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#1 Edited by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

And I'm not talking about him looking like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars telling me about his Unlimited POWAH. This whole stepping down thing seems really weird outside of the fact that the last time it happened was 600 years ago at a time when they had 3 people claiming to be the Pope. It just seems like this whole thing is about the child abuse scandal and I can't help but feel that more and even more serious allegations are going to come out in time. Plus the whole thing about him not leaving Vatican City is just odd. It got me thinking and I realized that it's sovereign soil. There's no extradition if by some chance he was involved either directly (flat out fucking a kid) or indirectly (covering it up further then previously thought).

Oh and the obligatory lol Religion, lol Pope, lol Jesus riding a dinosaur. Which are all relevant posts and comments. Discuss.

#3 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3755 posts) -

To say that I feel the catholic church mishandled the situation of child abuse is an absolutely massive understatement.

8:40 onward. It's amazing that someone was making a stand against this shit so long ago, and it's even more amazing that it's still being allowed to continue today.

#4 Posted by Vinny_Says (5712 posts) -

Can you be tried at the Hague for that shit?

#5 Edited by Winternet (8021 posts) -

It's da pope. How can that be weird?

#6 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I keep thinking about high level mages in video games when I see clerics all decked out in ornate robes and staffs. I think thats pretty cool. I don't think the sex with minors is cool though. I wonder if it is true or just people who want to hurt those with higher status in society. It could be a case both of course.

#7 Edited by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

I think you're reading too much into it. And even the molestation scandal hasn't been as loud in years. It's not like he's really facing some greater pressure now than earlier in his time as pope.

The most likely scenario is the simplest. He's old and his health isn't the best, and being the pope is a demanding job. People may joke around about it, but the pope actually has to do a lot these days. And facing that fact, I think he has simply seen that he is starting to not be able to live up to the demands of it. And in a time when the Catholic church clearly needs good leadership to face its problems, he's stepping down to allow someone more capable to the task to step in.

It's reasonable, and I hope they do actually find someone who is up to the challenge and improves things in the church.

#8 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I have never not been weirded out by the Catholic Church.

#9 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

The most likely scenario is the simplest. He's old and his health isn't the best, and being the pope is a demanding job. People may joke around about it, but the pope actually has to do a lot these days. And facing that fact, I think he has simply seen that he is starting to not be able to live up to the demands of it. And in a time when the Catholic church clearly needs good leadership to face its problems, he's stepping down to allow someone more capable to the task to step in.

I generally feel like this is likely the case. Alternatively, I had the feeling from some of his recent statements that he isn't quite happy to deal with the internal politics of being the pope - or perhaps he is dissatisfied with the political climate within the institution and just doesn't think he is the best candidate to deal with it.

I don't see why child molestation has to be one of the first things that comes to mind. I mean, there are many, many practising catholic religious representatives out there who actually do damn fine work with their people and the public in general. I honestly wish conclusions such as that didn't taint what is, in my opinion, a very honourable position / calling.

And this is coming from a (semi) practising Hindu.

#10 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3755 posts) -

I keep thinking about high level mages in video games when I see clerics all decked out in ornate robes and staffs. I think thats pretty cool. I don't think the sex with minors is cool though. I wonder if it is true or just people who want to hurt those with higher status in society. It could be a case both of course.

It is absolutely true that many priests have used their positions of power and easy access to children to commit crimes of child abuse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases#Representative_statistics_on_offenders_and_victims

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases#Criticisms_of_church_responses

It's not even up for debate.

#11 Posted by coakroach (2491 posts) -

The catholic church seems to be trying really hard to get people to walk away from it.

I'm amazed it still has millions of followers, kind of depressing really.

#12 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4825 posts) -

@truthtellah: The molestation scandal (it's a scandal now? I thought it was a straight up crime) isn't as "loud" because it's widely known that the Vatican knew a bunch of priests were (and are) fucking little kids and it's widely known that the Vatican continues to cover these assaults up and offer safe haven to the clergymen responsible. People have defaulted to "yep, that's a thing that happens" because nobody can tell Vatican City what to do. It's a city state that exists in its own pocket universe free of consequence for the actions of its citizens. It's bullshit.

#13 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

He got fired by his boss. Skyman

#14 Edited by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

@truthtellah: The molestation scandal (it's a scandal now? I thought it was a straight up crime) isn't as "loud" because it's widely known that the Vatican knew a bunch of priests were (and are) fucking little kids and it's widely known that the Vatican continues to cover these assaults up and offer safe haven to the clergymen responsible. People have defaulted to "yep, that's a thing that happens" because nobody can tell Vatican City what to do. It's a city state that exists in its own pocket universe free of consequence for the actions of its citizens. It's bullshit.

