I Say “Back to Avignon!”

Well, this doesn’t happen every day:

Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who took office in 2005 following the death of his predecessor, said on Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28, the first pope to do so in six centuries.

A profoundly conservative figure whose papacy was overshadowed by sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, the pope, 85, said that after examining his conscience “before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise” of his position as head of the world’s Roman Catholics.

While there had been questioning about his health and advancing years, his announcement — even by the Vatican’s official account — stunned many. “The pope took us by surprise,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, who explained that many cardinals were in Rome on Monday for a ceremony at the Vatican and heard the pope’s address.

As a disinterested observer, I have to say that establishment of a norm of retirement for aging, incapacitated popes seems like an altogether good idea. And also, of course, I like the idea of something happening that hasn’t happened for six centuries; makes me feel special.

229 comments on this post.
  1. Keith B:

    Just a hunch, but it could be that the Pontiff wants to influence the choice of his successor.

  2. Jameson Quinn:

    And here I was, starting to feel optimistic.

  3. Jameson Quinn:

    At least it gives some hope for the SCOTUS.

  4. Malaclypse:

    I’ve been trying, and failing, to come up with a joke about the torch being passed to a new generation, one that didn’t have the chance to serve in the Hitler Youth.

  5. mark f:

    But is Gov. Christie too fat to be pope?

  6. Warren Terra:

    Good riddance to a truly terrible person. Sadly, he and his predecessors have probably ensured that his successor will be at least as bad.

  7. c u n d gulag:

    There’s a tawdry sex-joke here (is there any other kind?), but I think I’ll leave it alone.

    Any chance for a more Liberal Pope – one who’s less concerned about sex, both hetero and homo, and lady parts, and more concerned about teaching Christ’s message of peace and love?

    Also on who might decide to really come down on the past sexual abuses by the Priests and laity?

    I’ll do the SATSQ’s myself, thank you!

  8. BigHank53:

    Maybe if they’re busy passing the torch they’ll take a break from setting fire to themselves and the reputation of the institution.

  9. Mrs Tilton:

    He never did fully recover from that fight with Yoda.

    [Yes, of course that's stolen. I shall go on stealing it at every opportunity.]

  10. Bijan Parsia:

    I’m kinda hopin he’s trying to avoid being indicted while pope.

    (Yes yes, I know it’s not where near probable, but I can hope.)

  11. Jeff R.:

    When Benedict was elected in 2005, only two of the 115 cardinal electors were not appointed by John Paul II. And for upcoming conclave, the all will have been appointed by JP II and Benedict. What more influence could you want?

    Plus both John Paul and Benedict have much more theologically and ideological pure in appointing bishops and cardinals. I don’t think there’s another John XXIII out there.

    (Benedict himself and Cardinal Baum, former archbishop of Washington were created cardinal by Paul VI.)

  12. rea:

    Any chance for a more Liberal Pope – one who’s less concerned about sex, both hetero and homo, and lady parts, and more concerned about teaching Christ’s message of peace and love?

    Well, there’s always the chance of a miracle . . .

  13. c u n d gulag:

    Yes, they all want a Pope who’ll still kick around those modernizing DFH’s from Vatican II – even though most of them are long dead.
    Catholic Libtards!

    Hell, they’re still pissed-off at Martin Luther, and it’s only been, what, a little under 500 years since he nailed his “95 Theses” on that door?

  14. rea:

    Of course, by propehcy, the next pope will be the last one . . .

  15. c u n d gulag:

    Oh no!
    I forgot about the RoMayan Catholic Calendar!

  16. Warren Terra:

    Once in a while a Republican hack appoints a John Paul Stevens without realizing what exactly they’re getting. But Ratzi and his predecessor paid special attention to packing the college of cardinals with extreme conservatives, ultramontanes, and outright nutters – so I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.

  17. Malaclypse:

    Dagchester 2013!

  18. c u n d gulag:

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure these guys bring Bill Donohue in on a regular basis to lecture him on his Liberal views.

  19. NonyNony:

    Any chance for a more Liberal Pope – one who’s less concerned about sex, both hetero and homo, and lady parts, and more concerned about teaching Christ’s message of peace and love?

    Let’s put it this way – the guys who are picking the next pope were all elevated to the position of “being the guys who get to pick the next pope” by either John Paul II or Benedict XVI. All of them. And Benedict was the former head of the Inquisition (sorry “Office of the Doctrine of the Faith”), so he knows how to sniff out wrongthought in the Church.

