The new President of the Philippines

The New President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has been opposed by the Roman Catholic Church in this predominantly Catholic country but this has evidently done little to dampen his popularity. Duterte, who is somewhat similar to Donald Trump in the United States, has a tendency to shoot from the hip and is a tough-talking reformer who has been a very popular mayor for many years of Davao City, Mindanao. He takes office today, (June 30), in the Philippines. The Guardian newspaper has reported remarks of President Duturte, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/23/philippines-leader-duterte-calls-catholic-bishops-sons-of-whores,

“You know the most hypocritical institution? The Catholic church,” he said, in statements aired by broadcaster ABS-CBN on its website.
He accused the bishops of asking for money from the government, saying it was another form of corruption.
Duterte said the church had opposed his election but that it had served as a referendum, showing he was more influential.
The Guardian has also reported of Duturte:

The Philippines president-elect accused the Catholic church on Sunday of hypocrisy, saying the bishops who had condemned him during his campaign had been asking favours from the government.

Rodrigo “the punisher” Duterte, who won the 9 May presidential elections by a landslide, caused outrage in the church hierarchy in December after making a rambling and obscenity-filled speech cursing the pope. About 80% of Filipinos belong to the Catholic church.
This is fascinating. I have been in the Philippines for the past number of weeks for personal reasons and a number of the Filipinos I talked to there were very hopeful that President-elect Duterte could do much to eliminate the corruption in the Catholic country and it is very interestingly that it is the clergy that evidently opposes him in this. Why would this be, one could very well ask.

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Spotlight

Well I have now seen the Academy Award winning movie Spotlight basically twice. The language is coarse at times, but generally I think the movie is very good. According to Wikipedia:

Spotlight is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer. The film follows The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the “Spotlight” team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The first time I watched it with a friend from Latin America who spent some time in a Catholic seminary before he decided that this was not the place for him, (he also decided that the Roman Catholic Church was not for him as well). After the movie, he asked why people are not shooting Catholic priests. I don’t know the answer to that one although I have heard from one source anecdotally that Catholic priests in Ireland are warned not to go out in public with wearing priest clothing but I have not had that confirmed.
Spotlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay this year.

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Easter Follies

Easter has just passed which traditionally been a time for remembering, for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the foundational truth of Christianity. I have been getting to know more about the Philippines and a recent newspaper article published by the Associated Press has given information on, the context indicates, Roman Catholics who have themselves nailed to crosses. Obviously they are not nailed to these crosses as Christ was but still it is quite strange. Others beat and bloodied their own backs according to the story. The article reported that: “The Lenten rituals are frowned upon by church leaders in the Philippines, Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation, especially if the religious spectacle is used to boost tourism. The event, however, has persisted and has become an awaited tourist attraction in San Pedro Cutud village, about 70 kilometers north of Manila.” The article also declared, “The gory spectacle reflects the Philippines unique brand of Catholicism, which merges church traditions with folk superstitions.” http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/03/25/filipino-devotee-volunteers-to-be-nailed-to-cross-for-good-friday-ritual . I suggest this Catholic merging with superstition is not just a Filipino phenomenon however.

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Movie on the Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse cover-up wins best picture Academy Award

The movie Spotlight won the Oscar for best picture! Wow I wasn’t expecting that, apparently it was not expected to win so not many other people were expecting it either. I really would like to see it but so far it hasn’t shown up in the city I live in but we can only hope and maybe the award will help. Kudos to the Boston Globe and I should send them information on another big story that evidence shows the Church of Rome are responsible for, the murder of Abraham Lincoln.
As the Guardian reported at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/feb/29/oscars-2016-spotlight-shocks-as-dicaprio-takes-actor-and-mad-max-scorches-competition,
Morgan Freeman announced the winner to gasps from the audience at the Dolby theatre, after which the cast and crew skipped, amazed, on stage. Accepting the award, producer Michael Sugar said he hoped the film’s message – that institutional silence over child abuse was not to be tolerated – would “resonate all the way to the Vatican”.
He continued with a direct call to the pontiff. “Pope Francis: it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”

The group SNAP which has done much to help victims and oppose the Catholic Church, which has not wanted to come clean, must be very pleased.

