Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pope Benedict's Real Message Is In It's Targeted Audience

Pope Benedict has a very small target group in mind for his Catholic message and doesn't seem to be overly concerned that it misses most of his flock in the West. What is that about?

I've been wondering lately what it is about Pope Benedict's recent homilies, especially those he gave for the end of the Year of the Priest, which has left me feeling completely alienated. It's not just the message. It's more than that and this feeling has been building for a long time.

When broken down effective communication has three components, the message, the messenger, and the audience. Usually the message is the key component and it's effective transmission is facilitated by the passion of the speaker and the ability of the audience to hear the message. My problem with Benedict lies in all three areas, but the most critical factor is the last of the three. I am not in the audience Benedict is addressing. He is tailoring his message to a very specific audience and in language which is designed to appeal to that very specific audience. He is purposely preaching to his theological choir, which means he is purposely ignoring the vast majority of Western Catholics. He is leaving no hope of any dialogue with anyone who is not in his choir.

Benedict is not preaching the universal Good News of Jesus Christ which Jesus intended for all mankind. He is preaching a version of Roman Catholicism which purposely cuts out the vast majority of the West. It's as if he has single handedly judged the vast majority of the West has already condemned itself to hell and no longer deserves the Church's attention or concern.
Benedict is not evangelizing anyone. How do you evangelize when you only address those in your fold? How do you spread the Good News when you use language designed to reinforce the views of your chosen fold by demonizing those not in the fold? What Benedict is doing is hardly Christ like. It's not preaching. It's more like cheer leading.

And sometimes the blame game he engages in is subtle. Take for instance this frequently cited quote from his recent homily to the the gathering of priests in Rome:

"It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the "enemy"; he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world.

And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light – particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest God’s concern for our good, turns into its very opposite."

What he is ever so subtly saying is that the victims who came forward were the tools the devil used to attack the 'new radiance of the priesthood'. He is re blaming the victims for bringing shame to the priesthood. I guess if these victims weren't under the control of the 'enemy' they would have waited until after Benedict was done with his year long priestly PR campaign.

I'm getting tired of this notion that popes can't admit personal mistakes without influencing the aura of infallibility surrounding the papacy, and by extension the Vatican and bishops and everything they say and do. I can't ignore the historical fact that they themselves were the only ones who assigned such status to themselves. Maybe that's exactly why Benedict's message is targeting such a limited audience in Western society. Not too many people living in Western democracies actually buy into the notion of the self appointed divine king. Not even the corporate version as BP's Tony Hayward is finding out.

As long as Benedict continues to occupy the Chair of Peter it's pretty obvious he will continue to preach to a very limited Catholic audience in the West. His eyes are most certainly on the South and he is making a very obvious attempt to keep the South in a Colonial form of Catholicism by damning most of the cultural progress of the West. The same phenomenon is happening in the Anglican Church now that Rowan Williams has opted for unified central authority as more important in Anglicanism than local expression.

So who benefits by underscoring obedience to and dependence on unelected centralized authority? Certainly not Jesus who taught service to others as opposed to power over others. The Tony Hayward's of the world most certainly do. The opulently housed and clothed colonial clerics most certainly do. Those who aspire to that kind of material wealth and power most certainly do. In the end that's the message I personally got from the 'Year of the Priest'. Pope Benedict's Catholicism is still all about reserving power to celibate males and keeping clerical privilege in tact. As long as that message supports the exploitation of humanity it will find plenty of economic support. Benedict still believes clericalism will be able to sustain itself. That may prove to be a papal error of historic proportions and disprove infallibility once and for all.


  1. Roman Catholicism and the Universal good news of Jesus Christ is the same thing.

  2. "He is leaving no hope of any dialogue with anyone who is not in his choir."

    You cannot be in Benedict's choir unless you play the notes he wants you to play, and play them exactly as he intends it to be played. Any "deviation" from the theology of Benedict (the score) is forbidden. If you don't "read" the scriptures as he "reads" it, "comprehend it" the way he comprehends the score (the theology), you are out of the choir.

    There must be uniformity, following exactly the letter of the law, the notes on the score, and everyone must think the same, play the same, as far as Benedict goes.

