“Why not bomb the Vatican, and riddle the Pope with bullets as he staggers out of the flames?”

The following is amazing, even for those of us who are used to reading unhinged hate-speech.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reveals its true colors.

I know about Godwin’s Law, but I suspect they may be Nazis sympathizers, given their hatred of the Church. Not sure about that, but their rhetoric suggests it.  It is dangerous to introduce the reductio ad Hitlerum at any time, but… by gum.. sometimes it fits!

I won’t add comments, but I will edit.

A tale of two battles

No-one has yet suggested bombing the Vatican and pursuing the Pope through the sewers of Europe till he is caught and riddled with bullets in order to stop priests buggering choirboys in Boston, Chicago, Dublin and Sydney. But a precise mirror image of this is how we behaved in Afghanistan.

If we bomb it flat, we were told, and pursue Bin Laden through the caves of Tora Bora and the mud huts of Waziristan until he is caught and riddled with bullets, al-Qaeda won’t hijack planes and blow up trains any more. And the world will live at peace.


Let’s consider for a while the comparable crimes, or iniquities, or sins, or misdeeds, or culpable errors of Osama bin Laden and the Pope. Osama’s followers killed 3,000 people in New York and around 700 more by terrorist acts in London, Bali, Madrid and Mumbai in the past eight years and desolated maybe 20,000 lives of the relatives of the dead.

The Pope’s followers desolated, perhaps, 100,000 lives (or this is my guess) by sexual depravity in the past 80 years and killed, perhaps, (this too is my guess, I ask for yours) no more than 5,000 smashed and embittered Catholic boys and girls they drove to suicide or drunken oblivion and early death in those years.

The crimes are comparable pretty much and well-attested and well known from enquiries here and in Germany, the US and Ireland. Why then do we not bomb the Vatican and obliterate Italy for harbouring this criminal mastermind, this known protector of evil predators? Why do we not pursue him through the sewers of Europe and riddle his corpse with bullets?

Can it be, perhaps, because we think Italians and Germans are in some way superior to Afghans or Saudis or Palestinians? Can it be because we believe Catholic priests have a right to hurt little boys and Taliban mullahs and chieftains no right to hurt little girls and young women?

Why do we do this? Why are we not bombing the Vatican?


If an Australia-wide child care corporation had been shown to have covered up 1000 cases of child rape by its teachers it would have been wound up, its assets seized and sold, its CEO arraigned for criminal neglect, its employees held for questioning, the offending perverts jailed or put in madhouses, its name eternally stained.

Yet precisely this kind of crime has occurred in another institution responsible for the care and shaping of children, the Catholic Church.

Should it be outlawed?

Or is it, simply, too big to fail?

Just asking.

It is worthwhile, I think, to make these connections, of how forgivingly we treat the First World rich and the contrasting way we treat the Third World poor. How we treat the crimes of Christians and of heathens in very different ways. It shows how crazy we have lately come to be, and how justly we are despised by the Islamic world, and the Communist world, and many of our former colonies.

If we do this violence to the Taliban for the way they treat their women and children, why not the Catholics too?

Why not bomb the Vatican, and riddle the Pope with bullets as he staggers out of the flames?


If you can exercise some self-editing, make comments somewhat deeper than "nasty poopy-head should be fired", this could make for an interesting discussion.

I read something not long ago, a comment by … perhaps… George Weigel? … that there was a remarkable similarity to some of the recent anti-Catholic rhetoric and editorial cartoons to the anti-Catholicism during the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.

It might be interesting to find some examples and gather them for the sake of our opportune knowledge.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Clerical Sexual Abuse, Throwing a Nutty. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. ghp95134 says:

    The Nazi newspaper Das Schwarze Korps published this anti-Catholic cartoon of a serpent priest in its Dec. 2, 1937 edition. The caption read: “The Crossed Adder forces its way into all places of rottenness and decay in the homes of all people and races, multiplies with extreme rapidity and becomes the terror of the inhabitants. Nations, unable to defend themselves against its poison, are doomed to ruin.” (Taken from The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, 1940)

  2. medievalist says:

    Just as Dawtchins (I can never remember which of Dawkins/Hitchens said what) said it was better for the Pope to stay in place so that he could bring down the whole edifice, so comments like this simply speed up the sane-person’s reaction to the mainstream media.

    The shriller the MSM become, the more normal people realise how crazy some of them are and ignore them with greater frequency.

  3. ghp95134 says:

    Even before he’d become Pope Pius XII, Cardinal Pacelli was vilified in the Nazi press. Here he’s seen consorting with a Jew to undermine the Third Reich. This cartoon appeared in Das Schwarze Korps on July 22, 1937)

    This cartoon ran in the Nazi newspaper Das Schwarze Korps, on July 22, 1937. Notice the Catholic priest being trampled by the Hitler Youth. The caption reads: “If also our singing and revelry does not please the prigs and humbugs…” Another popular ditty sung by the Hitler Youth and even passed out officially at the Hochland camp for the Hitler Youth at Lenggries in 1935 went as follows:

    Autumn’s storm blows o’er the stubble
    And rages o’er fallow and mead;
    A new thousand years begins for the world,
    Oh, Deutschland creative, take heed.

