Pope Francis and his enemies.
November 4, 2017 6:37 AM   Subscribe

The War Against Pope Francis.
With more than a billion followers, the Catholic church is the largest global organisation the world has ever seen, and many of its followers are divorced, or unmarried parents. To carry out its work all over the world, it depends on voluntary labour. If the ordinary worshippers stop believing in what they are doing, the whole thing collapses. Francis knows this. If he cannot reconcile theory and practice, the church might be emptied out everywhere. His opponents also believe the church faces a crisis, but their prescription is the opposite. For them, the gap between theory and practice is exactly what gives the church worth and meaning. If all the church offers people is something they can manage without, Francis’s opponents believe, then it will surely collapse.
Oh, and did you know that Steve Bannon is trying to take over the Church too? (Single link, longread Guardian.)
posted by Melismata (52 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
All's I know is I work at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (I am not Catholic, btw), and Cincinnati's Catholics tend to be conservative (w/r/t Catholicism). Pope Francis is broadly and vocally adored at the AOC and our Archbishop regularly reiterates what Francis says. Pope Francis has caused the return of many, many Catholics to the fold and the old men who don't like him need to get out of the way.
posted by cooker girl at 7:09 AM on November 4, 2017 [56 favorites]


Oh, and did you know that Steve Bannon is trying to take over the Church too?

Blame my light read or my heathenness, but this wasn’t the impression I got from those sections. I assume it’s an exaggeration for effect (hell, it got me reading it), but it mostly seems like he’s throwing his lot in with the reactionaries/introverts like Burke, same as Douthat, and even then (maybe reading too much into it) mostly only to prop up his islamophobic and fiscally conservative (i.e. not religiously conservative) views. Did I miss something? (Sincere question)
posted by supercres at 7:17 AM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


(Piece by MetaFilter's Own alloneword)
posted by Devonian at 7:18 AM on November 4, 2017 [9 favorites]


Sometimes a top-down hierarchy is a good thing. You come at the Jesuits, you best not miss.

The irony is that Francis offers the best chance for the Church to maintain its influence going forward. A backwards-looking, more conservative Church is a recipe for a marginalized, shrinking, less influential Church.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:34 AM on November 4, 2017 [19 favorites]


So am I making an obvious connection to say the future of the Catholic Church may be linked to the success of current worldwide horrible populist nationalism? But isn't that weird? Or has the Church always been just another (very powerful) country, basically? I seriously need some remedial history.

(I will say I am still on a mildly hopeful note due to recent Mueller events) And may I also say I am continually amazed to see the name Bannon so far and wide. Why is he not more marginalized? (rhetorical, and wrong thread anyway) He is such poison. What an unhappy boy he must have been.

Full disclosure: 8 years of Hebrew school, currently atheist leaning agnostic. Yes I am, I can call myself what I want.
posted by Glinn at 7:55 AM on November 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


There have definitely been times when the Catholic Church operated like a very powerful country — or even a loosely run empire — on the international stage. Those times are pretty definitely past, though.

I think the connection now is less "The Church operates like a nation" and more "Some people with an authoritarian bent find Catholicism and nationalism appealing for similar reasons." (Though with emphasis on the word some — since there are also longstanding anti-authoritarian and anti-nationalist traditions within Catholicism. It's a big. fucking. church, and saying it contains multitudes is drastically understating the case.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:14 AM on November 4, 2017 [10 favorites]


In both Franco's Spain and Pinochet's Chile, the Church collaborated with the regime. Do not count on it as an ally against nationalism when nationalism is ascendant.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:17 AM on November 4, 2017 [39 favorites]


posted by Pope Guilty
Eponysterical!
posted by asterix at 8:19 AM on November 4, 2017 [12 favorites]


Supercres, I don't think you missed anything. The really wasn't room to go into the convolutions of American Catholicism but Bannon is simply trying to recruit the prestige of the papacy into his own project. There's a whole mythology around Lepanto and the siege of Vienna which can be used to justify a war on Muslims.
posted by alloneword at 8:33 AM on November 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


