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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/9/21

Neo-Catholic Supremes

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Message BK Faunce

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The Supreme Court
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Ladies and gentlemen, the Neo-Catholic Supremes!

(sung to The Supremes "Stop! In the Name of Love")

"Stop! In the name of Rome!

"Before you go to Hell!

"Think it o-o-ver!

"Think it o-o-ver!"

It brings back memories, doesn't it?

Like in 1208 CE, when the "vicar of Christ," Pope Innocent III, threatened to have France wage war against England unless the English King bowed to the church's authority. (John balked at first, but he eventually took a knee when threatened with excommunication.) Innocent is the same Neo-Catholic crackpot who ordered the disastrous Fourth Crusade and who considered the Magna Carta "void" because it was signed without his consent. In his view, secular law is subordinate to the whims of the religious organization he leads. Sound familiar?

Or like in 1554, when Bloody Mary was determined to place England under Neo-Catholic rule and revived medieval heresy laws so she could burn "non-believers" at the stake. While the English hated her for her reign of terror, Mary was hailed as a "devout Catholic" and celebrated by Rome. In the eyes of church leaders, torturing people to death for not being catholic was following in the footsteps of Christ.

Or like in 1570, a few years later, when Pope Pius V signed a death warrant (Papal Bull) against the Queen of England, another English monarch who refused to submit to Neo-Catholic control. Unlike John, however, Elizabeth never wavered. But neither did the pontiff, who declared the queen a heretic and secretly ordered his followers to assassinate her.

Or like in 1838, when the Jesuit Priests who ran Georgetown University sold the 272 slaves they owned --- men, women and children --- to pay off the school's "debts." Neo-Catholic leaders treating Black people as chattel? Don't be too alarmed. It was standard practice at the time. Besides, as anyone who has read the bible knows, the Jesuits were simply following the precedent set by Yahweh in the second book of the Pentateuch, where the crusty Old Testament tyrant endorses slavery.

Or like in 1933, when the very first bilateral concordat signed by Hitler was with the Neo-Catholic church. (John Cornwell calls Pius XII "Hitler's Pope.") It was a terrific deal. Neo-Catholics got control of the German school system while Hitler got control of the German parliament. In effect, the church would disband the powerful Catholic Center Party, thereby removing the last political obstacle to Hitler's "final solution." Herr Fuhrer, lest we forget, was raised Catholic. (So were Franco and Mussolini. Raise your hand if you see a pattern.)

Or like in 2002, when Bernard Law, the Neo-Catholic Cardinal who helped cover up the sexual abuse of thousands of children in his care, fled the country to avoid prosecution. In spite of the scandal, not only was Cardinal Law welcomed by the Vatican, he was appointed "Archpriest of the Basilica Papale de Santa Maria Maggiore" by the pope himself. To recap: a high ranking member of the church covers up systemic child abuse and for his efforts is rewarded with one of the most prestigious positions in Rome. What does that tell us? It tells us John Paul must have appreciated the cardinal's work.

The history lessons don't stop there.

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BK Faunce is a retired Associate Professor of English (UMW / UCSC) specializing in British Romantic Literature, Film Theory and Writing. His recent work examines the use of state power and its impact on visual culture.

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