    So yeah there’s a chance – we live in a probabilistic universe after all. But you probably have a better chance of being struck by a meteor while holding a winning lottery ticket and getting a phone call from [insert favorite movie star here] begging you for a date than we have of getting a pope who is more concerned about peace and love than about sex and politics.

  20. rea:

    The prophecy is that the Church will be destroyed by persecution during the reign of Benedict’s successor, and sure enough, right on time, here comes Obama with his birth control manadate . . .

  21. Kathleen:

    Too bad he can’t use the excuse “wants to spend more time with his family”.

  22. John Protevi:

    How do you say “All your French philosophers are belong to us” in Latin?

  23. Barry:

    That’s my bet.

  24. Cody:

    CAN you be indicted as a Pope. What country would do it? Wouldn’t the Vatican have to indict him?

    I’m pretty ignorant on the machinations of the Vatican, but I was under the impression they were completely independent. I always assumed he was kind of a dictator with a sort-of parliament overseeing him.

  25. That Other Mike:

    I think concerns about the reputation of the Catholic church are a bit out of date; that ship sailed, what, a thousand years ago?

  26. Left_Wing_Fox:

    Unfortunately, the trend last time was to support the growing parts of Catholicism, which followed the much more regressive beliefs. We’re probably much more likely to see an ultra-conservative desi or african Pope than a liberal one.

  27. JBL:

    Heh :)

  28. That Other Mike:

    Totus vestri Gallorum philosophorum pertinent ad nos?

  29. Decrease Mather:

    ESPN is reporting that Lovie Smith is set to interview for the job.

  30. DrDick:

    Maybe they will elect on of the Polish archbishops who collaborated with the secret police.

  31. c u n d gulag:

    “…right on time, here comes Obama with his birth control manadate . . .”

    Pope BeneDICK IVI’s final addrees:
    “Everything is always the fault of the ladies and their icky lady parts – am I right?
    From “Original Sin,” right up until our Church is destroyed by persecution, EVERYTHING is the fault of women!
    And a few altar boys with their big mouths – luscious mouths, so soft and so tender, pliable mou…”

    Easy there, big guy…

  32. c u n d gulag:

    I heard Cower.

    Lovie is just the Church trying to abide by “The Rooney Rule.”

  33. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq:

    Actually he can, he has an older brother, Georg, who is 89.

  34. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq:

    Next on Politico: How will the new papal election influence Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2016.

  35. Scott P.:

    Don’t forget the Orthodox Schism!

  36. DocAmazing:

    “I wish my brother Georg were here.”

  37. DocAmazing:

    Smart move. There are a number of scandals reaching critical mass, and having the background Ratzi does (Inquisition, Hitlerjugend) isn’t helpful for PR purposes. Next guy will have a Simon-pure background.

  38. Malaclypse:

    This is good news for John McCain.

  39. rea:

    Next guy will have a Simon-pure background.

    They’e going to elect a Quaker pope?

  40. BigHank53:

    Power-hungry, corrupt, and secretive is kind of a tradition with any bureaucracy that last more than a decade or so. Self-admitted power-hungry, corrupt, and secretive enablers of child rapists is a bit of a new low. Even for the Holy Roman Church.*

    *They did stop electing Borgias to the papacy.

  41. Winchester:

    God bless him.

    I’m grateful that this Pope made clear that Vatican II never actually forbade the saying of the Tridentine Mass.

    Novus Ordo Mass is a satanic-inspired heresy aimed at destroying the Church by tearing it into utter chaos, ripping people away from the Eucharist, and ultimately resulting in people being lost eternally to hell.
    I love the Church, always will. I don’t agree with Novus Ordo; I HATE it, but I hate it the way a husband hates the cancer that’s killing his wife. He still loves his wife; he would never leave her because her body is riddled with cancer. He might even love his wife more than before, seeing her attack from the cancer. He would want to fight the cancer — anything to get rid of the cancer and bring his wife back to full health and vigor.

    The Church has cancer. Bad. Fully metastasized, all over-type cancer. It’s socialist-homosexualism, and the cancer was first observed and diagnosed in 1968. I fully intent to cling to the Bride of Christ and fight the cancer. I should never suggest to anybody to abandon his own parish nor the Church. The cancer ain’t Her Body; it’s just an invading infection.