OK finally RTMF. This was satisfying:
Early in the pontificate of John Paul II, the CDF published Donum Veritatis (The Gift of Truth), a document explaining that all Catholics must practise “submission of the will and intellect” to what the pope teaches, even when it is not infallible; and that theologians, while they may disagree and make their disagreement known to superiors, must never do so in public. This was used as a threat, and occasionally a weapon, against anyone suspected of liberal dissent. Francis, however, has turned these powers against those who had been their most enthusiastic advocates. Catholic priests, bishops and even cardinals all serve at the pleasure of the pope, and can at any moment be sacked. The conservatives were to learn all about this under Francis, who has sacked at least three theologians from the CDF. Jesuits demand discipline.
Oh! And this (NOT satisfying, but edifying/horrifying/sorry if I'm late to the party):
Burke, a bulky American given to lace-embroidered robes and (on formal occasions) a ceremonial scarlet cape so long it needs pageboys to carry its trailing end, was one of the most conspicuous reactionaries in the Vatican. In manner and in doctrine, he represents a long tradition of heavyweight American power brokers of white ethnic Catholicism. The hieratic, patriarchal and embattled church of the Latin Mass is his ideal, to which it seemed that the church under John Paul II and Benedict was slowly returning – until Francis started work.

Cardinal Burke’s combination of anti-communism, ethnic pride and hatred of feminism has nurtured a succession of prominent rightwing lay figures in the US, from Pat Buchanan through Bill O’Reilly and Steve Bannon, alongside lesser-known Catholic intellectuals such as Michael Novak, who have shilled untiringly for US wars in the Middle East and the Republican understanding of free markets.

It was Cardinal Burke who invited Bannon, then already the animating spirit of Breitbart News, to address a conference in the Vatican, via video link from California, in 2014. Bannon’s speech was apocalyptic, incoherent and historically eccentric. But there was no mistaking the urgency of his summons to a holy war: the second world war, he said, had really been “the Judeo-Christian west versus atheists”, and now civilisation was “at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism … a very brutal and bloody conflict … that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years … if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not … fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting.”
So, like. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A TERRIBLE B MOVIE. My Mueller-high has faded somewhat.
(p.s. it's very long, go read it. I didn't quote half or even a quarter!)
posted by Glinn at 8:33 AM on November 4, 2017 [6 favorites]


The irony is that Francis offers the best chance for the Church to maintain its influence going forward. A backwards-looking, more conservative Church is a recipe for a marginalized, shrinking, less influential Church.

On the 500 year celebration of the greatest schism relating to exactly that, no less.

The church has the problem that things that are responsive are unstable and things that are stable are unresponsive. We saw this play out with the priest/pedo scandal that drove me from the church. I was atheist long before that, but catholic culture is a thing* and in many states, an under-represented thing.

It's no suprise that Bannon is anti-catholic. Who know who else was ? Nathan Bedford Forrest - founder of the KKK - an organization that was as virulently anti-catholic as it was anti-semitic.

* I used to attend church because my beloved grandmother wanted me to. I miss her and would love to attend so that I could spend some time with her memory. Pope Francis may yet make that possible
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2017 [6 favorites]


Melismata: "With more than a billion followers, the Catholic church is the largest global organisation the world has ever seen"

Facebook has 2 billion users...
posted by chavenet at 8:49 AM on November 4, 2017 [12 favorites]


Bannon is not so much anti-Catholic. Actually, he's a practicing Catholic. He's just anti Pope Francis (and friends with the Pope's critics within the church), and against the Catholic church's support of immigrants. He seems to be blind to the whole 'helping the poor and people in need' thing the Church has been practicing since the beginning.
posted by eye of newt at 8:58 AM on November 4, 2017 [7 favorites]


Along with three other cardinals, two of whom have since died, Burke produced a list of four questions designed to establish whether or not Amoris Laetitia contravened previous teaching.

So it becomes clearer whose side God is on...
posted by chavenet at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2017 [8 favorites]


Relevent
posted by adamvasco at 9:11 AM on November 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Burke's been slapped pretty hard by the Vatican, and is only now slightly being rehabilitated (e.g. being brought back into Signatura as advisor).

