06/14/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Great Vatican Death Spiral

Is it almost time? Can we finally start making preparations, send out a global Evite welcoming millions to a grand ritual down by the beach, a fantastic ceremony featuring copious amounts of fire and cake, dancing and vodka, Shakti icons and free condoms for all?


Verily, is the Catholic Church and its dank, nefarious heart, the Vatican, with its attendant red-robed apologists, unreformed child rapists and a leader who is, as Richard Dawkins rightly declares, "a leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds ... a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence," is it safe to say this archaic and vile institution is finally nearing its end?

How grand to imagine -- even for a moment, even if you already sense it's damn near impossible, even if you think the Church still does some good in the world, somewhere -- how utterly uplifting to think that finally, after all these centuries of lies and oppression, intolerance and cover-up, that one of the most dangerous, insular religious monoliths in the world could come tumbling down in a smoldering heap, with something fluid, feminine and utterly transformational to spring up in its place.

You want a true second coming? A big, happy slap of the Rapture? There you go.

I am nowhere near exaggerating. At present, it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the accusations, evidence, grim letters, bogus apologies and cover-up conspiracies, not to mention the hundreds -- if not thousands -- of newly emerging claims of child rape and abuse that are winging around that "holy" place, coming in from all over the world, as dozens of old white men in robes scurry about trying to deny it all and protect the kingdom at all costs, while the flames lick ever closer.

Hell, I'm still trying to stomach three of the largest and most nauseating scandals to erupt in the past year or so....

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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest work for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at or Amazon;. He recently wrote about the KFC Double Down, the Texas Board of Education, and what it's like being part of the evil liberal conspiracy. His website is Join him on Facebook;, or email him. Not to mention...