A little more than a week ago, the Pope of Rome met with victims of Catholic priest abuse. According to CNN You can watch the video here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/
“I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves”
He added “This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk,”
Victims are not impressed though. CNN also reported:
“Despite the strong words, a victims advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Monday’ssession failed to advance the cause of preventing molestation by priests, arguing that “no child on earth is safer today because of this meeting.”
“Let’s not mistake this meeting today for real action,” SNAP President Barbara Blaine told CNN. “The meeting today will not make children safer.”
“I think that Pope Francis has yet to take strong action that will protect children and he could do that by firing the bishops who have been complicit and who are transferring predators,” she said.
I believe these victims, despite their abuse, remain Catholics in the main, though they have lost many illusions about this religious organization. I have had a little contact with Ms. Blaine and she and other Catholics are to be commended for trying to hold this organization accountable. I remember hearing a report of this meeting and a victims group questioning whether the words of the Pope were essentially just an exercise in public relations.
SNAP is having its 25th anniversary conference in Chicago at the start of August. I would like to go but I am not sure I will be able to make it. I am sure it would be very interesting but I am not sure if I can get away.
So the Pope has recently discovered that the mafia are evil. The Guardian reported last week that Pope Francis has taken on one of Italy’s most dangerous organised crime groups, calling the Ndrangheta crime group an example of “the adoration of evil.”
“‘Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated,’ he said in impromptu comments at a mass before hundreds of thousands of people .”
I am glad that this man has managed to figure this out, although the world itself came to this conclusion long before the leader of all Catholics put it together. The Roman Catholic Church has had a long history of being tolerant of such criminals and allowing them rites of passage (marriage, buria,l etc.). One commentator of life in Italy, Alex Roe, has made some interesting comments:
“In theory the Vatican should be constantly and highly critical of the mafia, or, for that matter, any other organisation which encourages human beings to harm one another. In practice, however, this does not seem to be the case. The Vatican does make disgruntled noises on the mafia front in Italy from time to time, but the criticism is by no means constant.
This reluctance of the Vatican to speak out openly against the mafia is something which has always struck me as being faintly odd about Italy.”
Mr. Roe also talked about a crusading priest who bravely spoke out about the mafia:
“For his pains, this priest, Don Pepino Diana was executed by the camorra mafia. While the execution did not do the camorra’s public image any favours, what struck me about the Don Peppino Diana affair was that he appeared to be a lone crusader.
For reasons unknown, the Vatican seemed to have left its representative to his own fate. Support from Rome appeared to be virtually zero.”
Diana is to be commended for trying to do the right thing. Why was he left to swing in the wind? Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church has been doing business with the mafia through entities like the Vatican bank? Or perhaps high-up officials know that they are not much better than those in organized crime, so there is no high moral ground from which to pontificate. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future on this subject though.
Quebec academic Richard Lougheed, in his 2009 biography of Charles Chiniquy said that the celebrated clergyman remains Canada’s best-selling author of all time. Though he was world famous and achieve a stature that no one person who works for Canada’s national network, the CBC will undoubtedly achieve, the CBC has not ever mentioned his name, as far as I know, on a provincial or national broadcast, and that doesn’t appear be changing.
Last year I believe it was, I wasted some time mistakenly engaging some trolls on a troll website about my research and my book. I was amazed this year however to get the same behavior from a CBC personality who hosts an Alberta wide radio program. The host however does not have the anonymity that emboldens pathetic internet trolls to say pretty much anything about anyone or anything, comforted in the knowledge that no matter how illogical, wrong, vicious, etc the statements they make are, they cannot be held responsible for them.
In 2012, I was interviewed for more than an hour and a half by phone by this CBC host and about half way through, he started to challenge what I was saying and to make statements that sounded wrong to me. At the end, he said he would not air the interview as I “lacked credibility”. I asked if he wanted to read the book. He said he would so I sent him one a month or two afterwards. During the interview, we had disagreed on how the Vatican had handled the Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal in Ireland. Earlier this year, on the occasion of the U. N. issuing a scathing report of the Vatican’s handling of the worldwide clergy sexual abuse scandal, I mailed a letter to this host and his boss. I then received an incredible email back from him in which he declared, among other illogical and erroneous statements, that I had “collected a vast of amount of facts and stitched them together into a spurious tale devoid of veracity, accountability and solidity.”
I was going to ask what specifically he found wrong with my book but several days later, he emailed me, stating, : “Oh, and I should add, that as a journalist my role is to allow you to prove your point, or the very least make your case. At this point, I still don’t even have a copy of your book, so how can I be sure it exists?”