All Francis needs to do is keep living and naming Cardinals.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:13 AM on November 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


For them, the gap between theory and practice is exactly what gives the church worth and meaning. If all the church offers people is something they can manage without, Francis’s opponents believe, then it will surely collapse.

I'm thinking the church might still have a couple moral ideals folks can strive for even if they let divorced people get married again.
posted by straight at 9:26 AM on November 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


In the words of my 137 year old high school Latin teacher/Jesuit priest:

“The problem with Catholics nowadays is they think they can just pick and choose what to believe in!”

The seeds of my rejection of the church’s orthodoxy were sowed that day and bore full fruit when I married and had kids with a Hindu. My own personal moral framework was formed solidly by the jesuits — social justice, love one another, community, service to others (ie the real “eternal truths” found in the New Testament, not divorce and contraception and the other nonsense conservative Catholics are on about) — but the church wants mind control. Control over who you love, what art and music you appreciate, what kind of job you do, what you do with your money, and what wars you fight. Even at 16, I knew I was going to make ugly punk music, travel to as many places as I could, and fuck as many people as I could and the very last person who would judge me was an elderly celibate conservative white guy.

Of course I like what I know of this pope. Possibly because of him, possibly just for shits and giggles, I went to mass for the first time in like a decade when my parents and uncle visited a couple weeks ago. The priest was a friendly, charming young Irish fellow who gave a pretty thoughtful sermon meditating on the “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (ie god doesn’t want your money you fool) gospel. He finished mass by talking about some various community outreach activities that were going on in the parish that week. The whole thing was pretty inoffensive and welcoming. In the congregation were my neighbors, even coworkers, families, the elderly, and the lonely. And I thought, this is lovely, this is a community I’d consider being a part of.

Dear old white guy church fascists, there are hundreds of millions of us that you drove away with your hatred of women, your millennia of enslaving brown people, and your tolerance of pedophilia who are feeling a pull back towards a church that is getting woke. I don’t really care if the church survives or not, but it’s amazing to me that the old guard would rather a 2000 year old institution involute and die than let a boy kiss a boy or let a lady stand on an altar or punish a child molester.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2017 [49 favorites]


Yes, it is telling that the conservatives never, ever discuss the gap between theory and practice around grace and mercy.

Just sex. So long as people understand they're having the wrong sort of sex and that they should want not to, the rest will take care of itself, I guess.
posted by PMdixon at 10:03 AM on November 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


I like to think too conservative Catholicism would cripple the church, but we thought that about the GOP. And the church just needs donors and to not lose members, not win elections.
posted by ikea_femme at 10:21 AM on November 4, 2017


My wife teaches at a very progressive Catholic University and at one of the welcome dinners for new faculty I ended up sitting next to a new Divinity Studies hire. I made an offhand remark about how Catholics are now the liberal ones in the American Christian landscape.

It did not go over well.

It turned out I was sitting next to one of these new Evangelical-Catholic hybrids and my little old French Canadian Catholic-cultured but atheistic self was pretty much the devil.

I enjoyed the rest of the dinner and the company of the other dinner companions at the long table but he just seethed the whole time.

When a Catholic doesn't enjoy a nice free meal and drinks at an Italian restaurant, even if they sitting with devil incarnate, you know that the nature of American Catholicism is changing.
posted by srboisvert at 10:29 AM on November 4, 2017 [32 favorites]


Like, I'm pretty sure they still let people take communion if they own more than one coat.
posted by straight at 10:40 AM on November 4, 2017 [6 favorites]


Look, as long as the Catholic Church treats women as second-class citizens (they can never be priests or have any say in the hierarchy or governance of the religion), it will be a force for evil in the world. To say nothing of the child molesters who are defended and protected (and the defenders and protectors who are running things).

I grew up Catholic, and it is an institution built to groom people to be abused. I was only verbally and emotionally abused by the Church: I was one of the lucky ones, and I got out. But it's built to keep you from making friends with non-Catholics, to keep you from perspectives from outside (or to continually frame those perspectives to keep Catholicism primary). Even Jesuits and Marianists, who are open to intellectual liberalism, are cultlike in their institutional focus.

