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Johan Knols
Blogger, safari specialist, professional wildlife guide (Woerden, Netherlands)

Johan Knols is the owner of the planyoursafari blog. He studied tourism in the Netherlands and has been working in the African tourism industry for nearly 15 years. Starting as lodge manager in the Serengeti in Tanzania, he eventually owned his own mobile safari company in Botswana. Johan received his professional wildlife- guides licence in 1998 and was awarded the title of Honorary Wildlife Officer with the Botswana Wildlife and National Parks authority in 2005. During his time in Africa he has managed upmarket safari lodges and has done overland trips in the luxury and semi-luxury sector. At the moment he is a full-time blogger giving tips and advices on everything related to African safaris.


Men In Dresses Losing It

Published 20th July 2010 - 25 comments - 2821 views -

It is not that often that my toes curl, but that is only because I have learned in my forty seven springs not to get too uptight anymore. But last week it was curly week. Between oil caps, bloody Mexican parties and the eminent election of a drugs smuggler as president of Suriname, a man, normally wearing a dress in public, caught my attention.

He resides in a little shag called ‘The Vatican’, from where he, standing on a small balcony, looks down upon the world and gives great advice to all of us mortals. And he is a réal man. No condoms on his little bedside table! He is so much man that he even tries to convince all other men of this planet to stay away from this horrible latex invention. Great news to those in Africa lying like skeletons on their sheetless beds, who believe it was the white man, trying to get rid of the black man, that put the HIV virus on purpose in condoms.

But this was not the reason for my toes starting to live a life of their own.
It had to do with women.
And soccer.

‘Women’: Always a difficult topic for the men wearing dresses. It is the female sex that always seems to throw the holy men off balance: Women talk, women have a voice and women are clever. Thank god that kids are a lot less complicated.
And women want to be priests. “Damn, now they really are becoming a nuisance”.

But the dress wearing CEO of the church, devoid of all earthy developments, knows how to deal with this and has the right answer at the right time. From now on it is a grave crime to ordain a woman as a priest, the same as it is a grave crime for a priest to engage in pedophile behavior. Right, that settles it. Mentioning these two ‘crimes’ in one breath will start to rattle the window panes of the Sistine Chapel with a force that will bleach a tsunami. At least that is what I hope for. And so do my toes. (Tip for the CEO: read “Millennium Development goals for Dummies”. Especially goal 3!)

But there was another kick under the belt from someone else wearing a dress. A Bishop in Holland handed a red card to a priest for organizing an ‘orange’ wholly mass. The priest, seeing the full soccer stadiums in comparison to his own empty church must have put two and two together. But instead of receiving a bonus for attracting so many sheep, he was put out of action for the next two months. Pity he didn’t abuse a child in the process, as it would have forced the Bishop to look in another direction. I mean a subordinate should act like the CEO, shouldn’t he? For an insight in the many child abuse cases see this post.

Well, the men in dresses are scoring points: Let’s protect those who had some juvenile fun and let’s punish those that are in favor of gender equality and full churches.
My toes have uncurled by now. Great, now I can run to the city council to get rid of my status. My status of being a Roman Catholic.


Category: Equality | Tags:


  • Giedre Steikunaite on 20th July 2010:

    “...convince the world that they really get it…” Well, not convincing enough for me, given all the other examples of the behaviour of the Vatican and the the rest of the catholic church.

    Johan, Men in Dresses are not losing it. They have lost it long ago already.

    By the way, love your writing! Haha the CEO of the church!

  • Hanna Clarys on 20th July 2010:

    “Let’s protect those who had some juvenile fun and let’s punish those that are in favor of gender equality and full churches.”

    Indeed, this is crazy.

  • Johan Knols on 20th July 2010:


    I agree that they lost it long time back. Nonetheless do they seem to be able to make it worse and worse.


    What is crazy is the fact that those abusing youngsters will not get a trail in a criminal court. Why does the church deal with these crimes itself? The biggest criminal being the pope himself who keeps trying to put everything under the carpet.

  • Helena Goldon on 20th July 2010:

    Very generalising approach, Johan ‘The biggest criminal being the pope himself who keeps trying to put everything under the carpet’.

    Although I am not entirely convinced about all of the Catholic Church ideas, I know bigger criminals than pope. I would also question if being provocative or even hurting some of that church believers is the best way of drawing attention to its problems.

  • Bart Knols on 20th July 2010:

    @Helena - I am keen to know who these bigger criminals are. Just to put things a bit in perspective…

  • Clare Herbert on 20th July 2010:

    Funny stuff.

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 20th July 2010:

    I just sign to comments to follow the conversation…

  • Johan Knols on 21st July 2010:

    @ Helena,

    It is not my intention to hurt any believers out there. But I can not get to another conclusion than the one I made in the article. The fact that millions in the world follow a leader, does not automatically make that leader stand above the law. Yet, that is what the pope and the church want.

  • Helena Goldon on 21st July 2010:

    Hi Johan, well this is blatantly obvious no leader should be a dictator and I fully agree with the opinion, which you expressed, that recently revealed cases of paedophilia in the Catholic Church are horrible crimes and, as I see it, haven’t been dealt with at all. But this is, unfortunately, a topic for another story.
    Now, as to a woman not being able to be ordained a priest would you really call it a crime? There is a fine line between tradition and beliefs and law, but here we have a harmless example of tradition. Is it discriminating that Jesus was a man? I mean, come on, I believe in a true democracy whereas we are free to believe in anything we want. Happily, nobody nowadays forces me to follow any religion. I am free to believe in a MALE green dragon (I love dragons!). I also feel traditions are important and many are beautiful.
    Referring to the Dutch church decision… well, I wouldn’t take such if it was my church, but I don’t think they have harmed anybody with their convictions…, did they?

