Will the Next Pope Become the Vatican’s Last Pope?
The next pope, expected soon by many, will apparently be the last imperial pope elected. Thereafter, the Catholic hierarchy will likely be compelled to adopt power-sharing reforms under accelerating pressure, including from political leaders in Australia, Ireland, Germany and soon likely the USA, as well. The percentage of voting Cardinals in the Vatican, mostly Italians, has increased considerably during Benedict XVI’s short tenure. This has fortified the Vatican Cardinal clique’s veto grip on the next papal election, which likely will be of an initially younger, longer serving, but similarly imperial, pope.
Benedict XVI’s evident enhancement of the papal election veto threat by his selection of new voting Cardinals helps explain in retrospect the apparent support of long time Vatican powers, Cardinal Sodano, et al., for the elderly current German pope’s election in 2005. This support had been surprising to some, given the earlier reported disputes between them over investigating Cardinal Groer and Father Maciel, two notorious sexual predators. Groer and Maciel had also been strongly supported by Pope John Paul II. The Vatican clique’s enhanced veto power tends to assure that their next hand-picked pope can be expected to continue to run the Catholic Church dictatorially, mainly to maximize the wealth and power of Vatican Cardinals and their subservient, but well rewarded, Cardinal accomplices worldwide.
Italian Cardinals in 1870 lost to a nationalist army their political control over the lucrative Papal States. But these Cardinals and their carefully chosen Italian successors, including Cardinals Ottaviani and Sodano for much of the last half century, have shrewdly managed to recover and even expand their power and wealth since 1870. The Vatican clique has significantly strengthened its already tight grip on the worldwide Roman Holy Empire, with its considerable wealth and political influence, so far at least. In the process, the clique has also succeeded in helping to undermine the overwhelming approvals of the 1966 papal birth control commission of contraception and of the 2,500+ Vatican II bishops of effective power-sharing among the pope and bishops and also to undercut the strong support for making celibacy optional for priests. Very significantly, however, the Vatican clique also has failed to curtail effectively the massive worldwide scandal of priest sexual assaults on trusting children.
Ironically, by the end of World War I in 1918 after a half-century “voluntary imprisonment’ in Vatican City, these Cardinals were finally free of all effective European monarchical controls that had restrained papal power often over a millennium and a half. Beginning in the late 1920′s, the Vatican clique began to expand its political influence and wealth by trading “spiritual” electoral support for local privileges, powers and subsidies, beginning with European facist leaders like Mussolini, Hitler and Franco, right up to the recent effort to dump President Obama to elect a “papally friendlier” Mitt Romney. No longer after 1918 did the Vatican clique regularly have to bend to foreign rulers on bishops’ appointments or to accept related foreign interference in Vatican matters, making the Vatican clique’s power almost unprecedented in Catholic Church history. This may dramatically change soon.
Ongoing developments indicate that electing a new pope now, who would appear to be just another puppet of the imperial Vatican clique, would likely lead rapidly to the end of the Roman Holy Empire. These ongoing developments include: (A) the continuing disclosures of the Catholic hierarchy’s worldwide criminal conspiracies, (B) the imminent end of papal primacy and the return of accountability, (C) the steady restoration of scriptural primacy and simple Gospel values, and (D) the increasing loss of effective Vatican political power worldwide.
(A) The Disclosures of the Catholic Hierarchy’s Criminal Conspiracies
International prosecutors, government investigators and/or abuse survivors’ lawyers will likely continue their relentless pursuit of key Cardinals, including perhaps the pope, for child endangerment abuse cover-up practices and for bank money laundering and other financial crimes.
Pressure will continue to mount from:
(1) the ongoing revelations from the major governmental investigation commission in Australia (and probably soon in the USA as well), which will override non-disclosure agreements and compel testimony, including about the details of communications between the local hierarchy and Vatican officials;
(2) the Los Angeles Archdiocesan file revelations underlying the $660 million abuse settlement and including hundreds of previously secret and unredacted abuse related files;
(3) the award winning HBO documentary (“Mea Maxima Culpa”) about over 200 deaf Milwaukee boys sexually abused by a single priest that will begin airing internationally on February 4, which includes details of the failure of the current pope’s former CDF department to deal effectively and expeditiously with the evident predator, as well as the clip of the pope earlier slapping an ABC-TV reporter for daring to press him on the status of Father Maciel’s almost fifty-year old investigation;
(4) the seemingly unending bizarre saga of Cardinal Rigali’s former Philly Archdiocesean priests’ ongoing child sexual abuse and/or child endangerment criminal trials, and the related blatant perjury and document destruction admissions;
(5) the ongoing stonewalling by German bishops apparently to keep independent investigators like Professor Pfeiffer from getting to the Munich and Regensburg files of the Ratzinger brothers;
(6) New York Cardinal Dolan’s shameful and failed effort to try illegally to keep millions of dollars of Milwaukee funds from abuse survivors, including some of the 200 deaf boys mentioned above;
(7) the continuation in office of Kansas City Bishop Finn after his conviction for a child endangerment related crime, despite the demands of many local Catholics that he be removed;
(8) the arrest of Cardinal Egan’s and Archbishop Lori’s former Bridgeport top aide, Monsignor Wallin, reportedly a cross dressing, porn distributing, alleged drug dealer;
(9) the appointment of one of disgraced Cardinal Law’s former canon lawyers as the new chief Vatican prosecutor of predatory priests; and
(10) inevitably more obscene revelations related to the foregoing, that will just add more fuel to the demand for more and stronger prosecutorial efforts worldwide against the Catholic hierarchy.