The result is theology and practice that is anti-woman, anti-child, anti-sex, anti-LGBTQ and reinforces the self-hating, sexually deranged priesthood that the whole thing is built up on.

You may dismiss (or delete) this comment as anti-Catholic prejudice, but it comes from years of study and lived experience of the Catholic Church. Certainly not all Catholics intellectually support the institutional behavior (the way not all Americans support the institutional racism our country is built on), but unlike nationality, religion has an open door to leave. There's very little reason to put up with this bullshit except family and peer pressure (and I guess believing that only the teaching of my institution are right among all those in the world). Women, please leave this religion. There are others that will have what you like about Catholicism that actually believe you are equal human beings!
posted by rikschell at 10:45 AM on November 4, 2017 [19 favorites]


I almost ended up Catholic.

My dad was Catholic, but he'd been divorced before he married my mom. And as my mother tells it, the local parish priest came around not too long after I was born and told them that they were living in sin and bound for hell, nothing to do about it. But he certainly hoped that the boy would be raised in the church.

Apparently he was invited to fuck right off, and I'm not sure if it was deliberate or just a matter of there not being time once my father died and my mom was a widowed single mom with a child to raise, but she more or less completely neglected to provide me with any religious education at all. For which I am eternally grateful.
posted by Naberius at 10:53 AM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Okay, that's not entirely true. I did end up in an Episcopal High School, where the infamous dual-consecration took place. But that was for the quality of the education, not for the religious instruction, and it was far too late for that to take by then. I contrived to play The Stranglers in chapel once. And we're talking early, punk Stranglers, not what they would later become.
posted by Naberius at 11:03 AM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: In both Franco's Spain and Pinochet's Chile, the Church collaborated with the regime. Do not count on it as an ally against nationalism when nationalism is ascendant.

Don't forget about Argentina, not to talk about every Catholic absolute monarchy ever.
posted by sukeban at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


This article is a useful summary of a lot of inside baseball; thank you to allloneword.

My own experience with the Catholic church has left me with the understanding that I am more grateful for mercy beside me than for mystery turning its back on me from afar.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:30 PM on November 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


Facebook has 2 billion users.
How hard is this figure, I wonder. How many are actual humans.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:32 PM on November 4, 2017 [7 favorites]


I unknowingly walked away from the church in 1994 over homosexuals being challenged on whether they could serve on the State Council for Catholic Youth. On of my successors was a devout but openly out kid, and the struggle and fight for the future of the church with people who I felt had compassion, forgiveness and an understanding of the youth seemed to loose it. I specifically remember asking which side of history / which side of right and wrong they wanted to be remembered on.

And then... and then I didn't set foot inside a church until my sister's wedding and then only again once while visiting my parents, and then when my grandfather and father died. I have defended certain tenants of Catholicism, but for the most part I've walked away. Francis, has made me pause, have a few moments to cheer... and I can see a clear path of progressiveness that I wished the church would have adopted sooner. PJPII had the option of being much better than he was.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:19 PM on November 4, 2017


Pope Guilty: In both Franco's Spain and Pinochet's Chile, the Church collaborated with the regime. Do not count on it as an ally against nationalism when nationalism is ascendant.

Well, in the Chilean case the relationship between the church and the regime was quite a bit more complicated than that. I imagine the Spanish and Argentinian cases are similar.
posted by fmoralesc at 2:28 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Don't forget about Argentina, not to talk about every Catholic absolute monarchy ever.

Also, Poland these days is looking rather ominous. Not to mention Hungary, i.e., “here's one we prepared earlier”.

And one could probably include Ireland throughout much of the 20th century. (The reason Ireland doesn't have socialised healthcare was that, when it was debated in the early 1950s, the all-powerful Church denounced it as “communism”, and back then, what the church said, went.)
posted by acb at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2017 [2 favorites]




The central dispute is between Catholics who believe that the church should set the agenda for the world, and those who think the world must set the agenda for the church.