    The Pope sits in Rome on his silk-covered throne
    And settled on us are his parsons.
    And what, pray, has any man-jack of us all
    To do with the Pope and his parsons?

    Our sires were as heretics burnt at the stake
    To crown the Church mil’tant with glory
    etc., etc.


    “She belongs to the church, she belongs to Satan. Both are lost to the German race.”

  4. rayrondini says:

    I could easily be missing some fundamental piece to this, but…

    To my knowledge, we do NOT hold the President of the United States responsible for every crime which happens in this country. Right? Naturally.

    I mean, why don’t we just charge Obama for Watergate? Why not just accuse him of Clinton’s adultery, simply because they’re associated by virtue of the office they hold?

    It would seem as though, in their anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-Christ hatred, people completely abandon reason, logic, or coherent thought and instead spew forth feculent blather intended to just incite rage.

  5. ajwagner54 says:

    It seems pretty obvious to me that his point is not that the Vatican SHOULD be bombed, but that Afghanistan SHOULDN’T have been–that the U.S. should have used diplomacy instead.

    Now, I think that is rather naive and most of you probably will too, but that is where he seems to be going with this.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    This is despicable.

  7. Thomas S says:

    Worse than the article itself are the many comments underneath it. Currently 201 comments and scrolling through them I found no more than a handful that criticized its author. We’ve been fat and happy for so long that we think Elizabethan England is an impossibility in the modern West. Take an Anti-Catholic Leftist government that has already tried to drive a wedge between American Catholics and the Pope (Notre Shame and Obamacare anyone?), mix in an amoral media that constantly beats the drum using sticks of sensationalism in one hand and outright deceit in the other, consider a long history of Anti-Catholicism in the country, and an academic class and entertainment industry that constantly tries to poison the culture against the Church and Her teachings, and what does that give you?

    Still confident that persecution and red martyrdom are an impossibility in this country? If a young man entered the seminary today, what are the odds that seminary would be dissolved or clandestine before his ordination?

  8. Mike says:

    “We’ve been fat and happy for so long…”

    Now, I don’t want to start a “chastiment” sidebar, but this is the truth.

    The ease and comfort of the West has let is rot; it’s in the Church too. It’s certainly in articles like this.

    We all must pray, often, ardently, perseverely.

  9. elaine says:

    I wonder if the original author realizes that “buggering schoolboys” is a well-accepted past time in Afghanistan. Pederasty is rampant- and acceptable- among certain Afghan tribes. Women are to procreate with, and teenage boys are to, er… bugger. I suspect his manufactured horror at this nasty practice would suddenly disappear if it didn’t involve the Catholic Church.

  10. Jacob says:

    The Nazi newspaper Das Schwarze Korps published this anti-Catholic cartoon of a serpent priest in its Dec. 2, 1937 edition. The caption read: “The Crossed Adder forces its way into all places of rottenness and decay in the homes of all people and races, multiplies with extreme rapidity and becomes the terror of the inhabitants. Nations, unable to defend themselves against its poison, are doomed to ruin.” (Taken from The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, 1940)Comment by ghp95134 — 15 April 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    For anyone who cares about history, Das Schwarze Korps, ‘The Black Corps’, was the official newspaper of the SS.

  11. robtbrown says:

    I see that the author is someone named Bob Ellis.

    Yes, that’s the same Bob Ellis who rolled out the screenplays for such cinematic masterpieces as The Nostradamus Kid (1992), Cactus (1986) (with Paul Cox), My First Wife (1984) (with Paul Cox), Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen) (1984) film (with German film director Werner Herzog, Man of Flowers (1983) (with Paul Cox), Goodbye Paradise (1983), … Maybe This Time (with Anne Brooksbank) (1981), Fatty Finn (1980), and Newsfront (1978).

    If you don’t recognize any of those works, maybe the films he directed will shake your memory. Surely, everyone here remembers Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train (1988) and Unfinished Business (1985).

    Just seeing that list makes me want rush to the Netflix site and stock up on Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theatre Butter microwave popcorn.

  12. eulogos says:

    He may be saying we shouldn’t bomb Afganastan, but he is also saying some pretty vicious things about the Pope and the Church. I find it very painful to read “riddle the Pope’s body with bullets as he staggers out of the flames.” I pray that this Pope will live to a great old age and continue his great work in the Church. I worry that this barrage of verbal harrassment will take a toll on his health. And then to read this!

    And doesn’t this increase the chance that some deranged person will try to shoot the Pope?

    Suppose someone wrote “Why don’t we bomb the White House and riddle (name of sitting president at the time)’s body with bullets as he staggers out of the flames?” wouldn’t the FBI be at his door?

    Aren’t there any journalistic standards left? It is acceptable to suggest violent destruction of a holy place of one of the world’s largest religous groups, and violent murder of their leader?

    Susan Peterson

  13. ejcmartin says:

    I am sure glad there are hate speech laws. Oh yeah those don’t apply to Catholics do they? Now if it were just about any other group….

  14. Scott W. says:

    Yes, he was making the Vatican morally equivalent to al Queda and that the response to Afghanistan was wrong so he can wiggle out of a charge that he is calling for violence. But consider that if one of us wrote that an abortion clinic was morally equivalent to al Queda and ended with, “Why don’t we bomb abortion clinics?” we’d never hear the end of it.

