Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catholic School Boys Compete for Up-Skirt Photos of Hot Teachers

Boys will be boys, as they say.

Via EBL, at Batshit Crazy News, "Teenage boys take #upskirt photos of female teachers at California Catholic High School School."

It's wrong. It's humiliating and harassment. But it's the kind of misbehavior the generations grew up with. Indeed, I'm surprised this is news, considering it's not some politically incorrect attack on LGBTQ rights, or something.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Homosexual Teacher at Catholic School Fired After Marrying Partner

You think?

I'm not sure why someone like this is still Catholic.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Gay teacher at Glendora Catholic school fired after marrying partner":
A gay teacher at a Catholic high school in Glendora was fired after he married his partner and photos of the wedding were published in a local newspaper last month.

Ken Bencomo, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga was fired from his teaching position at St. Lucy's Priory High School days after he married his partner of 10 years.

He and Christopher Persky, 32, were among the first couples married at the San Bernardino County assessor-recorder's office after a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed gay couples to marry in California.

Photos of the ceremony were published in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Officials at St. Lucy's Priory had been aware of Bencomo's sexual orientation for about 10 of the 17 years he was employed by the school, said Patrick McGarrigle, Bencomo's attorney.

School officials specifically mentioned the wedding and the publicity it received during a meeting at which Bencomo was informed that he had been fired, McGarrigle said.

Bencomo, through his attorney, declined to comment.

"Ken was one of the school's star educators and the decision to terminate him because he lawfully married a man is just heartbreaking to him — it's crushing," McGarrigle said. "It shows a terrible error of judgment and complete disregard of Ken and what he has brought to the school."
Shoot, the guy was probably one of the brightest stars on campus, but he went and got married? What a freakin' dolt.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Francis' Statement on Homosexuality

He's a caring, loving pope.

Although his comments have set off a frenzied doctrinal search for answers, clarity, and stability.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests: Pontiff's Comments Suggest Greater Acceptance of Homosexuality Among Clerics":
ROME — When Pope Francis said he wouldn't judge gay priests, he opened the door to a new era of reconciliation within the Roman Catholic Church, which has struggled for decades to confront the presence of homosexuality in its ministry.

The pontiff was traveling aboard a turbulent overnight flight to Rome from his first overseas trip—a journey marked by his plain-spoken appeals to Catholics to reground the church in grass-roots ministry—when he broached the delicate issue of how the Catholic hierarchy should respond to clerics who are gay, though not sexually active. In doing so, he departed from the posture that has long shaped papal thinking on gay priests.

"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff told a news conference in response to a question. "You can't marginalize these people."

Pope Francis reaffirmed church teaching by referring to homosexual acts as a sin. But he wielded his formidable bully pulpit to shift the tone of how the church regards homosexual orientation at its highest ranks.

The pope returned to the Vatican from a weeklong visit to Brazil, where he was given a rock-star reception as an estimated three million people flocked to a Sunday Mass on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach.

Analysts said that show of support is likely to strengthen his hand as he confronts myriad challenges, including alleged corruption at the Vatican bank and the sexual-abuse crisis.

The pontiff said women couldn't be ordained as priests, because the issue had been definitively settled by Pope John Paul II. However, he said he wanted to develop a "theology of the woman," in order to expand and deepen their involvement in the life of the church.
Continue reading.

I know some Catholics are in denial over this, but it is what it is. See Kathryn Jean Lopez, for example, "What the Pope Did and Didn’t Say on the Plane."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Silent Witness to Abuse: Many Saw Father Donald Patrick Roemer's Behavior But Were Reluctant to Take Action

At the Los Angels Times, "Clergy abuse case filled with silent bystanders":
They stared at each other, the detective and the priest. Kelli McIlvain found interrogating him somewhat surreal. She had been raised Catholic and taught that a man in a black clerical shirt and white collar was nothing less than an emissary of God.

Father Donald Patrick Roemer was 5 feet 5, maybe 150 pounds. Hazel eyes. Blondish hair. A Ventura County Sheriff's Office report described him that night as "cooperative, seems stable," though McIlvain remembered how he repeatedly buried his head on the desk and wept.

To her surprise, his confession came easily. Yes, he said, he molested the 7-year-old boy.

McIlvain lit a cigarette. She hushed her voice, slowed her cadence to match his. Were there others, she asked. Yes, he said, according to court papers, and offered name after name.

"Where do I go from here?" he asked as midnight neared.

"Well," she said, "I'm going to have to arrest you."

What McIlvain uncovered in the weeks that followed seared the case into her memory, so much that she can recall its details more than three decades later, long after she retired: A number of people inside and outside the Catholic Church had been alerted to Roemer's misdeeds, or had strong suspicions of them, she learned.

They did nothing.

