First of all, I am no luminary, I do not have the brain of Einstein. But I am more or less a hound, out to sniff the surroundings and hunting out bandicoots hiding in deep furrows.
If I were that very intelligent and a highly capable person, I would have become an Executive Director, if not a Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank. I have my limitations with all the common warts. I have reached my level of incompetence (Parkinson's Law). In daily life, I don’t wear even a shirt, and am used to dig pits to plant fruit trees in my small plot of land and till the earth.
I happen to have a questioning mind. I can’t help it. I don’t dispense sugar coated pills. I am not very particular wheter or not one Dennis Daniel reads my articles. Many times I had indicated to Dr. James Kottoor, of my intention to stop contributing to Church Citizens' Voice (CCV). His reply was: "throw hot water on people pretending to be asleep. Some one may care to stir up and open the eyes!" As a matter of routine, he sends my articles to all bishops of India: that is what he has told me.
Denis you may not have forgotten the earlier tangle you had with me in October 2018 and came out bruised. One Anthonysamy, Vicar General of Mylapore, took umbrage at my satire “The Forbidden Fruit Adam Ate —Result —the Original Sin." I dumped a ton of bricks on him: he never raised his head again. Another person, Joseph Mattam S. J., took exception to my conclusion that Augustine of Hippo is the originator of “Original Sin”. He called my observation "nonsense". He made a hasty retreat with his tail tucked between his legs when I quoted the chapter and verse of theologians who arrived at the same conclusion. He has requested me to spare him and till date I honour his request.
Dear Denis I take exception to your observation: “Only the filthiest of abuses hurled at Jesus, Mary and the saints, Popes and even criminal priests and bishops become too much for me.”
I have no pain reliever to dispense for you, Denis. I am no head shrink either. You can jolly well skip my article for for your own good and enjoy a good sleep.
NEVER EVER I used “filthiest” language against Jesus or Mary. I presented facts gathered by me. Of course I quoted from the book “The Jesus Dynasty" by Pro. James D. Tabor, high-profile biblical archaeologist and distinguished scholar and chair of the department of Religious Studies at the University of North California, at Charlotte U.S.A, that the biological father of Jesus of Nazareth could be Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, a Roman soldier stationed at Sepphoris, Roman garrison town and administrative headquarters of Galileeon duty around the time of Jesus’ birth. Mary lived very near to Sepphoris in the hamlet of Nazareth. Professor Tabor has unearthed other archeological evidences to support the theory that Mary could have been raped by Pantera and impregnated her. Why the bible studiously avoids the very mention of Sepphoris, Dennis? Is this not an attempt of deliberate cover-up?
The real human person called Jesus is hidden somewhere among the kitsch and verbiage of Christian literature. For me, he is no Son of God and God himself, but all the same a great human being. I am no way responsible for the horrible crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans, at the behest of Sadducee priesthood. This inhuman punishment used to be given to slaves, rebels against the Empire and persons with kingly ambition independent of Rome. On an average,2000 hanging from poles and trees on the waysides were meted out ruthlessly and routinely as casually as swatting irritating common flies. The hanged bodies were left to rot and eaten by carrion birds to create fear.
What my ancestors or myself living in another time and place have to do with this horrible human tragedy. Denis? If you have any pang of guilt, it is your funeral and not mine. I am an Indian by birth probably carrying Dravidian genes and not any way a descendant of Jesus' killers of Semitic stock. However horrible the crucifixion of Jesus would have been, I don’t carry any vicarious responsibility for the dastardly act. I don’t believe that Jesus died to redeem me from Original Sin or any other sin.
What is your concept of God Denis? Is he your senile great great grand father or the cantankerous old man next door? G. K. Chesterton says: even if you reverse the spelling of God, the entity would be the same. In an African community god is called ‘‘Amma”. Can you and I abuse and irritate God? I don’t think. At any rate I don’t attribute human qualities to god. If you are referring to the god of the Israel, his ancestor is the Canaanite god “El”. The name IsraEL has EL in it? In my view if it all god exists, he or she or IT is beyond human emotions. Can any of us placate IT with words of praise or bribe IT by material things and above all by offer of money. Use the grey cells under your skull man! It is a request. I hold on to the Eisenstein proposition that the universe, including you and me, is a manifestation of energy and energy is neither created nor destroyed but take on different forms. You may subscribe to the idea or throw it into the dustbin, it's your choice.
