The Pope Has Left the Building

The Pope has left the building….and he will not be returning. Do you copy? Copy that. He will not be returning.

I listened to a story last week on NPR and this was the main thrust of their story, that the Pope was exiting the building and not returning. But now…with the latest news, they really have something to talk about. Everyone is in a tizzy.

Apparently, the Pope is gay. Excuse me, I mean the Pope Emeritus is gay. He had been accused of being a homophobe as well. Of course, Benedict acting like a homophobe never precluded him from being gay. Actually, it makes perfect sense that he is, in fact, gay.

The substory is that the ex-Pope is not really leaving leaving. In fact, he will remain within the Holy walls of the Vatican at the former gardener’s house. This is unraveling saga here. Don’t quote me on that. Rumor has it, his Holilness will share staff with the pope next in line, or at least they will have the same handsome secretary. This undoubtedly will smooth any tension and facilitate communication.

Wait, strike that, that was before he came out. Now, he will be living in a small village in Italy called Castel Gandolfo.

No more colorful guards. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
The gardens of the pontifical residence of Castel Gandolfo. These digs don’t look so bad. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Although this just in…a mild earthquake has struck Castel Gandolfo just days after the Pope’s arrival. Well, the village does rest on top of a volcano. What do they expect? Or, perhaps it’s sign from the Almighty himself.

I’m one of those ex-Catholics. The last time I went to mass, I’m certain the priest was staring me down when he mentioned “Christmas Christians” in his sermon. I didn’t return. I guess I have that in common with the Pope Emeritus.

But so what if the ex-Pope is gay? To be sure, the scandals shine a harsh light on the Vatican. Now the cardinals are gathering to elect a new pope, hopefully, in time for Palm Sunday. If only we could elect an American President so fast. I can only imagine these secretive meetings, where the first of order of business is to check for any wiretapping.

It would seem that many revered, respected, and most difficult of positions are only to be had in the final years of one’s life. The papacy being one of them. It’s too bad they can’t find someone young and energetic, someone in touch with the new generation of Catholic families, someone with an understanding of the 21st century and its challenges.

If you ask me, what the Vatican needs is a woman. I’m not saying this just because March is Women’s History Month. Enter “The Sisters Crusade,” a group of radical nuns who are practicing what they preach at homeless shelters, health clinics, and yes, arranged meetings with politicians that are typically canceled and rescheduled. Not surprisingly, their issues are political, tackling universal healthcare, reproductive rights, and immigration reform. Look, here they are in the November 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

I know Bond is distracting, so I circled it for you. (You can read the article here.)

Nuns Crusade-Rolling Stone(2)

You read that correctly. Sisters Against the Pope. I’m proud to say that one of these Sisters is none other than my mom’s cousin. This means she’s my cousin, too, or uh…or a second cousin, or first cousin removed…no matter. She is Sister Margaret Farley, a former Yale Divinity School professor, and she’s got the Vatican in stitches, “making theological arguments in favor of homosexuality, remarriage after divorce, and female ‘self-pleasuring.'” (Rolling Stone, November 2012) You can imagine the waves she’s created.

The Vatican banned her book Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. My parents, divorced, ex-Catholics, both have signed copies. Cousin Sister Margo always has a spot at my dinner table.

I doubt that a woman will ever be made pope in my lifetime, or if ever, but at least these nuns are talking, and they have an audience who is listening. It’s about time. Now, if only the Vatican will listen.

Advertisements

69 thoughts on “The Pope Has Left the Building

  1. I’ve heard a lot of stories about why the Pope is retiring; the first one to do so in 800 years or whatever. Not sure what I believe. But they’re all human. No one is above their own biological tendencies or desires, whichever ones played a role here. Great post!

    Like

    1. I know it’s hard to know what to believe. We know for certain there is huge scandal now and probably a big cover-up to follow. People are human, indeed. It seems so terribly hard to accept this. Thanks, Vince!

