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      For Ash Wednesday, I reminded readers here that the season of Lent is also a “joyful” season, an aspect that should not be ignored.  We should never forget though, that it is also a solemn time, above all a time…Read more →
    • St Patrick: A Gay Role Model? March 17, 2012
      So why should we see St Paddy as a gay icon? In a notable book on Irish gay history (“Terrible Queer Creatures”) Brian Lacey presents some evidence that Patrick may have had a long term intimate relationship with a man: “St.…Read more →
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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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    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
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    • Quote of the Day May 22, 2015
      Other communities who have been oppressed – Jewish people, say, or Catholics in Northern Ireland – have every opportunity to work out the implications of their oppression in their early lives. They hear the stories; they have the books around them. As gay people, on the other hand, we grow up alone; there is no history. There are no ballads about the wrongs […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Something to Think About . . . May 21, 2015
      Related Off-site Links:Louise Erdrich – Wikipedia.Minnesota Author Louise Erdrich Wins Literary Peace Prize – Lisa Cornwell (Associated Press via The Pioneer Press, August 17, 2014).Louise Erdrich's Birchbark BlogSee also the previous Wild Reed posts:• Questioning God's Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy• Something We Dare Call Hope• Soul Deep […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Genuine Humanity in Boston May 16, 2015
      On the way to the little village of Lisnice, CZ...in the Land of OzThis is what decency and common humanity look like - in this insightful, compassionate look at Boston 'Bomber' Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Heather is a defense attorney's daughter and she is already preparing a follow up posting on the grounds for an appeal.Yesterday, I Saw the Boston M […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • The Confused Citizen's Guide to the Boston Marathon Bombings May 10, 2015
      Just posted this at my new blog, Prague Noir: Ruminations of a Crime Novelist. In response to requests from friends and students (and with hope in my heart and a prayer for justice), I've compiled this short summary of the competing narratives surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing of April 13, 2015. The subject is grim, but through such terrible ordea […]
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The Pope’s Treasure

“The Vatican, a 10 billion euro treasure – Investments in property, stocks, gold, hard currency,” is the title and lede of an article published last July by Italian journalist, Emiliano Fittipaldi, based on information obtained from one of the experts Pope Francis appointed to help him “reform” Vatican finance.

Pope Francis has verbally struck out against unfettered capitalism and the “idolatry of money.” Yet he has appointed immoral experts working on behalf of the global plutocracy to maintain and grow his treasure. He can do this without scruples because, like all bishops upon their elevation to cardinal, he swore to put the good of the Church above all else. “I, _____, of the Holy Roman Church, Cardinal of _____, promise and swear from this hour hence as long as I live….to try in every way to assert, uphold, preserve, increase and promote the rights, even temporal, the liberty, honor, privileges and authority of the Holy Roman Church.” Continue reading

Pope Francis: Junipero Serra “was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States”

Yesterday, Pope Francis led a celebration for the soon-to-be canonized Junípero Serra by praising the 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California. “He was one of the
Founding Fathers
of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country,” the pope said.

In the opinion of others, “Serra should be considered nothing less than a monster.” “The missions were coercive religious, forced labor camps….The Indians who wound up there had their children taken from them, and harsh, manual labor was the rule. Beatings and filthy living conditions were common. The death rate at the missions was appalling. By 1818 the percentage of Indians who died in the missions reached 86 percent. Over 81,000 Indian ‘converts’ eventually managed to successfully flee the missions.” Continue reading

Pope Francis and the Dirty War: Keeping the Record Straight – Part I

Hagiographies of Jorge Mario Bergoglio may soon obliterate what was written before the media created Pope Francis Superstar. This is an effort to preserve this information along with some background as to what took place during the Argentine dictatorship and why.

Bergoglio was head of the Argentine Jesuits from 1973 to 1979. The Latin American Catholic Church was in a period of transition. A conference of bishops meeting in Medellin, Colombia, had issued a statement calling on Catholics to support the poor not just with charity but also through activism to change the underlying political, social and cultural causes of poverty. It was called “Liberation” theology based on the work of theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez.

Bergoglio opposed the priests under his authority who joined “base communities” to support the oppressed and work for their liberation. When the superior general of the worldwide Society of Jesus, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, directed the members of his order to dedicate themselves to this movement, it put Bergoglio at odds with majority of Jesuits.

At the same time, extremely brutal military dictatorships – with the collaboration of the U.S., Popes Paul VI and John Paul II and their hierarchs – tortured and killed thousands upon thousands of those thought to be an opponent under the pretext of “anti-communism.” By granting Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera, a member of the Argentine junta (1976-1983), an honorary doctorate from a Jesuit university, Bergoglio was signaling where he stood politically. After he was dismissed by Arrupe, for the next dozen years Bergoglio was assigned to low level positions within the Argentine Jesuits.

Although Jesuits vow to “never strive or ambition, not even indirectly, to be chosen or promoted to any prelacy or dignity in or outside the Society,” Bergoglio was chosen by John Paul II to be the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and elevated to cardinal.

In 2012, a former leader of the junta, General Jorge Videla, made a statement in front of a video camera acknowledging the active collaboration of the Argentine hierarchy in the Dirty War. The Argentine bishops, headed by their cardinal primate Bergoglio, responded by denying the truth of Videla’s declaration and equating the barbarity of the dictatorship, responsible for the torture and deaths of an estimated 30,000 Argentines, with the leftist guerrilla opposition.

