Posts Tagged ‘Pope’
Pope Francis lamented that a “gay lobby” was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See…
The group, known by its Spanish acronym CLAR, said it was greatly distressed that the document had been published and apologized to the pope.
In the document, Francis is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption: “The `gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there … We need to see what we can do …” the synthesis reads…
In the days leading up to Pope Benedict XVI’s Feb. 28 resignation, Italian media were rife with reports of a “gay lobby” influencing papal decision-making and Vatican policy through blackmail, and suggestions that the scandal had led in part to Benedict’s decision to resign…
The unsourced reports, in the Rome daily La Repubblica and the news magazine Panorama, said details of the scandal were laid out in the secret dossier prepared for Benedict by three trusted cardinals who investigated the leaks of papal documents last year.
Sounds like the history of corruption among our own fascist-minded from Joe McCarthy to Ted Cruz: “I have this list in my hand of communist agents in the State Department/Harvard Law School/Occupy Texas” – just cross out the targets that don’t fit the day’s slander.
In the synthesis, Francis was quoted as being remarkably forthcoming about his administrative shortcomings, saying he was relying on the group of eight cardinals he appointed to lead a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.
The document quoted him as saying: “I am very disorganized, I have never been good at this. But the cardinals of the commission will move it forward.”
Cripes, he even has his own Gang of Eight. No doubt as unlikely to place civil rights and civil liberties ahead of personal gain than the average Congress-thug. Meanwhile, the Vatican’s tradition of gay-bashing is dragged-out once again as a weapon of self-defense by a tottering group of old men centuries beyond their sell-by date.
Europeans in general spend a bit less time kneeling with respect in the direction of the Pope than, say, the typical American TV Talking Head.
Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, has ruled homosexuals should be able to adopt children.
The court Friday rejected a claim by a Muslim man in Brescia that his child was being damaged because his former partner is now living with a woman, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. The court called the belief that being brought up by a gay couple is damaging to children “mere prejudice.”
Flavio Romani, president of the group Arcigay, called it a “historic ruling” and said it will allow future governments to enact laws allowing same-sex marriage.
“The Cassation Court today reaffirmed what we’ve been saying for a long time,” Romani said. “Love is what makes children grow, and not the sexual orientation of their parents…”
Politicians across a broad swath from Left to Rightwing [but interested in re-election] said the same.
The Rev. Domenico Sigalini, a Catholic priest speaking for the Italian Episcopal Conference, said courts should not decide on family matters.
Sigalini, of course, is only centuries out of date.
I don’t think anyone interviewed the Pope.
The Pope and the Republican Party says – this is the enemy!
Hispanic women in the United States, who have generally had the highest fertility rates in the country, are choosing to have fewer children. Both immigrant and native-born Latinas had steeper birthrate declines from 2007 to 2010 than other groups, including non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Asians, a drop some demographers and sociologists attribute to changes in the views of many Hispanic women about motherhood…
The decline in birthrates was steepest among Mexican-American women and women who immigrated from Mexico, at 25.7 percent. This has reversed a trend in which immigrant mothers accounted for a rising share of births in the United States, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center. In 2010, birthrates among all Hispanics reached their lowest level in 20 years, the center found.
The sudden drop-off, which coincided with the onset of the recession, suggests that attitudes have changed since the days when older generations of Latinos prized large families and more closely followed Roman Catholic teachings, which forbid artificial contraception…
Interviews with young Latinas, as well as reproductive health experts, show that the reasons for deciding to have fewer children are many, involving greater access to information about contraceptives and women’s health, as well as higher education…
Prolonged recessions do produce dips in the birthrate, but a drop as large as Latinos have experienced is atypical, said William H. Frey, a sociologist and demographer at the Brookings Institution…
But to Mr. Frey, the decrease has signaled much about the aspirations of young Latinos to become full and permanent members of the upwardly mobile middle class, despite the challenges posed by the struggling economy.
According to research by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the overwhelming majority of Latinas have used contraception at some point in their lives, but they face economic barriers to consistent use. As a consequence, Latinas still experience unintended pregnancy at a rate higher than non-Hispanic whites, according to the institute.
And while the share of births to teenage mothers has dropped over the past two decades for all women, the highest share of births to teenage mothers is among native-born Hispanics.
“There are still a lot of barriers to information and access to contraception that exist,” said Jessica Gonzáles-Rojas, 36, the executive director of the institute…“We still need to do a lot of work.”
RTFA for details and descriptive anecdotes.
Education, understanding, access to contraception and freedom of choice are all opportunities which would be denied by the forces of backwardness – from the Pope to the Republican Party.
Constitutional standards which thrilled immigrants and citizens alike – freedom, opportunity, equal access to a better life – are now progressive concepts needing to be fought for again. As we had to defeat British imperial rule over American colonies, we now confront the same resistance from native reactionaries who would deny freedom, once more.
One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican.
Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, lacking credibility and apathetic to the real concerns of the church’s members.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Küng, who had close contact with the pope when the two worked together as young theologians, described the church as an “authoritarian system” with parallels to Germany’s Nazi dictatorship…
The Vatican made a point of crushing any form of clerical dissent, he added. “The rules for choosing bishops are so rigid that as soon as candidates emerge who say, stand up for the pill, or for the ordination of women, they are struck off the list.” The result was a church of “yes men”, almost all of whom unquestioningly toed the line.
“The only way for reform is from the bottom up,” said Küng, 84, who is a priest. “The priests and others in positions of responsibility need to stop being so subservient, to organise themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore,” he added.
Küng…said that inspiration for global change was to be found in his native Switzerland and in Austria, where hundreds of Catholic priests have formed movements advocating policies that openly defy current Vatican practices. The revolts have been described as unprecedented by Vatican observers, who say they are likely to cause deep schisms in the church.
“I’ve always said that if one priest in a diocese is roused, that counts for nothing. Five will create a stir. Fifty are pretty much invincible. In Austria, the figure is well over 300, possibly up to 400 priests; in Switzerland it’s about 150 who have stood up and it will increase.”
Good luck to Kung and those brave souls who dare question some of the most backwards and reactionary theology in the world.
The Catholic Church has advantages in maintaining its ideology from a centralized governance. As long as it rejects advances in knowledge, ethics and understanding, that centralization will provide nothing of value to the church’s membership – or to humanity in the much larger world.
Catholic Church reinstates 17th Century prayer as part of the political campaign against same-sex marriage, death with dignity
The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national “prayer for France” opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government.
The prayer, to be read in all churches on Aug 15, echoes the defense of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and Catholic leaders around the world as gay nuptials gain acceptance, especially in Europe and North America…
King Louis XIII decreed in 1638 that all churches would pray on Aug 15, the day Catholics believe the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven, for the good of the country. The annual practice fell into disuse after World War Two.
In the text, Catholics will pray for newly elected officials “so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands.” This would include support for traditional families “throughout their lives, especially in painful moments…”
Pope Benedict said in January that same-sex marriage threatened “the future of humanity itself…”
Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during the election campaign last spring to reform marriage laws and his government has said it would do so early next year. Opinion polls say about two-thirds of the French support gay marriage…
Hollande has also expressed sympathy for euthanasia, which is not allowed in France, and named a commission to review whether the current law stressing palliative care for the dying needed to be expanded…
Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium. Switzerland and the U.S. state of Oregon allow assisted suicide.
I’m never surprised when “defenders of the faith” attack my blog posts as overdoing hyperbole when I accuse the Pope and his Princes of the Church of living in the Middle Ages – or the Dark Ages, depending on the issue.
Kind of heartwarming to see an official order reinstating church politics from the early 17th Century. Affirmation is a trip.
A Catholic bishop has called for a blasphemy law in Germany, saying all religions deserved legal protection from attack in order to preserve human dignity…
“Those who injure the souls of believers with scorn and derision must be put in their place and in some cases also punished,” said Bamberg Archbishop Ludwig Schick…
He said there should be a “Law against the derision of religious values and feelings,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Satire magazine Titanic raised the topic of blasphemy and respect for religion last month after publishing an image of Pope Benedict with a yellow stain on his cassock in reference to the Vatican leaks scandal.
The Pope took legal action which succeeded in banning further printing of the image, although copies of the magazine already published were not removed from sale. Yet his legal argument was based on his personal rights rather than any protection of religion…
…The idea of a blasphemy law was slammed by the Green Party, whose parliamentary leader Volker Beck said satire and irony could not be banned…He said that ironic or satirical statements might not be popular among those targeted, but they could not be forbidden.
“Believers do not need any greater criminal legal protection against defamation, slander and attack than other social groups,” he said.
Sharia law has no credibility in a modern educated society. I don’t care whether the theocrats are Catholic or Southern Baptist, Orthodox Jews or Muslims, providing justice by religious ideology should remain catalogued in history books as an aberration leftover from the Dark Ages.
The Vatican has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop who was caught cavorting with a blonde, bikini-clad woman on a Mexican beach…Bishop Fernando Bargallo, 57, was forced to hand in his resignation after photographs emerged this month showing him frolicking and embracing the woman at a luxury resort in Mexico.
Bargallo, who led the Argentine diocese of Merlo-Moreno outside Buenos Aires since May 1997, has reportedly admitted to having “amorous ties” with the woman he is seen embracing in the water, thought to be a divorced restaurant owner.
The news broke as the Vatican ousted the founder of an Italian mission for “serious immoral behaviour,” after it emerged he had sex with female missionaries during a posting in South America…Luigi Prandin, who founded the Villaregia Missionary Community, was ousted along with co-founder, Maria Luigia Corona, who knew of the liaisons but covered it up because she feared a scandal…
The scandals have raised fresh calls for priests to be allowed to marry.