    What Benedict's choir will perform will be a rendition and interpretation that is not divinely inspired.

  3. Not only will such a choir that Benedict is pulling together be a straight-jacketed performance of "Catholicism" it assumes its choir is the only voice that God hears and loves.

    word is vachori - vatican choir

  4. God Bless You, Colleen! You have put your finger on it!

    I totally agree with your "read" of those strange sentences about the "new radiance of the priesthood". And his audience... along with the alienation of the rest of us! And the "pep rally" character of that speech is exactly the way it seemed to me as well. You had to be an "insider" to

    Not only that he seems to be anointing these "radiant priests".

    HOWEVER, having spoken to some African priests here in the US (last summer and Fall) I get the distinct impression that they too are tired of the colonialism in their countries! So while the pope may be preaching in their direction, some of those priest seem to be embracing an altogether different "radiance" - which wants to throw off the colonial yoke!

    The Holy Spirit: Alive and well outside an imperial papacy, wanting to enslave all of us in a "colonial" or feudal role.

    Thank you SO much for this blog. One of your best pieces of analysis. And immensely helpful. I hope it gets a wide and well-deserved readership. You really nailed it!!!

  5. Well.. apparently my editing left a lot to be desired... I'm sure you got my drift...

  6. "Roman Catholicism and the Universal good news of Jesus Christ is the same thing."

    In order to believe this I must ignore 1700 years of human history & close my eyes & mind to reality.

    At the Council of Nicea in 325AD, fewer then 300 of the total 1800 bishops showed up (which prompts MANY questions....). They connived with the pagan Emperor Constantine to turn the Ekklesia which Jesus founded into a state religion. Thus marrying Mammon.

    From that point forward, the creation of the Vatican, the Church organization went on a demonic trajectory away from the Gospel.

    The rest, as they say, is history.....

    Anon Y.Mouse

  7. Colleen -

    Ratzinger is preaching to the choir....of those of Opus Dei & its several ancillary groups we have spoken of before. If you are not in one of these cultic groups, you are not part of the target audience. And even if not a literal member of one of them, you must at least be on the same page with their modality of thought to be in the "Amen Corner":) his words, the abuse victims are the 'tools of the devil'. I had some brainwashed fool member of one of those 'cultic groups' try to tell me that:

    "90% of the abuse complaint were fake".

    The problem is not the statement; is is that he/she really BELIEVES this. I would be willing to bet the farm that there are many others out there who have been taught to think in the same mode.

    If you have met recently ordained priests - or seen video interviews with them, my impression is this:

    They are brainwashed. In previous generations you would have priests who displayed individual personalities. Who actually thought for themselves, even though all believing the same basic things. Some were more rigid; some were more informal. But - good or bad - they were REAL PEOPLE.

    The new crop of priests are......the male clerical equivalent of "The Stepford Wives".
    Almost robotic. All with the same silly grin. All saying virtually the same thing - using the virtually identical words, talking points, & sound bytes.

    This is nor normal human behavior. This is indicative of some type of mental conditioning. Cultic tampering. Or brainwashing, if you wish.

    Their mode of response to you, the lay person, will have all the spontaneity of the credit card customer service representative you get on the phone, from a call center in Bangalore, India. All they know is what is written on the instruction sheet in front of them. Rather like a flow chart.

    You ask a question....they look up the subject....and you get a pre-programmed response. Ask something which is NOT on their menu, & they are lost.

    That is basically how these "new radiant priests' are. Human cyphers.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  8. You are absolutely right to point out the targeted audience. However, that is only part of it. Given the occasion, it is entirely appropriate that part of his attention should be directly targeted to priests.

    The bigger problem is that this is his entire manner of thinking. Throughout the slow unfolding of the abuse saga, in his famed blunder which so offended the Muslims, and in many other areas, he has demonstrated a total incapacity to even think outside the framework of academic theology and canon law, a framework that simply assumes the automatic right of the Vatican establishment to make all the rules, and to dictate all the terms of debate.

