Pope gives in to homophobes


This video says about itself:

Pope Says Gay Marriage Threat to Human Existence

7 January 2013

The Pope indicates that gay marriage is a threat to the future of humanity, rather than wars, climate change, or anything else.

Another video, no longer on YouTube, used to say about itself:

Dec 21, 2012

The Pope decided to use his annual Christmas speech as a platform for his over-the-top, anti-gay agenda. Tis the season!

These videos were about Pope Benedict XVI, the predecessor of the present Pope Francis I. A pontiff under whom one often was better off as a child abuser than as a LGBTQ person.

Has Pope Francis I brought improvements? Some improvements. But not enough.

By Antonia Blumberg, Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post in the USA:

The Pope Just Approved A Very Troubling Document On Gays And Priesthood

The Vatican declared that “persons with homosexual tendencies” can’t be admitted to seminaries.

12/07/2016 08:12 pm ET

The Vatican has reaffirmed its position that gay men are barred from entering Catholic seminaries.

In a document entitled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” published online Wednesday, the church outlined a wide range of guidelines for priestly formation. One section addressed “persons with homosexual tendencies,” who it said cannot be admitted to seminaries or to the priesthood.

“The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture,’” the document stated.

The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy drafted the 90-page document, which reinforces a position first iterated by the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2005. Pope Francis approved the document, dated Dec. 8, 2016, and ordered its publication, according to a conclusion signed by Cardinal Beniamino Stella.

The document’s tone stands in contrast to Francis’s famous response to a question about gay priests in 2013. “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” Francis said during an on-flight press conference.

“The new document on priestly formation is a profound disappointment,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of LGBT Catholic group DignityUSA.

“What does Francis really believe about LGBTQI people? The signals are ever more mixed,” she told The Huffington Post.

Duddy-Burke called the document “a slap in the face” that “entrenches [gay people] as second or third class citizens of the Church.”

The rhetoric surrounding gay people and the priesthood emerged shortly after the clergy sexual abuse scandal broke in the early 2000s, noted America Magazine. Prominent Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin argued in a 2010 HuffPost blog that such language may have been an effort by church leaders to blame the scandal on gay priests.

Martin noted that he knows “scores” of priests who are gay, and who lead pious, chaste lives like their straight peers. Since the release of the 2005 document, he said, many gay priests and seminarians have chosen to keep their sexual orientation to themselves ― and some seminaries simply operate on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” basis.

Even Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said after the document’s release that a gay man with a strong vocation to become a priest “shouldn’t be discouraged.”

Wednesday’s document, however, acts to further strengthen the church’s attitude toward prospective priests who happen to be gay. But Francis DeBernardo, executive director of LGBT Catholic organization New Ways Ministry, said in a statement that it isn’t too late for the Vatican to change course.

“It’s not too late for the pope to retract this document,” DeBernardo said. “That would be a healing balm to many who are surely going to be pastorally hurt by this step, and many others who are sure to leave the Catholic Church because of it.”

Belgian monks accused of human trafficking


This 2015 video is about the 18th century library of the Saint Stephen Augustinian monastery in Ghent in Belgium.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Monastic order in Ghent accused of human trafficking

Today, 09:17

The Public Prosecutor in Ghent wants to prosecute the leadership of a convent of the Augustinian Friars for human trafficking. According to the Belgian TV channel VRT, the three suspects, including the abbot, in recent years had lured twenty men from Africa and Asia to their monastery under false pretenses.

They supposedly would be trained to become priests, but they were not trained and had to work for free instead, is the charge. “They were forbidden all that time to leave the convent.” …

The three clerics are suspected not only of trafficking human beings and social fraud, but also of forgery. The twenty victims were from Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Vietnam. In two weeks’ time it will be decided whether the case will go to court.

See also here.

No women priests, Pope Francis says


This video says about itself:

Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Women, LGBT People

29 September 2013

Pope Francis has excommunicated an Australian priest from the Church for his liberal values and activism. Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly supports LGBT rights, marriage equality and women’s ordination, three big no-nos in Catholic tradition.

Read more here.

In some respects, Pope Francis I is an improvement compared to his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

However, on some issues there is unfortunately no progress.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Pope: women will never be priests

Today, 21:05

Pope Francis precludes that women can ever be priests. He did that in a conversation with reporters aboard his plane on the way back to the Vatican after a visit to Sweden.

