Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A Papal Irony


Before he "ascended" to the papacy the inappropriately named Pope Innocent III authored De miseria humanae conditionis (On the Misery of the Human Condition), a well regarded tract on the unavoidable suffering of life. Nevertheless, such insight into the human condition did not prevent Innocent from unleasing a genocidal crusade against the Cathars, a peaceful Christian sect who advocated non-procreation and a peaceful transition to Nothingness. Instead, they were exterminated into oblivion by the "Faithful".

12/7/13 Courtesy of Dima, here are some extracts from Innocent's tract:



• For sure man was formed out of earth, conceived in guilt, born to punishment. What he does is depraved and illicit, is shameful and improper, vain and unprofitable. He will become fuel for the eternal fires food for worms, a mass of rottenness.
I shall try to make my explanation clearer and my treatment fuller. Man was formed of dust, slime, and ashes; what is even more vile, of the filthiest seed. He was conceived from the itch of the flesh, in the heat of passion and the stench of lust, and worse yet, with the stain of sin. He was born to toil, dread, and trouble; and more wretched still, was born only to die. He commits depraved acts by which he offends God, his neighbor, and himself, shameful acts by which he defiles his name, his person, and his conscience; and vain acts by which he ignores all things important, useful, and necessary. He will become fuel for those fires which are forever hot and burn forever bright; food for the worm which forever nibbles and digests; a mass of rottenness which will forever stink and reek.
• A bird is born to fly; man is born to toil. All his days are full of toil and hardship, and at night his mind has no rest. How much anxiety tortures mortals! They suffer all kinds of cares, are burdened with worry, tremble and shrink with fears and terrors, are weighted down with sorrow. Their nervousness makes them depressed, and their depression makes them nervous. Rich or poor, master or slave, married or single, good and bad alike—all suffer worldly torments and are tormented by worldly vexations.

• For sudden sorrow always follows worldly joy: what begins in gaiety ends in grief. Worldly happiness in besprinkled in deed with much bitterness.

•Then, suddenly, when least expected, misfortune strikes, a calamity befalls us, disease attacks or death, which no one can escape, carries us off.

• Men strive especially for three things: riches, pleasures, and honors. Riches lead to immorality, pleasures to shame, and honors to vanity.

• But suppose a man is lifted up high, suppose he is raised to the very peak. At once his cares grow heavy, his worries mount up, he eats less and cannot sleep. And so nature is corrupted, his spirit weakened, his sleep disturbed, his appetite lost; his strength is diminished, he loses weight. Exhausting himself, he scarcely lives half a lifetime and ends his wretched days with a more wretched death.

• Almost the whole life of mortals is full of mortal sin, so that one can scarcely find anyone who does not go astray, does not return to his own vomit and rot in his own dung. Instead they “are glad when they have done evil and rejoice in most wicked things.” “Being filled with all iniquity malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murders, contention, deceit, evil, being whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, irreverent, proud, haughty, plotters of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.” This world is full of such and worse; it abounds in heretics and schismatics [Christians who reject the authority of the pope], traitors and tyrants, simonists [buyers or sellers of spiritual offices or sacred items] and hypocrites; the ambitious and the covetous, robbers and brigands, violent men, extortionists, usurers, forgers; the impious and sacrilegious, the betrayers and liars, the flatterers and deceivers; gossips, tricksters, gluttons, drunkards; adulterers, incestuous men, deviates, and the dirty-minded; the lazy, the careless, the vain, the prodigal, the impetuous, the irascible, the impatient and inconstant; poisoners, fortune tellers, perjurers, cursers; men who are presumptuous and arrogant, unbelieving and desperate; and finally those ensnared in all vices together.
 
 

17 comments:

  1. A gem of a find,Karl.

    The Bible-which is read by billions of people says "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply" & yet Jesus never had kids or a wife.

    If only people would start to imitate Christ in this regard but if wishes were horses..