Sure it's a scandal. A publicized event that draws outrage. A scandal. That's both known crimes and alleged crimes. I don't fully agree with your characterization of their approval of it or not, but I do hope that the next pope will do a better job at stopping it and reassuring the public that it is indeed being dealt with appropriately.

#15 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3755 posts) -

It sickens me that our government cares more about attempting to force Catholic hospitals to support women's reproductive rights (which I personally don't agree with, as it is against their religion, and there are plenty of non-secular hospitals), than it cares about making sure priests who sexually molest children, GO TO FUCKING JAIL! Vatican City and their wishes concerning how to handle these "priests" be damned.

#16 Posted by cmblasko (1252 posts) -

"I don't see why child molestation has to be one of the first things that comes to mind. I mean, there are many, many practising catholic religious representatives out there who actually do damn fine work with their people and the public in general. I honestly wish conclusions such as that didn't taint what is, in my opinion, a very honourable position / calling."

Agreed that most priests are there to do good, but it's the organization's own fault for attempting to cover it all up instead of working with law enforcement.

Sorry, off-top here, but does block quoting act strangely for anyone else since the redesign? Is it a known issue?

#17 Posted by Meltac (2002 posts) -

Nope, couldn't care less.

#18 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1490 posts) -

I think some people are reading too much into this. He resigned due to ill health and age, because believe it or not, being the pope isn't easy on the body or mind. It's the job that brought John Paul the Second's life to a end from the heavy strain on his body.

#19 Edited by zenmastah (920 posts) -

#20 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

If you take a moment to step back and think of these words we keep repeating, "sexing a kid," and remember their meaning with a JPEG attachment in your head, it's really fucking disturbing and painful image and I can't imagine what it's like to be 10 and have an old man stick his big sagging penis in my ass.

Holy fucking shit.

#21 Posted by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

I'm weirded out that it takes nothing less than child rape for people to examine the practices of an institution rationally. And yes, most things about the Catholic business weird me out. Especially as they and Islam prey on the poorest nations and then do everything in their power to keep them poor.

There's hope though. The issue with religion is that it's entirely based on local control of social pressure; this is impossible on the Internet. If you can't control social mores, if anyone is free to disagree and speak their mind without consequence of being shunned or mobbed, religion can't really profligate. The local issue works twofold against it; locality gives way to different denominations, an English Christian is different from an Italian Christian is different from an Indonesian Christian... meanwhile a rationalist remains a rationalist anywhere in the world. Even if rationalists or secularists only make up 10-15% of the population in any country, on the global scale they add up.

#22 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3755 posts) -

The issue with religion is that it's entirely based on local control of social pressure; this is impossible on the Internet. If you can't control social mores, if anyone is free to disagree and speak their mind without consequence of being shunned or mobbed, religion can't really profligate.

It's worth noting that Sinead O'Connor is still a Christian, though. She's also bisexual. Not every group of religious people shuns or is hateful towards those who disagree with them. In fact, that is pretty much the opposite of what their faith asks of them.

#23 Posted by Barrock (3536 posts) -

I think you're reading too much into it. And even the molestation scandal hasn't been as loud in years. It's not like he's really facing some greater pressure now than earlier in his time as pope.

The most likely scenario is the simplest. He's old and his health isn't the best, and being the pope is a demanding job. People may joke around about it, but the pope actually has to do a lot these days. And facing that fact, I think he has simply seen that he is starting to not be able to live up to the demands of it. And in a time when the Catholic church clearly needs good leadership to face its problems, he's stepping down to allow someone more capable to the task to step in.

It's reasonable, and I hope they do actually find someone who is up to the challenge and improves things in the church.

Did you see the condition the last Pope was in?

#24 Posted by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

I think you're reading too much into it. And even the molestation scandal hasn't been as loud in years. It's not like he's really facing some greater pressure now than earlier in his time as pope.

The most likely scenario is the simplest. He's old and his health isn't the best, and being the pope is a demanding job. People may joke around about it, but the pope actually has to do a lot these days. And facing that fact, I think he has simply seen that he is starting to not be able to live up to the demands of it. And in a time when the Catholic church clearly needs good leadership to face its problems, he's stepping down to allow someone more capable to the task to step in.

It's reasonable, and I hope they do actually find someone who is up to the challenge and improves things in the church.

I can understand that it could be the simplest scenario, but that raises the question of the last 600 years. Hell John Paul II in his last appearances gurgled and for years he could barely hold his head up. That is all supposed to go with the job. You suffer. You do it until you die. It is supposed to be a life of sacrifice, not a life of convenience. I mean there are multiple rumors about him possibly having a male lover or his own brother being involved in the child abuse scandal. Granted they are just rumors, but sometimes rumors prove to be far to true.