Which Mary you are talking about Denis? Is it Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus used to “kiss in the mouth" according to the Gospel of Philip? If you are talking about the Jewish mother of Jesus, Mary, is she your great great grand mother Denis? Do you believe the utter crap that the Holy Spirit impregnated her in an asexual manner and that even after giving birth to Jesus, his brothers and sisters, out of sexual intercourse with her second husband, Clophas still retained her hymen (Maidenhead)? What does it matter to you and me if she is not a perpetual Virgin? If Joseph was not worried about her being with a child when he married her, why are you raising hell when someone points out terminological inexactitudes?
The sample of your Catholic saints: Helena, common bar girl, who enticed Constantine’s common soldier father, stationed in England, by exposing a woman’s commonware: the “Universal Leather Currency”; Emperor Theodosius I the Butcher from Spain. Some of the latest saints : Josemaria Escrivade Balaguer, founder of the clock and dagger Opus Dei, a notorious character, who was elevated to the status of a saint double-quick by Pope II; the “actor turned zealot, John Paul II (Morris West) was made in a frantic hurry lest his affair and close liaison with a married Polish lady come out in the open. Has he not broken the Commandment “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife “and Ipso facto all The Ten Commandments? He may be rotting in the Christian Hell!
“The Holiest of the Holy Pope” for you could be Pope Alexander VI, the Borgia, who committed his first murder when he was in his early teens, a rank womaniser and abject specimen of corruption and other criminal activities, who caused the painting of the Madonna after one of his mistresses. He had at least seven mistresses and fathered at least nine illegitimate children while in office. He is notorious for holding the the orgy “the banquet of chestnuts” in Vatican. Another was a former “swine-herd “. Will you care to read the book “Saints and Sinners “ by Eamon Duffy or refer to the more authentic Oxford Dictionary of Popes?
Some of the notorious “Holy Popes" :
Stephen VI (896 -97): Began his brief tenure with a grisly spectacle — he got the rotting body of his predecessor Pope Formosus dug up and put on trial for blasphemy “the Cadaver Trial”. Stephen was strangled to death by his own cronies.
Sergius III (904 – 911): He became pope when nobody else wanted the post because of the violence and disorder in central Italy among the aristocracy. Sergius was responsible for the murder of two of his immediate predecessors: Leo V and Christopher. He was alleged to have fathered an illegitimate son with his mistress Marozia. His pontificate has been variously described as “dismal and disgraceful” . He was also accused of favouritism to his family. He made a mess of everything in Vatican.
John XII (955-64): Made a pope at the age of 18 due to political compulsions. He murdered many; turned Vatican into a brothel worst adulterer; stabbed to death by an irate husband who found him having sex with his wife in the hallowed Vatican? He must have been killed before achieving orgasam!
Boniface VII (1294 –1303): With his “my way or highway” approach to papacy he had a knack of starting fights. He was a vicious character. He was held for three days and beaten badly and died as a consequence on 11 October 1303.
Urban VI (1378 – 1389): Caused the split in the Church, notorious for “Game ofThrones”. He called for brutal killings of cardinals who stood against him.
Benedict IX (1032 –44; April–May 1945; 1047–48): His first spell as Pope ended with him fleeing Rome after a citizens' rebellion erupted over his violent behaviour. On his comeback in April 1945, he sold the papacy to his godfather who became Pope Gregory VI. He returned to Rome and reclaimed the throne; the German army finally chased him out in 1048.
Leo X (1513 – 21): He hailed from Medici family, a spendthrift; amassed money by “sale of indulgences, one of the causes of Lutheran revolt.
Popes who had illegitimate children before holy orders:
Pious II (1458 –1464)- at least two children – Never married
Innocent VII (1404-1406) – two children – Never married
Clement VII (1523–1534) – With a slave girl, one child
Relationships with women:
Paul III (1534 – 1549). Mistress Silva Ruffini – Three sons and one daughter.
