Gynecological Conference at Vatican Story Ends: Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

Gynecological Conference at Vatican Story Ends: Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

Posted by St. Corbinian’s Bear
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

This is how the story of The European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology (ESAG) vs. the Patristic Institute and the Vatican ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. You may recall that ESAG claimed to have secured conference facilities at the Patristic Institute for their 1st World Congress.

Each side utterly disputes the other’s account, yet neither side will back up their claim with evidence.

Inquiries to the Patristic Institute simply went unanswered. The Vatican must remember the unfortunate incident of 1493 and retains their “no communication with Bears” policy. All we know is that they disputed ESAG’s claim. Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican Press spokesman also denied a connection.

ESAG, on the other hand, issued a press release yesterday insisting that there was an agreement, the Vatican knew the nature of the conference, but backed out of the agreement once some colorful stories appeared first in the Daily Mail, then in Catholic blogs. It also stated ESAG had the evidence to back up their side of the story.

Unfortunately, ESAG is now playing the lawyer card, and will not reveal any of the evidence that would vindicate it in the realm of public opinion.

So we’re back where we started from, in the curious position of two sides saying opposite things, but neither willing to back up their story with a scintilla of evidence. Anyway, as a story, this affair is finished at the choice of the parties. When half the conservative Catholic bloggers on the planet get sued and are eating cat food the rest of their lives, the Bear will cover that, assuming he can keep the broadband on.

The Bear does have a couple of additional observations, however.

What We Did Right

First, Oakes Spalding of Mahound’s Paradise, and Maureen Mullarkey, at her blog Studio Matters, were eventually unwilling to accept the Institute’s, and later, the Vatican’s denials at face value. They examined what little we knew (some of it brought to light by the Bear’s investigation) and concluded it just didn’t make sense that a respected surgeon would invent out of whole cloth an imaginary conference venue, in the Vatican of all places. Ms. Mullarkey even went so far as to write a new article withdrawing a previous “mea culpa” written after her original article had been pulled by The Federalist.

This is good blogging. Curious, tenacious, original and smart.

The Bloggers and the Parties

However, the Bear wonders if bloggers didn’t have a little too much fun with the story. Of course, what we were all doing is pointing at another misstep by the Bergoglio Vatican. Let’s face it: it’s low-hanging fruit. Does an aesthetic gynecology conference belong at the Patristic Institute, within spitting distance of the Vatican? Certainly a debatable proposition on which the Bear takes no position. However, both parties should have foreseen the storm of raillery that would engulf them.

Criminal defense lawyers do legitimate and important legal work in all sorts of fields the general public finds incomprehensible or distasteful. The Bear would probably not choose the Patristic Institute for a conference on “Credibility Issues In Rape Cases” (and he can think of far more alarming examples) even though that is certainly a legitimate subject for a legal conference. Why wouldn’t the Bear do this? Because it is foreseeable that the Daily Mail would run a story entitled “Vatican Hosts Rape Conference,” and the whole thing would unravel.

By and large, while salacious, the reports did not strike the Bear as any more inaccurate than any other story. The headlines, emphases, and general tenor of sensationalism and humor, however, do leave me sympathetic with Dr. Bader, the man behind the conference. Bloggers may have had their targeting reticles fixed firmly on the Vatican, but this was a story with a third party — Dr. Bader. Maybe he assumed the risk when he scheduled the conference (assuming he did), but maybe bloggers should take their hands off their keyboards and think for five minutes before writing any story that may make a third party collateral damage.

Ultimately, this is all about perceptions. From inside Dr. Bader’s professional bubble, G-Spot Enhancement is no more strange or funny than a tonsillectomy. Outside the bubble, it’s like Woody Allen said. “I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.”

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7 comments on “Gynecological Conference at Vatican Story Ends: Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

  1. “However, the Bear wonders if bloggers didn’t have a little too much fun with the story.”

    Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Are Catholic bloggers having a little too much fun with unusual and bizarre stories coming out of the Vatican under the Bergoglio papacy?

    Spock: It depends on your point of view, Captain. Although there is a tradition of comedy and satire running from Chaucer and Thomas More to G.K. Chesterton, humor is an acquired taste not necessarily satisfying all personality types. Different personality types might have trouble finding humor in an aesthetic gynecology conference at the Vatican.

    Captain Kirk: What kind of different personality types, Mister Spock?

    Spock: Well, perhaps Jansenist personality types, Captain. It seems that some Jansenists tend to be of the humorless sourpuss temperament which leads them to frown upon the excitation that nervous laughter, humor, and comedy bring, viewing these as subversive, undermining the stern, humorless power and authority that they seek to use to hold others in the humorless Stockholm Syndrome of Jansenist submission and morbidity.

    Professor Sartre had to think about this. On the hand, laughter provides some relief from the alienation, self-estrangement, and Cartesian dualism of modernity. On the other hand, some existential alienation is too tragic and morbid to laugh about. It worried him to have some affinity with the heresy of Jansenism….

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: There was one Jansenist at Fordham. A semi-recovering Calvinist. It took a little while for him to get used to Irish Catholic jokes and humor.

    Henri Bergson: It is difficult to laugh alone, it is easier to laugh collectively. But we must address the nature of the comic in general and the force d’expansion du comique (the expansive force of the comic). Some may wonder how an investigation of the materialist cosmology of Lucretius led to a philosophical consideration of the nature of the comic and laughter. Well, it may have something to do with the Élan vital, but first we should review the situation with 19th-century scientism….

