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      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! ]]
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      In the last two weeks or so it really feels as though we've turned a corner here in the Twin Cities with many signs of winter's weakening grip. I saw firsthand these signs on a recent walk down to Minnehaha Creek to what I've come to call the Prayer Tree (left).Of course, none of this is surprising given that the vernal (spring) equinox and th […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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      St Patrick's Day – a very, very bizarre celebration indeed. A [a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop] who attempted to annihilate the Druids, who conducted exorcisms to banish the great Irish faery deity Aine, who told lies about the faery, who claimed he threw Pagan women who would not convert into the ocean and they became mer […]
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Trouble in Equator, Cardinal Stepinac and Boston Archdiocese to be Bailed Out?

Last week I wrote that the Boston archdiocese would be left to drown in red ink. It appeared that this archdiocese was not worth saving from financial hardships by the American Church’s “donors”* due to the liberal politics of the majority of Boston-area Catholics. Apparently, there are enough “authentic” and “faithful” Catholics in the area to warrant a bail out or, more likely, a fortune in investments and real estate which needs protecting.

(*In a YouTube video, famous Chicago priest, Fr. Michael Pfleger, referred to the US Catholic Church  as “another Fortune 500 company” and “part of the problems” our country faces at present.)

Catholic News Service reported yesterday, “The Archdiocese of Boston has opened the canonization cause of an Opus Dei priest, Father Joseph Muzquiz, who established the organization in the United States and worked for many years in the greater Boston area.” Since it was widely reported at the time of Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva’s canonization in 2002 that the route to sainthood was greased by extremely large donations to the Vatican along the way, let’s see if this helps the Boston Church balance its budget.

The National Catholic Reporter called the following “one of the most unusual – and disturbing – stories you will read for some time.”  The Sucumbios diocese in Equator has been transformed “from a jungle area with isolated indigenous communities to a magnet for internal migration after the discovery of oil which began to be exported in 1972.” There is also, “a broad range of logging, farming and commercial activities in the remote province, which now has airports and paved roads, as well as a wide gap between rich and poor and severe pollution caused by the oil industry.”

The diocese had been assigned to the Discalced Carmelites and has now been handed over to a religious order known as Heralds of the Gospel.

The fast-growing Brazilian-based order, recognized in 2001 by the Vatican, lives by military as well as religious discipline….

[The temporary replacement for the ousted Carmelite bishop] was instructed by the Vatican to bring about a shift in the Church’s pastoral care, away from the social focus taken by the Carmelites for 80 years.

The Heralds of the Gospel priests showed up in the tropical rainforest region wearing their medieval-looking habits, consisting of knee-length black riding boots, a white cassock with a large brown scapular bearing a half white, half red cross extending from neck to hem with arms in the shape of fleurs-de-lys, and chains at the waist.

Their style and attitude towards the Church’s social work sparked resistance from the local population in Nueva Loja, the provincial capital….

Meanwhile, the Heralds mobilized demonstrations by wealthy segments of the population in Nueva Loja, who clashed with the people protesting the arrival of the new order.

I was reminded that Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez had, for many years, been in charge of the large Opus Dei chapter in Houston, Texas, corporate headquarters for the US petro-chemical industry. The current ordinary of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese, Daniel DiNardo, is the only cardinal so far in the Southern United States.

It goes without saying that the Catholic Church has no influence in the Middle East, but all the areas in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa tied to large oil production will have strong, conservative prelates if they don’t already.


Thank God there are still people who remember World War II atrocities lest the world forget. Pope Benedict was in Croatia last weekend. In another stunning attempt to rewrite history (the pope had stated that South American indigenous peoples were “silently longing to be Christians” before being conquered and colonized and that Muhammad brought “things only evil and inhuman”):

Visiting [Croatian Cardinal Alojzije] Stepinac’s grave in Zagreb the pope said this cardinal “knew how to resist totalitarianism in all its forms, as a defender of Jews, Orthodox Christians and any persecuted group under the Nazi and fascist dictatorship, and an advocate for believers and persecuted and murdered priests under communism”. 

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants denounced the pope for honoring Stepinac, recalling that the Zagreb cardinal was a passionate supporter of the Ustashe, whose brutalities were so extreme that they even shocked some of their Nazi masters. 

 The article reminds us that 800,000 Orthodox, Jews, Roma and others died in the Ustashe concentration camps not counting the rest of the wartime casualties.


One Response

  1. […] I noted in my blog dated June 10, 2011: Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez for many years had been in charge of the […]

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