Pope Celebrates Festivus, Has A Lot Of Problems With You Vatican People


Pope Francis I took the opportunity of his annual Christmas Message to do a little Airing Of Grievances toward the cardinals, bishops and priests of the Vatican's bureaucracy, aka the Curia. Guess they aren't "Just Like Heaven" after all! [Update: We are advised that the Curia is different from The Cure. Wonkette regrets the error.] It was pretty biting stuff, as Papal speeches to the Curia go, listing some 15 "ailments" plaguing the Vatican, including problems such as gossiping, sucking up to one's superiors, being too materialistic, and lacking compassion and empathy. A few of the other "illnesses," along with elaboration, as provided by the Vatican Information Service:

  • Acting "immortal" or immune to improvement." A Curia that is not self-critical, that does not stay up-to-date, that does not seek to better itself, is an ailing body."
  • Suffering from "spiritual Alzheimer's." This is "forgetfulness of the history of Salvation, of the personal history with the Lord, of the 'first love.'"
  • Being a braggart and measuring yourself against others. "The ailment of rivalry and vainglory: when appearances, the colour of one's robes, insignia and honours become the most important aim in life."

A few of the offenses sounded like the Pope was lecturing schoolchildren, or even members of the House of Representatives, as he chided them for "forming cliques" and "living a double life." Our favorite, though, was his admonition against "being theatrically grim":

"Those who believe that in order to be serious it is necessary to paint their faces with melancholy and severity, and to treat others -- especially those they consider inferior -- with rigidity, hardness and arrogance."

New Pope likes smiles. We're OK with that.

Following the address to the Curia, the Pope then challenged bishops and cardinals to wrestle him, warning that the holiday could not end until they pinned him.

It's a pretty good beginning, and more confrontational than either of his immediate predecessors. But maybe next year, the papal message could include some condemnation of "clinging to medieval ideas about sexuality and gender roles" and "covering up for sex crimes by priests." (Oh dear, did we write that out loud?) We'd really like to hope that Francis will tackle those, but taking on the notorious culture of cliques and gossip at the Vatican is a start, we guess.


Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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