  • Helena Goldon on 21st July 2010:

    And sorry, for I haven’t seen the video you posted (maybe there is some content there too) but I keep on posting during my breaks @ work and have no sound here whatsoever smile

  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 21st July 2010:

    Yeah… there is so much stupidity in churches of all nominations, I am afraid. Did you read about the fatwa against women on bikes? Th catholic church has a long way t go, and I had the impression that Razinger was not the right choice for “CEO”.

    “CEO of the church” smile... I will hereby refer to Tony Haward as the Pope of BP, and Carl-Henric Svanberg as the Deacon wink

  • Johan Knols on 21st July 2010:

    Hi Helena,

    For good order: the church itself calls it a ‘grave crime’ if any priest ordains a woman priest. The only crime I spoke about has to do with the child abuse (but as you rightly said that is a topic for another discussion). Do you actually hear what the church says? We are talking about equality between men and women and the church makes it A CRIME if a woman is ordained priest.

    Back to the dutch priest who received the ‘red card’. The reason I mentioned this incident is to make clear what the priorities of the church are: Suspending a priest who is living in 2010 and trying to make the church interesting again, while the real (pedophile) criminals are being transferred (and not suspended as we have seen in the past). A recent poll in the Netherlands showed that 95% of the voters admired what the orange priest did, while 5% was against his action. I am sure that amongst the 95% some DO feel ‘harmed’.

  • Johan Knols on 21st July 2010:

    Hi Daniel,

    Have a look at this link giving you some figures from the Vatican. Then tell me the pope is not a CEO!

  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 21st July 2010:


    The CEO wasn’t present at that meeting , then wink It makes a lot of sense to call the pope a CEO, but it is rather the other way around - all hierarchies in the west, including those in the companies, are utlimately modelled on the catholic church’s organistation, which in itself is modelled on the roman empire, which in turn…

  • Johan Knols on 21st July 2010:

    Hi Radka,

    The weird thing is that no mistakes have proven to be fatal to the church so far. But they are clever. They now focus more on the less developed countries, where people tend to be less vocal than in the developed world and where religion is a way of ‘escaping’ from poverty for a couple of hours. Here it is easy to keep the number of church goers up!

  • Johan Knols on 27th July 2010:

    Hi Uta,
    Thanks for commenting in a very enjoyable way. Did you see this statement in the link I sent Daniel?
    “Most of the expenditures can be attributed to the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the dicasteries and organizations of the Holy See, which, with their specific activities, participate in the Supreme Pontiff’s pastoral work with respect to the universal Church”.

    The expenses they talk about are $250 million. It would be interesting to know the amount of ‘extraordinary expenses’ as part of the payments made to victims of sexual abuse.

  • Johan Knols on 27th July 2010:

    So what is it with these guys that they don’t ‘see’ it. I sometimes have the idea that they are doing their utmost to chase people out of the church instead of trying to lure them in. It is a weird attitude. One that I can’t figure out. Or is there a hidden agenda?

  • Tiziana Cauli on 27th July 2010:

    Hi Johan,
    what makes me really angry is that they do not simply lose believers. This would be their problem just as bankrupcy for a multinational that loses all of its clients. In this process though they cause a lot of harm, pain and even death. Unfortunately too many people still listen to what priests say as if it was God’s word. And this happens both in the developing and in the industrialized world. Here and there some people won’t use condoms if at their church they are told it’s a sin. Too many women just refuse to acknowledge their own rights just because they think God doesn’t want them to rebel against their husbands or fathers, not even when they are violent. Too many unwanted children are born only to suffer and die because their mothers would never consider abortion. Too many adolescents will end up depressed and even kill themselves cause they and their families are told homosexuality is against nature. If all of this was not occurring, I would say let the church lose followers. But we are paying a high price for just letting them die slowly.

    As for the Catholic Church being a multinational with the pope as its CEO, it’s absolutely true. They don’t pay any taxes on the income of their highly profitable activities, including renting out houses in very expensive locations in Rome and elsewhere. A couple of years ago they even kicked some disadvantaged families out of some buildings they own cause they wanted to rent them out at higher prices which these people where not able to afford. They own some of the most amazing pieces of art and archaeology in the world and charge crazy amounts of money for visitors to see them. They even charge people to enter churches. Yes, maintainance costs money, but not 10 euros times several hundreds people per day. And these are just some examples…

  • Helena Goldon on 27th July 2010:

    Johan, to make it even more objective and balanced, what about providing us with data on:
    - Muslim boys not being able to marry Orthodox/Catholic girls?
    - the salaries of other religious leaders, even Dalai Lama or Bahai leadership?
    - victims of sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews from yeshivas and synagogues in N.Y.?

    I hope this is too, your aim - bringing unity, not being biased against one particular church.
    And it is not that I am a believer of this church or any churches in general but I very much like to be balanced in my views wink

  • Helena Goldon on 27th July 2010:

    I could enumerate many more - the list of other churches misbehaviours is endless.

  • Johan Knols on 28th July 2010:

    @ Tiziana,
    I couldn’t agree more with you.
    That is why I deliberately used the example of the innocent action of the Dutch soccer priest. His two months suspension from his job is not in balance and can not be compared with other offenses and criminal acts committed by the church.

    Two things:
    1. I have never stated that crimes and misconducts are not happening in other religions. But since I am a (non active) member of the R.C church I focused on that church. It would be great if members of other religions would do the same with theirs.

    2. You could have ‘balanced’ the article by giving the figures already. So be my guest and prove that those in the R.C church are not the only criminals.

  • Helena Goldon on 28th July 2010:

    Cheers, Johan grin

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