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  • RSS Queering the Church

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  • 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

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  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Happy Birthday, Buffy! February 21, 2018
      Above: Buffy and guitarist Anthony King performing at the Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI on Saturday, August 27, 2016. (Photo: Michael J. Bayly)Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie turns 77 today. Happy Birthday, Buffy!As regulars readers will know, I’ve long admired Buffy Sainte-Marie and enjoyed her music. Indeed, I find her to be a very inspiring figure […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day February 20, 2018
      Over the past decade, the Catholic laity (at least in the U.S.) have consistently polled positively when asked about LGBTQ issues. The people in the pews are obviously leading the way in the church on LGBTQ issues. The change at the grassroots means that eventually change will have to take place at higher levels of the church.– Francis DeBernardoExcerpted fr […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • SPICING UP THE CHURCH: February 14, 2018
      Here is the website of the wonderful meeting group for gay Christians in the Czech republic, Logos. And below is their position statement. Check them out. Logos – Gay Christians in the Czech RepublicWe are an ecumenical fellowship of gay and lesbian Christians and their friends, in which we share our faith in all its diverse manifestations, and try to suppor […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Call Me By Your Name: Film of the Year January 18, 2018
      An exquisite love story that defies explanation and refuses to judge or label its characters. Why did they fall in love, why were these two men able to cross the gender lines and love another member of the same sex. The film doesn't answer that question and even challenges us not to ask it. Simply to accept the beautify and power of love where ever and […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • 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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    • Who is Alex van der Zwaan? February 21, 2018
      In the news: Former Skadden Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia InvestigationThe son-in-law of a Russia-based billionaire admitted on Tuesday to lying to investigators about his communications with a former Trump campaign aide. The guilty plea by the defendant, a former lawyer at a powerful New York-based law firm, broadened the scope of the special coun […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Pope’s Claim, “I Normally Meet Sex Abuse Victims,” is Contradicted by Lack of Action

Pope Francis has a history of dishonesty and hypocrisy on the subject of clerical sex abuse. Survivors of sex abuse, and those who “normally” meet with them, know there are a number of actions the pope can take immediately to protect children, but he refuses to do so.

“On Fridays – sometimes this is known and sometimes it is not known – I normally meet some of them [sex abuse victims],” the pope said. He had “approved for publication” this and other statements he made last month.

“The percentage of pedophiles who are Catholic priests does not reach 2 percent, it’s 1.6 percent. It is not that much,” the pope also told his listeners.
Continue reading

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U.S. Media: Pope Aiding and Abetting Torture is a Moral Leader

The UN Committee Against Torture “found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic Church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” in May 2014. The members “ordered the Vatican to hand over files containing details of clerical sexual abuse allegations to police forces around the world … to use its authority over the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to ensure all allegations of clerical abuse are passed on to the secular authorities and to impose ‘meaningful sanctions’ on any Church officials who fail to do so.”

Pope Francis has refused to put any of these measures in place. Children around the world are now in even more danger because the powerful U.S. media has put the world on notice that the one man who can make real change need not do so. Not only is the pope not accountable, but also his “representative and their aides” around the world. Continue reading

Scandals Swirl Around Pope Francis: Sex Abuse, Child Porn, Cocaine and Corruption

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In just the latter half of 2017, over a dozen scandals – with hints of more to come – drew close to the pope but were mostly ignored by the U.S. media.

July 3 – Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer accused of sex abuse cover-up.

Pope Francis appointed Ladaria as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican department that addresses cases of clergy sexual abuse, on June 30. Ladaria had previously served as secretary, the second highest official.

Three days later, Ladaria was accused of covering up for Fr. Gianni Trotta. “The congregation received complaints against Trotta in 2009 and three years later found him guilty of sexually abusing minors, demoting him from the priesthood but failing to inform the Italian authorities …. Ladaria wrote to the bishop of Foggia in 2012 instructing him not to divulge the reasons why Trotta had been stripped of his priesthood “so as to avoid scandal.”

Trotta continued to dress as a priest and became the coach of a youth soccer team.

Trotta, already convicted of sexual violence against an 11-year-old and sentenced to eight years in prison by a civil court, is now standing trial for nine other alleged cases of sex abuse against boys that occurred in 2014. “Trotta allegedly raped five, abused others in his home individually or in groups, photographing them during sexual acts.”

