The Oxford Union Lecture by Kevin Annett that never happened, until now (soon to be broadcast in youtube)
The Oxford Union Lecture Hall and its shadow of censorship
Not too long ago I received a formal invitation from the oldest debating society in the world, the Oxford Union, to come there and debate the rather strange question of whether there is any “good” in the Roman Catholic church. Just a week before the scheduled debate, and as on so many other occasions, my invitation to speak was withdrawn without explanation. So here is the talk I planned to present at the Oxford Union debate. - Kevin Annett
Good evening. Let me begin by saying what a pleasant surprise it is to be able to join you here tonight. The last time I tried to give a public talk in England, at a London rally to protest child trafficking by church and state, your privately-run UK Border Agency police saw fit to arrest, finger print and deport me from this country without giving a reason. But be that as it may, and it usually is, I especially thank you for having me here.
Tonight’s topic for debate is framed rather tellingly: “Is thereany good in the Roman Catholic church?” and assumedly in its holding company, the Vatican Incorporated. The very wording of this subject imples that no, there isn’t any good, so let’s search for some. Of course, trying to locate integrity in any corporation is like looking for love in a brothel. So perhaps the question of tonight’s debate has already been answered, my job is done and we can all go home.
In any event, the title of the main event tonight is a bit confusing, beginning with the word “good”, which is after all a completely relative and morally ambiguous term.
The Spanish Conquistadors and their slaughter-blessing catholic priests thought they were doing good when they wiped out millions of non-catholic people for their own good. The Vatican’s Inquisition that barbecued and tortured to death Christians who disagreed with Rome was officially titled an Auto da Fe: an Act of Faith. Even the present, so-called liberal pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, speaks of “the goodness and zeal” of the Franciscan missionaries who worked to death untold thousands of aboriginal men, women and children on their slave plantations in California. Bergoglio also recently pardoned some 10,000 of his own child raping priests, no doubt in the same spirit of “doing good”: at least, good for his institution. Human beings, especially when goaded on and justified by religion, always adorn their crimes in a halo of goodness.
I’ve had personal experience of what I speak about. For over twenty years in Canada I’ve lived and worked with and documented the stories of many survivors of the mostly catholic run Indian residential school death camps, where over 60,000 children died. Half of these children never came back, because at the hands of priests and nuns they were ritually tortured, routinely starved, trafficked, experimented upon, flogged, gang raped and killed en masse with smallpox and tuberculosis. Not one catholic priest has ever gone to jail in Canada for any of these crimes, nor will they. These killers are above the law as it stands now. And having had the misfortune of speaking with enough of them, I know that these complicit clergy are still convinced that they were only trying to do good to the little brown savages, by killing their bodies to save their souls, to quote the foundational catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas.
So perhaps we need to redefine the term “doing good” in a better way, using this simple definition: to do good means to do no harm to others and to let them be themselves. Of course, under that definition you immediately condemn the Roman Catholic church, which has killed more people than any institution in human history. The church of Rome’s body count is well over fifty million corpses, ever since it was made a legal corporation by Emperor Constantine in the year 317.
Alright, that all may be true, sputter the defenders of Rome, so nobody’s perfect! But look at all the charitable works the church does as well! Isn’t that good?
Well, in that sense, perhaps tonight’s topic for debate should have been titled instead: Was there any good in Pablo Escobar, the head of the criminal syndicate known as the Medellin drug cartel? For Pablo engaged in lots of charitable good works for the poor folks of Colombia. Just like the Roman Catholic church of which he was a loyal dues-paying member, Pablo used his ill gotten loot to build shelters for the homeless, playgrounds for slum kids and soup kitchens for the hungry. Sure, that charitable money was covered in blood and paid for by the early deaths from drug addiction of the very same poor people, but still, it was doing some good, wasn’t it?
My analogy between Pablo Escobar and the Vatican is more than fitting, since the Vatican Bank is heavily invested in the international drug cartels as well as the arms and human trafficking industries that go hand in hand. GMO companies, big pharma, the biggest small arms company in the world, Beretta Limited, even dozens of online internet porn companies: all of these 100% Vatican investments pay for the goodies doled out to the deserving poor people who kiss the claw that feeds them.
So let’s take on directly the suggestion that the roman catholic church, as the world’s richest and least accountable corporation, plays a major role in providing charitable sustenance to the world’s needy. Let’s ask, what percentage of the church’s annual revenue actually goes towards charitable works? It’s an important question, not only for this debate, but because the
only legal basis for the church to be exempt from paying taxes under the law of nations is that they must devote all – not a portion, but all – of its collected revenue for either the advancement of religion or the practice of charity. Well, right there, you can knock out the roman catholic church, unless someone wants to explain what money laundering for the mafia, buying cruise missiles for third world dictators, or issuing routine bribes to politicians and governments all over the world have to do with either religion or charity.
What percentage of the catholic church’s revenue goes towards charity? Less than one percent: at least in America. For tellingly, that’s the only country in the world where the church consistently publishes any of its financial records. After all, the Vatican is a closed, self-governing, totally unaccountable body, like any secret criminal society. But that inconvenient, lingering notion of the separation of church and state found in the American constitution requires that even the catholic church has to create an appearance of transparency. And so, according to the US government, in the year 2013 the catholic church in America had a net revenue of $13.4 billion. And that’s just in one country, where only about 15% of the world’s Catholics are found.
By projection, the annual income for the Vatican must be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, not just from all those collection plates but from its massive global investment portfolio and its secret financial concordat agreements with over one hundred governments that channel a regular percentage of all of government tax revenue into the vatican bank.
But coming back to America, the one country where a light is shone on the murky underworld of Vatican finances: according to the same self-audit of the catholic church, of the $13.4 billion raked in during 2013, only 1.1% of it went into charity. But since half of that amount came from government grants to catholic aid societies, in reality only .6% of their income went from their bank accounts into charities. But since those charities are mostly owned and operated by the church, it just means that one hand of the octopus is feeding the other.
One half of one percent, friends. The truth is that the roman catholic church is not a force for charitable works. It is in fact a huge criminal racket, a money-sucking corporation kept afloat by every taxpayer in the world.
Okay, then, let’s turn to the other basis for the church not paying a dime of taxes: the advancement of religion. What percentage of its time and money goes towards advancing its particular, and might I say extremely violent, religious creed? Less than ten percent. That’s the time each week a priest spends conducting prayers, masses or catechism classes, according to a statement from the Vatican’s governing College of Cardinals, who in 2014 issued an internal report concerning the training and ordination of its priests. The main job of the clergy, according to the Cardinals, is the material and social upkeep of the church, the safeguard of its traditions and operations, and the expansion of its income and membership. Somebody tell me where God, let alone Jesus, enters into any of that.
Strike Two. That’s a baseball term, by the way. I don’t play cricket.
The third and final strike against the roman catholic church lies in its real and not imagined nature, once its enormous pretense and lie is pulled back and we see it for what it is, historically and today. But to do so, and to pierce the mental fog surrounding the Vatican Incorporated, we must realize that the catholic church is not a Christian church at all. On the contrary, it is in every respect a cult of Emperor worship derived from late third century Rome, not from the historic Jesus nor from the early Christian church. This fact is crucial if we are to deal with the mental confusion of many people, atheists included, who ponder helplessly, “But how can a body that preaches about the love of Jesus cause mass murder, genocide and institutionalized child rape?”
Of course, the simple answer to that is that it’s always the worst child rapist in town who has the most sterling reputation. The latter is needed as a cloak by any crook: the bigger the felony, the sweeter the coating. Talk, my friends, is easy, especially from a pulpit.
But let’s not forget what Jesus warned, “Many false prophets will come in my name and say ‘I am the Christ’. But do not be fooled: by their works you shall know them.”
We can see the works of the papacy all too well: conquest, brutality, just wars, genocide, inquisitions and the crushing of the human spirit. And it all began when the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Constantine created the Roman Catholic church on the murdered bones of the early Christian movement. That Church of Rome was an extension and continuation of that other big killing machine, the Roman Empire.
For the proof of this you need look no further than the Pope’s official title, which is Pontifex Maximus, which means the great bridge, between heaven and earth. That was the Latin title of the Emperors of Rome, starting with Aurelian in the year 275, who also assumed the title “Deus et Dominus”: God and Master. One man who has become god. First that was the emperor, and now, to a catholic, it is the pope. Christ is no longer the link to God, but a man is, elected and elevated blasphemously over humanity, even over God, by other old men in funny suits.
Not surprisingly, every newly elected pope is given the title Vicarii Christi, which in Latin means “the replacement of Christ”. In black and white, it’s right there: Catholicism is the replacement of Christianity, an empire of conquest and wealth relying on the means of the world and not the way of Christ. Just look at its body count. And listen to these admissions of guilt, right from the horses’ mouths: statements from various popes down the centuries that have never been contradicted or reputed by any of their successors:
Pope Boniface in 1302: “We declare that it is necessary for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”.
Pope Leo in 1520: “The Pope is Christ himself on earth.”
Pope Pius in 1929: “Fascism is simply the doctrines of our faith made the law and government.”
Pope John in 1962: No man may enter into Christ unless he be led there by the sovereign Pontiff.”
Pope John Paul II in 1996: “Have no fear when men call me Christ on earth, for I am he.”
Pope Benedict in 2008: “You need not go to Christ for salvation. Come to me.”
Pope Francis in 2016: “Christ made himself sin, made himself the devil, for our salvation. Only the church and its magesterium can claim holy infallibility.”
Is it any wonder that such a power-obsessed, megalomaniac religion makes itself unaccountable, sees nothing wrong with its crimes, and uses the images and words of Christ to delude and soak its millions of duped followers to believe that a bit of communion wafer, or a papal blessing, or the right amount of cash delivered into church coffers, will buy their way into heaven, as if one can?
I saw it for myself, when I was last in Rome in 2011: right there in the Vatican museum – a display board for buying indulgences, just like in Martin Luther’s day. Special papal blessings cost only 150 euros! Imagine! The more you spend the closer you get to heaven! Although be warned: apparently “God” prefers credit cards to cash. How right he was when pope Leo said in 1520, “This myth of Christ has served us well.”
The most dangerous group in the world is a super wealthy cult that sees itself as god, superior to everyone, and therefore justified in doing whatever is needed to protect itself and rule the world. A cult, in other words, like the church of Rome.
What other than a cult can operate according to a criminal policy like Crimen Sollicitationas, which has been a binding catholic church law since 1929? That policy states that whenever a child is raped or otherwise harmed by a priest the police are not to be told and the victim is to be silenced; and that if anyone speaks of the harm they will face excommunication. Clearly, the god of Rome, like the mafia, cannot tolerate a snitch. Better instead to operate under a global criminal conspiracy to aid and abet child rapists and killers than to cost the church a lawsuit or save a child’s life. And yet despite all of this criminal arrangement, the world keeps wondering why there is so much child rape within the church of Rome. Are we all that blind? Do we think that a lion isn’t going to devour lambs?
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, said the British politician John Acton. He was referring to the church of Rome when he made that statement – something conveniently left out of the history books. The catholic church is absolutely corrupt, but it also corrupts whoever is near to it: like all who attend it, who fund it, who associate with it or rent its halls or smile on its policies or public relations gestures: all who do so partake in that corruption. And under the law of God and of mankind, those human accessories are equally guilty of all of its crimes.
The only good that can be said to come out of this most violent, corrupt and anti-Christ body in history is how its evil awakens people to the need for a return to the simple words, witness and spirit of Jesus that have always been the chief adversary of Rome.
Jesus founded a community of called out just people, a remnant not of this world, a congregation, not a church. Nowhere did Jesus speak of popes, of bishops, of rituals and ceremonies by which someone would mediate him and God to others. He said that the kingdom of heaven lay within each of us, not outside, in a communion wafer or a religious ritual. That inner kingdom of Christ alone is the guide of all true Christians, who must come out from and be separate from all false and violent churches that deny God in practice. And that is the task of any deluded soul still caught within the fatal clutch of Rome and its blasphemous illusions and depravities.
As America’s founding fathers said, We hold this truth to be self-evident. And one of those men, the second US President, John Adams, said “A free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together in any nation or country. Liberty and Popery are opposed.” The nature of an ancient corporate evil like the church of Rome does not change over time – it simply alters its appearance, because it comes from the dark ruler of this world, the one of whom Jesus said, “He is a lie from the beginning for he is the father of lies.”
It is a good thing to free ourselves from a lie so huge as roman catholicism. As freeborn men and women we are made for the truth, and so when we recognize it, our hearts and minds breathe freely and we return to our natural state of independence and liberty. From that place of freedom we are empowered to take action to stop criminals in every high place, whether they be popes or presidents or prime ministers. For we the people are the source of all sovereignty, of government, of the law, and of true religion. We can and must stop and arrest and confine child raping priests when the police and courts refuse to do so. We can and must shut down the churches that traffic children and have hidden their crimes over centuries. For the life of one child is more sacred than all the fanfare and rituals of any church anywhere.
Jesus’ own prescription for child killers was simple: “Whoever would harm one of these innocent ones should have a millstone placed around his neck and be thrown into the sea.” So I wonder what Jesus would say about an entire institution that mocks God, murders with impunity, rapes and murders children and protects those who do so. Is there a millstone big enough for such an abomination?
There is. It is we the people. Thank you.