Tuesday, April 26, 2005

papal election: WWJD

marcythewhore said...
My neighbor did it again. He said to me, "What would Jesus do?"

and after a bit of venting she attached a really interesting article to the comment box of this blog's 'hemispheres' post:

Bizarre and bloody fill history
Miami Herald-David Crumm
"As the selection of the first pope of the new millennium nears, the church continues to distance itself from the corruption and murder that sullied some transitions..."
Knight Ridder News Service

i agree very strongly with the sentiment that seems to be behind the history lesson: people can get in the way of everything good.

here's the weird thing in all this: there are those, like your beloved lawn-mowing neighbour, who ask 'what would Jesus do?'

(aside: the pop-spirituality phrase that swept the continent a couple of years ago was spawned from a 1967 book by charles m. sheldon called 'in his steps'... just took thirty years for its marketing potential to be realized)

so in selecting a pope, what would Jesus do? well, when he selected the first one he didn't go to the synagogue, he went into the community and found an independent businessman- a guy who was actively involved in the ongoing life experience of everyday people.

the first pope was not well-educated (other than at the school of hard knocks), well-groomed, or even well-liked. he did not wax eloquent, and regularly spoke out without really thinking about it until having been rebuked by Christ. he was hot-tempered, faithless, visionless and prejudiced, seeing only the temporal when in the presence of the eternal. yet all of these things were redeemed by Christ to provide the early church with its first great leader.

after Jesus’ resurrection, ‘cephas’ (better known as the apostle peter, from whom the succession of popes can be traced) was the first of Jesus’ buddies to arrive at the empty crypt. he was the one who jumped out of the boat and swam to shore when he realized that it was Jesus who had called to his boat. he was commissioned to ‘feed the sheep’ (which was a pretty familiar metaphor by then… Jesus being the self-proclaimed, spirit ordained shepherd.) he was the keynote evangelist at pentecost, the launch day of the church. he was the tireless miracle-working faith-healer and it was he who cracked the gospel open to the non-jews, having had his own prejudices addressed in a vision from God while he was holidaying at a bed and breakfast on the mediterranean.

what would jesus do? he would look into the heart of a man like peter and see the future. i can’t do that, but i can look into my own heart and attempt to sort out who i am and what divine purpose i serve in the bigger picture…

right now i think i'm just a long-winded blogger, cluttering up the blogosphere with things that everybody already knows but maybe hadn't thought of in the same way.

i was talking recently with a (mildly lapsed) catholic friend of mine about the implications, in her mind, of the passing on of jpII. she led me in the direction that i have been praying ever since, stating that the future of the catholic church will be strongly determined by the election of the next pontiff.

well, i mean d'UH! but what she might have been getting at (or at least what i took from it) was that in these volatile and uncertain days, with so much 'ecumenical good' having come of jp's leadership, all of hell is going to be driving hard to let the ambitions of men take hold of the church and turn back into an institution what was becoming sacramental.

my role here has been to pray. God is big enough to be able to take all of those prayers in the bowl and work in ways that i cannot fathom... because if i could figure it out he'd be far too small to be God.

'i don't care if it rains or freezes
long as i got my plastic Jesus
sitting on the dashboard of my car...'


Blogger marcythewhore said...

You really need to study up on your Papal history in picking Popes.

First off, someone put a pillow over John Paul 1 head....or was it poison? Anyway, John Paul 1 apparently scared the Bejesus out of the puppetmasters real fast and they had to get rid of him quick....

So they pick a Polish guy and name him John Paul II so that nobody would catch onto that they whacked John Paul I for God knows what reason John Paul I scared the Bejesus out of them.....

...then they hired some Turkish nut case to shoot John Paul II. They probably got the Turkish nutcase the same place they got John Hinkley. A wound here or there and John Paul II is just like Ronnie Reagan, just a little less for the wear.....

...anyway, they figure that wounding John Paul II would surely shorten his life. But they didn't count on the ghost of St. Max Kolbe coming to the rescue (Max Kolbe was a Polish Priest who died at Auschwitz). John Paul II continue to live on and on....

