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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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    • Progressives and Obama (Part 7) January 19, 2017
      Earlier today Barack Obama gave his last press conference as president.In less than 40 hours he and his family will vacant the White House . . . and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.This evening I've been looking back over the things I've written and shared about Obama at The Wild Reed. There's this piec […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day January 16, 2017
      I have decided to stick with love.Hate is too great a burden to bear. – Martin Luther King, Jr.Related Off-site LinksRemembering the Real Martin Luther King Jr. – Peter Z. Scheer (TruthDig, January 16, 2017).The Evolution of Dr. King – Lee Sustar (Jacobin, January 16, 2017).Restoring King – Thomas J. Sugrue (Jacobin, January 16, 2017).Historian Explains the […]
      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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    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • 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 Women's March: pro-life's effort to co-opt feminism January 18, 2017
      Coming up in a few days: the Women's March on Washington. There's been much in the news lately about the fact that a pro-life women's group has been dropped as a partner to the march because of their anti-choice stance, and the question has been asked once again ... can someone be pro-life and a feminist? The short answer is "no". He […]
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Informed about sex abuse of disabled children, Pope Francis did nothing

At least 22 children were sexually abused by two priests at a school for youths with hearing disabilities in Argentina, an investigating prosecutor said Monday.

Police arrested 82-year old priest Nicola Corradi, 55-year-old priest Horacio Corbacho, and three other men last week. They are accused of sexual and physical child abuse at the Antonio Provolo Institute in northwestern Mendoza province ….

Corradi earlier had been accused in Italy of sexually abusing students at the Provolo Institute in Verona, a notorious school for the deaf where hundreds of children are believed to have been sexually assaulted over the years by two dozen priests and religious brothers ….

The association of Provolo victims in Italy wrote to Pope Francis on December 31, 2013, asking for assistance for the victims there, saying they still received no form of solidarity or support, even after the Vatican concluded they had been abused in 2012 ….

[I have deleted a sentence as it was later confirmed as inaccurate and the Washington Post article I cited has been removed. However, the rest of this article is accurate.] The Provolo group provided the AP with the letter from the Vatican dated February 5, 2016, in which the Vatican said it had forwarded the request to the Italian bishops’ conference, saying it was up to them to investigate.

“Words fail. It is appalling and heartbreaking that Corradi was not stopped by Pope Francis or by other Church authorities. Corradi’s presence at the school in Mendoza was no secret,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.

“Thanks to the Church’s inaction, Corradi appears to have been able to replicate exactly the grotesque situation he enjoyed in Verona – a ring of child molesters in charge of utterly defenseless children who could neither hear nor speak. If the allegations are true, the pope must accept responsibility for the unimaginable suffering of these new victims.”

 

(Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America and “Duped by the Media on Pope Francis, Progressives Wonder How Republicans Get Elected.”)

With an Estimated $17B in Assets, Pope Francis Creates a “Day of the Poor”

The Vatican’s securities, commercial real estate and bank accounts are estimated at $16-18 billion, its bureaucrats are still engaged in financial fraud, corruption and possible money laundering and most of the donations to the pope for charity are withheld from the poor.

On Nov. 20, Pope Francis created an annual observance for a “Day of the Poor.” In an interview broadcast that same evening, he declared, “One must always struggle for a poor Church for the poor, according to the Gospel.”

An April 2015 article in the Italian financial news, Il Sole 24 Ore, stated the assets – securities, commercial real estate and bank accounts – of all the Vatican departments and offices combined “by a conservative estimate” would be around 15-17 billion euro (approx. $16-18 billion). No outsider can be sure because Pope Francis hides almost all his fortune from any independent audits or disclosures. Continue reading

Catholic Bishops Doing a Happy Dance – For Now

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning, [a] commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim the truth about man and woman [anti-transgender dogwhistle], and the unique bond of marriage that they can form …. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security.”

Much of this echoes the Vatican’s statement that “points of dialogue” with Trump will include “internal [domestic] subjects such as religious freedom, Catholics’ commitment and attention to the most vulnerable bands of society.”

Martin R. Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, recently stated: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.” Continue reading

Vatican Will “Dialogue” with Trump on Anti-Gay and Anti-Women Issues

Pope Francis’ right-hand man, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said on Thursday that “points of dialogue” between the Vatican and Trump will include peace and “internal [domestic] subjects such as religious freedom and Catholics’ commitment and attention to the most vulnerable bands of society.”

“Religious freedom” is the euphemism justifying anti-gay discrimination. “Most vulnerable” is a common phrase used in anti-abortion rhetoric. Continue reading

How Pope Francis Helped Defeat the Colombian Peace Agreement

Pope Francis refused multiple requests for his participation or presence during the peace process. He also advocated the ideology and vocabulary for those who opposed the peace agreement.

In April 2015, Pope Francis’ secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a letter to Colombian bishops on behalf of the pope “in the hope of seeing them soon during one of his trips to Latin America.” (Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July 2015, Cuba in September 2015, Mexico in February 2016). Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the Colombian bishops’ conference, said he hoped it would be in “early 2016 …. This date was tentatively picked as it should coincide with the eventual ratification of the peace agreement should it be completed on time.” Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Diplomatic Reach Exceeds His Grasp of History

Pope Francis formed an alliance with Vladimir Putin, an accommodation with Raul Castro and capitulated to Xi Jinping.

On Aug. 26, the pope announced his intentions for the 50th World Day of Peace to be celebrated on Jan. 1, 2017. He included “recognition of the primacy of diplomacy,” acting “within what is possible,” and having “a realistic political method.”

Two days earlier, the pontiff’s chosen Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, “remarked that it is ‘the simplicity and courage with which the pope proposes the primacy of dialogue and understanding’ that has sparked in many religious and political leaders ‘the desire to communicate with him and to get to know the actions of the Holy See and the Catholic Church worldwide better.’” Parolin is so confident that other world leaders admire Pope Francis’ “negotiations and dialogue rather than affirming truth” that he is considering creating an Office for Papal Mediation.

Pope Francis and Parolin have said that their “dialogue” with China will bring “a more fraternal world society,”  “is the only way to achieve peace,” can be an “example for the world as a whole, building bridges of fraternity and communion everywhere,” would have “immense benefits for world peace, very, very big benefits,” that “the blossom [of relations with China] will flourish and bear good fruits for the good of the same China and of all the world,”  and that they were “writing a page unheard of in history.”

The results of Pope Francis’ diplomacy, however, is that  he “has helped to underscore Russia’s renewed standing as a global power,” in Cuba “he honored Fidel Castro while ignoring the dissidents” and his new deal with China is “a huge win for Beijing‘s soft power program.” Continue reading

Bishops Still Behaving Badly on Sex Abuse as Pope Francis Sets the Example

The clerical sex abuse scandal has revealed the core of corruption in the institutional Catholic Church. There have already been hundreds of thousands  of victims around the world.

Since the systemic sexual abuse of children made national headlines in 2002, survivors (young people who had experienced child sexual abuse had a suicide rate that was 10.7 to 13.0 times the national rates) and their advocates have demanded essential reforms necessary to protect children in the future.

One is that the pope require that all criminal acts be immediately reported to the police. This is still optional  according to Pope Francis. Another is that the pontiff hold bishops accountable. Pope Francis has never disciplined anyone for protecting child sex abusers, obstructing justice for the survivors or impeding measures to keep children safe because that’s what he does. So the scandals go on and on and on ….. Continue reading