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Pope Joan's Profile

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Go to: German bishop: Atheism responsible for Nazis and mass murder

Pope Joan's Avatar Jump to comment 240 by Pope Joan

It’s regrettable that Mixa wasn’t around back in 1942 when Pius XII was under fire to denounce the atrocities of Nazi Germany. In his Christmas speech of that year the Pope delivered what amounted to a vague and oblique admonishment that “men of good will” should return society to the rule of God as a duty owed to the widows and orphans of war, and to the “hundreds of thousands of innocent people put to death or doomed to slow extinction, sometimes merely because of their race or descent.”

That was it. No denouncement, no reference to or condemnation of Hitler at all. Primarily, he was averse to losing any diplomatic sway with the Nazis whom he saw as the best bet against communism, the biggest threat to his church. The following year, when Jews living in Rome were being rounded up by the National Socialists, Pius’ response was likewise muted, prompting the German ambassador, Ernst von Weizsacker, to report back to Berlin that he was relieved that the Pope “has not allowed himself to be stampeded into making any demonstrative pronouncement against the removal of Jews from Rome.”

I’m sure Bishop Mixa could have mentored the Holy Father how to accurately cast aspersions.

Wait, I guess he was around in 1942. Too young to proselytize though.

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 07:15:00 UTC | #348142

Go to: The meaning of freedom

Pope Joan's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by Pope Joan


In those days, the Christians, Muslims and Jews most certainly had no alternative, or at least a very dangerous one. Even the "pagans" had their vindictive deities.

Your remark about New Atheism rings true.

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 08:10:00 UTC | #344177

Go to: The meaning of freedom

Pope Joan's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Pope Joan

While most of Christendom seems to tolerate within itself all the wacky variations of their belief and tradition (those “other” churches have it almost right, but not quite right), things were quite different back in the day.

Blasphemy (any sort of heresy or apostasy) in the 13th century Catholic Church was one of God’s most serious problems and required extreme measures of interdiction by His earthly representatives. In 1231, Pope Gregory the IX signed into canon law authorization for secular authorities to burn heretics at the stake. Shortly after, he established the Office of the Papal Inquisition and, well…, nobody expected the Papal Inquisition.

That sorry time in civilized human history, is not at all unlike the present-day stance of extremist Islamics who deal with heresy with similar strategies of atrocity. They do not view other beliefs or non-beliefs as “crazy old aunts*” who are to be tolerated and will be missed when they die. For them any criticism of their world view is heresy. Will it take 700 some years before they mellow out like those Catholics did?

*Steven Weinberg’s analogy

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 07:11:00 UTC | #344169

Go to: SC priest: No communion for Obama supporters

Pope Joan's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Pope Joan

Rev. Newman is just about as useful as the Pope's balls.

I admire Hitch, and I had to chuckle at this, since I was the only pope who didn’t have any to begin with.

And, according to popular tradition, after the embarrassment of my papacy, newly elected popes were checked to make sure they had them. The new pope would sit down in a special chair and one of the cardinals would slip his hand underneath to confirm his maleness. The cardinal would then joyously let out, “Testiculos habet”, whereupon the attending crowd would respond, “Deo Gratias”. (“He does have testicles”, “Thanks be to God”).

I should also point out that more than a few of my peers had their bell clappers polished by young male and female attendants. Notably, Alexander VI (1492) kept a mistress in flagrante in the Vatican rooms and saw to it that his illegitimate offspring were comfortably set up in the Vatican hierarchy.

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 06:57:00 UTC | #271135

Go to: Does Religion Make You Nice?

Pope Joan's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Pope Joan

Comment #280533 by PeterMcKellar on November 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Pope Joan - it must also be mentioned that those indulgences were only granted to crusaders that also donated all their worldly goods to the church in order to pursue the good fight on gods side. This was a reason that the templars grew so strong (note: I may be wrong on that particular 1095 crusade but it certainly applied to at least one).

It’s true that in subsequent crusades, whole families indentured, along with their fortunes, to the cause for the assurance of salvation, but not the first. The Templars were formed right after the crusade which liberated Jerusalem in 1096 to ride shotgun for pilgrims visiting the holy city. And there was a great deal of money in that. They also did mercenary work and were keen on investing their wealth. The church didn’t officially endorse the order until thirty-some years later. Under papal decree, they were exempt from civil laws, had an on-going indulgence from sin and essentially could do whatever they wanted, subject only to the Pope. Ultimately, it was their money and power that brought them down (too much of both). In 1307, Clement V, under pressure from King Phillip of France who was in debt to the Knights, condemned the French arm of the order for heresy, necromancy and all manner of sexual perversions. Many were burned at the stake. Some twenty years later, the Templars were totally disbanded. My guess is that Phillip and Clement made out handsomely on the whole affair.

Just as an addendum, the Catholic Church brought on its own fall from supremacy. In the renaissance papacy in the latter 1400’s, everything, especially indulgences were for sale. One of their main priorities was financing the rebuilding of the cathedral of St. Peter by promising the faithful their loved ones could be let out of purgatory early, with the purchase of an indulgence. In Germany they even had a cute little rhyme:

Place your penny on the drum,
The pearly gates open and in strolls mum.

It was Martin Luther in Germany, taking considerable umbrage of these goings on, who proceeded to inspire a revolt against the papacy and its edicts, and created a schism within Christianity from which they never recovered.

How “nice” is that?

Edit to add header comment

Sat, 08 Nov 2008 08:53:00 UTC | #267051

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