  15. Brian.Crane says:

    This reminds me of the time I attended an Easter Vigil Mass where the priest suggested **wink wink** that his altar server (a student at Cal Tech at the time) should put a bomb under the White House…the GWB White House.

  16. Scott W. says:

    Mark Shea nailed it:

    To quote Robert Bolt’s St. Thomas More, “This is not Reformation. This is war on the Church.” And it is using abused children as human shields. These people have not the slightest interest in knowing or caring what they are talking about. Point out that a slanderous misrepresentation of Pope Benedict has not a dram of truth to it, and the reply is: “So, once again, you fail to see the real issue here, and are more concerned about the problems of the Church and its survival, than of ridding the organization of pederasts and their enablers.” Because, of course, the only way to Save The Children is to lie about the Pope.

  17. chcrix says:

    It is pretty clear that the column is a singularly inept attempt to criticize the war policy against Iraq and Afganistan. There is no one who disagrees with those wars more than I do, but this man has lost his grip on reality.

    Someone asked why we don’t hold the President responsible for crimes committed by U.S. forces?

    The answer is the assumption that he did not in fact order the crimes. However, if it could be shown that the crime was in fact ordered by the President, he could be held responsible. So, for example extrajudicial executions could arguably be presented as punishable crimes.

    To carry the analogy to the Church, one would have to claim that priests were dispatched with the specific mission of abusing children. Yet obviously everyone (even the bitterest enemies of the church) recognizes that that is not the case and that any priest who does so is in fact violating the orders of the Church.

    Still, I find myself amazed at the level rhetoric has reached in an entirely manufactured feeding frenzy.

  18. laurazim says:

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be thou our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, o Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all his evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

  19. Peggy R says:

    This is from an Australian media outlet. In addition to being so vile, I just have to ask whether these foreign journalists are capable of coming up with their own cultural references unique to their nations. I could no longer read The Economist, a great journal otherwise, due to its obsession with the U.S. and inability to offer me a non-US cultural point of view. That was more than 6 years ago.

    Examples from here:
    1. Ok, Oz has been an ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, but why beat up the US president? What about your own leaders and their promises?
    2. The “too big to fail” issue is about US federal government bailing out US financial firms. Why is the Oz media focused on that?

    The Taliban were not punished for the way they treat their women and children, but for harboring the terrorists who committed 9-11. Geesh. If that were the standard, the west is grossly negligent in not taking on the many tribal battles and Islamic aggression in Africa. Does this joker get his notes from the US MSM?

  20. Rob Cartusciello says:

    In addition to the Prayer of St. Michael Archangel, we need to pray Psalm 52 every morning for the foreseeable future.

    Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?
    Why do you boast all day long,
    you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?

    Your tongue plots destruction;
    it is like a sharpened razor,
    you who practice deceit.

    You love evil rather than good,
    falsehood rather than speaking the truth.

    You love every harmful word,
    O you deceitful tongue!

    Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
    He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living.

    The righteous will see and fear;
    they will laugh at him, saying,

    “Here now is the man
    who did not make God his stronghold
    but trusted in his great wealth
    and grew strong by destroying others!”

    But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
    I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.

    I will praise you forever for what you have done;
    in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
    I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

  21. markomalley says:

    The more shrill the attacks, the better. The devil wouldn’t bother inspiring this type of tripe otherwise.

    As for Psalm references, consider Ps 2: “Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? 2 The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ. 3 Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. 4 He that dwells in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them. 5 Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.”

  22. Geoffrey says:

    I like Psalm 19 (20) when praying for the Most Holy Father:

    The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
    The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
    May he send you help from the sanctuary,
    and give you support from Zion!
    May he remember all your offerings,
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
    May he grant you your heart’s desire,
    and fulfil all your plans!
    May we shout for joy over your victory,
    and in the name of our God set up our banners!
    May the LORD fulfil all your petitions!

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    Sadly, I think I will see the Vatican bombed and the Holy Father riddled with bullets in my lifetime. As one not given to Apocalyptic fantasies, the direct persecution of the Holy Father doesn’t seem like a Movie of the Week on EWTN it sounds like a very likely scenario. :-(

  24. Kerry says:

    The Taliban in Afghanistan were obliterated by some 10 special forces A-teams in three or four weeks, calling in precision guided JDAMS. Mr. australia seems to be remembering abuses that did not happen… How many divisions does this man have…?

  25. catholicmidwest says:


    Manufactured frenzies are the most dangerous kind.

  26. Anonymous Seminarian says:

    Many have long decried the “Fortress Mentality”… After reading this piece, the first question that popped into my head was: “Should Catholics buy guns while we still can?” What if this isn’t a hiccup but a portent of things to come? I don’t think Hitler would have been so successful if all the Jews in Germany had been packing heat.

  27. LarryPGH says:

    The crimes are comparable pretty much and well-attested and well known… why not bomb the Vatican?

    Two reasons: first, the two don’t scale equally — there are orders of magnitude more priests, let alone Catholics, then there are al-Qaeda operatives; if the numbers of victims (which itself, in his article, are highly doubtable, (and admitted by the author to be arbitrary)) are comparable, then the “density” of crimes per capita and per unit of time is much greater on the al-Qaeda side. Moreover, this “density” is in line with the frequency of occurrences of these crimes within other organizations, worldwide.