    And Ratzinger was a good doctor.

    Thank you for your service.

  42. Malaclypse:

    Don’t ever change.

  43. hickes01:

    Don’t forget Norv Turner. You can’t spell “retread” without Norv Turner.

  44. Alan Tomlinson:

    Jesus is love.

    His followers, not so much.


    Alan Tomlinson

  45. Dave S.:

    You know, the people behind you were hoping for a bit of that Communion wine.

  46. UberMitch:

    Maybe he can find his old Oberstammführer and meet-up

  47. UberMitch:

    What’s the Latin word for pancakes?

  48. Mark D'ski:

    Or maybe, (reference, “The Tudors”) they will elect an English pope. Come on guys, just cause the first one y’all elected went insane (what 700+ years ago) doesn’t mean that’ll happen again.

  49. Malaclypse:

    Dunno, but pancakes make a fine communion wafer.

  50. laslo:

    Already happened. PJII already stacked the deck with cons like himself and Benny before he croaked. Next sets of candidates for popenführer will likely be right wingers. And probably non-Italians.

  51. Uncle Kvetch:


  52. Mark D'ski:

    The prophecy will be fulfilled by electing Berlesconi!

  53. Uncle Kvetch:

    Dunno, but pancakes make a fine communion wafer.

    Just ask St. Alfonso.

  54. Hanspeter:

    The host in Western Christianity is generally unleavened bread, while pancakes are risen (heh) with baking powder.

  55. FLRealist:

    …the way a husband hates the cancer that’s killing his wife. He still loves his wife; he would never leave her because her body is riddled with cancer.

    Huh. You haven’t met the husbands my friends have had.

  56. Hogan:

    It wasn’t all that clear that there was a John XXIII out there in 1958, but since the Vatican has spent the last forty-five years making sure that never happens again, I don’t expect that lightning to strike again in my lifetime, or my great-nieces’.

  57. Uncle Kvetch:

    I have a Mr. Gingrich on line 3…

  58. FLRealist:


    I hadn’t thought of him, but then I spend most of my time not thinking of him.

  59. Hogan:

    Or that fine Catholic gentleman, Newt Gingrich.

  60. TribalistMeathead:

    At this point the best you could hope for would be a Pope who doesn’t make it his main goal to undo Vatican II.

  61. Hogan:

    Great minds think alike, but the greater ones post more quickly.

  62. josephus:

    Wait, the cancer is an infection? So, do I take antibiotics or chemo for my brimming over solshulizt-buttsekshualizm? Inquiring minds (and stricken souls) want to know!

  63. catclub:

    This is reminding me too much of Miracle Max.
    “If he is totally dead, it would take a miracle!”

  64. Richard:

    If only. I have a case in federal court where we’ve been assigned to a 89 year old judge, a judge who was appointed to the bench by LBJ and one who. to put it charitably, is not one of the shining lights of the federal bench. He will be on the bench until he dies and theres nothing anybody can do about it.

  65. catclub:

    You reminded me of the name of the cartoon character Ratzi looks like! Simon bar-Sinister of UnderDog.

  66. EliHawk:

    Democrats are already freaking out that Scott Brown may run in papal special election; beg Benedict to reconsider.

  67. JohnR:

    “Next guy will have a Simon-pure background.”

    I dunno; all Herr Ratzenberger needed was the thin, twirly moustache and he’d have been good to go. Oh, you didn’t mean Simon Legree?

  68. JohnR:

    Also, too, I also, too, like the idea of something happening that hasn’t happened for 6 centuries. How long has it been since a Pope was assassinated, again?

  69. Doug:

    Correct you are.

  70. rea:

    JPII had a close call . . .

  71. rea:

    “He is risen . . .”

  72. Hogan:

    JPI, by some accounts.

  73. Stan Gable:

    Brian Kelly re-iterated that he has no interest in leaving ND and that his trip to Rome was part of a post-season vacation planned months ago.

  74. Malaclypse:

    Holy crap, you’re right.

  75. burritoboy:

    To be fair, all high-ranking religious figures in Eastern Europe collaborated to one extent or another under the height of Communism. Glemp was hardly stainless himself (there was a huge opposition movement opposed to him, arguing that Glemp was too much of a collaborator too).

  76. burritoboy:

    The Vatican City is a completely separate and independent state. The Pope is a sort of elected king – the college of cardinals does not oversee him once he is in office, but does elect him to office.