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The Pope of Rome notices Donald Trump.

On February 17th, yesterday, upon being told that Donald Trump wished to build a wall at the Mexican border, and reportedly deport millions, to get control of the illegal immigration problem in the US, Pope Francis said, in essence, that Trump was not Christian. The Pope said this in his plane after, evidently, taking part in an event in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city directly across the U. S. / Mexican border from El Paso, Texas. Therefore a foreign monarch, the pope, spoke on the election of another different country, United States, and said that one of the candidates for one of the main parties, the Republican party, Donald Trump, is not Christian. The host of the CNN program that I saw this morning seemed to be outraged that Donald Trump retorted to what the Pope said and answered him back. The CNN host (is that the Catholic News Network?) seemed to be outraged that Donald Trump would reply to the pope and not just go and crawl under a rock after “the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics” criticised him. Shouldn’t the host of the program, Jim Sciutto, have been outraged that a foreign monarch, a foreign king, was evidently interfering in the election of a different sovereign nation, the United States? One can understand why Pope Francis would say this as he is just following what his bishops have been saying in the U. S., as they have been speaking up in favour of people breaking U. S. law, as these people coming from south of the border are really part of a Catholic invasion of America which has been in main part growing the U. S. Catholic Church.

Jim Sciutto interviewed the head of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., who had endorsed Trump, and I recall, tried to get him to admit that Trump was wrong and how dare he disagree with the pope as nobody disagrees with the pope. Elites everywhere including here in Canada have been dumbfounded by the rise of Donald Trump but could this be an example of why his is so popular? He does not kiss the big toes of the powerful, or any other body part, but does not back down from any king, monarch, but defends himself as his right is and the right of any American and speaks plainly. The pope said that if Trump is a person who “only thinks about walls and not about bridges, is not Christian”. This is a quote from CNN. The pope reportedly also said, in effect, that Trump’s alleged views were not found in the Gospel. I would very much like that pointed out to me where exactly that is found in the Word of God.
The last time I checked the exchange between the Roman pontiff and Donald Trump is still being talked about.

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The Spotlight movie

The movie Spotlight is out and although I have not seen it yet, I hope to soon, as it is a very interesting look at how the story of the Roman Catholic clergy abuse of children happened in Boston and how it was covered up by this powerful religious organization. Even the CBC, here in Canada, has reported on it, interviewing a Boston Globe reporter who was involved in breaking the story. The CBC radio program can be listened to here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-wednesday-january-27-2016-1.3421631/spotlight-s-sacha-pfeiffer-says-investigative-units-are-endangered-species-1.3421784. The Catholic group SNAP has promoted this film. As the newspaper, the Guardian stated in a recent article:
In 2002, the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, a group of five investigative journalists, uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of children by scores of the district’s clergy. They also revealed a cover-up: that priests accused of misconduct were being systematically removed and allowed to work in other parishes.
The team’s investigation brought the issue to national prominence in the US, winning them the Pulitzer prize for public service. The journalists’ story, and those who suffered at the hands of the clergy, are the subject of Spotlight, a Hollywood movie starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. It is a love letter to investigative journalism and a reminder that, 13 years and some $3bn in settlement payments later, survivors in Boston and beyond are still waiting for satisfactory long-term action from the Vatican.
The Guardian also declared regarding the US victims group:

Phil Saviano was battling to get his story heard long before the Spotlight team’s stories were published. Saviano, a survivor who was abused by his parish priest from the age of 12, had sent the Globe information on the Boston clergy that reporters originally missed. In the film, Saviano (played by actor Neal Huff) tells the Spotlight team that, for a kid from a poor family in Boston, being groomed by his priest was like being singled out by the Almighty: “How do you say no to God?”
Saviano, now in his 60s, was one of the victims who refused a settlement from the church and retained, unlike others, his right to speak freely about his experience. He’s the founding member of the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. After the Spotlight investigation, Snap’s membership swelled to more than 22,000 as victims came forward, according to its executive director, David Clohessy.
“Before Spotlight’s work, Snap members were usually ignored,” he says. “They were unsuccessfully trying to warn parishioners, parents, police, prosecutors and the public about this massive, ongoing danger to kids. After Spotlight’s work, people started to pay attention.”
The Guardian article can be read here: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe. I look forward to seeing this interesting film.