      Like

  2. If you decide to run for Pope as a spoiler candidate, you have my vote!
    Or you would if I were some form of Catholic…
    As a non-Christian, I’m always amazed by the disconnect between those who are spiritual, and those who are rigidly dogmatic.
    It’s a shame.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Guap! Right now, Sister Margo has my vote. Wouldn’t that just turn everything upside down?! Something should. Things will probably go on as usual.

      I agree, dogmas don’t count for much if they hold no meaning for people. People will just leave like many have. People are just human anyway.

      Like

  3. Sister Margo always has a spot at my dinner table too. Just in case she’s ever in Canada and need of dinner. I am also an ex-Catholic. We were just talking with neighbors about the church across the street from us, where none of the congregants are younger than 65. Their only hope in the west is a pope that can modernize.

    Like

    1. Hey, fellow ex-Catholic! It’s true, isn’t it? There never is any young blood at the Vatican, which is probably why nothing ever changes. I’m skeptical things will ever change. It’s a pity! People need to accept we’re human and move on.

      Like

  4. My dad’s an ex Catholic, too. He never has anything nice to say. I guess I am too, I was baptized as an infant. I also have a Jewish grandfather and I’m a Mormon. I’m basically, what you might call a “triple threat.” No one’s gonna keep this gal out of heaven – I’ve got it covered. πŸ™‚
    Great post, Amy!! The whole Pope thing is turning into a real crazy soap opera, right? haha!

    Like

    1. A triple threat! That’s pretty funny, Lisa. You must be an expert on religion. I’m sure it’s a huge, scandalous affair right now. Where there’s power, there’s darkness…ha ha. At least people misbehaving! Thanks!

      Like

  5. It does seem that the Catholic Church follows Plato’s Republic inasmuch as the leadership is wrought from those in their latter years. I don’t remember, however, whether Plato allowed for early retirement. If the Pope’s abdication has anything to do with a male secretary, then perhaps the church would do well to install a woman under the white zuchetto. I mean, who would care if She’s gay? Only the over-testosteroned guys on performance-enhancing drugs who can’t take the blow to their egos. Or, the secretary’s mother if she liked the attention her son was getting at lunch. Either way, Sister Margo has my vote!

    Like

    1. He Who, you bring up a most intriguing point. If it were a woman who was gay no one would probably care! I think you’re completely right about this. This would solve all their problems. She could bring her mother, too, and I’m sure all the priests, cardinals, what have you, would fawn all over her, because she is the pope’s mother. Vote for Sister Margo! Thanks.

      Like

  6. If only is right. I’m not Catholic, so I suppose my opinion is worth squat, but it really is time to move into the 21st century with this stuff. As you mention, someone younger would be a good start. Or someone like Sister Margaret Farley. She’s one cool chick-a-dee.

    Like

    1. Exactly, Carrie! Of course, you’re opinion is valuable. It’s time for the 21st century. This church is in the dark ages. We have a lot of things we could be concentrating on as a human race, right? We seem to spend an awful lot of time bickering about things. I would love to meet Sister Margo someday. Maybe I will get the chance.

      Like

  7. OK, I’m using the WordPress Reader to check up on all the new posts, I see the colorful costumes of the Vatican guards, then scroll down to read: The Pope Has Left The Building, and I instantly said aloud–Bumble Files–before I scrolled to see your name. Love your sense of humor, Amy. Had not heard, as they say, the rest of the story. But being the skeptical cynic that I am, I wondered if more than ill health were behind this story. Isn’t there usually?
    My vote is for Auntie Margo. May I come to the inauguration, induction, ordination, whatever??

    Like

    1. Ly, I can’t help but find humor in this. Now the Pope has a nice vacation, although I understand his new retirement home is only temporary. I can’t be sure of the story either, but I imagine the Vatican is expert at cover up. Margo would set them all straight if given the chance! Of course, you would be invited.

      Like

  8. Great post here. I don’t have an opinion on religion and policitcs. They cause too much stress and make people fight. It’s the only two topics I stay away from. But I like your post none the less. How come a women cannot move us into the future?! There’s a joke I see that continues to circle FB-if women ruled the world, there would be no war, just a bunch of jealous countries not talking to each other. Is that why women in high power are so far and few in between? One ponders….

