“Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain.”
I grew up in a family that was steeped in Catholicism. My uncle was a Catholic priest and my father’s cousin was a nun. I and all of my siblings went to Catholic grammar and high schools. We went to church every Sunday and I was even an Altar Boy. And probably because of this immersion, I always had a healthy skepticism of the personnel that ran it. Seeing the priests and nuns constantly and up close allowed me to see just how human and flawed they really were. But back then there was never any hint of the truly dark side of the priesthood that we are hearing about today. And that is probably a generational thing. I’ve heard that it was the 1960s that saw the large influx of active homosexuals and pedophiles into the priesthood. This may be hard to prove but it at least seems reasonable to assume that the skeptical atmosphere that called into question every other absolute prohibition would be used by men to use a sacred office to abuse children. Now, understand, I’m not saying that the priests who were around when I was a kid didn’t have any sex offenders in their midst. I imagine that human nature being what it is, there were some of these. I merely claim that a step change in the number of them occurred in the 1960s.
Over the last forty years a steadily growing body of evidence has accumulated proving that a hidden but pervasive subculture that included homosexuality and pedophilia has existed in the Catholic Church and that knowledge of this subculture has been shielded by the higher levels of Church leadership. And now we know that the protection of these offenders has been sanctioned by the current Pope. A Cardinal of the American Catholic hierarchy was found to be engaging in homosexual acts with young seminarians at his New Jersey beach house. The previous Pope censored him and removed him from his ministry. The current Pope reinstated him and embraced him as a counselor. So now we know. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is composed of at best sexual deviants who are complicit with pedophiles and allow them to use the Church to irrevocably damage innocent children. At worst, they’re all pedophiles.
The Roman Catholic Church is only something if it is the legitimate heir of Jesus of Nazareth. And Jesus said, (Matthew 18:6) “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” And these are supposedly the priests and bishops of the Church Jesus founded. By the very words of the Bible these men must be cast out of the Church as anathema. If the Church leaders won’t do that then, they are nothing and the Roman Catholic Church is just a satanic cult.
I think the correct action is to withdraw all support from the Church until they clean house. At some point the Church has to reconsider the wisdom of a celibate priesthood. But in the meantime, it’s time to purge all homosexual and sexually active priests and identify all pedophiles and hand them over to the police.
And if the Church won’t reform itself it must be abandoned. But Jesus said, (Matthew 18:20) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And that’s enough to know that a corrupt Church does not destroy God.
“There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions–that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.”
Dramatis Personae – President Trump (PT); James “Mad Dog” Mattis (JM); Hannibal Lecter (HL); Melania Trump (MT);
Scene 1 – White House West Wing – First Family living quarters – Monday 8am
MT – Schmoopey, Schmoopey! Where are you my Schmoopey?
PT – I’m right here Schmoopey, what’s all the yelling?
MT – Oh Schmoopey, beware, beware! Do not let Mad Dog feed you to Hudič.
PT – To who?
MT – No, not who, Hudič. The Devil!
PT – Calm down Schmoopey, I know what I’m doing.
MT – But you don’t understand. This devil likes to eat the flesh and you have a lot of flesh Schmoopey.
PT – Whaddya mean. I’m in great shape.
MT – Uhhh … sure, sure. But let’s not tempt the devil. He might be extra hungry that day.
PT – Relax, Schmoopey, I’m completely in control of the situation. It’s not me who should be worried. It’s my enemies who should be staying away from the kitchen. I’ve got to go now. See you tonight.
MT – I will be praying to Saint Prebavne Motnje to intercede for you. He is the patron saint of indigestion.
PT -Oh brother.
Scene 2 – The Joe Biden Asylum for the Criminally Insane in Lovecraft, Maryland – 11 am the same day
James Mattis and President Trump on one side of a bullet proof glass wall and Hannibal Lecter on the other side.
JM – Dr. Lecter, do you know why we are here.
HL – Of course gentlemen. You want to contract my services for a clean-up operation.
JM – That’s correct. We need someone with exceptional intuitive skills to perform a triage on the Justice Department.
HL – Secretary Mattis, President Trump, I have made it my life’s work to be able to peel back the skin, metaphorically speaking of course, and see the soul of the man.
JM – Sure, metaphorically speaking.
PT – Dr. Lecter, I need someone who can find my enemies and eliminate them, metaphorically speaking. I need someone who can get the truth out of the FBI and get confessions from the conspirators.
HL – President Trump, there is nothing that would please me more than to get James Comey in my surgery, I mean office and help him to remember the details of his mistakes. He’s a very big man, there’s so much there to work with. So many options so many choices. White, red, maybe a chianti.
PT – Now stay focused. Everything needs to be legal and professional. Remember we’re the good guys.
HL – Yes, of course, of course. I was only speaking metaphorically.
JM – Of course. Before you can take the position, we’ll need to pardon you for the indiscretions you were incarcerated for and then approved by the Senate.
HL – Yes, of course. It’s awfully understanding of you to help me out with that. I’ve had the devil of a time trying to convince the FBI that they had me confused with someone else. As you know, they are very prone to error.
PT – I know exactly what you mean. They can be extremely unfair.
HL – Yes.
JM – Dr Lecter, I think we understand each other. Is there anything else we need to know going forward?
HL – Well, there is one more thing. Is there any way I could get a set of those Trump steak knives? I’ve heard good things.
PT – Uhhh ….. sure?
Grand Canyon South Rim
Sony A7S with Sony 55mm F\1.8 lens
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
Caspar Vega must be an interesting character. His books are a bizarre mixture of fantasy/horror and crime drama. Many of his characters are not the kind of people you’d want to live next door to or even meet. They range from anti-social to sociopath to worse. And his books are never linear. They track back and forth in time and place and skip from voice to voice in unexpected directions.
I’ve read and reviewed two other books by Caspar Vega, “The Pink Beetle” and the “The Eclectic Prince.” And after each one I confirm both to myself and to my readers that Mr. Vega’s stories are way outside my wheelhouse. Not that I only read or enjoy light-hearted fare. I enjoy horror and even crime drama. But there is something nihilistic about the atmosphere in these stories that is off-putting for me. I must be getting old.
But here I am again. I decided to try out Southern Dust. The premise of the story is that in the near future the Democrats assassinate a Republican president and install one of their own through chicanery. In response, a revolt in Alabama breaks the state away from the Union. And in short order a good number of other states also declare their independence. This story follows the fates of three individuals that collide in this strange new world.
Along with the other suppositions of this world are super soldiers, vampires and black magic. But the mainstay of the story are the characters. And they live up to the type that I remember from Mr. Vega’s earlier books. Even the good guys are very troubled individuals. The criminals on the other hand can be at least somewhat sympathetic but brutality is their stock in trade. Murder for hire, framing up ex-girlfriends and bounty hunting all occur but brain-washed undead is probably the weirdest plot device you run into. And even when one of the characters tries to do a good deed it boomerangs back on him in the classic no good deed goes unpunished catergory.
I’ll finish my review of this book much as I’ve done with its predecessors, with a mixed message. This is an interesting book. But it’s not for everyone. It’s for those who like gritty crime dramas with a staccato, post-modern, minimalist writing style. Your call.