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    • Raoul Peck on Patrice Lumumba and the Making of a Martyr January 17, 2021
      Today marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Émery Lumumba (1925-1961), a leader of the Congolese independence movement who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo) and who throughout much of his adult life resisted colonialism and corporatism.As I noted this time […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Photo of the Day January 15, 2021
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• The Mysticism of Trees• Cosmic Connection• Holy Encounters Where Two Worlds Meet• The Landscape Is a MirrorImage: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • Winding Bilgrimage Down as 2021 Begins January 1, 2021
      As readers may have divined, I've been slowly winding Bilgrimage down, and with the new year, will likely not be posting any longer. I'm making this decision largely because I find my energy waning after I turned 70 this past March. Ages are only points on a graph, but even so, I do find my energy decreasing now that I'm a senior citizen — alo […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • What Commentators Are Saying to Evangelicals Speaking Out — Finally! — about Idolatry of Trump: "It's about Time. But It's Too Late" December 15, 2020
      Some valuable recent commentary about the dangerous idolatory of Christian Trumpism:Heather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American: December 13, 2020": In an important move today, evangelical leader Beth Moore, the founder of Living Proof Ministries, a Bible-based women's group from Houston, Texas, who has almost a million followers on Twit […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • A saint for the millenials: Carlo Acutis beatified today in Assisi. October 10, 2020
       A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing […]
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    • 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 […]
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    • Riot aftermath January 15, 2021
      It's been hard to write a blog post lately. I'm still thinking about the Capitol riot. Every day brings new information about it, and it only gets worse. It appears likely that some Republican House members helped the rioters, giving them tours and stategic info days before the riot ... Republican lawmakers are accused of giving Capitol tours to in […]
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Vatican Finances Now Controlled by the Company Men

The term “company men” refers to those whose loyalty can be described as willing to do whatever the company needs. During his reign, Pope Francis had appointed some men to control his finances who would allow their personal ambitions or agendas to influence their decisions. Not anymore.

FARRELL

Within four months of his election, Pope Francis had enacted his first law. It “criminalized leaks of Vatican information.” The penalty was up to eight years in prison if the material concerned the “fundamental interests” of the Holy See.

Pope Francis’ last law, enacted on June 1, 2020, is named “Norms on the transparency, control and competition of public contracts of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State.” However, “certain contracts are exempt from the legislation, contracts related to matters covered by the pontifical secret, contracts funded by an international organization [and] contracts necessary to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the Holy See or the Vatican City State.”  

Secrecy is important for this pontiff.

Along with the new law, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Kevin Farrell, 73, as president of his newly created Commission for Reserved Matters to oversee those transactions that would remain hidden. Farrell is suspected of keeping secret even the most notorious Church scandals.

Pope Francis had named Farrell as camerlengo in 2019. The camerlengo manages the Vatican during the period between a pope’s death/renunciation and election of a new pope. This prelate also has authority to direct many of the meetings and details surrounding the conclave. Farrell took an oath before Pope Francis who gave him a scepter, a symbol of his authority, reported the National Catholic Register.

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The Next Pope

Plans for the election of the next pope are well under way. In the last quarter of 2020, there have been indications as to what the next pontiff will say and do. He will continue to make meaningless policies and procedures about child sex abuse. So thousands upon thousands of children around the world will remain at risk of being sexually tortured. All will be severely traumatized for life. Many will die.  

The next pope will maintain his predecessors’ opposition to women’s and LGBTQ person’s human rights while appearing to be liberal on issues pleasing to the American mainstream media.

In contrast to the major portion of Pope Francis’ pontificate, leaders of the Catholic rightwing are uniting behind the pope and will continue in the future, doing whatever is necessary to bolster the prestige and importance of the head of the Church.

As has been true since the 1978 election of Pope John Paul II, the pontiff will reign, but Opus Dei* will govern.

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Control of the Vatican: What’s at Stake

The Catholic Church is the only religion headquartered in an autonomous country. The sovereignty of the Holy See – the name of the government of both the Vatican City State and the worldwide Church – provides criminal and civil immunity from any other authority to Vatican residents and government officials. 

The Vatican has immense wealth. How it is earned, how it is spent, who profits remain hidden because it is shielded by self-rule. Vatican officials’ access to global financial markets is facilitated by its status as a sovereign city/state.  

As officials of an independent nation, a pope and his appointees have access to, and some influence in, many international organizations.

So there is much at stake in choosing the next pontiff, the absolute dictator of the Holy See. There will be another conclave some time after the cardinal/electors are able to safely convene when the pandemic has subsided. In a recent interview, Pope Francis indicated how long he expected his pontificate to last. Speaking about some routine medical tests, he said the doctors “were inclined to have me do a test every five years, but I told them: let’s do it annually. You never know,” he told a reporter for the Adnkronos news agency.

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Pope John Paul II was Bad. Pope Francis is Far Worse.

NEW YORK TIMES: VATICAN REPORT CASTS JOHN PAUL II IN HARSH NEW LIGHT

WASHINGTON POST: McCARRICK REPORT: POPE JOHN PAUL II KNEW OF MISCONDUCT

Pope John Paul II knew of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual relations with young seminarians and priests according to the Vatican report.

Yet currently Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz, Ricardo Ezzati, Vincent Nichols, George Pell and Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta are benefiting from Pope Francis’ care. And throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has also safeguarded Archbishop Anthony Apuron, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, Fr. Nichola Corradi, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski and Msgr. Carlo Capella.

So thousands of children around the world are still being sexually assaulted by officials and employees of the Roman Catholic Church and those who cover-up their crimes are not being held accountable.

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Preparing for the Next Conclave

Two books were released this summer: The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates, by Edward Pentin and The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission by George Weigel.

“The Holy Father is considered to be getting on in years and he himself has occasionally hinted he would like to follow Benedict XVI into retirement at some stage …. Some of the Pope’s close associates have said privately … it will happen this year.” Pentin explained. Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register owned by the right-wing EWTN media giant, is one of the best-connected and experienced Vatican reporters in the world.

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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.
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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