  77. burritoboy:

    We shouldn’t forget that Ratzinger was himself one of the DFH’s from Vatican II.

  78. wjts:

    Dry those eyes, bunky – the last pope Benedict who resigned his office (Benedict IX) came back to become pope again not once but twice! Maybe Benedict XVI can use his time away from the papacy to develop a cure for Ecclesiastic Socialist-Homosexualism Satan Cancer.

  79. NonyNony:

    I know it’s snark, but Scott Brown would actually be an improvement over any of the people the cardinals are likely to actually elect.

  80. Sullivan Hyde:

    Omnes vestri philosophi Gallici appertinent nobis.

  81. John:

    Adrian IV didn’t go insane, as far as I’m aware. What’s the basis for this claim? And what does The Tudors have to do with it? Adrian IV reigned 400 years before Henry VIII’s break with Rome.

  82. wengler:

    You need to find a place deep in Siberia where you can practice your religion freely, like that Old Believer fellow mentioned a couple weeks back.

  83. Hogan:

    I’ll bet Chip is sorry he settled for the Eagles now. No way the Vatican buys out that contract.

  84. Sullivan Hyde:

    Actually learned this in school: laganum.

  85. expatchad:

    Iwould remind you, sir, that HOLY MOTHER CHURCH is INFALLIBLE.

    You have a problem with infallibel mothers?

  86. wjts:

    Adrian IV went insane? I’m asking seriously – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reference to that, and a quick Google search doesn’t provide any.

  87. The Dark Avenger:

    Yep, those kids who played guitars at St Patricks’ Cathedral in San Jose, CA, in 1968, were in fact the vanguard of a cancerous spread of ideas like women should control their own bodies and homosexuals aren’t to be despised and told to remain celibate.

    Thanks for pointing that out for us, Winchy.

  88. expatchad:

    I have a problem with applications that think I am infallible and don’t need an EDIT function.


  89. John:

    Per wikipedia, it looks like the last pope to be definitely murdered was John XIV in 984. Suspicions have attached to the deaths of several later popes.

  90. TruthOfAngels:

    Taft was not a fat Pope, he was a big-boned Pope.

  91. expatchad:

    Overseeing him ????

  92. expatchad:

    Any chance for a more Liberal Pope – one who’s less concerned about sex, both hetero and homo, and lady parts, and more concerned about teaching Christ’s message of peace and love?

    Absolutely none whatever. Divine airborne pork is a much greater liklihood.

  93. expatchad:


  94. expatchad:

    Omnes Phlosophae in partes divisa non sunt?

  95. Steve LaBonne:

    I’ll leave it to St. Peter to sum up Ratzinger’s accomplishments in office:

    “Quelli ch’usurpa in terra il luogo mio,
    il luogo mio, il luogo mio, che vaca
    ne la presenza del Figliuol di Dio,

    fatt’ ha del cimitero mio cloaca
    del sangue e de la puzza; onde’l perverso
    che cadde di qua sù, là giù si placa.”

  96. expatchad:

    One out of of the latest batch of Cardinals is from here in th Philippines, and he is leading a furious attack on the recently passed Reproductive Health billn in the Supreme Court.

  97. expatchad:

    First, where is the Latin edit button?

  98. Winchester:

    “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

  99. expatchad:

    OK, Philosophorum, then

  100. Malaclypse:

    Only a damned heretic would see the need to translate from the Vulgate of St. Jerome.

  101. UberMitch:

    Look at that, learn something every day. Now we just need the Latin for “maple syrup” …

  102. JonP:

    and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it

    Arthritis and child-rape scandals and cover-ups, on the other hand…

  103. expatchad:

    Geeze, we don’t have Winchesters here in the Philippines, and we’re like 87% Roman…

  104. Anonymous:

    The edict button?

  105. expatchad:


  106. expatchad:

    You talk to the gardener too much.

  107. Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef:

    Vade post me satana, scandalum es mihi: quia non sapis ea, quæ Dei sunt, sed ea, quæ hominum.

  108. hylen:

  109. Anonymous:

    Coulda fooled the crepe outta me.

  110. hylen:

    Try again.


    How’s that? Better?

  111. expatchad:

    He’d do better to tackle Winchesterism, a fanaticism that borders on heresy, even for archconservatist prelates.

  112. sibusisodan:

    These Romans, they go to the house??