    Second — and more importantly — the difference here is the difference between “intent” and “negligence”, a distinction that’s part and parcel of Western justice systems. Clearly, bin Laden and al-Qaeda have intended to kill and injure their victims, whereas the hue and cry over the Pope has been a supposed negligence in dealing with the sexual victimization of children and adolescents. If the Pope has written manifestoes, detailing his plans to sodomize thousands of children, let them see the light of day; if the Vatican has proclaimed its intent to develop and nurture a culture of sexual perversity, then produce the evidence.

    In the absence of such evidence, then, the “crimes” of the Vatican are (1) alleged, but not proven, (2) potential incidents of negligence, not intent, and (3) spread across a wide period of time and a wide swath of the world (and in proportion to the extent of these crimes in other systems and organizations). That’s why we shouldn’t bomb the Vatican and frag the Pope.

    Silly Aussie poopyheads! Oops… sorry… ;^)

  28. AnAmericanMother says:

    From Robert Hugh Benson: Lord of the World (1907)

    It was known at about fifteen-and-a-half o’clock that at least seventy volors had left for Rome, and half-an-hour later that Berlin had reinforced them by sixty more. At midnight, fortunately at a time when the police had succeeded in shepherding the crowds into some kind of order, the news was flashed on to cloud and placard alike that the grim work was done, and that Rome had ceased to exist. The early morning papers added a few details, pointing out, of course, the coincidence of the fall with the close of the year, relating how, by an astonishing chance, practically all the heads of the hierarchy throughout the world had been assembled in the Vatican which had been the first object of attack, and how these, in desperation, it was supposed, had refused to leave the City when the news came by wireless telegraphy that the punitive force was on its way. There was not a building left in Rome; the entire place, Leonine City, Trastevere, suburbs–everything was gone; for the volors, poised at an immense height, had parcelled out the City beneath them with extreme care, before beginning to drop the explosives; and five minutes after the first roar from beneath and the first burst of smoke and flying fragments, the thing was finished. The volors had then dispersed in every direction, pursuing the motor and rail-tracks along which the population had attempted to escape so soon as the news was known; and it was supposed that not less than thirty thousand belated fugitives had been annihilated by this foresight. It was true, remarked the Studio, that many treasures of incalculable value had been destroyed, but this was a cheap price to pay for the final and complete extermination of the Catholic pest. “There comes a point,” it remarked, “when destruction is the only cure for a vermin-infested house,” and it proceeded to observe that now that the Pope with the entire College of Cardinals, all the ex-Royalties of Europe, all the most frantic religionists from the inhabited world who had taken up their abode in the “Holy City” were gone at a stroke, a recrudescence of the superstition was scarcely to be feared elsewhere. Yet care must even now be taken against any relenting. Catholics (if any were left bold enough to attempt it) must no longer be allowed to take any kind of part in the life of any civilised country. So far as messages had come in from other countries, there was but one chorus of approval at what had been done.

  29. J Kusske says:

    “We’ve been fat and happy for so long”. Yes. There is a reason why the College of Cardinals and bishops wear red; and not just they but all of us have to be ready for whenever the time may come to offer up our witness in the most trying manner. It could happen in our lifetimes, and sooner than we once thought, but through prayer and sacrifice, and constant demonstration of a countercultural civilization of love, we can strive to avert the worst and build up the best. In times like these though Jesus’ advice in Matthew 24 on what to do in the end times begins to seem pretty appropriate. But never give up hope–the power comes not from man but from God, and His transforming love can yet change all–come Lord Jesus!

  30. Jord says:

    In my reading of the United Nations descriptions of what constitutes instigation of genocide, this is a prima facie case.

    Comments about this being about not bombing Tora Bora don’t stand up to analysis of the article.

    No need to worry about the appropriateness of any reductio ad Hitlerum. The analogy is hardly a reduction.

    The mention of Hitler, however, makes me want to appeal to my Rabbi friends reading this blog to offer a word of support for the Pope, at least on their own web-sites. How about you Muslims out there? How about you Buddhists? …

  31. Jord says:

    Here’s some perspective about why Australian liberals at ABC are nervous about the Pope, whom they think they must attack right now. This news just in:

    “FOUR bishops, 40 priests and thousands of parishioners from the Traditional Anglican Communion will petition the Vatican by Easter to be received into the Catholic Church.

    Archbishop John Hepworth of Adelaide, primate of the TAC, said 26 parishes in Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, Victoria, far north Queensland and South Australia hoped to be united with Rome by the end of the year.”

    In other words, ABC is out to make sure there is no credibility for the Catholic Church. In that way, the divisions in Christianity will continue. Go figure!

  32. ghlad says:

    @AnAmericanMother and the Fr. Hughes “Lord of the World” excerpt – I just got done reading that book – it is amazing, and a travesty that more people don’t read it for it’s amazing foresight in many things (Dear God, hopefully not a final, actual assault on the Holy City).

