Everything you need to know about the Vatican

As someone who saw the repressiveness of the Catholic church at close quarters as a lad, I am less than impressed by the unctuous posturing on display in Rome today. This little report in The New York Times nicely conveys the institutional hypocrisy of the regime presided over by JP II.

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign in disgrace as archbishop of Boston two years ago for protecting sexually abusive priests, was named by the Vatican today as one of nine prelates who will have the honor of presiding over funeral Masses for Pope John Paul II.

And how nice to see that not everyone in Britain is going overboard on the premature canonisation of a pope whose medieval stance on Aids, among other things, has contributed to the death of millions. Lovely Op-Ed piece by Polly Toynbee in today’s Guardian. Excerpt:

The millions pouring into Rome (pray there is no Mecca-style disaster) herald no resurgence of Catholicism. The devout are there, but this is essentially a Diana moment, a Queen Mother’s catafalque. People queue to join great public spectacles, hoping it’s a tell-my-grandchildren event. Communing with public emotion is easy now travel is cheap. These things are driven by rolling, unctuous television telling people a great event is unfolding, focusing on the few hysterics in tears and not the many who come to feel their pain.

Thanks to Boyd Harris for the Toynbee link.