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A pilgrim's POV of the UK Papal Visit
September 6, 2010 7:39 AM   Subscribe

"Claz Gomez" is reporting live from the 2010 Papal Visit to the UK. Claz is using a variety of Internet media to provide her personal point of view from the ground, covering events running up to, during and presumably after the visit (official site) which takes place 16th - 19th September.

You may think it's great the Pope is coming to the UK, or be totally set against the (State) Visit.

But this will be one of the most media-covered Papal events in history (I assume) and here is one way to follow it in unprecedented detail.

Orthodox Catholic bloggers in the U.S. like Mark Shea havve been following the unfolding clerical abuse scandals, and attempting to channel reasoned debate since the earlier 2000s. Now it's the turn of the UK Catholic blogosphere.

I can't make the Visit itself but I'll be keenly following all of the above in the virtual sphere.
posted by KMH (37 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Possibly Tony Blair could be placed in a trebuchet and fired at the pope?
posted by Artw at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Where did the info on Claz "gomez" come from (not Coms? I'm so confused...)

meanwhile, my brain seems to want to file the Pope meeting the Queen in the same bin as the Daffy and Donald duet/bar fight
posted by victors at 8:53 AM on September 6, 2010


Possibly Tony Blair could be placed in a trebuchet and fired at the pope?

Put them both in the Ultimate Big Brother house, lock the doors and turn off the cameras.
posted by afx237vi at 8:57 AM on September 6, 2010


What does the Pope use to pay for his eBay purchases?
Papal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:18 AM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


What does the Pope use to pay for his eBay purchases?
Dispensation.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2010


It's always nice to see us pay to invite someone responsible for actively fighting to remove family planning rights, who refuses an exemption to religious dogma to help tens of millions of people have a chance at an AIDS free existence, who has a history of either ignoring or covering up child abuse in the church whilst even now not requiring the reporting of abuses to civil authority, who resisted the Nazis to such a low level that he joined the Hitler Youth then actively fought for the Germans during WWII, and who has a currently has absolute rule over an organisation heavily lobbying to deny both women and homosexuals equal rights and that shut down charities in the UK rather than have to deal with same-sex couples on an equal footing. It's inspiring.

Maybe next we can move on to inviting the leadership of the Lord's Resistance Army, I hear they are both spiritually important to some and very misunderstood.
posted by jaduncan at 10:31 AM on September 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's always nice to see us pay to invite someone responsible for actively fighting to remove family planning rights, who refuses an exemption to religious dogma to help tens of millions of people have a chance at an AIDS free existence, who has a history of either ignoring or covering up child abuse in the church whilst even now not requiring the reporting of abuses to civil authority, who resisted the Nazis to such a low level that he joined the Hitler Youth then actively fought for the Germans during WWII, and who has a currently has absolute rule over an organisation heavily lobbying to deny both women and homosexuals equal rights and that shut down charities in the UK rather than have to deal with same-sex couples on an equal footing. It's inspiring.

Quoted just cuz I like reading it laid out so well.
posted by nevercalm at 10:42 AM on September 6, 2010


I hope Claz remembers to pack a Pope Compatible Picnic!

It's easy to make jokes. But the Pope has protected men who raped children. His staff have protected men who raped children. His predecessor protected men who raped children. It's fascinating to see how this can be politely ignored.

He is not a nice person, but I suppose the UK has a long history of welcoming unpleasant people on state visits. If more voters or investors liked the LRA then I'm sure they'd be over here opening supermarkets.

(This great speech from Stephen Fry is a little old but still relevant)
posted by BinaryApe at 11:09 AM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"But the Pope has protected men who raped children. "

Surely you'll be able to name them then?
posted by Jahaza at 11:22 AM on September 6, 2010


Name who, the rapists? It's a matter of public record. Or at least the tip of the iceberg. Who knows how many others will never see the light of day.

Who's there to name?
posted by blucevalo at 11:29 AM on September 6, 2010


Surely you'll be able to name them then?

seriously? meanwhile database of priests accused of rape
posted by victors at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


>Surely you'll be able to name them then?

seriously? meanwhile database of priests accused of rape


Fantastic!
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2010


Artw said:

Possibly Tony Blair could be placed in a trebuchet and fired at the pope?

Great suggestion.

Reminds me of the following quote commonly attributed to Denis Diderot:

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

The actual quote from "Les Éleuthéromanes" in Poésies Diverses (1875) went as follows:

Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre,
Au défaut d’un cordon pour étrangler les rois.