  113. expatchad:

    Or Pancakism

  114. Murc:

    I’m grateful that this Pope made clear that Vatican II never actually forbade the saying of the Tridentine Mass.

    I like how you start off with something moderately sane (if a congregation wants to go old-school with Mass, I don’t see a problem with that) to fake us out before going full crazy on us.

    Novus Ordo Mass is a satanic-inspired heresy aimed at destroying the Church by tearing it into utter chaos, ripping people away from the Eucharist, and ultimately resulting in people being lost eternally to hell.

    Yeah, because how dare the Mass be conducted in a language people can understand! That’s AWFUL. The laypeople might actually become more fully engaged with the church, and then where would we be?

    I’m genuinely curious; any of the other masses satanic-inspired, or just the latest one? The Catholic Church has been tinkering with the thing for over 1500 years; which versions are satanic inspired and which aren’t?

  115. Anonymous:

    Um, given this news, don’t you have better things to do than posting on this blog? As much as they’d like to, these guys aren’t going to kill you again, so go kick their asses!

  116. expatchad:

    My thought is for Santorum, but would he take the demotion?

  117. sibusisodan:

    This is beautiful. If only because, in your retelling of the ‘church as bride’ image, you’ve put yourself in the Jesus role. Such lowliness.

  118. expatchad:

    I’m fond of Sarum rite, but then I am Anglican.

  119. expatchad:


  120. Darkrose:

    Chris Hayes tweeted: “Call me crazy, but I think the next Pope should be someone who didn’t help cover up child rape.Tho,that may disqualify every single cardinal”

    Sadly, he’s probably right.

  121. Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef:

    these guys aren’t going to kill you again

    Ahem, my child.

  122. expatchad:

    Well, we DO have a few, but they are pretty old firearms, and they have a tendency to go off unexpectedly. Usually half-cockrd.

  123. expatchad:

    EDIT BUTTON! Why hast thou forsaken me?

  124. DrDick:

    There is also that whole sell all you own and give it to the poor thingee that the Popes seem to have lost sight of.

  125. JoyfulA:

    Well, it did result in Charismatic Catholics, speaking in tongues, so no one could understand the service. That’s chaos.

  126. Donalbain:

    No English Cardinals.

  127. expatchad:

    Winchester woulod prefer Greek syrup.

  128. expatchad:

    Crooks and Liars has a commenter referring to “Ratz leaving a sinking ship” !!!

  129. expatchad:

    But why hasn’t it occured to anyone that his physician might have diagnosed a late stage terminal illness from which he will soon succunb? He might not want to compound his death by announcing that. If I were in his position, I would not.

  130. catclub:

    retsina. Pine syrup. aka turpentine

  131. Origami Isopod:

    Double that.

  132. STH:

    Why the fuck would you think we’d be interested in your Pope wanking, Winchy?

  133. Cody:

    Seems like someone has read too much Eragon. Latin isn’t the ancient language or something like it. Why should it matter what tongue someone worships God in?

    Seems like he can probably “speak” English.

  134. Origami Isopod:


  135. Winchester:

    Yes, I agree.

  136. herr doktor bimler:

    they will elect an English pope

    If memory serves, that happened most recently in 1904.

  137. commie atheist:

    Why does it not surprise me that covering up pedophilia is a time-honored tradition in the Church?

  138. commie atheist:

    I know it’s 6 years old, but I find it fascinating that that article uses the term “witch hunt” to describe an investigation that led to the guy admitting that he had been a collaborator. When did “witch hunt” cease having a pejorative meaning? Or was the NYT in 2007 an anomaly?

  139. commie atheist:

    No, just too big to fail.

  140. rea:

    I’m surprised that JOP isn’t holding forth on the likelihood that Cardinal Turkson of Ghana will be the next pope. (The lesson of John Paul II and, in contrast, Benedict, being that only a pope with an appealing personal storyline can generate the personal popularity needed to push hyprconservative theology . . .)

    (And note also–his first name is Peter, consistent with the “Last Pope” prophecy linked above. . .)

  141. Winchester:

    Novus Ordo is less about language than about the priest facing the people rather than Christ.

    That’s the problem.

    I did explain it in details earlier.

  142. commie atheist:

    Pope Desi? Well, HE’LL have some ‘splainin to do…

  143. Winchester:

    Also: Novus Ordo priests have all but abandoned the Sacrament of Confession, or Penance.

