IN TWEET: DING DONG, THE POPE IS GONE. WELL, SORT OF. OK, NOT REALLY. ENOUGH OF THE FREE PRESS. THIS AIN’T THE SECOND COMING.
With all due respect to my fellow Catholics and those still held in sway by the huge money suck that is The Vatican, enough of the fawning, non-stop coverage of the “abdication” of Pope Benedict XVI. Aside from the fact that we, as a nation and a people, have a laundry list of more important things to worry about, Popey is one slick cat and a snake oil salesman of the first order. Thump your Bibles all you want but I have a sneaking suspicion the Jesus I know and love would be pretty darn tootin’ horrified to see the trappings of wealth dripping off His Holiness. The guy dresses in gowns only a Montauk drag queen could afford and is whisked off to a summer residence in a helicopter that would give Donald Trump a chubbie.
On a good day, I find it hard to stomach the bizarre combination of monarchy, dictatorship and huge closet that is The Vatican. The past couple of weeks have made the hypocrisy even more glaring and reminded all of us that the Catholic Church remains one of the most overfed, self-important and massively dysfunctional institutions on the planet. With a checkered past of genuine good marred by an ongoing habit of always finding a new way to step in it, no one has hurt the Catholic Church more than the church itself. It’s like the Tea Party of organized religion. Who cares if most people don’t agree with your stand on much of anything that matters? What difference does it make that your influence is waning and your place at the table of relevance is in serious jeopardy? Just keep on keepin’ on even if you have no idea why you’re doing it or how much collateral damage you cause in the process.
Even more offensive, Pope Benedict XVI has apparently decided that his definition of “abdication” is “church funded vacation getaway, with full pay and benefits.” You see, folks, Popey isn’t really going anywhere. He’s decided to keep his Pope name, hang on to the Papal robes and bestow upon himself the title of Pope Emeritus. WTF?!?! If The Vatican was a beauty pageant and Popey the winner, he’d quit half way through his year-long reign but still hang out on the promo tour wearing the sash and tiara.
The hubris doesn’t stop there. In addition to padding around various Papal residences and buzzing about in the Pope-o-copter, Popey has also co-opted the Papal secretary (who is HOT, by the way). Yep, even though he isn’t the Pope anymore, he will hang on to the Papal secretary. Good for Popey, bad for secretary who will now have to do double duty, serving the new Pope as well and the one who just won’t go away. Speaking of the new Pope, whoever gets the nod will do so with the knowledge that Popey is just a shout (or less) away. Yes, he has also made it known that he will be at the ready to offer as much advice and counsel as he decides he is in the mood to dole out. Gosh, what a swell, selfless and totally not ego maniacal holy guy. Yeah, right.
Last night, Rachel Maddow took aim at the smoke and mirrors abdication. It makes a fitting conclusion to this post.