Mail I Don’t Need, Part 3

I just received this bit of spam from someone who really knows how to have a good time:

Become a legally ordained minister within 48 hours

As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church!

Perform Weddings, Funerals, Perform Baptisms, Forgiveness of Sins
Visit Correctional Facilities

Want to start your own church?

Funerals, Sins and Visiting Correctional Facilities – Woohoo!
My Funometer just exploded. The “start your own church” part is intriguing. I always thought of myself as a minor deity in the pantheon of life. It would be nice to have my own following. I’m taking collections starting right now.

Catholic Bias?

The comments section of a recent piece I wrote is rife with accusations that I am biased towards Catholics. Among those weighing in are “Jean”, “Sean“, “Miguel’, and someone who calls himself “The Concerned Engineer”. I’m not sure what old Casey Jones here is concerned about, exactly, but it is safe to say that he’s riding the same train as the other three, high on the opiate of the people.

Now, the curious thing is that these accusations stem from my referring to the Pope as “your ass-holiness”. That’s it. Period. I fail to see how this constitutes Catholic bias. As I went to great lengths to explain, my issues with the Catholic Church stem from my point of view that the Catholic Church is the most influential political entity in the world. This BBC site shows that adherants to Christianity still lead the world’s population. While I am fully aware that there are many different sects of Christianity, one thing is clear: Catholicism, and its various related forms, is the most widespread and influential form of Christianity.

I have never viewed the Pope as anything other than a man. The concept that he is somehow on a different plane than the rest of us has always been anathema to me. And unlike devout Catholics, I believe that the concept of Papal Infallibility is patently absurd.

I have come to these conclusions over the years not least through quite a lot of exposure to Catholicism and Christianity in its various forms. Allow me to explain:
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Update on Sri Lanka/Israel/Vatican Story

In an effort to help exonerate the Vatican from blame for the mistranslation of a story from L’Osservatore, Meryl has published this second update wherein she reprints part of an e-mail she received from Carlo De Lucia of L’Osservatore regarding the Catholic World News botching of the story. However, she notes that CWN has a sidebar that still has the old, erroneous headline. Someone at CWN has severe HUA Syndrome. As Meryl notes, relations between the Jews and the Vatican have been strained enough over the years. CWN isn’t helping.

Update – 4:35 PST – I just checked CWN and the related story sidebar finally says “L’Osservatore raps Sri Lanka for declining disaster relief”. It’s about damn time.

Correction From Catholic World News

Via reader Patrick Sweeney comes this link to a correction by Catholic World News on the story by the Vatican’s L’Osservatore regarding Sri Lanka’s refusal of Israeli aid for the victims of the tsunami. What remains to be explained is exactly how the hell Catholic World News managed to botch this story in the first place.

Meryl weighs in on the mystery of the “mistranslation”.

As for everyone concerned about my remark about the Pope, I am perplexed as to why this influential leader has said exactly ZERO about Sri Lanka’s attitude. However, I did promise to recant my remark about “Il Papa” in the face of a retraction by the Vatican. As it now appears that it is, in fact, CWN that botched the story, I sincerely apologize for stating that the Pope was an asshole with regard to the situation at hand. For the less swift, yes, this was a conditional apology. There are many things for which the Pope has a lot of explaining to do. In addition, I continue to maintain that accusations of my alleged bias towards Catholics are merely unsubstantiated rumour and allegation, especially in light of the fact that not one of you knows me personally. Now, please, get off the cross – we need the wood.