    Like

    1. Thank you, Amber. I think you have my point exactly. In a perfect world, I don’t think there would be religions at all. They seem to cause a lot of fighting and ill will. I never agreed with the Catholic church’s stance on woman and their level of involvement with the church. I was raised as a Catholic, but that always bothered me growing up. I hope we see as a woman as President, but the pope…I’m not placing any bets.

      Like

      1. I think you just came up with your next blog topic. I agree though, that we go through so much, and we are never in a position of power or huge signifigant influence. Here in Canada, there are now two women Premiers(leaders of the state/province). Pope, maybe not, President, maybe not. But, but, why not? It’s internatational woemens month, let us be proud without any restrictions. We reign and we rule as women.

        Like

  9. Thank you so much for posting on social networking, please stop on my blog solo trip around the world I will soon leaving in May of 2013 from washington State also I am on Facebook

    Like

  10. it is time for the Catholic Church to change and as it was said, step into the 21st Century. Great post– I am very curious,as the whole world is, how this will unfold. I think a woman Pope would be interesting.

    Like

    1. I don’t know that the Catholic Church will ever be a part of this century if it stays on its current path. I think a woman would set things straight. I guess first they need to be allowed to be priests. The Pope is quite a long shot!

      Like

  11. why, whenever we talk about people being human, we are not saying it in a good way–is there no good way to be human
    and why would a woman want to be a pope and join in on something that was behind the times in the 18th century?

    Like

    1. I hope you didn’t get that impression that I’m speaking of being human in this way. I vote for Cousin Sister Margo who is favor of all the natural ways to be human. I just think the Vatican has quite a scandal on their hands, and I’m not even sure what is is. I think I heard prostitution rings? We may not ever know. Thanks, LouAnn.

      Like

      1. I was commenting on other commenters not your post–sorry if I made it seem so – I would be so proud to be related to your Cousin and what she is both doing and trying to do–
        No one likes to hear that there is scandal at institutions such as the Vatican–it is sad indeed

        Like

  12. Okay, so this has nothing to do with your post, Amy (sorry about that), but guess who FINALLY saw Skyfall (three times so far)?! My sister sent it for my birthday – which was amazing, of course! Definitely one of my favorites! Um, okay… sorry… as you were, B.F…
    πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Okay, so Robert I’m extremely jealous!!! Argghh…happy for you, sad for me! Hey say, when was it your birthday?! How come you didn’t tell me??

      Was Skyfall really good? Oh, and seeing how Bond is on the cover, it does have to do with my post…I think it’s kind of funny that the nuns are on the cover with Bond!

      Like

      1. I think you’d really like it! Or I hope you would (I always feel bad about recommending movies in case someone watches it and has the opposite reaction that I did – but I thought it was all kinds of cool)! Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was the cover that made me think of it.
        Oh, a bit over a week ago… I think. I have a difficult time remembering these things at my age. Which is probably why I didn’t mention it. πŸ™‚

        Like

      2. Oh, I’m sure I would love the new movie. I think I like this Bond guy the best! You know, the guy on the cover.

        You do too know when it’s your birthday!!! Oh c’mon, you can tell me. When is it already??

        Like

      3. Ooohh, I must see it now. It’s not on the Netflix and it’s left the theaters. I must buy or wait. Hmm….

        Oh, you’re a Fish (Pisces) and a great age! I’ll put it my calendar, Robert.

        Like

  13. Amy, I’ve not heard about this! Wow. I’m not Catholic. Hubby grew up Catholic but we both believe the same — a loving, giving God. Anyway, I do think it’s time there are changes for what it’s worth, but I’ve never been one to argue or fight about religion because well…that kind of takes the whole, loving, everyone is the same in the eyes of our Creator thing out of the picture. I have heard/read about Sister Margo and I think she would be a great leader and it seems to me her teachings and beliefs are about — God doesn’t make mistakes. That’s what I think too.

