Mark Shea loved the last Pope. Big shock, he loves this one too.

As one might expect, Mark Shea is practically touching himself over the new Pope (no worries, I’m sure he did ten hail Marys and now his soul is safe again).  He thinks the new Pope represents progress.  His example?

This will cause the normal exploding heads at the Reporter and MSNBC.  No “Progress” for you!

In the Aparecida Document, a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America, Cardinal Bergoglio commented on the worthiness of individuals to receive the Eucharist. The text states in paragraph 436 that, “We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”[52][53][54]

Progress, in Shea’s eyes, is denying a tasteless cracker and grape juice to the people on the side of social progress.  Or, if you’re Catholic, you’re allowing them to skip out on eating 2,000 year-old flesh and blood.  I guess they’ll just have to stick to Subway.  Boy, that’ll show ‘em.

Shea is also pumped that the new Pope likes to evangelize a lot.  This seems to be what Shea cares most about, because he’s not uttered a word about charity or about Bergoglio hiding political prisoners from human rights monitors during his time in Argentina.  There was not a word of Bergoglio criticizing the aiding and abetting of child rapists.  But boy, he sure does like to go tell people Catholicism is true.

And he’ll spend money on it!  I’m sure that has Shea beside himself as well.  For me though, the moment the Catholic Church spends so much as a penny to send a bible to Africa rather than an orange, they have completely twisted the idea of compassion.  To Shea, that Bergoglio will make shipping ministers off to Africa to hand out oodles of bibles is a cause for celebration – presumably because this is what amounts to progress in a mind tainted by faith.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Xovvo

    I like this pope too.

    For the same reasons I like watching trainwrecks.

    • Stogoe

      Recently there have been commercials for Celebrity Apprentice with the contestants intercut with old footage of actual trainwrecks and blurbs to the effect of “I can’t look away!”. They’re really going after both demographics here – the people who still enjoy the show as the show, and those who are transfixed by the sheer awfulness.

  • Gordon

    He asks why people expect reform from a Pope and calls it superstition, but actually it is hope. He should be greatful that people hold out any hope for catholicism at all!

  • baal

    “We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive… wafer-like in mentality

  • Rain

    Oh I hate that when we don’t have eucharistic coherence. That one gets me every time.

    • Loqi

      Finally! They’re going to make the whole transubstantiation thing coherent!

      • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        I suspect it will involve lasers.

      • invivoMark

        Surely that’s good news for anthropologists and geneticists – we can finally sequence the DNA of Jesus taken from a transubstantiated cracker!

  • tubi

    the moment the Catholic Church spends so much as a penny to send a bible to Africa rather than an orange…

    Seems as good a place as any to make this observation. Many of us have made disparaging comments about how wealthy the RCC is and wouldn’t it be nice if they spent just a fraction of that money to help the poor. A common response goes something like, “What, they should just sell all their Titians and Botticellis to private collectors so no one can ever see them any more? What’s the good of that?”

    But that misses the point, where JT’s comment does not. Yes, the Vatican maintains vast collections of important art and other materials. St Peter’s Basilica itself is an artifact worth preserving. What people are bothered by is the vast amount spent on the trappings of the Vatican. How about jeans and a T-shirt instead of velvet and silk vestments? Doesn’t the blood of Christ have the same power when consumed from a Dixie cup instead of a giant gold chalice?

    Ol’ Pope Blue Eyes has been commended for forgoing those things in BA. But he sure seemed happy at the prospect of living in a palace going forward. I would be impressed if he said, “No, I’ll just take a small flat over here with a nice view of the Tiber,” instead of the palatial apartments he’s been offered.

    • Nate Frein

      Bill and Melinda gates enjoy a very rich lifestyle.

      But they’ve managed to do more in ten years in Africa than the Catholic church has done in 100.

      • Artor

        Hardly. The Gates are nowhere NEAR the body count the RCC has in Africa.

        • M

          Pretty sure Nate was praising the Gateses for doing good in Africa. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done a lot of good work on both domestic and international issues, including AIDS prevention and access to retrovirals for HIV+ people. The Church claims it’s “helping” but it isn’t, whereas the Gateses actually are.

          • Nate Frein

            I think he was joking. It certainly got a chuckle from me.

