In a previous blog, I wrote that it seems likely that at some point there would be some sort of split or schism within the Catholic Church as this organization continues to defend itself against revelations of mass serial rapists within its ranks and the church’s male hierarchy covering it up and actually sending pedophiles out of harms way to fresh hunting grounds.
The first major rupture in the aftermath of recent revelations about the conduct of the church in Los Angeles has been the astonishing news today that the Pope Benedict, the former Nazi youth member who has himself been involved in the cover up has resigned. This is the first time a sitting pope has resigned in 700 years.
It is not only child abuse and serial rapists that have caused this Pope problems. The church teachings in general are not followed by millions of people who claim to be Catholics. The hatred toward gays claiming they are a threat to world peace. The stance on abortion, the rehabilitation of a former denier that the murder of million of Jews and others in the camps occurred at all and the equating of Islam with violence which doesn’t have any credibility coming from the leader of one of the most violent institutions in human history, have all taken their toll. Then there was the whistle blowing butler who released Benedict’s private papers to the world, the Bradley Manning of the Vatican and Benedict's strong opposition to women priests.
"As from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours (2 p.m. ET) the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.” Benedict announced. So once again, 100 or so unelected old misogynists will determine who gets to head the state of Vatican and command influence throughout the world in the churches and the legislative bodies where this city state has representatives.
The institution is putting on a brave face telling the world that Benedict was not afraid of a possible “schism” but I would not be so sure. The Catholic Church since the dominance of its conservative and right wing elements after the purging through intimidation and assassination of the Latin American Liberation Theologist movement has gone from crisis to crisis. This is a shock of historical proportions from which this powerful institution of capitalism may not recover; it dwarfs Lehman Brothers for sure.
Growing up as a Catholic I was taught that the Pope of Rome was “infallible” which was described to me as being incapable of sin. The Pope was god’s man on earth and he could not commit sins; he could not make an error in judgment or any such human failings. But they taught me that a Jewish woman had a baby with a supernatural being and gave birth to its son as well. This is child abuse I now believe.
The capitalist class will be extremely concerned about this development as the Catholic Church is one of their most trusted and reliable institutions, “This is a huge sign of world destabilization that will weaken the Church.” said Alessandra Mussolini, the daughter of Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist. This developing crisis is a reflection of the crisis of capitalism on a global scale much like Protestantism, the religion of the rising capitalist class, was to the feudal aristocracy and their decaying system. The last time a Pope resigned was in 1294.
Capitalism fears instability and this is a great shock. The heads of states will be rallying round the flag to defend the Pope’s decision and no doubt ensure that it was made for reasons other than the crisis within the organization itself and the fact that the Church’s teaching is at odds with millions who claim its mantle especially women. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the pope's decision must be respected if he feels he is “Too weak to carry out his duties.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "He will be missed as a spiritual leader to millions."
A former catholic schoolteacher told me recently that the vast majority of people that attend the church in this area these days are Phillipino’s and Latino’s. The Church is even under threat in Latin America where poverty is rife and the Church hierarchy has supported right wing causes and resisted any serious changes to the dominance of US imperialism. The Liberation Theologists were ruthlessly persecuted culminating in the assassination of El Salvador’s Archbishop Romero. The Church is also seen as a conduit through which the imperialist countries and the CIA influence policy and government.
Benedict visited the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and referred to himself as a "a son of Germany". Press reports indicated he “Prayed and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million victims, most of them Jews, died there during World War Two.” Why is god silent when millions of children die of starvation amid plenty and brutal murders like Stalin, Rumsfeld. Cheney and Kissinger are allowed to live and on and on and on? I would suggest god is silent because god is not there. So Benedict blames god for the reason he found himself in the Nazi Youth? Well, that’s a handy way out.
As Merkel and other patrons of the Pope rally round the flag to protect one of the capitalist class' most vital organs, we must not allow ourselves to be fooled by the smoke screen, that they have taken this step, despite the shockwaves it has caused throughout the world, of removing “God’s Vicar” as they call him. We cannot underestimate the importance of this move and what it means but we must also not buy in to the “official” line. The institution's hierarchy is rotten, not just him. The idea that there are saints, that there is such a thing as sin, that a woman can have a baby through intercourse with a supernatural being, this is all nonsense in a modern world where science has shown its superiority over superstition.
This crisis in the world’s foremost capitalist religious institution is a sign of capitalism’s weakness, of capitalist decay and rot, just like the “War on terror” is. We should welcome it as a huge step forward for humankind.