He stated what he did about my book therefore when, according to his own statements, he has never seen a copy.
It was amazing to read the biased and ignorant sentiments from this CBC personality, again someone who hosts a province-wide show.
I have been giving the CBC a chance to make this right but little in this area has happened. I have received a letter from the office of the President of the CBC but no apology so far.
I may have the opportunity this year to speak before the Canadian Senate committee that is holding hearings on Canada’s national broadcaster.
Last month , Farley Mowat passed away. Numerous Canadian media organizations, including the CBC reported on this. The CBC stated: Farley Mowat, one of Canada’s most popular and prolific writers, who became a champion of wildlife and native Canadian rights and a sharp critic of environmental abuse, died on Tuesday in Port Hope, Ontario, where he had lived for several years. He was 92. http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news
I have read some of Mr. Mowat’s books and certainly knew who he was. The CBC account also stated that he was “Widely celebrated” and a “Controversial writer”. His life span and Charles Chiniquy’s were only separated by some 22 years though and Chiniquy evidently was more world famous and influential in his lifetime than Mr. Mowat, as Chiniquy’s passing was reported more widely, in Australian and New Zealand newspapers, for instance, and Farley Mowat’s was not. The New York Times put Mowat’s obituary on page B9 but put Chiniquy obituary on its front page. Some people would definitely consider Charles Chiniquy to be controversial, and being controversial seems to be acceptable, at least as far as Mr. Mowat goes. Yet people today know of Farley Mowat but they apparently cannot be told of the more celebrated Mr. Chiniquy, as far as the Canadian media generally is concerned.
Some of the national media are in Prince George these days however, to report on the terrible crimes a young area man is on trial for, so I might have a good opportunity to speak to some of them, one never knows, despite the most regrettable circumstances.
Is Canada a theocracy? No? But if it’s not right now, could it be heading that way? Did you answer ‘No’? Well maybe we shouldn’t be so sure about that.
I was recently stunned to read that the Canadian House of Parliament has passed a private members bill to set aside a national day of honour for Pope John Paul II. Yes, you read that right. Yes, here in Canada. The bill is in the Senate, which hopefully will see its folly and reject it. The National Post in the article “Pontiff’s day facing uphill climb in Senate” (May 13, 2014, p. A6), reported that the MP who introduced the bill, Wladyslaw Lizon, stated that his bill is “not religious but about recognizing a head of state who helped topple authoritarian regimes and was a ‘humanist with a capital-H’.”
However, as other accounts show, the man had many failures to account, despite the successes with which he is credited. A fascinating article for the Associated Press by Nicole Winfield, published in the Regina Leader-Post, details those failures extensively, as well as those of other leaders of this religious organization, especially in regards to sexual abuse. The article, entitled “Sex abuse scandal stains John Paul II’s legacy, Pope to be canonized on Sunday” reported:
“Pope Francis has inherited John Paul’s most notorious failure on the sex abuse front – the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model.
Francis, who will canonize John Paul on Sunday, must decide whether to sign off on the Vatican’s three-year reform project, imposed after the Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and also fathered three children.
Yet the Legion’s 2009 admission about the Rev. Marcial Maciel’s double life was by no means news to the Vatican.
Documents from the archives of the Vatican’s then-Sacred Congregation for Religious show how a succession of papacies – including that of John XXIII, also to be canonized Sunday – simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud.”
The article also stated that documents from 1948, seven years after the order was founded by Maciel:
“Show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel’s drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit.
Yet for decades, Rome looked the other way, thanks to Maciel’s ability to keep his own priests quiet, his foresight to place trusted Legion priests in key Vatican offices and his careful cultivation of Vatican cardinals, Mexican bishops and wealthy, powerful lay Catholics. Vatican officials were impressed instead by the orthodoxy of his priests and Maciel’s ability to attract new vocations and donations.”
The recent excellent PBS documentary, “Secrets of the Vatican” details similar information, which should hopefully have Senators running away from this proposal to honour a religious leader who has such a stain on his record.
The Chicago Tribune has, to its credit, decided to do some actual reporting on important things like the fact that CNN has, apparently, been doing a very Mayor Rahm Emanuel-friendly series on Chicago. Under the headline, “Emails show Emanuel aides, producers coordinated CNN ‘Chicagoland’ scenes,” the Tribune has pointed out how closely Mayor Emanuel’s administration and CNN worked together on a portrait of the city and its government.