Got it in one. A force that thinks they're the natural authority to be obeyed without questions versus a leader who wants everyone, himself included, to be humble and receptive. That's an impasse that won't be bridged.
posted by delfin at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Sounds like it's between the old and new testaments.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:25 PM on November 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


"The head of the Roman Catholic Church has been accused of aiding the spread of heresy. A petition criticising the ambiguity of Pope Francis' statements on the treatment of people who have divorced and remarried is the latest twist in a fierce debate which is dividing Roman Catholics."

Better knows as:
Italian papers are covering this with much more accurate headlines: "Banker Ettore Tedeschi and 61 other people accuse the pope of heresy..."

(Basically he's pissed he got fired for negligence and can no longer launder money through the Vatican Bank, and found 61 useful idiots to sign his letter.)
Nobody should pay this any attention. None of these people hold any important roles -- hierarchical or theological -- and they're all just putzes who dislike Francis who Ettore the organized crime/mafia money launderer convinced to sign his thingie.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2017 [15 favorites]


This is shaping up to cover the broad strokes for Season 2 of The Young Pope.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


For those interested in a look at the corruption scandals of the Church that this Pope inherited, check out Secrets of the Vatican. Now with even more gay orgies.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:20 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


The best thing the Catholic Church had going for it for centuries was that it would provide education and medical care to anyone: man or woman, rich or poor, bad or good family name and would not enslave them (technically anyway) and generally most local clergy influenced the local rich and powerful towards charity, mercy and progressiveness in terms of their subjects. It was never popular to convert because they espoused Godly perfection, it was popular because they didn't believe in human sacrifice or multiple wives and would teach your kids to read for fee. tl;dr: Francis is not an idiot, the rest of them are.

Also Ireland absolutely does have public health care- not sure where that came from? It's considered a human right there as far as I know. The Irish Church did hate the Commies though, that is true.
posted by fshgrl at 9:24 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


The podcast referenced by Harpocrates is pretty good, especially the conservative (convert, of course) they found, who had the fundie trick of using Magic Phrases (in his case "objective reality") the way my mother uses a walking frame, putting them forward at every step of the argument.
posted by alloneword at 1:00 AM on November 5, 2017


Brief history of healthcare in Ireland It’s a bit complicated.
posted by Segundus at 1:13 AM on November 5, 2017


Yeah, I'm Irish, from Dublin. It's a bit complicated but it's not "let them die in the streets" like the US and never was.

But feel free to live in England and tell me how Ireland works. Irish people enjoy that.
posted by fshgrl at 1:41 AM on November 5, 2017 [14 favorites]


Eh...this article makes some good points, but also some bad ones. Like I don’t know where he’s getting the idea that divorced and remarried Catholics are just ignoring that fact in church. I haven’t been a full part of the church for ten years on account of it, despite sending my kid to Catholic school. It would be better if I was, but priests are not just ignoring that aspect.

The thing that’s hard is - honestly I kind of appreciate how seriously the Church takes marriage. I wish I had taken it that seriously when I got into it. Like, they want you to take about six months of pre-marriage prep to be totally sure you are ready for marriage, including talking in advance about hard stuff like child rearing and finances. It’s honestly a great idea - and if you get married without all that, you can usually get an annulment on the grounds you didn’t get permission to get married from the church.

But at the same time, that kind of thing - the whole enveloping Catholic life - really only works when you have hundreds of thousands of priests all over the world who can do all the little things required. Fewer young men are joining the priesthood. And unlike Protestants, the church can’t actually work well with more than a scant fraction of married priests - because then they need to actually pay them in a way they can’t survive while doing.

So in a world with many more priests, you could probably get a swift annulment and get reintegrated into the church better - but that world isn’t the one we live in. So do you use the best practices you don’t have the manpower for, or do you use the less good practices you do? It’s not really an easy question.
posted by corb at 1:44 AM on November 5, 2017 [4 favorites]


corb, I get the idea from what I am consistently told by priests in the UK. It may well be different in parts of the US, or, for that matter, in Ireland.

