fri 20 mar 2009 17:00:06 witte de withstraat
covering the coverer?
i was at dinner at nachtwacht with jk last night, and he told me that joseph ratzinger was instrumental in getting bernard law this sweet gig at the vatican, just at the time when it would be very convenient for law to get out of america. because law might have found himself accused of obstruction of justice.
so far i found a few other intimations that ratzinger was involved with getting bernard law into the vatican, but haven't yet found any actual news stories investigating that.
bernard law was the archbishop of boston (usa) starting in the 1980s at the time when i'm told a lot of priests were sexually abusing children. law was accused of covering up for them -- mainly by quietly shifting them around from one parish to another, and prescribing visits with psychiatrists (instead of tipping off the cops). cardinal law resigned as archibishop in dec 2002. it was karol josef wojtyla (pope john paul ii) who then appointed law to his new position as archpriest at vatican's "basilica di santa maria maggiore".
during that time, cardinal ratzinger was the prefect of the "congregation for the doctrine of the faith", aka "the holy office" or "the inquisition". along with its other defending-the-doctrine duties, that group also investigates accusations of priestly sexual misconduct. so there may be some connection there that i don't know about. maybe ratzinger and law drank wine together or something.
when pope john paul ii died, in april 2005 ratzinger was made the new pope.
ratzinger made headlines last week by telling africans they shouldn't be using condoms to try and curtail the spread of aids. he's known as a real badass religious conservative. there are also rumors that he used to be in the hitlerjugend and has spoken favorably of common fascists, but i sure dunno if those things are true.
one thing i notice is that my most fervently anti-religious friends tend to conflate their hatred of the church with their atheism. to me it's two separate things: the question whether there's a god is not about whether the church is evil. it reminds me of the way some people appear to "become" lesbians because they hate men and what men have done to the world. mushing two neighboring concepts together doesn't make them one thing. non-lesbians can hate men too; people who believe in god can also hate the church. conversely, someone can love the church without believing in god, and a lesbian can like men just fine.
the other day i was reading some stuff in the luke gospel which jesus supposedly said -- that he didn't come to bring peace on earth but to divide people against each other. and i was like "jesus, why would you say that?" it didn't seem to go with something else jesus said on the same page. in general i like jesus, especially because he often helps me get jars open. when i'm in the kitchen desperately trying to get at the damn mayonnaise, then i call on jesus and i'm able to get the lid off, then i say thank you jesus. but i like jesus for other reasons too. i just don't like the way the new testament is trying to confuse me about who jesus really is. then it occurred to me that god gave us the capacity to question him -- so we shouldn't disappoint him by not doing.
why do i feel there's a god? hmm, i dunno. i think religious people are generally quite mad. but i can't think of any more honest way to deal with divinity, except to say i *feel* there's a god and i dunno why.
but other people think they are quite sure — including, prominently, my atheist friends. that seems mad to me as well. any thinking person should realize he or she is non-omniscient — particularly when it comes to things that are non-knowable. it's human to not know for sure, and yet something in our humanity keeps driving us to pretend we're sure.
i think church would be a good thing if it weren't for all that religion. the idea of people coming together to do good, and be good, that's good. i don't like the bullshit they try and make people act like they believe.
also last night, jk and i went to a show at the paradiso, in which mark gilligan played. i like to see mark gilligan. several of our friends were there. a band from colorado played, in which the lead singer, linda storey, suffers from multiple sclerosis (just as mark does). she has a pretty cool wheelchair and wears cool boots. linda's daughter jessica was playing and singing in the same band. she is kinda voluptuous and wore this serious v-neck dress, so i kept being distracted by some serious periodic motion within jessica's decolleté. i hope nobody minds, that's just this thing my eyes do.
then after that show ended, i went to the cave for one pint and talked to irmo for a bit, and ran into tommy the drummer and some other guys i recognize but whose names i forgot. then i came home. i ate some of that yummy stuff jk cooked on wednesday night. then i phoned ajw, who was in her car with none other than micheal henderson, so i talked to him too, and i was glad to hear his voice.
then i came downstairs and watched "jonas qui aura 25 ans en l'an 2000" again. cool, i've learned to spell that in french and almost (with pani's help) to pronounce it. i just have to remember that in french "25 ans" sounds kinda like "vantsankon". so i got to bed sometime after 07.00, and only slept a couple hours, woke up with music from the "jonas" movie in my head.
pani came over to show her new jeans to marina, then they went shopping for shoes, and food. i contributed to both funds. pretty soon i shall have to get me some serious frugalizing.
on sunday my friend pani goes to cork for about a week. i hope she has tons of fun there. i miss bazek myself, but i don't think i can afford a trip to cork city to go visit him. not right now anyway.