Experts call it the "bystander effect" — when people fail to help in potentially dire situations. Often they are more wary of falsely accusing someone than of their fears being confirmed. They question whether it's their responsibility to help, whether stepping in would do any good. If no one else is upset, they assume it's OK to walk away.

"We think our way out of situations we don't want to believe," said Pete Ditto, a UC Irvine professor who studies moral decision-making.

According to the 12,000 pages of church records that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles made public this year, the phenomenon appears to have played a key role in allowing clergy sex abuse to fester in case after case.

Although Catholic leaders shoulder much of the blame for the abuse scandal, the culture of silence extended to teachers, secretaries and others in the church's bottom rungs. In certain cases, it took years for someone to tip off the archdiocese's top officials to suspected molesters, let alone authorities.
Continue reading.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Three Who Saved the West

From William Kristol, at the Weekly Standard:
And now the last of them is gone. Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II—three who won the Cold War and, it isn't too much to say, saved the West (at least for a while!)—are no longer with us. Their examples remain.
Thatcher photo reagan_pope_john_paul_thatcher_zpse20bc316.jpg

IMAGE CREDIT: The Looking Spoon.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Research Dates Shroud of Turin to Era of Christ

At NYT, "Turin Shroud Going on TV, With Video From Pope."

And at Telegraph UK, "Mystery solved? Turin Shroud linked to Resurrection of Christ":
The Turin Shroud has baffled scholars through the ages but in his new book, The Sign, Thomas de Wesselow reveals a new theory linking the cloth to the Resurrection.

Also at Guardian UK, "Turin shroud makes rare appearance on TV amid claims that it is not a forgery."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pope Francis is Obstacle for Argentines Who Want Their Country to Be the Next Venezuela

From Mary Anastasia O'Grady, at WSJ, "Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope":
Argentines celebrated last week when one of their own was chosen as the new pope. But they also suffered a loss of sorts. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a tireless advocate of the poor and outspoken critic of corruption, will no longer be on hand locally to push back against the malfeasance of the government of President Cristina Kirchner.

Argentines not aligned with the regime hope that the arrival of Francis on the world stage at least will draw attention to this issue. Heaven knows the situation is growing dire.

One might have expected a swell of pride from Argentine officialdom when the news broke that the nation has produced a man so highly esteemed around the world. Instead the Kirchner government's pit bulls in journalism—men such as Horacio Verbitsky, a former member of the guerrilla group known as the Montoneros and now an editor at the pro-government newspaper Pagina 12—immediately began a campaign to smear the new pontiff's character and reputation at home and in the international news media.

The calumny is not new. Former members of terrorist groups like Mr. Verbitsky, and their modern-day fellow travelers in the Argentine government, have used the same tactics for years to try to destroy their enemies—anyone who doesn't endorse their brand of authoritarianism. In this case they allege that as the Jesuits' provincial superior in Argentina in the late 1970s, then-Father Bergoglio had links to the military government.

This is propaganda. Mrs. Kirchner and her friends aren't yet living in the equivalent of a totalitarian state where there is no free press to counter their lies. That day may come soon. The government is now pressuring merchants, under threat of reprisals, not to buy advertising in newspapers. The only newspapers that aren't on track to be financially ruined by this intimidation are those that the government controls and finances through official advertising, like Mr. Verbitsky's Pagina 12. Argentines refer to the paper as "the official gazette" because it so reliably prints the government's line...
Continue reading.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

With a Speech, Cardinal Set Path to Papacy

I love this story, at WSJ, "Argentina's 'Father Jorge' Gained Late Support With His Call to Focus on Humility and Justice; Discussions Over Soup":
VATICAN CITY—It took Jorge Mario Bergoglio four minutes to convince fellow cardinals he was their leader.

Speaking in the Paul VI grand hall of the Vatican, the Argentine cardinal warned the Catholic Church against focusing too much on matters close to home—advice that came against the backdrop of a papacy that had been consumed by infighting among Vatican officials, a dwindling flock in Europe and secular trends in the West.

The 76-year-old Father Jorge, as he is known back home, said Roman Catholicism needed to shift its focus outward, to the world beyond Rome—rather than being "self-referential," he said. Its core mission was humility, dignity and justice. It should help the poor.

It was a week before the secret conclave to elect the new pontiff would begin. But the speech sowed the seeds of one of Catholicism's boldest moves—the election of a pope from the New World, a man likely to steer the church's focus toward social justice and the problems of the world's periphery, rather than on the intrigue and controversy of its central administration.

This account, based on interviews with four cardinals, lifts the curtain on the dynamic that led the church's highest officials to shun the European basin from which Catholicism has drawn most of its leaders. Just before his speech, at a dinner of English-speaking cardinals, the future pope's name had come up over a meal of soup and wine but hadn't generated a buzz. "The speech was decisive," said one voting European cardinal...
More at the link.

