The Pope is here, and I am pretty much in the dark about it. We have basic, basic cable, you see, and this is a good thing most of the time, but every once in a while I wish we had some decent news coverage and/or EWTN. Yesterday I watched TV for a while in the morning trying to catch some coverage of the official greeting ceremonies. I found some at the Early Show, where, over the Pope's speech, the broke the news that apparently there was a big sex scandal in the church a while back. Anyone hear of this? Oh, you have? Ok, I was just checking, because all day it was breaking all over the news like it happened yesterday, so I was wondering... I watched some angry people insist that the Pope address the issue...and he did, in what I thought was a sincere and humble way...and then watched them insist that it was "too little too late". I'm not really sure what they expect this Pope, who was an Archbishop in Germany when these abuse cases happened, to do to satisfy them at this point. I agree, for the victims, anything would be too little too late at this point. I agree that the ideal thing would have been for the abuse charges to be handled appropriately way back when they first occurred, i.e., for the priests that hurt these children and abused their vocation so horribly to be not only arrested but locked in a private cell with large, angry inmates looking for new girlfriends. But the butchering of these cases came out years ago, people have been sent to jail, priests have been defrocked, settlements have been paid...I'm not really sure what would not be "too little too late" at this point. They did interview some priest in the Washington D.C. area and the (ignorant and overbearing) reporter, again acting like this was fresh-breaking news, demanded to know what the Church was going to do ensure that these cases were prevented in the future. The bewildered priest started to list off all the things that *have* been done since these cases broke...a *lot* has changed, actually...and if the reporter had actually bothered to learn anything about the issue she would have known that, but whatever... and then she wanted to know what the Pope and his staff thought about his "lack of popularity" among Americans. This just made me laugh out loud. This is an ongoing issue in the American press, you see. I heard a lot of these kinds of comments when Pope John Paul II died and the conclave was going on, there were lots of comments about the "popularity" of different cardinals, which cardinals were too "controversial" (i.e., conservative) to actually be elected, because surely the church was ready to elect someone more mainstream by now?, and questions about how these different "candidates" would be working the Vatican to promote their election, that kind of thing. Americans assume everything is a democratic process. The Church is not a democracy. The Church believes that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, that Jesus Christ chose the first Pope, Peter ("on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"), and that there have been a direct line of Popes ever since. A Pope is elected by conclave, a very prayerful and solemn process, because the Cardinals want the Holy Spirit to pick the Pope. Because it's not a popularity contest. He was elected Pope, not prom queen, and I seriously doubt he cares one wit about how popular the American press considers him.
After I disgustedly gave up on actually finding out anything about this actual Pope and his actual visit here, I left the room for a bit and came back in to find the programming had switched to The View. Ick. I've never really sat through a whole episode of this show...the cackling of the hens involved is a big turn off for me, and frankly I found it really exasperating after Rosie O'Donnell joined the flock after turning from Sweet and Funny Person to Angry Lesbian with a Giant Chip on Her Shoulder. Of course, Rosie is gone, but Whoopie is there. And Whoopie thinks that the whole problem of the sex scandals would have been avoided completely if only the backward and archaic church allowed women priests. And allowed priests to marry, because apparently the reason these priests felt the need to abuse young boys is simply because they couldn't get any anywhere else. Because, after all, women never commit abuse. Nor do married men. They are never pedophiles, right? Any shrink will tell you that the reason people abuse children is simply because they aren't getting any at home, right? Good call, Whoopie.