The horse isn't dead, and there's still some flogging to be done. The Roman Catholic Church has done some foul things in the poast - instigating the Crusades, establishing the Inquisition, etc - and their record over the child rape horror is right up there.
Over the past few weeks they've ineptly, and scandalously, tried diverting the spotlight.
1: They've dragged up the old chestnut of homosexuality. Apparently the raping of children wasn't "caused' by peadophilic priests. It was done by gay men, dressed in black frocks. Even half-brained people know there's no connection between homosexuality and peadophilia. Blaming gays for the rape of children by Catholic priests is nothing short of evil. Not as evil as the rapes, but it's getting there.
2: Apparently the rape of children by Catholic Priests is something that all Christians must beg forgiveness for. Ratzinger himself, oh Pope Infallible, has trotted this line out. The Church protects the rapists, while Mrs Brown down the road assumes the guilt. I can't figure that one out, but it must make some sort of perverted sense to the Crows of Rome.
3: The children themselves instigated the molestations. They led the Priests into temptation, apparently, and such was the power of their deceit and guile that good men were led from walking the Paths of Righteousness to the Road of Wickedness. It seems to me that their god is not only weak, but in allowing the rape of children it must be a close ally of Satan. Actually, the Satan that is believed in by these so-called Christians is a hell of a lot more honest than the Sky-God they call Jehovah. What a sneaky and horrible bastard their God's turned out to be.
Foaming at the mouth with their deceitful excuses, the gold and red-clad Cardinals of the Catholic Church should resign en masse, and turn the wearer of Peter's ring into the gutters shame.
The Vatican City was given sovereign statehood by fascist leader Benito Mussolini. It's far beyond time that this exalted status was withdrawn, and the criminal leaders of the church were treated to the full strength of civil and secular law. Recognition of this foul country should be withdrawn. Write to the Prime Minister today, and demand that New Zealand once again lead the world - this time by refusing to give residents of the Vatican City any form of diplomatic status or immunity. I am.
LISTENING TO: Van Morrison, "Poetic Champions Compose". It is, i think, the best album he made. And he's made some great ones.
READING: "White Rage", Campbell Armstrong. I discovered this writer twenty years ago when he published a series of books dealing with a Terrorist for hire. They were excellent yarns, and the writing was sublime. I've re-discovered him: he's now writing about a shabby cop in Glasgow. He writes as well as, if not better than, James Lee Burke.
More Paper Heroes.
It was possibly the first time in his life that he had been content.
The statue had been surrounded in bamboo scaffolding, and Prester was only one of forty men on the seemingly fragile walkways, working on one part or another of the statue. He knelt, and carefully opened the sandalwood box containing the gold leaf. He licked his forefinger, and ran it along the top leaf. It peeled up, as it always did. Less then two inches long, and beaten and rolled so thin it was almost transparent, the gold fluttered a moment before wrapping itself around Prester’s finger. He closed the box, and stood, looking at the metal glow. He held his golden finger up, and intoned quietly “E.T. phone home.”
He humphed at his silliness, and reached up, applying the gold to the nose, ready to beat it into place with a small wooden mallet.
A glint of light caught his attention, and his old instincts told him what it was – sunlight off a lens. He shrugged. He had no desire to hurt anyone, and no one knew he was here.
Three hundreds yards away, Nguyen Van Tran, Colonel in the old North Vietnamese Army, adjusted the telescopic sight. He had been in the tree for an hour now, finding exactly the right shooting position. He had it now: the hard points of his body – elbows, hips, knees, feet – felt welded to the branches and trunk.
He allowed one click down, and the cross hairs settled over Prester’s heart. The Colonel recalled the time he had helped put the scars which criss-crossed Prester’s chest there; it had been a fruitless interrogation session. The first pressure was taken on the trigger. Nguyen breathed out, breathed halfway in.
In this microscopic point of time Nguyen remembered the humiliation he had suffered after torturing the American soldier. Prester had somehow contrived to escape, and had rampaged through the prison camp.
One of the men killed on that appalling night of violence, flame, and blood had been Nguyen’s son; but even that wound had finally scarred over. What had made the stocky man’s mind snap had been the re-education sessions, when his ego had been buried under a torrent of slogans and epithets, a river of sleepless nights, a deluge of pain.
The trigger released the firing pin.
The bullet, propelled by 128 grains of Chinese gunpowder, flew straight and true. It was a semi-coated slug of metal: the tip was soft lead which, when it struck Prester’s chest, peeled out and open, so the bullet mushroomed and careened on a mad dance of death through bone and muscle and organs and blood.
It pirouetted through John Prester’s chest, and exited, leaving a hole the size of a saucer in his back. Just the systolic shock of being hit by a bullet like that would kill a strong man. This bullet excavated lung and heart, blowing them into bloody rags. The sudden loss of blood pressure starved the brain, but Prester’s mind was still active when he toppled from the scaffolding.
When they looked at his body after the hundred-foot fall to the ground, the monks were impressed by the fact that, for the first time, there was a smile on the tormented man’s face.
So be it, they thought. So be it.