The New York Times also reported on this yesterday, "Snub of Reformers' Choice Seen Before Pope's Anointing."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio is Pope Francis I

I was laughing this morning when I checked my text messages. Right before starting my 11:10am class my wife writes, "White smoke. New pope."

It's a very interesting selection, supposedly a new direction for the Catholic Church.

At Telegraph UK, "Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio becomes 266th Pope: Pope Francis the humble, first pontiff from the Americas":
Blinking and looking as surprised as anyone, he stepped from behind the blood-red velvet curtains and acknowledged the rapturous cheers from the thousands thronging St Peter’s Square.
With the words “buona sera” — good evening — Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Argentine, became the Roman Catholic Church’s 266th pope, the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium, the first from the Americas and the first Jesuit to ascend to the throne of St Peter.

He expressed wonder that his 114 brother cardinals had looked to “the end of the world” to find a successor to Benedict XVI. Cardinal Bergoglio was an unexpected choice — he had not featured in any of the front-runner lists that were drawn up by Vatican-watchers in the days before the election.

A stunned-looking Pope Francis I, dressed in white vestments and with a crucifix around his neck, shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands who shrugged off the rain and cold in the square below.

The appearance of white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney had earlier electrified Rome.

Within seconds, people were running up the avenue that leads from the River Tiber to St Peter’s Square.

“They’ve chosen, they’ve chosen,” a woman told her daughter as they hurried across rain-soaked cobbles, two small figures in a river of hundreds hurrying to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

Groups of young people sang and danced in front of television cameras and mobile phone networks crashed as tens of thousands of people called friends and relations.

They waved flags and shouted “Viva Il Papa” — without yet knowing who Il Papa was — as more people crammed into the square.
And from around the web, in no particular order:

* At Life News, "New Pope Francis called homosexual ‘marriage’ a ‘machination of the Father of Lies’."

* At the Los Angeles Times, "New pope: Latinos overjoyed with selection of Argentine."

* At the Wall Street Journal, "Official Text of Pope Francis’ First Speech to World."

* At the New Yorker, "We Have a New Pope: Cardinal Bergoglio Is Francis."

* At the Guardian UK, "Jorge Mario Bergoglio: from railway worker's son to Pope Francis."

* At Gateway Pundit, "Pope Francis Linked to Anti-Marxist ‘Comunione e Liberazione’ Organization."

* At National Review, "A Jesuit Named Francis!"

* At London's Daily Mail, "Did he fail to stand up to Argentina's brutal junta? Critics say Pope did little to help those who disappeared when country was under right-wing military rule."

* At the Economist, "The Vatican turns south: A modest opportunity."

* At the Canada Free Press, "Richard Viguerie: Election of Pope Francis Signals Strength of Traditional Catholic Moral Teachings."

* At the Washington Post, "Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, known for simplicity and conservatism."

* At Der Spiegel, "White Smoke: Argentinian Bishop Becomes Pope Francis I."

* At the New York Times, "The New Pope: Bergoglio of Argentina."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reforming the Roman Catholic Church

All of a sudden today, for no particular reason, I found myself reading a lot of articles on the problems and prospects of the Catholic Church after Benedict XVI.

I particularly liked this piece at the Economist, "Pope, CEO: Management tips for the Catholic church."

Also interesting, from the communist perspective, at Truthout, "Will the next pope embrace liberation theology?"

And see also Walter Russell Mead, "Scandals Are Only One Half of the Catholic Story."

Also at Der Spiegel, "Zero Hour at the Vatican: A Bitter Struggle for Control of the Catholic Church," and the Los Angeles Times, "Roman Catholic Church feels Europe slipping from its hands."

More later. The big question is will the conclave go big with a new Pope from the global South. We'll see..

Africa's Catholic Clout

At the Los Angeles Times, "Conservative brand of Catholicism thrives in Africa":
KAMPALA, Uganda — On Sunday mornings, worshipers arrive two hours early to wait in line for one of 200 seats in the Missionaries of the Poor chapel. By the time Mass begins at 8 a.m., they have been joined by 2,000 more parishioners who sit outside in the sun.

Roman Catholic churches in Uganda are packed these days, the participants traditional-minded, their faith vibrant and strong.

Across Africa, the church reinforces the staunchly conservative values of a population that often attends services several times a week, for hours on end. Catholic leaders also provide homes and food for poor and disadvantaged people whom the state doesn't help, including orphans, abandoned children, the homeless and the disabled.