    Everything is being done to convince the people that the only sin is
    “intolerance” and that Jesus is an effete little puppy — like your neutered pet dog.

  144. Malaclypse:

    Novus Ordo is less about language than about the priest facing the people rather than Christ.

    That’s the problem.

    That was Satan’s Big Idea?

  145. Winchester:

    the priest is denying the real presence of Christ in the Tabernacle by the mere fact of having his back on it during the entire mass

    as a result, the mass devolved into a show, with the priest as the star.

    it cut the attention, the focal point of the Mass, from Christ to the priest

  146. commie atheist:

    “Posted Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.” I’m impressed – Hitchens is STILL going strong.

  147. Malaclypse:

    The priest is, per your Iron Age Mythology, facing the Transubstatiated Flesh of the Living Christ, rather than a mere image. Why do you deny the Miracle of the Mass? There is a word for Catholics who deny Transubstantiation, Dagchester, and that word is Protestant.

  148. commie atheist:

    Don’t they take a new name as Pope anyway? I’m with the people who want to move beyond the John Pauls and want the next Pope to be George Ringo.

  149. expatchad:

    Not too fond of Henry VIII either.

  150. Bijan Parsia:

    I was hoping for the international court or somewhere claiming universal jurisdiction.

    As I say, it’s more a fantasy than anything. I’m not a big fan of criminal justice esp. as it is practiced in our sorry world, but I’d hug myself with glee to see him do the perp walk.

  151. Hogan:

    While the NY Times was shut down by a strike in 1978 (when JPI died), George Plimpton and some friends put out a parody issue that included a story announcing that the new pope had decided to call himself John Paul John Paul I, thus becoming the first pope to take the names of three of his predecessors.

  152. expatchad:

    Well, HE’S got a big mouth…

  153. Bijan Parsia:

    You just need to comment ex cathedra.

  154. Winchester:

    What are you talking about? I’m not denying anything. I was only explaining to you that the biggest damage of Novus Ordo was to shift the position of the priest during Mass, with the priest facing the people rather than the Tabernacle, even after Consecration.

  155. rea:

    The US didn’t have any trouble trying Manuel Noriega for crimes, despite his being a foreign head of state. Why not the Pope?

  156. expatchad:

    Not to be picky, but Lutherans have consubstantiation and variants, which are the same thing (The Real Presence) and they are the Original Protestants. The Augustinians have Apostolic Succession.

  157. Winchester:

    it’s the subject of the thread

  158. Left_Wing_Fox:

    It occurred to me. Both Steve Jobs and Canadian NDP leader Jack Layton were dead within a month of stepping down due to health concerns. I would not be surprised at all if the same happened here.

  159. Malaclypse:

    If your God cares so much about seating arrangements, He’s really a dick.

  160. Donald Trump:

    I’m not satisfied Turkson is a Catholic – he sounds like some kinda Muslim. I’ll give $5m to charity if Turkson releases his long form Baptismal certificate.

  161. MAJeff:

    To clarify, cracker:

    Why the fuck would you think we’d be interested in your Pope wanking, Winchy?

  162. Winchester:

    Ain’t about seating arrangements. It’s about the Mass, and the relation of the priest towards Christ during this liturgy.

  163. MAJeff:

    MAGIC! I bet Harry Potter can do better.

  164. Winchester:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the question.

    And why do you feel the need to use such a disgusting language?

  165. Malaclypse:

    The Onion writes one just for Dagchester.

  166. Malaclypse:

    And why do you feel the need to use such a disgusting language?

    Because we embrace the vulgar tongue.

  167. The Dark Avenger:

    Funny, St John the Baptist Church, an alleged Catholic Church, is offering confessions, so it seems they haven’t abandoned it yet:

    Confessions: In church Mon thru Fri: 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. – 12: 15 p.m.
    In the parish office reconciliation room 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat: 11:30 a.m.to 12:30 p.m., 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

    Jesus is an effete little puppy — like your neutered pet dog.

    Actually, some of us take Jesus seriously, as with Elvis, it’s some of the fan base like you that has us on edge.

    Speaking of Jesus, can you tell me where in the Bible he came out against gay marriage, abortion, etc? Cause I can’t find anything about that, but I can find the following in Matthew 25, which doesn’t seem important to your version of Jesus:

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  168. Karate Bearfighter:

    Uno addito.