    Reverend Neuhaus: I remember when this came up at National Review

    Father O’Malley: It can take a while to get used to. As a semi-recovering Jansenist and comedic actor, I have some experience in this area.

    Alfred Hitchcock: In a manner of speaking….

    Bob Hope: Oh, I can vouch for Bing!

    Walker Percy: Let’s bracket the aesthetic gynecology conference at the Vatican for the moment, phenomenologically speaking. With the Pope worrying about bovine flatulence and global warming, how can you not laugh?

    Emily: Bovine flatulence and global warming?

    Bob: Well, it’s a theory in climatology, Emily. The Pope is from South America, Argentina, to be exact, where he was a high school chemistry teacher and apparently became quite fascinated with theories of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide.

    Emily: What does that have to do with Catholicism and religion, Bob?

    Bob: I’m not sure, Emily. Maybe we could ask Mister Carlin.

  2. Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Father Gannon and Father W. Norris Clarke, S.J. would have wanted us to address the force d’expansion du comique (the expansive force of the comic). Remember that Jacques Maritain started out puzzling over the lectures of Henri Bergson.

    Professor Jürgen Habermas: That’s a valid point. Well taken. However, humor and comedy have become commodities manipulated by symbolic elites for purposes of control.

    Bill Murray: Expansive? In what way expansive? Because Kentucky bluegrass is not always expansive, unless, of course, you have enough water and carbon dioxide.

    Father Sarducci, S.J.: It would be safe to say that clouds of humor and comedy are expanding over the Vatican during the Bergoglio pontificate.

    Rex Mottram: I suppose the earth could be getting warmer spiritually, only climate change skeptics are too sinful to see it and will need to get a special dispensation of divine mercy from the Pope before they’re allowed to marry, right?

    Emily: Does Mister Carlin really believe the Chicago Cubs didn’t make it to the World Series this year because of global warming?

    Bob: Yes, Emily. But everyone knows it was because of that darn Billy Goat!

    Sister Mary Stigmata: Stop laughing! There is to be no fun and games here!
    And don’t call me a Jansenist! Some of the best principals of Catholic schools are Jansenists!

    Emily: Well, at least we got that cleared up, Bob. But what about the Bears?

  3. Sister Mary Stigmata: Now, the next one of you who laughs is going to be VERY sorry!

    Sister Mary Benedict: One minute they are saying that people are having too much fun about an aesthetic gynecology conference at the Vatican and the next minute that we are not showing enough joy and seem like Jansenist sourpuss types! Well, sadly, they just don’t teach these people logic in schools or colleges anymore.

    Father Guido Sarducci, S.J.: She has a point there.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: I remember when we covered the non sequitur in the logic course at Fordham. Father Gerald had us all draw diagrams of the Aristotelian Square of Opposition. Incidentally, the study of climate change and global warming was not part of our priestly training in the Jesuit tradition in those days. We had the old radiators in the winter that used to make unusual noises when they were turned on. But, of course, you couldn’t miss the game against Holy Cross even if it got very cold. Come to think of it, we didn’t have any courses on aesthetic gynecology either, but, of course, this was before Vatican II and liturgical puppet shows…

    Emily: But, Bob, why did Mister Carlin think that global warming caused the Cubs not to make it to the World Series?

  4. Sister Mary Benedict: Yes, but sometimes power and authority are stern and humorless. Otherwise, why would progressive modernists seek spiritual power in religious life?

    Father O’Malley: That could be overlooking the possibility that their original vocation was genuine, but they were tempted by pride and sin to seek humorless power later when their faith had grown weak.

    Father Philip Lamont, S.J.: There is another possibility that I must warn you about.

    Father O’Malley: If we can’t save the parish, I could always leave the priesthood and use a hat and cane for a song and dance routine…

    Father Philip Lamont, S.J.: That Lucifer in his maniacal rage and cruel hatred of humanity sometimes appears as an Angel of Light to deceive, leading men away from the true seriousness of the spiritual and moral struggle against evil. By placing humorless sourpuss Jansenists in positions of authority for which they are unqualified he is able to turn millions away from religion and Christianity leading them to sin, atheism, secular humanism, and damnation, as Father Merrin warned would happen if universities like Georgetown stopped teaching the true Catholic faith and correcting the errors of heresy which plague this troubled land.

  5. Emily: Well, that’s terrifying, Bob! I think you should call the Pope right now and tell him that he should call Mister Carlin and explain that global warming is NOT the cause of the Chicago Cubs not making it to the World Series.

    Bob Hartley: I…uh….I don’t know the Pope’s phone number, Emily. Besides, I don’t speak Italian.

  6. Dick Loudon: Will they take a call from Vermont at the Vatican?

    Joanna Loudon: Gee, I’m not sure, Dick.

    Dick Loudon: Why can’t we let Larry or Darryl or Darryl call the Pope?

    Joanna Loudon: Why should they call?

    Dick Loudon: They might have more in common.

    Larry: We’d be delighted to call. The Reign of Petrus Romanus is one of my favorite subjects.

    Dick: I guess I better call.

    Dick: Well, Your Holiness, actually it’s pretty cold here right now…

    Bob: Emily, I just had the strangest dream!

    Emily: Well, what happened in your dream, Bob?

    Emily: Is that the Pope, Bob?

    Bob: No. It’s Father Lombardi. He said they’ll try to find the Pope. He’s checking the barometer.

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