• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • 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

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Lent: A Season Set Apart February 10, 2016
      The season of Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday.It's an important time . . . and opportunity. For as Joan Chittister reminds us: Lent is a call to weep for what we could have been and are not. Lent is the grace to grieve for what we should have done and did not. Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not. Lent is not about pen […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Nijinsky's "Crown of Thorns" February 8, 2016
      Artist Damian Siqueiros contends that famed dancerVaslav Nijinsky's "internal torment", his "crown of thorns,"was the result of societal repression around hisgay "love affair" with impresario Sergei Diagilev.Yet was that really the case?I've been reading quite a lot about legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) an […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • 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

    • Top 25 LGBTQ Christian books of 2015 - from Jesus in Love Blog December 21, 2015
      In my haste to run through a list of best gay fiction of the year in the previous posting (and Tennessee's biography), I should have clarified that I was looking primarily at 'secular' gay fiction, but with an eye wide open for any religious themes that might surface. The most Catholic of my offerings, Tom Spanbauer's Now is the Hour, too […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • Gay Books of the Year December 13, 2015
      Have been neglecting this blog of late, but not the issues it deals with. At the moment I'm on a reading spree of some of the 'best gay LGBT books of the year" depending on who you listen to.  I hope to review quite a few during the upcoming Christmas break. I've been paying special attention to YA Gay fiction, aimed primarily at teens. B […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Links and oranges February 10, 2016
      I picked some of the oranges from the tree in the yard today. My parents planted the tree when I was a kid, along with plum and apricot trees. My step-father has a lot of fruit tress at his house now too - mostly pluots. But anyway, the orange tree isn't doing so well now, perhaps from years of drought, and the oranges are the size of tangerines ;)Links […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

The Pope’s Pursuit of Global Relevance Should be Quashed Because of Continuing Sex Abuse

stock-photo-74729579-pope-francis-in-the-usaPope Francis has been trying to improve his relationship with other governments.

“The world looks to this great wisdom of yours,” the pope told China’s Xi Jinping. Francis “urged the world not to fear China’s growing power and conveyed a message of friendship” to the president in an interview published Feb. 2.

Pope Francis granted a 40-minute private audience to Iran president Hassan Rouhani on Jan. 26.  If they discussed Iran’s alliance with Russia supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s “extermination” of his civilian population, it was not mentioned in the Vatican’s press release – a strange omission for a pope who is always urging compassion for the Assad’s refugees.

Pope Francis will meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Cuban president Raul Castro on Feb. 12 in Cuba. Kirill is a close ally of Pres. Vladimir Putin, so the meeting has Putin’s approval. Kirill will be in Cuba at the invitation of Castro to celebrate the historic ties between the Russian Orthodox church and the island nation, a result of Cuba’s historical alliance with Russia. The meeting was probably arranged after Castro met Kirill in Moscow when he went to discuss with Putin “increased bilateral cooperation with Russia and the implementation of joint projects” last May and then flew directly to a private meeting with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis’ prestige outside the Catholic Church rests entirely on his being viewed as a moral authority. Yet recent events prove his continuing contempt for past, present and future victims of clerical sex abuse. The only outspoken member of the pope’s sex abuse commission was booted out on Feb. 6. “Peter Saunders has frequently argued that the panel is writing ineffectual guidelines instead of exposing predator priests who continue to molest children.”

Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Personal Income: €428 Million in 2013

The Peter’s Pence collection totaled €378 million in 2013. (1 euro = 1.10 dollar) Peter’s Pence is an annual collection from Catholics worldwide asked to donate to the pope’s charitable works.

The Vatican Bank’s annual profits are also “offered the Holy Father in support of his apostolic and charitable ministry.” This was €50 million in 2013.

While popes have used the bank’s profits to support the Vatican’s administration as they see fit, the Peter’s Pence donations are intended to be given entirely to charity.

Pope Francis makes only 20 percent  of the Peter’s Pence collection available for the poor as disclosed by Gianluigi Nuzzi, in his book Merchants in the Temple, released in November 2015. This was confirmed by Pope Francis’ chief of staff, Archbishop Becciu, last month.  The archbishop said if even 60 per cent of Peter’s Pence was given to charity “we would have to immediately fire 400 people” out of the current 4,000 Vatican employees. Continue reading

Can a Fox News Alumnus Reverse the Pope’s Decreasing Popularity?

images

Last April, 56% of Americans surveyed viewed Pope Francis “in a positive light … By contrast, only 44% of Americans viewed Barack Obama in a positive light.”  A Gallup poll published December 28 showed 17% of Americans named President Obama as their most admired man in the world; the pope and Donald Trump were tied for second with only 5% each.

Attendance in 2015 at the public audiences with Pope Francis at the Vatican was down almost by half compared to the previous year.

Although Pope Francis was prepared to intervene in the Paris Climate Change Conference in December, no one asked him to do so. No representative of the Vatican was in attendance. Continue reading

U.S. Bishops’ Unrelenting Assault Against Women and Gays to Support the GOP in 2016

USCCB Meeting November 2010

For over three decades, the Republican Party has used the Religious Right to energize conservative Christians to political activism and to get out the vote. Republicans running for office in numerous states and the U.S. Congress are preparing for battles in 2016 over discrimination protection  for LBGT persons, religious exemptions for nonprofits and businesses objecting to gay marriage and contraception, and greater restrictions on abortion and Planned Parenthood.

