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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Pope Benedict announces resignation. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Pope Benedict announces resignation.
Derrell
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Pope Benedict has announced he will resign effective the 28th of this month. The last time a pope resigned was in 1415. link
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MrSquicky
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Yeah, I'll say it. I'm highly doubtful that he's actually retiring due to age concerns. I expect that someone has some pretty good dirt on him and is forcing him out.
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JanitorBlade
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What makes you say that?
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BlackBlade
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Inquiring minds wish to know!

(Sorry about double posting, I don't like using JB's account for general banter.)

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Lyrhawn
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A combination of the extremity of a papal resignation, the scandals of the last half century in the church, and the fact that he's always had some troubling pieces of personal history.

It's not a ridiculous conclusion to come to.

On the other hand, many have noted his rapidly deteriorating health in recent years.

Honestly it wouldn't surprise me either way.

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scholarette
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I suspect the same as mrSquicky. I recall some accusations in the past that he was involved in sexual abuse coverups and figured that some more evidence or a greater role in that was discovered.
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MrSquicky
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Because Pope's don't retire. Especially not based on age. The Pope isn't sick and while he has been in decline, he really doesn't look that frail (although this may be misleading). He has, however, been very close to (and most likely involved in) some pretty bad stuff.

Also, this announcement has come as a shock to the Vatican itself. This isn't something that they have planned for or even seem to have known about.

If I had to guess, I'd say someone most likely has evidence that he was directly involved in covering up the sexual abuse that happened while he was Archbishop of Munich. We already know that they have lied about his role in at least one case. Here's an article describing them finding out about the lie.

---
edit: Also, there is his general attitude. Recall that this is the person who authored the policy of threatening to excommunicate priests who reported sexual abuse to the legal authorities.

[ February 11, 2013, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Rakeesh
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I think that given what's happened in terms of scandals and coverups, and how deep Ratzinger was (is) in them, it wouldn't be unreasonable to wonder if they were a serious consideration in *anything* he did.

But a twice-in-a-millenia papal retirement? Yeah, wondering about scandal is far from unreasonbly suspicious or cynical. Frankly, though it is the opinion of an outsider, given how foully the Catholic Church has handled sexual abuse and coverups, I'm disappointed he won't be in office if/when another scandal with his name on it breaks.

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Lyrhawn
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Don't worry. I think the next entity likely to judge him will have phenomenally more power to enact a lasting punishment for whatever crimes he's committed.
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Hobbes
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I'd think a scandal is unlikely. As Squicky pointed out there's already plenty of bad press about him, including some specifically to do with the sex-abuse issues. And for it to be a scandal, it would have to be a scenario in which he'd find out about it before it was reported, and he thinks resigning before it breaks would in some way help. Which sounds like a pretty specific scenario to me. I find it more likely that he's trying to address the fact that, unlike the majority of the time the Catholic Church has been around, people are more likely to lose their mental and physical capacities but still live for years. i.e. We're at a period where a Pope not dying (and thus remaining Pope) but being incapable of fulfilling his duties is incredibly likely.

Hobbes [Smile]

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kmbboots
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It could be anything from actual health issues,* to scandal, to wanting to insure the that his successor would be a conservative pope who is younger and will be around for a while. This seems likely as the Vatican seems to be looking at non-European candidates but I honestly don't have enough information to know.

* It seems that he had some opinions on why a Pope would resign for health issues when he was a scholar.

[ February 11, 2013, 10:26 AM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Destineer
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Mel Gibson's dad was right!

http://www.thesuperficial.com/mel-gibsons-dad-the-popes-a-homosexual-08-2010

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dkw
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I'm with Hobbes. I suspect it's something like Alzheimers, where he knows he might live for a long time but be cognitively unable to function as pope.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
I'm with Hobbes. I suspect it's something like Alzheimers, where he knows he might live for a long time but be cognitively unable to function as pope.