 Vatican officials announced Friday that cardinals from around the world would open a conclave Tuesday to choose a successor to Benedict XVI. Many wonder whether choosing an African would create a sense of excitement, drawing in new membership and reinvigorating the faith while ensuring that it stands firm on its conservative social mores. But as strong as it is in Africa, the Roman Catholic Church faces stiff competition here from Pentecostal preachers whose charismatic services are closer to African tradition.

Among the Africans mentioned as having a chance to be elected pope are Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Francis Arinze of Nigeria. Arinze, now 80, had been considered a strong possibility to succeed John Paul II in 2005.

In the last century, the Catholic Church grew faster in Africa than anywhere else, with 16% of the world's Catholics living on the continent, according to a Pew Research Center report.

The stark contrast between the church's growth in Africa and decline in Europe provides perhaps the greatest logic for an African pope. Vatican statistics published last year showed 800 priests being added in Africa while the number declined by 905 in Europe. Africa also showed the largest increase in Catholic seminary students, rising 14% from the previous year, compared with a 10% decline in Europe.
More at the link.

And Ed Morrissey's at the Vatican, "Breaking: Papal conclave to start on March 12th." And, "Re: Sistine Chapel walk through."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Catholics React to Pope Benedict's Resignation

From Peggy Noonan, at the Wall Street Journal, "A Faith Unshaken but Unsettled":

It is disquieting, the resignation of the pope. "We are in uncharted territory," said a historian of the church. An old pope is leaving but staying within the walls of the Vatican, and a new one, younger and less known, will come before Easter.

In a week's conversation with faithful and believing Catholics, I detected something I've never quite heard before, and that is a deep, unshaken, even cheerful faith accompanied by a certain anxiety, even foreboding. I heard acceptance of Pope Benedict's decision coupled with an intense sympathy for what is broadly understood to be his suffering, from health problems to the necessity that his decision was a lonely one, its deepest reasoning known only to him. There was a lot of speculation that attempting to run the Vatican in the new age of technology, of leaks and indiscretions and instant responses, would have been hard on him.

So here are some things Catholics have been telling me...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Will the Next Pope Be Black?

Who knows? Although I'm reminded of how the United Nations always seeks a candidate from the Third World to serve as Secretary General. Perhaps the Vatican will look to the "Global South" for its next pope.

At London's Daily Mail, "Will the next pope be black? Ghanaian and Nigerian cardinals lead race for Vatican."

Pope Benedict XVI to Step Down

This was the huge story at Memeorandum yesterday.

See the Wall Street Journal, "Pope Resigns in Historic Move: Citing Age, Illness, Benedict XVI Becomes First Pontiff to Step Down in Six Centuries":
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pontiff in six centuries to resign, marking the end of a transitional papacy that focused more on theological and internal renewal and less on the broader challenges that face the Roman Catholic church at the start of its 21st century of existence.

The pope's surprise announcement paves the way for a successor who will confront anew the task of rebuilding the church's foundations in an increasingly secular and skeptical West while continuing to spread its roots in the rapidly growing emerging world.

The 85-year-old pope, who before his 2005 election was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, announced the decision to step down in a speech in Latin Monday to a small group of cardinals, saying he no longer had the vitality to perform his duties. Only two top Vatican cardinals were informed beforehand about the historic announcement, which quickly ricocheted around the world.

"His fidelity to maintaining the truth and clarity of the Catholic faith, to cultivating ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and in reaching out to inspire the next generation of Catholics have been great gifts to us all," said Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley.

The resignation of Benedict, who heads a church of one billion world-wide, was emblematic of a pope who, though doctrinal in his teachings, often bucked traditions when it came to opening the Vatican up to the world beyond its medieval walls.

Among other achievements, he took on a centuries-old rift between the Catholic and Anglican churches, introducing a pathway for disaffected Anglicans to enter the Catholic fold. He also tried to lift the veil on the Vatican's opaque finances by bringing in international observers to monitor the creation of the Holy See's first financial watchdog. He was the first pontiff to seize on social media, sending messages to a sea of followers over Twitter.

The pope also spoke out about the scandals involving sexual abuse by priests that have roiled the church in the U.S. and other Western countries, and removed some of the bishops implicated in them. Still, he drew criticism from some that he didn't speak out strongly enough or deal forcefully enough with the crisis, which has cost the church hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements with thousands of abuse victims and badly damaged its image world-wide.

In all, his concerns were typical of a pope who didn't shy away from the most volatile issues facing the Catholic Church. "Some people describe him as merely an intellectual who moved in a metaphysical world. No, he's also a man who governed with a huge sense of moral responsibility," said Cardinal Julián Herranz, who has worked closely alongside the pope.

In his speech Monday, Pope Benedict, who was elected in April 2005, said his strength "had deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity." After he steps down, the pope will retreat to a monastery to pray and write, his spokesman said.
More at the link.

And at the New York Times, "Successor to Benedict Will Lead a Church at a Crossroads."