(B) The End of Papal Primacy and the Restoration of Accountability
Anticipated disclosures from these prosecutorial proceedings from previously secret Vatican documents and likely sworn testimony from Vatican employees, such as the papal butler who can be expected to reveal more especially after Gorgeous Georg’s surprising promotion to Archbishop, and notwithstanding the apparent effort to buy the butler’s silence with a new Catholic hospital position in Rome, appear likely to raise more issues of greater papal culpability.
These issues will then serve to buttress the increasingly widely disseminated historical and scriptural evidence that shows clearly that “divine origin” claims for papal authority are mainly unsupportable. The imminent collapse of papal credibility and authority will likely lead more Catholics to revisit and to seek to restore the structure that Jesus and his first disciples left behind intentionally, where local church gatherings were overseen by locally selected and accountable leaders, both male and female.
The weaknesses of the papal primacy claims, both scripturally and historically, have recently been very effectively summarized in the outstanding new book by a promising young theologian, entitled,”Democracy in the Christian Church: An Historical, Theological and Political Case”, accessible for free in part at http://amzn.com/0567449521
(C) The Restoration of Scriptural Primacy and Simple Gospel Values
Catholicism is based mainly on the reported history in the New Testament of a unique person, Jesus, and his early disciples. No pope or hierarchy can change or override that, even if they too often try to avoid or misapply the New Testament. The words of the New Testament are there for all to read.
Having despaired of the loss of papal credibility, more Catholics will now acknowledge the increasingly significant historical and scriptural evidence concerning the Eucharist. This evidence makes clear that for Jesus and his initial disciples, the Eucharist Meal was not intended to be an event mainly to be monopolized and controlled by a “mystical” celibate male priesthood managed tightly by an opportunistic and unaccountable hierarchy. For the current Vatican, the Eucharistic Meal appears too often to be mainly a weekly fundraising event for overly trusting Catholics dominated by low-paid priests that the hierarchy appears to believe must be protected and supported blindly, even when they sexually abuse children.
Once the true Eucharist history and the essential role of the assembled Christian fellowship first reported in Chapters 10 and 11 of Paul’s earliest Epistle, First Corinthians, are fully appreciated and broadly acknowledged by more Catholics, as is already happening, it will become clearer that the top-down Catholic hierarchy is a mostly unnecessary and, too often parasitic, accident of medieval history that Catholics should just consider sweeping into the dustbin of church history.
(D) The Loss of Effective Vatican Papal Political Power
The Vatican is increasingly and regularly losing its political influence, as evidenced by significant recent Vatican political failures in Ireland, Australia, the Philippines and the USA, make very clear. For more on this, please read my statement, “A Taboo, a New Pope and a Truer Church”, accessible by clicking either on the heading on the top of this essay or clicking on:http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-8A
For the reasons discussed above, Catholics following Gospel mandates will, and morally are obligated to, steadily transfer their financial and other support from the imperial top-down Vatican church hierarchical structures that Constantine left behind to competing non-hierarchical church structures that conform more closely to the Gospel values that Jesus left behind. Without weekly Catholics’ contributions that currently depend on a rigged purported monopoly on the Eucharist offered exclusively by often excessively obedient celibate males supporting a self-interested and mostly unnecessary hierarchy, the current Roman Holy Empire will wither away over time, with a little help from prosecutors.
In the near term, the gates of hell will not prevail against the current hierarchy. Instead, prosecutors will open hell’s gates for entry by those in the hierarchy who have earned it. True Christian Catholics will then get on with restoring the Catholic Church to conform to the Spirit the first disciples left behind.
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The only thing I would point out to Roman Catholics wishing to find a valid alternative 'home' is that both the Anglican Churches and the Old Catholic Bishoprics already offer the faith described in the penultimate paragraph.