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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

    • Buffy Sainte-Marie Headlines SummerStage Festival in NYC's Central Park July 20, 2017
      Above: Buffy Sainte-Marie headlining a roster of aboriginal performers, including Iskwé and A Tribe Called Red, in New York City’s Central Park on July 9. (Photo: Michael Seto)The Wild Reed's special countdown to the release of Buffy Sainte-Marie's new album, Medicine Songs, continues with the sharing of an excerpt from Leeanne Root's Indian C […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Austen and Australia July 18, 2017
      Today marks the 200th anniversary of the death of English novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817). Here in Australia a number of special events are taking place to honor and celebrate the life and works of Austen, including a display of rare editions of her books at the State Library of New South Wales, a keynote speech at the University of Sydney by Austen expert […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • Daniel José Camacho on White Evangelicals as "Precarious Firewall for Trump" July 20, 2017
      As a footnote to my last posting on Trump's presidence and white evangelical and Catholic voters:Daniel José Camacho thinks that, though conservative white evangelicals (and white Catholics and Mormons) propelled Donald Trump to the White House, these voters are "a precarious firewall for Trump" because their world is coming to an end. He cite […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Trump's Presidency and White Evangelical and Catholic Voters: "Trumpism Is Basically a Religion at This Point" July 20, 2017
      Things I've read today that I'd like to share with you:Trumpism js basically a religion at this point. https://t.co/jghvsFkuwg— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 19, 2017Tara Isabella Burton, "The age of white Christian America is ending. Here's how it got there": How can a religion often defined as a religion of outsiders — one whose sacr […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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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

    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      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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    • Music from The Young Pope July 20, 2017
      I really need a break from the insanity of Trump. Perhaps a song from the end of episode 4 of The Young Pope. Here it shows him listening to an Italian song given to him as a gift from the Prime Minister of Greenland (don't ask why) and imagining the Prime Minister dancing to the tune ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

“Libero Milone’s resignation indicates that there could be a Vatileaks III”

That was the assessment of “observers” according to Vatican reporter, Andrea Gagliarducci, in his July 3 column. Milone, appointed by Pope Francis in 2015 as the Vatican’s financial auditor general, had resigned by “mutual agreement” on June 20. No reason was given. Milone made no statement.

In May 2016, two lay members of the Board of Superintendence of the Vatican Bank resigned “in light of legitimate reflections and opinions concerning [the bank’s] management” the Vatican said. Carlo Salvatori, President of Lazard Italia and Allianz Italia, and Clemens Borsig, former Chairman of the Board of Management at Deutsche Bank, remain silent.

René Brülhart, an official of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority since 2012, seems to have one foot out the door. In a March interview, Brülhart spoke about his “new role at a Swiss mortgage lender,” his “return to Swiss banking,” and that, regardless of his years in the Vatican, “I still see myself as an adviser to the financial services industry.”

Do Milone, Salvatori, Borsig and Brülhart know something we don’t? Continue reading

Cardinals Pell, Müller and the Pope: A Reality Check

On June 29, Australian police charged Cardinal George Pell with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences. The Vatican Press Office stated they learned this “with regret,” that Pell “chose to return to Australia in full respect for civil laws” and that Pope Francis has “appreciated” Pell’s “honesty,” “collaboration” and “energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector, as well as his active participation in the Council of Cardinals (C9).”

On July 1, the Vatican Press Office stated that Pope Francis “thanks Cardinal Müller at the end his quinquennial mandate as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” and “now calls the former Secretary [of the Congregation], Archbishop Ladaria, to take on this role.”

If not stating it outright, the U.S. media is inferring that the above is about the good “liberal” pope v. two bad “conservative” cardinals. That is grossly misinterpreting these events since the pope is not a liberal.

“Pope Francis referred to detractors of Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno as ‘lefties’” after “more than 1,300 church members in Osorno, along with some 30 priests from the diocese and 51 of Chile’s 120 members of Parliament” sent letters in 2015 to the pope “urging him to rescind” his appointment. Barros was accused of “covering up dozens of sexual abuse cases.” Continue reading

Two N. Y. Times Business Articles Have Ties to Vatican Bank Officials

Both of the following appeared in today’s New York Times business section:

“Lessons From the Collapse of Banco Popular: When Spain’s fifth-largest bank failed this month, Banco Santander swooped in to the rescue, and regulators breathed easy. They should have been scared.”

“Does God Want You to Spend $300,000 for College? The retail price of joining Father John I. Jenkins at the University of Notre Dame is climbing ever higher.”

(Since NYT articles are not free over a certain number, I won’t link to them but they’re easy enough to find.)

Banco Popular  and Banco Santander  are both connected to Opus Dei, at the top, an international secret society of plutocrats (Robert Hutchison, Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei).