That would be my guess as well.
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AchillesHeel
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Just how cognizant was John Paul II those last few years? What exactly does a pope really have to do that requires a strong mental capacity, y'know besides ignoring violent immorality.

ETA
And talking to god, because only the pope who is chosen by god can talk to god.

[ February 11, 2013, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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Samprimary
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First to retire in something like 600 years. I am sure it is totally for health reasons because I'm a totally gullible person.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
I'm with Hobbes. I suspect it's something like Alzheimers, where he knows he might live for a long time but be cognitively unable to function as pope.

That would be my guess as well.
The Vatican has said that he doesn't have a specific illness, though.
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777
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I'm a pretty gullible person. Hope he feels better!
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AchillesHeel
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Who knew the pope had so much in common with young Hollywood starlets? Maybe he can be pope again after he goes to a rehab clinic that specializes in "exhaustion."
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Rakeesh
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Does the upper leadership of the Catholic Church have a reputation for retiring or otherwise sidelining themselves when ability or behavior demonstrates them unfit for their position?

Are there recurring leaks and scandals that point to Ratzinger to have been more involved than he has claimed in misdeeds involving sex abuse?

Given the answers to both of these questions, it's tough for me to understand why people would default to the explanation in which the leadership is prudent and truthful.

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Samprimary
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The best part about this is that benedict has spent quite a while trying to move the vatican significantly more conservative, and if he gets his wish and a really conservative pope gets elected, the institution will continue its expedient decline as a moral authority.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
The best part about this is that benedict has spent quite a while trying to move the vatican significantly more conservative, and if he gets his wish and a really conservative pope gets elected, the institution will continue its expedient decline as a moral authority.

This is my concern.
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AchillesHeel
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... The catholic church had moral authority once? Tell me more history grandpa!
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Tittles
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He finally realized that Vader was serious about throwing him down the exhaust shaft, and decided to quietly step aside.
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Destineer
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Eligo Samp Rimary!
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Samprimary
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Ok grandchildren gather around. well once upon a time there was this really old worm-eaten institution which was still inexplicably powerful and they wore a lot of really silly looking clothes because they were downright fossilized in tradition. They claimed to be the ultimate moral authority on earth while simultaneously engaging in the concerted and intentional concealment of the endemic rapes of children within their organization by persons of high moral authority, and no i am not making that up. There was this one dude who was pretty high up in the wearing of silly hats hierarchy and he made a career out of attempting to conceal the most vile of abuses against children and he threatened people who would ever tell police who was raping children and said it could only be dealt with internally. Then they would deal with it internally by silencing the victims, telling the rapist that they were a very bad person, then sending them off to where they could rape more children. He did such a good job out of the career of shielding and enabling child rapists that eventually they rewarded him with the largest silliest hat of all. However he did not do a good job of actually concealing these crimes from the public (even though they really concertedly tried), and the results of all the extra rapes of children that were enabled by these people resulted in a scandal pouring out about the rape and torture of children. By this time the institution was so sclerotic that it was notorious mostly for issuing stunningly outdated and hopeless pronouncements against birth control, using condoms to prevent people in developing nations from dying of horrible diseases, accepting gays as part of society, or letting women be equals. In most of the modern parts of the world people were already pretty used to ignoring what the people in hats said, even if they said they were faithful adherents of the people in the hats. Like in the country where I lived, it was like one in twenty people who were faithful to the funny hat church who paid any attention to how they were absolutely strictly forbidden from using birth control, and stuff. Anyway the scandals got so widespread and really gnarly that entire countries, once firmly aligned with the funny hats as the ultimate moral authority on earth, started turning against them in complete castigation because it turns out that the places where they were allowed to act with the most impunity were where the most endemic abuses, sexual or otherwise, happened, usually to children. I mean, Ireland, man, let's talk about Ireland. No, let's not. Let's talk about chief silly hat, formerly chief i'll-kick-you-out-if-you-dare-tell-the-cops-anything, one day in the middle of the whole damn thing falling down and really being generally seen as a terrible person by most people, and who bore a comically expedient resemblance to the evil emperor in star wars, decided he was going to be the first person in 600 years to give up chief silly hat position by stepping down rather than just holding the position for life even well after one is too old and senile to stand, like the last chief silly hat before him. Most people were like "oh HEALTH reasons, sure, I totally believe you, pause, not" and it was about then I realized that the fossil silly hat church and its finger wagging at birth control and crap, while entertaining, was entering a terminal phase of unrecoverable decline, and that someday I would have all you grandchildren assembled before me, rambling on about how yes seriously this totally was a thing, yes, the world was quite a different place. And while we all certainly have our own fair share of problems, like the neurax plague and the robot overlords, I don't think I miss the international social prominence of the silly hat church.

