Daily Archives: February 27, 2013
Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. the passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
When I bet (which is rarely) I generally fix the limit at one pint, which I nowadays set at £4.
Whilst I have not made any bet on the next Pope (which I, and everyone else, could do in perfect good conscience, see above), I must say I am tempted to add one (or two) pints to the event.
Paddy Power has, as I write, here the betting page about the new Pope. Surprisingly for me, Turkson still leads the race. I am not a bookmaker, but I suspect what the people at paddy Power want is an army of people putting their three or five pound for the excitement of the “Black Pope”. I honestly think the odds are too much in the bookmaker’s favour.
If memory serves, the day Pope Benedict resigned Paddy Power had Cardinal Scola 11 to 1. I missed the occasion to bet then, because I simply forgot. A couple of days later (when they had started to read the Italian newspapers) Cardinal Scola was quoted a disastrous 11/7, basically an invitation to give them some money with which you don’t know what to do.
But today is different, with bets on three Cardinals offering interesting quotes: Ouellet at 7/1, Bagnasco at 9/1 and Scola already improving to a more inviting 4/1.
I am pleased to see “hug a heretic”/”protect-a-fag”-Schoenborn is in eight place, at a rather sceptic 20/1. Whilst the man is my nightmare scenario, I frankly do not think he has any chances in the real world; that is, outside of dissident wannabe catholic rags like the “Tablet” and, obviously, homos. A category, this one, which one would think will be totally absent from the Conclave, though recent events actually do not invite to much tranquility in this respect.
Other bets are either funny or meant to take money out of the uninformed. Richard Dawkins is at… 666/1, which is a very evident Christian joke on him (though with much truth in it). Still, if Paddy Power were to really take real money for real bets on him, this would seem to me a criminal abuse of public credulity.
Almost funnier is Archbishop Mueller at 200/1, and it’s fair to say this yogurt will get sour. Even Bono has a quote of 100/1, and one wonders how much money Paddy Power makes on bets like these, and how drunk are those who make them.
Cardinal Policarpo (already tired and emotional on so-called wymyn priests; then forced to retract but, it is fair to say, still a disgrace to his habit) is given at a sporty 100/1, and so is a funny guy some people believe to be a Catholic, Cardinal Lehmann, one of the many Germans Cardinals who lead you to doubt of the mental sanity of the Popes who gave them a red hat.
Cardinal Murphy- O’Connor is given at 150/1, but he will get zero votes as he cannot take part to the Conclave himself. Even Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, one who would have loved to see himself all in red entering the Sistine Chapel, is given better chances, though his name is clearly there because he is known by hearsay to most Brits who have no clue how his chances stand (answer: not much better than Dawkins’).
Sadly, Cardinal Burke, who is a real tough guy, is nowhere to be seen; which means either Paddy Power are scared of taking bets or, more probably, he is nowhere as far as election chances are concerned, too.
I will monitor the situation carefully in the days leading to the conclave, as the odds might also be an indication of how the perceptions have shifted. IN case of Bagnasco’s victory, it would be beautiful to have the Brunello bottle paid for by Paddy Power. Bagnasco is, among those given as papabili (again, Burke is nowhere to be… read), my very first choice, followed by Scola. I very much fear the election of Ouellet, who in my eyes would be another Pope Benedict; which, if true, would – I think – spell disaster.
At 7/1 he might be a good bet, though I am sure it would be a sad victory.
Interesting Huckabee quote from Jill Stanek’s blog:
I’ve never been so shocked in my life… to see speaker after speaker go to the podium in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention and all but give a rallying cry (that) the single most important thing to them in all of America was not a stable economy, was not a secure border, it was not that we had peace within our country and that we were protected from enemies around the world.
It was not that we stop terrorism. It was not that we had an education system that gave our kids the opportunity to become independent and self-sufficient. It was not that we would have a food supply system that would allow us to feed ourselves and not be dependent on some foreign country.
It was not that we would have our own energy resources where we could take care of ourselves and not be slaves to some Middle Eastern tyrant who takes our money by the wads and then turns around and spends it to use against us to murder us and kill us in the name of a perverted faith. No, that wasn’t the most important issue.
The most important issue was: “I want to be able to take the life of my baby and I want someone else to pay for it.”
It is very embarrassing to say "we got it so wrong we should all resign and apply for a job at McDonald's". Particularly when the people in question lead the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum visited by people from all over the world.
Therefore - and in order to avoid having to resign - the responsible for the museum have decided to back pedal a bit at a time, in order to look less ideologised, blind and stupid when the time comes to say "erm, aah, well, actually....".
The amount of wishful thinking Catholics are capable of can at times only be called staggering.
The last one I have read about is that the Blessed Virgin might have appeared to the Holy Father requesting that he steps down. Allow me to share with you a couple of thoughts about this theory.
1. The thinking here seems to be “I do not agree with the Pope’s decision. The Pope can never do something wrong. Therefore, it must have been told by the Blessed Virgin”. If you ask me (which you do, because you are still reading…) there is a good deal of Clericalism here, and – hoping not to be offensive for anyone – more than a hint of Papolatry. When Protestants mock us for such outlandish ideas, I can’t say they are wrong.
2. It appears more than a couple of people were not paying attention when the Holy Father issued his historic statement on the 11 February. In it, the Holy Father speaks clearly of his lack of spiritual energy.
Such a heavily loaded statement cannot be simply ignored. It is inconceivable that the Pope would not know that to have to cope with age is rather common for a Pope. Therefore, he is humble and honest enough to tell the real reason of his abdication. Again, it is staggering even after the Holy Father says in the plainest words imaginable what the reason for his abdication is, there are those simply unable to deal with brutally straight facts.
3. Let us now assume (which we should not do, unless we want to take the Blessed Virgin as hostage for everything we cannot explain or approve) for a moment that the Blessed Virgin really appeared to the Holy Father requesting that he steps down: would this not be an extremely offensive statement towards the Holy Father? In this constellation, it is clear Pope Benedict is both completely useless and dangerously stubborn, to the extent that no less than an apparition of the Blessed Virgin becomes necessary to move him to do the right thing. It is also – always if you ask me – doubly insulting, because it also presupposes the Pope is utterly unable to see the reality around him and make important decisions for himself.
4. The Pope is almost 86; had a number of bypass surgical operations; is obviously becoming more and more frail, and has been for a while. It is not clear to me why Heaven should feel the need of anything so extreme as a Marian apparition to, erm, well, terminate his employment contract in the usual manner.
Summa summarum, it seems to me at times Catholics are more than a bit carried away, to the point of ever theorising Marian apparitions no interested party has mentioned or even hinted at.
Personally, I would suggest a more robustly realistic approach, based on the simple reality that an indecisive Pope has recognised he is not fit to lead the Church in these turbulent and utterly disturbing times. Once again, we should admire his honesty and courage rather than recur to supernatural events to explain what we do not approve.
A Pope can abdicate.
Get over it.