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Interesting Article in Catholic Publication

In the city I live in, there is a chain of drugstores and at one location, a Roman Catholic, (I surmise) has been quietly leaving his or her copy of the “B.C. Catholic” there, a journal that looks like a newspaper. I noticed it among the other newspapers some time ago. I don’t know if drugstore management is aware of this. In any event, if I see it, I will pick it up to see what it contains. In the November 16 issue of 2015, I noticed quite an interesting article. It was titled, “Interfaith event attracts many believers”, written by Agnieszka Krawczynski. It reports on an “inter-religious dialogue conference” that happened on November 4th, last year, in Vancouver. The article very interestingly quotes the keynote speaker, a Roman Catholic priest:

“By the large, the history of Christianity’s relationship with non-Christian religions since Constantine can be characterized by competition, dominance, ignorance, and violence. There were always exceptions, but this is a generalization,” said keynote speaker Father Darren Dias, OP

Now by Christianity, if one reads Roman Catholicism, which is what the speaker is really saying, then you have, I would suggest, a more accurate picture of the Roman Catholic Church that has also been given by such commentators such as Charles Chiniquy. It began at the time of Constantine, hundreds of years after the church was established, not before, from the time of Peter, and has been, as Mr. Dias says, characterized by these generally un-Christian things, such as competition, dominance, ignorance and violence. Krawczynski also declared:

There were several theological issues, including the view that Christians had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen ones because the Jews had rejected Jesus as the Messiah. There was also the claims that the Jews had killed God, a ‘charge that was often cited as justification for violence’

This is something that David Yallop spoke of in his book, The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican. For instance, Yallop declared that in post-World War 2 Poland:

The killings in Poland did not stop when the war ended. The identity of the killers changed but not the category of victims. The virus of anti-Semitism within Roman Catholic Poland continued as if there had not been a World War, or places as Auschwitz, Treblinka or Belzec. Returning Jews who had survived the Holocaust found that the Germans had indeed gone but the Jew-hating Poles had not.

Yallop has pointed out that Easter was often dangerous time for the Jews as they had been accused of “Killing Christ”, the Roman Catholic Church having not generally taught its flock that the Gentiles were also involved in the crucifixion of Christ and that the sacrifice of Christ was ultimately part of God’s redemptive plan. A most interesting article in this Roman Catholic publication in any event.

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Looking back at 2015.

2015 is almost gone and looking back, there were a number of highlights, I traveled quite a bit, going to the United States twice. The sesquicentennial of the Lincoln assassination this spring was a once in a lifetime event and I am so glad I went down to Washington and to other places like Springfield, Illinois to see how Lincoln was honoured, how things were well done and others not so much. The interest in Abraham Lincoln remains high, a thousand books penned in last four years alone. Hopefully the censorship of Charles Chiniquy will soon come to an end, perhaps the new government of Canada will make a difference and maybe with the hundred of millions of hard-earned tax dollars they get from Canadians yearly, the “national broadcaster” the CBC, will finally tell people of the significant Canadian, Charles Chiniquy. They can produce so much fluff and garbage, they should be able to work in a little valuable content too, one would think. The new year comes and those of us who believe people should be exposed to real history can hope for a good 2016. Happy New Year!

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Book signing and Lincoln scholar still has not produced evidence.