...and the puppetmasters can't afford another assassination attempt cause now it is all getting to look pretty suspicious to even the most stupid of people who think Lee Harvey Oswald was actually a good shot while in the Marines.....

...and if you check Lee Harvey Oswald Marine Corp shooting records you'll see that he was barely adequate......

...anyway, back to John Paul II and the ghost of Max Kolbe, John Paul keeps on ticking and living and really, really making the puppetmasters nervous cause at any moment John Paul II might start giving away the Papal treasury to feed the poor or something equally outlandish.....

...but finally the ghost of Max Kolbe gives up the ghost and John Paul II finally dies.........

...Next they pick a former Nazi to be Pope, and being a former Nazi means that he was in World War Two, which was a long time ago, and knowing how many people have a grudge against Nazis it won't look all that bad if some Jewish zealot hit man whacks the Nazi Pope....

...cause the Puppetmasters don't want this Pope around for too long while they bid their time for the next Vatican City game plan....

...Oh, by the way: The reason the Puppetmasters chose a second in a row non-Italin for Pope (and you got to go back centuries and centuries to the last time that two non-Italians in a row were Pope) is because, well, the puppetmasters don't want everybody watching the Italians......marcythewhore

Blogger jollybeggar said...


mario puzo couldn't have put it better.

i think that you just made my point about prayer. otherwise it's all about people and power.

any of these assassins have cia-tagged copies of 'catcher in the rye' on their person?

Blogger dans_inferno said...

Catcher in the Rye is too far fetched and old hat.

Now that you've read Dante, just be assured that your new 'real' education hasn't really begun until you've read Milton.

Then you can start gossiping and ranting about free will versus predeterminism .....dans

"She seeks me: I seek God. We shall never meet," answered the youth.

"You are heartless. You never loved your father and mother as a human being should."

"So much the better. My heart is a lighted coal. It burns whomever it touches."

"What's the matter with you? How can you talk like that? What is lacking in you?" said the rabbi, stretching forth his head to get a beter look at the son of Mary.

Blogger marcythewhore said...

This was sent to me by bigbro........marcythewhore

Somewhere hidden in the forty or fifty floors beneath the Vatican there might be documents written in Jesus's own hand. Seems like everything we read in the bible is written by someone else. What did Jesus put down on paper for himself? Some of this mystery is contained in the Legend of King Abrar of Edessa. The legend states that Jesus sent Abgar a cloth with his facial image, something like the Shroud of Turin story. Other versions of the legend state that Jesus sent Agbar a letter written in Jesus's own hand.........bigbro

King Abgar of Edessa fell ill and sent the major-domo of his court to fetch Christ to heal him. Christ did not come himself, but pressed His face into a cloth, which was sent to the king. When he touched the cloth, the king was healed.

King Abgar the Black was a sick man and no doctor on earth was able to heal him. He heard of the ministry of Jesus and sent him a letter, saying: "Good physician, come to me and heal me!" Jesus did not accept the invitation, but after his ascension into heaven he sent one of his disciples, who healed the king. Abgar became a Christian and his city, Edessa, on the site of which is built the modern Turkish town of Sanliurfa, prided itself on having being Christian since the time of Christ. It was called "the Blessed" on account of the fact that Jesus sent a message to Abgar saying: "You are Blessed because you have believed in me without having seen me." Whether or not this message was a letter in Jesus's own hand is something about which no consensus exists. The story that Jesus also sent a cloth miraculously imprinted with his features cannot be traced back beyond the latter part of the sixth century.

Blogger dans_inferno said...


This site is dedicated to the study of Dante Alighieri and one of his works, The Divine Comedy. Specifically, this site will focus on Inferno.

