Guardian Angel; Bernhard Plockhorst (1825–1907)
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Good news for angels!
Pope Francis has decreed that they now exist again and, according to Catholic dogma, because the Pope once infallibly declared himself to be infallible, this means that, even if they didn't exist before, they do now, just as we know that barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) became fish that hatch out of barnacles in the Middle Ages and have now turned back into perfectly respectable geese, because the Pope said so.
Likewise, limbo existed as somewhere for the souls of dead babies to go to until it was abolished by papal decree by Pope Benedict XVI in April 2007. Apparently, the souls of dead babies can now go straight to heaven despite being sinners who have never been saved by 'accepting Jesus'. Before the 12th-Century dead babies when straight to Hell to teach them a lesson for being born sinners, according to Augustine of Hippo. After that, because that didn't seem very fair, the Pope had decreed limbo into existence as a sort of half-way house.
Now, despite his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI having come out against the existence of angels, declaring in 2012 that "angels did not sing at the birth of Christ", thus effectively abolishing them, Pope Francis has resurrected them. Yesterday, in what may be the first admission by a Pope that he hears voices, he told a small gathering in the Vatican:
The doctrine on angels is not fantasist. No, it’s reality. According to church tradition we all have an angel with us, who protects us and helps us understand things. How often have we heard ‘I should do this, I should not do this, that’s not right, be careful ...’. So often! It is the voice of our travelling companion.
There had been hopes that the appointment of Pope Francis marked a turning point in the history of the Catholic Church and that we could look forward to a reformed, modernised church more suited to the 21st-century than his predecessor's pre-Enlightenment Masonic brotherhood which depended on selling magic spells and miracles to ignorant and superstitious people backed up by threats of violence. But it seems this was not to be. Pope Francis is as firmly wedded to woo-woo magic and invisible spirits as were the rest of his cabal.
Faced with the made-up 'problem' of explaining human morality and ethics, which Christian and Islamic apologists pretend can only be explained by a god, and despite the fact that modern sociology and memetic evolution are fully capable of explaining them as an evolutionary process which is not even confined to humans, Pope Francis has waved all that aside and is going with invisible magic beings putting voices in our heads, just as his predecessors explained mental illness as caused by evil spirits with punishment being appropriate for the crime of moral weakness in allowing the evil spirits in in the first place.
One way or another the Church needs to insert magic and mystery into every aspect of life in order to claim the illusion of moral authority upon which their claim to power and privilege depends and to give their superstition the semblance of explanatory power.
We can almost certainly now look forward to Catholic priests in remote corners of the Earth discovering a small bunch of shepherds or better still, impressionable children, who have seen angels in a woodland grove or hillside cave to which devout Catholics should now come to give thanks and money, and buy all the plastic souvenirs and bottles of magic water.
But what we can be sure we will never have, not even from the reforming Pope Francis with his official expressions of regret for the behaviour of the Church's clerics, is an explanation of just where their guardian angels were when children and vulnerable adults were being systematically abused by Catholic priests and nuns. Maybe that's why Pope Benedict XVI, former enforcer to Pope John-Paul II and in charge of organising the cover-up as Cardinal Ratzinger, abolished the guardian angels that would have been expected to have done something to protect their charges.
Perhaps it was just a moral failure on the part of the victims for not listening to the voices in their heads that told them not to obey the predatory clerics. There is always a theological 'answer' to every problem for a sufficiently creative theologian.
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