July 12, 2008 | Ronda Jambe

I do not like thee, Cardinal Pell



I do not like thee, Cardinal Pell
The reason why, you know full well.
And please believe the words I tell:
If there were one, you’d rot in hell.
Snap, snap! Time for all those leaders of the church, of all denominations, to call for the removal of this odious man.
Haven’t we all heard quite enough, over many years, about the cover-ups, the abuse, the concealment, the hypocrisy?
Why would anyone in their right mind have any interest whatsoever in an institution that condones the sort of slithery sidewise machinations we have seen in the past week? I am not interested in additional details, as I consider it too boring. It seems he knew about allegations against a priest, upheld them for one complainant the same day he denied knowing about them to another.
Could we all please move on? If I had a choice, there would be no funds going to Ratzinger and his circus either.
And why do people still assume that one needs religion to behave decently? I was talking to my mother about Bill Gates philanthropy. She said ‘It’s a very Christian thing to do.’ I said no, it’s a good, human thing to do. Christians don’t have a monopoly on good behaviour. She agreed, being an agnostic.
I believe religion grew out of the need to need to articulate and reinforce common rules of behaviour to ensure survival. Fine. It also grew, originally, at a time when there were no distinctions between natural science, religion, or philosophy. And maybe magic. Certainly psychology hadn’t shown up yet to tell us how humans behave in groups, and how wonderful it can be to seize control over one’s less perceptive and more gullible fellows. In short, power is a talent – some have it, others just go baaa!
The limited reading I have done in this area supports this hypothesis. But some of my best friends are religious, that’s how open minded I am. Very, don’t you think? And I sometimes visit a church for its historic or artistic merits. The music is, well, heavenly. But to seek out men in creative headgear to tell me how to live my life and take my money, well, really, I’m not interested.
The Catholic church is losing believers, at least in the US. Boston was rocked by scandals, and donations are falling. In Africa, perhaps the priesthood is still seen as a career path, along the lines of Le rouge et le Noir, Stendahl’s novel of early 19th century France, and the hypocrisy and corruption of the Catholic Church. Plus ca change….



Posted by Ronda Jambe at 1:24 pm | Comments (23) |
Filed under: Religion

23 Comments

  1. I think the Catholic Church sewed the seeds of their own destruction when they embraced the lie of chasity.While many of their clergy kept to the straight and narrow,there were many sexual deviants who were born out of this denial of a very basic need.
    I was taught by Augustinian Priests.Some were brilliant,decent human beings.A few were quite screwed up both sexually and socially.
    It was not until many years later that I heard of the suicide of one of their devoted lay teachers,who I considered to be a normal decent human being bar one incident.He was in a live in situation of one of Sydney’s leading Catholic schools.After being accused of molesting boys there,he killed himself.
    Now ,you’d think an innocent person would stay and fight.
    My point is this.The Catholic Church in the past, has used people’s sexuality as a tool of control,thus in one hand making them feel guilty about it,and on the other using it also as a reward.Denial was seen as character building.They did not see that this whole philosphy was creating the very deviants they abhorred.
    The results are what we see today.It has come back to bite them and left much human destruction in it’s wake.
    George Pell is just a symptom of a much greater malaise.

    Comment by Arjay — July 12, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  2. I totally agree

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 12, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  3. “I must confess, I haven’t bothered with any details, I consider it too boring.”
    “But I have no background or reading to confirm this hypothesis.”
    There are people that love to make extreme, morally condemnatory statements about the entire Roman Catholic hierarchy, statements that they wouldn’t be caught dead making about other social, racial or religious groups.
    Condemn the entire Jewish community because some Jews are bad? Condemn all Muslims because some Muslims are bad? Condemn an entire race because some of its members are bad? None of these generalisations are acceptable, yet you can generalise until your heart’s content when it comes to Roman Catholicism.
    I enjoy Graham Young’s writing, so it’s a shame I won’t be visiting this site in the future because of this post.
    And I’m not even a Catholic.