The April 25 article by Tribune reporter Bill Ruthhart, stated: “If it seemed as though some scenes of CNN’s documentary series ‘Chicagoland’ were coordinated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and the show’s producers, that’s because they were.” The Tribune also declared that more than 700 emails they reviewed “reveal that the production team worked hand in hand with the mayor’s advisers to develop storylines, arrange specific camera shots and review news releases officially announcing the show.”
The Tribune also stated: “The production team for the series, whose final episode aired Thursday night, told Emanuel’s staff that particular scenes would present the mayor in a positive light, with one of the producers expressing a desire to showcase the mayor ‘as the star that he really is’.” A little too close for journalistic integrity comfort?
Meanwhile, in Canada, the National Post just reported on the Canadian Senate hearings on the CBC under the headline “Senate smells a rat over CBC’s salary report” (May 14, p A1, A4). The National Post stated: “Canada’s public broadcaster faces a showdown with skeptical senators who believe the CBC whitewashed a submission on the spending and salaries of some of its most notable journalists.” They rrelated that the CBC has reported that its chief correspondent for instance, Peter Mansbridge, could get a maximum salary of $80,500 and quoted Senator Terry Mercer declaring, “Those of us who have had quick look at it would question . . . its accuracy. Some this stuff looks like fiction. I don’t think we are getting the full picture.”
He is also quoted as saying, “I think there’s a whole bunch more being paid to certain people in the CBC that may be outside of their salary.” The CBC refuses to release what Mansbridge has been paid. The article also reports that the salaries of top TV anchors are a secret but says, “It’s estimated that Mr. Mansbridge, CTV’s Lisa Laflamme and Global’s Dawna Freisen earn around $300,000.”
Shouldn’t these news media entities be willing to be truthful and above-board? CNN doing a propaganda-type, friendly documentary on a politician they like, the CBC misleading the Canadian Parliament? Is the lifeblood of our democracy – information – tainted? Are we getting a pure flow of information to allow our freedoms to survive and thrive? Or is it unclean and polluted? These media organizations should know that if they lose the trust of their viewers, they lose everything.
Across the county motherhood will be celebrated on Mother’s Day. Mothers are the instrument that God has chosen to bring people in the world and to ensure the survival of the human race, although the birth rate in many nations is insufficient to keep population levels up and immigration is needed. The movie and biblical story of Noah has been in the public eye lately and we can be thankful that Noah’s sons brought wives onto the ark and not boyfriends or none of us would exist.
It was a woman who occasioned the entry of sin in mankind in the world, in the garden of Eden, and it was a woman who was used to bring the perfect cure for sin, Jesus Christ, into the world. In the Roman Catholic religion, Mary is celebrated as the “mother of God”. I do not believe this is correct as God has no mother. Mary had a beginning but God has no beginning. Mary was the instrument God used to bring Jesus Christ into the world. She is a blessed woman but she was still someone who sinned, as the Bible says, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.
After Jesus Christ, she had other children. He had at least four other brothers and he had sisters too. Mark 6:2 – 4 speaks of when Christ taught 2. And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, from whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Despite what religious people may think, Mary has no role on this earth and prayers to her are in vain. Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6 states that the dead do not know anything or have a “portion forever in any thing that is done under the sun” or in this world.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
As study after study has shown, the healthiest place to bring up children is in a family with a father and a mother and so this weekend the role that mothers play in families and in so many lives can be celebrated.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver delivered the swiftest, strongest penalty he could, then called on NBA owners to force Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team for making racist comments that hurt the league. Almost unanimously, owners supported the commissioner Tuesday as he handed down one of the harshest penalties in the history of U.S. sports . . .
Sterling’s comments — which were recorded by his girlfriend and released by TMZ on Saturday — harmed the league, Silver said. Sponsors were threatening to abandon the NBA, and criticism was coming from fans on social media and even the White House.
Sterling criticized V. Stiviano — purportedly the female voice on the recording — for posting pictures of herself with black athletes Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Sterling asks the woman on the recording.
Yes, saying such things is reprehensible, but apparently if you are powerful enough you can get away with not only saying terrible things but also doing terrible things, like murdering black people for the crime of being black, like Irish Catholics did during the 1863 New York City Draft Riots (this year marks the 151st anniversary of that event). The archbishop of New York, John Hughes, could have stopped the tremendous mayhem. Yet he did nothing to stop the riots that threatened New York City and the whole nation, as I discuss in Who Killed Abraham Lincoln?
