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13 November 2019


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scott s.

In fairness, there are Catholics who could be considered Marianists (distinct from the religious order -- my wife is a Dayton grad after all). I have heard them express a hope that Mary would be declared co-mediatrix. Also the importance given to Fatima and the third secret. As far as veneration vs worship I suspect the distinction can be lost to many people. I get the idea of co-opting existing practices, but I'm not sure the actions of Francis tend to move mankind to Christ.


Cartoon Jesus.


More on Pachamama: The Pope showed his respect for the indigenous people in a Synod of the Bishops of the Andean nation. It is not just a matter of poverty, but the indigenous communities and the Afro-Andeans are under violent siege by the far-right Evangelical politicians and others. Luis Chamaco, who headed the very violent aspects of the coup de d'etat a few days ago takes pride in being called the Bolivian Bolsonaro. Like Bolsonaro, he is an evangelical right-winger and openly uses racist language and said they are determined to remove the protection of what is left of Native lands, opening them up for exploration and oil fields, not to mention, cattle ranching. Chamancho stormed into the uninhabited Presidential Palace after Morales left and shouted 'There is no more Pachamama here. Bolivia belongs to Christ. During his tenure, Morales introduced a second nation flag, this one associate with the native peoples. After his speech, military and policy started ripping the symbol off their uniforms

About twenty others from his party departed with Morales for Mexico along with their families. Morales consulted with the military and with the Catholic church which advised him to step down. He and his close advisors were forced to resign since the thugs associated with Chamancho were holding their families hostage til they did not.

At the moment, Chamanco does not seek the presidency, instead, working to bring back back the President who was beaten by Morales some 14 years ago.
Whatever else he did and mistakes he made, he reduced poverty, especially in rural areas dramatically. Having benefited from land reform, the campesinos are unlikely to willingly return to being poorly paid laborers on the vast latifundias of the urban rich. They have also benefited from the symbolic legal gesture provided by the first indigenous president, including native dress and classes to teach at least some of their native languages in public schools..It has been said, fearing violence on the part of the paramilitaries, they are starting to procure arms to protect themselves. [In Colombia, four indigenous women activists were killed recently returning from meetings in the capital.

All in all, it is interesting to find that the growing Evangelical churches in Latin America have attracted very right-wing racists.


Agreed. Half of my family and friends are Roman Catholic and Pope Francis isn't a favorite among many of the most devout among them.





I thought the Church had admitted its fault long ago in how it treated Galileo.



I have more than a little sympathy for Francis' attempt to absorb 3rd World religion into the Christian faith but he is on very shaky ground politically within the Church.


Elora Danan

Did your mother never teach you that to offer unsolicited advice is ill mannered and rude?


Elora Danan
No YOU are ill mannered and rude. I would never do anything with you. I do not associate myself with marxist enemies of the US.


Here is my very loose take on this question: Fall of Rome by the Goth's Visagoths, huns, whatever and Christians fled the city around year 400 - then Byzantium and Constantinople became the new center for the Catholic Church -reaching both eastwards and westwards - not sure I would call it a fundamental schism ,but more a change in real estate.

Byzantium was quite epically glorious until falling to the Muslims mid 1400's. By then Rome was re-establishing itself again as the center the Holy Roman Empire, by the Byzantium default more than any fundamental shifts in ideology. Such a shadow of remnants to be found in Istanbul today and Hagia Sophia changes hands yet again from the center of Christendom to a mosque to a museum and now back to a mosque again. But always to anyone else, the pride of Christendom and Byzantium.

Yet pockets of Byzantium Christianity remained in Greece and the Russian and eastern territories - and their evolved traditions continued. Speaking of which, no greater thrill than hearing the rich Christian musical liturgy sung in the Orthodox onion domed churches - the sounds echo and reverberate creating a sense of heaven on earth.

Who knew Vladimir Putin would be so often shown wearing a Christian cross around his neck, and the "opiate of the masses" is what unlocked Poland and ushered the end of the Iron Curtain and ultimately the Cold War.

Even the godless Communists when in power knew they could put on a good show for tourists offering these now secular onion domed Christian churches for choral concerts, during that short-lived but failed human experiment called the USSR.


Maybe the Green Pope should elevate the Swedish climate saint Greta Thunberg to virgin Mary status, too? The journalist hacks here would be absolutely delighted about such a religious branding decision...


"Rock solid on marriage, the family, and abortion"? Really? The only thing he is rock solid on and has been thru his entire career is homosexuals and issues that are for the elevation of man and not God. As for "conservatives" they in the end conserve nothing or as better stated by G. K. Chesterton: "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”


That's an interesting question.
If the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, i.e. from the Chair of St. Peter, speaks infallibly, then can he issue a statement that "Jesus did not rise as an actual man and in his own body which later ascended into heaven. . . [But] that "a spirit" resembling Jesus rose from the tomb on Easter."

Does that then become new doctrine? [No; it's not nearly that simple: crude comparison: "Supreme Court hears DACA case."]

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was pronounced ex cathedra only in 1854, and the Assumption in mid-twentieth century, so doctrine can be and has been adjusted.