    Comment by Tysen Woodlock — July 12, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  4. Perhaps you mistake my glibness for ignorance, Tysen. I have read The God Delusion, and found that ultimately boring also. I’ve read enough history of the Reformation, the Inquisition, and English history to know that religion is about power.
    I therefore reject the obligation to give Cardinal Pell the benefit of the doubt, or to fog my mind with intricate obfuscations. As with Belinda Neal, as with the Corby mess, as with a lot of other topics that could mess with my intelligence.
    So no, I don’t need to read more or read detail about this particular incident.
    If you have read any of my other postings, you will know from where I was coming when I wrote that.
    Perhaps you are being dogmatic.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 13, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  5. Tysen Woodlock:
    Hope you do return to comment on this blog.
    One of the very big problems in Australia is that the vilification and oppression of Catholics on the basis of their religion is still within living memory [at least, of the older members of the community who lived through those times] so that criticisms of the Catholic Church – and its leaders – are often still seen in that context.
    It is, for some people, as though Vatican II never happened or that there never was the truce between Catholics and Anglicans [and Freemasons too?] that enabled Australia to avoid the conflict that ruined Northern Ireland.
    Graham Young and Arjay:
    One of the consistent features of the Catholic Church throughout its history is its capacity to adapt and change. Regrettably, in some cases a few centuries late – but change it did.
    In recent years, a few saints, like St.Christopher, were “desaintified” …. so we may yet see a review of the status and prominence of those saints who were woman-haters or who confused religious devotion with extreme practices or who took themselves so far away from the spirit of the Gospels.
    Wonder if the Pope who succeeds BXVI will call both celibacy and the role of women into question?

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 13, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  6. Tysen and Graham Bell,I’m not totally bagging the Catholic Church.Just pointing out a major flaw they have failed to address.The Catholic Church has achieved much in Education.I have sent my 3 children to Catholic Schools even though I’m agnostic,I do not inflict my beliefs on anyone.Religion/spirituality is a very personal thing.
    While I can understand Rhonda’s feelings of repulsion towards George Pell.This cover up of paedophiles within the Church has been happening for centuries.They have painted themselves into a corner.
    They don’t want to know about it since each stone overturned has the potential of finding a rock spider,which in turn leads to litigation.
    Personally I don’t like Pell’s style,but you also have to be fair in stating that one indiscretion should not determine a person’s future.Pell was probably implementing at that time,unofficial Catholic policy.Deny it,cover up,because the truth is too awful to bare.Families often have the same reaction.

    Comment by Arjay — July 13, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

  7. There has been a collapse in the numbers of young people seeking to join the clergy – and I shall watch with interest the upcoming SBS Dateline program on why so there is a shortage of priests in Ireland now.
    Wonder if disgust and a compelling desire not to be associated with what the public now perceives as a bunch of kiddie-fiddlers might be part of the reason for that shortage?
    It will be interesting to see how the heirachy of the Catholic Church adapts to this very serious crisis – perhaps a terminal crisis – but definitely a worse crisis than being blamed by the Emperor Nero for the burning of Rome, worse than the Great Schism, worse than the Reformation and worse than the rise of atheistic Communism.

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 13, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  8. There has been a collapse in the numbers of young people seeking to join the clergy – and I shall watch with interest the upcoming SBS Dateline program on why so there is a shortage of priests in Ireland now.
    Wonder if disgust and a compelling desire not to be associated with what the public now perceives as a bunch of kiddie-fiddlers might be part of the reason for that shortage?
    It will be interesting to see how the heirachy of the Catholic Church adapts to this very serious crisis – perhaps a terminal crisis – but definitely a worse crisis than being blamed by the Emperor Nero for the burning of Rome, worse than the Great Schism, worse than the Reformation and worse than the rise of atheistic Communism.

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 13, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  9. thanks, Graham, for alerting me to the DaleLine program. will watch with interest.
    There is a line of theological thought, with Sprong as the main proponent, that suggests a post-deist Christianity.
    Sort of de-centralises responsibility away from the Big Man, and his fancy hat.
    But by time you take that on board, you have to wonder why have religion at all?

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 14, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  10. RondaJambe:
    [1] Would love to be a fly on the wall at the Papal Retreat – bet it’s not three full days of mere rest & recreation. We mightn’t see the real impact of any conversations during these 3 days until long after His Holiness returns to the Holy See.
    [2] Catholic Cardinal Pell and Anglican Archbishop Hollingsworth were both seen as being too enthusiastic in protecting their own organizations rather than caring about the individual souls affected …. that really didn’t look good at all to the general public.
    [3] Religion can have beneficial influences, nice unexpected ones – on some people.
    [4] Heard a couple of Spong’s broadcasts/interviews. He is a brilliant thinker and he has certainly shaken Western Christianity out of its torpor …. and for that, his place in history is assured.
    [5] I always thought the Catholic Church would be the first in Western Christendom to rejoin the rest of the Patriarchies [a thousand years is a bit long to carry on a family brawl] followed by the Anglicans then the Lutherans and other mainstram Protestants.
    Given the current turmoil inside the Anglican/Episcopalian Churches – they might be the ones to bolt home several lengths ahead of the Catholics. Watch this space ….

