The Pope and CBC
Did Canada somehow become a Catholic state when I wasn’t looking? And how did Peter Mansbridge (CBC) become Canada’s main ambassador for the Vatican, recounting every detail and nuance of the Vatican government’s selection of a new Vatican government leader with breathless enthusiasm and admiration?
The Vatican City State (that’s what it’s called) is just that, a state completely separate from the rest of the Italian State, or the Country of Italy. Vatican City State is a complete government unto itself and operates as a separate country from the rest of Italy. This Vatican City state has its own supreme legislature, with executive and judicial power. This sovereign government writes its own laws, has its own police force and containment facility (lock-up).
The top Vatican City state government officials, together with the Pope compose what is called the Holy See. The Holy See is the official governmental arm of Vatican City State. The Holy See has a legal personality. This allows it to enter into treaties with the juridical equal of a state and to send and receive diplomatic representatives. The Holy See of the Vatican City State has official diplomatic relations with 179 nations and the state of Vatican City is recognized under international law as a sovereign territory.
Following the usual rules of sovereign countries and territories, Pope Francis as president of Vatican City State is the chief political negotiator for the Holy See. Which makes Pope Frances, in my opinion, the chief politician of a foreign territory that gets to try to impose the right wing views of that country, or territory, on the rest of of the world under the overarching banner of religion.
However, this political nature of the Vatican, anchored in law, is on the whole overlooked by the main media. It certainly is overlooked by CBC’s Peter Mansbridge who seems dazzled by the spectacle of all the white and red robes, the Sistine Chapel, the smoking chimneys, the works. He just can’t seem to get enough of it. And I think this is disgusting. Because the Vatican City State and the Holy See are not elected by the people of any country to govern them. Yet these men seek to impose their own political agenda on the world as a whole. And the Vatican is rich. It pays no taxes. It has many resources, and like most governments in the western world today, these resources are primarily sucked out of the wages of the working poor and the working class.
Like any capitalist government, the Vatican City State has corruption issues. There is an unresolved banking scandal at the Vatican Bank (Financial Times 3/14/13). One Vatican bank manger hung himself, and the next was dismissed for dereliction of duty. The present Vatican Bank managers have been informed that the Italian Central Bank has suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican, citing its failure to implement fully anti-money laundering legislation. These bank accounts are held by bishops, cardinals and priests to the tune of eight point two billion dollars ($8.2bn).
And of course most of us know by now that the government of the Vatican City State and the Holy See continue to try to minimize the harm their sexual deviant priests have done to Catholic children. The Vatican City State covered up these crimes until so many of the wounded children grew up and started talking and then these heinous crimes could no longer be denied by anybody, including the Holy See. And all the while their pedophile priests ruin the lives of children and their families, the Vatican City State and the Holy See continues to sternly instruct women about how to conduct their sex lives for the glory of god. What ignoble hypocrisy!
While Pope Frances is primarily praised by the capitalist world as a humble man of God, when he was Cardinal Bergoglio during the long “dirty war” in Argentina there is evidence he had sympathy with the right-wing dictator who had tens of thousands of people killed or disappeared. In 2005 a civil rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against the Cardinal, now Pope, accusing him of conspiring with the military government in 1976 to kidnap two Jesuit priests for preaching Liberation Theology that sought to combine religion with social activism around the people’s extreme poverty (Globe and Mail, 3/16/13 and Democracy Now, 3/15/13).
The Pope has refused to answer questions about his part, if any, in the priests’ kidnapping, torture and drugging. Will the new Pope ever be forced to answer the questions that he was implicated because he disapproved of the two priests’ leftist leanings? I personally doubt he will ever be brought to account, but as a head of state facing many allegations he should come forward and prove he has clean hands. Given the accumulating evidence I personally don’t think he does, but we do know that Pope Francis’s hands will be kissed and fawned over by western governments and his words praised and duly reported by all main media.
And what were the new Pope’s first words as head of the City of the Vatican government? Did we hear him say the word “austerity”? I think we did. And I think that by using this word Pope Frances is telling us where he will jump in the future on the issue of the economies of the world. Pope Francis will preach austerity as a private virtue while the private banking system goes about its work of cutting out programs that contribute to easing people’s increasing poverty. He will preach public austerity while the central banks of the world are demanding austerity programs that are already making poor people poorer unto death. If Pope Frances puts on this humble face while surrounded by the luxurious pomp of Vatican City State as head politician, then should we wait for him to oppose the western world’s central banks that are sucking up the last of workers’ wages and causing the poverty? Like, should we wait for The Rapture?
Aside from covering up child rape and molestation, another issue Vatican City is well known for, and that is contempt for women. With the power to lobby as a sovereign nation the Holy See extends its influence deep into other countries. Women who are not Catholic, women who are not even religious, find themselves also under the heel of a foreign country’a views (the Vatican) by their ability to lobby against women’s rights. Which they do non-stop. They fear women. Should women get completely out of their control their entire edifice would topple. And in truth, enough women are running that the edifice is already crumbling. CBC, for whatever reason, feels the Catholic edifice should be firmly propped up with lots of TV time and presented repeatedly as the most important thing happening in the world.
In my opinion, we should all stop being queasy about calling a spade a space concerning religious originzations. Yes, everybody has the right to their own beliefs. However, when these beliefs become so organized, when they occupy a certain large territory, when they assume the character and legal entityofs a separate nation, then these separate legal entities should be treated primarily as a state or territory that has a state religion. The world treats the Vatican City State and the Holy See as the opposite…that the Vatican City State is primarily a religion with an attached state that serves only as a wagging tail to the main body. In reality that wagging tail is the body and substance of the Vatican City State and the Holy See and not just an appendage hung onto a religion.
The Vatican City is a a state with a state religion and nothing more in its organization. It follows that considering the political nature of the Vatican City with its global recognition as a sovereign state, and has embassies in so many different countries, then the priests , cardinals, and other Holy See representatives should be regarded as lobbyists and made to register as lobbyists in Canada. Because that’s what they really are. Right wing lobbyists.
Enough hypocrisy. Peter Mansbridge, you ought to be ashamed of yourself to be such an enthusiastic propagandist for a foreign territory or country that Canadians didn’t elect or vote for and has no control over. And you should understand that not everyone in Canada is Catholic. I speak as an eco-feminist and I am offended by the enormous coverage given over to a man who has indicated that he will reinforce the Catholic Church’s historical mean spirited and outright contempt for women as equals in this world. Stop it, already.