How Much Worse Can the Next Pope Be? A Lot

As the 115-member College of Cardinals—otherwise known as the largest collection of enablers and cover-up artists on the face of the Warth—gather in conclave to select the 266th pope, the Vatican punditocracy has shifted into high gear.

It’s like the Republican presidential primary season all over again, with about as impressive a selection.

But unlike the talking-head jamboree of U.S. presidential politics, papal selections come at irregular intervals.  The commentators who want to explain just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin have to get their jollies now.

It could be a looong wait for the next time.

Of course, like any race, the leading candidates have already been handicapped, with their weaknesses and strengths discussed at length. Here are a few of the most mentioned names:

* Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who says that Ugandan laws that would criminalize homosexuality are just “a call to respect culture.”

* Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who led an amazingly ineffectual effort to defeat marriage equality in the state.

* Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, who has described marriage equality as“not only a moral crisis but an anthropological one.”

* Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, who has described feminism and homosexuality as related evils because, in the words of a reviewer of one of his books,“the more women act like men, the more men are likely to want to have sex with other men”

* Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paolo, who has argued strenuously against marriage equality in Brazil

We’re detecting a trend.

Of course, what do you expect when the current crop of candidates was appointed either by John Paul II or Benedict  XVI, the two men who gave us the doctrine of the intrinsically evil homosexual. As Eve noted, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The fact that so many names are being thrown around is a sign of how much disarray the Vatican is in. The level of backbiting, careerism and scandal currently at play would do the Borgias proud. No single candidate has emerged as the likely winner (if that’s the word). We could be in for several rounds of voting as factions form and melt away. And let’s face it: Whoever becomes Pope faces an unholy Mass mess. You could even call it a moral crisis. But we’re sure the next Bishop of Rome will reserve that language for all those intrinsically evil folks outside of the Vatican and not for the guys who voted for him.




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  • 2eo

    Frankly I’m not sure how you can top a Neo-Nazi Paedophile in the evil department, but the catholic church hasn’t failed to top themselves thus far.

    The fact I can’t fathom how makes me sure that I have a shred of humanity left.

  • MikeE

    Well, if the Canadian becomes pope, he’s in for a rough ride.
    Sexual abuse victims’ rights groups have already prepared a legal challenge to have him indicted regarding hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse in Quebec. They’re just waiting for the red slipper to fall to go ahead with the charges.
    If cardinal Ouellet becomes pope, it will mean a VERY public forum for “discussion” of the Roman catholic church’s crimes.

  • Daggerman

    ….it would be nice to see the Vatican get simply blown up by a bomb! Yes I’m serious, because they have been so vile and hypocritical to a point were it should be made
    known that the Catholic faith has really turned into a total freak show.
    How dare they and the pope call homosexuals freaks, when you consider what they’ve
    got up-to…Damn them to hell!

  • Daggerman

    ..yes, I know I’ve entered another comment here but I really can’t understand why society ignores this disgusting and lying institution?.. They have the temerity to condemn women and homosexuality and look at how evil they are. It’s quite sad and frustrating to put up with this reality, it ought to be abolished and driven into the ground!!

  • jwrappaport

    Don’t blame me, I’m voting for Cardinal Kodos.

  • 2eo

    @Daggerman: Not before the wealth they have plundered and stole from billions of desperate people by force for centuries is given back to them.

    Also the names of the catholics who supported the Nazi war criminals escape, considering one was made pope it shouldn’t be that hard to track down the ones still alive.

  • stf111

    Cardinal Sean O’Malley from Boston wouldn’t be that bad. He’s probably the one out there that would be the most LGBT-friendly. He helped plan and defend (after an unfortunate postponement) a Catholic mass set during Boston Pride and consistently says that Catholic parishioners with hatred towards LGBT people need to go to confession.

    He certainly isn’t perfect, and has had to walk on a tight rope because of conservative church goers, but he’s more liberal and he’d be a step in the right direction.

  • retropian

    Well, apparently Ratzi’s papacy was a disaster. Church membership has declined markedly on his watch, (especially in europe) probably because what he and the church hierarchy says doesn’t reflect the views of much of the laity as well as the failure to address the child-molestatiion scandal in any meaningful way. It’ll be proof of how out of touch with the laity and reality the church is if they elect an equally or more extreme rigid dogmatist as Ratzi as pope. They, like the GOP and the tea-party are self destructing and it’s marvelous to watch.

  • Teleny

    I don’t pay much attention to this stuff, but I’m sorry to hear this about Cardinsl Dolan. I saw him on tv and he seemed decent. Guess I was wrong…

  • Rad

    What I think WILL happen is that the general intellectual world population has had enough of the scandals and hypocrisy and force government actions against the church. In essence, it will be the end of the larger Catholic church outside of 3rd world countries where the clergy can promote homophobia.

    I truly do believe that the mentality of the cardinals will elect the most voraciously homophobic person to be the next Pope. They will want to give the appearance of “doing something about the rampant pedophilia”. Someone who will appear to clean the priesthoods house while promoting a “Hatred of Gays in the name of God” from the 3rd world cesspools where they serve.

    I hope to Hell I am wrong.

  • 2eo

    @retropian: There is a direct correlation between better standards of education and the decline of religious participation and acceptance of their rule in society.

  • 2eo

    Apologies to @Rad: I meant to mention him too.

  • Dionte

    Off with all of their heads.

  • Joetx

    @2eo: Well said.

    Yeah, let’s rag on people of poor countries b/c the lack of education makes them susceptible to this B.S.

    What about the people of rich countries who subscribe to the B.S., hmm? They’ve got no excuses whatsoever.

  • MikeE

    @Joetx: Being rich isn’t a guarantee of education or intelligence. One need only look at Donald Trump or Paris Hilton.