Pope Benedict XVI has vigorously denied claims that abstention may have contributed to sex abuse scandals, insisting repeatedly that celibacy is central to the priesthood…In April, he issued a rare condemnation of errant priests, slamming in particular an “appeal to religious disobedience” launched by a group of Austrian clerics in 2011, which argued for an end to priestly celibacy.
The Pope is a 14th Century idiot. Actually, he’s an 11th Century idiot. Celibacy has been a papal law since the 11th Century – and that’s all it is. A law. Not doctrine.
Any Pope with a brain and some kind of understanding of how human beings function can end this silly regulation.
The American nuns who were harshly condemned by the Vatican in April as failing to uphold Catholic doctrine finally responded on Friday in their own strong terms, saying the Vatican’s assessment was based on “unsubstantiated accusations” and a “flawed process,” and has caused scandal, pain and polarization in the Roman Catholic Church.
The nuns issued a statement after six weeks of virtual silence, during which their religious communities across the country mulled over the Vatican’s startling pronouncement, and Catholics across the country rallied to support the nuns. The Vatican had announced it would dispatch three American bishops to lead a complete makeover of the sisters’ principal organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the nation’s 57,000 nuns.
After three days of discussion and prayer in Washington this week, the 21 national board members of the group decided they could not accept the Vatican’s verdict, and would send their president and executive director to Rome on June 12 to open a dialogue with Vatican officials.
Now that will smoke the Pope’s pipes. Uppity nuns.
Sister Pat Farrell, president of the leadership conference, said in a telephone interview on Friday, “We do want to go and speak the truth as we understand it about our lives.” She said the sisters had been “stunned by the severity” of the Vatican’s pronouncement, which accused them of transgressions that included promoting radical feminism and contradicting the bishops. The sisters were also concerned that the assessment was conducted almost entirely by written communication, she said, with only “minimal contact” with officials at the Vatican office that issued the conclusions, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Among the accusations the nuns considered “unsubstantiated” was the Vatican’s charge of promoting “radical feminist themes,” Sister Farrell said.
“Even large sectors of the church itself have legitimate concern and want to continue to talk about the place of women in the church, and rightful equality between men and women,” said Sister Farrell, who is a member of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Dubuque, Iowa. “So if that is called radical feminism, then a lot of men and women in the church, far beyond us, are guilty of that.”
The Vatican continues to behave like the medieval mens’ club it always has been. The Pope’s flunkies wring their hands over the nuns occasionally hosting speakers who “contradict or ignore” church teaching and focused their efforts on serving the poor and disenfranchised.
Add in support for civil rights, insufficient homophobia and failure to condemn adequately women’s reproductive rights.
They reprimanded the sisters for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”
RTFA. The nuns are guilty of using democratic discussion to arrive at policy. Even worse, ordinary Catholics are obviously supporting them – yet another challenge to the absolute obedience the princes of the church demand.
The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”
The Vatican’s assessment…said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”
The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care…
Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise, Sister Annmarie Sanders said. She said that the group’s leaders were in Rome on Wednesday for what they thought was a routine annual visit to the Vatican when they were informed of the outcome of the investigation, which began in 2008.
“I’m stunned,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby founded by sisters. Her group was also cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference, for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage…
The verdict on the nuns group was issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is now led by an American, Cardinal William Levada… He appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to lead the process of reforming the sisters’ conference, with assistance from Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki and Bishop Leonard Blair, who was in charge of the investigation of the group.
They have been given up to five years to revise the group’s statutes, approve of every speaker at the group’s public programs and replace a handbook the group used to facilitate dialogue on matters that the Vatican said should be settled doctrine. They are also supposed to review the Leadership Conference’s links with Network and another organization, the Resource Center for Religious Life.
Doctrinal issues have been in the forefront during the papacy of Benedict XVI, who was in charge of the Vatican’s doctrinal office before he became pope. American nuns have come under particular scrutiny. Last year, American bishops announced that a book by a popular theologian at Fordham University, Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, should be removed from all Catholic schools and universities.
And while the Vatican was investigating the Leadership Conference, the Vatican was also conducting a separate, widespread investigation of all women’s religious orders and communities in the United States. That inquiry, known as a “visitation,” was concluded last December, but the results of that process have not been made public.
Just in case anyone wondered about transparency or democracy under a theocracy. The Pope and his
henchmen bishops are making it clear that modern thought is anathema; equal civil rights for women are forbidden; any attempts to bring the Roman Catholic Church into the 20th or 21st Centuries will be met with an Inquisition and whatever penalties the men in charge deem necessary.
While you’re at it – if you’re a True Believer who dares to disagree with this Inquisition – then reconsider why you should be obeying Holy Monarchs in the first place. If you’re wandering the Web, reading and examining independent thought without following the rules of the official catechism – maybe you might find yourself capable of many more decisions on your own.