A Swedish journalist remarked that Francis was welcomed in Sweden by the head of the Lutheran church, a woman, and asked him if he thought that women could occupy such high positions in the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis then said that Pope John Paul II had spoken the last word about that. He pointed that out in an apostolic letter in 1994, refusing to open the priesthood to women.

Everlasting

“But is that forever, forever?” asked the journalist. The response of the pope then was: “If we carefully read the Letter of Saint John Paul II, then it is going in that direction.”

According to the Vatican this is an unshakable part of Catholic tradition. Jesus deliberately chose only men as apostles, is the position. That was logical according to the standards of the time, say proponents of female priesthood.

Francis has said that women can not be ordained, but supporters hope that a future pope will nullify that decision.

Discussion

In August, the pope set up a committee to investigate the role of women deacons in the early days of Christianity. It gave advocates of equality hope for a greater role for women in the Catholic Church in the future.

This blog reported in 2013:

New questions are emerging about the role of women in the early Christian church after the Vatican this week unveiled recently restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome.

Some say the paintings depict women serving as priests during Christianity’s beginning centuries.

Women in antiquity could be priests in most non-Christian religions.

‘Structural sexual abuse in Dutch Roman Catholic Church’


This video says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover up in USA

16 November 2014

The Pope [John Paul II] played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

24 October 2016

The [Dutch] Roman Catholic Church has paid victims of abuse cases so far nearly thirty million euros in damages, reports daily De Limburger.

A complaints committee that investigates the abuse in the Catholic Church received 3678 reports of abuse. …

Certainly three hundred people have had to deal with exceptionally serious abuse. They will be compensated up to 100,000 euros.

Structural abuse

Stevens, chairman of the complaints committee, says in De Limburger that most provincial superiors of religious orders will pay the compensation. “Two or three provincial superiors do not want to pay. We are still working on a solution.”

According to Stevens one may speak of structural abuse in the Church. “Not all church officials have done wrong. But the fact that there are so many perpetrators does justify to speak of structural abuse at that time.”

FORMER SOCCER PLAYERS HAVE COME FORWARD ALLEGING SEXUAL ABUSE AT ENGLISH SOCCER CLUBS Investigations have been launched into “pedophile activity in youth teams, which victims say has gone unreported for decades.” [Reuters]

United States pro-peace priest Daniel Berrigan, RIP


This video from the USA says about itself:

RIP Father Daniel Berrigan: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Antiwar Priest & Poet

2 May 2016

We spend the hour remembering the life and legacy of the legendary antiwar priest, Father Daniel Berrigan. He died on Saturday, just short of his 95th birthday. Berrigan was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism.”

Along with his late brother Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the antiwar and antidraft movement during the late 1960s, as well as the movement against nuclear weapons.

He was the first Catholic priest to land on the FBI’s most wanted list. In early 1968, Father Daniel Berrigan made international headlines when he traveled to North Vietnam with historian Howard Zinn to bring home three U.S. prisoners of war. Later that year, Father Dan Berrigan, his brother Phil and seven others took 378 draft files from the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland. Then, in the parking lot of the draft board office, the activists set the draft records on fire using homemade napalm to protest the Vietnam War.

They became known as the Catonsville Nine and invigorated the antiwar movement by inspiring over 100 similar acts of protest. It also shook the foundation of the tradition-bound Catholic Church. Then, in 1980, the Berrigan brothers and six others began the Plowshares Movement when they broke into the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, hammered nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood onto documents and files. They were arrested and charged with over 10 different felony and misdemeanor counts, and became known as the Plowshares Eight.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “It was the Happiest Day of My Life”: Martin Sheen Recalls His Arrest Alongside Father Dan Berrigan.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called Dan Berrigan in His Own Words: Antiwar Priest Speaks About 9/11 in Democracy Now! Studios in 2002.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called Friends Remember Fr. Dan Berrigan: “He Said He Didn’t Believe in Heroes, He Believed In Community”.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called In 2006 Interview, Fr. Dan Berrigan Recalls Confronting Defense Secretary McNamara over Vietnam War.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “The Cause is the Heart’s Beat”: See Father Berrigan Recite His Poem “Some” in 2006.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “His World Was Always Filled with Such Beauty”: Frida Berrigan on Her Uncle, Priest Daniel Berrigan.