Tag Archives | Catholicism

Catholic bishops: Background check vote shows a ‘failure in moral leadership’

via The Raw Story pot-kettle

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday reiterated that the “culture of life” often cited by Republican politicians included gun control.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Bishop Stephen E. Blaire expressed his disappointment that legislation to expand criminal background checks on gun purchases was killed by a filibuster.

“The USCCB has been working with other faith leaders and organizations urging Congress to support legislation that builds a culture of life by promoting policies that reduce gun violence and save people’s lives in homes and communities throughout our nation,” he said. “In the wake of tragic events such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the failure to support even modest regulations on firearms is a failure in moral leadership to promote policies which protect and defend the common good.”

Last week, the Senate voted 54-46 in favor of a bipartisan amendment to a larger gun bill that would require background checks on firearm sales at gun shows and on the Internet.

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Is The Pope Catholic?

As the election of a new Pope dominates the news agenda Nick Margerrison asks for the answer to an obvious question.

“Is the Pope Catholic?” is supposed to be one of those obvious questions which lies alongside the likes of “do bears shit in the woods?”. The answer is intended to be a no-brainer, “duh – yeah, course”. However, without getting into dull tedious doctrinal or theological debate, I think the Pope’s position on Catholicism is probably worth considering. Regardless of how much someone may or may not enjoy their job in my experience it’s often the case people tend to be very cynical about the area in which they work.

I mainly pay the bills with commercial radio work and you’ll not find bigger critics regarding that industry than those who work in it. They’re the ones who can (and do) slag it off most efficiently and brutally, in their private moments, usually when the beer is flowing[2].… Read the rest

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Canadian Researchers Demolish The Myth Of Mother Teresa’s Goodness

First exposed as a fraud by Christopher Hitchens, renowned twentieth-century saint Mother Teresa now appears to have been more of a monster. Via EurekAlert!:

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa. The three researchers collected and analyzed 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa.

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care.  [There was] a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion.

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Pope’s Retirement Linked To The Blackmailing Of A Circle Of Gay Vatican Officials, Reports Italian Press

I’m guessing the Vatican’s secret circle of gay cardinals are also superheroes. The Guardian reports:

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay [high-ranking clergy] in the Vatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by outsiders. The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had decided on December 17th that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled on the so-called “Vatileaks” affair. Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence.

A quotation said some Vatican officials had been subject to “external influence” from laymen with whom they had links of a “worldly nature” — a reference to blackmail. La Repubblica‘s report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican.

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A Pacifist Anarchist Catholic Saint

Justin Whitaker writes at Patheos:

If you don’t already subscribe to PBS’s Religion and Ethics News Weekly, I highly recommend that you do. This story alone is worth it.

It focuses on the life of Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic, a socialist, an anarchist, and, perhaps very soon, a Saint.

Dorothy Day has always loomed large in the back of my mind. Growing up Catholic, to two very liberal parents (my mother marched with and had dinner with a member of the Chicago Seven), I was drawn to the idea that Catholics could also be radicals. My parents faded away from the Church, sometimes recalling that the most vicious people they had ever encountered were Catholic nuns in primary schools. And as they faded, so did I, drawn to science, atheism and existentialism, then humanism, and eventually Buddhism.

The very name of Day’s movement, the Catholic Worker Movement, clearly echoes her Communist sympathies (or at least shared interests) - noting that we humans are workers as much as anything and that work deserves respect and the recognition of the dignity of each and every one of us.

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Report: Thousands Of Irish Women Were Enslaved In Catholic Laundries Which Ended In 1996

They were being punished for being orphans or single mothers, for committing petty crimes, or being perceived as rebellious in some way. Via ABC News:

Ireland’s government oversaw workhouses run by Catholic nuns that once held thousands of women and teenage girls in unpaid labor and usually against their will, a fact-finding report concluded Tuesday, establishing state involvement in the country’s infamous Magdalene Laundries for the first time.

Opposition leaders demanded that Prime Minister Enda Kenny offer an official apology for the state’s failure to enforce labor laws and human rights standards in the 10 Magdalene Laundries, and to pledge to establish a taxpayer-funded compensation program for survivors. The report found that 10,012 women were committed to the workhouses from 1922 to the closure of the last two laundries in 1996.

The government since 2002 has paid more than $1.3 billion to more than 13,000 people who suffered abuse in other Catholic-run workhouses and orphanages but explicitly excluded former Magdalene residents, contending these were privately run institutions with negligible state involvement.

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Protestants Suck the Fun Out of Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Picture: Genghiskahng (PD)

Not content with sucking every bit of ritual and mystery out of America’s religious traditions, protestant churches now have Mexico’s indigenous beliefs in their crosshairs. Raw Story reports that participation in Mexico’s annual” Dia de Los Muertos” (the Day of the Dead) is on the decline thanks to growing numbers of Mexicans converting from Catholicism to protestant faiths:

Isaac Carrasco and his two daughters dutifully adorned the graves of several relatives with beds of marigolds and crosses made of red flowers for Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

But the nearby tombstones of his grandparents were bare and surrounded by metal bars, left this way by his aunts, who no longer mark the annual ritual.

Like a growing number of Mexicans, Carrasco’s aunts became Protestant and no longer believe in a tradition that dates back from the Aztec era and was later fused with Catholic beliefs…

Read more.… Read the rest

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Secret Papers, The Occult, Freemasonry In Pope’s Butler’s Trial

Reuters has some tantalizing tidbits from the start of the criminal trial of the pope’s former butler. The whole affair, concerning the leaking of the pope’s secret papers revealing deep-seeded corruption at the Vatican Bank and other internal scandal, is confirming some of the conspiracy theories pertaining to the Catholic Church:

Pope Benedict’s former butler stole highly sensitive papers the pontiff had marked “to be destroyed” and compromised Vatican security through his actions, the Holy See’s police told his trial on Wednesday.

On the third day of Paolo Gabriele’s trial, testimony depicted a man fascinated by the occult, Masonic lodges, secret services and past Italian and Vatican scandals.

“You can understand our unease when we saw these documents. This was a total violation of the privacy of the papal family,” said police agent Stefano De Santis, one of the four agents who said they found the papers in Gabriele’s home, using a Vatican term for the pope’s closest aides.

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Poland’s Exorcism Boom Leads To Themed Magazine

Exorcists in Eastern Europe now have their own monthly trade publication. Via the Star:

With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests here have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world’s first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil.

“The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15 years in Poland is telling,” Father Aleksander Posacki told reporters in Warsaw at the Monday launch of the Egzorcysta monthly.

Ironically, he attributed the rise in demonic possessions in what remains one of Europe’s most devoutly Catholic nations partly to the switch from atheist communism to free market capitalism in 1989. “It’s indirectly due to changes in the system: capitalism creates more opportunities to do business in the area of occultism.”

“Our hands are full,” admitted fellow exorcist and Polish Roman Catholic priest Father Andrzej Grefkowicz, revealing exorcists have a three month waiting list in the capital Warsaw.

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