Jul 1, 2010 - Issue 382
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Class Warfare: The Vatican is the Biggest Too-Big-Too-Fail Player! - Represent Our Resistance - By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD - BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board

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…slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons

-“Introduction,” Holy Office on June 20, 1866.

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

-Paulo Freire

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have been treated to entertaining theater at Senate committee hearings, trivial polls by the mainstream media, and elegant assurances from President Obama the economy is recovering.

The war in Afghanistan is a human rights disaster but still quite profitable. The scientists “discovery” that Afghanistan is a wash in lithium is really old news released way back then in 2001 and 2002 when Bush II had the world seeing 911 culprits from Saudi Arabia hiding in caves. The recent news of old news, lithium (think cell phones and other high-tech gadgets) in Afghanistan - is a notice, an employment notice, to big-player entrepreneurs, investment firms, partnerships between the U.S. and Europe and a warning to U.S. partners, European partners, to remember China is a stone throw away from Afghanistan and these upstart, troublesome nations like Brazil and Venezuela are conversing and wheeling and dealing with Iran.

It is almost impossible to find an accurate count of Afghani and Iraqi civilian deaths since like the Bush II administration, the Obama administration does not seem to care.

Along comes the revelation that General Stanley McChrystal likes to send emails in which he “bad mouths” the Obama administration. They are clowns, elitists, and weird - possibly secret socialists, worse, communists so unlike Bush II and Darth Vader. Stay tuned for the showdown between Obama and McChrystal! In the U.S. and in most of the world, it is a showdown between men, Black and white men, powerful men - chief of all the armed forces and the general. Men! Meanwhile, more women and children died while this drama played out. More children in Afghanistan went without water or food. More U.S. troops confronted resistance to Western occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan where Obama’s drones keep flying and delivery bombs.

In the U.S., Tony Hayward wipes his forehead as he returns to his “life” after his too-big-to-fail BP stifles the life from fishermen, workers, and residents in the Gulf coast region. Those fishermen, workers, and residents are told next to nothing about the toxic dispersants and the gushing oil surrounding their places of business and homes.

But Obama has plenty to say. Do not worry, the Chief is on it! The war in Afghanistan will continue. The war in the Gulf of Mexico will commence with BP taking responsibility for reimbursing those affected by the “spill” (and how many times did he say “spill”?). Thumbs up!

From the too-big-to-fail imperialist power to the nearly 2 million unemployed U.S. workers - not today, say the Republicans. We are borrowing, spending, and spending and borrowing to fund a “just” war in Afghanistan! “God’s Work”! Not tomorrow, says Democratic Leader Harry Reid, we have to move on to other business, but keep in mind, under the current administration, Big Brother stands behind local law enforcement and the CIA. The spyglasses of the National; Security Administration and Homeland Security can see far and wide.

Simply await the next big distraction.

I am a full-time recovering Catholic. In the 1950s when my parent’s married, the Catholic Church in our pre-dominantly Black parish neighborhood and my very Catholic maternal grandparents, demanded that the couple’s children be baptized and raised Catholic. My father and his family were Baptists. The couple obeyed orders from the parish community and the family.

White priests and nuns, white gowns on special occasions, rosaries, special prayers to special saints, original and mortal sins, heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo, and silence at all times. The Catholic Church would save the few of us from earthly and eternal damnation…All the while thousands of other young faithful believers were subject to servitude and abuse in the Church.

There is always a reason for mega-billion dollar too-big-to-fail entities demanding absolute obedience, compliance, docility from its flock.

Today, there is evidence, according to Uhurunews, that the Church’s key doctrinal officials at the Vatican knew and approved transfers of abusive priests from one parish to another parish for years while silent victims re-lived, over and over again, the terror of abuse. As we now know, investigations are focused on the role of Pope Benedict XVI who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, chief of the watchdog Church officials, allegedly saved hundreds of priests from appearing before the victims. Nonetheless, “tens of thousands of mostly young boys” in several countries have filed charges of sexual abuse by priests since the first cases came to light.

