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Sick! Vatican makes capital out of man covered in boils; shows Pope kissing victim of a rare disease

THE POPE  “drew attention” this week when, at the end of his November 6 general audience in St Peter’s Square, he warmly embracing a man who suffers from a rare disease causing neuronal tumours all over his body.

Photo credit: ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI.

Photo credit: ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI.

According to the Catholic News Agency, the man was identified as suffering from neurofibromatosis, which causes great pain and can result in impaired vision, learning impairnment, and even cancer, according to non-profit research group Mayo Clinic. Treatment of the condition is very complicated.

People with this disease – which is genetic and not contagious – often face discrimination because of their appearance.

As he carried out his typical greeting of pilgrims at the conclusion of the general audience, Pope Francis paused for several minutes to receive the afflicted man in his arms.

Moments later, he took the man’s face in his hands, kissed him, and gave him a blessing. (More pics here).

Said the CNA:

The gesture is the latest in a series of actions by the Holy Father that have drawn attention for their warmth and affection towards the marginalized in society. Previously, the Pope made headlines by visiting imprisoned youth, responding to letters with personal phone calls, and inviting the local homeless to dine at St Peter’s Square.

We now wait with bated breathe to see whether the papal kiss with deliver a cure. If it does, I’llc lose down this blog, fall to my knees and beg forgiveness for the 54 years that I’ve attacked religion.

 

27 Responses to “Sick! Vatican makes capital out of man covered in boils; shows Pope kissing victim of a rare disease”

  1. […] Barry Duke THE POPE “drew attention” this week when, at the end of his November 6 general […]

  2. Angela_K says:

    Can’t help thinking this is some PR stunt to give the false impression the Catholic Church is now nice and fluffy – doubt the Pope would kiss the man if he was Gay though.

    I feel sorry for the Man with the physical illness but feel nothing but contempt for the man with the religious illness.

  3. Broga says:

    Maybe Frankie was expecting an immediate cure: a miracle. If anyone could pull this off he is the man. Isn’t there some candidates for sainthood awaiting miracles and he could pray to them?

  4. Chuck Longstreth says:

    Presumably the Pope’s god gave that disease to that man.
    Maybe the Pope should switch gods.

  5. ZombieHunter says:

    If by embracing this man pope Frankie had cured this man maybe I’d be sold on the whole catholic thing but he didn’t so I’m not

  6. AgentCormac says:

    @ Angela_K

    Not only, as you say, a PR stunt that gives a false impression the catholic church is now ‘nice and fluffy’, but also a sick PR stunt which gives the false impression that Frankie can somehow, by his ‘blessing’, change things – that he can somehow make the situation better. What he has done is give this poor, poor man hope. Of all the things I find utterly reprehensible about the xtian faith, hope is the one that really makes my blood boil. They lie through their hind teeth about heaven, about being reunited with loved ones and about a life everlasting in paradise. At the very heart of the xtian faith is the lie that there is hope, delivered relentlessly to people who have no hope. All in exchange for their unquestioning obedience. And, of course, their money.

    Evil bastards. To a man.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee.” – Exodus 15:26

    If anyone has wondered why I refer to God as an invisible monster that lives in the sky, here’s part of the reason. ‘Obey me (even if you cannot, or don’t know how) and I won’t make you sick.’ This is the morality of magic monsters. If God existed it would be necessary to oppose Him. Since He does not, we must oppose His advocates.

    Note, however, that secular science offers some relief to this man. The smallest donation from the Vatican’s holdings would effect a true change in his life. Instead, here’s a little kiss and now get lost.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    @ Trevor Blake

    ‘Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?’

    Epicurus (c. 341 – c. 270 BC)

  9. L.Long says:

    This one – Exodus 15:26 – and the sermon on the mount are two of my favorite GAWD LIES!!!!

    Better still Angela….
    Gay is a sickness that can be cured…I know this is true cuz jesus told me so. So if the pope franky can cure this poor guy, then we should get ALL the gays to line up at the Vacant and have the pope kiss them all on the lips. We will either have all the gays cured or a gay pope cuz ya know–GAY POWER!!!!

  10. The Return says:

    Tawdry beyond belief. Vomit inducing exploitation of a hopeless case by an exploitative, grasping, power hungry, disingenuous criminal organisation. The rcc is brass necked and shameless. Why can the credulous not see through the veil of deception. Is the false promise of life eternal so convincing?

  11. Barry Duke says:

    I actually agonised over posting this report.

    One (very small) part of me admired Frankie for this display, but then I harked back to the shameless exploitation of the afflicted in far less enlightened times for public entertainment (remember the Elephant Man?) and I decided that this was a self-serving, cynical and disgusting piece of street theatre.

    My resolve to post it was strengthened by the fact that the cruelty of the Catholic Church has once again been exposed this week by news of the release of a movie based on a book entitled The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. (I am currently working on a feature article about this story).

    The Catholic Church is incandescent with rage that yet another movie has been made that exposes what fucking cruelty their dogma has unleashed on the world. There’s no display of compassion or humanity in the treatment Philomena Lee endured at the hands of the Catholics.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/19/catholic-church-sold-child

    Thanks to BarrieJohn for pointing me in the direction of this link.

  12. remigius says:

    There’s no display of compassion or humanity in the treatment Philomena Lee endured at the hands of the Catholics.

    And yet she still blames herself. When will these cunts learn to take responsibility for their actions?