“If Ladaria had informed the police, these children would have been safe,” journalist and Vatican expert Emiliano Fittipaldi noted. Continue reading

Pope Francis Visits Chile and Peru: Sex Abuse, Politics and Opus Dei

This is the pope’s sixth trip to the region with which he is most familiar. But this one is different. This is the first time he will face a populace aware of both his indifference, at best, to victims of sexual abuse and, at worse, his efforts to shield the perpetrators. In addition, there is a consistent pattern of issues, as well as an alliance of powerful elites from church and state, in both countries.

Pope Francis will face significant hostility when he visits Chile Jan. 15 – 18. Demonstrations have been planned to protest his response to clerical sex abuse.

There had been a near riot in Osorno when Pope Francis assigned Juan Barros Madrid as bishop in 2015. Victims of the sexual predator, Fr. Fernando Karadima, accused Barros of sometimes being present while Karadima abused them and then covering-up for the priest.

More than 1,300 Osorno Catholics, along with some 30 priests from the diocese and 51 of 120 members of Chile’s Parliament, sent letters to Pope Francis urging him to rescind the appointment. The Laity of Osorno organization also sent innumerable letters with the same request “to the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican embassy, bishops, cardinals, friends of the pope and other Vatican officials. They did not receive an answer, although it was confirmed that the letters had been received.”

Pope Francis was asked to tape a personal message via video for Osorno Catholics. He told them, “The Church has lost (part of its) freedom by allowing politicians to put ideas in the heads (of Church members), by judging a bishop without any proof after 20 years in service. Think with your heads and don’t be carried away by any accusations made by lefties.” Continue reading

Pope’s Personal Income: Billions and Very Secret

In 2013, the first year of Pope Francis’ pontificate, Catholics around the world put €378 million (over $515 million) in the collection basket for the annual Peter’s Pence donation, the fund for the pope’s charitable works. This information was provided by Emiliano Fittipaldi in his book, Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church.

That same year, as in every year before, the Vatican Bank financial statement noted that profits were “offered to the Holy Father in support of his apostolic and charitable ministry.” In 2013, that was “a sum of €50,000,000” (over $68 million). A declaration that profits were given to the pope has been omitted in subsequent  statements. Continue reading

Two New Books Reveal the Dark Heart of the Francis Papacy: Sex Abuse

Emiliano Fittipaldi’s Lussuria. Peccati scandali e tradimenti di una Chiesa fatta di uomini (Lust. Sins, Scandals, and Betrayal of a Church Made of Men) chronicles Pope Francis’ personal involvement in the global sex abuse of children.

Gianluigi Nuzzi’s Peccato Originale (Original Sin) recounts how Pope Francis was personally informed of alleged sex abuse of minors in the Vatican’s preseminary where boys aspiring to become priests serve as altar boys for papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica. The pope did nothing to stop it. Continue reading

Why the U.S. Catholic Church Has Lost More Members than Any Other Major Denomination

The downward trend in the number of Catholics is pretty familiar by now. In 2016, we were 18% of the population according to a recent PRRI report. In 2014, we were 21% and in 2007, 24% according to a Pew Religious Landscape Study.

The decline in non-Hispanic white Catholics is a bit steeper: 11% in 2016, 12% in 2014 and 16% in 2007.

Thirty six percent of Catholics are Hispanic; 9% are black, Asian and other. Hispanics are 52% of Catholics under the age of 30. The proportion of Hispanics is likely to increase because they have younger children and larger families, according to PRRI.

In 1990, native-born Catholics were 23% of the U.S. population and 87% were white, non-Hispanic.

“The largest decline among major religious groups” has occurred in the Catholic Church according to an earlier PRRI survey. “Nearly one-third (31.2%) of Americans report being raised in a Catholic household, but only about one in five (20.9%) Americans identify as Catholic currently.”

A 2014 Pew Research study found the same. “The greatest net losses [in the number of Americans claiming a religious affiliation] by far, have been experienced by Catholics. Nearly one-third of American adults (31.7%) say they were raised Catholic. Among that group, fully 41% no longer identify with Catholicism. This means that 12.9% of American adults are former Catholics.” Continue reading