Translation:

And his hands would plait the priest's entrails,
For want of a rope, to strangle kings.


Variant Translation:

His hands would plait the priest’s guts,
if he had no rope, to strangle kings.


In Cours de Littérature Ancienne et Moderne (1840), Jean-François de La Harpe attributed the following to Diderot:

Et des boyaux du dernier prêtre
Serrons le cou du dernier roi.


Translation:

Let us strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest.

Which eventually evolved into the first quote. Again:

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Organized religion and the ruling class are a plague upon mankind. They rob humanity of personal freedom and responsibility. They violate our most basic human rights: to live how we want to live, to die how we want to die and to choose what we put into our bodies.

It's a sick joke that brutal rules created in and *for* primitive times are still considered relevant in a civilized society. It's a tragedy that these cruel and discriminatory rules, outdated for centuries, are still used as a basis for modern law and government.

Entrails or trebuchet, using one plague to wipe out the other is a good thing.

Personal preference: trebuchet, for the sheer entertainment value.
posted by stringbean at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2010


who resisted the Nazis to such a low level that he joined the Hitler Youth then actively fought for the Germans during WWII,

Who was conscripted aged 14, the same as every other German boy. If you want to argue his record as an adult, fair enough. But picking on him for, essentially, being born in the wrong place at the wrong time? Seems like a fairly weak criticism. I doubt many people reading this would have been bad-ass enough to resist the Nazis, aged 14.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I doubt many people reading this would have been bad-ass enough to resist the Nazis, aged 14

ok, well, there are plenty of examples of folks within my sphere, who are alive to tell the tale, because of others who spent that particular time hiding fugitives at extreme peril without ever wearing a brown shirt. Choice to conform is a choice, even at 14, even under Nazi regime.

Besides, if your point is that, hey, he's just like everybody else, then you've argued his critics' position rather well.
posted by victors at 1:19 PM on September 6, 2010


I doubt many people reading this would have been bad-ass enough to resist the Nazis, aged 14.

It's hard to have exact statistics, but anywhere between 10%-20% of German youth managed to avoid signing up for the HJ. And it's a flat out lie, if anyone were to claim that there was no resistance from the youth - HJ was opposed, and very bravely by young people - Edelweiss Pirates Hitler Youth:

"Thousands of young people declined to take part in the activities of the Hitler Youth and instead formed groups and gangs hostile to the Nazis. [1.3]

From 1938, until the destruction of the Nazi state, the authorities (especially the Hitler Youth, the police and the Gestapo) became increasingly concerned about the attitudes and activities of 'gangs of working class youths who were collectively known as ' Edelweiss Pirates. [1.4]

The activities of these groups encompassed a whole range of resistance to the regime (absenteeism from work and school, graffiti, illegal leaflets, arguing with authority figures, industrial sabotage and physical violence). [1.5] One Edelweiss slogan was 'Eternal war on the Hitler Youth'. [1.6]

Attacking Hitler Youth hiking and camping groups in the countryside end Hitler Youth patrols and Nazi dignitaries in the towns and cities was a favored activity of Edelweiss Pirate groups. [1.7]

The activities of many young people were so problematic for the Nazis that the Reich youth leadership were driven to declare 'The formation of cliques, i.e. groupings of young people outside the Hitler Youth, was on the increase a few years before the war, and has particularly increased during the war, to such a degree that a serious risk of the political, moral and criminal breakdown of youth must be said to exist. [1.8]

Although most Pirates had no explicit political doctrine, their everyday experience of encounters with National Socialist authority and regimented work and leisure led them into conflict with the Nazis and into anti-Nazi activity. [1.9] The Pirates relied on informal structures of communication for support and 'developed a remarkable knack for rewriting the hit songs inserting new lines. [1.10]

In the working class districts such as Leipzig, youth gangs emerged in the former red strongholds that, while broadly similar to the Edelweiss Pirates, had a more politicized class identity and drew on the communist and socialist traditions of their neighborhoods. [1.11]

As the Allies destroyed more and more sports and youth facilities, and as additional youth were conscripted into the German Army, groups sprang up like the Edelweiss Pirates, Swing Youth, White Rose, and Jazz Youth. [1.12] The Edelweiss Pirates and White Rose damaged Nazi property, destroyed supply trains destined to soldiers, and sometimes fought pitched battles with the Hitler Youth. [1.13]

