Monday, February 24, 2014

Karma and the Cardinal

Going but not yet gone. Cardinal George Pell - the most incompetent leader in Chrisendom?

Well he’s finally going.  Cardinal Pell, the leader of the Australian Catholic Church,  is being promoted to almost the very top.  George is being kicked upstairs to be the Vatican's "Grand Financial Inquisitor".
This Inquisition unlike its Spanish predecessor is reasonably welcome.  I say reasonably because I wonder if it will be as transparent as would be desirable.  There are allegations of corruption, nepotism and dysfunction in the Vatican made public by the Pope Benedict’s butler.  I mean, really, who cares?  So what if the Vatican is awash with sleaze and fraud.  That has been a centuries old tradition.  The allegations of the money laundering through the Vatican Bank by pious war lords and prayerful crooks exemplifies how Vatican finances are remote from both God and the good works required by the Bible.
Several issues emerge, however, from this appointment which requires the godless to drop their repugnance and gaze in wonder at byzantine world of Vatican finances.
The first point is the remarkable seniority of Cardinal Pell in the catholic stronghold.  We look at him as a doddering fool.  His public appearances are a wonderful catastrophe.  He appears remote, devoid of charisma and slow witted.  In short, his is atheism’s greatest friend.  And yet he is a member of the Group of 8 most senior Cardinals at the elbow of the Pope nudging him along.  It is incredible that such a low calibre man could achieve these dizzying heights.  What this tells me is that there is a leadership vacuum.  Catholicism is an organisation where leadership cannot be recruited from a competitive pool of qualified candidates.  It must recruit from a group of elderly men with great expertise in theological and liturgical matters but probably untrained in finance and management.  It is a recipe for disaster.  And we have seen this disaster unfold both here in Australia and across the world.
The second thing I feel is that Australia is diminished with the loss of Cardinal Pell.  He is such a lumbering fool, that Catholicism in Oz must be cheering from the rafters at his departure.  They must have wished him dead for some time.  Now he disappears into the bowels of the actuarial inquisition in Rome never to be seen again they would hope.  I, as an unbeliever, am gutted.  Never have I seen such a poor adversary as dumb foolish Pell.  It is a nightmare for me that he is gone and a wonderful opportunity for Australian Catholicism to somehow reinvent itself. 
Finally, Cardinal Pell’s elevation gives one pause for thought on the Indian notion of Karma found in Buddhist, Hindu and other eastern faiths.  Karma is a notion based on the justice of causality.  If one is good, then good things should be caused to happen.  My rather uninformed knowledge of Karma essentially boils down to this.  If a good/bad person has good/bad things happen, then I intone the word “Karma” even though I think that causation has no basis in fact.  Indeed, I feel that Karma is complete crap.  Would you say to the dying Syrian child, “Karma kid because you were naughty”? I don’t think so.  The notion that actions and intentions lead inexorably to a causal outcome is nonsense.  Bad things happen to good people and vice versa.
Great things have happened to Cardinal Pell and he doesn’t deserve them.  He presided over the demoralization and decline of the Church.  The Church is a basket case when he was its leader.  Is he fired?  No.  Do the normal processes of accountability apply so that the buck stops with him?  No.  Will he be subject to the competitive pressures of the labour market and be forced to resign?  No.  His last task before his Roman holiday is further testimony on child sex abuse.  It is a fucking joke.  Catholicism is in crisis in this country on his watch and he gets promoted.  Kids were abused and his record seems less than proactive in stopping the rot.  No, as a leader he was appalling and should be held accountable.  But he is promoted to ethereal heights.  Karma????
What is your view?
Was Cardinal Pell atheism’s greatest friend?
Is his departure good or bad?
Is his departure deserved or is he being kicked upstairs to be hidden?
Why is he so successful in Rome?
Over to you guys….

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Sorry I have been a bit silent of late.  I have a play reading of a musical play I have written which looks at secular views on death.  Guaranteed to be a bit hard to attract an audience to such a deadly topic.  It is at the protype stage and a play reading is happening in Melbourne on Wednesday, 19 February fortyfive downstairs.  Once I survive this, more regular blogs will bloom.  I hope to see some Melbournian readers at the reading on Wednesday or a more rehearsed reading on Monday 17 March.