At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) annual General Assembly in November, “their first assembly since gay marriage became legal nationwide, they vowed to uphold marriage as only the union of a man and a woman and to seek legal protections for those who share that view. Some bishops said they were committed to reversing the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling last June … Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said a concerted effort was needed to ‘build a consensus’ to do so. As a model, he pointed to new state laws  that have made it harder to obtain an abortion.”

USCCB president, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, “highlighted the bishops’ push for religious exemptions for charities, schools and individual for-profit business owners who oppose gay marriage and other laws and regulations.” Continue reading

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Malarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!

Originally <a href=http://www.talk2action.org/story/2015/12/30/134622/25”>posted at</a> Talk to Action.

Yes, folks it’s that time of the year again. It’s time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every year, the competition was stiff, so much so that this year for the first time we have a tie!  This year’s award goes to <a href=”http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/archbishop-salvatore-cordileone-takes-divisive-action-san-francisco-archdiocese“>Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone</a> and <a href=”http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2015/01/maureen-mullarkey-strikes-again-and.html“>Maureen Malarkey</a>.

 

The Coughlin Award — affectionately known as “The Coughie” — is our way of recognizing the person who has best exemplified an exclusionary, strident interpretation of the Catholic faith in the preceding year. The award is named for <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin“>Father Charles Coughlin</a>, the notorious radio priest of the 1930s who is the role model for today’s Religious Right radio and television evangelists, and other conservative media personalities.<p>

 

Best known for his diatribes against FDR, Judaism and open sympathy with the racist policies of Adolph Hitler, Coughlin’s advocacy was antithetical to the very definition of the word “catholic,” which, according to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary means:<p><p>

 

<blockquote>Catholic Cath”o*lic\ (k[a^]th”[-o]*[i^]k), a. [L. catholicus, Gr. kaqoliko`s, universal, general; kata` down, wholly + “o`los whole, probably akin to E. solid: cf. F. catholique.]<p>

  1. Universal or general; as, the catholic faith.<p>

Men of other countries [came] to bear their part in so great and catholic a war. –Southey.<p>

Note: This epithet, which is applicable to the whole Christian church, or its faith, is claimed by Roman Catholics to belong especially to their church, and in popular usage is so limited.<p><p>

*Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; liberal; as, catholic tastes.<p>

*Of or pertaining to, or affecting the Roman Catholics; as, the Catholic emancipation act.</blockquote><p><p>

In order to win a Coughie, a candidate must complete three qualifying tasks: 1) Make the faith decisively less inclusive 2) Engage in incendiary behavior and 3) Ultimately embarrasses the Church. This year’s winners — as usual — have risen to the challenge.<p>

 

This year there were so many exemplars of the Coughlin tradition, our judges had a hard time deciding whom to choose. For example, there was Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), the Tea Partying, climate change denying gun rights activist who published a screed on <i>Townhall.com</i> entitled, “Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis’ Address to Congress.” And then there was (and <a href=http://www.talk2action.org/story/2014/12/30/82455/131”>last year’s winner</a>), Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia — whose strident divisiveness always makes him a contender. But as the nominating committee pointed out — neither of them can hold a candle to this year’s co-winners.

 

Since it is my belief that chivalry is not dead, ladies first.

 

<b>Maureen Mullarkey</b>

 

Our first award winner is Maureen Mullarkey, the <a href=http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/02/dana-rudolph-educational-challenge-of.html”>painter</a>-cum-political writer who

topped the charts of high-minded commentary about the current pontiff with <a href=http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/24/che-guevaras-pope/”>Che Guevara’s Pope </a>.

 

As I <a href=http://www.talk2action.org/story/2015/9/21/131542/062”>

observed</a> in September 2015 :

 

<blockquote>Then there is conservative writer Maureen Mullarkey who recently inked a poison pen piece entitled, <a href=”http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/mullarkey/2015/01/francis-political-illusion“>”Francis and Political Illusion”</a> in which she describes Francis as “an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist.” Mullarkey subsequently published a piece entitled, <a href=”http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/26/pope-francis-is-a-leftist-and-must-be-called-out/“>”Pope Francis Is A Leftist And Must Be Called Out”</a>. In it, she complains that Francis is not being harsher on Islam “when innocents are slaughtered in Paris by the same forces that are shedding Christian blood in the Middle East… .”<p>

Such ranting should be no surprise coming from Mullarkey who is a contributor to the journal <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Things“><i>First Things</i></a>, the well-known outlet for Catholic and Evangelical neoconservatives.</blockquote>

 

But Mullarkey had gone too far — even for <i>First Things</i>, which took down her last piece and fired her as a contributing writer. Editor R.R. Reno explained, <a href=https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/09/no-more-tirades”>No More Tirades</a>:

 

<blockquote> I’ve criticized Pope Francis and his encyclical, <i>Laudato Si</i>. However, Maureen’s commentary on Francis goes well beyond measured criticism. She consistently treats him as an ideological propagandist, accusing him of reducing the faith to secular political categories. This is her way of reducing him to the political terms she favors. And those terms are the ones used by radio talk-show hosts to entertain the public with mock-battles against various Empires of Evil. I don’t want First Things to play that game.</blockquote>

 

That, readers, was the Coughie clincher!

