Did “Raiders of the Lost Ark” teach you nothing?! DON’T LOOK AT IT!

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.

* facepalm *

On the subject of the virgin mary, it’s reported that The Vatican has overhauled its list of mortal sins. Amongst the new sins are Paedophilia[1] and “The excessive accumulation of wealth by a few”[2].

* facepalm *

Sometimes The Onion just looks like another newspaper, you know?

[1] The John Jay Report found accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA (or around one in every twenty-five priests).

[2] It’s estimated that the Vatican has real estate, sharemarket and other investments worth $10,000,000,000 to $15,000,000,000. It pays no taxes.


  1. Maybe I’ve been thinking about this religion thing all wrong, maybe if I thought of it as it actually is rather than what it purports to be, it would seem much more appealing, see if I think of it as a tax free, sex filled money laden gravy train with free slaves free toys and a slick back hairdo, then it doesn’t seem all that bad, provided I’m in charge of course.

    I mean if Brian Tamaki can do it, surely any greasy haired shiny faced egomaniac can.

  2. Accusations != crime. And I guess that explicitly listing something as a sin is a positive move against a problem when one’s in the sin business.

    By those estimates, the Vatican is rather less wealthy than a fair number of individuals, and it’s a fairly large and ancient organisation.

    • Well yes.. but “I’m less obscenely wealthy than that guy over there” is probably about as good as an excuse as “I have killed way less people than that guy over there” when talking about “sins”. 😛

      The most enduring image I have of Catholicism and it’s “we care about the poor” lip service is going to France and wandering round some of the cathedrals there… looking at the “poor donation box” by the door with about 20 euro in it and then looking up at the roof with the helpful plaque that informs me the roof is encrusted with gold that is worth about $100,000 on the current market. Oh and the fresco that the church paid a local artist 20,000 euro for.

      mmmmm food for the poor? Waste of time!

    • I wonder if there is another global organisation as old as the Holy See, do you know of any? I mean to be fair, the Vatican got Michaelangelo’s services at the market rate, it just had the tenacity to hold onto them for the assets to appreciate 🙂

      • cool. So now it’s worth lots and lots… so sell it and give the money to the poor. Amassing wealth at the expense of those in need is a sin right?

        Does the pope _need_ a silver plated staff that is representative of a stick? I imagine an actual stick would do just as well…


        Do the communion bowls and chalices need to be gold and jewels?

        Does the cathedral up the road from me _really_ need to spend $5 million on a new visitors center when there are usually about 5-6 homeless people sleeping on it’s lawns?

        I dunno, you tell me?

        I think I would have a _lot_ more patience for _any_ religions preaching if more of them had that whole “practising” thing going on.

        • From the document of the International Meeting for the Pastoral Care of the Homeless held Nov. 26-27 2007:

          23. Unused church resources (buildings) could be placed at the disposal of the development of affordable housing or shelter. Dioceses/Eparchies might consider developing a housing project for the homeless as a concrete sign of this first international meeting, if they have not already done so.


          And as a bit of trivia:

          “…Caritas Internationalis [one of the many Catholic Charities] …distributed 85,000 tons of food in 2006. ”


          • Well that’s a start then… now they just need to liquidate the rest of their silly assets (excluding those needed to administer and distribute said aid) as I would expect them to if they followed their doctrine.

  3. Yea.. when I read this I have to admit I nearly snorted coke out my nose at those two.

    I wanted to write a longer comment than this… but really I don;t think there is anything I can say that isn’t self evident.. other than the fact that I am counting down the seconds till Tess’s first defensive comment. (hint, you can’t defend this)


  4. “It pays no taxes.”

    Given that the Vatican is a country, of course it doesn’t pay taxes. That’s like asking Morocco or Brazil to pay taxes.

    • The Vaitcan is a Country yes, is that even vaguely fair ie. is it country sized No, does it have enough citzens to be a real country No, is it similar to any other “Country” No, it’s a country as a tax dodge if ever there was one.

      • Don’t forget other tiny countries, Alderney is an island that’s fully self-governed in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Andorra has a population of 76,875. And Liechtenstein is tiny too, and that’s only a selection of minute states.

        The Papal States used to be much, much larger.

  5. What I like about this is that it appears, once you’re pope, you can just make shit up. “Oh, here’s some more stuff God forgot to mention…”

    • ex-cathedra for the win.

      “Yea.. that whole limbo thing? *snaps fingers* gone!”

      It’s good to be the king.

      • 1. Limbo has never been a dogma.

        This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium

        2. The latest Church documents about Limbo were made by the International Theological Commission which is an advisory body only, and not the Pope at all.


        Ranging from the simple factual errors to your wider assumptions, you just don’t sound rational about religion.

        • You know what… forget it all. This conversation can serve no useful purpose.

        • I know this.. and if I were to be factual and fair about it.. I would point out that ex-cathedra (or papal infallibility as it is also known) has actually only ever been used once in 1950 when Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. (lets not get into the weirdness of someone being able to suddenly declare that something happened and is part of the religion some 1950 years after the fact)

          I’m not stupid.. I grew up catholic.. actually I would go so far to guess that I’ve spent more of my life catholic than you have so far. 😉 (converts, pfft)

          But to be honest it’s _much more fun to make wide generalisations and watch you go berko over it.

          Christian Baiting, it’s not just a hobby, it’s a career!