They also distributed anti-war leaflets, desecrated the Nazi flag, and under the cover of darkness scrawled political graffiti on public buildings mocking Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. [1.14] In the morning when German citizens went to work, they would on occasion see the popular slogan 'One People, One State, One Leader' changed to 'One People, One Heap of Rubble. [1.15]"


Many young people lost their lives fighting the HJ, f.ex.:

"In one incident, the Gestapo arrested and publicly hung thirteen Edelweiss Pirates for writing such anti-imperial slogans and for destroying Nazi property. [1.16] They had been educated by the Nazis in Nazi schools, their free time had been regimented by Hitler Youth listening to Nazi propaganda and taking part in officially approved activities and sports. [1.17]

In Essen they were called the Travelling Dudes, in Oberhausen and Dusseldorf the Kittelbach Pirates and in Cologne they were the Navajos. [1.18] On weekends, they would take themselves off into the countryside on hikes and camping trips in a perverse way mirroring the activities initially provided by Hitler Youth. [1.19]

The activities of the Edelweiss Pirates grew bolder as the war progressed. [1.20]

A 1943 Dusseldorf-Grafenberg Nazi Party report to the Gestapo stated There is a suspicion that it is these youths who have been inscribing the walls of the pedestrian subway on the Altebbergstrasse with the slogans "Down with Hitler", "The OKW (Military High Command) is lying", "Medals for Murder", "Down with Nazi Brutality" etc. [1.21] They raided army camps to obtain arms and explosives, made attacks on Nazi figures other than Hitler Youth and took part in partisan activities. [1.22]"


If you read more on this topic you find truly heroic young people, often younger than 14.

I don't hold the HJ episode against the pope, but on the other hand, trying to paint it as just "business as usual" devalues the sacrifice and real moral backbone of thousands upon thousands of young Germans who actually resisted the HJ through direct action, sometimes paying with their lives for it.

And I certainly don't hold that pig to the high standards of Edelweiss Pirates - he's only "god's representative on earth", so we can hardly expect much from that swine - for real heroism, we have to turn to ordinary young Germans, often of working class origin, but actually from all spheres of life. The piglet need not apply, we have no expectation of him - after all, in all his adult life he's merely managed to keep one step ahead of the law as an apparatchik and now head of the biggest pedophile ring in history - the Roman Catholic Church.
posted by VikingSword at 1:31 PM on September 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm willing to say that his actions as a 14 year old, like mine, would hopefully not be used to judge him as an adult. I can't honestly say that I would have been a brave resister in Nazi Germany.

His subsequent career in the Church is plenty to condemn him with, especially the coverup of the priests who raped kids. You really don't need anything else to decide his worth as a human being.
posted by emjaybee at 1:51 PM on September 6, 2010


Victors, points taken, though Wikipedia cites sources saying he didn't attend meetings, and has uncited claims that his father opposed Nazism, and that he deserted when conscripted into the army. That's a long way from being a hero, sure. But it's also a long way from being a Nazi enthusiast, as he was painted in the text I quoted.

Otherwise emjaybee has said anything I want to say.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:05 PM on September 6, 2010


Hey ho. At least we're inflicting Susan Boyle on the rancid bastard.
posted by shinybaum at 3:49 PM on September 6, 2010


I'm willing to say that his actions as a 14 year old, like mine, would hopefully not be used to judge him as an adult. I can't honestly say that I would have been a brave resister in Nazi Germany.

Neither would I, but you or I never rose to become the Supreme Leader of one of the Largest Religions in the World. I can't believe nobody in the Catholic Church hasn't lived up to a higher standard than that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:01 PM on September 6, 2010


I saw the late pope during his 1982 pope-mobile tour at Cardiff City's old ground (Ninian Park - not me pictured feeling the pontifical lurve there). Not much of a gig, to be honest; he never did 'Freebird' despite my repeated requests.
posted by Abiezer at 6:40 PM on September 6, 2010


Other banned items include bicycles, whistles, candles and animals.

Hint: If you're going to roll up a player for this module, vuvzelas aren't on that list, although an experienced DM will watch for stuff like this.

Also, if you're rolling up a level 1 character, be sure to spend a few GP on a well trained guard dog or two, if the local merchants sell them. A dog can easily handle the peasants and village guardsmen (level 2-3 fighters).