    It’s hard to know how to handle something like this. By responding in horror, you risk having a Barbra Streisand Effect, but can we just ignore such hateful things being said? I don’t think so – we must be witnesses to the Truth.

    Thanks for sharing this, Fr. Z.

  33. TJerome says:

    Keep in mind that most of these folks commenting are “liberal” and not right-wingers.

  34. robtbrown says:

    Once again: These problems should have been handled within the dioceses and religious orders (exc Maciel), who have the juridical authority to remove priests from any pastoral contact. The Vatican laicizes priests or hears appeals.

  35. JonM says:

    I find the comment a striking depiction of the warnings at Fatima of what a Holy Father could endure.

  36. AnAmericanMother says:

    Well, bingo, Jord.

    Follow the money. As always.

  37. Mike says:

    For the record, I found Fr. Hughes “Lord of the World” almost unreadable. Don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but the book, in my view, isn’t very well written.

  38. pjthom81 says:

    I agree JonM….between that and Prophesy of the Popes….is this Australian rag doing this on purpose?

    Of course, I would like to think that most people will be turned off by extremists of any type. A got a few chuckles out of a party criticizing the Church writ large by pointing out (1) the abuse had not occurred recently for the most part, and (2) much of the abuse had occured in the 60’s and 70’s, when sexual perversions of all sorts seemed an international pastime…..across society period. At least the Church preached against the anything goes attitude at the time. I think that permissive revolution has now gone, as all revolutions do, into its puritanical stage.

    On the bright side, at least we now have convinced even the most extreme of liberals that sex with minors is wrong, and so is an unchaste priesthood. Also, we apparently now also know that sex with a minor is a crime equivalent to not only murder, but mass murder. Given where we were over the past 40 years or so, these are stunning admissions (Have we told Justice Kennedy and the liberal block who had banned the death penalty for sexual crimes?). Shall we make a deal? We shall stop calling for Osama bin Laden’s head the moment that he issues a statement condemning suicide bombing as strongly as Benedict has condemned pedophilia. Then we can drop this whole violence thing that the liberals hate anyhow and move on to the more productive, meaningful work of commencing the healing process….

  39. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Bob Ellis gets little attention in Australia and it is no surprise to find him on the GayBC Blog.I have not noticed any commentary on this piece which is now one week old. He is an old Left Wing hack who fell into a “haze”some years back and though endearingly remembered by like -minded Lefties, they don’t seem to trust him to do anything. After this I would suggest he has burnt his last bridge. Lest anyone think such outrages are acceptable in Australia, they are not, and I have not seen anything like it. It is being brought to the attention of the ABC Chairman and the Government.

    Mike , You need to allow that “Lord of the World” was written in about 1908! I found it a great read and delightful on several levels.I loved the far-sighted reference to an ëlectric message machine”,was amused that anyone would give a character the Christian name “Mabel”(I had an aunt of about that era with the same name) and I thought the idea of Ambulance – like services that went out to terminate people injured in accidents might be not too far off.

  40. Bos Mutissimus says:

    Consider Luke 22:31-32: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” It occurred to me that the accusers of the Holy Father (“Peter;” that is, “Simon”) are indeed demanding him and putting him through the wringer (“sifting”). And accusers they are: I think the Hebrew word-origin of “Satan” means “Accuser.”

    I am not suggesting the various accusers of the Holy Father in the last three weeks are actually satanists, or involved in a satanic cult; but that their actions appear to be motivated by diabolical purposes. All the more reason to pray to St. Michael for defense; thanks for posting the reminders.

  41. avecrux says:

    Can you even imagine the consequence if someone had written such an article about George Tiller, the late term abortionist who ended up being gunned down?

    I still remember columnist Mike Hendricks in Kansas City say: “…the motive for the crime we can all surmise in light of the vitriolic campaign that has been waged against Tiller for more than two decades by anti-abortion groups. And if we’re right about that, then we already know the identities of his accomplices. They include every one who has ever called Tiller’s late term abortion clinic a murder mill. Who ever called Tiller ‘Tiller the Killer.'”

    Or how about: “People have a right to disagree about abortion,” said a statement from Michael B. Keegan, president of People for the American Way, “but it’s impossible to separate today’s tragedy from the violent language that has been directed for years at doctors like George Tiller.”

    Or how about this from the NARAL website: “Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said antiabortion groups should soften their words. She said the killing was ‘not an isolated incident. It is part of an ongoing pattern of hateful rhetoric that unfortunately can lead to violence.'”

    Surely they will all be decrying this violent language, vitriolic campaign and hateful rhetoric used against Pope Benedict, right???

  42. MWP says:

    This is the clearest ever example of a hate crime.

    This rabid piece radically brings up visions of Nazi atrocities, such as the vicious putting down of the Warsaw Uprising in German-occupied Poland during the last days of World War II (1944).

    Here’s on the sewers:


    Looks like a flashback to that time, really.

    From the same page, here’s what a Nazi general, Erich von dem Bach, wrote about the uprising by the Jews of Warsaw at the culmination of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland (1943):

    “During the first intrusion into the Ghetto, the Jews and the Polish bandits, through the use of earlier set fires, were able to repel the forces committed to the fighting including tanks and armored vehicles… To prevent an escape to the s e w e r s , the s e w e r s y s t e m underneath the Jewish housing district was immediately flooded; this, however, was an illusion as a result of blowing up of the main water valves by the Jews.

