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    • Lest We Forget: Remember the Ashes of Our Martyrs February 13, 2013
      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 […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
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    • Poldark: Unfurling in Perfect Form April 25, 2015
      Above: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in the BBC One television series Poldark, which premiered in the UK on Sunday, March 8, 2015.(Photo: BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan)I'm happy to report that Poldark, BBC One's television series based on Winston Graham's acclaimed series of historical novels, is both a critical and ratings success. Not only ha […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day April 24, 2015
      Coming to a new understanding of women as full human beings is the sine qua non of church change. Moreover, the current pope’s recent reiteration of the virtues of gender complementarity showed that he is not tuned in to contemporary scholarship, both scientific and humanistic, on gender, its fluidity, and variety. No one can be certain how constructed our g […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Gay News of the Week April 25, 2015
      Gay News of the Week - some cheering and uplifting, some not so much.First, a charming and inspiring incident from a Las Vegas high school:Jacob Lescenski, a Las Vegas, Nevada high school student, is straight. His best friend, Anthony Martinez, is gay.As you can see from the photo above and this tweet, Jacob asked his buddy Anthony to the prom, because, why […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • The Franciscan (Pope Francis): A Book Review April 19, 2015
      Partly because of my theological background, I was asked by the publishers to provide an honest review of The Franciscan, a religious suspense thriller by WR. Park. Written some fourteen years ago, the plot revolves around a fictional Pope Francis (from the Franciscan order) who attempts to introduce revolutionary reforms into the Catholic Church and who fac […]
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    • "I am the good shepherd" April 26, 2015
      The reading for today, John 10:11-18, leaves out the part of this discourse I like the best: the second line of John 10:10 ... I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. To me this says that Jesus came to make our lives here better, fuller, happier. It's this idea that helps me pray for what I really want instead of what I'm supposed t […]
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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

Only One Catholic News Source Allows Open Coverage and Commentary

Considering that leaders of the Catholic Church made the decisive difference in the reelection of Pres. George W. Bush; after coming close to denying Americans
affordable health insurance, theirs is the power and money obstructing
women’s health care; and, having failed to stop same-sex marriage in this country, are going global to persecute gays (NOM is Opus Dei); one would think more would be concerned about the absence of critical information about the institution and its leader. But like its secular counterpart, the Catholic media have yielded to idolatrous obsequiousness towards Pope Francis. Continue reading

The Vatican Sets Their Sights on Asia

Pontificates have common and particular geopolitical aspirations for increasing the power of the Catholic Church. The current pope and his two predecessors formed and maintain the U.S. episcopate as a politically motivated body who, in support of the Republican Party, remained silent on immoral military invasion, torture and domestic slaughter by firearms but went into paroxysms of outrage over birth control.

John Paul II allied with the Reagan administration against the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and in support of military dictatorships in Latin America.[1] The Eurocentric Benedict XVI tried to restore some deference previously enjoyed by the Church on that continent and concentrated on Africa, which he called the “lung of the Church,” mindful of the West African oil boom. Now, with one of their most influential and powerful pontiffs in history, the Vatican has undertaken a most ambitious project: incursion into Asia, the economic powerhouse and home to half the world’s population. Continue reading

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