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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
      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
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    • Michael Greyeyes' Latest Film Provides a "New Understanding of How History Repeats" January 14, 2019
      Above: Michael Greyeyes as Sitting Bull and Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weldon in the film Woman Walks Ahead.I watched on Amazon Prime today a film I'd long wanted to see: Susanna White's 2017 biographical drama, Woman Walks Ahead. (You may recall I wrote about this film back in October of 2017.)A major reason for my interest in this film is that […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day January 9, 2019
      President Trump tonight has told us why he believes we need the wall. It gives me no pleasure to tell you what most of you already know. President Trump lies all of the time – and in his remarks tonight, and in recent weeks regarding immigration and the wall, he continues to lie. In terms of immigration in this country, what we need to do is not to waste bil […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • 'Boy Erased' Star Lucas Hedges Comes Out as 'Not Totally Straight' January 14, 2019
      This story is about four months old, so I'm a little late coming to it. But I feel it is quite significant. I've borrowed the title straight from Out Magazine. A young up-and-coming American actor, Lucas Hedges, star of the 'gay conversion therapy' film, Boy Erased, with Nicole Kidman, came 'out of the closet', according to repo […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Mystical Czech artist, Marie Brozova February 22, 2018
      About Life, Universe and All…The luminous Czech artist, Marie Brozova, creator of the wonderful 'Forest Shaman' painting featured on my blog, lives with her husband and seven cats deep in a Czech forest - without electricity or running water. No computers, no cell phones, no TV. Only the silence and the sounds of nature and the spirits. Artist Mari […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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    • The not so secret lives of priests January 15, 2019
      The American cardinal who slept with numerous seminarians and abused minors has been in the news again - Wuerl knew of McCarrick abuse allegations, according to Catholic officialsThis scandal is just the latest that has come to public attention, but the real story is a about that slow-motion train wreck known of as the Catholic priesthood. Mandatory celibacy […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
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Two Lawsuits Name the Vatican. Perhaps Justice At Last.

In October, two sexual abuse survivors sued the Vatican in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco for failing to prevent and covering up the abuse of them and other children by priests.

In November, a class-action lawsuit on behalf of six sexual assault victims was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit accuses the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican of “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others by members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) establishes the limitations as to whether a foreign sovereign nation (or its political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities) may be sued in U.S. courts. Under that law, a foreign state shall be liable for personal injury or death occurring in the United States and caused by the foreign state or any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment. (I am not a lawyer, so I hope anyone wanting exact information will click on these links for the specifics.)

Until now, the Vatican prevailed in three * lawsuits by asserting that its bishops and clergy are not “officials or employees acting within the scope of his office or employment.” Pope Francis’ recent action, however, may open the door to success for survivors of clerical sex abuse. Continue reading

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The Bishops’ Meeting: From Bad to Worse

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury disclosed credible allegations of sexual abuse by over 300 priests, with thousands of victims.  A joint Boston Globe/Philadelphia Inquirer investigation, published Nov. 3, found more than 130 U.S. bishops –  or nearly one-third of those still living – have been accused of failing to properly respond to sexual misconduct allegations.

The bishops’ response was much-anticipated. But, at their Nov. 12-14 meeting, they failed to adopt reforms addressing the sex abuse crisis

“Bottom line – Catholics have lost trust in their leaders,” declared Tom Gjelten, who covers religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, after the meeting.

“Too many are losing faith, losing trust, losing hope – we are, in so many ways, losing our religion,” wrote Deacon Greg Kandra.

“This loss of trust in the leadership of the Church makes this the most significant crisis confronting ting the church since the Reformation,” noted Madeline E. Lacovara in the magazine, America.

As usual, important issues were misstated or neglected by the U.S. mainstream media in reporting on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) meeting. Continue reading

Opus Dei’s Influence on the U.S. Judiciary

Leonard Leo can take credit for installing four Supreme Court justices”- John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. “As executive vice president of the Federalist Society, Leo has been the quiet architect of a pivotal shift to the right throughout the federal judiciary” including “dozens of lower court federal judges across the country.”