  13. Robster says:

    Pope Frank is sure coming across as a warm and fluffy pope. It’s a giggle though whenever he pops up with something less hateful than the usual RCC dogma that one of his underlings then pops out to undo whatever it was that Frank uttered. I’m sure the Vatican has a department set up now to keep a close eye on Frank and prepare responses to his unexpected and unwanted niceness.

  14. remigius says:

    Now in her 70s, and five years after visiting her son’s grave for the first time, Philomena is remarkably devoid of bitterness. She has started to go to mass again. But she blames herself for everything, for giving her son away and for not speaking out about him earlier, when things could have been different: “If only, if only. I curse myself every time I think of it. If only I’d mentioned it all those years ago, maybe he wouldn’t … Oh Lord, it makes my heart ache! I’m sure there are lots of women to this very day – they’re the same as me; they haven’t said anything.

    “It is the biggest regret of my life and I have to bear that. It is my own fault and now it is my woe.”

    My heart goes out to this poor woman.

  15. charlie says:

    There is no low to which the RCC will not stoop. Same goes for just about any of the organized religions. They all prey on the poor and the sick, the disabled, the downtrodden. It’s where they get the bulk of their money from. The poor don’t give much, but damn, there are so many of them, why a few dollars here and there, they do add up after a time.
    Yes, they have done, and will continue to stoop to the lowest of lows, it is what they do after all. It is because their minds and what passes in them for hearts, have always been in the sewers.
    Religion is the worst thing we humans have ever invented.

  16. remigius says:

    Religion is the worst thing we humans have ever invented.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmvSCYb9uuk

  17. We are aliens says:

    At least we should be uber grateful for not suffering the same fate as this sick man did or made to kiss a severely deformed human being because we were bunch of lucky creatures, with healthy body, healthy well-being and because we are a race of healthy human beings who were unlucky to have lived in this imperfect world.If being prejudicial is all what meant for us freeing our minds then it is obvious, we are an unhappy bunch of fools trying to make our ends meet.Have you guys considered taking that one way trip to Mars yet?

  18. barriejohn says:

    Barry: My problem too. My initial reaction upon seeing this photo was that it was heartwarming to see a man who is ostracized by much of the community, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, being so publicly accepted by a figure like the Pope, but there’s much more going on here. What is this “blessing” that the Pope confers upon him, and where does it come from? Who conferred such powers upon a mere mortal? And what false hope might the poor man now have as a result of this action? I was similarly cynical over some of Princess Diana’s activities, and I must confess that I still don’t know what to make of the woman. Incidentally, I see that there is a furore this morning over Prince Charles’s visit to an Indian slum where rubbish was covered up and the streets sprayed with disinfectamt, and where he was presented with a 65th birthdsy cake by the children! Plus ca change…

  19. ExPatriot says:

    I feel very bad for the poor fellow suffering from such a horrible condition but as far as the pope and the rcc goes it is just anothe pr spin to make them look almost human

  20. Brian Jordan says:

    I wasn’t going to bother with this thread, until I saw the NSS had bracketed it with this absolutely nauseating sycophancy from Jonathan Jones in the Grauniad:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/08/pope-francis-kisses-disfigured-man
    Never mind Frankie for Pope, this is Frankie the Messiah stuff.

  21. AgentCormac says:

    Over at the ludicrous Protect the Poop website they are up in arms over Steve Coogan’s movie about Philomena. As ever the shrill little voices of persecuted catholics (who all seemingly think that Frankie is a dangerous liberal) will have nothing said against their wonderful church which in their eyes can do no wrong and is the embodiment of love and compassion.
    http://protectthepope.com

  22. JohnMWhite says:

    @We are aliens:
    At least we should be uber grateful for not suffering the same fate as this sick man did or made to kiss a severely deformed human being because we were bunch of lucky creatures, with healthy body, healthy well-being and because we are a race of healthy human beings

    Um, speak for yourself. You know not every human being is healthy, right? And ‘being made to kiss a severely deformed human being’? You think it’s some sort of horrendous fate to kiss someone unattractive? That’s a bit… prejudicial, frankly.

  23. Mark Baylor says:

    What does it say of us to demote a simple act of kindness to such levels? Even if he had said his blessing would help cure it, at least THIS Pope is making the church acknowledge that ALL people are human and should be treated as such.

    As an anti-theist, I have nothing but contempt for religion and it’s falsehoods. That being said, I can tell the difference between PR and a trend of basic humanism.

    All this Pope has done since he took office was to impress upon his church that people are people…something Atheists often say churches fail to do. Now that one does, and one that can influence the acts of millions of others, “we” attack his acts at every turn?

  24. JohnMWhite says:

    @Mark Baylor:

    While I agree with the sentiment that it is important to recognise kind-hearted gestures and statements, your point that ‘all this pope has done since he took office was to impress upon his church that people are people’ is part of the problem. His church has been responsible for a great number of enormous crimes at the individual and systemic level, and he hasn’t really done anything to hold anyone to account for them or to make amends for them. I think it’s a bit churlish to lampoon his embrace of an ill man because it didn’t result in a magic cure, but the sentiment there is perfectly understandable. The righteous anger that remains steadfastly pointed at the church isn’t going to melt away because the new head of the world’s largest paedophile ring isn’t a Nazi.

  25. barriejohn says:

    I think it was incredibly brave, magnanimous and compassionate of the neurofibromatosis vicitm to publicly embrace a man so loathed, hated and reviled by decent people the world over.

  26. Robster says:

    That busy old pope should have packed a pin for use on the sick fellow. Had he done that, he’d be forever known as the pop.