          • M

            My sarcasm sensors for Internet use could use some tweaking, apparently :/. I reread it and then I giggled. Sorry for flaming at you, Artor.

          • Glodson

            M, that was a flame?

            You got to work on those. Not once did you call anyone a motherfucker, or a dumbass, or a revolting piece of human shit, or a braindead idiot hellbent on worshiping a fictional zombie asshole, or fuckbrained asshat, or shitty parasite of a human being.

            Instead, you gave a very good and concise rebuttal if the comment was meant in all seriousness.

            Still, I always like it when I see a person admit a mistake. Good on ya.

          • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

            Sarcasm tags are the future.

    • Rory

      Let’s also acknowledge that the Church could no doubt raise quite a bit of money by loaning some of their great artwork to respectable institutions for public exhibition (what do you think, say, the Louvre would be willing to pay to be known as the only place outside of Rome to see some of those works?), which would raise money for good works without risking the cultural heritage.

      • Andrew Kohler

        My thoughts exactly (in fact, I’d just submitted a comment to that effect but the server timed out, but yours is better articulated). One could even argue that loaning these works to other institutions would allow for more people to see them.

        Nate’s comparison to Bill and Melinda Gates is quite cogent: there are plenty of wealthy people and institutions who do wonderful work while still enjoying a very nice lifestyle (for which I certainly don’t begrudge them). And I’m willing to bet that in the majority of cases, philanthropic individuals don’t campaign against condoms and other contraception in areas that are impoverished and/or have terribly high rates of HIV/AIDS.

  • Loqi

    How vile does one have to be in order for the Catholic blogs to not love a new pope? I’m convinced they would “love” Pope Genghis Khan. Are any of history’s greatest monsters so evil that Catholics would reject them?

  • The_Schwa

    I’m convinced they would “love” Pope Genghis Khan.
    Unless Pope Khan was pro-choice.

    • Yoav

      Exactly, we talk about the same criminal enterprise who recently excommunicated a 9 year old rape victim and the doctor who terminated the pregnancy that was going to kill her, but not the rapist. This is the organization that never excommunicated Hitler (sorry for Godwining the tread) and was more then cozy with both Mussolini and Franco. Based on their history the only thing that would make someone unacceptable is being a decent human being. As for the whole progress thing I guess you can count a pope that want to take the world back to the middle ages a progress compared to one that would take it back to the stone age if they could.

      • Glodson

        Just to clarify, it wasn’t the nine year old girl, but her family that was excommunicated, along with the doctors. This doesn’t make the story any better, it just as monstrous as it still adds the guilt the little girl must feel for being the victim of a rape.

        But I agree with your assessment. They would destroy all progress for their faith.

      • Andrew Kohler

        I say there’s no need to apologize for Godwining when you make a sound point, as you have (otherwise, the subject of Hitler becomes completely off-limits, which is also problematic). I remember Christopher Hitchens saying that while Hitler was never excommunicated, Joseph Goebbels was excommunicated …because he married a Protestant!

        This reminds me of something that occurred to me reading the recent thread on excommunication and defection, and the Church trying to keep its numbers up by not recognizing people leaving. As Richard Dawkins pointed out, if they wish to do this, they have no choice but to include Hitler as one of theirs.

  • Joseph Svarty

    Why do you people care?

    • Nate Frein

      A person has the power to influence people and governments, and uses that power to advance the cause of hatred and bigotry. The question is, why don’t more people care?

    • Glodson

      We had the secret hope that the Cardinals would all reach the Age of Reason and decide that there shouldn’t be a next pope, and then spend the vast fortunate of the Vatican making amends for the abuse people suffered at their hands, including funding pro-choice groups, giving out contraception in poor countries they encouraged not to use it, spending money helping support gay rights, and seeing to it that the pedophile priests get locked up.

      But no, they really needed to set up a possible war criminal with a sweet gig.

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Why do you care that we care?

      • Glodson

        Why do you care that he cares that we care?

        • Emmet

          Why do you care that he … forget it.

  • Emmet

    Go back and have another read of Shea’s blog, Eberhard. Find out how you and your confreres’ breathless repeating of the claim that Francis hid political prisoners makes you all look like arses.

    Seriously. I’m not surprised any more by the torpidity of thought displayed atheist blogs, after having read them for a year or two – but I still get a good giggle out of them. Keep it up!

  • Emmet