This month I participated in couple of nice book sale / signing in the small town of Quesnel. I have some photos from the second time but unfortunately cannot post them for some reason. I met some folks who were very interested in my research, including some Catholic folks. It is funny how even lapsed, non practising Roman Catholics, seem to want to defend this religious organization but I assured them that I had only gone where the evidence took me.
Also, to update a blog post of August 31, I did respond to the one line answer I got in August from the this year’s Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize winner, Harold Holzer. I emailed Mr. Holzer weeks later, thanking him for responding as quickly as he did but also expressing my great surprise that he essentially had no answer, that he had no evidence to offer to support his position. I pointed out that he had positively answered the question, saying that he didn’t believe that the Roman Catholic Church had a role in the murder of Abraham Lincoln because of the relationship of Lincoln and New York Archbishop John Hughes and he gave this anecdote, that Hughes had acted very heroically during the New York City Draft Riots, personally standing in front of Protestant churches to defend them.
I pointed out that Joel Headley, who wrote the 1873 book, The Great Riots of New York, says the essentially the opposite, that the Archbishop had expressed fear to go out on the streets. I also pointed out that Headley was the only journalist / historian quoted in a 2013 article of the New York Draft Riots by the Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-new-york-draft-riots-of-1863/2013/04/26/a1aacf52-a620-11e2-a8e2-5b98cb59187f_story.html, 2013 being the sesquicentennial year of the Riots. I reported that I knew of no other recent articles in major newspapers about the Draft Riots.
I stated that what Mr. Holzer pointed to as to why the Roman Catholic Church had no hand in Lincoln’s murder had evidently no foundation in historical fact, so it also therefore seemed to me that he have no basis for believing and expressing his doubts in Mr. Harris’ (and Charles Chiniquy’s) allegations of Catholic involvement. I stated to Mr Holzer, as the winner of the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, I found it astonishing that he made such a statement without proof to support it. I told him I welcomed any further evidence / thoughts on this but I have not heard from him since.

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No answers coming from Lincoln Symposium to criticize Charles Chiniquy

It is interesting that after the full page ads were taken out in the Washington Times three Wednesday in October, a Ms. Laurie Verge, (Hero Member!) started off the discussion on the Lincoln Discussion Symposium website by declaring:
If you live in the Washington area, you have been constantly hearing announcements about the Papal visit next week and warnings to avoid traffic jams at all costs. Pope Francis arrives at Joint Base Andrews this coming Tuesday for a two-day visit in our capital city.

A staff member just handed me a lengthy article related to the Pontiff’s visit that was carried in the September 9 edition of the Washington Times. Since it is a history lesson related to the Lincoln assassination, I’m going to share it with you (don’t kill the messenger) because I bet it will stir a bit of debate:
She goes on to reproduce some to the ads’ contents mostly quoting Chiniquy and she ends by asking:
More questions: Did Lincoln really make those charges against the Catholic Church, or did Chiniquy compose the lines for his diatribe against the church? If Lincoln actually expressed a similar thought, does that mean that he was among the many anti-Catholic bigots in the U.S. (and I’m not Catholic)? I just don’t see Lincoln throwing the religious angle into the war, but I’m not an expert on Lincoln.

In a later post she also declared:
I did not include all of the verbiage, but there is an appeal to Pope Francis to “accept historical and papal responsibility for Lincoln’s assassination.” (Also a political “comment” on the Church’s power.) The page also conveniently recommends reprints of the Harris book as well as one entitled “Who Killed Abraham Lincoln?” purporting to be an investigation of the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the assassination.

Speaking of the Harris reprint, that was an issue for me during the 150th ceremonies at Petersen House in April because the cameras kept panning back to Ford’s Theatre and there was a huge, mounted banner in the doorway hawking the reprint of Rome’s Responsibility… Someone was getting free advertising at a most inappropriate time and for a spurious publication (despite its origins). I have not been on this site (and probably won’t view it), but this current ad recommends visiting http://www.OnlyTheGospel.com

She is the director of the Surratt House. I registered to be able to post on the site and then I answered her and a Mr. Norton. There has been a back and forth, I have answered the questions I was asked but I then also asked for some answers myself, asking what evidence these folks had that showed Chiniquy was wrong essentially and now I have not heard for more than three weeks and it wouldn’t surprise me if there are no answers forthcoming so Chiniquy remains, not debunked as he really has been in life and death. The site can be accessed at:
http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussionSymposium/thread-2670.html?highlight=washington+times

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