Both banks have been charged with ripping off customers: “The scandalous economic practices of Opus Dei,” “Santander Bank fined $10m for deceptive marketing techniques,” and subpoenaed for predatory subprime loans.

Two Santander officials sit on the six-member Board of Superintendence of the Vatican Bank.

Mauricio Larrain, director of a Santander Bank Group, and Javier Marín Romano who “has held various positions for Banco Santander” including CEO.

Scott C. Malpass, also a member of the Board of Superintendence, is vice president and chief investment officer of Notre Dame University. He was paid “close to $5.4 million in total compensation in 2015.” In 2011 he was named one of the five highest paid chief investment officers of U.S. tax-exempt institutions.

Another example of Pope Francis’ “poor Church for the poor.” Continue reading

U.S. Bishops Will ‘Stay the Course’ Against Children, Women and LGBTQ Persons

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) held their semi-annual meeting June 14-15 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Child Sex Abuse

They began with a Mass “held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church.”

In an excellent work of investigative journalism, Nicole Sotelo researched the location of 33 Chicago Archdiocese former priests accused of child sex abuse who are still alive. She was able to locate the whereabouts of 29. “At least 16 – approximately half – of the abusive former priests currently reside or have recently resided within close proximity of a school or child services facility, ranging from less than 500 feet to under 1,500 feet….Two are currently in state or federal mental health facilities. [O]nly one former priest is part of a sex offender registry.”  None are being monitored by the archdiocese.

“Church officials covered up crimes for so long that in many cases the statute of limitations for criminal charges expired. [I]t is a sobering reminder that if Church officials had not shielded these men from the law or fought to keep the statute of limitations, some of these men would be registered sex offenders and, thus, identifiable to concerned parents and teachers,” Sotelo noted.

Shortly before their meeting, the bishops released their 2016 Annual Report on clerical sex abuse in the U.S. For the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined, 1333 victims made “new credible allegations” against 799 clerics. Even a conservative extrapolation from Sotelo’s findings would be horrific.

In their report, the bishops do not give us the names of the credibly alleged predators, nor which ones are free men and where are they located, nor which ones – if any – they reported to the police. They do not act because Pope Francis protects sexual predators and so, will never hold them accountable for following his lead.

During the Mass, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said the U.S. bishops “can never say that we are sorry enough for the share that we have had in this tragedy of broken fidelity and trust – the clergy sex abuse crisis.” But he failed to commit to the above measures nor did he pledge that the bishops would stop obstructing statute of limitations reform for all American victims of sex abuse. Continue reading

Pope Involved in New Sex Abuse and Dirty War Cases per Argentine Press

Recent Argentine articles reported the pope’s personal involvement in the sexual torture of children (one of the two UN committees the Pope Francis obstructed and ignored “found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic Church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”) and his role in the aftermath of the Dirty War.

His envoy heaped insult on top of injury after Pope Francis, informed of horrible sex abuse, did nothing and children suffered. 

On May 19, the priest sent by the pope to investigate the horrific sexual assaults in the Provolo Institute for the Deaf in Argentina, dismissed some cases because, he said, children can be “spiteful. For example, [when] a girl or a boy falls in love with a priest, and he doesn’t respond back.” On the same day, the pope’s representative stated he was refusing to cooperate with the civil court prosecuting the atrocities. Continue reading

Pope Francis’ and Trump’s Common Ground

“There’s an expectation that the relationship between President Trump and Pope Francis will be difficult to establish [but] that is not the case at all,” Louis Bono, temporary charge d’affaires in the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, said. When the pope and Trump meet on May 24, “They’ll have the opportunity to speak frankly if there are any areas of differences, but more so, to focus on those areas where we do have common ground and to identify how we can work together further,” Bono said.

In a White House Rose Garden ceremony on May 4, Trump decried the “attacks against the Little Sisters of the Poor” before signing his executive order on “religious freedom.” He invited the sisters present to stand beside him and shook the hands of two of them.  Trump congratulated them and told the sisters that they “sort of just won a lawsuit.” He added, “I want you to know, your long ordeal will soon be over,” referring to  their lawsuit against Obamacare that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Continue reading

The Un-Reformed Vatican

Every pope “possesses supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely” according to the Code of Canon Law.

Members of the Roman Curia are appointed and granted authority by the pope.

Pope Francis has also changed the Curia administration. First he created a Secretariat for the Economy and a Council for the Economy. Next, he created a Secretariat for Communications. He replaced the management of the Vatican Bank and the Vatican’s financial “watchdog,” the Financial Information Authority. In the past year, he created new departments for Integral Human Development and another for the Laity, Family and Life replacing five previous councils. Also, the pope appointed 27 new members to the Congregation for Divine Worship, changing the department through its personnel.

Yet the anglophone media has declared in scores of reports that Pope Francis’ struggles to “clean-up” the Vatican but is thwarted by his subordinates, often characterized as “conservatives.” (e.g. herehere, here, here) Continue reading