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  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other co […]
      Obie Holmen
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  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Mysticism and Revolution September 21, 2020
      Jesus was a revolutionary, who did not become an extremist, since he did not offer an ideology, but Himself. He was also a mystic, who did not use his intimate relationship with God to avoid the social evils of his time, but shocked his milieu to the point of being executed as a rebel. . . . Every real revolutionary is challenged to be a mystic at heart, and […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • From the Palliative/Spiritual Care Shelf September 20, 2020
      I continue today my series that highlights the wisdom found on my bookshelf at work. As most reading this would know, my “work,” since September 2018, is that of a palliative care interfaith chaplain at a hospital just north of the Twin Cities.In this sixth installment I share an excerpt from Richard F. Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser’s book, The American […]
      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)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Unknown)
    • In The Closet of the Vatican: New Investigative Study February 22, 2019
      In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy - just published today, February 22nd, 2019.Thanks to Kittredge Cheery of the wonderful gay Christian blog,  QSpirit Blog, for the heads up about the publication of this major new investigative study into the secret homosexual double lives of many priests (and bishops and cardinals) in the vatican […]
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  • 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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    • The handmaid September 22, 2020
      Trump has a short list for the slot in the Supreme Court left by RBG's death ... two women are at the top: Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa. These are nakedly political choices. Trump is choosing a woman to get the votes of those suburban housewives he's so obsessed with. He is choosing Barret to get the conservative Catholic vote, and Trump get […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

White Catholic Voters Driven by Baseless Fear and Dark Money

White Catholics favor Trump by 59% as shown by a Pew Research poll conducted July 27 – Aug. 2, higher than the 54% of all white voters. (In this poll, Latinos were only 18% of registered voters.)

“Swing states, such as Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin have an oversized influence on the outcome of the presidential election. Catholics comprise 20-25 percent of the population in these states,” according to the Political Science Now.

“Targeting this group proved effective for Trump in 2016, when he won the Catholic vote in the swing states of Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa by larger margins than his statewide differential. In Ohio, he won the Catholic vote by 20 points, compared to an 8-point statewide win, while in Michigan Trump won the Catholic vote by 18 points, compared to a one-point state victory,” stated Political Science Now. Continue reading

Another Vatican Scandal or Just Business as Usual?

Vatican prosecutors, working with Italian authorities, executed a search and seizure warrant” on July 15. Cell phones and iPads belonging to London financier Raffaele Mincione were seized at a hotel in Rome.

Mincione, former fiancé of Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Heather Mills, had filed two civil lawsuits in the UK’s High Court of Justice against the Vatican on June 20. Both lawsuits are related to a deal brokered by Mincione for the Vatican in 2014 – their purchase of a 45% interest, through his holding company the Athena Global Opportunities Fund, in a London building to be converted into luxury apartments.

That deal “raised questions about the Vatican’s murky finances and poor investment strategies in the past decade and sparked fresh speculation about its Machiavellian turf battles, power struggles and score-settling,” the Associated Press reported. Continue reading

Opus Dei’s William Barr, the Trump Whisperer

Barr is “a good deal more sophisticated and intelligent” than Trump. “It is Barr who is using Trump‘s relative naivety ‘to advance an agenda that he’s long held,’” Stuart Gerson, former assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice under Barr, told Andrew Feinberg, White House correspondent for Newsweek.

“Trump’s presidency, gave Barr ‘an opportunity to put himself in a position to assert his own political agenda’ and ‘shape the legal establishment to suit his own political ends,’ posited Jonatha Smit,” one of Barr’s high school classmates at New York’s Horace Mann school.
Continue reading

The Moral Demise of American Catholic Bishops

“You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24)

After Trump held up a Bible while standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, non-Catholic religious leaders expressed anger and disgust. Continue reading

Catholic Church Received Federal Covid-19 Funding

The federal small business loan program created in response to the coronavirus pandemic has funded 20 percent of the Catholic entities that applied under the original $349 billion program.

“Statistics compiled by the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference show that 8,000 parishes, 1,400 elementary schools, 700 high schools, 104 diocesan headquarters, 185 Catholic Charities agencies and 200 other diocesan organizations in 160 dioceses had applied for assistance.” Continue reading

In Unprecedented Numbers, U.S. Bishops Named in Lawsuits and Why It Matters

(Warning. This report includes graphic language that may trigger bad reactions in those who have been sexually abused.)

Since March 2019, 15 bishops (see below) have been named in lawsuits either as perpetrators of sexual abuse or for covering up the sexual assaults of others. This is important because while “priests were raping boys and girls, the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades, monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals were protected; many were promoted,” stated a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Thousands of American priests have been sued but relatively few U.S. bishops have been identified by name in court proceedings. “For true bishop accountability to occur, two things must happen: 1) there must be a full account of the bishops’ responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis and 2) bishops who have caused the abuse of children and vulnerable adults must be held accountable,” leaders of the online database, BishopAccountability.org, concluded. Continue reading

Vatican Archives: A History Already Known

The Vatican opened its archives on March 2 to preapproved scholars regarding the papacy of Pope Pius XII during World War II. The records have been “kept secret for decades amid accusations that he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust.”

However, we already have an accurate history of Pius XII’s wartime record thanks to decades of research and painstaking work by some scholars. These include Michael Phayer, author of The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965 and Pius XII, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. Phayer thanked other historians for their contributions upon which he depended, including John F. Pollard, author of Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850-1950. Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Seven-Year Reign Brought Division in the Vatican and the Rest of His Church

Pope Francis was elected on March 13, 2013. Since then, he has been directly responsible for past, present and future sexual torture and brutalization of children. He has obstructed the battle for women’s and LGBTQ persons’ equal rights and appeased tyrants. The pope has also created intentional and unnecessary acrimony with Vatican employees and within his Church. Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Seven-Year Reign a Disaster for Too Many

The pope will celebrate the 7th anniversary of his election on March 13. He is directly responsible for past, present and future sexual torture and brutalization of children. He has obstructed women’s and LGBTQ persons’ human rights and appeased tyrants.

As Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis “wields the biggest bully pulpit of any spiritual leader on the planet,” noted American political scientist Joseph Nye. The pope should “share the Church’s teachings with the world in order to help shape public discourse and policy in ways that protect the common good and promote the flourishing of all persons.

From February 17-23, clergy sex abuse survivors and advocates are returning to Rome to mark the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ summit on child sex abuse and “demand more action and change” stated the leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Pope Francis made “a lot of promises to the world that he was going to put an end to this and put safety measures into place to ensure that there was no more – or to prevent future coverups,” said Brenda Brunelle, who was abused from age 12 and founded the southwestern Ontario chapter of SNAP.  “Speaking as a survivor and an advocate for those abused by priests, I’m afraid to say that our report card is a failure.” Continue reading

Pope Francis Met with Mike Pence – 69,550 Migrant Children Held in U.S. Detention Ignored

On Jan. 22, Pope Francis “urged men and women of goodwill to promote and practice a culture of welcome especially towards vulnerable migrants in search of a better life.” Care of migrants has been a constant theme of his pontificate.

Two days later, during “a remarkably long meeting at the Vatican, especially for one not involving a head of state” the pope and vice president discussed the “sanctity of life” for the unborn, religious persecution in the Middle East and the impoverished in Venezuela.

No mention was made ofan unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody in 2019 [alone], enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more children detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of  long-term physical and emotional damage.” Continue reading