Karol Wojtyla, alias John Paul II, supreme caudillo of the Catholic Church, finally popped his clogs last week. He has gone to the great Vatican in the sky to hobnob with the other dead Popes, a pious collection of poisoners, adulterers, thieves, warmongers and dictators. Not to mention the Protestant church leaders — Luther the anti-Semite and Henry Tudor the serial wife-murderer…
As can be seen from the following quotations, the Pope was a much loved and respected international figure, among religious and non-religious people alike:
“Pope John Paul II waged a ceaseless war against the human rights of women and gay people: opposing the right of women to control their own fertility; blocking women’s equality in the church; and endorsing state-sponsored discrimination against lesbians and gay men.”
“The role the Polish pope played in helping bring about the collapse of the Soviet empire is heavily exaggerated by papal propagandists. After all, the Soviet regime did not fall because of the pope (before the arrival of Gorbachev, the pope was achieving about as little as he is now achieving in China), but instead imploded because of the Soviet system’s inherent economic and social contradictions.”
Hans Kung, Catholic theologian and writer
“He did more to spread AIDS across Africa than the trucking industry and prostitution combined… John Paul II has the blood of innocents on his hands.”
Michaela Wrong, New Statesman
“Many of the faithful thought he was correct in all things. And they obeyed him. Except when he condemned capital punishment and the war in Iraq. The Pope, they figured, got it wrong on those — that abortion is god-prohibited murder, but that killing people in prisons and on the battlefields is fine no matter what the Vicar of Christ has to say on such matters.”
Edwin Kagan, Kentucky State Director of American Atheists
“Even in the wake of the Vatican bank scandal, the IOR/Holy See continued in its efforts to hide evidence that it was the beneficiary of large amounts of gold (and possibly other financial assets) confiscated by the Nazi puppet regimes in the former ‘Catholic State of Croatia’ and elsewhere in Europe. Indeed, the Vatican has been pressuring US courts to stop any disclosure of IOR assets and their origin.”
American Atheist Newsletter
“One day, the fatuous tributes of the past week will rot, and his name will be cursed here on earth.”
Johann Hari, Independent
“The Pope’s opposition to gay relationships and gay rights has been relentless throughout his 26-year tenure of office, culminating in his book published this year in which same-sex marriage is described as part of an ‘ideology of evil’. His catechism condemns gay relationships as ‘intrinsically disordered’ and a ‘grave depravity’. In 2003, he even went so far as urging gay children and their parents to seek psychiatric treatment. More heinously, his opposition to the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV has condemned millions of people to an agonising death.”
George Broadhead, Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association
“Loopy far-right mystics and Francoists were honoured and Latin American political liberationists bawled out. The Pope’s authority was so unassailable that the head of a Spanish seminary managed to convince his students that he had the Pope’s personal permission to masturbate them. He was one of the greatest disasters for the Christian church since Charles Darwin.”
“He will go down in history as a pope who didn’t understand and who wasn’t friendly to women. He couldn’t have slammed the door shut more loudly on the question of the ordination of women. He will go down as a fifth-century pope in terms of who women are.”
Frances Kissling, President of Catholics for a Free Choice
“Not only is the Roman Catholic Church at the centre of a huge child-abuse scandal, the recent pope went to enormous lengths to cover that scandal up. In May 2001 he changed the rules to make each case a ‘pontifical secret’. Bishops could no longer investigate child abuse in their area, as each case had to be referred immediately to the Vatican. Seeing as most cardinals were appointed to ensure a continuation of policy, there must be a worry they’ll announce the next Pope is Michael Jackson.”
Mark Steel, Independent
Requiescat in pace. And don’t come back!
Meanwhile, back on Earth...
Labour Party members got a rare chance to laugh out loud when Tony Blair announced that he would be stopping the General Election campaign on Friday, out of respect for the Pope’s funeral… and on Saturday, out of respect for the royal wedding!
Of course, the other party leaders followed suit. And of course, their campaigners didn’t, all the parties being seen busy plodding the streets on Friday and Saturday, while their spineless leaders wooed the swiftly vanishing religious and royalist nutcase vote.