 

<b>Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone</b>

 

But in 2015 Coughlin Award-winning divisiveness was not the sole domain of Maureen Mullarkey. In fact, this year’s co-winner is a culture warrior, <i>par excellence</i>!

 

In 2012 Pope Benedict installed Salvatore Cordileone as the archbishop of San Francisco. To say that he was not a good fit for the progressively tolerant City by the Bay is an understatement. The archbishop is both a strong proponent of the Latin mass as well as being a signatory to the anti-marriage equality manifesto known as <a href=http://www.politicalresearch.org/2013/07/23/christian-right-seeks-renewal-in-deepening-catholic-protestant-alliance/#sthash.savcOVUH.dpbs”>the Manhattan Declaration</a>.  (He went on to chair the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee on the promotion and defense of marriage.)

 

 

Archbishop Cordileone is such a polarizing figure that a hundred prominent Bay area Catholics took out a full page ad in the <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i> calling for his resignation. <a href=http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/influential-catholics-call-removal-san-francisco-bishop-full-page-ad”>

According to</a> the <i>National Catholic Reporter</i>:

 

<blockquote>In an April 16 <a href=http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/04/cordileonead.jpg”>full-page advertisement</a> in the <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i>, more than 100 signers say the embattled archbishop pursues “a single-issue agenda,” coercing teachers with a “morality code which violates individual consciences as well as California labor laws” and “[isolating] himself from our community” as he “relies … on a tiny group of advisors recruited from outside of our diocese and estranged from their own religious orders.”</p>

 

Referring to themselves as “committed Catholics inspired by Vatican II,” signers include well-known philanthropists in the archdiocese, members of school and university boards, the former director of Catholic Charities CYO, high-profile attorneys and physicians, major figures in the business and corporate world, and officials of trusts, foundations and charitable organizations.</blockquote>

 

Part of what triggered all this was Archbishop Cordileone’s attempt to add a morality clause to the local Catholic high school teachers’ handbooks. As the <i>San Francisco Chronicle</i> <a href=http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-F-archbishop-s-morality-clauses-run-counter-6063227.php”>reported</a> earlier this year, “It contains a 2,000-word section calling for staff members — in their professional and private lives — to honor church teachings. He specifically cited opposition to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, artificial insemination, cloning and same-sex marriage, not to mention masturbation, fornication and pornography.”

 

Then, as if to outdo himself, in February 2015 a “morality pamphlet” was distributed to elementary School level parochial students within the diocese. Its shocking contents <a href=http://www.cbsnews.com/news/star-of-the-sea-school-morality-pamphlet-backlash-parents/”>were reported</a> by <i>CBS News</i>:

 

<blockquote>Questions included, “Did I participate or approve of a mercy killing?” “Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another (adultery, fornication or sodomy)?” …  Star of the Sea parish pastor Father Joseph Illo said when he realized in December the adult content of the pamphlets in December, he halted their distribution.</blockquote>

 

The many examples of the Archbishop’s Coughie-worthy achievements include <a href=http://ncronline.org/news/people/surprise-resignation-stuns-california-seminary-students-faculty”>the sacking of popular priests</a> and the use of <a href=http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/03/19/3635964/what-would-jesus-do-definitely-not-this/”>sprinklers to keep the homeless away</a> from St. Mary’s Cathedral.  Archbishop Cordileone may not be a Pope Francis Catholic — but he may be a Maureen Mullarkey Catholic!

 

So then you have it ladies and gentlemen; I give you Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey our 2015 Coughlin Award co-winners!

 

 

 

 

Pope v. Traditionalists – A Catholic Civil War

images

The above is paraphrasing the title of a recent article by Damian Thompson, associate editor of Britain’s oldest magazine, The Spectator. Thompson was referring to a speech delivered Oct. 24 by Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family in which 270 bishops from around the world met in Rome.

The pope said prelates should confront difficult issues “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.” He accused traditionalist bishops of having “closed hearts,” “blinkered viewpoints,” judging “sometimes with superiority and superficiality.”  Continue reading

Pope v. Curia – A Catholic Civil War

images

The above is paraphrasing the title of a recent article by Damian Thompson, associate editor of Britain’s oldest magazine, The Spectator. Thompson was referring to a speech delivered Oct. 24 by Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family. The pope provoked hostilities with Catholic traditionalists to strengthen the perception that he is wants to liberalize the Church but is prevented by prelates with “closed-hearts.”

Pope Francis has also cast his employees as the villains blocking his “reform” of the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Curia.

In his 2014 Christmas “greeting” to his Curia, Pope Francis “launched a stinging attack” denouncing their “hypocrisy” as “typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness,” “existential schizophrenia,” having a “lust for power” and being guilty of “careerism and opportunism.” Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 151 other followers