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    1. Thanks, Harsh. Jesus also advised his would-be followers to 'hate their parents and brothers and sisters'. I suspect he had the germs of AN in him:-)

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    2. The Bible is a book of blood from beginning to end. It is the primary book that turned me off from ever "being fruitful and multiplying." From descriptions of people being tossed in pits with lions, to being set on fire, to being sawn in two (sawn in two! can anyone imagine the agony?), to eternal hellfire... studying the bible strongly influenced my antinatalist position. I wonder would Mary have chosen antinatalism if she could have foreseen her son's gruesome future? I really believe antinatalism to be the "savior" we've all been waiting for, the only way to silence our screaming world

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    3. Amen to those wise words!

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  2. Several points come to mind here regarding the initial post and the two replies so far:

    Firstly, that a pope should resort to genocide is not in the surprising in the least. And a pope being called Innocent is a joke worthy of a really sick and deluded mindset. But then, we are talking about Catholicism!

    Secondly, the two replies so far as based upon what we are told of a certain individual who reputedly lived approximately 2000 years. The source of this so called 'truth' is a book of horror stories which should be banned in any rational society.

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    1. Thanks, Mr Graverol. As for the Bible, I'm not a big fan of public censorship (private blogs are different; hence no trolls), and whether Jesus lived or not, it's really about whether any discernible moral message can be extracted from his reputed life and sayings and whether than message is worth following or not.

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    2. This is true Karl, but I would rather have a moral lesson based upon factual history.

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    3. Well, you can judge the morality of Chrisitianity on its institutional history and so on, not necessarily on whether Jesus was real or not. Christianity is a fact of history etc.

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  3. Yes, that is also true unfortunately.

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  4. David Rickerby11 July 2013 at 09:26

    I don't think you can judge the morality of Christianity,but, only of individual Christians. Also, I'm not condeming a person for the failures in their faiths history, anymore than I would a citizen of modern day Germany,for the Holocaust. Also, the historical Jesus is pretty much accepted as real. Who he was is debatable, that he was seems to pretty much agreed on.

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    1. That's very true, David. I've met good Christians, bad ones and, by and large, indifferent ones. Even judging the Vatican as a whole seems a fraught business.

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  5. Catholicism helped create grand illusions in my mind that I'm probably still recovering from. But I don't blame the religion. I blame life. I only blame life. I never blame the person (at least I try not to). Even if I get frustrated with a person because they just don't get it, I try to remember that life is the force driving them and they're slaves to the whole system just like me--it's just that some people are better at stepping back and seeing the thing for what it really is.

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    1. That's very fair and magnanimous, Lindsey. I totally agree. Even the biggest jerk is in some sense a victim of life. As long as they don't tread on your toes, the only thing is to let people alone and hope to be left alone by them in return.

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  6. Catholicism doesn't very often act merely on its own account. Innocent III was encouraged by the King of France (a country which then did not include Aquitaine, Provence, Brittany, Dauphiné, Savoy, Alsace, Lorraine, etc.) and especially his knights (or warlords) because most of them (posing as Crusader Defenders of Christendom) had been unable to grab land in Palestine.

    So they turned to the vast area of what is now Southern France, extending from the Dordogne river to the Mediterranean. It was very convenient that the Cathar Heresy flourished here - though there were plenty of Catholics, too. Not to mention various sub-Catholic sects such as the Beghards (from whom we get the word 'beggar').

    Right up to the end of the 19th century, France was the chief influence on papal policy and even papal election.
    So we should be aware of the greater web of European and Mediterranean power-politics when we condemn popes. Very often they are just the instruments of Realpolitik.

    Ever your humble francophile, Karl!

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  7. Thanks, Anthony!

    For anyone interested in delving further into this period, I'd heartily recommend 'The Perfect Heresy' by Stephen O'Shea, a book aimed at the general reader I read a while back and well worth it.

    I suppose one good thing is that the Popes are now what they should have always been: spiritual leaders with no real political power commentating on the world, rather than being players themselves.

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  8. Harsh Tripathi14 July 2013 at 23:42

    1.30,000 people starve to death everyday.
    2.Around 800,000 to a million people die by suicide every year
    3.In 2010, the total number of homicides globally was 468,000.

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    1. Those are the numbers. THE numbers.

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