Tag Archives | Catholic Church

Catholic Church’s Anti-Glacier Prayers ‘Worked Too Well’

Could this whole “global warming” thing which has wrought landscape change, weather disasters, and wildfires be the result of a 300-year-old prayer from the Vatican imploring God to melt the icy peaks? Via National Geographic:

About 50 people set out on foot from the Swiss village of Fiesch at dawn on July 31. “Glacier is ice, ice is water, water is life,” intoned priest Toni Wenger, before beseeching God to stop the glaciers high above them from melting.

By changing a few, crucial words in the liturgy, Father Wenger reversed a Catholic ritual that for 350 years had implored the heavens to push back the glaciers. The Vatican had approved the change as the effects of global warming became all too tangible in the Alps.

The people of devoutly Catholic Fiesch and Fieschertal have made the annual pilgrimage since 1674, when Europe was in the grip of the Little Ice Age.

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Catholic School Girls Denied HPV Vaccine By Canadian Bishops

A vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer could send the wrong message, Catholic leaders in Calgary decided. Via TIME Newsfeed:

The female students in Calgary’s Catholic school system will be receiving one less shot than their public school counterparts. In 2008, a group of bishops led by Bishop Frederick Henry deemed that providing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — which guards girls against the four strands of HPV most associated with cervical cancer — to fifth and ninth-grade girls could be viewed as a compromise of Catholic teaching, because HPV is a sexually transmitted virus.

Children in Calgary’s Catholic schools were sent home with… a letter… instruct[ing] parents that “Although school-based immunization delivery systems generally result in high numbers of students completing immunization, a school-based approach to vaccination sends a message that early sexual intercourse is allowed.”

HPV Calgary says that by banning the vaccine, the church is literally endangering the lives of thousands of girls.

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The Myth About Marriage

Wedding At CanaVery interesting perspective from Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books given the current media circus regarding President Obama’s personal support of same-sex marriage:

Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.

Some of my fellow Catholics even think that “true marriage” was instituted by Christ. It wasn’t. Marriage is prescribed in Eden by YHWH (Yahweh) at Genesis 2.24: man and wife shall “become one flesh.” When Jesus is asked about marriage, he simply quotes that passage from Genesis (Mark 10.8). He nowhere claims to be laying a new foundation for a “Christian marriage” to replace the Yahwist institution.

Some try to make the wedding at Cana (John 1.1–11) somehow sacramental because Jesus worked his first miracle there. But that was clearly a Jewish wedding, like any other Jesus might have attended, and the miracle, by its superabundance of wine, is meant to show the disciples that the Messianic time has come.

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Pope or Hitler: Who Said This?

Pope Or HitlerThanks to jasonpaulhayes for the comment. As Pope or Hitler explains:

This is a response to the Pope’s claim that the Nazi movement was atheist. When it was nothing of the sort.

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

Please share what you learned from Pope or Hitler

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Catholic Priests Oppose ‘Report Pedophilia’ Bill in Ireland

Claire O’Sullivan and Ann Cahill write in the Irish Examiner:

Justice Minister Alan Shatter reiterated that everyone, including priests, were obliged to report child sex abuse and other offences, including white collar crime, to the gardaí, even if they hear about it in the confessional.

The minister described the issue as a media obsession and said priests had been obliged to provide gardaí with information about a whole series of crimes since the 1998 Offences Against the State Amendment Act.

Nobody had raised any question about this or the 2011 Criminal Justice Act that placed the same obligation on the whole community, including priests, to assist gardaí with information.

The confessional was a diversion from the real issue, which had nothing to do with the confessional but with the fact that sexual abuse of children by clergy had been known about by religious orders and leaders as a result of parents, victims and others telling them, outside of the confessional.

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Vatican: American Nuns Are Too Liberal, Pursuing ‘Radical Feminist Themes’

NunsReports Agence France-Presse via the RAW Story:
The Vatican has issued a scathing condemnation of the main association of Catholic nuns in the United States for taking liberal stances on contraception, homosexuality and female priests. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) said in a statement on Thursday it was “stunned” by the Vatican report which pointed to “serious doctrinal problems” and “unacceptable positions” on a range of issues. It accused members of LCWR, which represents around 45,000 US nuns, or 80 percent of the total, of “corporate dissent” with the Church’s teachings against homosexuality and said it was pursuing “radical feminist themes”...
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Dutch Catholic Church Castrated Children In The 1950s

Henk-Heithuis-_2171956bJust fifty years ago, the Catholic Church in Holland used castration of boys and young men “as a treatment for homosexuality and also as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse.” Horrifying events, long covered up, via the Telegraph:

The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home.

Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said. “There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story.”

Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said.

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Anonymous Takes Down Vatican Website

Vatican WebsiteVia Russia Today:

The activist hacking group Anonymous, responsible for numerous high-profile attacks on corporations and government bodies, has now targeted the Holy See, taking down www.vatican.va and is warning of a “coming storm”.

Hackers from the Italian branch of the group attacked the Vatican’s website in protest against Roman Catholic Church’s scandals, liturgies, conservative doctrines and controversial history.

The website was taken down on Wednesday and was inaccessible for hours. A Vatican spokesman said he could not confirm the crash was the work of the hackers but said technicians were working to get it back up, Reuters reports. “Anonymous has decided to put your site under siege in response to your doctrine, liturgy and the absurd and anachronistic rules that your profit-making organization spreads around the world,” a statement published on the Italian website of the Anonymous group read.

Anonymous has become increasingly associated with international ‘hacktivism’, staging protests and high-profile cyber-attacks.

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Vatican Told to Pay Taxes as Italy Tackles Budget Crisis

VaticanIf you missed this one, what’s this whole “accountability” thing about when it comes to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Michael Day reports in the Independent:

After several years of scandal in which the Catholic Church has faced allegations of financial impropriety, paedophile priests and rumours of plots to kill the Pope, the Vatican is now facing a new €600m-a-year tax bill as Rome seeks to head off European Commission censure over controversial property tax breaks enjoyed by the Church.

As the EC heads closer to officially condemning the fiscal perks enjoyed by the Catholic Church and introduced by the Berlusconi administration, Prime Minister Mario Monti has written to the Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, saying that the Vatican will resume property tax, or Ici, payments.

Mr Almunia said in 2010 that the exemption amounted to state aid that might breach EU competition law. A parliamentary proposal by the Italian Radicals party last August to repeal the exemption, with a successful petition on Facebook, upped the pressure.

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Speculative Fictions: Scientology’s Tin-Pot Real Estate Empire and the Real Owners of the World

Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Yippee! We'll never have to pay tax on this building! Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Business Insider pulls the veil aside a little on the vast global real estate portfolio of The Church Of Scientology, with 10 examples from the over 8,500 Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups buildings in 165 countries around the world.

Still, Scientology is way behind the top five largest landowners in the world: Queen Elizabeth II (legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface, valued at £17,600,000,000,000); the Russian state (4,219 million acres); the Chinese state (about 2,365 million acres); the Federal Government of the United States, which owns about one third of the land of the USA (760 million acres); and the King of Saudi Arabia (553 million acres).

And not even in the same class as the more venerable Catholic Church, but of course Scientology hasn’t been able to take advantage of tax exemption for as many centuries …

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