    “J e w s h i d i n t h e s e w e r s and specially outfitted bunkers. In the first days, it was assumed that only individual bunkers existed. However, during the course of the long-lasting mission it turned out that throughout the entire ghetto there was an organized system of cellars, bunkers, and passages. Every passage and bunker had access to the sewer system. This s e w e r s y s t e m w a s u t i l i z e d b y t h e J e w s to cross underground to the Aryan side of the city.”

    (emphasis mine)

    The lesson from this has always been: if they’re capable of thinking and saying it, they’re capable of executing it as well.

  43. isabella says:

    This is sick, sick, sick.

    And it is worse. I just read that Dawkins and the other guy want the Pope arrested when he visits the UK this year – like a common criminal – vs. a head of state. Why do they hate the Church that much? They had some convoluted argument about why the Vatican didn’t qualify as a sovereign state, so the Holy Father was fair game to be snatched.

    Does anybody in the UK know if this is true, or is this just BS? I actually can’t see that happening because of the precedent it would set, but …

    Should I hold off on the plane ticket?

  44. mark1970 says:


    Regarding the “Dawkins wants to arrest the Pope” business, I’m from the United Kingdom so I may be able to give you some information. This first appeared in the UK newspaper “The Sunday Times” last Sunday. The Times/The Sunday Times aren’t exactly friends of the Catholic Church or the Pope at the best of times, but on his blog, Richard Dawkins later claimed that isn’t what he said.

    For months, Richard Dawkins has taken part in a UK campain called “Protest the Pope”. This represents a group of people who, at best, want to see the Pope’s visit to the UK this year cancelled, or at least see the UK government refuse to pay for it. (Just for the record, another member of this group is Peter Tatchell who, if you don’t know him, is a vocal/militant gay rights campaigner.)

    Richard Dawkins claims that he wasn’t one of the prime movers in the “arrest the Pope” campaign but, from what he says, it sounds as though he’s jumped on the bandwaggon as he thinks it may advance the “Protest the Pope” campaign. He seems to realise there’s very little chance of any of the authorities really allowing the Pope to be arrested on British soil. However he’s hoping that if the “arrest the Pope” campaign makes enough noise, it may cause the Papal visit to the UK to be cancelled, or at least the British government will refuse to subsidise it. This is what he wanted in the other campaign, so this thing of arresting the Pope just seems a means to an end.

    right, I’ll put muy soap-box away noww… Hope the information helps..



  45. Bruce says:

    “Why do they hate the Church that much?”

    Because the Church reminds them of their sins.

  46. Peter in Canberra says:

    I think the Anti-Catholic Bigotry Corporation has completely lost the plot, allowing this type of article to be published. The ABC has long had an anti-Catholic agenda. As an Australian taxpayer, I am offended that my money is being used to publish this rot. I will definitely be complaining.

  47. Michael in NoVA says:

    For some reason, I see Bob Ellis being like Turnbull from Chesterton’s “The Ball and the Cross.” Perhaps we are like young Evan, no?

    Look at this passage:
    “What is this?” cried little Mr. Turnbull, starting up with hair aflame. ” How dare you break my window? ”

    “Because it was the quickest cut to you,” cried Evan, stamping. ” Stand up and fight, you crapulous coward. You dirty lunatic, stand up, will you? Have you any weapons here?”

    ” Are you mad ? ” asked Turnbull, glaring.

    ” Are you ? ” cried Evan. ” Can you be anything else when you plaster your own house with that God-defying filth? Stand up and fight, I say.”

    A great light like dawn came into Mr. Turnbull’s face. Behind his red hair and beard he turned deadly pale with pleasure. Here, after twenty lone years of useless toil, he had his reward. Some one was angry with the paper. He bounded to his feet like a boy; he saw a new youth opening before him. And as not unfrequently happens to middle-aged gentlemen when they see a new youth opening before them, he found himself in the presence of the police.

  48. Scott W. says:

    He seems to realise there’s very little chance of any of the authorities really allowing the Pope to be arrested on British soil. However he’s hoping that if the “arrest the Pope” campaign makes enough noise, it may cause the Papal visit to the UK to be cancelled, or at least the British government will refuse to subsidise it. This is what he wanted in the other campaign, so this thing of arresting the Pope just seems a means to an end.

    Thanks for the background. My instincts were telling me it was exactly as you describe–that it was more for noise and attention than an actual plan. Arresting the pope would set a deadly precedent for all diplomatic relations and ultimately no one with the authority to do so has the brass for it.

  49. Mitchell NY says:

    It is one thing when acts of violence occur based on the impulse of some stupid, cruel individuals. It is entirely another to encourage such violence and harm against others. Who, in their right mind would wish harm on others? Praying or wishing for peace in the minds of sick or conflicted people is a better approach. I just don’t buy advocating other forms of violence. Having had violence touch my own life, it would be unbearable to think someone wrote an article encouraging it…

  50. AnAmericanMother says:

    Vexilla, Mike,

    You need to read Lord of the World as a product of its times.

    It’s about halfway between the old Victorian days — when people had all the time in the world to read three-deckers aloud around the parlor table — and today, when people like their novels spare and short.

