KPAX Romana

So let me get this straight. Space aliens are now an acceptable part of God’s creation, but homosexuals are not? What if the space aliens are gay?!

It’s only June and the Vatican has had a busy year. On March 10th, it added seven additional deadly sins to the original seven. To the list of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, we are now expected to avoid pollution, genetic engineering, obscene riches, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and social injustice.

On May 13, Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit Director of the Vatican Observatory, said that rejecting the possibility of life on other planets would essentially put limits on God’s creativity. And on May 30, the Vatican drew a line in the sand regarding gender and the Catholic priesthood. Apparently a woman can be a president or a prime minister, but not a priest or pope. Any woman attempting to do so will be excommunicated.

Is it just me, or is the agenda of His new Holiness characterized by some serious holey-ness?

Making pollution a deadly sin is a fine idea, but environmentalists have long argued that deforestation, air pollution, global warming and tainted water supplies are all symptoms of overpopulation. Last time I checked, the Catholic Church frowned on birth control and, as previously noted, declared abortion a deadly sin. Obviously, then, the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control contributes to pollution. But it also fosters social injustice. The more scarce land and natural resources become, the more simple, decent and underrepresented folks (i.e., indigenous groups) are marginalized and disenfranchised. No one knows this better than the Vatican; Catholics demonstrated such tactics again and again in their conquest of Central and South America.

Making obscene wealth a deadly sin is curious because “greed” already capably designates this vein of immorality. The Vatican’s intent wasn’t to create a double-whammy. It obviously wanted to wink at capitalism by creating precedents of “good” greed and “bad” greed. Making “greed in moderation” permissible allows the church to finally expand Matthew’s (Matthew 19:12) problematic needle eye enough for camels and wealthy folks to squeeze through en route to heaven. This watering down of the Word is obviously great news for the “haves” and the “have-mores,” but it highlights one of the glaring paradoxes of Catholicism. How can the Supreme Pontiff preach against obscene wealth when the church itself is obscenely wealthy?

Research suggests that the Vatican is a larger landowner than any organization or government in the world with visible title to over $300 billion of property (churches, schools, hospitals, etc.) and around $3 trillion in investments concealed by hundreds of complex networks controlling thousands of trusts and front companies. Surely, any serious Christian would have better luck finding the Ark of the Covenant than getting the Catholic Church to release its financial records, so does the Vatican have any business formally listing much less addressing obscene wealth as a deadly transgression?

Making pedophilia a deadly sin is a good idea, but isn’t the Catholic Church’s condemnation of pedophilia akin to the Bush Administration’s renunciation of torture? Does anyone really believe either will ever completely extricate themselves from past modus operandi?

As far as God’s creativity goes, if ET isn’t an unnatural creation that threatens the moral and philosophical pillars of the church, then neither is Ellen DeGeneres, Boy George or Richard Simmons. The most awe-inspiring expanse in the entire Vatican City is the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel where a homosexual named Michelangelo created his greatest masterpiece, The Last Judgment. How could centuries of priests and popes worship and pray in this transcendent space and still continue to reserve the divine spark of God for heterosexuals, relegating homosexuals to sub-humanity and social exile?

And how is it that the Vatican sees fit to threaten female candidates to the priesthood with excommunication when the Catholic Church has for decades harbored and, in many cases, protected pedophiles within their ranks of which very few (if any) were ever excommunicated for their sins—sins which the church now deems deadly? Why are women considered such a threat? Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II after her death. How is it that women can be candidates for sainthood but not priesthood?

As long as the leadership of the Catholic Church is rabidly patriarchal, the acknowledged lay small-mindedly heterosexual and the Vatican’s commitment to its own tenets pitifully lax, Catholics should be fearful of judgment, not hypocritically passing it.

Fort Worth native E. R. Bills is the author of Texas Obscurities: Stories of the Peculiar, Exceptional & Nefarious and Tell-Tale Texas: Investigations in Infamous History. Read other articles by E.R..

6 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Chris Crass said on June 5th, 2008 at 7:48pm #

    Hypocrisy in an organized religion? ABSURD!

  2. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 5th, 2008 at 9:27pm #

    Is it just ME, or wasn’t his hollowness a member of Hitler Youth? Thanx for this, E.R.

  3. joe rose said on June 6th, 2008 at 4:03am #

    Who cares? Mostly morons, I dare say. If mankind is so intelectually chalenged that needs to heed what a bunch of sexually-represed men have to say about anything we are indeed in trouble.


  4. D.R. Munro said on June 6th, 2008 at 4:40pm #

    You know that old cliche, Mr. Bills.

    You can lead people to water, but you can’t force them to drink.

    Well done with this one, keep up the good work.

  5. Lloyd Rowsey said on June 6th, 2008 at 8:20pm #

    Well, if we’re talking about TODAY, the only venal sins are pride and greed. Moreover getting six out of seven right — avoiding pollution, genetic engineering, obscene riches, drug dealing, pedophilia, and social injustice — is pretty damn good for an ex-Hitler-youth clown.

    Methinks Dissident Voice honors E. Bills for being from Texas too much. And D.R. Monroe, if he loved horses as much, and came from Texas, as I do, wouldn’t use “people” interchangeably with such wonderful, peaceable, strong, devoted, brave, intelligent, honest and loving animals.

  6. hp said on June 6th, 2008 at 10:44pm #

    Home of the armadillo..