Their cathedrals were really pretty, though.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
First to retire in something like 600 years. I am sure it is totally for health reasons because I'm a totally gullible person.

He was on record as a cardinal as questioning the tradition of popes staying in office when they can no longer fill the functions of the office. And he had asked for retirement more than once before becoming pope. He clearly stated, once he became pope, that he intended to step down if he was cognitively unable to function as pope.

Besides which, if there is a new or intensified scandal, in what way is his resignation going to protect either himself or the church?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
... The catholic church had moral authority once? Tell me more history grandpa!

Certainly parts of it did at different times and in different ways. The Vatican and the bishops are not the Church.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Besides which, if there is a new or intensified scandal, in what way is his resignation going to protect either himself or the church?
While either would be a very grim stain on the Church's reputation in the area of coverups or sexual abuse scandals (or both), wouldn't it be worse if the current Pope were implicated instead of a retired Pope?

I don't think anyone is claiming that if there is bad news brewing that motivated this retirement that such an action would sideline much less negate any bad news-rather that it would be triage of a sort.

I'm still not sure why the Catholic Church or Ratzinger has any credibility in this area anyway.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
First to retire in something like 600 years. I am sure it is totally for health reasons because I'm a totally gullible person.

He was on record as a cardinal as questioning the tradition of popes staying in office when they can no longer fill the functions of the office. And he had asked for retirement more than once before becoming pope. He clearly stated, once he became pope, that he intended to step down if he was cognitively unable to function as pope.

Besides which, if there is a new or intensified scandal, in what way is his resignation going to protect either himself or the church?

him actually resigning for health reasons is certainly plausible, it's just not something we can take him at his word on anymore. He could also be resigning because the issue of the church being led at a time of scandal and crisis for many many more years yet by a person who chiefly made his career within the church by covering up child abuse and enabling pedophile rapists to abuse more children is perhaps a bit much and it's becoming really obvious that it's going to really come out at a Confirmed level over time, and the church is better served by moving on to a new pope.

Preferably a new pope as conservative as Benedict desires to move the church in the direction of, which will only enhance the effects of catholicism's noted social decline.

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Itsame
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People always say that Benedict was really conservative, but this was an extremely radical move on his part. Not only that, but he really wasn't that much more conservative than many other popes. He just followed established doctrine.
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Olivet 2.0
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This surprised me. I thought the office was meant to be clutched in one's shriveled, reptilian claws until the bitter end.

It does seems sensible, though, to resign if you don't feel up to doing the job.

I don't really believe anything will stall the church's loss of centralized power. I kind of think the days of wielding religious power politically are numbered. (Possibly quite a large number, but still.)

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Rakeesh
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That is what his predecessor thought, to the point that when he began dying in earnest there was a deathwatch before it was done. I suppose Ratzinger can be applauded for that, at least-getting one's affairs in order is pretty important if one is in charge of over a billion souls.
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T:man
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So who else is waiting eagerly by their phones?

[Wink]

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Szymon
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It is believed that John Paul II also thought about abdication, although it's not supposed to be called abdication, for some reason. I think it should, since it the only absolute monarchy in Europe, one of few around the globe.

