The Chicago Tribune has lately been full of the news that there will be a new Roman Catholic bishop of Chicago , (and a major new player in the city’s power structure?) The Tribune reported on September 20th that:
The Vatican on Saturday appointed Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., to succeed Cardinal Francis George as the leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In an announcement by the Vatican at about 5 a.m. Chicago time, the Roman Catholic Church said it had accepted the resignation of the ailing George and had named Cupich to the Chicago post, which is one of its most prominent in the U.S.
The Tribune also declared that:
The 65-year-old Cupich is the first archbishop of Chicago in close to a century who was a bishop rather than an archbishop when he was appointed, said Rocco Palmo, a Vatican expert who writes from Philadelphia. Cupich moves from a diocese of 90,000 Catholics in Spokane to an archdiocese of more than 2 million.
Cupich, like the cardinal he will succeed, opposes same-sex marriage and, in his two previous jobs as bishop, has been outspoken in his advocacy for the poor.
The Tribune reported that Cupich came to Washington State to deal with priest abuse. The Tribune quoted Michael Budde, chair of the Catholic Studies Department at DePaul University,
Cupich, said Budde, adopted a zero-tolerance policy for priest abuse early on and was brought to Spokane in part to deal with the scandal there that eventually prompted the diocese to file for bankruptcy.
“He was brought in to clean up that scandal,” Budde said.
If the bankruptcy was anything like what the PBS documentary “Secrets of the Vatican” reported was done in the Midwest to deal with the same type of scandal, some Catholic victims may have gotten the shaft from such a clean up and bankruptcy.
According to Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor, despite his “advocacy for the poor”, Cupich is going to have to get used to living in one of the most expensive homes in the city. Burke reported that, “This mansion has 19 chimneys and sits on 1.7 acres of prime real estate in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s worth $14.3 million ‘as is,’ but the property could fetch far more, appraisers told CNN.” http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/08/us/american-archbishops-lavish-homes/index.html
Isn’t it nice the sacrifices such concerned officials in the Church of Rome are willing to make?
A friend recently sent me information on a Protestant minister of the Gospel named Mike Gendron. I noticed that he had a debate link on his site and so I also heard most of a debate between Mr Gendron and a Roman Catholic apologist named Tim Staples,https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The debate between Mr Gendron and Mr Staples was held on Relevant radio, on the Drew Mariani Show, hosted by Drew Mariani, who evidently is another Catholic apologist. His show bills itself as “a current events and news driven program that reaches listeners with down-to-earth sensibility, sharp insight, good humor and intelligence. Tackling the hottest issues of the day, Drew and his guests blend reality with strong Catholic values complemented by sound orthodox teaching. As the world seemingly changes by the minute, it is more important than ever for Catholics to keep a close eye on the culture around us.”
Actually the Word of God says Christians are in a race and they are to keep their eyes on the finish line and their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 12: 1, 2 reads:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Since people like Donald R. McClarey who have to his credit, in a non-troll way, giving his name, went on a Protestant website, Sun and Shield website, http://sunandshield.wordpress.
A recent story in the National Catholic Register reports that American evangelical Christians are commending the Roman Pontiff’s promotion of ecumenism and the Gospel.
It stated, http://www.ncregister.com/dail
As Pope Francis visits a evangelical Protestant church in Italy today and is expected to offer an apology for the sins of Catholics, evangelical leaders in the United States who met him recently have praised him for promoting a deeper understanding between Christians and a focus on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The story also reported that Brian Stiller, a “global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance “ reported of the Pope:
In his years in and out of Rome, he became friends with an Italian pastor. In time, he came to learn that the church and pastor felt the power and presence of the Catholic Church, with its weighty presence, obstructing their desire to grow and be a witness. So he decided to visit the church and offer an apology for the difficulty brought to their congregation.”
James Robison, a founding pastor of the LIFE Outreach International, was there also. Robison said of the Pope:
“He thinks there was reason to apologize to this group, and I clearly got the impression [he seeks to apologize] to evangelicals and Protestants in other parts of the world where Catholics had in any way been unkind [to them],” he said.
Once he began, the Pope would be pretty busy apologizing and if would really do so, wouldn’t people start to ask if the Roman Catholic Church is really a Christian Church?
This story reports that:
Robison said he and the others went back and forth with the Pope through a translator. He emphasized that they communicated to the Pope that they are encouraging fellow Christians to build Christ-filled relationships with Catholics.
One of the things that we try to do, and I think the Pope appreciated that, is to stop the unkind attacks from Protestants on Catholics and really seek understanding,” he said.
Robison added, “Both sides still need to learn; both sides have repentance to do to answer for their very un-Christlike attitude toward one another.
I agree that, for instance, the Church of Rome needs to apologize for the murder of Protestants in Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s, (as I report in my book), never mind events like the Inquisition but what murders do Protestants have to apologize for?
In would suggest this is once more, an attempt to pull evangelical Christians into the sphere of Rome, where there is no “Christ-filled relationships” amongst Catholics. Why doesn’t this Pope of Rome start to preach the pure Gospel to Catholics and then when this religious organization is truly filled with actual Christians, then start talking about communicating with other Christian Churches. I am sorry but people like me and numerous other Protestants will believe it when we see it, and very much doubt it will happen no matter what smooth words come from fake “Protestant leaders” and Roman Pontiffs.
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.