Saturday, March 16, 2013
In a conversation over the phone with my brother, Tom, this facetious question comes up: "What do you think of your new pope?" This is a topic that screamed for a rant though I never thought it would be a topic of a blog, I will try not to drone on (maybe that will be a topic someday). I still want to do a Spring thing, but for now habemus papam.
What I think is preliminary, verdict still out.
Let me begin by saying I was totally amazed that the media made this a # 1 lead story for days. The adage if it bleeds it leads was not followed unless you consider the juicy scandals and intrigue behind the Vatican doors of homosexual priests, abuse of their bank (What is a church doing with a bank? Let's hope the funds will be used for more things than keeping the princes of the church in their rich life styles and if cardinals are the princes does that make the pope the king?), pedophilia...are we talking about a church? I think with 2.1 billion followers, members it might explain media coverage: I wonder if they count me and a lot of other folk because as they say: once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. If your off the juice you are still an alcoholic though now you are recovering. You must find the humor: Argentina, Francis's home country is 90% Catholic though only 10% go to mass or as you would say are"practicing" kinda like doctors and lawyers.
As you know I am a recovering Catholic. I have tried to overcome the brain-washing and imprinting from the womb. I have tried to retain some of the bottom line Christianity which Catholicism has like Jesus's main tenet: love your neighbor as yourself. Is it weird that they say I am a Catholic first before they say I am a Christian. That I follow the pope not Jesus. I found it so interesting that all of the cardinals and church hierarchy wanted a pope that would keep and enforce the rulings and dogma of the church and keep the strict rules in place and the money. All that I wanted was a pope like pope John Paul the XXIII. A pope that would call the Third Vatican Council, that would embrace all men and women, a person who would not be a pharisee, or a money changer, or a theologian arguing how many angels could fit on the head of a pin.
Maybe Francis fooled the cardinal choosers. I feel there is hope that things will change in the church. I love to use words like mendacity, hypocrisy, two faced, exploitation. I hope he abandons these practices of the Church. Makes these words of the past. I hope the new words are: liberation theology, humility, practiced poverty, the truth of Catholics and contraception, condoms to prevent the spread of aids,ooh masturbation, pedophilia, married priests, women priests, other faiths, Jews, homosexuality, distributions of wealth, the truth, what would Jesus do.
Many orders like the Jesuits take the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and Jesuits take a fourth vow: obedience to the pope (I wonder how that will work since Francis is a Jesuit). When I was a novice at a Jesuit novitiate, I was astounded that the only vow that was followed was "obedience, brother," as father Master would say. It meant blind obedience or as one of the spiritual exercises meditations (brain washing?) a Jesuit was to follow if you were told to water a dead stick (plant) you were to do it. Orders can get around the poverty by saying poverty in spirit as the feasts were overflowing with with wine--almost bacchanalian feasts of excess. No worry about anything material brother, you don't have to worry the car is always full of gas and you will be invited to the richest peoples house--does this sound like poverty. Need I say more. I can't even talk about chastity as that has become a joke. I remember the friend I had at the Novitiate. There we were; outside on the light-less Sheridan hillside, a Jesuit Novitiate (now a Scientologist bastion), watching the Perseid meteor showers when a hand moves to my side and I have to push it away and say I don't want to be that kind of friend. He later left the Jesuits and became a priest and stepped in front of a bus in San Francisco because he was facing allegations of pedophilia. Many of his "friends" are Jesuits today. That is not to say all priests are molesters, or do not keep their vows. I see the new pope is used to taking the bus and picked up his own luggage and paid his own hotel bill, and said the palatial apartments that are his now do not need redecorating--maybe there will be an intensive house cleaning not just of his kingly trappings but of the entire Church.
There are allegations of his not actively opposing the dictatorship in his home country. We have all sinned. If he was passive, I believe he now admits he should have done more and he has adopted the name of Francis of Assissi. The first pope in thousands of years that takes a name that no one else has ever chosen that symbolizes peace and love of poverty. I wonder how this will work out.
For me, I hope all of those words I mentioned come to the fore, and that the main phrase,"What would Jesus do?" is Francis's mantra. Who knows how this will all play out. There is hope.
And now a poem about a priest that taught sophomores that were not Alaskan meek lambs. One of the priests that bankrupted the Jesuit Oregon Province( They kept a lot of properties like multi-millions Jesuit High etc. through lawyers slight of hand) which is an area of the west that goes north
to Alaska and east to the Indian reservations that were a pedophilia place for plunder. I wonder how many more monsters Jesuit High School harbored that taught us. Most of the records are sealed but Father Poole made the Oregonian headlines. As you will see we did not go to the slaughter at least I know of no classmates that did. I vaguely remember a picture of this smiling monster at a dinner with my lovely little sister, Lisa, on his lap. How lovely acts of normalcy and natural affection come into doubt. His mendacious religion rants to us were always, "Take it down to the principle." This bald-faced chameleon ate at our home and we didn't know that the Jesuits were hiding a monster but they knew. Shame on the Church and this is a word, pedophilia, that is no longer hidden from us.
Father Cess Poole
Some bad priests molest the weakest lambs
I know the devil is flesh
I have seen his bloody tracks
Black magic is flesh incarnate
Wheedles his way inside
Talks in holy smack
Beelzebub uses a sneak attack
Invites you into an exclusive clubbing
I saw his chameleon face
Preaching to the human race
The façade they call go(l)d
It reeks green dollar bill mold
Talks earnest righteous and boldly lies
Sophomores see through fake and fable
He would invite us to the altar table
Eat the flesh drink of the blood
Repeat answer chant the rant
Take it down to the principle you say
The principle knew who you were too
Cover your eyes be the monkey
Abetting this sick molester junky
We did not want to share your heroin habit
Oh father cess Poole we knew
That you were only fooling not us or God
But some helpless lamb led to your slaughter
That was your only go(a)d