Similarly, there were a number of factors that set the stage for the bloody U.S. Civil War. Slavery was one of them. It was a Roman Catholic judge who played a vital role by rendering the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857. This judgment seemed designed to rip up every bit of anti-slavery legislation enacted in the United States since the Northwest Ordinance passed by Congress in 1787. Ruling for the majority, U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a devout Catholic, decreed that blacks could not become U.S. citizens, that they “had no rights which the white man is bound to respect.”
I have not heard of him being rebuked by the Church for such a statement, nor any of today’s mainstream media noting any interest in taking the Church to task for such sentiment. I guess if you are one rich guy in California then it is simple to be destroyed for saying such things, but if you are a powerful religious entity, then different rules apply.
I was amazed by how positive, rah-rah-rah it was, how much this CBS show appeared to have been produced from an awe-struck fan’s point of view, rather than from the perspective of an impartial professional journalist. It begins, “Humility has made the former Jorge Bergoglio a star far beyond the Catholic Church. But don’t mistake his humility for weakness.”
Then journalist Robert Mickens is quoted: “He took the name Francis from Francis of Assisi, who is probably the most beloved saint you know among Catholics and especially non-Catholics. And you know had this great love for the poor, God’s creation, nature, peace. And what we’ve seen is that he lives very radically, very simply rather than some monarch prince or king or monarch pope.”
Then the Pope’s friend, Elisabetta Pique, says of Francis: “A lot of people was afraid. He asked specially that he didn’t want so much security…That’s physical courage in the tradition of the pope’s religious order, the Jesuits, who call themselves soldiers of God. These days, Jesuits are also known for intellectual courage–battling over ideas.”
Returning to Robert Mickens: “He came in at a time when there was a great scandal. There were documents being leaked in the press about financial corruption, cronyism. There were even some sexual misconduct that was in these documents that were leaked. He had a very clear mandate from the cardinals that elected him. ‘Clean up the house.” He’s cleaning with committees of cardinals and lay people, investigating sex abuse, the Vatican bank and reform of the ancient bureaucracy of the Church itself–starting with the executive offices at headquarters known as the Roman Curia–Latin for court.”
According to accomplished investigative journalist David Yallop, writing in In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I, really wanting to reform things at the time of John Paul I could have gotten you killed which, he asserts, is precisely what happened to the pontiff.
President Obama is then highlighted: “He is a wonderful man. He projects the kind of humility and kindness that is consistent with my understanding at least of Jesus’ teachings. His simplicity and his belief in the power of the spiritual over the material reflects itself in everything that he says and does.”
But does this pontiff knows the words of Jesus Christ found in Luke 6:26? “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” This piece should alarm him. CBS is of the world. It is not a Christian broadcasting entity, but CBS likes this leader, likes the Catholic Church. Is it because it is a worldly religion, a worldly Church?
James 4:4 reads: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Mr. Bergoglio might consider this the next time he is praised by the likes of CBS.
On the 3rd of this month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has welcomed the news that two Canadians have been declared to be saints. His website states:
“Today, I welcome the very exciting news from the Vatican that His Holiness Pope Francis has officially proclaimed Canadians Marie de l’Incarnation and François de Laval as Saints.” It is entirely fitting that this recognition be given to two outstanding Canadians who were pillars of the early Church in Canada and whose lives exemplified faith and piety.
“This is a tremendous honour for Canada and a wonderful day for Catholics.” Saint Marie de l’Incarnation, often referred to as the “Mother of the Canadian Church,” was an Ursuline nun who founded Canada’s first school. Fluent in local languages, she taught the children of both the settlers and the Aboriginal population.
Saint François de Laval was the second Catholic bishop in North America and laid the foundations for the Church in French Canada. As a missionary to New France, he rejected his family’s wealth to faithfully pursue his spiritual vocation. Both were beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980 and declared Saints by Pope Francis on April 3, 2014. They served and died in what is today Québec City, where they are buried. – See more at:http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/
This is quite odd. Prime Minister Harper claims to be an evangelical Christian. He surely must be aware of Paul’s inspired writings to several churches, one of which was Rome. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth as well. He penned, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:, 1 Corinthians 1:2. He also wrote to the church at Rome thus: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was not writing to dead people, he was writing to living men and women, believers in Christ who were saints. The apostle Paul also wrote to the church at Ephesus Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 1:1.
Here again he is not writing to dead people. Hopefully Mr. Harper will start to read his Bible again and discover these truths and won’t be making such foolish statement in the future. As well, on the subject of spiritual things, it is Easter.
The hymn “Because He Lives” has the following lyrics.
God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Christians, saints living today, can rejoice that the Lord Jesus is who he said he was, the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh and an empty grave is there to prove our Savior lives!