Then there's the whole thing about him staying in Vatican City. Why? Because, as I pointed out, it is sovereign soil in the heart of Rome and there's absolutely zero extradition. Granted that's if something comes out about this, but it came out in the first place and nobody could even remotely imagine the scope of how massive it was. I mean this is an institution that for centuries ruled with an iron fist. It held higher importance than the monarchies of countries. How far does it go back and how many children were molested? Thousands? Tens of thousands? More? It's... worrying. A Pope stepping down simply doesn't happen unless there's a reason for it. Maybe he was even forced to step down because they want somebody in there that can resonate with younger individuals.

#25 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

The most likely scenario is the simplest. He's old and his health isn't the best, and being the pope is a demanding job. People may joke around about it, but the pope actually has to do a lot these days. And facing that fact, I think he has simply seen that he is starting to not be able to live up to the demands of it. And in a time when the Catholic church clearly needs good leadership to face its problems, he's stepping down to allow someone more capable to the task to step in.

I generally feel like this is likely the case. Alternatively, I had the feeling from some of his recent statements that he isn't quite happy to deal with the internal politics of being the pope - or perhaps he is dissatisfied with the political climate within the institution and just doesn't think he is the best candidate to deal with it.

I don't see why child molestation has to be one of the first things that comes to mind. I mean, there are many, many practising catholic religious representatives out there who actually do damn fine work with their people and the public in general. I honestly wish conclusions such as that didn't taint what is, in my opinion, a very honourable position / calling.

And this is coming from a (semi) practising Hindu.

Damn, I didn't think anyone could honestly call the pope an honorable position. That's a hell of an oxymoron.

#26 Edited by Anund (900 posts) -

@officegamer said:

If you take a moment to step back and think of these words we keep repeating, "sexing a kid," and remember their meaning with a JPEG attachment in your head, it's really fucking disturbing and painful image and I can't imagine what it's like to be 10 and have an old man stick his big sagging penis in my ass.

Holy fucking shit.

Apt.

#27 Edited by TooSweet (388 posts) -

I don't recall where I read or heard it but when he first became the Pope it was mentioned that it would be temporary. They needed more time to select someone long term so he'd fill in until then.

#28 Posted by BisonHero (6565 posts) -

I'm more weirded out that the Catholic Church is still respected by anyone at all.

#29 Posted by Brodehouse (9966 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac

I think you're missing the point of my argument. I understand you're some sort of fan of Sinead but religion-v-rationalism goes a little beyond that. For my part I thought she was good on that Massive Attack track.

While she remains a Christian, she remains some denomination of Christianity which stands at odds with all others. As do all other religions and the splinter factions within them, all based on locality, whereas rationalism is based on ethos and exists independent of area; much like the Internet. Without being the dominant group in any country, rationalists and secularists form a group larger than any religious denomination; because a rationalist in Tokyo has the same ethos as a rationalist in Paris. The same cannot be said of religions. I believe the last numbers I read had Catholics worldwide at 1.1 billion and secularists, rationalists, athiests and the irreligious at 1.05 billion. That number will only grow as living standards increase and the Internet proliferates.

#30 Edited by Abendlaender (2812 posts) -

Abandon all Pope, ye who enter here...

#31 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Being old and probably ill means he probably doesnt want to travel around and make huge public appearances anymore. Cant blame the guy

#32 Edited by psylah (2177 posts) -

Any excuse I can get to post this video:

#33 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4221 posts) -

Maybe he just wants more time to play more StarCraft, man. Heart of The Swarm beta is out, I think?.

#34 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

What I think of whenever I read anything about the Pope:

#35 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5551 posts) -

I don't get the obsession with hating on Catholicism or the Pope; The Pope could go murder a thousand children in Africa and no one would care; but first world children are much more important! Don't like religion? Don't talk about it unless you're extremely well schooled in philosophy. Of course a head of state is going to be immune to most persecution, being the head of a major religion allows you even more immunity; there's a lot of evidence to suggest people like Benny Hinn and Billy Graham are huge douchebags; nothing is ever going to touch them. Ted Kennedy straight up killed a person and was able to serve as a paragon in the senate for 50 years thereafter. But oh no it's the Pope (or Joe Paterno).

#36 Edited by Animasta (14698 posts) -

@brodehouse: it's not like all catholics follow what the pope says 120% you know. Mass. is predominately Catholic (in terms of christians) but it's still the most liberal state in the union.

