“There are two worlds, the one in which people are convinced they live, and the one that is considerably more dramatic, the one that is real”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Will The Real Pope Francis Please Stand Up?

Among the long list of things the gods have totally screwed up are climate change and the march towards a final war. These two issues are unique because, if unattended to, humans will disappear. That Pope Francis is swanning around the USA at the moment talking about them makes me feel good. I hope his words are picked-up and acted on. But I wonder.

‘Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world,’ said he to Congress recently.[i] He was speaking to the right people.

In the main it’s hundreds of American companies that are manufacturing millions of deadly weapons. Thousands more are supporting them by providing everything from coffee on the battlefield to golfing equipment at base headquarters. Any other weapons makers are most likely selling to the American Armed Forces (a body financed by the world’s tax-payers[ii]) because they are the ones either using or making sure those weapons are used throughout the world.

Dozens, maybe hundreds of American universities are doing major, medium and small sized studies from ballistics to robotics, recruitment video games to battlefield surgery-from-a-distance for the Department of Defence. Their work often goes across borders too. Israel, Saudi Arabia, ISIS … the list continues.  

With all this in mind does Francis appreciate that when the whole picture is slapped into one frame the American economy (outside of the banks churning valueless paper, digital money and placing market bets), is pretty much dependent on the conflicts he talks of?[iii] Is he going to order the Catholic Church to divest from all the companies involved in the blood-based food chain, to instruct the 30% or so USA Catholics to leave their jobs?

‘Unless Francis calls on members of the Senate and House to begin defunding the billions of dollars authorized for newer nuclear weapons, and speaks with the fire of Micah who said, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”’ says Colman McCarthy of the Center for Teaching Peace, his words are just that - words in the wind.

Kathy Boylan wrote ‘you have condemned ISIS for genocide against Christians, but given the fact that the U.S. military is for the most part Christian with one-third of the force Catholic, it is Christians who have participated in the genocidal killing in predominantly Muslim countries during the last 24 years.’ [iv]

And it’s much more than that. Every member of the Joint Chiefs (except for Marine Corps Commandant Gen. John Amos) is a practicing Catholic, according to the Archdiocese for Military Services.[v]

Yes, the Catholics have a ministry in the army. Is Francis prepared to call on Americans to leave the armed services and stop joining up? I doubt it because there have been calls to up the percentage of Catholic clergy in the army.

‘As the military transitions home from more than a decade of bloody, brutal warfare, attention now turns increasingly to those who would offer both religious and social compassion’.[vi] In this vein more Catholic padres are required to attend to the traumatised returning soldiers, but no mention is made of sending relief missions to the nations they have ‘transitioned home from’, and left totally destroyed.

Many of those countries are not Christian but why should it make a difference? Few people in this horribly manipulative religious world get to choose their god. You’re born, you grow up to find, OMG, I’m a ‘whatyoumacallit’ and I had no say in the process whatsoever.

Michael Parenti, Chalmers Johnson, Noam Chomsky, all have been warning us that given the idiots we have seen in bomb-button pushing positions in the West, nuclear disaster is a real threat to human existence. It’s nice to see Pope Francis as a member of that warning team.

But is he?

Georgetown University and other Catholic schools host ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) programs,[vii] courses that prepare young adults for a career as an officer in the greatest terrorising machine the world has known, the American Armed Forces. I don’t think he’s shouted ‘stop’? 

‘Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation,’ said Pope Francis recently in a speech given at the White House. ‘I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world …’[viii]

Noble words, but what if instead he’d said ‘we men of the Church are going to bully you, see that you stop using oil to burn. We’ll disinvest from every company that in any way is involved in the proliferation of greenhouse gasses’? Instead his words sound like something copied from a BP annual report or a JP Morgan bonus awards ceremony, not those of a potential superhero calling for real change.

And despite his call in front of all of those people on the White House lawn, Papal adviser Cardinal Peter Turkson says ‘personal issues of life and death still come first despite the Pope’s call for climate action …’ He added, ‘the Vatican had no plans to rid itself of holdings in fossil fuels, and that the encyclical should by no means be seen as a call by the Pope to divest from coal, oil or gas’.[ix]

This is the pettiness of the arcade monstrosity that I, from the way Francis has been talking, hoped would burst out from its 1000 year cocoon, grasp the live grenade that is corporate sponsored war and climate change, and swallow it.

Equally substance lacking was the Pope’s earlier trip to South America. There he denounced the excesses of capitalism, calling it the ‘dung of the devil’, and he apologized for the past actions of the Catholic Church.[x] It was time, he insinuated, for the poor to see some light of day on this earth.

‘It's time that the church began to divest of its vast property holdings, embraced poverty, and use the money to feed the hungry and homeless,’ responded Colman McCarthy.

Of all the world’s entities the Catholic Church is the biggest financial power on Earth. Its billions, built up over 1000s of years’ worth of insider trading, are invested with connections in the Rothschilds worldwide, Hambros Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan Bank and more. It holds billions of shares in the world’s most powerful (and destructive) international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors (the list goes on), and its assets and real estate holdings are said to exceed Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. Probably most tellingly (from a revenue point of view), the number of its dues-paying members must be second only to the tax roll of the United States Government.[xi]

It’s the only organisation that has a branch office in nearly every corner block in the world. All is planned, organised, led and controlled from its fortress, the Vatican, a place in which only the Pope can ignore dogma, ceremony or ritual and say something mod like ‘hi dude’.

Its history is disgustingly brutal,[xii] far worse than the other breakaway Christian orders. 1600 years on, even as he recognises that with an apology or two, it hasn’t really changed. The Church is still way off acceptable behaviour and yet the media is full of Francis. They're full of him because he is saying the ‘we should’ things.

Pope Francis is arguably the most powerful man in the world but he’s acting like a long haired, poor as a mouse hippy casually debating change on the street corner. We need him to be the most powerful man on earth and do as he is saying.

Will the real Pope Francis please stand up!

[i] http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/pope-congress-address/
[ii] Currently the US $ has no tangible worth. In real terms it is in fact an IOU that needs to be passed on as fast as possible. Every time it moves a royalty accrues in the US, meaning all of the world is paying for the US’ death machines.
[iii] ‘The Complex’ by Nick Turse
[iv] "An Open Letter to Pope Francis: Condemn the United States for Genocidal Warmaking," quoted by Institute for Public Accuracy
[v] www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/10/30/the-catholic-crunch-inside-the-shortage-of-catholic-military-priests
[vi] ibid
[vii] Colman McCarthy, cmccarthy@starpower.net as quoted by Institute for Public Accuracy
[viii] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/23/pope-francis-climate-change-white-house-speech
[ix] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/25/abortion-and-death-penalty-come-before-climate-change-for-church-vatican-official-says
[x] news.nationalpost.com
[xi] http://humansarefree.com/2012/03/christian-church-is-biggest-financial.html
[xii] ‘The end of Faith’ by Sam Harris is a starting point.

 [M1]What is that? ‘bloody warfare training games’ ?