Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Hitler Salute at the World Cup

Excerpted from an article at The Kingdom (Ireland):
Defrocked Kerry priest Neil Horan has confirmed he plans to travel to the World Cup final at the weekend to perform a peace dance outside the venue for the big match.

He also intends carrying posters declaring that Adolf Hitler was a good leader who was following the word of Christ.

The Scartaglin native has previously hit the headlines for his infamous demonstrations at major sporting events. He dashed out in front of Formula One cars during the British Grand Prix at Silver-stone in 2003 and the following year he was given a 12-month suspended sentence and fined ¤3,000 for pouncing on the leader of the men’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens.
Now he says he will dance a jig outside the stadium in Berlin before the World Cup final kicks-off on Sunday.

He told The Kingdom he plans to board a flight to Germany on Saturday and he will carry placards in five different languages to spread the word of God - as he sees it.

Perhaps someone should introduce this guy to Fred Phelps. They seem to have a number of things in common, both theologically and psychiatrically.

“I will stand just in front of the main entrance. I will give the Hitler salute, do my peace dance and read a verse,” said Horan who has written to The Kingdom to confirm his intentions.

This really sounds like a scene from Springtime for Hitler. The Nazi peace dance? What do you do? Tapdance in boots on a map of Europe?

He said he also intends to visit the Gestapo headquarters to light a candle in memory of Hitler.

[…] He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Eamonn Casey in 1973 but on 20 January, 2005, Horan was formally defrocked by the Catholic Church.

He has consistently refused to accept the ruling made by the Archbishop of Southwark in London.

I completely reject this decision. I appeal to the much higher court of heaven and the court of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Reminds me of a line from the Mythbusters TV show: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” The fact that he was a priest for 32 years raises a lot of questions. Was he an ordinary guy when ordained who flipped out later? There are lots of people who seem only a mildly peculiar for years, then one day barricade themselves in the house with an AK-47 so the aliens can’t get them.

The Catholic Church tends to be pretty long-suffering with nutty priests. Maybe they should have kept him on, and assigned him to an island monastery somewhere - where the Abbott and the monks could take care of him and keep him from getting loose. Dashing out in front of Formula One cars certainly seems to "pose a threat to himself or others." Our much-maligned, unenlightened ancestors used to care for their lunatics. Nowadays, in our more sophisticated times, we hand them a bottle of pills they won't take, and cut them loose to fend for themselves. I've long been convinced that someday we will answer for that.

One of the marks of the insane is a totally inflated sense of self-importance. The poor guy believes he’s making a statement while everyone else thinks he’s a joke. The only thing ex-Father Neil might accomplish is that he could manage to start a riot – which seems like an awfully easy thing to start at a European soccer game. Otherwise, he’s the globetrotting version of the guys on downtown street corners who claim to be the Pope or the President. Funny, but sad.