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    • Lutheran “Vision and Expectations” Revisited April 4, 2019
      The ELCA Church Council meets today at the Higgins Road headquarters in Chicago to consider a document entitled Trustworthy Servants as a replacement for a prior document entitled Vision and Expectations. The proposed document comes to the Council following recent action by the Conference of Bishops. To be sure, the current document purports to be […] [[ Thi […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Early Amazon reviews for Wormwood and Gall March 26, 2019
      Folks who received advance reader copies of Wormwood and Gall have posted five-star reviews on Amazon. Pastor Wesley White has penned his own book centered in Mark’s gospel, entitled, Slow Reading the Gospel of Mark, a reflective, meditative, and introspective invitation into the gospel narrative.  Pastor White’s review of Wormwood and Gall lauds the histori […]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Photo of the Day April 19, 2019
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• In This In-Between Time . . .• Down By the River• Mississippi Adventure• Time By the River• A Magical Time and Place• O Dancer of Creation• Bde Maka Ska Sunset• Time and the RiverImage: “Adnan, with Sunset Reflections and Jet Trail” (4/16/2019) by Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day April 18, 2019
      [Pete] Buttigieg’s ability to articulate his sexual orientation through the lens of faith has captured public attention and drawn him into a theological spat with Vice President Mike Pence. The fact that the first openly gay major presidential candidate is also a Christian is indeed remarkable, a milestone in the visibility of L.G.B.T. people of faith. Yet i […]
      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)
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    • 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 […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Wanderer by Sarah Leon: Gay Debut Novel of the Year February 11, 2019
      A very young Sarah Leon published this heat-wrenching  love story in French in 2016 when she was barely twenty years old. Three years later we are blessed to have this exquisite English translation of the work  by John Cullen, a translator of note with many books to his name. It is one of the most affecting love stories you will ever read.Wanderer has alread […]
      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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    • The Mueller report April 19, 2019
      The redacted Mueller report is online to be read/downloaded (here is one of the many versions). And you can also get it in book form.We now know Russia messed with our elections through social media and hacked documents released by WikiLeaks. We know Trump and his minions worked together with Russia to doom Hillary and elect Trump in these ways.And we know T […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
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William Barr is Opus Dei

William Barr was confirmed as attorney general by the Senate on Feb 14.  “High on his agenda will be what to do with the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe” according to the Washington Post.

Before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in January, Barr had completed a questionnaire. On page 4, he listed positions he’s held as director of the Catholic Information Center  (2014-1017), director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (2004-2009) and director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (1994-2015).

For those who don’t read my blogs, the Opus Dei Catholic Information Center’s “members and leaders continue to have an outsize impact on policy and politics. It is the conservative spiritual and intellectual center … and its influence is felt in all of Washington’s corridors of power,” the Washington Post stated recently. Continue reading


Resurgence of the Catholic Political Right under Trump

A company has been formed to provide legal and financial expertise for the anticipated start-ups of other right-wing Catholic organizations. Diocesan foundations – capable of moving political “dark money” – have more than doubled their assets since Trump’s election. A British publication, looking for increased revenues, has entered the growing market for right-wing Catholic journalism.

These demonstrate a confidence that Catholics are capable of influencing future elections. They are energized by their 2016 triumph in recapturing the Executive Branch with a trusted and powerful ally. Continue reading

Pope Plays the Media and Children Pay the Price

A four-day Vatican summit on child sex abuse ended yesterday. Pope Francis gave a half hour address.

He noted the “scourge of sexual abuse of minors” has been “a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies … particularly the great number committed within families.” Citing various references, the pope said the “first truth that emerges” is that “those who perpetrate abuse that is acts of physical, sexual, or emotional violence, are primarily parents, relatives, husbands of child brides, coaches, and teachers.”

Pope Francis also blamed “journalistic practices that often exploit, for various interests, the very tragedy experienced by little ones” along with the internet, pornography and sexual tourism.

He made special mention of “other forms of abuse”, such as “child soldiers, child prostitutes, starving children, child victims of war, refugee children, aborted children, and so many others.” Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Dept. of Communications as Dishonest as He Wants it To Be

“These are difficult times for the new team of pope’s press agents,” Vatican expert, Sandro Magister wrote on Jan. 9. “The first public statement issued by Alessandro Gisotti, the new director of the Press Office of the Holy See after his taking office, concerns the case of an Argentine bishop smashing to smithereens the Franciscan strategy to address the issue of sexual abuse by clerics,” noted Magister. Continue reading

“Opus Dei’s Influence is Felt in All of Washington’s Corridors of Power”

The Opus Dei Catholic Information Center’s “members and leaders continue to have an outsize impact on policy and politics. It is the conservative spiritual and intellectual center … and its influence is felt in all of Washington’s corridors of power,” stated the Washington Post.

In the past two decades, the center’s “K Street NW location, just two blocks from the White House, became a bustling gathering place for conservative academics, politicians, journalists, young professionals.”  “The noon Mass became known as a ‘Who’s Who’ scene in conservative circles” including “Judge Robert H. Bork, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), economist Larry Kudlow and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).”

Opus Dei’s influence is enormous in the U.S. judiciary. Continue reading

Two Lawsuits Name the Vatican. Perhaps Justice At Last.

In October, two sexual abuse survivors sued the Vatican in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco for failing to prevent and covering up the abuse of them and other children by priests.

In November, a class-action lawsuit on behalf of six sexual assault victims was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit accuses the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican of “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others by members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) establishes the limitations as to whether a foreign sovereign nation (or its political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities) may be sued in U.S. courts. Under that law, a foreign state shall be liable for personal injury or death occurring in the United States and caused by the foreign state or any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment. (I am not a lawyer, so I hope anyone wanting exact information will click on these links for the specifics.)

Until now, the Vatican prevailed in three * lawsuits by asserting that its bishops and clergy are not “officials or employees acting within the scope of his office or employment.” Pope Francis’ recent action, however, may open the door to success for survivors of clerical sex abuse. Continue reading

The Bishops’ Meeting: From Bad to Worse

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury disclosed credible allegations of sexual abuse by over 300 priests, with thousands of victims.  A joint Boston Globe/Philadelphia Inquirer investigation, published Nov. 3, found more than 130 U.S. bishops –  or nearly one-third of those still living – have been accused of failing to properly respond to sexual misconduct allegations.

The bishops’ response was much-anticipated. But, at their Nov. 12-14 meeting, they failed to adopt reforms addressing the sex abuse crisis

“Bottom line – Catholics have lost trust in their leaders,” declared Tom Gjelten, who covers religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, after the meeting.

“Too many are losing faith, losing trust, losing hope – we are, in so many ways, losing our religion,” wrote Deacon Greg Kandra.

“This loss of trust in the leadership of the Church makes this the most significant crisis confronting ting the church since the Reformation,” noted Madeline E. Lacovara in the magazine, America.

As usual, important issues were misstated or neglected by the U.S. mainstream media in reporting on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) meeting. Continue reading