FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Vatican Versus Jesus

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

Istanbul.

What a busy weekend the Pope has just spent!  After a closed-door pre-consistory meeting on Friday with the 150 cardinals who had traveled to Rome, where the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy may have been discussed,on Saturday the giant St Peter’s Basilic in Vatican City was a awash with crimson silk and w hite lace petticoats, as under the gold and bronze Baroque high altar Pope Benedict elevated 24 new cardinals as “Princes of the Church”, crowning each with a three-cornered red biretta cap, symbol of their office.

On  Sunday the former archbishops were presented with a crucifix emblazoned ring which the  faithful must kneel and kiss in greeting.  From now on the cardinals are to be addressed as ‘Your Eminence’ rather than the previous ‘Your Excellency’.   The College of Cardinals acts as a consultative bodyin the Vatican that has been likened to the supervisory  board of a major multinational corporation.

Clad in gold-colored falda and mitre, the 83-year old pontiff,  representative of Christ on  earth,  told the  grateful pastors: “In the Church, there is no boss.  It is not the logic of domination, of power according to human criteria, but the logic of bowing down to wash feet, the logic of service, which is at the basis of every exercise of authority.”

Fine words, but spoken from a golden throne in an ornate and sumptuous palace by one who expects to be addressed as ‘Most Holy Father’, they ring most hollow and hypocritical. For as Jesus said to his disciples:

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat.  They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

An examination of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount reveals how terribly the ‘Christian’ church has betrayed his message.  He was particularly against praying in public, and would have  despised places of worship dedicated to his name:

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and  shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Not everyone  who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who  does the will of my Father in heaven.”

And as for the opulent riches of St Peter’s and the billions hoarded in the Vatican Bank:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and  where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  You cannot serve God and wealth.”

On the gorgeous raiment the priests bedeck themselves with:

“And why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;  they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

If  he were alive today, Jesus’ criticism of the Church would be the same as that he levelled against the synagogue in his day:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

‘Christians’ take heed.  It’s probably too late for Pope Benedict  and his College of Cardinals.

MICHAEL DICKINSON lives in Istanbul.  He can be contacted through his website:  http://yabanji.tripod.com/

 

More articles by:

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail