Francis Festivus

Happy Festivus – for the rest of us!

I LOVE Festivus. Finally, a holiday for me, when I can show off my feats of strength and air my grievances.

The idea of Festivus is finally catching on – so much so that the Pope jumped in this year!

VATICAN CITY — To the Catholic Church’s “seven deadly sins,” Pope Francis has added the “15 ailments of the Curia.” • Francis issued a blistering indictment of the Vatican bureaucracy yesterday, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who serve him of using their Vatican careers to grab power and wealth, of living “hypocritical” double lives and forgetting that they’re supposed to be joyful men of God.

If you’re wondering just what those 15 “ailments” (what I call “grievances”) were, wonder no more….

Via Vatican Information Service:

  1. Acting “immortal” or immune to improvement. “A Curia that is not self-critical, that does not stay up-to-date, that does not seek to better itself, is an ailing body.”
  2. Spending too much time working. “There is a time for everything.”
  3. Losing inner peace. “The sickness of mental and spiritual hardening.”
  4. Planning too extensively. “One falls prey to this sickness because it is easier and more convenient to settle into static and unchanging positions.”
  5. Failing to collaborate. “The body loses its harmonious functionality and its temperance, becoming an orchestra of cacophony.”
  6. Suffering from “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” This is “forgetfulness of the history of Salvation, of the personal history with the Lord, of the ‘first love.'”
  7. Being a braggart and measuring yourself against others. “The ailment of rivalry and vainglory: when appearances, the colour of one’s robes, insignia and honours become the most important aim in life.”
  8. Living a double life. “Existential schizophrenia: the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of the hypocrisy typical of the mediocre and the progressive spiritual emptiness that cannot be filled by degrees or academic honours.”
  9. Gossiping. “It is the sickness of the cowardly who, not having the courage to speak directly to the people involved, instead speak behind their backs.”
  10. Idolizing superiors. “The sickness of deifying leaders is typical of those who court their superiors, with the hope of receiving their benevolence.”
  11. Lacking compassion and empathy. “The disease of indifference towards others arises when each person thinks only of himself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of personal relationships.”
  12. Being theatrically grim. “Those who believe that in order to be serious it is necessary to paint their faces with melancholy and severity, and to treat others – especially those they consider inferior – with rigidity, hardness and arrogance.”
  13. Being too materialistic. “The disease of accumulation: when the apostle seeks to fill an existential emptiness of the heart by accumulating material goods, not out of necessity but simply to feel secure.”
  14. Forming cliques. “The ailment of closed circles: when belonging to a group becomes stronger than belonging to the Body and, in some situations, to Christ Himself.”
  15. Being an exhibitionist. “This is the disease of those who seek insatiably to multiply their power.”

Now for those feats of strength….

I had some fun with GottaLaff this morning, talking about Festivus, and hanging for our final time for 2014. We look forward to lots more in the coming year.

Each year at around this time, The Nation magazine publishes its Progressive Honor Roll which, as the name implies, heaps praise on those deserving (as opposed to the afore-mentioned grievances). And each year for the past few, I’ve gone through the list with John Nichols as I guest hosted the Randi Rhodes Show.

Since the 2014 Progressive Honor Roll hasn’t yet been published, John joined me today for a quick preview, an update on an item or two from last year’s honor roll, and we made a date to get together in early January to honor a few more from this year’s list.

But I started the show with another call out of the media’s sickening practice of only reporting the bad stuff, even if they have to fabricate it!

We know that things are getting really ugly in NY following the murder of two NYPD officers by a deranged man. NYPD union reps are waging an ugly war against Mayor Bill de Blasio and the activists protesting the recent rash of police shootings of black men without consequences – as we discussed yesterday with Michael Tomasky. 

Today we learned that WBFF,  a Baltimore Fox-TV station deceptively edited tape from a protest in Washington, DC making it sound as if the protesters were chanting

“We won’t stop, we can’t stop. So kill a cop.”

Instead of what they were actually chanting:

“We won’t stop, we can’t stop, till killer cops are in cell blocks.”

That’s quite a big difference.  That TV station should lose its license, and all who participated in that fraud of a story should be fired. Just sayin’….

I’ll be back tomorrow for the Christmas-eve edition of the show with Susie Madrak and Cliff Schecter…radio or not!