Papal forgiveness-amen bro.

In my last ramble, I sounded off about, among other things, the Catholic church - it's been in the news again regarding pervert priests and how, with its usual hand-wringing, the Vatican has "apologised" to Ireland for the obscenities perpetrated on youngters by some of its employees. (No mention, you'll note, about the thousands in the USA, Mexico, South America, Africa, India and Asia who've also inevitably suffered a similar fate at the hands of god's chosen blokes.)

My rabidly anti-religious views will be known to some of you but I'll never tire of repeating them. One of the many things that gets my goat (strange saying - I must research its provenence) is the continuing insidiousness of religion and how it can captivate the ignorant. One of the ways it does this is through weasel-words that have no true meaning. One such group of words is how the Vatican can, in its letter to Ireland, apparently abjectly apologise and yet leave thousands of people in doubt, still, about where it actually stands about whether their people have actually committed a crime and what they're going to do about it. Instead, they hide behind a morass of mumbo-jumbo to do with their own codes of conduct, internal ecclesiastical rules and apostolic norms and sanctions. No surprises there to my mind, but it seems that other nations are waking up to the bitter truth behind the centuries-old obfuscation of religion in general and the RCs in particular.

Germany is doing it. It appears that a third of German RCs no longer trust the pope - the BBC news is the source of this revelation. (Note that I refuse to grace the title "pope" with a capital letter - I absolutely reject the notion that one man is worthy of such disgusting veneration.) Moreover, a further third have severe reservations about whether the church itself is genuine. These misgivings come from a nation, it must be remembered, that's brought the world to its knees twice by blindly following "ze orders" of megalomaniacs, and some of whose senior SS and Gestapo officials were, allegedly, shielded by the Vatican in the years at the end of and after WW2. (Another thing the Vatican is somewhat coy about.) Germany is also the home country of "the holy father". To turn on the pope and his cohorts is therefore remarkable and to be applauded (although if you ever come across more than a coach-load of German tourists I suggest you run home and get in your shelter, again).

Anyway, if this sort of awakening spreads, as I most fervently hope it will, the sh*t-storm will be huge. It will hopefully be the thin end of the wedge for every other mis-guided, ill-founded, ill-gotten, spurious, contemptible and corrosive belief system. We can then get on with valuing each other based on sound moral, humanist, natural and normally respectful ways. Sadly, those of you who might agree with me will still have to discount any help from the Americans - can you believe it, 44% of them cling yet to the notion of Creationism. Perhaps that's why they have such a great navy - if times get tough and Armageddon arrives the select few, in their two's, can jump on board the latest nuclear Arc and start the whole bloody mess all over again. Oh dear, and there was me thinking I was cheered up.