Rather than pursue the process (and political / spiritual context) of promulgating the doctrine of infallibility, your comment, prawnik, made me think of this bit of history, germane to Pat Lang's blog:

Robert E. Lee was a regular and respectful correspondent of Lord Acton,
a Roman Catholic of British birth but who felt compelled to leave England for an education, since the British at the time were determinedly anti-Catholic.
Thus, Acton had a classical education in W. European schools still dominated by Roman Catholic perspectives. Acton retained his allegiance to Roman Catholicism, but led strenuous opposition to the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility first considered in the papacy of Pius IX and eventually enshrined in the First Vatican Council, 1869 - 1870.

Acton wrote volumes of studies and essays on his opposition, all tending to his belief in the "free will" of the conscience of the individual: Papal infallibility, he believed, would enshrine an authoritarian tendency in the hierarchy and reduce the human person to the status of "he who must obey."

Acton's correspondence with Lee had at its heart a similar view of the world: it was Acton's wish that the Confederacy win what he considered a war fought over the right of states to secede from the Union. He wrote to Lee:

"I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy."

(On the other hand, if I heard it once I heard a hundred times from Catholic teachers/clergy: "The Church is not a Jeffersonian democracy." )


There is a joke that you might hear from people in different countries once part of the old Soviet Union.....Armenian, Ukrainian, Russians, etc: In the middle of the night, the priest finds a woman from the village at his doorstep. She has in her arms her infant son. She bgs the priest to baptize him. She is most distraught when the man of God refuses to do so and demands to know why. I can't baptize him twice. His father brought him here yesterday.

Consider that Stalin's own daughter was baptized as a child due to her mother. A fervent atheist, he loosened the chains around religion during and for a while after WWII to add the secret beliefs of many people to the nationalism for which they were fighting. Gorbachev and his wife not only wore crosses, but knew the church rituals.


Those folks got rid of "John-Paul I" much faster. I guess the mafia just ain't what it used to be...


Aside: one of our tour group in Cuzco (Machu Pichu) bought a very large and very local stuffed animal as a souvenir. We all joined to give it a name - considering the pervasiveness of the local indigenous culture we had recently been exposed to in this area we all agreed the best name as "Pachamama IIama".

English Outsider

As a card carrying eco-freak the problem I see with such activists is that they are unable to propound ways of turning real concerns into policy.

I keep clear of the AGW debate anyway because I reckon it'll be overtaken by EROEI whether we like it or not. And my eco record is not immaculate. I used to love buying in Far Eastern ply in great quantities because it's about the best you can get below marine, but not of course thinking through how it was got. And my wife has just bought some asparagus that, on inspection, came from Peru and must have a size 12 carbon footprint.

So we who worship at the shrine of St Greta are really more talk than do. In any case she's probably more in line for a Nobel prize than canonisation. For Physics, I'd guess. Some of her discoveries in that line take her way ahead of the field.


( of which conspiration by Bannon with Pope Emeritus Ratzinger is only an example...)

Whoever suspects, feels, hopes for such an alignment or suggests it is already in process/about to happen is heading towards a great disappointment. I may have disagreed with Benedikt at times, but this is, as you well know ridiculous.

Otherwise we may not be that far apart.


St Greta is more in line for the Nobel Prize in Literature - modern fiction.


I spent the first 2/3 of my life in a very strong Italian Catholic environment.
Today, Italian Catholics may be the first "cafeteria Catholics" (ristorante Catholics??).

When Brian Lamb interviewed Machiavelli scholar Maurizio Virolli, Lamb was aghast at the foul language and lax, um, mores prominent in Niccolo's writing and life.
This amused Virolli; he explained: Italians had been politically and culturally dominated by a papacy and hierarchy that was often corrupt, even as the populace was exploited and abused by them (but, at least at the parish/peasant level, not educated by the clergy. My Mother came from Italy at age ~12 and was placed in 2nd grade. I asked her once if she had gone to school in Italy -- she hedged, never did answer. I suspect probably not.) As a result, lower class Italians paid little attention to the demands of the hierarchy, a habit of mind reinforced by their equally disdainful attitude toward the numerous foreign rulers that carved out power centers in Italy. I was a scrupulously dutiful good Catholic in parochial schools for much of my life; then I confronted the larger world and realized that nobody has as keen an interest in my "salvation" as I do, so I'm a ristorante Catholic, with no apologies.
I memorized Baltimore Catechism; was forcibly drilled in the docs of Vatican II and the New Catholic Catechism. I've studied Summa Theologica cover-to-cover.
Dante's Divine Comedy is more sublime (and difficult to master!) than all of these.
My salvation is my job, and whether pantheism is or is not a "heresy" ranks about 6,893 behind, #1, did I do my best to raise our children? Do I make the effort to be respectful of all whom I encounter?


PS I just learned of the activities of a character named Nick Fuentes, calling himself a "Catholic conservative."
If Francis wanted to redeem his papacy, a good start would be kicking that foul-mouthed ignoramus out of the Church or at least demanding that he no longer refer to himself as Catholic.


Pope Francis Weighs Adding ‘Ecological Sin’ to Church Teachings




Here's one more thing for the church to have to battle:

‘You don’t mess around with demons’: Exorcists condemn book that teaches kids to ‘summon’ evil spirits


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