But it wouldn't be such a problem if it were not going on already.
posted by alloneword at 3:14 AM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Your point about the priest shortage is of course very good and important. It is the backdrop against which all this is going on. So is the stuff about marriage preparation. The point is that that the Church is trying to make marriages that will last.
posted by alloneword at 3:17 AM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


The thing that’s hard is - honestly I kind of appreciate how seriously the Church takes marriage. I wish I had taken it that seriously when I got into it. Like, they want you to take about six months of pre-marriage prep to be totally sure you are ready for marriage, including talking in advance about hard stuff like child rearing and finances. It’s honestly a great idea - and if you get married without all that, you can usually get an annulment on the grounds you didn’t get permission to get married from the church.

Living in sin with my wife for a couple of years got me all that and more. We had the child discussion, we actually figured out how we’d deal with finances by living with it rather than only discussing it in theory and we even figured out how sexually compatible we are, which I think the church frowns upon. I mean I get that the church thinks it’s for procreation only by I still couldn’t imagine being sentenced to a lifetime of bad sex if I chose my partner wrong.
posted by mikesch at 7:27 AM on November 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


But at the same time, that kind of thing - the whole enveloping Catholic life - really only works when you have hundreds of thousands of priests all over the world who can do all the little things required. Fewer young men are joining the priesthood.

Has the Catholic church explored automating any of the pastoral duties or roles of the priesthood in any way? I know it sounds like a goofy joke (“An app as a priest! Make confession through a secure messaging link!”), though in the current age, all sorts of service and intermediary jobs are being automated, from supermarket checkouts to middle management to first-line medical care, and for the Catholic Church to hold fast against this and insist on doing things the old, labour-intensive way will only work if they have a way of recruiting sufficient labour (which does not look to be the case). If they have fewer priests, with each responsible for more parishioners and churches, they could perhaps have technology fill some of the gaps.
posted by acb at 9:16 AM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Has the Catholic church explored automating any of the pastoral duties or roles of the priesthood in any way?

New online confessional: Post-PriestSecret.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Bee'sWing: "Facebook has 2 billion users.
How hard is this figure, I wonder. How many are actual humans.
"

You can ask the same questions about the Church!
posted by chavenet at 7:34 AM on November 6, 2017


Giood News From The Vatican
posted by Devonian at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2017


Giood News From The Vatican

Eh, the treads may be dancing madly underneath, but the robes must never be seen to move.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:50 AM on November 6, 2017


I should add that the intersection between AI and theology is a rich field that deserves much more attention from both sides, and not just because of SF's obsession with shaggy god stories ((c) Brian Aldiss). Much like the wub-fur book binding that edited Lucretius, there will be machines that have opinions about religion - we already do textual analysis of religious tracts by computer, and AI will get into the act (and into Acts) in due course.

I dare say that some religions will not see this as a threat and will absorb the consequences - Roman Catholicism has largely made its peace with science, over time. The fundies with either deny (as with evolution) or ignore (as with quantum physics) stuff that doesn't fit in with their world view, regardless of logic or evidence. Others may be more vocal and kinetic in their opposition, But it will happen that the machines will dabble in divinity.

Roman Catholicism's ability to reform itself in this way is a sign, I think, that the conservative/introvert view that the church has to be a rock which the storms of culture may break against but not erode is not backed by history. It's never an easy process, nor is it painless, nor swift. Like science, ideas last longer than generations; the fact that there are battles shows the process at work. Episcopalianism has hung together, such as it has, by making it really quite hard to be heretical; it lacks the ability to exercise discipline and thus instinctively veers away from situations where it might have to; it is a mutant Catholicism that occupies a subtly different niche. Roman Catholicism has the ability to set a new course, even if it knows that it will test its structural integrity -it is more tortoise than amoeba.
posted by Devonian at 8:49 AM on November 6, 2017


And some will try to build God themselves; i.e., the transhumanists. It's not inconceivable that, in the US, some sect of Protestant Christianity becomes infected with Transhumanism and fuses the two, or some transhumanist sets his eyes on political office and hastily renames Roko's Basilisk to “Our Father” and the uploaded AI paperclip nanobot hive minds to “the Kingdom of God” or something.
posted by acb at 6:49 AM on November 9, 2017


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