  169. Bill Murray:

    no Pancakism is the sweet, syrupy love of all griddle-fashioned cakes and the humans that swear fealty thereof

  170. Jon Hendry:

    No, the generation will be one that was really into Youth.

  171. Jon Hendry:

    We’re unlikely to invade Rome to capture a Pope.

  172. Scott P.:

    You don’t need to be a Cardinal to become Pope (though it helps).

  173. Jon Hendry:

    The next could be Pope Eggs Benedict I

  174. Matthew Heath:

    Yes there is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormac_Murphy-O%27Connor

  175. Hogan:

    Hey, it’s his second term. All bets are off.

  176. Jon Hendry:

    The Roman Catholic Checkbook runs out of checks this year.

  177. DrDick:

    I can see your concern as I am certain you have much to confess and are in need of heavy penance. Sadly, according to Matthew 25, you are going to hell anyway.

  178. Cool Bev:

    Learned this in that pasta article. Laganum proposed as the source for the word lasagna.

  179. Carbon Man:

    I don’t really have a much time for organized religion. Church services to me seem like nothing but a musical performance/fashion show with some hocus-pocus thrown in.

    I will say this for the Roman Catholic Church, though. It sure does make liberals hit the roof in anger. For that, I salute them.

  180. Malaclypse:

    Sorry, but you need to troll better to keep up with Dagchester. Show some pride in your work, Jennie dearest.

  181. Carbon Man:

    It will be funny to see liberals try to savagely attack a black Pope, though. Everytime they do I guess Catholics can take a page out of the Obama Playbook and scream RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIIIIIST! whenever a criticism, no matter how mild, is made. Also, remember to look for certain “code words”, like uh, “Chicago”. Cause that’s RAAACIIISSST for some reason.

  182. Anonymous:

    Thats a good bargaining chip on birth-control insurance.

  183. Anonymous:

    Consubstantiation is quasi-Lutheran at best. Luther just didn’t care for metaphor (or Aristotle): if Jesus said This is my body, not This is a symbol of my body, well all right then, was Martin’s take.

  184. Anonymous:

    It’s certainly amusing when high-ranked church leaders complain that they have been the victims of a witch-hunt.

  185. herr doktor bimler:

    Is anyone lobbying for a US-led invasion to topple this dictatorship and install a new democratic leadership?

  186. commie atheist:

    Certainly, no “liberal” has ever dared attack Clarence Thomas, savagely or otherwise, eh, sweetness? What a transparent buffoon you are.

  187. Frank Booth:

    Yes, no longer will popes be allowed to say “Chicago” without incurring the almighty wrath of liberals. It’s a world gone mad, I tell you.

  188. Origami Isopod:

    Because you’re a fucking piece of shit.

  189. Origami Isopod:

    Shorter Carbie: Child rape is funny so long as the rapists upset liberals.

  190. Carbon Man:

    Still waiting for your thoughts on the Cotton Ceiling.

    It sounds like it could be THE civil rights issue of our time!

  191. Malaclypse:

    Shorter JenBob: Pay attention to my obsessions!

  192. expatchad:


  193. Carbon Man:

    BTW, you don’t hate the Catholic Church because of the pedophile scandal.

    You hate them because they won’t affirm your particular sexual proclivities and opinions on contraception.

    That’s pretty much it. The pedophile stuff is just a convenient stick to hit them with.

  194. NonyNony:

    Why is Carbon Man so funny and Winchester so scary?

    I can’t figure it out. They’re both nutty as walnut pancakes, but Carbon Man makes me laugh every single time while Chester makes me want to lock the doors.

  195. expatchad:

    Which is already resident with him in his mind, poor thing.

    He has no edit button eithe4r.

  196. stickler:

    Well, to be fair, they did award Henry the title of “Defender of the Faith” for that anti-Luther pamphlet he wrote in the 1520s. And then Henry goes and joins the Reformation, and doesn’t have the common courtesy to return the title. The horse-faced Germans now sitting in Buckingham Palace are still using it, too!

  197. expatchad:

    And use the “Winchy” metric for standardization.

  198. expatchad:

    One is hebephrenic, the other worrisomely intense.

  199. stickler:

    Speaking as a Lutheran, I have to point out that the Hussites (Unitas Fratrum, and their modern inheritors, the Moravian Church) claim, with some justification*, that they were the original “Protestants.”