    As you point out, all these claims rest on no surer foundation than their own say-so. The early Christians took their decisions jointly, and selected their own pastors. The bishops, who were required to ordain the new priests, thereby gained an effective veto over the candidates proposed. They have been extending their power grab ever since.

    It is essential that we recognise the bishops' collective for what it is. While many of them may personally be holy, dedicated and caring men, the institution as a whole remains an unelected, unaccountable, self-selecting group totally out of touch with the real world. And the inner circle of curia and cardinals simply repeats the process at a higher remove.

  9. Anon Y. Mouse used the word "robotic" - and that is exactly my own conclusion that I just wrote in response to butterfly's wonderful comments about music in the last thread. Rather than repeat my own words here, I just suggest you look at my long comment (at the moment it's the last comment on the previous thread in the early am of 6/13).

    Yes, the problem is "robotic Catholicism" versus your own God-given, Spirit-breathed inner music, to be played "in harmony" with all creation - right along with your fellow persons. The conductor of this music is NOT the pope!!! The conductor is the Spirit - I dare say. And the goal is not robots!

    But robotic is how the cardinals look, all in a line (in one of Colleen's photos from another blog a ways back), all in the same over-dressed "radiance" - more like "radiation" I'd say!

    Flee the Vatican radiation!!!

    Beware the toxicity!!!

    See how it has already produced robot priests!

    Look to God for salvation!

    Do you believe we are having to say such things???

  10. One more thought: Remember how, as Rome's imperial power was waning, the imperial leaders more and more assumed the role of "gods" - literally mandating that everyone publicly sacrifice to them? And those who didn't were some of the first martyrs?

  11. I am really begiinning to believe that the same kinds of thought control techniques used by the totalitarian regimes have been adapted by the Vatican.

    I guess this isn't surprising given the basic structures of a cell pyramid were already in place. The only thing needed to replicate Soviet practices were taking over control of the thinking of cell/parish leadership. They needed to create Priest/komissars if you will. Hence the revamping of seminary curricula serves another purpose entirely, and weeding out gays and pedophiles is the cover.

    Anything and everyone associated with thinking which undercuts this program and it's hierarchical theology must be eliminated. Hence the LCWR looms large. In this scheme of things the LCWR are a classic example of organized subversives.

    I keep going round and round the whole Liberation Theology thing and have come to conclusion the only reason it was so heavily stamped out was because it was a form of Christian communion which theologically opposed JPII's new form of Catholic Communism.

    To understand Catholic Communism in practice all you have to do is read up on the Regnum Christi movement or some of the other dedicated lay movements in other conservative groups. Classic examples of worker bees dedicating their entire lives to the advancement of the power and wealth of their 'central' authoritiy, while they live with nothing.

    The Reform of the Reform is nothing more than an implementation of a form of Catholic Communism and JPII the Great was the perfect person for it's author because he lived economic communism and saw exactly how it worked.

    Communism under a religious system is still communism. It's still exploitation of the dreams of the common man for the benefit of the collective leadership. Period.

  12. The past posts have been very interesting, lots of food for thought. Just wanted to pop in to let you know that I have been reading. I don't see priests as "robotic." Perhaps in our area this is not the case. I think I need more explanation about priests being brainwashed.

  13. "I think I need more explanation about priests being brainwashed."

    You need to observe it to understand it. It may or may not be as easily observable in your area. Or you may simply have not noticed the symptoms.

    Start by very critically watching EWTN. Note what the priests say & how they say it. Especially the younger ones. It will gradually become known to you that they are "all reading the same script".

    Not just that they all believe the same things.....

    But that they all use the identical phrases, 'buzz words', quotes from some "Church Father" or other author.

    The same thing can be seen in those who take management courses (which are often laden with 'conformity training'). Or similar career/personal enrichment seminars.

    For example, since the 90s a common buzzword/phrase has been:"The New Evangelization". I have heard countless priests & lay speakers use it.

    But.....WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Ask them. They will not tell you. Because most of them have no clue what it is either. They are just trained to say it.

    Ratzinger's message, as decoded by Colleen & others here, is that 'New Evangelization".

    The same is true of the 'Culture of Life'...and the 'Relativism' which Ratz made his watchword in 2005.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  14. Colleen -

    In your comment where you have defined & clarified the construct of 'Catholic Communism"....I could not agree more.

