Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Defending The Machine

It's not the pope's fault- particularly- he's not the maker of the machine. And it's not the fault of any named bishop- particularly- he's just a guy running about with an oily rag.  No the machine itself is the evil- an ancient evil- the product of millions of millions of little decisions- going back nearly two thousand years- all of them tending to the defence and preservation of the machine and the making of life easy for the men who have had to run it. When that Irish guy who is now head of his branch of the church sat in on that meeting where a couple of abused kids were threatened with awfulness if they ever told an outsider about their abuse at the hands of a priest he had no more influence over the machine than a checkout girl has over the running of the supermarket in which she works. He probably felt in his bones that he was doing something iffy- they probably all did- but he aquiesced. A hero would have protested- or taken off his clerical collar and walked out of the meeting- but this guy wasn't a hero.

The pope isn't a hero either. His history of aquiescence began when he slid his adolescent limbs into the fetching uniform of the Hitler Youth. I don't condemn him for that. Heroes are like hen's teeth. I'm just saying that a machine that is run by men who aren't heroes is inevitably going to turn into the kind of machine that grinds men's bones to make bread.

Of course a machine run by heroes might well be worse- a mad machine given to sudden preposterous inspirations. But then such a machine is almost inconceivable. A hero, by definition, is someone who resists the machine.

I wonder what happens next? I know what should happen. The machine should be taken apart piece by piece- and never rebuilt- or if rebuilt, rebuilt in quite another shape. That will be resisted. It's a wicked machine, a machine good for nothing but grinding men's bones to make bread- a machine staffed and run by cowards- but a human landscape without the domes and spires of the Roman Catholic church sticking up all over it? Inconceivable! The machine will de defended- again- and as always- even though it was defence of the machine that was at the beginning of all the evil it has done. 

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