"Be joyful, Florence, since you are so great that your outstretched wings beat over land and sea, and your name is spread throughout the realms of Hell!" (Canto XXVI:1-3)

Dante alludes to political occurrences in Florence repeatedly throughout Inferno. This section of the website will not only point out specific examples, but will also explain them. From these explanations it is hoped that you the reader may gain an understanding of why Dante specifically used Florentine political leaders throughout the nine levels of the Inferno.

One of the first political allusions is found in the Third Circle of Hell, where the Gluttonous are punished. Dante is confronted by a shade who turns out to be named Ciaccio, thought to be a political leader of Florence. Ciacco prophesizes of Florence’s political future, which is pretty much a poetic summary of the fall of the White’s reign.

Another allusion is found in the Woods of the Suicidal, where Dante meets an unknown Florentine who says, "I was from the city that took the Baptist/ in exchange for her first patron, who, for this,/ swears by his art she will have endless sorrow:/ and were it not that on the Arno’s bridge/ some vestige of his image still remains" (canto XIV:143-147). The "first patron" was Mars, god of War. Part of his statue still remains on the "Arno’s bridge," or Ponte Vecchio. The patron that replaced Mars was John the Baptist, whose image appeared on the florin (the monetary unit of Florence). This change in patrons can be argued to be a symbolic sign of Florence’s move from one of martial excellence to one of money-making nature.

In the Third Bolgia, where the Simonists are punished, Dante is confronted with Pope Nicholas III. The pope mistakes Dante for Boniface VIII. Boniface was known for his free distribution of ecclesiastical offices amongst his family and political partners. Nicholas also proclaims that Pope Clement V will follow Boniface and face the same tortures.

The largest of number of Florentines can be found in the 2nd region of the Ninth Circle of Hell, where the traitors of state and country are punished. Here, Dante list political figures such as Bocca delgi Abati, Busoso da Duera, and Tesauro dei Beccheria.

This essay is only a small collection of the myriad political allusions. From the Man of Crete in the Woods of Suicide to Dante’s outcry against the Genovese in Canto XXXIII, Dante used The Inferno to make many personal political statements, specifically about Florence.

Blogger dans_inferno said...

In the Third Bolgia, where the Simonists are punished, Dante is confronted with Pope Nicholas III. The pope mistakes Dante for Boniface VIII. Boniface was known for his free distribution of ecclesiastical offices amongst his family and political partners. Nicholas also proclaims that Pope Clement V will follow Boniface and face the same tortures.


Pope Clement V and King Philip IV banded together to brand the Knights Templars as heretics and to steal their fortunes gained during the two centuries of the Crusades.

The Templars packed their gold and abandoned their castles to travel far and wide, including the New World as the ancestors of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the eye above a pyramid on the dollar bill.

Except Jacques de Molay. He got caught by Clement and Phillip's troops and was put to the fiery stake. As de Molay burned he issued a curse upon the houses of Clement and Philip. Within months of de Molay's death, both Clement and Philip were dead, and generations of heirs to Philip's French throne suffered disastrous fates.

Dante had much to say about many things...........dans

Blogger dans_inferno said...

Beware the man of one book......St. Thomas of Aquinas

Blogger jollybeggar said...

yes, i confess- my real education is based on the inspirational blogs of my literary friends! LOL

this crazy 'wu li' thing by zukav has been playing with my mind... particularly in the area of predeterminism (a doctrine with which i've never really been able to become friends)

"if the laws of nature determine the future of an event, then given enough information, we could have predicted our present sometime in the past. that time in the past could have also been predicted at a time still earlier. in short, if we are to accept the mechanistic determination of newtonian physics- if the universe really is a great machine- then from the moment the universe was created and set into motion, everything that was to happen in it already was determined.

according to this philosophy, we may seem to have a will of our own and an ability to alter the course of events in our lives, but we do not. everything, from the beginning of time, ha been predetermined, including our illusion of having a free will. the universe is a prerecorded tape playing itself out in the only way that it can. the status of men is immeasurably more dismal than it was before the advent of science. the great machine runs blindly on and all things in it are but cogs.

according to quantum mechanics, however, it is not possible, even in principle to make a complete prediction about the future...

quantum mechanics does not and cannot predict specific events. it does, however, predict probabilities. probabilities are the odds that something is going to happen or that it is not going to happen..." (zukav)

so i wonder if a quantum machanic is any good at predicting the chance of my reading milton while he changes the oil in my chevy?