    The LCWR & Liberation Theology - regardless of any integral value they had/have - were made into (very convenient) bugaboos intentionally. Complete with the implicit label of 'Marxism' to scare everybody.

    "....the revamping of seminary curricula serves another purpose entirely, and weeding out gays and pedophiles is the cover."

    You have here unmasked the 'man behind the curtain'....

    "....The only thing needed to replicate Soviet practices were taking over control of the thinking of cell/parish leadership. They needed to create Priest/komissars if you will..."

    Now, I want you to carefully re-read what you have written in the entire comment, & ponder this:

    Are they 'replicating' the work/construct of others......or are the Architects merely modifying a successfully proven a new application?

    *sound of a pin dropping*


    You know exactly what I am referring to, if you know history. Especially if you can wrap your mind around the idea that elements in the Vatican (OD in particular) are many decades practiced in confecting & operating a Strategy of Tension.

    Such a Strategy involves only two polar opposites.It also creates "Splitting' in some ppl. But there can be ONLY two. Communism versus Fascism (or replaced by the disguise of Western Capitalism). Liberal Vs Conservative in Church & politics. Note that there is never a viable third option, or the construct would fail.

    I am inviting you to ponder the imponderable. And to go back to the words of Mary at Fatima:

    "...or else Russia would spread it errors...". The word 'Russia' was symbolic of the construct which would have its first successful run in that land. Yet in 1917, no such construct existed in Russia.

    An Internationale....requires international backing. Note also that Fatima was placing the Vatican on notice that God was warning them to repent & reform, or else. And that horrors would come to the world by their hand.

    Anon Y.Mouse

  15. Colleen

    I agree with you that the Pope alienates most in the West in the way he addresses issues etc., but I can't find any suggestion that he is blaming the victims in his speech which you quoted.

  16. Two thoughts Mouse: "'replicating' the work/construct of others.."

    When I wrote the sentence you are referencing, I vaguely remembered something I had read in college which maintained your exact point about who was copying who. I also knew if my vague memory was correct, you would let me know. It was kind of an aside in a history class in which the priest who taught this class did quite the presentation on how Himmler may have copied the Jesuits in constructing the SS.

    Your second point about Fatima really caught me, since the Russian revolution was just beginning at the time of Fatima. I have to admit I had never computed that simple fact.

    anon, I'm not saying Benedict was purposely using the devil as another way to blame the victims. But you can't escape this because if victims hadn't come forward the press would have stayed silent, and the Year of the Priest and Benedict's myth of priest would have gone unchallenged. Where he sees the work of the devil I see the demand for justice, transparency, and accountability. Those are not the hallmarks of evil. They are the hallmarks of evil's opposite. Which implies when it comes to the clerical priesthood Benedict can't tell good from evil and that's bad.

  17. To Mareczku and anyone who has not met one of these robotic priests: it is a strange experience. "Stepford Priest" is probably the best description I have read.
    You know your lips are moving but they act as if they do not hear your voice. One I know-who used to call me by my husband's name-saw me walk by with a copy of the National Catholic Reporter-being given to a friend. He stopped me and said, "You should not be reading that. You should be reading Our Sunday Visitor." Knowing I would not be heard, I just smiled, nodded, and kept going.

  18. Colleen -


    It was still a monarchy in 1917, as the real Revolution had not yet happened. AND what we now know as "Communist Russia" would not exist until Vladamir Lenin assumed power several years later. The full ramifications could not possibly be known - until the future.

    Yet the word "Russia" itself, as used by Mary in the Fatima messages, was both literal AND symbolic. The three kids did not even know what Russia was!

    What Our Lady was referencing here was not merely the nation of Russia, nor even specifically the yet-to-come Soviet Union. She was referencing the engineered political construct.

    You do know that Communism in Poland was (literally) run by Catholics......and that the Church there under "Communism" was state supported via tax monies......

    When you pay ppl to erect a stage set.....and point to them as the originators of the stage set.....and then pay ppl to (pretend to) tear it down......that is quite a bit of Method Acting, now isn't it?


