This is Pope Benedict with his trusted secretary Monsignor Georg Gänswein.
Benedict’s trusted secretary, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, will be serving both pontiffs — living with Benedict at the monastery inside the Vatican and keeping his day job as prefect of the new pope’s household. Asked about the potential conflicts, Lombardi was defensive, saying the decisions had been clearly reasoned and were likely chosen for the sake of simplicity. “I believe it was well thought out,” he said.
So Benedict’s male companion (described as a cross between Hugh Grant and George Clooney) will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day. Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?
The above quote is taken from an article at The Dish
As it’s Sunday, I thought I’d take one of my periodical looks at religion.
I wrote here about the possible business opportunities associated with the Rapture.
Of course, missed deadlines for the Rapture are nothing new. Man has been predicting doom since the beginning of time. In 1844 for example there was The Great Disappointment which saw people giving away all their possessions and preparing for the Lord’s return.
And so it was yesterday. It is easy to scoff at these eejits but really, it’s just a demonstration of how easily led human beings can be. I mean Harold Camping isn’t the first man in his 80’s to be literally putting the fear of God into his flock:
A friend of mine on his (private) blog makes the point quite succinctly:
Camping and the Pope agree that Jesus will return – they only argue about the date.
They are agreed that the Bible is holy writ – they disagree on precise interpretation.
They are both agreed that God can and does intervene in human affairs, though neither can offer even a scintilla of objective evidence in support of that belief.
When asked to justify their preposterous beliefs they would both ultimately ascribe them to ‘faith’. In other words a fervent belief in something for which there is no proof whatsoever.
And those in much more powerful positions than Camping claim to have a hotline to Heaven
Ain’t there a universal truth here? It’s easy to make religious and political statements with no proof to back them up and which fly in the face of all the evidence, if you’re a persuasive talker.
That’s why, whether it’s Harold Camping, The Pope, Ian Paisley, Nick Clegg or Nick Griffin, George Bush or George Galloway, there will always be the sad and gullible who believe their rhetoric.
They will follow an idea, no matter how preposterous, to the extent that they are prepared to give away everything they own in its pursuit.
I suppose I’ve been an atheist for about fifteen years. Before that I was hedging my bets and would have described myself as an agnostic. In reality I haven’t really believed in the existence of a God or Gods for my whole adult life. I’m an adult after all. Fairytales, bogeymen, superstition and believing in saintly old men with white beards who reward you if “good” and condemn you if “bad” is surely the stuff of childhood.
I know plenty of religious folks of various faiths. Friends who have prayed for me and my family at various stages – touching in a way. Folk motivated by a desire to live as good a life as possible. Some have told me that they “need” God in their life. That’s all fine and because most of them remain my friends despite my non belief, I afford their faith some respect. It’s important to them and therefore I’ll try not to mention how absurd I think the whole thing is.
But I ask anyone of sound mind to reflect on the state visit of Pope Benedict to Scotland and England this week. This septuagenarian holy man believes that people who don’t share his beliefs and behaviour are doomed to spend eternity in a fire. Hell is not just a symbolic warning says Benny, it’s real.
Fire and brimstone – An inferno.
Benny heads an organisation who at various times in their history have insisted that the earth was flat, that it was the centre of the universe and didn’t move . God help you (sic) as recently as 300 years ago in the developed world (but charmingly still taking place in more traditional parts) if a clergyman accused you of being a witch. It was burning at the stake for you.
These days they tend to stick to matters of traditional doctrine going back thousands of years which will often appeal to the human predisposition to prejudice and fear.
Therefore if you are muslim,gay or even protestant although you avoid burning at the stake, after you die it’s off to the fire with you, or if you’re lucky, Purgatory. Previously you could get away with a spell in Limbo (thanks Tam) but for some reason that doesn’t exist (No shit Sherlock!) any more.
I often wonder how God and the Devil reached the cosy agreement on who goes where in the afterlife. Do they have meetings where they discuss awkward cases? And is the devil aware that he is being used in this way?
I’m just hoping that the devil will be too busy dealing with 1000’s of priests when I arrive in hell.
Stepping out from Ages Dark
Pope Benny visits Bellahouston Park
He’ll preach some homophobia and misogyny
And encourage everyone to produce more progeny
He’ll tell us there’s a man in the sky
Who’ll tend our requirements after we die
But only if we’ve followed particular rules,
Gone to his churches – attended his schools
So it’s down below for Albert and Roddy
And not just because Bert’s parents were proddy
It’s cos of those things that they do in their kip
It tends to make old Benny Boy flip
You’re a sinner to use a coil or a johhny
So the devil is waiting for Senga and Ronnie
And the old dear who overdosed to suffer no more
Just jump in and pull shut the furnace door
So remember remember the shame and damnation
Hell-fire forever – no hope of salvation
The worst pain and suffering you ever knew
But don’t forget that Jesus loves you.