Friday, 28 June 2013

Why Does This Repulse Me So Much?

"Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) chose a children's hospital 
in Palermo (Buenos Aires) to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the 

Lord's Supper.  There, he washed the feet of 12 sick children."
Right, so I'm likely to get some criticism from someone on this post, but there is something I really need to get off my chest.

It could be baggage left over from my Catholic days, or being a father.

When I saw the picture to the right and read the blog post over at the Archdiocese of Toronto blog I got angry.  Really angry, deep down. I have a really hard time expressing why.

Last Halloween I posted about the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. This is where there are horrible mutations of fetuses and various other horrendous diseases that afflict the innocent for no apparent reason. It points clearly to either an incompetent, feeble, malicious or non-existent God. Pope Francis' God.

In the post I quoted Dan Barker.
All you have to do is walk into any Children's Hospital and you know there is no God.
Well the Pope, who is, as I understand it, God's main conduit here on Earth - Mr. Infallible Himself - visited a children's hospital in March of this year and washed some kids feet and the crowd went absolutely wild. Many of the children may well still die after horrible suffering, but the reporters snapped photo after photo of this humble man in a frock washed the feet of innocent children.

So many reporters, so many germs - so feeble the immune systems of many of these children. You'll notice that the Pope apparently has not a force field capable of stopping infection from entering the nostrils of this poor child due to the this increased risk. I hope the Pope's visit didn't cause more harm than what was intended - well, assuming the whole thing wasn't one big PR stunt.

So June 3rd, the Pope was visited by some children with cancer (see video above). A young girl with cancer read a letter to him where she assured him they were praying for him. She asked him to pray for them and all the sick children in the world.

The Pope responded that Jesus, dead for 2,000 years, gives them all a big hug. He then asks them one last favour.  To pray for HIM!  I mean, if they're not too busy with chemo or other treatments - with the whole cancer thing and all.

Why does the world fawn all over this man?  What about the doctors trying to save the lives of these children? The researchers looking for a cure or new treatments?  The suffering parents who must walk boldly on with brave faces for their children as they watch their babies weaken and sometimes die?

At least Jesus, who is now apparently un-dead, allegedly healed the sick - although I've been told this was only to prove some point or other. Regardless, what is this Pope capable of?  Apparently, he can manifest invisible hugs from an immaterial dead undead guy. How warm and fuzzy. How sad.

Well I guess it's still more warm and fuzzy than his God who apparently sits by while these children die  - for no apparent reason.  But maybe it is his greater closeness to God that allows Pope Francis to keep faith and be satisfied with only being able to provide psychic hugs from beyond.  To say the least of currying the prayers from dying children.

It's really sad on another level too. I mean, these poor kids seem to believe in this, adore him and probably derive a great deal of hope and comfort from this. The fact it's all bullshit makes me want to weep - really, it does.

But, if my son got cancer, was deathly ill and asked me if he was going to see me in heaven when he passes away, I just don't know if I could explain to him that this wouldn't be the case. I think it would be easier if I told him from the get go - that it's a sleep we go into forever. Yes maybe. I don't know.

Anyway, look, I get it. He's humble - he uses public transit and doesn't use his limousine. Maybe he sleeps in the smallest room of his palace. Perhaps he's just a product of his own past.  Maybe he's just typecast to believe in the whole thing. But there is something about this that makes me ill - as a father of a young child. I'm not sure why I find it so repugnant.


  1. As the mother of a 10y/o son, I completely agree with you! It's utterly disgusting that so much risk is taken for something that's only benefits are PR and false hope!

    My son made his own mind up on religion and became an atheist at age 6, here's how I've discussed the whole death subject with him:

  2. GodlessPoutine28 June 2013 at 17:44

    Interesting. My son has autism as well. I'll take a look at your blog. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hmmmm. I see your point, but I also have felt the presence of a Loving...what word to use, spirit? my darkest days as an abused child. I know this presence by the name of the religion practiced in the world in which I grew up. It was a great comfort to me as I lay dying (obviously modern medicine kept that from happening) and I wouldn't want to take that away from any child. If it is just a manifestation of our own brains, or if there is a world beyond our senses that is just as real as this one, though imperceptable to most, those of us who have had this experience found our lives greatly enriched by it.

    Clearly, the god preached by most of Christianity and really any other religion that claims there is a god micromanaging all of life, is cruel and capricious. This presence of Love that I experienced had no hints of either. Let people lucky enough to have this experience express it how they will, because it is a great comfort in troubled times.

    On the other hand, though, I agree that this presence is not confined to a religion, though the reality of such experiences may account for the existence of religion in the world. Still, it may be a product of our brains, and lucky us if that's the case. I don't know. Just my thoughts on the matter. You are certainly justified in and entitled to your feelings about the situation.

  4. GodlessPoutine7 July 2013 at 15:57

    Thanks for your comment, Shadow Spring. I've had similar feelings, but it's been more like "me being part of the universe and everything" sort of things. I wouldn't argue with what you feel, since only you know that. I would question any kind of qualification of these feelings into anything more than feelings. Once you try to project feelings as the agent of some kind of external "spirit" is when you're making a testable truth claim about a shared reality.

  5. The Catholic Church has been losing members for several years. They're unable to recruit enough priests to cover all of their churches. While the Vatican leadership has not changed its catechism or ridiculous rituals (at least not noteworthy) in many hundreds of years; they have come into the modern world regarding marketing, promotion and spin doctoring.
    Benedict resigned for a number of reasons, but one of these was surely to make way for Francis, whose past allows for a marketing change... this part of it that change and it's all designed to increase Church membership. It's also a great counter to the pedophilia cloud hanging of the Church and all Catholics; it's makes them feel Oh-so-much-better about themselves and their beliefs.
    Another more insidious (to my mind) marketing ploy is buying hospitals. The Church has increased this purchasing spree in the last couple years. Once they have ownership, they fire anyone not Catholic and implement hospital policy that prohibits any treatment that opposes their catechism/dogma. It's serious, especially in rural areas where there's only one hospital for many miles around.

  6. GodlessPoutine14 July 2013 at 21:42

    Thanks for this comment, Lex!


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