Part 1 — Concerning the impending change in popes:
The level and intricacy of maneuver, plots, schemes, conivings, chicanery and competing conspiracies within the upper circles of the RC church are beyond anything that Dan “Da Vinci Code” Brown or Marvel Comix could imagine. So us outside small fry can only speculate, and wait for the tell-all books to come out in a few years or decades; they should be seriously lurid.
But here’s my take, FWIW: there are two over-arching issues facing the Vatican (which for this kind of discussion is distinct from the RC Church as a whole, the way Washington DC is distinct from the US.)
One, damage control for the (very expensive) fallout from the ongoing exposure of the international pedophile protection racket they’ve been running for so long. Bennie has done his best to contain and suppress this fallout (including his own role in various related coverups, which I believe is extensive).
But along the way he’s become damaged goods himself.
So now it’s time for him to go, to be replaced by someone who can distract the world media (OMG! The first black pope!!!) while skillfully continuing the damage control/suppression mission behind the PR smoke and mirrors. For whoever takes Bennie’s place, that’s probably Job One.
Or maybe Job Two. Because the other big issue for the Vatican is that it has become a major international money-laundering and financial scam center for all sorts of real world-class lowlifes, individual and corporate. (Even including spooks and spies of various sorts.) This other bottomless well of sleaze (which probably contains the bones of any number of murder victims) is beginning to be exposed to wider scrutiny as well. In addition, the Great Crash of a few years ago has not been kind to the Vatican’s finances.
The overall fallout of this is as potentially damaging as the pedophile stuff. (What?? You thought that all the guys there cared about was boffing little boys and girls?? Oh, naive innocence! Money, Dudes. Capital. Land. Palaces & mansions. Jewelry. Art. Not to mention the high-priced lawyers, political protection and general clout all these can buy, and very much need to keep buying.
So the money scandals and screwups have to be managed also.
Added together, these two make for a very full gold-encrusted plate for the next pontiff to make the sign of the cross over. I have no idea who it might be, but unless he’s a saint and a half, my sense is that the Imperium Vaticanum will continue to decline under the next reign as it has under the last two.
To which I can only say, deo gratias.
I have Irish ancestry, and visited Eire in late 2010. It still boggles my mind to consider how close to collapse the Irish Catholic church has come. Ireland no longer Catholic? It sounds like an oxymoron, an utter impossibility; but now it’s pretty much a fact.
Here’s a quote from an article in a UK Catholic paper on a church report detailing the extent of the Irish collapse. Mind-boggling is the word.
“Over the past two decades the abuse crisis went through the Irish Church like a wrecking ball. During this time, a great many Irish people turned away from the Church, and those who remain are demoralised and confused. As recently as 1984, 87 per cent of Irish Catholics attended Mass weekly. Now, only a minority do so. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin last year noted that on any given Sunday only about 18 per cent of the Catholic population of Dublin attends Mass – down to 2 per cent in some areas. He said: ‘The brink has already been reached. The Catholic Church in Ireland will inevitably become more a minority culture.’”
The article goes on to say that more than the pedophile scandals is involved. Read the rest to learn what. . . .