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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
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      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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    • Tous les Mêmes July 15, 2018
      A musical interlude this sultry Sunday afternoon with "Tous les mêmes" by Stromae. About this song and its music video, Wikipedia notes the following."Tous les mêmes" (French for "[They are] All the Same") is a song by Belgian singer Stromae, released in 2013. The song has peaked at number one on music charts in both Belgium and […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Something to Think About . . . July 11, 2018
      Related Off-site Links:Thai Cave Rescue: All 12 Boys and Soccer Coach Freed – Euan McKirdy, Kocha Olarn and Steve George (CNN, July 10, 2018).The Trump Administration’s Separation of Families at the Border, Explained – Dara Lind (Vox, June 15, 2018).First Wave of Migrant Children Reunited With Parents – Caitlin Dickerson and Manny Fernandez (The New York Tim […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • A Story of Two Jesuits, with Commentary on the Current State of the Catholic Church (Especially re: LGBTQ People) July 15, 2018
      This is a story of two Jesuits. I'm telling it now primarily because news I read about one of the two this week gave me a shock, and, after having read that story, I've been mulling over my years as a student at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1968-1972. Because what I say about these two men involves personal judgments and neither is around […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Remembering Kathy Shaw, Unsung Hero of Abuse Crisis in U.S. Catholic Church July 14, 2018
      During my silent weeks recently, a very important figure in American Catholic journalism died, and I want to remember her here. I'm speaking of Kathy Shaw, who maintained the Bishop Accountability Abuse Tracker site to which there's a link on this blog's main page. Kathy died on 24 June, and as an email from Steve Sheehan today to NSAC News su […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • 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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    • 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 […]
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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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Pope to Bishops: Do as You Please, But Say Nice Stuff and the Media with Cover for You.

Some facts withheld by the mainstream U.S. media:

  • Pope Francis has sponsored only 6 refugee families although the Vatican owns thousands of apartments in Rome.
  • Over 800 U.S faith communities provide sanctuary for immigrants but not the American bishops although they own an estimated 70,000 buildings.
  • Pope Francis gives only 20% of billions earmarked for charity to the poor.
  • Pope Francis has packed the Vatican with vulture capitalists.
  • Many U.S. bishops use “Catholic Foundations” to hide their assets and investments.

Continue reading

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U.S. Media: For the Sake of Our Children, Stop Enabling Pope Francis and Tell the Truth

  • On June 19, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, described as Pope Francis’ “top expert” on sex abuse, said, in effect, that his report on clerical sex abuse in Chile would remain secret. His plan for “healing” and “reconciliation” in Chile was rejected by victims of ecclesial sex abuse.
  • On May 20, Pope Francis announced he was elevating Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer to cardinal. The pope had already promoted Ladaria as head of the Vatican department that handles sex abuse claims. Ladaria had previously served as second in command.  In April, a French court set a date for Ladaria’s trial. He is accused of covering up a child sex abuse scandal.  Far worse, after Ladaria covered up for Fr. Gianni Trotta, the priest sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and there are nine other alleged cases of sex abuse against boys that occurred in 2014.
  • On May 5, Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron was given a place of honor at an event attended by Pope Francis. Apuron is accused of rape and sexual assault of minors. In February, Pope Francis had greeted Apuron “with affection” and “privately giving him a few words of encouragement.” Pope Francis removed Apuron in 2016, meaning he found the charges to be credible, but the archbishop has always remained a free man, retaining his title, income and honors.

Continue reading

Popes Have Long Opposed Human Rights and Supported Tyrants: A (Relatively) Brief History

Most are familiar with the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. Fewer know about Pius XII’s embrace of fascism, his cooperation with the CIA, John Paul II’s alliance with Reagan in support of dictators, the political consequences of his appointment of right-wing bishops in the U.S. and Latin America – including Pope Francis – and the current pontiff’s unknown history.

It is true that, from the beginning, Christians were recognized for their monumental works of charity and Western Civilization owes much to Catholic education, medicine, art, music, architecture etc. It is also true that popes have obstructed freedom and self-rule while choosing to collaborate with dictators and butchers.

While I was writing about Pope Francis’ obsequiousness towards Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin and his vociferous opposition to women’s and LGBTQ persons’  human rights, I thought that if readers were more familiar with papal history, this would be less surprising.

When asked for his opinion on abortion and same-sex marriage, Pope Francis said his position was identical to that of the Church. “I am a son of the Church,” he explained.

This is part of the tradition from which he emerges – remarkable considering Jesus’ “Great Commission” was only to preach the Gospel. Continue reading

Caution: The Pope is Beefing-up his State Department

Because Pope Francis is willing to sacrifice the freedom of Chinese and Ukrainians for his own personal ambition, and his support and encouragement of right-wing governments to deny women and LGBTQ persons’ human rights, we have ample reason for concern.

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State is like the State Departments of other countries. It advises the pope and represents the Holy See – i.e. the government of both the Vatican City State and the global Roman Catholic Church – in international affairs and foreign policy issues.

The Holy See has diplomatic relations with 183 sovereign states in which it maintains a nunciature (embassy).  It also has official diplomatic relations with countries where there are no resident nuncios (ambassadors) and formal contacts with others without official diplomatic relations.

The Holy See has concordats (treaties) with over 200 countries. A concordat “can set up a theological fiefdom where certain human rights do not apply – and where they can never again be reintroduced without the consent of the Catholic Church. This is why concordats represent a fundamental threat to both democracy and human rights.” Continue reading

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

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