on the dirty little secrets of the Catholic Church. Christ himself wouldn’t recognize Christianity as what took root from His teachings. Looking at what the Church as devolved into over the centuries, from sexual impropriety to religious wars, all of which I’m reasonably certain was NOT part of Christ’s core message.
One doesn’t need a degree in rocket science to figure out that families who had sons and daughters who didn’t fit the mold of day to day living, were shipped off to become part of the mold growing within the soul of a religious cult that long ago abandoned it’s mission in favor or the pursuit of wealth, power and secrecy. Even as a small boy I was warned about having anything to do with priests, and several of my friends had their first, and most bewildering sexual experiences with clergymen.
When I was still too young to grasp the point of sexuality, some force drove me. along with other neighborhood boys to indulge in naked experimentation well prior to technical puberty. I had a Catholic friend, who we will call, Giuseppe, keeping his real name a secret. Giuseppe “served” as a choirboy at the local Catholic Church. He was the source of most of what I was told about the escapades of priests. Giuseppe was particularly invested in naked experimentation, and had extensive prior experience. Decades later, I ran into him with his wife at our 25th high school reunion, where he drunkenly whispered to me that he often recalled of our childhood sexual experimentation to help him through difficult performance problems with his wife. I wound that conversation right up, and got the hell away from him as soon as I could.
Giuseppe was a tan-skinned Italian boy with jet-black hair and forty-two teeth. He and I found an area where a dog had dug a trench under a great overgrown lilac bush that was half in my back yard and half in the yard next door. Giuseppe and I would loosen our trousers and poke around doing things on which I don’t feel its necessary to elaborate. You get the picture. Giuseppe however wanted to introduce a new element into the festivities—“costumes.” Giuseppe wanted to reenact bible stories in the nude. He had a baby blue blanket he would drape over his head and while assuming the posture of the Blessed Virgin; he chanted “take, eat, this is my body which is given for thee…” Back in the 1950s, the Catholic Church was moving away from Latin and already the ramifications were showing dangerous repercussions on the youth. So now you know why I slowly stepped back from Giuseppe at our High School Reunion. But while I was still a child playing with Giuseppe, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, the former Hitler youth was already ensconced in the world of religious teachings, but not yet of the cloth and all the fabulous drag accessories that come with the august station of being a priest, Cardinal or Pope.
The great philosopher, Tallulah Bankhead once said to the bishop at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral during high mass “Dahling, I love your gown but your purse is on fire.” Money has ignited a flame under the Catholic Church. Secret sexuality isn’t the only crime that’s run rampant. The Crusades are a blot on human history. So is the Inquisition, witch burnings, and all manor of unchristian-like behavior. A couple Christmases ago, while fielding a series of sex-scandals, the Pope was implicated in a money laundering scheme with the Cosa Nostra involving automatic teller machines that had hidden fees designed to steal from the Italian citizenry with some of the profits going toward organized crime, and some of the booty going toward organized religion. The Vatican had their bank accounts frozen by the Italian police throughout the investigation, but most of the world never heard a word about it.
That’s where diversionary tactics come in handy. The religion that doesn’t allow its own clergy to marry has been giving marital advice for years, especially on the subject of birth control. So, as the world population surges past an unsustainable seven billion people, Pope Benedict drew attention away from his various and sundry moral transgressions and those of his minions by taking a senseless stand against condoms, birth control, women’s health and abortion. A smart bunch of capitalists seized on this hypocrisy and launched “Papal Brand Condoms.” I kid you not. Catholics when anonymously polled, overwhelmingly approve of birth control. Most thoughtful people do.
But Pope Benny was widely known as God’s Rottweiler while he was still a mere Cardinal, long before becoming Pope. In fact his tenure as Pope has been nearly as catastrophic and mishandled as the Bush Administration with their poorly thought out diversionary tactics. And as George Bush destroyed the Republican Party, leaving it in ratty tatters, Pope Benedict may well leave the Catholic Church in a shredded shroud of Ratzinger. Benny had a disastrous run in his red Prada shoes, the cost of which would have been better spent on world hunger and population control. But Benedict had grown accustomed to his luxuries. And old ‘habits’ (ahem) as they say, die hard, especially when those habits are ‘nun too good…’
…and the Catholic Church along with Catholic football teams continued unabated throughout the Pope’s career, indulging in a long standing tradition of closeted behavior and sinning in secret. Only the Pope himself can air his own laundry before the eyes of his god. That said, the Pope’s own “trusted” manservant and personal valet, spilled many of his Holiness’ eyebrow raising secrets to the media with tales of shady dealings and behavior that would shame the deities the Pope portends to worship and elevate.
So in closing, it is my opinion that organized religion is in general a cult designed to prevent people from thinking for themselves, and using fear of damnation to pile-up cash on the collection plate. Meanwhile, churches are shuttering their doors—lovely buildings rich with ornamentation across the world are now left with the problem of re-purposing these architectural treasures into something defined as useful. How about an efficiency apartment in the bell-tower? That would work for a quasi-macho like me.
Goodbye, Benny, goodbye. I hope your successor is every bit as colorful. We’ll miss all the laughs we had together.
– Disassociated Press, 2/11/2013
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