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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
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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! ]]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Lent: A Season Set Apart February 10, 2016
      The season of Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday.It's an important time . . . and opportunity. For as Joan Chittister reminds us: Lent is a call to weep for what we could have been and are not. Lent is the grace to grieve for what we should have done and did not. Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not. Lent is not about pen […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Nijinsky's "Crown of Thorns" February 8, 2016
      Artist Damian Siqueiros contends that famed dancerVaslav Nijinsky's "internal torment", his "crown of thorns,"was the result of societal repression around hisgay "love affair" with impresario Sergei Diagilev.Yet was that really the case?I've been reading quite a lot about legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) an […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Top 25 LGBTQ Christian books of 2015 - from Jesus in Love Blog December 21, 2015
      In my haste to run through a list of best gay fiction of the year in the previous posting (and Tennessee's biography), I should have clarified that I was looking primarily at 'secular' gay fiction, but with an eye wide open for any religious themes that might surface. The most Catholic of my offerings, Tom Spanbauer's Now is the Hour, too […]
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    • Gay Books of the Year December 13, 2015
      Have been neglecting this blog of late, but not the issues it deals with. At the moment I'm on a reading spree of some of the 'best gay LGBT books of the year" depending on who you listen to.  I hope to review quite a few during the upcoming Christmas break. I've been paying special attention to YA Gay fiction, aimed primarily at teens. B […]
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    • Pope Francis and the sex abuse Cardinals February 11, 2016
      From Newsweek - Vatican Tells New Bishops They Don’t Have to Report Sexual Abuse to Police - and Cardinal Pell has said he's too sick to leave Rome to testify on sex abuse in Australia. And this from the editors at The New York Times: Tracing the Bishops’ Culpability in the Child Abuse Scandal. Here's part of the Times editorial ...Pope Francis’ co […]
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The Pope’s Pursuit of Global Relevance Should be Quashed Because of Continuing Sex Abuse

stock-photo-74729579-pope-francis-in-the-usaPope Francis has been trying to improve his relationship with other governments.

“The world looks to this great wisdom of yours,” the pope told China’s Xi Jinping. Francis “urged the world not to fear China’s growing power and conveyed a message of friendship” to the president in an interview published Feb. 2.

Pope Francis granted a 40-minute private audience to Iran president Hassan Rouhani on Jan. 26.  If they discussed Iran’s alliance with Russia supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s “extermination” of his civilian population, it was not mentioned in the Vatican’s press release – a strange omission for a pope who is always urging compassion for the Assad’s refugees.

Pope Francis will meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Cuban president Raul Castro on Feb. 12 in Cuba. Kirill is a close ally of Pres. Vladimir Putin, so the meeting has Putin’s approval. Kirill will be in Cuba at the invitation of Castro to celebrate the historic ties between the Russian Orthodox church and the island nation, a result of Cuba’s historical alliance with Russia. The meeting was probably arranged after Castro met Kirill in Moscow when he went to discuss with Putin “increased bilateral cooperation with Russia and the implementation of joint projects” last May and then flew directly to a private meeting with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis’ prestige outside the Catholic Church rests entirely on his being viewed as a moral authority. Yet recent events prove his continuing contempt for past, present and future victims of clerical sex abuse. The only outspoken member of the pope’s sex abuse commission was booted out on Feb. 6. “Peter Saunders has frequently argued that the panel is writing ineffectual guidelines instead of exposing predator priests who continue to molest children.”

Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Personal Income: €428 Million in 2013

The Peter’s Pence collection totaled €378 million in 2013. (1 euro = 1.10 dollar) Peter’s Pence is an annual collection from Catholics worldwide asked to donate to the pope’s charitable works.

The Vatican Bank’s annual profits are also “offered the Holy Father in support of his apostolic and charitable ministry.” This was €50 million in 2013.

While popes have used the bank’s profits to support the Vatican’s administration as they see fit, the Peter’s Pence donations are intended to be given entirely to charity.