  • 2eo

    @Joetx: Can’t determine if passive-aggressive or actual dickholery?

    Good thing you pointed out the exact words I didn’t put in and instead chose what I said and decided to have a go at that. Nice try, doesn’t work though.

  • Joel J

    @2eo: Why am I not surprised that you are the first to comment on this one? You must be the Devil in disguise.

  • Joel J

    Now that Ratzi is no longer pope, does he have to turn in the magic Gucci slippers? I confess I am ignorant of canon law.

  • 2eo

    @Joel J: If the catholic hierarchy represent everything “good” in this world and the spititual realm then I gladly announce myself to be the most “evil” entity in the history of the universe, I stand for quite literally the opposite of what they stand for.

    I don’t believe in Paedophilia or Pedastry and consider them disgusting
    I don’t believe in Hoarding wealth while stealing it from already poor people
    I don’t believe in exploiting people for nothing more than a power trip
    I don’t believe in condemning entire continents to disease
    I don’t believe in condoning and helping Genocide

    I believe in Justice
    I believe everyone should have the chance to make a good shot at life
    I believe people are fundamentally equal and deserve to be treat as such
    I believe that we owe humanity as a whole to work towards a brighter future

    So yes, I can understand why some would consider me the devil.

  • 2eo

    @Joel J: I felt like being a literal bastard, apologies.

  • Cam

    Heck, Italy should just make the Vatican start paying for property tax, infrastructure etc…

    The new Pope couldn’t be much worse, this Pope not only tried to cover for sexual abusers, but he is STILL sheltering the Cardinal from Boston that authorities over here were going to arrest. Even though that Cardinal, Cardinal Law, has passed the retirement age for Vatican Employeees, he has gotten a special dispensation and as a resident of the Vatican they can protect him from arrest here in the U.S.

    This Pope is the champion of Pedophile protection.

  • darkmoonman

    I hope they choose Turkson who’ll drive that final nail into the Catholic Church’s coffin as it distances itself even further from compassion and recognition of basic human rights.

  • Joetx

    @2eo: I was agreeing w/ you & adding on.

    But thanks for the personal attack.

  • retropian

    @2eo: yes, indeed there is.

  • 2eo

    @Joetx: It really reads like a dig though in my defense, apologies because it wasn’t though.

  • damon459

    I’m a gay atheist why would I give a damn about the man in the white dress and funny hat?

  • BJ McFrisky

    Why would anyone who isn’t a practicing Catholic give a good god damn about this?

  • 2eo

    @damon459: Because he still has the ear of nearly a fifth of the planet. Sadly. They also to a man hate us, and spend millions on hurting us and funding death squads in Africa and America and paying for legal defence of Anti-Gay murderers in Europe and America.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Daggerman: Fortunately or unfortunately, even the ground/terra firma doesn’t want their moral chemical waste spilled on it. Catholic church = chemical waste dump!

  • MK Ultra

    I agree with what others have implied.
    The new pope will be just as, if not more conservative.
    But he will be much more charismatic.
    In other words, the church won’t change their product, they’ll just get shinier packaging.
    He’ll give the impression of change but behind the scenes it will be business as usual.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @BJ McFrisky: Quite frankly, I and many thousands more people don’t!

  • jfabz

    @MikeE: If the Canadian becomes pope (or if anyone of them does) he will get diplomatic immunity as the head of state of Vatican City. Thus he can’t be sued or arrested.

  • 2eo

    That’s where I’ve heard it before, after the christians try and distance themselves from the actions of atypical members of their religion and pretend it’s nothing to do with them when it completely and absolutely is.

    The “No True Scotsman” fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

    No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule.

  • damon459

    @2eo: When did america get death squads?

  • MuscleModelBlog.com

    It sounds like it is very unlikely that the new Pope will be open-minded.

  • Mofdgheb

    I don’t see how in this day and age you can be gay and still stay a Catholic.

    Just leave this ridiculous cult already. You don’t have to torment yourself.

  • Joetx

    @MK Ultra: That’s what I think, too. Nazi Pope was panned for not having the so-called charisma of his predecessor. They’ll just pick a guy who smiles a lot & not look like Emperor Palpatine.

  • AxelDC

    None of them sound worse than the Hitler Youth who just stepped down. He accused gays of causing the pedophilia scandal he tried to cover up, called gay marriage “evil” and told Spanish civil servants to lose their jobs rather than administer gay marriage.

    Remember that all these Cardinals were handpicked by Ratzinger during his time as JPII’s right hand man. The worst abuses of JPII against gays were Ratzinger’s doing.

    I don’t expect improvement, but it can’t get much worse than Ratzinger himself.

  • erikwm

    Angelo Scola embodies the sort of intellectual stupidity I’ve come to expect from the Pope. His quote is a true gem.

    Plus, he’s Italian.

    It’ll be Angelo Scola.

  • Coby

    getting ready for another super villain

  • goodpa

    I’m just waiting for the swimwear competition.

  • Joel J

    I’d like to hear more about the “gay lobby” inside the Vatican as reported in the press. So many of them are gay themselves that I don’t see how they can “hate us.” I think they are all careerists striving for advancement. Under the last two popes, the key to advancement is to support the radical reactionary edicts of the Vatican. They are so corrupt. The Italian press has reported all kinds of scandal within the Vatican bank, including money laundering for the Mafia. They are the protectors of the faith? Give us a break.

  • jack512

    Francis will have as little effect on the world stage as Jorge had in Argentina. After all his years as a Jesuit Provincial, Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal, less than 10% of Argentinian Catholics attend Mass regularly. Catholicism is in rapid decline in most of the Western World. It is only in less educated countries on the African continent that it is growing. Everywhere that there are advances in science and education levels, religion declines.

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