Sounds like a cakewalk, but hopefully an good DM will have something better than an evil priest.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2010


I'm willing to say that his actions as a 14 year old, like mine, would hopefully not be used to judge him as an adult. I can't honestly say that I would have been a brave resister in Nazi Germany.

Neither would I, but you or I never rose to become the Supreme Leader of one of the Largest Religions in the World. I can't believe nobody in the Catholic Church hasn't lived up to a higher standard than that.


Totally agreed. I think when it comes to choosing your Supreme Leader and you have any Catholic man in the world to potentially choose from (I know they traditionally pick a Cardinal, but they are not required to do so), narrowing it down to "Not involved with the Nazis, including not involved in the Hitler Youth" is a pretty reasonable place to start. I don't judge Ratzinger as a man for it, but I do judge the Church as a whole for being completely out of touch with the rest of the world in thinking that it's excusable to elect a Pope who had been involved with the Hitler Youth because he was "only 14" at the time. As mentioned, they did not have to pick him. That they chose to do so in light of his personal history was, frankly, a shitty PR move.
posted by sonika at 6:49 AM on September 7, 2010


One time an old German, staying at the inn I operated at the time, told of avoiding the HJ by taking up canoeing on the rivers. He had been a biker, but the HJ were thick on the bike trails, harassing anyone not in an HJ group. The rivers were free! The hobby stuck with him, he was in Wisconsin canoeing the rivers.

That being said, I am puzzled why the Pope would be welcomed on a visit to the United Kingdom. But maybe someone will realize the opportunity presented, and arrest his ass for aiding and abetting criminal sexual conduct, and obstruction of justice. And maybe a lemur will appear by magic, carrying my afternoon cup o' joe.
posted by Goofyy at 6:55 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am puzzled why the Pope would be welcomed on a visit to the United Kingdom

He's technically a head of state. Also there's been a huge increase in our Catholic population recently and Catholicism is now equal to or larger than Anglicanism - in terms of population and attendance - unseen here since the Reformation.

That said we also welcomed Mugabe and don't have a huge migrant population from Zimbabwe, it was revealed last week we did that for trade purposes. Possibly we're expecting new trade agreements with the Vatican. Possibly the Pope is diversifying and protecting paedophiles is the new and exciting economic bubble.
posted by shinybaum at 7:51 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cardinal Walter Kasper, a senior aide to the Pope, has pulled out of the Pontiff's visit to Britain after saying the country resembled a “Third World country” where “aggressive new atheism” is rife.

His secretary, Mgr Oliver Lahl, said the remark was a reference to the diverse, multi-cultural population of Britain, which the Cardinal has visited three times in recent years.

Yeah mate, that makes it better.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on September 15, 2010


Catholic abuse in England and Wales revealed: Channel 4 News has compiled the first map of Catholic abuse detailing some 37 cases across England and Wales where Catholic priests have committed sexual offences against children.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on September 15, 2010


Heh.
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on September 15, 2010


From Protest The Pope, famous objectors include Stephen Fry and Terry Pratchett.

There's all these planned demos and Captain America starts filming down the road from me on Saturday. Tss.
posted by shinybaum at 2:13 PM on September 15, 2010


Pope aligns atheists with nazis.

Nice one, Pope. I guess you'd know.
posted by Artw at 6:36 AM on September 16, 2010


"Down With This Sort of Thing" posters spotted at various Pope demos. Couldn't be more proud - Careful now!
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on September 16, 2010


Banned Pregnant Nun Ad Takes Aim at Pope Benedict
posted by homunculus at 5:55 PM on September 16, 2010


Atheist Nazis? The Pope’s Cheap Atonement
posted by homunculus at 9:03 AM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cheap Atonement? Cheap shot. An article that talks about the views of the Catholic Church on Nazism, but (on the internet) doesn't find room to mention Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich) ... it's not serious.
posted by Jahaza at 1:59 PM on September 26, 2010


Captain America is filming in Manchester? What?
posted by Grangousier at 3:01 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Captain America is filming in Manchester? What?

Yes. And the Pope needs some hobbit feet and much buffer arms if he wants to compete for my attention in future. His protests were a bit depressing.
posted by shinybaum at 6:15 AM on September 27, 2010


Oh, that makes sense then. I thought it might have been crossed over with a Joy Division biopic or something. With Mark E Smith as the Red Skull, perhaps.

Dunno about hobbit feet. His poposity could do with being a little less Gollum-ish.
posted by Grangousier at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2010


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