    Slow exposition, elaborate descriptions of the scene, rather stilted dialogue (although if you read Trollope, who was counted the best at reproducing the actual speech of educated Englishmen, they really did talk that way). It’s the exposition that drives modern readers crazy. The book starts slow as Benson is explaining who everybody is, and then picks up to a faster pace.

    I spent a lot of time in school with the English Victorians and the New England writers, so I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me. But I see how modern readers would find it tough.

  51. PostCatholic says:

    It is an interesting juxtaposition to compare one religious fanatic and the destructive legacy of his organization to another. I think this article is actually a better hyperbolic argument for why western governments ought not have bombed Afghanistan.

  52. Comparing the Taliban to the Catholic Church, esp. Pope Benedict as a “Catholic” Bin Laden is satanic.
    The abuse of minors and the coverup is evil. Period. No argument.
    But does Bin Laden and his followers do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy throughout the world, day in and day out? Is Bin Laden a “moral compass” for even non-Catholics and people of no faith when it comes to speaking for human rights, dignity, the common good?
    Pope Benedict, PostCatholic, is NOT a religious fanatic; the Catholic Church does not have “a destructive legacy”; you can disagree with the teachings of the Church, you can be outraged by the action/inaction of some of her leaders, but for heaven’s sake, is this what you really mean?!
    This is just hyperbole at its worst; this abuse scandal is just a big stick that all those who hate the Church are using (including people so-called ‘within’ the Church) to bash the place to smithereens.
    Is that what you want?
    Let’s get some perspective on all of this.

  53. irishgirl says:

    nazareth priest-what you said!

  54. PostCatholic says:

    The comparison of intensely devoted religious adherents to each other points up the similarities and differences of their ideologies, nazareth priest. It is not “satanic”.

    Nor is there a Satan, but that’s another matter.

    “Pope Benedict, PostCatholic, is NOT a religious fanatic;”

    A religious fanatic is someone motivated by an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm for a deity. Can we agree on that definition?

    “the Catholic Church does not have “a destructive legacy”; you can disagree with the teachingof the Church, you can be outraged by the action/inaction of some of her leaders, but for heaven’s sake, is this what you really mean?!”

    I recognize that the Catholic church concurrently does a lot of good works. But yes, I really mean it when I say it has a destructive legacy.

  55. Jim of Bowie says:

    Stop feeding the trolls

  56. Jim of Bowie: Yep. Done.

  57. Amy MEV says:

    Nasty poopy-head should be fired.

  58. Amy MEV: To whom are you referring? We seem to have a lot of “nasty poop-head” types…could you elaborate?

  59. AnAmericanMother says:


  60. isabella says:

    Thank you for the reassurance that the Pope will not be arrested in the UK. Especially for the back story on the real agenda. I prayed for him before I went to sleep last night (Pope Benedict, that is). I hope he has a fruitful, peaceful visit and that I get a chance to go see him because I have that month off.

  61. PostCatholic says:

    Apparently pejoration of the opposition is easier than dialogue. Well, bounces off me and sticks to you, as they say on the playground.

  62. PostCatholic: You just don’t give up, do you?
    “Pejoration of the opposition”? I’ll dialogue. But quit being so nasty, okay?

  63. PostCatholic says:

    I don’t think I was nasty. You asked me what I believed and I answered you.

  64. Comparing Pope Benedict with Bin Laden and the Catholic Church with the Taliban is nasty.
    I’m sorry. Let the moderator decide.
    You can disagree with all kinds of everything; but ad hominem attacks and outrageous analogies are not the field of discussion here.
    Put your objections in rational and understandable English and we can talk.
    Attacks like that can come to nothing.

  65. Final recommendation. The next time I feel compelled to post about tone, I will lock out everyone involved.

    Please issue your irenic statements of regret and proceed if you wish. It’s up to you.

  66. robtbrown says:

    Nor is there a Satan, but that’s another matter.

    How can you be so certain of that? If you want to say that you don’t think Satan exists, that’s one thing. Your comment, however, is subjective, which divorces it from certitude.

    “Pope Benedict, PostCatholic, is NOT a religious fanatic;”

    A religious fanatic is someone motivated by an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm for a deity. Can we agree on that definition?

    Probably not.

    First, your use of “extreme” is ambiguous. Does it refer to someone like Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Or someone like John Brown?

    Second, to say that someone like JRatzinger is uncritical is in itself uncritical. He is well known for being widely read. In his published works he has referred to both Heisenberg and Max Planck. Further, his book on Eschatology contains distinctions that have more than a bit in common with those made by Steven Hawking, points I raised in my scintillating doctoral dissertation. (BTW, I met Hawking in the mid 80’s at the Trevi Fountain. He was not yet the rock star, but I was aware of his work with Roger Penrose.)

    “the Catholic Church does not have “a destructive legacy”; you can disagree with the teaching of the Church, you can be outraged by the action/inaction of some of her leaders, but for heaven’s sake, is this what you really mean?!”

    I recognize that the Catholic church concurrently does a lot of good works. But yes, I really mean it when I say it has a destructive legacy.
    Comment by PostCatholic

    Everything that participates in nature has a destructive legacy (cf. entropy).

