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Large spider upstages Catholic creepy-crawly on Czech television

POPE Ratzinger warned godless Czechs this weekend that societies exclude God at their peril.

History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions.

But it wasn’t his televised message that mesmerised millions, but a large spider that went directly for the pontiff neck. There´s a good video of the spider´s progress on the link.

The spider appeared on the pope’s white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon.

The Pope didn’t seem to notice at first — but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict’s neck.

It disappeared from view for a moment, but then could be seen crawling up the right side of the 82-year-old pontiff’s face.

When it reached his ear, Ratzi gave it a swat. But it didn’t go away — it reappeared on the pope’s left shoulder and scampered down his robe.

As the pope left the medieval Prague Castle’s ornate Spanish Hall, the spider could be seen hanging from a strand of web.

According to this report, the 82-year-old pontiff was making the three-day visit as Czechs prepare to mark 20 years since their 1989 Velvet Revolution shook off an atheistic communist regime that ruthlessly persecuted the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope warned that technical progress was not enough to “guarantee the moral welfare of society.”

Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions, but more profoundly, he must be saved from the evils that afflict the spirit.

Ratzinger is using the trip to recall communist-era religious repression and urge Czechs to reconsider a faith many have abandoned.

The Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries in Europe. In 1991, 4.5 million of the country’s 10 million people said they belonged to a church, but a 2001 census showed that number had plunged to 3.3 million. Recent surveys suggest the number of believers remains low; about one in two respondents to a poll conducted by the agency STEM said they don’t believe in God.

NOTE: I am on a fortnight´s break in Spain, and will be updating the site from the Costa Blanca. Until I get a proper mobile internet connection, postings may be without illustrations.

23 Responses to “Large spider upstages Catholic creepy-crawly on Czech television”

  1. uzza says:

    I watched the video, all I could think of was the farmer from Men in Black.

  2. Buffy says:

    Such a pity the spider was so small. ;-)

    Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions,

    Says he who is draped in expensive finery and likely wearing his trademark Prada shoes while he lives in a place that, if sold, could feed millions for a year.

  3. Har Davids says:

    It's just great to hear from this man's mouth that we should liberate ourselves of material oppressions and be saved from spiritual evils. Still doesn't rime with the massive abuse cover-up he's been involved in for many years.

  4. valdemar says:

    Incy Wincy Atheist
    Climbed up the Pontiff's neck
    Distracting all the journos
    From an old Kraut talking dreck.

    With apologies to Keats…

  5. barriejohn says:

    No, Har Davids. The really imortant thing to these idiots is "the evils that afflict the spirit"!

  6. barriejohn says:

    I've been working on some new anagrams of the Pope's name, and have so far come up with "Lying, devious, bigoted bastard". Anyone got any better ones?

  7. barriejohn says:

    BTW Hope you're enjoying your holiday, Barry. I'm out here at Montego Bay on my own, unfortunately, as no one else was interested, but I can definitely confirm that all those reports are true!!

  8. Stoneyground says:

    "History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions" . Not only untrue but the precise opposite of true. He accuses others of descending to absurdities while his followers queue up to worship a box with a dead nun's leg and foot in it.

    To be fair, I think that being "liberated from material oppressions" refers to the ability of modern science to free us from material poverty which he grudgingly acknowledges to be a good thing. But then when he moves on to the "evils that afflict the spirit", well this is basically another way of saying misery but since his Church is rather more adept at causing misery than relieving it I think we can safely ignore anything he says about that.

  9. Rubberduck says:

    A biologist once informed me, that the spider is actually man’s best friend as it makes short process of a great number of very small pests and critters that otherwise could cause discomfort or even diseases among humans.
    Unfortunately this spider was much too small and alone to rid the world of the infamous pest from the vatican.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Out came the Christians
    All in a rage:
    Saying, "Don't you know
    Our Pontiff is a sage!"

  11. barriejohn says:

    Weasel Words, Stoneyground! Funny that, given his strange facial appearance, and most appropriate name!!

  12. "Ratzinger is using the trip to recall communist-era religious repression and urge Czechs to reconsider a faith many have abandoned."
    Well the communists did get something right, it seems….. And yet in true Church fashion, I bet there is a movement to use those same type of actions for the Church again…. Of course it is easy to point out flaws in idiocy that has no grounding in fact easier than it is to make the magic man in the sky argument make sense…..

  13. barry_duke says:

    Glad to hear that BJ. I have today set up my moblile internet connection which means I don't have to go trolling for wi-fi cafes (or weeeee-feeees as the Spanish call it. So now I can update the blog in the comfort of my base. Unfortunately, my base has sprung a leak – two days of torrential rain has started finding its way through the roof. No spiders, so far, tho …. or popes.

  14. barriejohn says:

    That very funny meteorologist, Simon Parkin, who creases us up here at Barriejohn Towers, was talking about spiders on Meridian tonight, strangely enough. He wondered whether an unfounded fear of anoraks would be called "anoraknophobia"! (Yes – I'm just going for a lie down again!)

  15. barriejohn says:

    Maybe Herr Ratswinger has been bitten by spiders in the past. The venom of Tarantulas is supposed to cause mania!

  16. valdemar says:

    From the look of him, he was bitten by a vampire bat, but his antics in daylight suggest it didn't 'take'. Or not completely, anyway.

  17. Richard T says:

    Having seen the credulous and superstitious kiss the plastic box containing the bones of some poor Frenchwoman which are being touted round the country, I suppose that with the forthcoming visit of an elderly German, currently resident in Italy, they must think they're in paradise. I will forebear from asking whether there's any part of his anatomy they wish to embrace. I just hope that in these straitened times, no public money is going to be wasted on this farrago of nonsense and idolatry.

  18. Robert Stovold says:

    "Pope Ratzinger" = "Zipper Negator", "Groin Peep Tzar", "Get proper Nazi" and "I graze pet porn".

  19. DalM says:

    Please let's not forget that the Czech have a _long_ tradition of atheism and considering religion something not to be done in public. The atheism of the Czech has not much to do with 40 years of communist "atheism" (communism resembles faith much more than skepticism or atheism).

  20. barriejohn says:

    Of course it is, Richard T: it's an official Sate Visit this time, apparently dreamed up by Gorrrdon Brrrown, and fully endorsed by our PM-in-waiting, Lord Snooty (see Private Eye)!