The Pope is sending me mixed messages

14pope_xlarge1.jpg Oh, Catholic Church. Sometimes you can be so confusing.

News broke this week that the Vatican is building Europe's largest solar power plant. The new facility will generate 100 Megwatts, enough to power 40,000 homes. This bold foray into green energy accompanies last year's pronouncement that harming the environment is a cardinal sin. Taken together, all of this seems a little - dare I say it - progressive. No small achievement for an organization that has more or less perfected the subtle art of glacial conservatism.

Of course, this is all a little hard to reconcile with Pope Benedict XVI's comments that condoms are worsening the HIV crisis, and no one should use them. As well as being, you know, insane, this stance also contradicts the CC's newfound environmentalism. Overpopulation is a big driver of ecological crisis, and condoms have a handy way of preventing unwanted births. You are a little bundle of contradictions in a pointy hat, Benny.

Also, I'm a little worried that the Vatican's new powerplant is the first step in some nefarious world domination plot. Today it's just 40,000 homes. Tomorrow, it could be everywhere. I don't want a "come to Mass on Sunday of we turn off the juice" letter in my mailbox. All that incense makes me nauseous.