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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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    • The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle October 8, 2015
      As I approach my 50th birthday, Julia Cameron's words on the human body as teacher and guide ring especially true for me. I also think that it's fair to say that our Western consumerist society is one that idolizes youth and certain types of bodies. Yet Cameron's words remind us all of the beautiful gift of our body, no matter its shape or con […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quite Something October 7, 2015
      Last night I attended a listening session with [interim] Archbishop Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the purpose of which was to gather feedback from local Catholics to help inform Pope Francis' choice for our new archbishop.Held at Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie, last night's listening session (part of an ongoi […]
      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)
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    • Rest in Peace Father John McNeil September 25, 2015
      One of the very great patron saints of the gay rights movement in the Catholic Church and the  US passed away on September 22. I can't begin to express how much I owe to him and how deeply his death has moved me. I feel somewhat the way I felt with the news of Thomas Merton's death so many years ago - that there was no longer anyone left that one c […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • Back from Summer Camp August 31, 2015
      Just returned from eight intense non stop weeks of summer camp with Czech kids. Exhausted beyond words, but I wouldn't have missed a moment of it. Thankfully, the world and it's woes were far, far away from us.Now it's back to reality.Here are some of my adorable kids walking through the forest in a happy mood.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
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    • Day 4 of the synod October 9, 2015
      Today's press briefing included some comments from Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana ... Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Pope Francis Judges Gays to be Objectively Disordered, Transgender Rights as Dangerous

Today, Pope Francis heads to Philadelphia to lead the World Meeting of Families. Before leaving for this trip to Cuba and the US, he said, “The family, as God wants it, composed of a man and a woman for the good of the spouses … is deformed by powerful contrary projects.”

The Catechism states that homosexual acts are a “grave depravity.” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, later Pope Benedict XVI – added in 1997 that even the homosexual “inclination” is “objectively disordered.”

So Pope Francis can change this anytime he wants, but he won’t.

The pope said in February 2015, “Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory that does not recognize the order of creation.”

“The ‘gender theory’ Francis is denigrating is the medically and anthropologically supported concept that gender is a construct imposed by society. It is commonly cited in defense of transgender rights, since it shows gender can vary despite society’s expectations.” Continue reading

Pope Met with Bill Donohue, Nuns Fighting Obamacare. He Insulted Native Americans and Sex Abuse Survivors.

Catholic League president, Bill Donohue, who “demagogically conflates progressive and liberal dissent with hate,” met with Pope Francis yesterday following his prayer service with the US bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Also not shown on his public schedule, the pope visited the Little Sisters of the Poor,

the religious order that is involved in a contentious legal battle with the Obama administration over the order’s refusal to comply with an accommodation to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees …
One, it showed that the pope is behind the bishops in their battle with the Obama administration, support which the pontiff signaled in his talk at the White House earlier that day. [“Pointedly, Francis turned and looked at Obama as he delivered the line” about religious liberty.]
And two, it demonstrated how the pope likes to address contentious topics in a low-key, behind-the-scenes way.

Yesterday, Pope Francis canonized Fr. Junipero Serra, “who has a large degree of responsibility for the death of approximately 100,000 California Indians and the complete extermination of many Native tribes, cultures and languages.”

In his sermon, the pope claimed that Serra “protected and defended Native Americans from mistreatment and abuse.” Jeb Bush was in attendance.

Two days ago, three former US ambassadors to the Vatican appointed by President George W. Bush endorsed Jeb Bush for president. Among them was Mary Ann Glendon who was appointed by Pope Francis to his board of the Vatican bank. Glendon also served on the board of several theocon “think tanks” and is probably most famous for refusing an honor from Notre Dame University because the school awarded President Obama an honorary degree. Glendon is just one of the many plutocrats appointed by this pope to a Vatican position.

“I like Jeb Bush a lot,” the prelate of Wall Street, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, said. “I especially appreciate the priority he gives to education and immigration.”

The most immediate danger from this pope is to children around the world. Yesterday, Pope Francis praised his bishops for their response to the clergy sex abuse crisis. He noted their courage in facing “difficult moments in the recent history of the Church in this country without fear of self-criticism and at the cost of mortification and great sacrifice.”

By failing to commit to any action to protect children, the pope put all prelates on notice that they can continue to leave them exposed to dangerous pedophiles as the pope himself did with his ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski. The US bishops can continue their lobbying to allow all American child sexual predators to avoid apprehension and prosecution.

“His remarks today confirm what we’ve long said and suspected: this pope, like his predecessors, is doing and will do little if anything to bring real reform to this continuing crisis,” Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said. “Those who care about kids must focus on secular authorities, not Church figures (however popular they may be).”

“The hurt and desolation that this pope of mercy has heaped on the survivors in this one miscalculated section of an address is jaw-droppingly stunning [and] a slap in the face to all the victims,” said Barbara Dorris, victims outreach director of the SNAP.

“This tin ear towards the victims of sexual abuse is a resounding rebuke to survivors and its damage is heavy,” wrote Kristine Ward of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition.

Members of SNAP are holding a vigil in New York to remember the hundreds of victims who have committed suicide. They decried how the pope’s “callous defense of bishops opens new wounds [and] provokes pain in hundreds.”

A broader danger is to our democracy. Most progressives have relied solely on the very corporate media they claim to distrust for their papal information with no skepticism.