#37 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

I don't get the obsession with hating on Catholicism or the Pope; The Pope could go murder a thousand children in Africa and no one would care; but first world children are much more important! Don't like religion? Don't talk about it unless you're extremely well schooled in philosophy. Of course a head of state is going to be immune to most persecution, being the head of a major religion allows you even more immunity; there's a lot of evidence to suggest people like Benny Hinn and Billy Graham are huge douchebags; nothing is ever going to touch them. Ted Kennedy straight up killed a person and was able to serve as a paragon in the senate for 50 years thereafter. But oh no it's the Pope (or Joe Paterno).

No idea. Religion is weird.

Want to watch people suffer in agony while denying them basic treatment that could save them, all the while taking all the money that is given to them for charity and basically launder it? If you do may's well do it as a Catholic nun and you'll become a saint, like mother Teresa.

#38 Posted by deadmoscow (263 posts) -

I'm gonna sidestep this whole ragging on the Catholic church thing and just step in with my thoughts - when you're Pope, aren't you basically Pope for life? I mean yeah, it's a hard job - you're basically second in command to God for over a billion people, but you should know that going into it.

#39 Edited by casper_ (903 posts) -

i was raised catholic. went to catholic schools and all that shit. no real feelings on this though

apparently he had recently received a report about some deviant behavior by prominent members of the roman clergy (not child molestation but transvestite prostitutes and cross dressing priests etc.) and this may have been the straw that broke the camels back. also his health has clearly been failing and hes fallen over a bunch.

hopefully this will afford the church the chance to elect a more progressive pope (who doesnt condemn birth control etc.) and may have some ideas about restructuring the clergy so as to avoid molestation. it doesn't say in the bible that a man must become celibate to enter the clergy by the way that is just tradition.

#40 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2810 posts) -

I distrust and find that organized religious are bad for most societies. So, I'm actually rather please that most religious are turning hard-line and conservative. It is far easier to show people religions are crazy & dangerous organizations if they keep not adapting to modern concepts of tolerance and civil/human rights. If Catholicism were to change, i.e. to become more tolerant it would mean it would last another 500-1000 years.

#41 Posted by HeyImPhoenix (169 posts) -

Lets not bring religion into here guys :)

#42 Posted by Pr1mus (3934 posts) -

Can't pretend to give a shit about the pope but Benedict XVI did become one of my favorite character from a local duo of comedians so he at least did something good in his life.

#43 Edited by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

I distrust and find that organized religious are bad for most societies. So, I'm actually rather please that most religious are turning hard-line and conservative. It is far easier to show people religions are crazy & dangerous organizations if they keep not adapting to modern concepts of tolerance and civil/human rights. If Catholicism were to change, i.e. to become more tolerant it would mean it would last another 500-1000 years.

Some of the things they're doing are trying to change it. I think that this Pope has even gone on record saying that the Big Bang Theory could be true, as well as the Theory of Evolution. I think he might be the first and so far only one to say any such thing. They're trying to evolve with the times, but the child molestation scandal has hurt pretty much all of Christianity. Then factor in the whole gay rights thing...

I should also say that I was baptized and raised Catholic. Not overtly religious but I did have to go to church on Easter and Christmas Eve and I decided for myself to go to a Catholic school because most of my friends were going there. In high school is the time that I pretty much threw away my faith and I identify as agnostic, because I think we can never and will never know. To some people that would make me an atheist and that's fine too. So this isn't some nut praising Jesus while frothing at the mouth. This entire thread is about looking critically at a weird situation that historically never happens and really shouldn't happen in the shadow of one of the biggest systematic cover ups of pedophilia in history.

#44 Posted by Soapy86 (2622 posts) -

I highly recommend everyone watch the documentary "Deliver Us from Evil". It will blow your fucking mind.

#45 Posted by Gamer_152 (14080 posts) -

It's definitely unusual, but if you're going to speculate that this is about some child abuse scandal that they're trying to cover up, while providing no reasoning for this idea, you're literally presenting a conspiracy theory with no evidence. I agree with @TruthTellah, we should always apply Occam's Razor.

Moderator
#47 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

No opinions on the guy as I'm not a religious person, but after doing a Google image search all I have to say is holy fucking Christ on a pogo stick does the guy ever look like Palpatine. I figured he might have had the baggy eyes or the swollen cheeks, but every dam photos of the guy makes him look like pure god dam evil. That is crazy.

#48 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I can only imagine the amount of pleasure I would experience to see that creepy old demon handcuffed and hauled off to jail.

#49 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1210 posts) -

I went to religion classes for like 5 years, you would think I know if I'm catholic or not but I really don't remember.

#50 Edited by Aterons (198 posts) -

I don't really give a shit about catholics ( or orthodox for that matter ) since forever. But I do give a shit about this abdication mainly because i now have this comic...

It's one of those things than whenever i read it makes my day a bit happier.