    * = by recourse to history, not Faith. Hee.

  200. stickler:

    A Christian might also be tempted to ask for a Scriptural basis for calling confession a “sacrament.” Go ahead and look: it ain’t in Scripture.

    (“For we know that Popes and Councils have erred…”)

  201. stickler:

    Oh, and Penance, too. At least they tossed indulgences on the ash heap of history at the Council of Trent. So, some progress, I suppose.

  202. expatchad:

    Cranmer didn’t do to well from it all.

  203. DrDick:

    You insult shit.

  204. expatchad:

    Well, that too…

  205. DrDick:

    The projection is strong in this one.

  206. MikeN:

    Carbon Man has a point. The next Pope will (probably) be an African precisely so that when people start talking about equality for women and gays (and gay women) the conservatives can start screaming about racist liberals trying to impose their Western secular values on Godly upstanding Third World traditional cultures.

  207. commie atheist:

    That link goes to a Rod Dreher article about the widespread problem of lesbians discriminating against transexuals at sex parties. So, year, pretty weird obsessions at that.

  208. DrDick:

    This one is special for Dagchester (or is it Winchney?).

  209. stickler:

    He did quite well, up until the last couple of years of his life.

    Plus, he got to be a star of Foxe’s _Martyrs_ bestseller. And, he’s the lead author of the _Book of Common Prayer_. Foundation of modern English, baby!

    (Sucks to be burned at the stake, sure, but come on.)

  210. commie atheist:

    He has no edit button eithe4r.

    I die.

  211. commie atheist:

    For some reason, I keep wanting to say, in a Glenda the Good Witch voice, “Are you a Good Pope? Or a Bad Pope?”

    That is all.

  212. rhet:

    because almost everything in today’s Church is a time-honored tradition

  213. DmD:

    I would take Ghanaian Turkson over Canadian Ouellet any day as there is a small chance he might evolve to be a non-reactionary.

  214. Lurker:

    This is only true if there is a tabernacle behind the altar. In the St. Peter’s Cathedral, the main altar is in the middle, and the Pope is facing the congregation in Pontifical masses.

    As a Lutheran, I don’t really have a dog in this fight, as we don’t use tabernacles. However, in the Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran Church, it has become the norm to move the main altar in the present Catholic fashion so that the priest is behind it, facing the congregation throughout the mass. Only in old churches, where the altar may be heavy (e.g. same masonry with the wall), the priest alternates his direction, facing the congregation when addressing them and facing the altar when praying.

    I find the old-style practice more pedagogical, as even a small child can understand: “Now the priest is talking to God, now, to me.”

  215. Stalin:

    Why? How any divisions does the Pope have?

  216. burritoboy:

    Er, we are talking about Catholicism here.

  217. burritoboy:

    St. Patrick’s wasn’t a cathedral in 1968. There was no diocese of San Jose until 1981.

  218. rea:

    The historically correct terminology is, are you a real Pope? Or an Antipope?

  219. sharculese:

    It goes without saying that wingnuts will respond to criticism with frivolous non sequiturs, though?

  220. expatchad:

    Seems to have been afflicted with a sort of inverse Somatoparaphrenia where he blamed his right hand for his troubles and toasted it first….

  221. expatchad:

    And said, by some, to be a contender for promotion to head honcho (liturgical Latin for “Reactionary-In-Chief”).

  222. expatchad:

    My Anglican dogs point out that we started using the new arrangement BEFORE Rome. If Winchester considered the Anglicans to be Christians, he could blame us worse.

    Fortunately, he thinks anyone not Roman to be trash, so we are thankfully excluded from his divine approbation in matters liturgical.

  223. expatchad:

    Tengyo! Tengyoverymuch!

  224. expatchad:

    Projection or protuberances?

  225. expatchad:

    Oy, wrong threadlette.

  226. The Dark Avenger:

    It was St. Patrick’s when I was a kid of 9 years of age, and there were guitars then, sir.

  227. expatchad:

    He doesn’t celebrate critical masses. In public.

  228. Winchester:

    For the record, I’ve waged a tiny $333 on Cardinal Arinze to become the next Pope, with Ladbrokes, at 7:1.

    Yes, a black Cardinal.

  229. Richard Bell:

    Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state where that which was not forbidden was compulsory. Not joining the Hitler Youth was a punishable offence for any lad deemed aryan enough to be a member.

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