The French Libre Pensée sends Pope Benedict XVI its best wishes:HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr. VATICAN!
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No, this is not one of Marilyn Monroe’s slips of the tongue! The Vatican “State” has now reached the canonical age of 80 years, last February 11. Its father (papa in Italian) is called Pius XI (a nickname that came from some murderous crusades) and its mother has the sweet name of Benito Mussolini, nicknamed “Duce” in the course of massacres of anti-fascists.
We deeply regret that such an anniversary was not the occasion of a great party or, more intellectually, some great international colloquium on the history of the Vatican, which would have been chaired by some honest historian such as Monsignor Richard Williamson, who was recently under the spotlights of the medias because of a very peculiar statement on the disappearance (one would not say a genocide) of six million Jews. Such a colloquium would have been more stylish and the populace would have been delighted.
In a short speech, the Pope pointed out: “The State of Vatican holds a great treasure of faith, history and art and preserves a precious heritage for all humankind”. On the other hand, our “highly specialized” research has not found yet the slightest record of any ratification of Human Rights, not even a small “lip service” for a condemnation of a fascist or corporatist regime. As for the ratification by the Vatican of a single Convention of the International Labor Organization protecting workers rights, we remain speechless, just like Pius XII.
Pope Benedict XVI, and this is quite understandable, has not spoken of the “little stories” of the Vatican which are also a precious heritage in a sense that they teach an incomparable lesson on the vileness, the lustfulness, the cruelty, the greed and the rapacity of a number of his predecessors.
The pope sent his greetings to “all those who have been in the past or are still today the protagonists of the life of the City of the Vatican”. We can feel love and excitement, which is quite natural when you bear in mind that the first “protagonist” was Benito Mussolini, the signatory of the Lateran Accords with representatives of Pope Pius XI. Those were the good old days!
That is true, as a teenager when you walk across the paving stones that mark the Vatican “border” on Saint Peter’s Square, you can be moved and amazed by this magic line which leads you into another world. When you are older, the artificial fact becomes obvious and you may think of a Roman Disneyland, although carefully built.
Indeed, the self-styled “state” of Vatican is simply Mussolini’s creation. Besides, there is no such thing as a Vatican nationality. There would be a lot more civil servants working in the Vatican than “Vatican citizens”. Moreover, this concept of “Vatican citizenship” was mainly used to help Nazis escape from Europe through the network of “ratlines” in 1945.
If we are to believe the latest ‘criteria of liberalism”, this would mean that the Vatican is the last Communist State! The number of civil servants as compared to the number of the population would be the sign of “collectivism”. Moreover, everything is State property in the Vatican!
This theocratic “principality” ruled by an absolute leader, with no political party, no free trade union, without any form (even the most elementary) of democracy, notably elected, was nonetheless perpetuated by the Italian government in 1984, through an agreement leading to some change in the 1929 Concordat. Besides, Silvio Berlusconi is using this very agreement in his clerical onslaught, now.
The National Federation of Libre Pensée would be pleased of this anniversary only if it were the last one. The Libre Pensée is continuing its fight against all obscurantism, for the freedom of the thought, for human dignity.
Alongside with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) we continue our struggle for the absolute and complete Separation of all the religions and all the States and for the end of theocratic “states”.
Paris, March 2, 2009