    Everything that is foolish in the world is to be found in the Catholic Church. The Church, however, has something the world does not offer–the wisdom of the saints.

  67. PostCatholic says:

    One irenic statement coming up: I can see I’m upsetting people, and I’m sincerely sorry. Like all atheists, sometimes I get impatient with believers. I will try to be more respectful. I also did not mean to imply with my comments that I equate the Pope with Bin Laden or endorse the writer’s call for of violence. I will let the matter rest and not debate it further.

    For what it may be worth (possibly nothing, since I’m outside the fold) I frequently find the angry tone taken in the comments on the posts on this blog to be highly objectionable. I will do my best not to swept along with that, but it’s only fair to point out there are other recent comments elsewhere on this blog this week where people did actually endorse violence against others. Liberals are people too; often they are very good people.

  68. TonyLayne says:


    “Like all atheists, sometimes I get impatient with believers.”

    Understandable. For my part, I know that there are atheists who can’t be lumped into the Dawkins/Hitchens/Pullman model, whose challenges to faith, although not insurmountable, are well-reasoned and free of mudslinging.

    But there does seem at times that there are atheist memes which get passed around uncritically, and which set Christians’ teeth to grinding. One of them is the “religion is the mother of wars” meme, as if humanity freed of religion would necessarily be free of manipulative, warmongering scoundrels. (Oh, they wouldn’t use God as their justification … but is He the only justification people have ever used?) Though I can’t claim to be an historian, I know from my own study that far more goes into even a putatively religious war than the simple cry, “Deus vult!” Granting that disciples of Christ ought to be reluctant to make war save by necessity—this is not intended to be a tu quoque argument, after all—and that the Catholic faith has been exploited by people with other agendas, it’s still an annoying “red herring”.

    Having said that, being outside the fold—only temporarily, I may hope—doesn’t mean that your critique is therefore worthless. I would simply caution you to examine some of the hand grenades you toss, to make sure they don’t blow up in your face. :^)=)

  69. TonyLayne says:

    Postscript: Besides, PostCatholic, you do have a valid point … many if not most liberals are good people who mean well. Sometimes, though, the words “He meant well” can be the most damning statement of all. And I say that as one who has “meant well” all too often.

  70. Good intentions often have bad consequences.

    The thoughts of some leave me speechless…

  71. torch621 says:

    They blogged about this on the NCRegister website, and the anti-Catholic hate poured out in droves. It’s amazing, Pope Benedict has pretty much been proven innocent and the Pharisees insist on their attacks and lies.

  72. mark1970 says:

    Following on (perhaps at a slight tangent) from the last comment by torch621, I’m reminded of a ‘phone call I had with a friend last week. My friend compared those attacking the Church, and the Pope, to a pack of dogs(!) A pack of dogs, when they think their prey is injured, will attack with even greater ferocity. By analogy, the enemies of the Pope and the Church are now attacking with even greater ferocity, as they believe the Pope and Church have been injured by recent scandals. My friend concluded that the best way to deal with the situation is to fight back, otherwise the attacks will continue. Personally, I think it’s a good analogy and have a lot of sympathy with her views. What do other readers think?

  73. PostCatholic says:

    I think throw the dogs a bone and they might back off a little. The Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna needs to go.

  74. AnAmericanMother says:

    Speaking as a dog handler — you can’t throw them a bone and expect them to back off. They come in closer, looking for more bones.

    The thing to do is find the leader of the dog pack and put the hurt on him. When you nail the leader, the pack becomes disorganized and will flee.

    Otherwise, a confident, mildly aggressive posture and the ability to back it up with action are indicated.

  75. What do you propose they do to Cardinal Law, PostCatholic?
    Would the stock and public lynching quell this obsession you seem to have? I’m not being nasty here; why would doing anything other than putting him “out to pasture” do any other good?
    He’s ineffective; nobody hears from him; he has no authority. Please, give it a rest, man!
    Let’s deal with the present, which the media doesn’t seem to want to do. The Church, whether or not you want to admit it, is dealing with this.
    There were six, I repeat six, credible accusations of minors being abused in the last year in the US.
    That is six too many. But where in the heck is all this outrage and condemnation coming from?
    Could you please take on the public schools and swimming coaches, and leave the Church to deal with this?

  76. PostCatholic says:

    Out to pasture would be plenty for me, nazarethpriest, but that hasn’t been done yet. Cardinal Law is still a member of several Congregations. Including, rather incredibly, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Congregation for Catholic Education. A racketeer like him does not belong in a place where he is invited to influence policy for the universal church.

    And nazarethpriest, I haven’t talked about this before, but I do have my own bona fides for my anger with regard to Boston. When I was a teenager, Law assigned three pastors in a row to the parish I grew up in who were credibly accused of sexual assault. (The last died of AIDS). I know personally of the awful turmoil victims have lived with, including having known one person who later committed suicide. I once watched Law tell what we both knew at the time was a bald-faced lie to a point-blank question posed by a girl at a youth retreat I was working. And I have read a lot of the documents collected about the Boston scandal, and I have the Cardinal’s deposition in which he recounted why preventing scandal was more important than reporting a murder. That’s where my outrage is coming from.

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