    Like

    1. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard. I’m not even sure what to believe. It’s being quite glossed over. I think they want a new pope in there ASAP and not just because of Easter. I think Benedict did some damage. So, you’ve heard about Sister Margo before my post? That’s cool. If only someone like her could step in, she would make a difference.

      Like

  14. Oh, wow. I had not heard the gay bit yet. No wonder the Pope is such a fabulous dresser! I’m a little disappointed because I was hoping to follow him on Twitter. I had a lot of questions. Like, if you were chosen by God, then did you have to ask God permission to retire? What was that conversation like? Also: Can I borrow your hat? Etc. I guess I will have to wait for the next one.

    Like

  15. I’m not a catholic (or ex-catholic) but Sister/Auntie Margo has my vote for sure. She sounds like an amazing woman! I have no idea why the pope resigned – I’m waiting for the movie to come out πŸ˜€

    Like

    1. Dianne, it may be movie but not for a few years I bet. I’m sure it will come out someday. Now it is a bit confusing and will most likely remain so. The focus now is on the future. Sister Margo does seem like an incredible woman.

      Like

  16. Amy,
    Great post. It’s such a confusing picture. I was talking with a client today who is Catholic. He is also liberal and has had several things to say about Benedict, although he is kind in his words, he has been very frustrated about the Pope’s very conservative stand. It would be very interesting indeed if this guy is gay. Definitely some demons that he’s dealing with.
    Very cool connection that you have with Sister Margo. It takes a lot of courage to go against The Church!
    Cathy

    Like

    1. Cathy,
      I’m glad I’m not the only one is who is confused. It seems like already the focus in the media is simply to replace Benedict. They’re not discussing why he’s retired. So, I’ve pieced together a picture based on media I found. I’m betting it’s something they want us to forget.
      Right…I think Sister Margo is a brave woman. Someone has to finally stand up to the Church.
      Amy

      Like

      1. I heard that Benedict was retiring because of aging and health issues, and who knows, maybe it has something to do with the recent scandals as well, but I guess he might be setting a precedent that would probably be a good one – that Popes retire when they’re too ill, aged, whatever, to fulfill their duties rather that becoming unable to do so and they stay on until death. If you think about it, the head of one of the largest corporations on the planet can’t be very effective when they’re on their deathbed…

        Like

      2. I agree no one should be working when they’re old and probably barely coherent. It’s too bad they can’t get a younger person in there. It probably won’t happen, which is also why things never change. Thanks for all your comments, Cathy.

        Like

  17. There are some seriously awesome sisters out there. The Catholic Church would be a might different beast if they were in charge. Heck! If they were in charge, this ex-Catholic might be tempted to re-enter the fold. πŸ˜‰

    Like

  18. I’m a Christian, but not a Catholic, so I don’t usually give the Pope much thought. Honestly, I think it’s not good having that much power in the hands of one person. He is only human, after all. Personally, I’d like to see the Catholic church sell off all its gold and give it to the poor, which is probably exactly what Jesus would do if he were Pope.

    Like

    1. Oh, right…the Vatican is such a palace. It looks fit for a king, which is who the pope might as well be. I think he has that much power and more. They must keep up appearances so I don’t think they’ll be giving up anything.

      Like

      1. I’m pretty sure they won’t be giving up anything: they are entangled in too much history and tradition, plus they are responsible for a lot of administration. Still, it would be nice to see the church and not just the priests take a vow of poverty. πŸ™‚

        Like

  19. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t alway “get” what the fuss is about. Quite frankly, though, I have to say I am more surprised when I find out that a priest is not gay these days. Pope or not.
    I think your Cousin Once Removed would make an awesome Pope and she would definitely get my vote. (Of course, I don’t get one.)

    Like

    1. Unfortunately, Michelle, I don’t get a vote either. No one does!! It simply a cardinal affair. I feel bad for people who can’t live their lives honestly. That’s what Sister Margo is all about. Do you think she’s a cousin once removed. I’m not really sure about this. Anyway, it’s a honor to be related to her.

