Ex-pope Benedict blames gays for child abuse


This video says about itself:

Gay kiss protest near the pope in Barcelona – no comment

8 November 2010

Gay couples kiss in protest over discrimination against gay people as Pope Benedict left Barcelona’s archbishopric in his Popemobile.

Translated from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad today:

Pope Benedict XVI has retired, but he is now the center of a riot in the Catholic Church. The German has published an essay in conservative German media in which he blames sexual abuse within the Catholic Church on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and … church laws that protected gay priests.

Critics think his analysis is totally irresponsible, even catastrophic, because he is obstructing his successor. Pope Francis tries to lead the church out of the abuse crisis.

,,Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason for this is the absence of God”, writes Benedict

Dear ex-pope Benedict: Of course, not only some believers in various religious organisations abuse children; some atheists do as well. However, unlike with child abusing conservative Dutch bishop Gijsen, if an atheist abuses a child from an atheist family, then there will be no fear of burning in hell forever as punishment for denouncing the perpetrator as that perpetrator is supposedly ‘a man of God‘. And there will be no atheist hierarchy covering up the culprit’s crimes.

in the 6,000-word essay published today in the German monthly magazine Klerusblatt, the Catholic News Agency, and other conservative media. According to Benedict, the germ of the abuse lies in the early 1960s. … Benedict saw the formation of homosexual cliques” in seminars “that acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate”. …

Penance

When he retired in 2013, Benedict wanted to devote the rest of his life to penance and prayer.

There is plenty about which Pope Ratzinger should do penance. Eg, his abuse of Christmas for a homophobic attack. But I doubt whether he means that.

His successor, Francis, would be given every opportunity to lead the church. …

Church historian Christopher Bellitto wonders if Benedict, who will turn 92 next week, is being manipulated by others. The essay lacks conclusions that the Roman church already drew earlier after the abuse summit in February: the abuse also took place before the sexual revolution in the 1960s; and homosexuality has nothing to do with pedophilia. “The essay essentially ignores what we have learned there.”

The essay is welcomed by some on the right. …

Caricature

Massimo Faggioli, theologian at Villanova University, argues that Benedict’s analysis is meager because he actually attributes the abuse to the sexual revolution and ignores major issues before that time. “It’s a caricature of what happened.”

Eg, the ex-pope’s essay, at least the synopsis by the NOS of it, ‘forgets’ the abuse of hundreds of boys in a religious children’s choir, led by Pope Ratzinger’s own brother.

From Spain, 3 April 2019:

The Bishop of Alcalá de Henares is under investigation after it emerged that conversion therapy courses which told homosexuals to “pray away the gay” were being held in his diocese.

These pseudo-therapies practised also on minors, have allegedly taken place since 2009 when Juan Antonio Reig Pla became the city’s bishop.

Catholic school sex abuse case goes to trial in Barcelona: here.

Spanish victims of sex abuse priests speak out: here.

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Botanical garden flowers and injured bird


Japanese garden, 11 April 2019

On 8 April 2019, we went to the Leiden botanical garden. Again, like in my Oostvaardersveld blog post, the photos in this blog post are made, as an experiment, with a ‘lensbaby‘: a kind of camera lens enabling to make photos in which some parts are focused while other parts are not. Like in this photo of a flowering tree in the Japanese garden within the botanical garden.

A great tit. A jay. A male blackbird.

A greenfinch sings. So does a dunnock. Ring-necked parakeets.

Yellow flowers, 8 April 2019

We saw these beautiful yellow flowers.

On a roof on the other side of the canal, a lesser black-backed gull and two herring gulls. A coot swims. A blue tit on a tree.

An Egyptian goose flies overhead. A chiffchaff calls.

Two great crested grebes swim together. They are in love. A robin sings.

Scots elm

Then, this nearly 200-year-old tree. From 1826, a Scots elm.

Grape hyacinth, 8 April 2019

Near the astronomical observatory, these grape hyacinth flowers. They are usually blue, but these ones were white.

Carrion crow, 8 April 2019

Also near the astronomical observatory, among daisies and other flowers, this carrion crow. A bit unusual bird: some white feathers in its black plumage. Also, one of its wings appeared to be broken. It could hardly fly. Fortunately, its non-disabled (male or female) partner had not left it, but was still around.

Then, to the fern garden. A peacock butterfly.

Snake's head fritillary, white

We continued to the stream. There, we saw snake’s head fritillary flowers. These white ones …

Snake's head fritillary, purple

… and these purple ones.

Pondskaters in the stream.

Stay tuned; as the next day we went to the botanical garden again!

Trump attacks war crimes whistleblowers Assange, Manning


This 11 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Assange and Manning Under Arrest: Trump Admin Goes All Out Against Whistleblowers (Pt 1/2)

Shortly before Assange’s arrest in London Thursday morning, we spoke to former National Lawyers Guild president Marjorie Cohn about Manning’s refusal to testify against Assange and the precarious situation Assange is in.

This 11 April 2019 video from the USA is the sequel.

FOX NEWS HOST LOBBIED TRUMP TO PARDON WAR CRIMINALS News broke at the weekend that Trump is preparing to pardon several U.S. servicemen involved in high-profile cases of gunning down civilians or killing detainees. “Fox & Friends” co-host Pete Hegseth has pressed the president for months to support accused and convicted servicemen. [Daily Beast]

SENATORS SLAM TRUMP PLAN TO PARDON WAR CRIME VETS President Donald Trump’s reported plan to pardon several U.S. servicemen accused or convicted of war crimes elicited bipartisan criticism in the Senate Tuesday. “It’s a terrible idea to pardon someone who is legitimately convicted of committing war crimes,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told HuffPost. [HuffPost]

Wikileaks’ Assange arrested for revealing war crimes


This 11 April 2019 video from London, England says about itself:

Assange arrested & escorted out of Ecuadorian Embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has spent the last six years. Ecuador’s president has announced that the country has withdrawn asylum from Assange.