When the conservative Jeb Bush made a statement about the pope’s encyclical on the environment similar to JFK’s famous “I believe in an America … where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope” – Bush said, “I don’t get my economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope” – it was reported as further proof of the pope’s liberal credentials.

Right-wing bloviators are dismissed as “clowns” by the liberal press except when they criticize Pope Francis. Then they are relevant commentators.

Progressives don’t remember that two and half years ago they scorned Church leaders for “banning contraception and sterilization worldwide, criminalizing abortion globally, endangering women workers’ contraceptive coverage under Obamacare, barring LBGTQ rights and marriage equality, halting stem cell research, overriding the right to a death with dignity [and] protecting the Church over her victims” – all positions embraced by Pope Francis.

If those who consider themselves to be sophisticated and knowledgeable accept without question the mainstream media’s carefully constructed image of Pope Francis and have lost their historical memory, what can we expect of the general electorate in future elections?

(Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009))

A Subversive Guide to Pope Francis’ US Visit: Washington DC

Given the magnitude of the media coverage the next week, this is the BIG EVENT for this pontificate. Ever since popes crowned the Holy Roman emperors, with few exceptions they have sought geopolitical influence and power.

Pope Francis “is due to meet President Obama and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. [He] will be going with a particularly dense international agenda: the Holy See, after all, is playing a frontline role in many of the planet’s most burning issues.”

“The Pope’s grip on the world stage means his pastoral actions will have widespread political implications. This prediction … appears in the White House and State Department’s documents.”

“The first time a pontiff will be addressing Congress rivals a presidential inauguration and State of the Union wrapped into one.”

“The improbability of a pope standing before a joint meeting of Congress comes in an era of wider acceptance of the Catholic faith as it intersects with public life and US politics, and indicates a comfort level between the two that wouldn’t have been imaginable several decades ago.”

“Some Jesuits say quietly that Bergoglio, despite being a Jesuit, is closer ideologically to Opus Dei … Bergoglio’s ‘personal, undisputed, austerity has always lived with a determined and sustained pursuit of power, first in his congregation, then in Argentina and now the universal Church. Bergoglio is a strategist and a politician,’” noted Oscar Chamber, professor at the Salesian Center for Studies in Buenos Aires and Franciscan Theological Institute. (Opus Dei is a secret society of multinational financiers)

Pope Francis’ favorable rating among liberals has fallen 14 percentage points from 82 to 68 percent according to a recent poll. I would like to think that the other third still believes in “the collapse of the American media into utter and complete substanceless” as regards its reporting on the pope and/or remembers that two and half years ago most Americans understood that Catholic prelates carried water for the Republican Party and other plutocrats around the world, and that these same prelates elected Bergoglio as pope.

This guide is meant to provide the information omitted by that media.
Continue reading

A Subversive Guide to Pope Francis’ US Visit: New York City

Given the magnitude of the media coverage the next week, this is Pope Francis’ best opportunity to strengthen his geopolitical influence and power.

Please see “A Subversive Guide to the Pope’s US Visit: Washington DC and Philadelphia.” My purpose is to provide information omitted by the mainstream media.
Continue reading

A Subversive Guide to Pope Francis’ US Visit: Philadelphia

Given the magnitude of the media coverage the next week, this is Pope Francis’ best opportunity to strengthen his geopolitical influence and power.

Please see “A Subversive Guide to Pope Francis’ US Visit: Washington DC and New York.” My purpose is to provide information omitted by the mainstream media.
Continue reading

Autopsy on Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse Coordinated by the Same Man Who Performed the Disputed Autopsy on Two Murdered Swiss Guards

A Vatican trial for Pope Francis’ ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, age 67, was scheduled for July 11 but was halted due to the archbishop’s “illness.” Wesolowski was accused of soliciting sex for money from Santo Domingo’s poorest boys and possession of child pornography.

Had the trial taken place, testimony would have confirmed that the pope allowed Wesolowski to remain a free man for 14 months regardless of how many times the pope said he was taking “action” against prelates on the issue of sex abuse; and that, during this time, Wesolowski acquired more than 100,000 computer files of pornography with disturbing photos of children who were likely victims of human trafficking – an issue on which Pope Francis wants to be seen as a world leader. At a July 21 conference for mayors from around the world held in the Vatican, the pope told the group he hoped they would address “how climate change affects the trafficking of people.”

Wesolowski’s body was discovered on August 28 in his Vatican quarters. The next day, the Vatican announced that an autopsy was performed by “a commission of three [unnamed] experts, coordinated by Giovanni Arcudi, Professor of Forensic Medicine … From the first conclusions reached by the macroscopic examination, it is confirmed the natural cause of death was a cardiac event.” No mention was made where the postmortem was conducted. Continue reading

Pope Francis and His Men Urge Expansion of War in the Middle East

Citing the deaths and suffering of Christians, in the past six months Pope Francis:
• called for “concrete participation and tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and our sisters.”
• urged the international community to “take action” in the face of “unacceptable” crimes against religious minorities, particularly Christians.
• said the international community would be justified in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq.

In contrast, the commercial media widely reported that Pope Francis said, “People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian.” He further criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.” And the New York Times reported: “The sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks in the Middle East have created a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business.” Continue reading


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