• RSS Queering the Church

    • Catholic High School Coach Dismissed – for Homophobic Violence! September 19, 2014
      As we continue to see punitive actions against same – sex Catholic couples who choose to protect their relationships in civil marriage, it’s worth noting that there is in fact nothing in formal Church doctrine, as found in the formal…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
    • When a Priest DEMANDS that a Couple Divorce! September 19, 2014
      Cardinal Damasceno Assis of Aparecida has claimed that the church has always supported stable same – sex relationships. At the level of teaching, there may be some degree of truth in that. At the level of practice, its a different matter entirely.…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • 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
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • 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 […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
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    • Out and About – Summer 2014 September 23, 2014
      As I write this the autumnal equinox is taking place in the northern hemisphere. In other words, summer is ending and autumn (or fall) is beginning. During the autumnal equinox, the sun can be seen at its zenith before its direct rays shift into the Southern Hemisphere for the next six months. Neither of Earth’s hemispheres is tilted toward the sun, which re […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day September 20, 2014
      There are many with a deep and abiding understanding of the depth and breadth of the climate, economic, ecological, social, political crisis we are facing and its common twisted roots. They will not just travel to New York [this weekend to participate in the People's Climate March] and then go quietly home afterwards feeling satisfied and personally red […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Back from the "Dead"/Book Reviews September 13, 2014
      Just getting back on my feet after eight weeks of very intense interactions with Czech kids in summer camp in the mountains. The experience was so intense I felt cut off from my own spirit from time to time, but worth every minute.  What great kids.I'm getting ready to review two books, John Boyne's magnificent fictional treatment of the sex abuse […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • The travails of young love July 30, 2014
      On a bit of a hiatus from blogging for the summer as I recollect my spirit, but I may have some reflections to share this weekend about the difficulties of young love. Been listening to tales of heartbreak from some of my young students. And young River Viiperi has broken from his partner of two years, Paris Hilton, so these must be difficult days for him as […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • プロミスの返済は残高スライド元利定額返済方式 September 11, 2014
      返済に影響するものは金利だけ、そう考えているのであれば今一度利用している消費者金融のホームページを確認してみましょう。実は返済方式も返済に大きく影響するものなのです。例えばプロミスで見てみましょう。返済方式として残高スライド元利定額返済方式が採用されています。これがどういったものなのか、金融専門書を確認しても出てくるものではありません。そもそも、本来であれば管理均等返済方式や元金均等返済方式というのが返済方式の中でも一般的なものですが、残高スライド元利定額返済方式とは新たにできた造語だからです。今では多くの消費者金融がこの返済方式を採用しています。プロミスではこれによって月々の返済の最低金額が決められています。例えば借り入れが2万7000円までであれば1000円の最低返済額、5万5000円までであれば2000円 […]
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Another Jesuit leaving September 23, 2014
      Jesuit leaves church after firings In light of recent firings of gays and lesbians from Catholic institutions, Benjamin Brenkert has left the Catholic church after 10 years of pursuing priesthood in the Jesuit order. "I can't be a Jesuit priest because I can't be a member of the Catholic church right now," Brenkert told NCR. "I can […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Cardinal Dolan’s Neocon Cheerleader

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Since Pope Benedict announced his resignation  only one of the potential successors  (Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi) offers hope for a more moderate papacy. So while conservatives are unlikely to be disappointed, prominent American Catholic neo-con Michael Novak is rooting for Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.  Indeed, if Novak’s one man dream team were to ascend to the Chair of Saint Peter, neo-conservatives like Novak would have the ability influence world events beyond their wildest dreams.  

And if Novak’s dream comes true it would certainly involve the kind of  state-based faith and buccaneer capitalism I have written a lot about.  As typical of many American neocons, Novak began his political odyssey on the Socialist Left but over time, lurched over to the neoconservative Right.  But he is still a revolutionary in search of a revolution.

Novak is a hyper-libertarian when it comes to money but leans towards collective state power on individual morality. And yet there is something profoundly hypocritical about complaining about any state -role in economics while advocating state directed and enforced neo-orthodox Catholic morality. When it comes to business it’s “laissez-faire”, but individuals including (maybe especially) non-Catholics should be coerced into Novak’s neo-Catholic orthodoxy by the long arm of the law.

We should remember that neo-conservatism is built upon a three-legged stool of nationalism (as opposed to patriotism); laissez-faire capitalism (as opposed to the New Deal legacy variety); and religious orthodoxy (as opposed to religious neutrality). It is with this in mind that I must wonder about Novak’s recent cheerleading for Cardinal Dolan to become the Church’s next pope.

