Saturday, February 06, 2010

Getting ready for the Pope's visit

Lines on the Death of John Paul II

"No Popery" Ian Paisley cried,
and now that John Paul II has died,
there is no Pope,
so can we hope
for Orangemen with peace inside?

They just can't cope
without a Pope.
The Papists want a Papacy
and Paisley needs an enemy.
Without a Pope
they'd all just . . . mope.

It really makes you think:
what if it pushed them off the brink ?
what if it made them turn to drink
or even . . . turn to dope?

Might be a blessing in disguise.
Imagine if the smokes that rise
above the Convocation
(as they all grope
for a new pope)
should symbolise a wider scope
for toleration?

What if the newly chosen Pope,
red-eyed, and reading Rattigan
loped lazily around the Vatican
flashing the peace sign,
Wow. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Fine.

But that could be a slippery slope
No-one would want a hippy Pope.
We should not hope
for a doped pope;

But could we simply go for one
that has a well developed sense of fun?
(Maybe when Ratzinger’s gone?)
(c) Richard Lawson


thehoatzin said...

don't mention the war


anyway, it was a long time ago and he was young-ish. And it wasn't as if the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to the Nazis' activities. And it's a sad day when an ex-Nazi can't lecture the world on morality.

My father, who fought in the war and spent time in Stalag Luft III, had rather the opposite opinion of the catholic church and ex Nazis, for some reason. Funny old world.

DocRichard said...

Yes, we should not stereotype people. There are many good Catholics. I is just that I am not totally convinced that Mr Ratzinger is one of them.

David Cox said...

Gosh no wonder you Greens don’t talk about Fritz Schumacher anymore,he was a papist (convert) and a German!

DocRichard said...

We certainly do talk about Fritz still, in fact he figures in our energy policy as Schumacher's Law: "The only valid way to use a capital resource is to become independent of that resource."

I know, I put it in.

I am sure Fritz would have been against the Pope's view on contraception.

I would have thought that the Liberal view would be that it is OK to write poems critical of someone who claims infallibility? And has promoted a Holocaust denier? And has failed to act effectively against paedophiles in his church?

David Cox said...

Great to know Fritz Schumacher has at least one fan in the Green Party still. Fritz would, I agree have serious issues with the current Pope, I think he was attracted to the social action and teaching of the Catholic Church and it’s spiritual underpinning - Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno; as well as the 1537 encyclical Sublimus Dei denouncing racism.

I’m no fan of this Pope or the last one, but having married a Catholic from Northern Ireland I am sensitive to sectarianism. Attacks on the Pope seem to be drifting to attacks on Catholics per se. (not your poem)

There are plenty of reasons to criticise this Pope, but please let’s get our facts right. The Pope did not promote the Holocaust denier Richard Williams he lifted John Paul II ‘s excommunication, and stopped his denier activities - "in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the Church, (he) will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah.” He should not have let Williams, a conspiracy theory nut, back in. But then the Green Party made Tony Gosling (also a conspiracy theory nut) a council candidate, we all make mistakes!

The Pope does not claim to be infallible, for example his acceptance of AWG, does not mean you can’t be a Catholic AWG sceptic; Pope’s claim papal infallibility which is limited to doctrine and has been used only once in 1950. I don’t agree with the doctrine of papal infallibility nor the power of the Queen to declared war without the prime minister’s consent - that doesn't stop me being a Catholic or a constitutional monarchist. The Liberal MP and Catholic theologian Lord Acton’s oft quoted saying “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" was aimed squarely at Pope Pius IX’s promulgation of papal infallibility. Yet Lord Acton managed reconcile his Catholic faith with his Liberalism, albeit only just.