In March of this year, according to the Washington Post, March 2010, “Pope Benedict XVI issued a rare apology” to U.S. victims and to those “victims and their family members in Ireland” but he “outlined no disciplinary action or changes in Vatican policies to prevent future incidents.” In addition, Pope Benedict did not lay out new prescriptions, suggest punishment or touch on the wider scandal that has led European government officials to denounce church secrecy surrounding abuse cases.

Pope Benedict begged forgiveness for the Church’s - mistakes? Blunders? BP’s too-big-to-worry Hayward apologizes to Gulf workers and residents too. But he did not really mean it. He wanted his life back! Reid is sorry too. But we must move on.

Goldman Sachs’ Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfien apologized for creating and disseminating toxic sub-prime securities around the world, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the too-big-to-fail firm with fraud. After all, Goldman Sachs believed it was doing “God’s work,” according to The Guardian, (April 2010). Just trying to save the world’s small people from poverty! (Just like BP CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg who works so hard to protect the small people with his oil drills and practice of violating EPA regulations).

The Catholic Church balked: “God’s work? We are doing God’s work! Goldman Sachs, you carried out your evil deeds in secrecy!

Corporate media in the U.S. went to work: Americans should think now: Who is more secretive - the Roman Catholic Church or Goldman Sachs?

The countless charges of sexual abuse by Catholic priest were concealed by the Vatican for years. The Vatican protected abusers and sought to silence victims - and the now the Roman Catholic Church, with mega-billions worth of buildings, statues, and artifacts weighting down the Earth where the Vatican stands, points to Goldman Sachs and cries - secrecy! Too much secrecy - over there! Remember the poor, the “small people!” As Stephan Richter notes, both too-big-to-fail entities share a belief “in the doctrine of infallibility” (The Globalists).

Goldman Sachs denies wrong doing, “contests” charges, and plans to “defend” the firm and “its reputation” (The Guardian). When the Catholic Church points to other global powerbrokers, it is doing the same - defending its reputation. To conceal class warfare and to protect the interests of the class that matters, the too-big-too-fail mega-billion dollar entities are quite willing to sacrifice a few players along with the “small people” - whatever it takes to hold on to reputations and keep the money flowing in their direction. The Roman Catholic Church is no exception.

When it comes to protecting the so-called small people of the world, the Vatican has a hard time distinguishing itself from the BPs and the Goldman Sachs.’ The late historian John Henrik Clarke told us that a Papal Bull to Portugal issued a decree reducing to servitude the “infidels,” Europe and the Church’s first encounters with small people: the Indigenous of the Americas and the Africans (Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism). The Papal Bull “Dum Diversas issued on 18 June,” 1452 by “Pope Nicholas V (RomanCatholocism.org) authorized Alfonso V of Portugal “to reduce any ‘Saracens (Muslims included) and pagans and any other unbelievers’ to perpetual slavery. The Papal Bull of 1452 “facilitated the Portuguese slave trade from West Africa.” As a “follow-up to the Dum diversas,” Pope Nicholas, on January 5, 1455, wrote the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex extending “to the Catholic nations of Europe dominion over discovered lands during the Age of Discovery. Along with sanctifying the seizure of non-Christian lands, it encouraged the enslavement of native, non-Christian peoples in Africa and the New World.” Portugal and Spain returned to the Vatican now under the rule of Pope Alexander VI in 1493 after both Christian nations found themselves at odds with one another over conquered lands and conquered peoples. Bull inter Caetera designated conquered lands in the East to Portugal and conquered lands in the West to Spain.

