History and the Roman Catholic Church

A couple of days ago, I caught a CNN broadcast that an apparent defender of the Roman Catholic Church has taken offense at. According to this Catholic defender: “CNN’s Ben Wedeman aired another broadside against the church from the streets of Rome” on March 5th when he stated, among other things “In the 14th century, St. Catherine of Siena famously described the cardinals as devils in human form.” The defender is Matt Hadro of newsbusters who also wrote on March 5th. Hadro states that “Wedeman’s history lesson needs serious context. St. Catherine railed against the cardinals who threw the church into a decades-long schism by electing an anti-pope in place of the sitting Pope Urban VI.”  You know, it is funny but those defending Catholicism seem to rarely be interested in context. As I stated out on February 12th, news organizations have pointed out that the last pope to step down was Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415.

As I stated in the post, Gregory XII resigned in an arrangement to end the Great Western Schism. Those who support Catholicism don’t seem to be interested in the context of how both Gregory XII, and Benedict XIII, declared they were the pope at the start of the 15th century and how a council at Piza made up of many high Church officials met regarding this. They decided that neither Gregory, nor Benedict, was the lawful pope so they elected another one, Alexander V, who was succeed by John XXI. John called together a council to handle the rift created by Benedict and Gregory, who continued to assert that they were the real pope. The Council of Constance decided that all three should give up their claims to the papacy and when John resisted and a bishop accused him of crimes, the council looked into it. Putting John on trial, it found that he was guilty of such things as the purchase of ecclesiastical positions, including the position of cardinal, tyranny, incest, adultery and murder, among other things. Yes, context is indeed important but apparently only when it is convenient to one’s cause.
Speaking of cardinals, there has been an effort to keep Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles from participating in the choosing of a new pope, because of his handling of the cases of sexual wrongdoing of Catholic priests. According to KTLA, “Activists have begun a petition drive to get Cardinal Roger Mahony removed from the process of selecting the next pope”, stating that ”Mahony is facing renewed scrutiny for his role in the cover up of alleged sexual abuse by priests. At least two activist groups want to stop Cardinal Mahony from participating in the election of the new pope. The groups say they have already collected about 10,000 signatures on a petition.”
KTLA has reported that the Los Angeles archdiocese has asserted that Mahoney is required to attend the Vatican proceedings according to church. The grassroots Catholic effort to stop Mahoney from going to Rome has come to nothing as this religious organization evidently still has little real use for democracy.
Next post news: My book Who Killed Abraham Lincoln? Has passed muster with Ford’s Theatre.

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