It was Leo who prepared Trump’s “list of judges and the people that he’s put on the bench.”

Leo is on the board of directors of Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center located at 15th and K Street, two blocks from the White House. The Center is “a rallying point for ultra-conservative Catholics eager for a voice in the secular halls of government power” and “advances a hard-right political agenda,” according to Church and State, Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s magazine. Continue reading

The Vatican: Corrupt at its Core

The institution as we know it today began with a 1929 treaty. Italy created the Vatican as an independent state, meaning the pope and his men are not subject to any regulation or law enforcement except their own. At the same time, it was decided that the financial windfall from the treaty would be handled without moral or ethical restraint. The greatest atrocity of the Church is the centuries-long, world-wide sexual torture of children. However, the corruption resulting from the combination of no legal oversight and amoral finances – evidenced by monetary crimes and malfeasance – were known long before the extent of the cruelties of sex abuse. Continue reading

We Need to Listen to the Survivors of Clerical Sex Abuse

Since the news about the nowArchbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of minors and seminarians, and a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing the sexual abuse of over 1,000 minors by over 300 clergymen, dozens of  “experts” have opined about what must change in the Catholic Church  to  prevent further suffering. Although well-meaning, they are wrong and perhaps using this human catastrophe to advance their own agendas.   Continue reading

“Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.” A MOST EGREGIOUS LIE!

After the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report revealing decades of clerical sex abuse and cover up, yesterday a Vatican spokesman declared, “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.” REALLY???

  • On at least five occasions, Pope Francis was personally informed about sexual predators and did nothing to stop them.
  • Currently, officials in Chile are raiding Church offices for information on clerical sex abuse because Pope Francis refuses to provide that information.
  • On July 24, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, head of the Church in Chile, was accused of covering up sexual abuse. He covered up clerical sex abuse for decades even before Pope Francis elevated him to cardinal in 2014. Ezzati remains in office.
  • Luis Ladaria Ferrer, elevated to cardinal May 20 and promoted to prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis, is awaiting a trial announced on April 4 by French authorities for covering up a child sex abuse scandal.
  • Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga “had protected a pedophile priest from Costa Rica, a fugitive from Interpol, who was found in bed with an eight-year-old child by her mother.” Rodriquez Maradiaga was chosen by Pope Francis to head his Council of Cardinals to advise him on Church governance.
  • Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, the retired archbishop of Santiago, made headlines in Chile for protecting  a sexual predator long before Pope Francis chose him for his Council of Cardinals.
  • Cardinal George Pell will stand trial for “historical sex abuse” in Australia. Before being chosen by Pope Francis, he made national headlines for his mistreatment of sex abuse survivors. When one former altar boy dared to sue, Pell “instructed his lawyers to “crush this victim.” Pell, Rodriguez Maradiaga and Errazuriz all remain as members of the pope’s council.
  •  “88 bishops worldwide have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing – 60 allegedly abused minors, and 28 are publicly accused of sexual abuse/sexual misconduct with adults only.” To date, only four have been laicized or “defrocked.”
  • 14 still-active bishops have been accused of complicity with abusive priests

Continue reading

The Pope and Sex Abuse: Back to Business as Usual When the U.S. Media Isn’t Looking

Just this past week, the U.S. media treated Pope Francis as the world’s leading “moral authority.” The New York Times even posted the pope’s declaration that the death penalty is “inadmissible” on its online front page for two days. Yet they, and the rest of the U.S. media, ignored what else happened the past month.

  • As of July 24, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, head of the Church in Chile, is under investigation by civil authorities. He covered up clerical sex abuse for decades even before Pope Francis elevated him to cardinal in 2014.
  • Letters dated July 12 urged Pope Francis to remove an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun. On July 24, an Indian official called the allegation “true.”
  • Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle on July 20. A resignation means that the prelate retains his title, honors, income and benefits. The pope has known that Pineda was accused of sex abuse and financial malfeasance since June 2017. Pineda said he handed the pope his resignation “several months ago.”

Continue reading