I titled my February 5th "Cannon, "Holy Walkout," and suggested that in a just world, every non-complicit Catholic in the world should walk out the front door of the church until the Pope agreed to open the secrets and begin a sweeping investigation and reform of his molesting church.
But instead of the faithful walking out, it turns out that it's the the Pope himself, Benedict XVI, former Cardinal Ratzinger, the Grand Inquisitor, the keeper of the secrets, who will walk out the Vatican's door Feb. 28th on his shiny red, butter-soft Italian leather shoes rather than be carried out feet first on a bier.
Historic on many levels. But if anyone is expecting some vast reform to result when the church hierarchy arrives in Rome in all their pomp and self-created glory to select another Pope, don't hold your breath. The one driving force for the church has always been and still is the protection and survival of . . . the church. By any means necessary. So, it'll be business as usual-- vote trading, power politics, schmoozing, unseemly strong-arming, until the puff of white smoke from the locked room signals that . . . well, nothing has changed.
Meantime, back in L.A., the Times reported that [retired in good standing] Cardinal Mahony had secretly "borrowed" money from the faithful's in-perpeturity burial fund to pay off the lawsuits caused by molesting, child-raping priests. It was a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, only in this case, the Paul in question was the burial fund intended solely to maintain catholic cemetaries.
Whaaaat? You're outraged? Hey, the fleeced are dead so they're not going to complain, though their relatives are pitching a fit. But even "borrowing" from the dead apparently won't raise enough money, so the church has also embarked on a new fund-raising campaign to help pay off it's legal debts. And, believe it or not, a some of the people interviewed for the story, intend to donate. Go figure.
As for me, I'm still puzzling over what kind of catchy phrase the folks running the fund-raising campaign will come up with. Maybe something like, "Having the dead pay for molesting priests -- priceless."