I think it's a lot of reasons combined. He is not the politician that JPII was. He is a good grandpa, sickly, unable to handle the crumbling Church. The next pope, most probably Italian again and conservative, won't be able to deal with the problems, either.

It'd be cool to have a more liberal pope. Pope has indefinite power of changing everything in the Catholic Church doctrines, a bold, young pope could manage a lot, I think, like Wojtyła did.

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Darth_Mauve
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Did the Catholic Church and the Pope once have legitimate moral authority? Yes. His name was Pope John Paul I. But that is just me.
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kmbboots
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Not just you. I am rather fond of Pope John XXIII as well.
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theamazeeaz
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Assuming, you know, he's actually stepping down for the reasons he says, it's okay with me. I'm picturing my grandmother, who gradually rid herself of her social obligations well before her complete decline into being a shut-in. Which, oddly, she seems to enjoy now that the dementia is going strong. She can't remember anything long enough to be bothered by it, so she's just really cheerful all the time, despite suffering from depression at many points in her life. It's probably a certain personality type that says, "I'm old. I don't WANT to go anywhere any more. Screw it." Other people work until the day they literally die. I think has the right to do that, but just as much he has the right not to. As long as it's his decision.
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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
He finally realized that Vader was serious about throwing him down the exhaust shaft, and decided to quietly step aside.

thought this reference would be earlier
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Anthonie
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quote:
The Italian media is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI resigned after receiving the results of an internal investigation, delivered in a 300-page, two-volume dossier, that laid bare a sordid tale of blackmail, corruption and gay sex at the Vatican.

The respected Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported Friday that the report stamped "Pontifical Secret," contained "an exact map of the mischief and the bad fish" inside the Holy See.
...
A similar story was carried by Panorama, a conservative weekly.
...
The three-man panel, according to La Repubblica, discovered an underground gay network whose members organized sexual meetings in several locations, including a villa outside Rome, a sauna in Rome's Cuarto Miligo distirct and even in a beauty salon inside the Vatican.

The gatherings, in turn, left them open to blackmail from people outside the Vatican, the report said, according to the newspaper.


Link
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Tittles
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Hahahahaha, I am SHOCKED at this development.

Who has the best secret gay sex parties?

The Vatican, that's who!

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BlackBlade
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It's hardly a laughing matter. Frankly it makes me ill.
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Tittles
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I'm at work so I can't read the article yet, but I'm curious as to why you're having that reaction.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
First to retire in something like 600 years. I am sure it is totally for health reasons because I'm a totally gullible person.


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Samprimary
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I mean we are literally talking about an organization that was so exasperated with how often they had to go in with fixers to make payoffs and keep issues quiet and silence the victims that at one point they figured they needed to buy a whole island off the coast of Grenada to house all of their recidivist pedophile offenders. Seriously, the vatican has told so many monstrous lies that they've lost even basic credibility, but, to their credit, they managed to successfully cover up the abuses for decades.

and let's still not talk about those poor irish.

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Destineer
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Mel Gibson's dad was really right!!!
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's hardly a laughing matter. Frankly it makes me ill.

I'm actually pretty curious about this reaction. What does it make you feel this way?

I don't even see this as surprising. Of course there is a high level gay sex network at the Vatican. I'm sure there has been one for as long as there has been a Vatican.

From my perspective, this is so very far from the really bad stuff that they do. Heck, it's not even as bad as some of the other sex stuff that is almost definitely going on among the Curia.

---

Edit: While the Vatican has some pretty unique factors that make this sort of thing more prevalent, I think it's naive to think that there isn't a high level gay sex ring among say Mormon leaders too (especially the ones who are really vocally anti-gay). Of course there is.

[ February 23, 2013, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Mucus
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At least it sounds like it involves consenting adults this time.
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Samprimary
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maybe that's what made it such a scandal for them

ohhhh, anti-Church humor, i'm so original

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Orincoro
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Let's see, a city founded by, governed, and inhabited by men who willingly renounce heterosexual relations to all live together and wear robes.

Well, put this in the shocker column...

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