Pope Francis makes only 20 percent  of the Peter’s Pence collection available for the poor as disclosed by Gianluigi Nuzzi, in his book Merchants in the Temple, released in November 2015. This was confirmed by Pope Francis’ chief of staff, Archbishop Becciu, last month.  The archbishop said if even 60 per cent of Peter’s Pence was given to charity “we would have to immediately fire 400 people” out of the current 4,000 Vatican employees. Continue reading

Can a Fox News Alumnus Reverse the Pope’s Decreasing Popularity?


Last April, 56% of Americans surveyed viewed Pope Francis “in a positive light … By contrast, only 44% of Americans viewed Barack Obama in a positive light.”  A Gallup poll published December 28 showed 17% of Americans named President Obama as their most admired man in the world; the pope and Donald Trump were tied for second with only 5% each.

Attendance in 2015 at the public audiences with Pope Francis at the Vatican was down almost by half compared to the previous year.

Although Pope Francis was prepared to intervene in the Paris Climate Change Conference in December, no one asked him to do so. No representative of the Vatican was in attendance. Continue reading

U.S. Bishops’ Unrelenting Assault Against Women and Gays to Support the GOP in 2016

USCCB Meeting November 2010

For over three decades, the Republican Party has used the Religious Right to energize conservative Christians to political activism and to get out the vote. Republicans running for office in numerous states and the U.S. Congress are preparing for battles in 2016 over discrimination protection  for LBGT persons, religious exemptions for nonprofits and businesses objecting to gay marriage and contraception, and greater restrictions on abortion and Planned Parenthood.

At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) annual General Assembly in November, “their first assembly since gay marriage became legal nationwide, they vowed to uphold marriage as only the union of a man and a woman and to seek legal protections for those who share that view. Some bishops said they were committed to reversing the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling last June … Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said a concerted effort was needed to ‘build a consensus’ to do so. As a model, he pointed to new state laws  that have made it harder to obtain an abortion.”

USCCB president, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, “highlighted the bishops’ push for religious exemptions for charities, schools and individual for-profit business owners who oppose gay marriage and other laws and regulations.” Continue reading

Pope v. Traditionalists – A Catholic Civil War


The above is paraphrasing the title of a recent article by Damian Thompson, associate editor of Britain’s oldest magazine, The Spectator. Thompson was referring to a speech delivered Oct. 24 by Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family in which 270 bishops from around the world met in Rome.

The pope said prelates should confront difficult issues “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.” He accused traditionalist bishops of having “closed hearts,” “blinkered viewpoints,” judging “sometimes with superiority and superficiality.”  Continue reading

Pope v. Curia – A Catholic Civil War


The above is paraphrasing the title of a recent article by Damian Thompson, associate editor of Britain’s oldest magazine, The Spectator. Thompson was referring to a speech delivered Oct. 24 by Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family. The pope provoked hostilities with Catholic traditionalists to strengthen the perception that he is wants to liberalize the Church but is prevented by prelates with “closed-hearts.”

Pope Francis has also cast his employees as the villains blocking his “reform” of the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Curia.

In his 2014 Christmas “greeting” to his Curia, Pope Francis “launched a stinging attack” denouncing their “hypocrisy” as “typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness,” “existential schizophrenia,” having a “lust for power” and being guilty of “careerism and opportunism.” Continue reading

Vatican Corruption, Media Dysfunction, Pope Still the 4th Most Powerful Person in the World

images (2)

Fraud worth millions, machinations of the Vatican Bank, the true extent of the pope’s treasury” and “offerings of the faithful withheld from charity, theft and trade scams” during the reign of Pope Francis are the subjects of two recently published books. One includes tape recordings revealing the pontiff’s hands-on management of the smallest details of his fortune.

Yet the mainstream media reported that these books prove the pope desires a “Church of the poor” and is “reforming” the Vatican despite opposition from the “old guard” obstructing his “clean-up.”

Due to this type of deceptive reporting, Pope Francis is still the fourth most powerful person in the world behind only Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Barack Obama, but ahead of Xi Jinping. Continue reading


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