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    • What a Difference a Year Makes! October 22, 2014
      Wikipedia gay marriage map USA, October 22 2013: By my count, that’s 14 states (plus DC) that had marriage equality one year ago. Wikipedia gay marriage map USA, October 22 2014: Note that the bright scarlet has changed it’s meaning.…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
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      The familiar phrase, “La plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” is usually interpreted as “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. For lesbian and gay Catholics in the wake of the synod, this formulation could…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
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      Obie Holmen
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    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
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    • A Guidepost on the Journey October 24, 2014
      It's the first day of my 50th year. Yes, yesterday I turned 49.Not that you can tell from the photo above, but there was a partial solar eclipse at sunset yesterday. Not being superstitious, I take this as neither a good or bad omen. It was just a very beautiful natural occurrence that took place on a special day for me.At some point in the last 48 hour […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Photo of the Day October 22, 2014
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      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • Parables and Pictures: Diwali, the Festival of Lights October 23, 2014
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      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Let the Gays Marry, and Elderly Men Will Create Babies with Different Mothers October 23, 2014
      Gay people should not be allowed the right of civil marriage because — get ready for it! — if the gays are allowed to marry, elderly men will create babies with different mothers:Men are fertile nearly all of their lives; part of the procreative aspect of marriage involves people not risking procreation with others. That is, we encourage elderly men to enter […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Faith, Doubt and Sexual Abuse in Film and Fiction = Amended Reviews October 19, 2014
      This is an amendation and extension of my previous posting.In this posting, I deal with three cinematic and fictional treatments of practicing Catholic priests whose faith is profoundly challenged by the revelations of the sex abuse scandal in the Church. I haven't forgotten the Synod on the Family, just finished in Rome. I continue to believe the vacil […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • Synecdotal Ruminations and Reviews October 16, 2014
      The Road Through the WildernessIt's been a month since my last posting at this blog, and I've been busy immersing myself in Czech culture on a deeper level, especially its past religiosity and its present seemingly atheistic present. I've been plowing through some classic films of the Czech New Wave and some more recent ones that deal with our […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
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    • 借入しすぎを防ぎたい February 26, 2014
      自分でこれ以上借りないと思っていても、ついつい借りてしまう浪費癖が治らないそれならいっそのこと、借りれなくしてしまえばいいのです。日本貸金業協会の貸付自粛制度とは貸付自粛制度とは、資金需要者が、自らに浪費の習癖があることその他の理由により、自らを自粛対象者とする旨又は親族のうち一定の範囲の者が、金銭貸付による債務者を自粛対象者とする旨を日本貸金業協会に対して申告することにより、日本貸金業協会が、これに対応する情報を個人信用情報機関に登録し、一定期間、当該個人信用情報機関の会員に対して提供する制度です。登録手数料等の費用はかかりません。貸付自粛情報の登録内容氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(または携帯電話番号) 勤務先名 勤務先電話番号 貸付自粛情報の登録内容 氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(ま […]
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  • RSS Perspective

    • 'When God Talks Back' October 24, 2014
      A while ago I had a post about Stanford psychological anthropologist T. M. Luhrmann, and her book, When God Talks Back. Today I was remembering that and an article from Bryan Cones at US Catholic that had mentioned her - Look who's talking: Personal conversations with God. Bryan writes ...It’s not often that you turn on the radio and hear someone talkin […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Vatican Financial Transparency – Don’t Believe It

Outrage against the Catholic Church’s global and systemic torture of children peaked in 2010. There were reports that Pope Benedict XVI failed to act against pedophiles while he was archbishop of Munich and Freising and as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa gave a Good Friday sermon with the pope in attendance comparing the anger at sexual abuse scandals to persecution of the Jews. On Easter Sunday, Cardinal Angelo Sodano told Benedict among others that the news reports were “petty gossip.” World opinion of the Catholic Church plummeted even further after damning government reports were issued by a Philadelphia grand jury report and in Ireland. 

The Vatican stated in May 2011 it was taking action. A letter was written to bishops’ conferences around the world which didn’t already have a “coordinated and effective program” in place “to prepare policies and guidelines for dealing with cases of clerical sexual abuse of children” and to have them drafted by May 2012. In November, the Vatican issued guidelines to the bishops encouraging them to develop “effective, quick, articulated, complete and decisive plans for the protection of children, bringing perpetrators to justice and assisting victims.” The Vatican claimed the guidelines represented a “very important new step” towards regaining “full credibility.”  

On July 11, 2012, Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s top investigator of clerical sex abuse, said “most of the bishops’ conferences around the world have missed a Vatican deadline on drawing up anti-abuse guidelines….that all those who did not send in their proposed guidelines would be getting ‘a letter of reminder.’” Furthermore, “evaluating each country’s proposed policies and guidelines for dealing with cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors will take ‘at least a year,’ and that process will not begin until after the summer.”  

As regards Vatican finances, Vaticano S.p.A. (Vatican Inc.), a best-selling book in Italy by Gianluigi Nuzzi published in 2009, revealed internal documents given to Nuzzi by a whistleblower showing the Vatican Bank to be “a unique ‘off shore’ corridor for politicians around the world who want to keep their money away from legal controls….The IOR [the Italian acronym for the bank] is like a credit card that ensures privileges to be granted in exchange for political backing, legal provisions and business support.”  

 His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI, also by Gianluigi Nuzzi and published this past spring, contains a new set of Vatican documents turned over to Nuzzi by Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s valet, and others. “The problem of child molestation in America is described in the documents as a simple financial issue: all the money to be paid to the accusers to avert humiliating public trials public.” In addition to “the array of details about smear campaigns, corruption, intrigue, ungodly ambition, ties with the underworld, and sexual scandal” among the Vatican hierarchs. the documents also expose “money laundering and threats.”  

IOR president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, after being ousted on May 24, 2012, said he was fired “because he got too close to the truth about the bank’s shady dealings.” Gotti Tedeschi, who was personally selected by Pope Benedict for this position, further explained that “he found the bank’s record much worse than he could have imagined, and that he spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful forces whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency.”   

This time in a “very important new step” towards regaining “full credibility,” the Vatican requested that the Council of Europe’ Moneyval committee of financial experts audit its internal controls. A week after Scicluna’s admission of non-compliance with no consequences, the committee issued its report evaluating the measures put in place to prohibit money-laundering and terrorist financing. “Those findings undercut conspiracy theories,” declared National Catholic Reporter senior correspondent John L. Allen Jr. although the Moneyval committee clearly stated that no action had actually yet been taken by the Vatican to discover criminal financial transactions and that these internal regulations would have no independent oversight since the Vatican is a sovereign state.  

Yesterday it was reported that the Vatican hired a Swiss anti-money-laundering expert, Rene Brülhart, as a consultant “to strengthen the Holy See’s framework to fight financial crimes.”  “One of the areas where Brülhart will have to focus his attention is the Vatican’s new Financial Intelligence Authority which received a failing grade [from the Moneyval committee]”  

Brülhart’s credentials are impressive. But like the Moneyval committee, the man cannot evaluate what he cannot see. Even as a “consultant” you can be sure he will not have access to whatever the Vatican doesn’t want him to look at. Just like the Vatican’s pretense of a response to its worldwide aiding and abetting child torture, it’s difficult to believe that this pretense of a response to financial crimes is anything but another PR move.

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