While Novak did not mention Cardinal Dolan by name it isn’t difficult to figure out who he wants running things from Vatican City. The neocon “philosopher” has declared, “it’s time for an English speaking candidate to be considered for the post.” After this was pointed out to Cardinal Dolan in a recent interview, with the added proviso “Novak was also referring to the cultural contribution a U.S. Pope could make acting as a crossroads between European and Hispanic cultures” Dolan replied, “Novak is a very intelligent person and what he says always makes sense.”  

For all of his jovial outward appearances, Gotham’s prelate is a vicious culture warrior. For example, when the Opus Dei bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Robert Finn, was taking heat from the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), he joined Bill Donohue and the Catholic League in waging a scorched earth campaign against them, designed to drain it of money while scaring potential victims from cooperating with SNAP.  Novak, it should be noted, serves on the Catholic League’s Board of Advisors, along with other Catholic neocons. The Cardinal has also gone to war against the Affordable Care Act while blunting Catholic criticism of GOP Congressman Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand, libertarian-inspired budget plan.

While Dolan might be the neconservative’s man, Novak’s cheer leading for him is about more than the papacy.  

It is no secret that neo-conservatism has taken a big hit since the debacle of the Iraq War and the halcyon days of  the Bush administration.  Indeed, some of the more pointed criticism of the 2003 invasion has come from the Vatican. Beyond that, much to neocon chagrin even the Papacy of Benedict XVI has denounced the libertarian economics favored by the likes of Robert George, George Weigel and Mr. Novak himself.

Short and sweet:  having a pope who speaks their language sure would help the Catholic necons rebound out of the doldrums.

Cardinal Dolan, Bain Capital, and Archbishop Romero

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

The Republican Party is putting a Catholic face on the kick off of the Romney-Ryan campaign for the White House.  The face is none other than Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who will give the closing prayer at the Republican convention in Tampa.

While Dolan’s appearance broadly implies that  he supports Romney’s candidacy, it serves as a distraction from something the Republicans would rather we not know; or if we do, forget; and for those of us who will never forget, help ensure that we are never heard.  Thirty years ago Mitt Romney sought the financial backing of those who bankrolled the murder of priests, nuns and an archbishop.

When we see the face of Timothy Dolan at the GOP presidential nominating convention, there are other faces we also need to see:


These are the faces of four Catholic nuns murdered by El Salvadoran right-wing death squads in 1982.

And these:
The the faces of six Jesuit priests and two of their young assistants murdered by similar thugs.

And finally this face:

Archbishop Oscar Romero, who simply called for an end to the senseless killing.

These other Catholic faces are the faces of Catholicism at its very best: seeking justice for and reaching out to the marginalized with love and compassion.

But as Cole Stangler and Ryan Grimm recently reported for the Huffington Post when Mitt Romney sought start-up funds for Bain Capital, he went to the people who most benefited from, and perhaps most responsible for their murder.

In 1983, Bill Bain asked Mitt Romney to launch Bain Capital, a private equity offshoot of the successful consulting firm Bain & Company. After some initial reluctance, Romney agreed. The new job came with a stipulation: Romney couldn’t raise money from any current clients, Bain said, because if the private equity venture failed, he didn’t want it taking the consulting firm down with it.

When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region.

The GOP presidential contender cannot, however, plead ignorance of his backers’ unsavory past:

Romney was worried that the oligarchs might be tied to “illegal drug money, right-wing death squads, or left-wing terrorism,” Strachan later told a Boston Globe reporter, as quoted in the 2012 book “The Real Romney.”  But, pressed for capital, Romney pushed his concerns aside and flew to Miami in mid-1984 to meet with the Salvadorans at a local bank.

As Stangler and Grim further reported, “The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million — 40 percent — of Bain Capital’s initial outside funding” adding, “they became valued clients.”

Prominent among these “valued clients” were members of the Salaverria family whose connections to the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), founded by death-squad leader Roberto D’Aubuisson were established not only by Stangler and Grim, but by The Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times.

Before their execution, the four Maryknoll sisters were raped and tortured. Their bodies were then buried in a shallow grave. The six Jesuits were also tortured before they were murdered and left in the courtyard of their residence to serve as a warning to others who dared speak out against injustice and violence. Archbishop Romero was gunned down while saying Mass.

Cardinal Dolan and those on the Catholic Right who now bless the Romney campaign are depending on our forgetting the faces of the victims of Mitt Romney’s original investors.

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