    Anon Y.Mouse

  19. Mouse, thanks for the extra background about "Russia". That helps. I've already xpressed my skepticism about conspiracies, but good heavens what a ton of coincidences. My question remains the same -- other than keep talking and praying (which I agree with), what is there to do?

    One more historical question: the Polish situation is always expressed as bad communists vs. faithful Catholics. Was there another group we didn't hear much about, faithful but not in league with the controllers?

    Thanks for your insights.

  20. MJC & Colleen -

    Normally I would not post a link to this site, as I have issues with some of what they write & assert.

    However, what is stated in the article is - if you take the time to research - essentially correct.

    I do not assert that every byte on that page is 100% correct. BUT....there is enough, an overwhelming amount, of truth here to point something as subtle as a flashing red neon sign:)

    Just start looking up some of the names & groups on Wiki. That will lead you to more confirmation. As you play 'connect the dots' you will see....and form your own objective observation of this.

    Anon Y.Mouse

  21. When you have:

    1) a state supported & tax financed Catholic Church

    2) major aspects of the ruling "Commies' being Catholic in membership & administration.....yet also 100% backed by NKVD/KGB

    3) the 'Catholic Resistance'(Solidarnosc) backed by the Vatican,Opus Dei & the CIA (and Mother Teresa's $$)

    4) ALL of these elements finding their junction point in & with Opus Dei - a Catholic entity

    WHOA!! Stop the music!

    What game are we playing here?

    One thinks of the David Ferrie character from the film JFK:

    "'s crazy...everybody's flipping sides, back & forth..."

    A reasonable conclusion is that they are working for neither side, as both in Poland (Church Vs Communism) were pawns. Just as the members of each were. Useful idiots on both sides could be counted upon to make 'causes' look realistic.

    You have the Vatican, Opus Dei & the CIA (& other US & Western intel) involved up to their necks. Now, ask yourself this question:

    Would they do this if there was any real threat of retaliation?

    Go & look very closely at the history of Iran & the Anglo-American Oil Co. (BP) - and the relationship of US intel with this. Govts. can be set up & dismantled at will. All the easier if you control the factors. Like stagehands changing a set.....from 1901 to present.

    The Poland operation was a wonderful 'instant fulfillment' of the 'Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" over evil Communism.

    ...or was it?

    Anon Y.Mouse

  22. Coolmom, perhaps I did talk to one of those priests. I was talking to a priest and he told me that being gay was like having cancer. You hated the disease but you loved the person. I was somewhat taken aback by this. The next time I spoke with him I told him that I upset to learn that many years ago a priest that had taught me in school took a student (13 years old) on a trip to Florida and sexually abused him. The priest said to me, "Well the kid was committing mortal sins too." I was stunned. I disagreed with him and said a few thing he did not agree with. He told me never to speak to him again.

  23. "The priest said to me, "Well the kid was committing mortal sins too."

    This shows the level of sickness in this priest. Sadly I have heard similar comments from Catholic laity.

    They simply do not 'get it': that a priest is NOT supposed to be abusing the young & innocent in ANY way! For a priest to do this is ALWAYS a 100 times worse then if done by anyone else.

    The usual response I get at that point is.....blinking. I have lost them....this is outside the box.

    US Catholics over 40 were raised to believe that priests, nuns & brothers were demi-gods. If one of them yelled at you, you deserved it. Ditto if they hit you: you deserved it. You had not right to complain -much less call the cops!

    So - on some level - many Catholics see no problem with priests who have sexually abused kids. It is a VERY deep level; so much that they do not acknowledge it consciously.
    They have been conditioned to think that 'the priest/bishop is always right...may do as he wishes'.

    This is insane. It is the result of a type of mind control - not the Love of Christ.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  24. Anon Y. Mouse: What I actually said that angered him so much was: "If the priest was tempted, he should have locked himself in the bathroom and taken care of it by himself." The priest was horrified and said, "Well, that would be a mortal sin." He was actually more horrified by that than by the fact that the kid was molested. The priest may think that the kid was at fault too, but the man that this happened to feels that he was raped. I will never understand the attitudes that allowed such things to happen.