Thursday, February 26, 2009

Miranda Devine, Catholics, green-leftist drop in centres, socialists and other weevils, and Hair, the cause of it all

Good old Miranda the Devine. When it comes to theological war, you can always predict what side she'll be on, and so it is in If you don't like the rules, start your own church.

Indeedy Miranda, and it seems people all over the world are doing just that. While the Catholic church loses priests and participants, the all singing, all dancing fundie evangelical revivalist crowd have been going great guns - even the woman who played Mary at the World Youth Day shindig recently announced she was off to Hillsong. No, not sweet Marina Dickson, not our holy blessed virgin Mary, mother of god, one of the chief cultish heresies of the Catholic church, say it ain't so.

While the total number of people in Australia identifying as Catholic is up, actual attendance in church is in decline, and the priesthood is moribund and aging. If it weren't for infusions like the Vietnamese, the Catholic church would be as feeble as mainstream Protestantism in Australia.

But nothing stops the Devine - taking a hearty swig of altar wine, she announces:

No one is forced to be a Catholic, and the church - as it has been for 2000 years - is thriving the world over, wherever it has remained true to its teachings.

Get it? The church is thriving in places where it bashes lefties and poofters and greenies and trendies. Like that repository of wisdom and human compassion, the church in Africa.

But wait, what of George Pell and his flock? Pell preaches the good word in Sydney in a very traditional style, how's he going? Oh no, even George sees a decline, and attributes it (or at least he did a while ago) to Christian teaching on pre-marital sex, divorce and contraception. Worse, it seems Catholic women under the age of 35 years in urban Australia are now as irreligious as their male peers, a condition the good Pell says has no equivalence in any other country and has been going on since 1983.

Worse, regular Sunday worship feel from about 50% in 1960 to 18% in 2002 and 16% in 2006.

Worse still, Pell quotes a survey saying by the time Gen Y reach the age of 29, 25% of those who used to belong to a church are already ex-members. The number for Catholics is 29%, higher than any other denomination. Only 10% of young Catholics believed "only one religion is true" against a national average of 11% (and 34% for other Christians), 75% of young Catholics believed it was okay to pick and choose beliefs, and 56% of young Catholics believed morals are relative. You can read all this and more in Pell's address in 2006 here.

Dearie me even the current Pope thinks the church is down the tubes in Australia. Numbers in the priesthood are down 20% since 1971, the average age is up from 44 to 60, and only 141 were in training in 2005, a quarter of the number in 1969. Guess being married to god isn't the number one choice for young Catholic boys in the lucky land.

We could go on and on about the dire condition of the one true church, but let's just rest with the notion that what Miranda says is nonsense. Surprised? No, but you know Miranda, when I told a fib or distorted the truth that way, the nuns always gave me a good thrashing, and it improved me in the best Dickensian way imaginable.

All this of course is just part of the Devine frothing at the mouth over Peter Kennedy, the 70 year old Brisbane Catholic priest who's being forced out of St Mary's church specifically, and out of the church in general, because as the Devine so quaintly puts it, he's turned his church into a "green-leftist New Age drop-in centre."

And all they're doing is kicking him out? In my day, they would have rammed a crown of thorns on his head, shoved a spear into his gut, and nailed him to a cross to leave him bleeding and suffering a long painful death. Nothing's bad enough for these christians worshipping a strange god, reviling Jews and Romans.

Oops, sorry, just had a little acid flash, induced by Fellini-like images of a nun beating me with a whip.

This Kennedy, he's such a worry. Poor Miranda was exposed to images of a mass - or whatever it was - featuring a pony-tailed man - not a priest!! - in a bright shirt waving around a giant Communion host in a haphazard way. It looked more like a yoga session to the shattered Devine, with meditation, and lay people taking to the pulpit to give 'sermons' which clearly had nothing to do with the bible.

Worse one of these twisted perverted chappies apparently said that he came to St Mary's services, not because it was a Catholic place of worship, but because it offered love, truth, authenticity, integrity, justice, unity, compassion, openness and friendship.

Get out of it. What's all that got to do with being Catholic?

But Father Kennedy commits an even bigger crime - the Socialist Alliance loves him. Atheists! Atheists who love to seize dupes and bring about the downfall of Rome and Christians everywhere. Leninists! Marxists! Fiends!

And then after all that, these loons at St. Mary's  have the cheek to talk about their critics as extremists doing the bidding of Rome. "So much for tolerance and inclusiveness", harrumphs the Devine, and fair enough she's only called them hippie ratbag fools, the dupes of atheists and socialists.

What's a little name calling between chums?

And then there's Kennedy's theological flaws. Using the wrong words in a baptism. And being an egotist full of hubris.

The Devine blames the mess on Archbishop Bathersby, who's tolerated the loon for too long, and turned his archdiocese into the most progressive and least disciplined in the country.

My own feeling is that the musical Hair is to blame. That's when the filthy long haired hippy rot set in. All that talk of peace and love and harmony. All nonsense.

Remember that set of jokes as the cast kick around some unhappy thoughts:

Solo voice: Ain't got no home
Others answer: So

Solo voice: Ain't got no shoes
Others answer: Poor

Solo voice: Ain't got no money
Others answer: Honey

Solo voice: Ain't got no class
Others answer: Common

Solo voice: Ain't got no scarf
Others answer: Hot

Solo voice: Ain't got no gloves
Others answer: Cold

Solo voice: Ain't got no bed
Others answer: Beat

Solo voice: Ain't got no pot
Others answer: Busted

Solo voice: Ain't got no faith
Others answer: Catholic

Always got a laugh. Still getting a laugh today. Anyway, Devine has a point. What the hell is Kennedy doing in a church that thinks bringing the anti semites and holocaust deniers of the SSPX clan back into the flock is a good thing, all in the name of plurality and diversity. With that mob welcomed with open arms, joining the likes of Pell and Christopher Pearson, Kennedy's better off heading down the road to the Trades and Labor Council.

Don't you just love sweet Christian charity and love in action, real time 24/7?

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