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Tony Grist

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How The World Is Run [Apr. 19th, 2005|09:35 am]
Tony Grist
It happened again. They put the ballot papers on the fire and the smoke coming out the chimney was white. Everybody in the square was jumping up and down, weeping and clapping their hands- we have a new Pope! And then the smoke turned black. Sorry, folks, no Pope today.


But communicating by smoke signals isn't the half of it. We're choosing a man to fill one of the most powerful posts in the world and the electorate consists of a handful of (supposedly) celibate old gents in their seventies.

Why aren't we laughing?

This is the 21st centry, not the 14th.

But I guess you and I don't get to vote for the chairman of Microsoft either.

[User Picture]From: airstrip
2005-04-19 03:28 am (UTC)
Oh, but it gets worse. Some 115 men who not only have little experience in the human experience because they are not fathers, businessmen, dock workers, farmers, people trying to make it from paycheck to paycheck, etc. but live in a world that prides itself in part on its removal from it, are being asked to crown a man who will inevitably make grand statements on the nature of that human experience and how it should be.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-19 04:29 am (UTC)
Well, yes...

But it's our fault. We allow ourselves to be impressed and taken in by the robes and the processing and the fiction of papal authority.

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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-04-19 03:53 am (UTC)
C'mon holy spirit - we need you!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-19 04:31 am (UTC)
I don't think the Holy Spirit has much to do with what's going on in the Vatican today.

I think the Holy Spirit moved on to fresh climes and pastures new a long, long time ago.

About 1950 years ago.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2005-04-19 10:35 am (UTC)
It seems to me that the "Holy Spirit" doesn't get a lot of mention anymore, almost like they're trying to phase it out.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2005-04-19 05:39 am (UTC)
I sometimes like the fact that we still hold onto old rites and rituals, even though there might be a better logistical way to do things. There is so little ritual in our lives now, and I think that's been to our detriment. It's so easy to laugh at someone who still adheres to rituals, but in some way, I think we've lost something that fed our psyche. Much like Joseph Campbell talks about the rites of passage between childhood and adulthood that are missing for young men now, and how he believes that's one reason we see such things as gangs and violent acts - the young men are instinctively seeking something to take the place of those old rites.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-19 06:23 am (UTC)
We have a need for ritual, certainly. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily good for us.

Ritual can be used to befuddle and obfuscate- to stop us from asking questions- to pull the wool over our eyes.

Tyrannies and autocracies are good at ritual.

Yes, it's very pretty and it feeds the soul, but, but.....

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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2005-04-19 07:13 am (UTC)
a rabbi once told me that he sometimes envied priests for their solitude, that it can be hard to sheperd a group of people and be their spiritual advisor when you have all the domestic distractions of a husband and father as well.

of course, it also makes them massively out of touch with the lives of the laity. but i think maybe both perspectives are important.

Eastern Catholic priests are allowed to marry, so i don't see why we can't allow all priests to make that decision for themselves.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-19 08:45 am (UTC)
But Catholic priests still have their sexual desires.

Unfulfilled sexuality may be just as distracting as married life.

A lot of priests hit the bottle.

And a lot (as we're finding out) abuse children.
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2005-04-19 08:58 am (UTC)
unfulfilled sexuality might be just as distracting as married life, you're right. but then again, it might not be. buddhism and hinduism teach that the path to enlightenment is through the renunciation of all worldly desires. however, it is a voluntary renunciation. i think the problem is not celibacy itself, but the fact that it is required by the church and not decided by the individual.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-04-19 07:53 am (UTC)
Okay, Tony, you have to see this, the real story!

Pope John Paul put it in his will, a big secret until Cynnerth figured it out.

I guess they are still bumping around in the Sistine Chapel, fighting over chairs, while Gregorian chants play and then suddenly stop.

I wonder what religion will be like in 200 more years? Will there still be a Roman Catholic Church?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-19 08:50 am (UTC)
That's wonderful.

Who knows what the world will look like in 200 years time? Change comes so slowly that I'd expect the Catholic Church to be around in some form or another. But it might look rather different.

Perhaps there will be a female Pope.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-04-19 11:37 am (UTC)
I guess they are still bumping around in the Sistine Chapel, fighting over chairs, while Gregorian chants play and then suddenly stop.

Jackie, you are EVIL! You made me laugh out loud at work.

I'm sorry. I'm getting more laughs out of this Pope stuff than any person should.

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[User Picture]From: jubal51394
2005-04-22 10:52 am (UTC)

<B>We're</B> choosing

Now, I AM laughing!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-22 12:08 pm (UTC)

Re: <B>We're</B> choosing

Well yes, but that's the point I'm making. We get lumbered with the guy and his pronouncements on this that and the other, but have no say in putting him there.

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