“Together, the Dum Diversas, the Romanus Pontifex and the Inter Caetera came to serve as the basis and justification for the Doctrine of Discovery, the global slave-trade of the 15th and 16th centuries, and the Age of Imperialism” (Roman Catholocism.org). Papal Bulls condemning slavery by subsequent popes fell on the deaf ears. The misery of small people enriched the Vatican. The discovered lands meant the Church could establish more and more facilities to convert the uncivilized among the Africans and the Indigenous of the Americas. It also meant that the Roman Catholic Church could stand as a powerful entity, that is, moneyed entity along, if not above, the world’s controllers of social, cultural, political, and economical relations.

Uhurunews, citing from Avro Manhattan’s book The Vatican Billions, lists the Church’s assets:

  • The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars…
  • A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest…
  • But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country…
  • The Catholic [C]hurch is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence…
  • No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars.


“Imperialism’s right hand…has used the cover of Christianity and religion to carry out massive crimes against African, Indigenous and oppressed peoples for the past 600 years” (Uhurunews.com). Liberation Theology could have saved the Roman Catholic Church, but the proponents of this movement thought too much of the poor and working class. Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger preferred the more traditional dealings with the masses of poor. Priests who aligned themselves with the Liberation Theology movements were punished while those who molested children were shielded by the high officials at the Vatican.

The Catholic Church does not want the public to know what it tries to keep secret. There have been 5 National Catholic Reports (NCR) regarding the abusive activities of the Church in Africa (and India). The small people do not become big people even when they become representatives of the Church. On a continent suffering from HIV and AIDS, the NCR revealed, “young nuns are sometimes seen as safe targets of sexual activity.” Where are the news reports on this practice of terrorism? While African women without the nun’s habit and living in a war-torn country or region are not encouraged to have an abortion even if her pregnancy is the result of rape, “priests have impregnated nuns,” according to the NCR report, and “then encouraged them to have abortions.” There is a divinely inspired doctrine somewhere in the Vatican? Really?

Apparently, women, nuns, African nuns are subject to punishment in the Church. In November 1998, Sister Marie McDonald of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa, authored a 4-page report titled “The Problem of the Sexual Abuse of African Religious in Africa and Rome, in which she charged that a pregnant African nun is “usually punished by dismissal from the congregation, while the priest is ‘often only moved to another parish - or sent for studies’” (NCR). McDonald’s report was virtually ignored by the corporate media.

Wayward priests simply need healing! The Roman Catholic Church will move on!

Now years later, the Catholic Church still hopes the world will not connect the sexual abuse scandal in the U.S. and Europe to the 1998 McDonald report. But recently, Mary Ann Sorrentino (Salon.com, April 2010), in “The Next Catholic Abuse Scandal: Crimes against Women,” reports that the abuse in Africa and in India against women continues. “The rumblings from India and (especially) Africa, where the Catholic Church is seeing its greatest growth, are growing louder.”

The news from these places exacerbates our shock and concern: The sexual abuse of children by clergy is now coupled with widespread reports of rapes of nuns - young women recruited from India's and Africa's poorest families.

More victims are coming forward and the Catholic Church is panicking. Could this be why the Catholic Church needs all heads to face Goldman Sachs?

Poverty is fine! Disaster is fine! But distractions are even better! Victims here. Victims there. Gulf of Mexico workers, Afghani, Iraqi, Pakistani women and children, targets of sub-prime schemes, unemployed workers, school-aged children, African nuns. Small people everywhere. The too-big-to-fail cannot afford to lose to the real war to the small people! The big boys will fight and fight dirty, and amass more victims to accumulate more wealth and material resources.

In “All the President’s Goldman Sachs Men,” (April 2010), Michelle Malkin writes, “while President Obama assails the culture of greed and recklessness practiced by the men of Goldman Sachs, his administration is infested with them” - including the known Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Rahm Emmanuel, Mark Patterson, and the unknown others. The U.S. Empire must repress any debate on an alternative to capitalism. The White House, as Malkin notes, “can no more disown Government Sachs than Da Boss-in-chief, can disown Chicago politics.”

Chicago Politics? Are we back to the Roman Catholic Church, again?

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer for over thirty years of commentary, resistance criticism and cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from Loyola University, Chicago. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.


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