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 14, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  11. Organised comments from Ronda. Yes, you really do wonder if the Catholic Church has become so “old” that it has finally lost the knack of adapting.
    It can’t grasp that in a world with ecological problems by the score, including a population explosion and severe resources depletion, that dogmas applicable to a Feudal time when people had huge numbers of kids just to reach replacement level, against the predations of famine, pox, plague and war, just don’t apply in this era.

    Comment by paul walter — July 15, 2008 @ 4:31 am

  12. A test of the Pope’s purity would have been if he welcomed the protesters to his visit, turned the other cheek, as it were.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 15, 2008 @ 6:53 am

  13. Mistakes by The Catholic hieratchy are being made Pell-mell but give them a fair go as they set their house i order.
    socratease

    Comment by robert halsey — July 15, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  14. Even if the Christian faith is based on a lie of Jesus rising from the dead and being the son of god,you cannot take from both the catholic and other christian faiths their achievements in both education and instilling some form of discipline in society be it oppressive at times, it has had positive affects.
    On the other side of the coin today,we have the breakdown of society with drugs,crime and corruption,causing decay.This is why there is a movement back to religion.Instead of preaching the Bible form the pulpit alone,they could make it more relevant by including philosophy and human relationships.They will have to evolve or become irrelevant.
    Perhaps we humans have not evolved enough emotionally to cope with the reality of atheism and need the god delusion for fatherly/motherly comfort.After all,in evolutionary terms,we have just decended from the trees.

    Comment by Arjay — July 15, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

  15. Even if the Christian faith is based on a lie of Jesus rising from the dead and being the son of god,you cannot take from both the catholic and other christian faiths their achievements in both education and instilling some form of discipline in society be it oppressive at times, it has had positive affects.
    On the other side of the coin today,we have the breakdown of society with drugs,crime and corruption,causing decay.This is why there is a movement back to religion.Instead of preaching the Bible form the pulpit alone,they could make it more relevant by including philosophy and human relationships.They will have to evolve or become irrelevant.
    Perhaps we humans have not evolved enough emotionally to cope with the reality of atheism and need the god delusion for fatherly/motherly comfort.After all,in evolutionary terms,we have just decsended from the trees.

    Comment by Arjay — July 15, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

  16. There is no denying the good work of many churches. The rise of some radical Muslim movements is due to their good social work in communities, and in opposition to their corrupt governments.
    The good heart and devoted energies of a Minister friend are humbling and inspiring.
    And yes, some reform is occurring.
    But Cardinal Pell does his church no favours when he call for a)more population growth, and b) declare himself a climate sceptic. Calming down population growth, especially in the developed countries, which are the biggest consumers, is critical for addressing and mitigating climate change.
    All is connected, now more than ever, amen.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 16, 2008 @ 6:51 am

  17. Ronda, you said -
    ” “The rise of some radical Muslim movements is due to their good social work in communities, and in opposition to their corrupt governments.” ”
    Spot on!
    Perhaps the third worst thing the Catholic Church – or at least its heirachy – has done since the death of Pope John XXIII was to regard anything that looked even slightly like reform as the accursed “Liberation Theology” – whether it was or not.
    That obsession, possibly understandable in a man who had struggled for much of his life against Godless Communism, might have got the Apostles and many of the Saints into trouble had they walked among us today. He is dead – the whole world has changed – yet the old obsession seems to live on. Why??? What purpose does it serve now?
    Groups like Hizbollah and Hamas know quite well that their interests are advanced by being perceived as using very modern techniques in dealing with social, economic and political problems afflicting their members’ families – and, what is more important, the wider community …. all dressed up in claims that they are upholding traditional Islam, of course.
    It is not as though the Catholic Church, throughout its long history, lacked saints, clergy, activists and – yes – martyrs too, who could be emulated for having been in the forefront of the social progress of their time and for alleviating suffering. Trouble is, since Pope John XXIII died, these exemplary people have been locked away out of sight and out of mind.
    Who benefitted from this neglect of such worthy role models? The happy-clappers, the cults, the Buddhists, the Moslems, the secularists and anyone else who was helped by retrograde attitudes, among some in the heirachy of the Catholic Church, to pick up converts from Catholicism.
    It is possible to be at the forefront of progress AND uphold ancient and noble traditions. Not easy …. but it can be done – and done very well indeed.