By Oscar Grenfell:

British police arrest Julian Assange in Ecuadorian embassy

11 April 2019

On Thursday morning, the regime of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno illegally terminated Julian Assange’s political asylum, inviting British police into the country’s London embassy to arrest him.

Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy by a group of British police officers. Even as he was being brutally manhandled into a police van, Assange challenged his persecutors, “The UK must resist this attempt by the Trump administration… The UK must resist!”

“Assange’s expulsion from the embassy and his arrest are unprecedented crimes,” said James Cogan, the national secretary of the SEP (Australia). “A journalist and publisher, who has committed no crime, has had his asylum terminated and has been dragged off to prison in violation of repeated UN rulings upholding his status as a political refugee.”

“The attack on Assange is directed against the democratic rights of the working class. It is aimed at creating a precedent for the suppression of mass opposition to war, austerity and dictatorship,” Cogan added.

“The arrest of Julian Assange by a Metropolitan Police snatch squad is a political crime for which the Conservative government of Theresa May and the Ecuadorian government of Lenin Moreno are politically responsible,” said Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain.

“The arrest took place after police were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy by the ambassador and following what UK Foreign Minister Sir Alan Duncan said was ‘extensive dialogue between our two countries.’ Behind the scenes the Trump administration in the United States is orchestrating events.

“The Socialist Equality Party denounces this conspiracy. We will do everything in our power to mobilise the broadest protest movement by workers and youth against what are preparatory moves to extradite the Wikileaks founder to the US in clear violation of international law.”

At around 5:37 a.m. US Eastern time, WikiLeaks confirmed Assange’s arrest, tweeting: “URGENT: Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.”

Several minutes later, WikiLeaks tweeted: “URGENT: Julian Assange did not ‘walk out of the embassy’. The Ecuadorian ambassador invited British police into the embassy and he was immediately arrested.”

British [Conservative] Home Secretary Sajid Javid immediately took to Twitter to declare: “Nearly seven years after entering the Ecuadorian embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law.”

The bail charges against Assange are politically motivated and were resolved years ago.

The transparent purpose of the WikiLeaks founder’s detention by the British authorities is to facilitate his extradition to the US. This was confirmed by Assange’s lawyers, who stated that he was arrested not only for the bogus bail violations, but also after an extradition request from the US on fabricated conspiracy charges.

The Trump administration, with the support of the Democrats, is seeking to prosecute Assange for his role in WikiLeaks’ exposure of war crimes, mass surveillance and illegal diplomatic intrigues.

The Moreno regime has declared that it terminated Assange’s asylum because he had violated an arbitrary “protocol” that it imposed in October last year. In violation of international law, the protocol banned Assange from making any political statements, including about his own plight.

Julian Assange was arrested Thursday morning at the Ecuadorian embassy in London

As WikiLeaks has repeatedly stated, the protocol was a transparent pretext for violating Assange’s asylum. Moreno’s government has functioned as a vassal of the Trump administration, subjecting Ecuadorian diplomats to interrogation by the US Department of Justice and spying on Assange on behalf of the CIA.

“The Democratic Party is fully collaborating with the Trump administration in this outrageous attack on Assange,” said Joe Kishore, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States. “It has been a central purpose and outcome of the Democrats’ reactionary anti-Russia campaign. The arrest of Assange and Chelsea Manning is an attack on the democratic rights of all workers and must be opposed.”

Assange’s arrest has triggered widespread popular revulsion and condemnation from leading journalists. “The action of the British police in literally dragging Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy and the smashing of international law by the Ecuadorean regime in permitting this barbarity are crimes against the most basic natural justice,” wrote Australian journalist John Pilger on Twitter. “This is a warning to all journalists.”

SEP Australia National Secretary James Cogan concluded: “The Moreno regime, the British government of Prime Minister Theresa May and all those involved in the conspiracy to force Assange from the embassy have committed a violation of international law that will brand them forever as criminals and gangsters.

“The SEP will do everything it can to mobilise the immense support that exists for Assange. We condemn the Australian government and the entire political establishment for abandoning Assange, an Australian citizen, and collaborating in the attacks on his fundamental rights.

“Now more than ever, the SEP will fight to build a mass movement to force the Australian government to fulfil its obligations to Assange. It must compel the British government to allow Assange to leave the country and return to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.”

The SEP (Australia) will hold rallies tomorrow, Friday April 12, at 1 p.m. at the Martin Place Amphitheatre in Sydney and at 4 p.m. outside the Victorian state library in Melbourne to demand that the Australian government take immediate action to defend Assange.

Christine Assange, Julian’s mother and the most determined campaigner for his freedom, issued the following statement endorsing the rallies: “I urge everyone currently in Australia, citizens or visitors, to attend the rallies tomorrow to demand that the Australian government act urgently to protect Julian and bring him home. We are in election mode and it is a very good time to use your people power.”

We appeal to all workers, young people and defenders of democratic rights to attend.

American sandhill crane chicks’ dangerous lives


This 2 April 2019 video from Yellowstone Park in the USA says about itself:

The Many Threats Sandhill Crane Chicks Face in the Nest

A pair of sandhill cranes take turns guarding their nest from all manner of threats: from ground level predators such as coyotes, to aerial hunters like the northern harrier.