Part II is here. Continue reading

Pope Francis and the Dirty War: Keeping the Record Straight – Part II

Hagiographies of Jorge Mario Bergoglio may soon obliterate what was written before the media created Pope Francis Superstar. This is an effort to preserve this information along with some background as to what took place during the Argentine dictatorship.

While Bergoglio was head of the Argentine Jesuits (1973-1979) two of his priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, were working in a Buenos Aires shantytown, Bajo Flores. They were captured, tortured and released by the military in 1976. The daughter of a lay Catholic leader, Emilio Mignone, who had been working alongside Yorio and Jalics, was kidnapped a week earlier along with seven other catechists. None were ever seen again. After a ten year investigation into his daughter’s disappearance, Mignone wrote a book, Church and Dictatorship: The Role of the Church in Light of Its Relations with the Military, naming members of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference engaged in a “sinister complicity” with the junta.

According to Mignone, Yorio, Jalics, the priests’ friends and siblings and the court testimony of a Bajo Flores co-worker taken along with Yorio and Jalics and also released, Bergoglio had made it known that the workers in the shantytown no longer had the church’s protection thereby enabling the two raids. Mignone wrote that “because of various expressions heard by Yorio in captivity, it was clear to him that the Navy interpreted some criticism from his provincial, Jorge Bergoglio, as an authorization to take action against him.” Mignone thought Bergoglio’s criticism of their work “served as part of the basis for the arrest, imprisonment and torture of the Jesuit priests.” At least three secular academics familiar with this historical period accept this narration. Of all the people present at the time these events took place, only a friend of Bergoglio’s, Alicia Oliveira, disagreed with this description.

After Bergoglio was elected pope, numerous articles discussed the new pontiff’s role during the Dirty War. The Vatican dismissed them all as coming from “anti-clerical, left-wing elements.”

The pope’s apologists established “straw men” by claiming that Bergoglio’s critics accuse him of active collaboration in the junta similar to the hierarchs named by Mignone and General Jorge Videla and that he actually reported Yorio and Jalics to the authorities. Yorio, who left the Jesuits, died in 2000. Jalics, who remained a Jesuit, made a terse statement: “Before, I was inclined to believe that we are victims of a denouncement. But in the late 90s I realized after numerous discussions that this assumption was unfounded. It is therefore wrong to assert that our capture was done on the initiative of Father Bergoglio.” Jalics did not address the issue of whether their capture was facilitated by Bergoglio giving the impression they were “fair game.”

Pope Francis has made numerous appointments, beatifications and canonizations which honor those who support right-wing dictatorships. A month after his election, the pontiff named Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga as head of his group of closest advisers. Rodríguez Maradiaga supported the right-wing coup which overthrew the democratically-elected, progressive President Manuel Zelaya. Pope Francis also picked Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa for this select group. Errazuriz was a vociferous defender of the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, and praised his regime. The pope chose Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his secretary of state. Parolin is often described as being close to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, John Paul II’s secretary of state who helped direct church resources in support of military dictators and promote Latin American clerics like Bergoglio.

Pope Francis canonized John Paul II as a saint and beatified Paul VI whose ambassador to Argentina, Archbishop Pio Laghi, kept the lists of those murdered during the Dirty War.

Part I is here. Continue reading

Pope Refused Meeting with Dalai Lama, Rebuffed Tutu to Increase Vatican Influence in Asia

Pope Frances refused the Dalai Lama’s request for a meeting on December 11, 2014, because “the Holy See’s relationship with the Chinese government is currently going through a very delicate – a crucial in fact – phase. In recent weeks China appeared to be reaching out to the Vatican, signaling a willingness for dialogue.”

“I am deeply saddened and distressed that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, should give in to these pressures and decline to meet the Dalai Lama,’” South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a statement.

China has been waging a “calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of Tibet‘s national and cultural identities,” often personified by their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The pope’s choice was a victory for China. “[T]he attention of public opinion in the West to the Dalai Lama is going down by the day,” a Chinese official said on December 19, 2014. “The Dalai Lama also has no good ideas. All he can do is use his religious title to write about the continuation or not of the Dalai Lama to get eyeballs overseas,” he added.

The pope is trying to increase his influence in Asia and China is key to his success. Continue reading

Why Pope Francis Is Seeking Reconciliation with European Fascists

The head of the notorious Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, met with Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Sept. 23, 2014, “with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation” with the Catholic Church. Known by its acronym, SSPX, the society “does not have a canonical status in the church [and] its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the church.” Nevertheless, a French SSPX priest was allowed to say mass in St. Peter’s Basilica a month earlier.

The Vatican initiated “non-official” contact with the SSPX leading to an “informal meeting” between Fellay and church officials on Dec. 13, 2013, despite SSPX offering to hold the funeral Mass of a convicted Nazi war criminal the previous October and disrupting a November ceremony in Buenos Aires marking the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust. Continue reading

Pope Francis and Sex Abuse: Time for Another* Reality Check

“Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest” or some similar headline was carried by newspapers and news agencies around the world yesterday, unanimously praising Pope Francis for “taking action” against a prelate for harboring a clerical sex abuser. Since such notorious guardians of offending priests as Twin Cities Archbishop Nienstedt, Kansas City Bishop Finn and Newark Archbishop Myers are still in place although petitions have been sent to the pope for their removal, and just about every hierarch appointed or promoted in the U.S. by Pope Francis has a dismal record in this regard, accurate headlines would have stated the real reason this bishop was “sacked.” Continue reading

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