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 16, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  18. Rhonda,George Pell was actually being very politically incorrect here,when talking about pop growth.Pell’s criticism was levelled at the Western World that was until this point in time,was the role model of both freedom and progressive thought.Pell is wrong about contraception and divorce.It is none of their business.
    The West has lost it’s way,and there is nothing to fill the void.We have a totalitarian China and Russia who look like being the powers of the new world order.
    There is no philosophical/political freedom of thought in either of these countries.In their world,you and I would not be exchanging these views at this moment.
    We have the anomoly of the free world shrinking because of a guilt ridden past,hedonestic lifestyles and China/Russia creating a new totalitarian world order.
    There is nothing wrong with being a climate sceptic,as the science is far from being proven.The next 5 yrs will tell the true story.

    Comment by Arjay — July 16, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

  19. Arjay, once again we are in agreement, except about climate change.
    These past few weeks I’ve been doing a stint in the public service, and am impressed with how decent the place is. Lots of integrity, even with the complexities of bureaucracy.
    And every day I remember that democracy isn’t a gift, and that if little people like me don’t speak up and be active, we will lose it.
    Civic participation is down in the US, as Putnam wrote in Bowling Alone in 95.
    Perhaps Pell’s words for the Western world was a code for ‘white’ world? He’s got everything else wrong, and he’s a leader? Laughable.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 17, 2008 @ 7:13 am

  20. Some of the most progressive groups are secular: MSF, WWF, Amnesty, etc.
    The West does seem rather lost, look at how Obama is moving to the right, alienating the very people who want him to show progress (although they don’t want that to involve sacrifices).
    And Rudd seems to be a pale, polite version of the leader we need, given the milk toast emissions scheme.
    For me, environmentalism is a spiritual force. I hate being a crybaby at the zoo when I see the tigers, and the sign saying 4 of the 8 species are already extinct. That pain makes me mad, and sometimes, take a bit of action. Next to that urgency, silly cardinals are just an annoyance.
    The black Cardinal from south africa on Dateline last night was handsome, articulate and totally ridiculous, including his fancy dress.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 17, 2008 @ 7:21 am

  21. Arjay:
    Agree with you that “The West has lost it’s way” but disagree very stongly that “…. there is nothing to fill the void”.
    There is a lot that can not only fill the void but overflow it – whether that is in religion that has broken the manicles of selfish traditionalism or in the secular free-spirit that brought us such bounties as the Enlightenment or the flowering of the United States, to name only two.
    I’m optimistic. If we strive for it, we can have a happy and fulfilling future – but it won’t be easy.
    Everyone:
    Did you see the item in Crikey today – about what could be a battle royal between devout progressives and enthusiastic traditionalists inside the Catholic Church? Wonder if World Youth Day might be merely a side-show for the main events?

    Comment by Graham Bell — July 17, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  22. Pell was excellent at WYD08! I heard one person today even say that he stole the show.
    So now the biggest gathering in Australia’s history is the Pope’s closing Mass at wyd. 100,000 young Catholic pilgrims from Australia alone. Doesn’t sound too dead to me. When fewer people are joining political parties, sporting and volunteer groups 100k is pretty good. If all those people didn’t like the church’s message they wouldnt be there.
    As Pell says ‘its very hard to find a disident Catholic under 50.’ They are dieing out.

    Comment by Joe — July 26, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  23. Well, Joe, I was disappointed that no miracles were forthcomig, and I can’t help wondering why the Pope needs bullet-proof protection when God is clearly on his side.
    All things considered, it was an impressive performance, for Sydney and the Church. Nothing Sydney does better than throw a party.
    The vocation expo was a great success, too, and no doubt the merchandise stalls did well. Was there also coverage of the good deeds done during the week? You know, tending the poor and the sick, that sort of thing. I did read the brothels experienced a spike in trade.

    Comment by ronda jambe — July 27, 2008 @ 11:25 am

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