This is hilarious in the way that the crying on the inside kind of clown is hilarious. So, kinda’ sad actually.

Gary Wills, the media’s favorite self described Catholic that attacks the Church every chance he’s within shouting distance of a microphone or a journalist, is going after the pope. Again.

It’s kind of ironic that in a week that has seen worldwide coverage of a chimney for days on end and a flowering of support for the humble acts of Pope Francis, Wills insists the pope is irrelevant. Wills is increasingly seeming like the guy with the cardboard sign predicting doom for us all on a certain date. But the sign reached its expiration date years ago and the doom is nowhere to be seen. So the sign guy just keeps getting louder and louder.

In an interview with atheist Sally Quinn at the On Faith blog, Wills insists that the papacy and the Church are irrelevant.

Quinn: “Do you think that the papacy, well, it certainly is not irrelevant to a lot of people now, but do you think it’s headed in that direction?”

Wills: “Yeah, it is irrelevant to a lot of people and becoming more so, even to people who don’t even recognize it. One of the reasons they don’t recognize it, is that the priests … the bishops have to uphold what Rome says or they’ll get their knuckles rapped, and priests have to agree not to go against what Rome says. But they don’t actually preach what Rome says.

“I’ve asked many, many Catholics, ‘When’s the last time you had a priest in the pulpit preach against contraception?’ And they say, ‘never.’ There are other practices that are just falling out of use without even people … people, for instance, will not say that they deny transubstantiation, but in fact, the usage says that.

“For instance, when I was young, we used to have frequent benediction, that is, the host would be put in a great big display case called a monstrance, and people would come in and incense it and kneel and pray to it for a half hour or so, worshipping God and the host. Well, we don’t do that anymore, simply because it’s, people don’t really believe that anymore.”

This kind of myopic thinking from Wills is endearing in a way. You know how when little children put their hands over their eyes they think the world has gone away. Later they realize that’s just their perception. Wills hasn’t had that realization yet. Wills thinks because he doesn’t go to adoration it doesn’t happen. I was just at adoration recently. And there were plenty of people there.

And about contraception. You have to love this argumentation. Many argue that the pope is responsible for the death of millions in African and other places because of the Church’s stringent rules about contraception and then these same people turn around and argue that the pope is completely irrelevant. It seems to me you have to pick one.

What Gary Wills means is that the Church and the pope are irrelevant to him and so he universalizes his own perception.