      Like

  20. Another ex-Catholic joining the fray. First of all, I watched the ending of his papacy because it was interesting and something I will likely never see again.

    Personally, I see his retirement in a different light than others. He was very close to his John-Paul II, who as we know, wasn’t in the best of health for more than a few years — but he hung on. I foresee Cardinal Ratzinger as one who encouraged (at or least believed) that J-P II should step down …. thus he did want he wanted his predecessor to do.

    In terms of his sexuality, who knows. As for the successor, they need someone to take charge of the issue within their midst —- unfortunately, I don’t see it going beyond that.

    Well done Amy!

    Like

    1. I appreciate you weighing in with thoughtful comments. I’m sure health was an issue, despite what else may or may not be going on. I don’t think we’ll ever have the full picture. The man is 85 years old. I hope I’m not working when I’m that age. I agree I don’t think things will change very much in the near future as far as the Church being more open minded. Thanks, Frank!

      Like

  21. the whole, multi-faceted, ultra-complex and confusing, endless rolling Vatican & general Catholic church multi scandal & rumor saga (phew) is just insane. I’m only 1/4 catholic so maybe I shouldn’t comment, (I’m actually 95% agnostic) But I’m also proudly Irish, in a country where Catholicism suffuses our whole spirit and culture & discourse and has done for centuries, for both better and for worse. The last 15 years here, as you know, have in general been one horrifying revelation after another. Then this Tuesday I saw American director Alex Gibney’s brilliant documentary about church-facilitated abuse in the US. Similar story there, outrageous evil crimes with appalling consequences, facilitated by, and then protected from exposure & prosecution, by the church. Utterly depraved, and i am not talking about the pedophiles but the church and in particular the Vatican/Holy See. I’d strongly recommend this film to anyone who has the stomach for it. It is even worse than we had feared. It transpired that a handfull of very powerful cardinals, including Ratzinger (later Benedict) in particular, and it now appears previous pontiff John Paul II also, told both Irish and the American catholic hierarchies how to handle the whole thing. “Deny and Cover up” was the basic message. On the few occasions that didn’t work, “Pay-out to cover up” was the other way. (They also protected a nightmarishly horrible pedophile in Italy, a very senior cardinal, who appears to have sired then raped his own illegitimate daughters.) In all cases, essentially in order to protect prestige, power and reputation of “the Church” they did everything to protect the violators, rather than the young (& often very vulnerable) victims. They left these horrible creepy people in the care of young people, even after they became aware what they were doing. The Church, left child molesters and child rapists, in place, looking after young people, even after they became aware what these men were doing. That is hard to comprehend. But has now become abundantly clear. You could not make it up. Compared to all that, having seen the film, and I certainly want to go across as holier-than-thou or a ranter, but with those images in my head the last 4-5 days, I am not especially bothered if the exPope has an over cosy relationship with his handsome german secretary. The church is still growing fast in the developing world, where safeguards are few and justice often hard to come by. What do we all think will now happen to generations of the children of Africa and Latin America in the next 30-50 years? Prepare for a tsunami of vile crimes, more secrecy and cover ups, pain, tragedy and hurt, I’m now very much afraid. Yours somewhat apologetically.- Arran.

    Like

    1. Arran, Thanks for thoughtful comments. My post doesn’t cover the things you have discussed in your comments, as I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to talk about it. I would be interested in seeing that film though as awful as it sounds. I’m not entirely surprised by what you say, as the Church has so much power, and I’m betting is expert at cover up. It’s sad to hear about these crimes happening under any guise. You’re right, what is the big deal if the Pope is gay and having a romance with the secretary. Who cares? That was my only real point, and that the Church needs to be more open to social issues/changes. I’d heard of the prostitution rings happening in the Vatican but don’t know too much. I have a feeling we won’t know much, unless someone does another film. The crimes against children though are in another category, horrific and shameful. Thanks for taking the time to comment – Amy

      Like

Take it away.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s