The year is 1482. The Vatican has just released a statement that reads, "ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia." Nobody blinks and life goes on... oh, gosh, I'm sorry! It wasn't 1482 after all. That statement was issued this year. Just a few days ago, in fact. You can see how I might have gotten the dates wrong, though, since that kind of misogynous declaration couldn't possibly hold true today. Unfortunately, they really said it. But why? Author Tim Padgett, in Time magazine, explains it "When any institution is as convinced of its own moral infallibility as the Catholic Church is, it tends to lash out at criticism - especially charges as serious as the priestly rape of children - with Dostoyevskian paranoia. And the church then fortifies its less popular stances, like an all-male priesthood or the condemnation of gays, in the process becoming even more uncompromising." And don't start thinking that Mr. Padgett is against the Church, or Christianity, in any way. He was sitting in mass, watching his daughter serve as an altar girl, on Sunday, when he got the idea for his article.
At the fascinating blog of my pal, Rudy Rucker, I recently found the archaically NSFW image hidden beyond the jump. Rudy utilized a picture taken by a friend of his, while I've found my image at a site claiming the sculpture in question is housed at the Secret Museum of Naples.
In either case, I thought this was just the kind of bizarre thing WU readers might care to ponder.