Gregory XIII (1572 –1585) – Affair with Magdalena Fulchini – one son
Leo XII (1823–1829) Not married, liaison with the wife of a Swiss Guard–Allegedly fathered three illegitimate children.
John X (914–928): Affairs with Theodora and Marozia.
Relationship with men
Paul II (1464–1471) Alleged affair with a page.
Sixtus IV (1471–1484) According to Stefani Infessura, Sixtus was a “lover of boys and sodomites”– Awarded benefices and bishoprics to his sexual partners, nominated homosexual partner young menas cardinals; some of them had exceptional good looks.
Dennis you can pick up the “Holiest of the Holy Pope” the list above. I have listed only a representative sample. Hence your task is easy. Good luck.
The only pope I admire is John XIII, one of the many children of an Italian socialist peasant.
Grow up Denis, from the kindergarten stage. Never dare to meddle with me. I will chase you till you jump into Dante’s “Inferno” and perish. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven“ the clarion call in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, is my motto.
What should be the name to be given to Robin Vadakkanchery who impregnated a minor girl and is now cooling his heels in some jail in Kerala; St. Robin? Interceder for impotent men? I heard that some of his crony bishops had been pissing in their trousers out of fear of being caught along with the “seducer of minors”?
Do you think Franco Mulakkal, who had reportedly compelled a hapless nun to give him oral sex, is a paragon of virtue to be addressed: His Excellency and Your Eminence? I would prefer to call a rogue a ROGUE. I won’t kiss his handor his ass, come what may? “Fr.”stands for another word‘F..k..r”. You have your choice.
I have only one father, the late P. V. Mathew; if I call any man on street “father “ it would tantamount to casting aspersions on my late mother called Mary.
As a matter of fact, I have in my possession books on Christianity, philosophy etc worth least Rupees one lakh which I intend to donate to some Catholic Church run seminary to educate seminarians.
One book I treasure is “Eastern Religions And Western Thought" by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan containing his Cambridge lectures, 1936-38. This book was awarded to me on 05-01-1964 as first prize for English essay writing by Kerala Catholic Union, Bombay. Incidentally I was awarded first prize for elocution for my worst performance. It was the Malayalam translation of Nehru’s “ Discovery of India “ — some one borrowed it for reading, never returned. I had started winning prizes for elocution and extempore speech from the primary class – 4. Not any big deal to boast of, but hitting the iron when it is red hot.
Some of the books I would recommend for your reading, if you choose: I have read all of them and more.
1. Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven and Putting Away Childish Things — Uta Ranke- Heinmann, the first female Catholic theologian in Germany who taught in Essen University,Germany
2. My Struggle for Freedom — Hans Kung, Emirates Professor of Ecumenical Theology at the University of Tubing-in and President of Global Ethic Foundation famous Catholic theologian in the university Pope Benedict XVI (Ratzinger) was junior to Kung in the faculty.
3. Roots of Christianity- Michel Wash ex-Jesuit priest and Catholic writer; author of “The Conclave”
4. Marian Conspiracy – Graham Phillips.
5. The Magdalene Legacy – Elaine Pagels
6. Absolute Truth – Edward Stourten
7. Religion of Jesus, the Jew; Jesus the Marginal Jew; The Changing Faces of jesus – All by Gera Vernes, Emeritus Professor Oxford.
8. Primal Myths – Barbara Sprout
9. God’s Politician – John Paul II – David Tully
10.The Unauthorised Version (of Bible) –Robin Lane Fox
11. History of Religious Ideas – Mircea Elide
12. Letter to Christian Nation – Sam Harris.
13. The End of Faith – Sam Harris
14. Brief History of Christianity –Bamber Gascoigne
15. Why we believe in god(s)
16. A Study of History (Abridged Version ( Arnold .J. Toynbee
17. The Gospel of Thomas
18. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
19. The gnostic Gospels.
20. The story of Philosophy- Will Durand
21. The Secrets of Vatican – Cyrus Shahrad.
I will be obliged if you desist from further comments on what I write. You may lump it or leave it for all I care.