Blogger dans_inferno said...

Jolly Beggar said :so i wonder if a quantum machanic is any good at predicting the chance of my reading milton while he changes the oil in my chevy?

Dans said: First you have to read Dante's Inferno.

Oh, yes, I know you put on some music and held the book in your hand while looking at the squiggly little things we call letters of the alphabet.....

.....which reminds me of the absolute worst Medieval Knights movie of the year 2001, 'A Knight's Tale.' The young knights in training come into the castle after a day of jousting and macing and what not, and they proceed to pair up with the fair damsels to dance to the music of David Bowie.......

So, if reading Milton to the accompaniment of an oil change at Jiffy Lube gets you into the mood for understanding the tome, have at it.

As for your comment on Newtonian physics, well, that's pretty much classical physics. Which doesn't completely correspond to your latter comments on quantum mechanics, which is non-classical physics. You might as well have thrown in a comment about Aristotlean natural science while you were at having your oil changed to David Bowie music.

Golden years.....
...da...da...da...da....(as the future knights of the round table frolick around the castle floor).........dans

PS...try Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics while have a valve job done on the old sedan

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, which promotes ecology and systems thinking in primary and secondary education.

Dr. Capra is on the faculty of Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies in England, and frequently gives management seminars for top executives.

He is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, and The Web of Life. His most recent book, The Hidden Connections, was published this year. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Mindwalk, a film based on his books. This website includes Dr. Capra's resumé and full bibliography.


Blogger jollybeggar said...

the turning point in the lengthy quote begins with the words: "according to quantum mechanics, HOWEVER..."

yeah, i get into trouble when i skim things too.

anyway, i'm totally with you on 'knight's tale' except that in MY opinion the worst part of the film is very early on when the crowd is doing a really bad job of clapping and lipsyncing along with farookh bulsara's 'we will rock you.'

if elvis would have lived to see the video age he'd have shot a lot more of his t.v. sets.

thanks for the link!

Blogger jollybeggar said...

so i clicked on the link and skimmed (uh-oh!)fritjof's most recent, somewhat nostalgia-motivated article on the western cultural phenom called the 60's... it was mildly interesting until i realized that a cosmic loop had just been completed. i love that...

awhile back (comment no2 this post) i made a remark about catcher in the rye. it was basically saying that there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there which bind people with cords of fear and macroparanoia that are probably of their own design- although i suppose i could just be in denial.

anyway, the remark came from a silly mel gibson/ julia roberts movie about CIA-trained assassins that are, under post-hypnotic suggestion, unconsciously compelled to purchase cia-tagged copies of catcher in the rye in order for the u.s. government to keep track of them. the idea springs from the historical account of mark david chapman who had, on his person at the time of his arrest for the assassination of john lennon, a copy of the salinger book. whatever.

but, for me to log onto fritjof's arguably scientific website and find myself reading the lyrics to 'imagine' used by the writer as a springboard into a historical backflip with a twist into an exploration of the 60's was remarkable to me (especially since 'imagine' is a 70's song.)

calculating the virtual probability of a remark concerning conspiracy theories, pop-films and papal succession early on that would take us full circle to a physics website talking about the 60's as being informed by the lyrics of a song sung by an assassinated pop icon who once claimed to be 'more popular than God' and who was assassinated by a supposed born-again christian carrying a copy of the book to which another, more earnest born again type was referring at the beginning of this comment thread would no doubt generate enough finite improbability to allow zaphod beeblebrox aboard the starship 'heart of gold' (with its infinite improbability drive) to make it to the premier of 'the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy' tomorrow night regardless of where he had been holidaying prior to the trip.

who can say?


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