Sunday, May 19

It's late, I know, but it's still worth noting that today (May 19) is the feastday of Pope Celestine V who is remembered primarily because he...resigned.

After the death of Pope Nicholas IV over two years passed without any agreement on a successor, until on July 5, 1294, the cardinals gathered in Perugia despairingly sought to end the deadlock by electing a 'stop-gap': their choice fell on the 84-year-old Peter of Morrone. (One source says that Peter reputedly threatened the cardinals with the wrath of God if they did not elect a new pope at once.)

Peter was shocked by the cardinals' choice. Despite his grave misgivings he submitted, taking the name of Celestine, and was consecrated bishop of Rome at Aquila on August 29, 1294. The results were disastrous because Celestine was unfitted for the papal office in every respect except his holiness.

In his simplicity, otherworldliness, and naivete he made the most elementary blunders; he became the innocent tool of the politics of King Charles II of Naples. Heartbroken at his failure, miserable in his new surroundings, and overwhelmed by the burden of the office he had not sought and was incapable of filling, he abdicated his office before a consistory of cardinals at Naples on December 13 the same year. He had been pope for less than five months.

Some of you may not be pleased to hear this, but on Sunday nights, my husband and I sit and watch the dreaded HBO Shows: namely The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.

Of the two, I probably enjoy Six Feet Under more, mostly because it doesn't have the Confusion Factor that afflicts me during about 40% of each Sopranos episode Now who was that guy? Why is trying to kill that other guy? But didn't that guy die two episodes ago?

I've been meaning to blog this for about two weeks now, but keep forgetting. Two episodes ago , Six Feet Under had the most startling abortion-related storyline. I don't want to sit here and take up too many bytes relating a convoluted set of events, but it all comes down to one character - a formerly (we hope) sexually promiscous man - being haunted by the children he'd conceived that were either aborted or miscarried. Four in all, if you want to know. They spoke to him, telling him quite directly, "You killed me," or "you and mom had me killed" with the force of the conversations being muted only by one attempted jokey reference, inserted, my husband theorizes, to soften the harshness of the rest of the scenes - one girl saying "But if you hadn't killed me, I'd have been pro-choice, so it's okay."

It was fascinating. The show, if you don't know it, is quirky and strange anyway, about a family of funeral home directors, and is not for the squeamish or sensitive. The dead haunt the living all the time, in practically every episode. It was startling here to see a Hollywood product use the words "kill" in relation to abortion, especially since this time, it was used in connection to the children and not, as it usually is, in connection to some egregious and libelous pro-life terrorist storyline.

From the LA Times:

John Connolly, a theologian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said the cardinal's actions in the Baker case "surprised and
disappointed" him because he had thought Mahony had been aggressivelydealing with sexual abuse allegations in the church. He also said Mahony should have apologized not only to "my brother priests," as the cardinal's letter was addressed, but to the laity as well.

"All of this is a reflection of the fact that [church officials] are still caught in this hiding thing," Connolly said. "We still have a
long way to go in dealing with this openly."

But Connolly, a liberal theologian, said he would oppose calls for Mahony's resignation because he is one of the few moderate cardinals left in the American church. The Roman Catholic Church's response to the molestation scandal is expected to be tested in June, when the nation's bishops meet in Dallas to fashion new guidelines to dismiss abusive priests. If Mahony were to resign, Connolly said, the conservative Pope John Paul II would almost certainly appoint someone "more reactionary."

As the reader who sent this to me observed, "At least he admits it."

Who are Pro-Lifers?

Pro-lifers are feminists

Pro-lifers are libertarians

Pro-lifers are Democrats

Pro-lifers are atheists and agnostics

Pro-lifers are anarchists

Pro-lifers are gay

Pro-lifers rock

Pro-lifers are Jews

Pro-lifers are Baptists

Pro-lifers are Presbyterians

Pro-Lifers are Athletes

Pro-Lifers are African-Americans

Pro-Lifers are Medical Professional

Prolifers are progressives and liberals

Just in case you were wondering.


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