Monday, April 14, 2008


For a while, it seemed as though my mind had turned off. I am not use to living my life in an emotional flux. Most people not connected to me personally would most likely think I am insensitive to the world around me but in truth I am very much affected by the events around me.

My brain is constantly stimulated. Often times it is so hyper stimulated that I find myself getting a bit scattered trying to keep pace with my thoughts. It is worst then my body is tired and my brain is running a marathon. That is where reading and sometimes Junk Food Television come into play. Last night was one of those times.

Getting over my emotional setback, I began writing again. It was after midnight with my mind in overdrive as I struggled to focus on a topic to write on, I flipped the channel to the late News. It’s a habit to have the television on for me. I tried to do it in compete silence but it never took. A sociologist told me once that this television thing is a product of my early childhood when television became a member of the American family and as such, it became a part of my though process. Television then as it is now in the background is much like having a person in the room with you; someone having a conversation. Although you may not be paying attention to any one particular show, the voices in the background produces a subconscious “comfort” that helps me focus my over active mind.

WHATEVER. I like TV as oppose to quite and music so that's what I was doing just before I heard in the background about the latest Celeb to hit the streets on New York.

So while thinking about doing something on my conversation with this kid I met who is in the S&M (for which I know you are all looking forward to reading), I got caught up in New York’s preparation for the Pope’s visit next week. Funny how I go from S&M to the Pope in once sentence Right?

Well I am listening to how the Pope’s visit is to make people here loose their minds. I mean you have the Catholic Churches cleaning house. You know how at work when you know the District Manager or the CEO is coming through for a visit and all of a sudden “everyone” has to UP his or her professionalism like cleaning off the desk, no more casual dress, rehearsing possible answers to questions you might be asked, you know all the phony prep work. You have the news promoting youth choirs made up of little Black and Brown children singing Gregorian chants songs in Latin, information on how traffic will change, the Who’s Who list of dignitaries that will have VIP seats to see the Pope, his United Nation’s agenda, then there are the Commercial items like tee-shits, mugs, hats, bobble-heads, sandwiches and then you have all the Catholic representative speculating how much grace and gratitude the Pope will bestow upon the people of the New York City.


There goes my brain working overtime. I begin to think back about the time Pope John Paul II made his World tour to the New York area back in the day and how he stirred up similar excitement BUT the only difference was, I was working for a Catholic school and TRUST ME, when a Pope visits, it isn’t for the purpose of spreading the Gospel, he’s here CLEANING HOUSE.

It was very resent that there were reports that Christendom in the West is on a major decline. Not just Catholicism, but all Christian faiths in Europe. For the most part, religion in general is and has taken a back seat to Europe’s embrace of real World philosophies and socio-economic practices. I like how the Christian Conservatives in America define the movement as the GODLESSNESS OF EUROPE. From the many ethnic groups that have either migrated to Europe or have lived for generations throughout the Western World, the shared consciousness of those opposed to Christianity and its affects on countries outside of Europe is coined as, “ …. Jesus Christ symbolizes no spiritual power, or moral uprightness. He is no more than an artifice for legitimizing wanton imperialist aggression.” It is in this belief that has turned those non-European countries and cultures away from the Gospel that is the “Word” of Christians and into the interest of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam. With Catholics being 22% of America’s religious population (Latinos making up the Majority) 64% state that the Catholics Church is out of touch. That is a problem when you have an organization that forbids criticism. What is especially interesting is that Islam is now the fastest growing religion in the World and has the most actively participating faith on the land. Historically, these two Religions not only encompassed the known Western World but transformed it in their intense religious war killing 100's of thousands possibly millions undocumented. Some would argue that since there is a decline in Christian followers in Europe, this has become fertile ground for new and more Eastern philosophies to enter into the void. Others argue that in the decline of secular and Christian churches in the West, the ability to expand into other countries and cultures to make up the difference are aggressively declined where as in the West, the boarders are traditionally open to non-Christian faiths, constituting an unfair advantage. Regardless of the reasons, the numbers are down and for the Vatican, so are the dollars.

Working within the Catholic organization in the 1990's, and I may sound bias when I say this, BUT the bottom line was Parishioners and Dollars. There was never a moment, behind closed doors, that the books weren't open and people were dropping sweat balls in between the pages of the rolls. When Pope John Paul II was in New York, heads rolled, Mother Superiors and Monsignors were running with ledgers in hand, simple meetings went on for hours and sometimes days. No one without a potion of responsibility was absent and or not held under deep scrutiny and when it was all done, the organization was streamlined, lay-people (those are Non-Catholic employees) were let go, schools and churches closed and a HIGH LEVEL CAMPAIGN for recruiting younger members became the focus. Just sitting back and watching the television, I see this heavy rotation concentrated on YOUTH participation, organizations and education. This same focus was exactly what was pushed more than 10 years ago. Then again, so was the Gulf War. I suspect Pope Benedict XVI will be doing the same even if the US News and the Catholic Media machine are down playing it. The Catholic Church is in trouble and when you get the HEAD to leave the thrown, you know that the kingdom is going to be shaken up.

This statement just might sound a bit stiff and again a little bias but the Pope’s visit is nothing new to New York. I can give you a listing of Important and Famous people where the entire city rolls out the red carpet. It is business as usually to shut down streets, redirect traffic, creating tee-shirts with someone’s face on it or have the entire city’s News agencies forget that there are other events going on at the same time. The Pope’s visit is just one more tourist attraction. Already the losers of the Theater Strike of 2007 are looking forward for making up their loss with the Pope’s visit. Amazingly enough, I don’t hear much about what Message of God that Pope Benedict XVI plans to bring. How is that for keeping the faith alive?

1 comment:

James Tubman said...

if a pope or catholic priest comes anywhere near my child they'll be a dead one