Sunday, February 17, 2019

Are the Pope, the Vatican, most of the hierarchy, and pretty much the Roman Catholic Church as a whole just a villainous mob ???

Recent statements by the Pope Francis about the world-wide priestly sex abuse scandal gives one serious reason to "DOUBT" the ability of the institutional Roman Catholic Church to speak responsibly on ANY matters involving morality  ---  a main element of its "Magisterium"

The latest blast came from The Wall Street Journal last Friday ---  and it's a humdinger  ---   " ‘It Will Cause a Scandal.’ The Pope and a Trusted U.S. Cardinal Clash Over Sex-Abuse Crisis" [On-line title]  ---  "Sex-Abuse Crisis Splits Vatican." [Print edition title]

According to the WSJ,  "The once-warm relationship between Pope Francis and Cardinal O’Malley has become strained over the Vatican’s stance on sex abuse...."  (Note: Until recently, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a Franciscan from Boston, had been the Pope's front man with the American Bishops, Arch-Bishops and Cardinals  ---  as well as the man charged with looking into the sex-abuse scandal by priests and other Church officials in the United States).

Here's the gist, or even better the "grist," of it from the lead paragraphs of the WSJ article by Francis X. Rocca:
"Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, chief adviser to Pope Francis on protecting children from sexual abuse, called a meeting with top papal aides in 2017, concerned the Vatican wasn’t living up to its promise of 'zero tolerance.'...   An appeals panel set up by the pope had reduced the punishments of a number of Catholic priests found guilty of abusing minors. In some cases, the panel canceled their dismissal from the priesthood and gave them short suspensions instead....   'If this gets out, it will cause a scandal,' Cardinal O’Malley told Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, in effect the pope’s prime minister, and other Vatican officials, according to a person present. No action was taken to address the issue....   The Catholic Church’s handling of the long-running crisis over clerical sex abuse has exposed fissures within its hierarchy. Activists and some church leaders hoped the Vatican would take a tougher stance on abuse under Pope Francis—and thought a meeting next week at a global summit of bishops would make progress toward that goal....  Instead, the opposite has happened, deepening the gap between the Vatican and U.S. church leaders, who have pushed for a more stringent response. No clearer is the rift than in the relationship between Pope Francis and Cardinal O’Malley, a bearded Capuchin friar who likes to be called 'Cardinal Sean.'..."  (See  "‘It Will Cause a Scandal.’ The Pope and a Trusted U.S. Cardinal Clash Over Sex-Abuse Crisis" by Francis X. Rocca,  2/14/19, The Wall Street Journal   [] [Entitled:  
"Sex-Abuse Crisis Splits Vatican." in the 2/15/19 print edition of the WSJ]).
Perhaps, the most disturbing thing in Mr. Rocca's piece are these penultimate and ultimate lines,  "....  [T]he Vatican announced the organizers of its February summit on sex abuse, including [the fact that] one American cardinal. Cardinal O’Malley, the pope’s point man on abuse for five years, wasn’t mentioned. That afternoon, Cardinal O’Malley responded by saying he would attend the summit nonetheless, and sought to lay out an agenda. In late January, Pope Francis played down the Vatican’s ambitions for the meeting [concerning sex abuse by priests world-wide], describing it to reporters as essentially educational....   'We have to deflate expectations,' the pope told the reporters."

So, mull that over, even better "mill" it.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If ERIC ULRICH is --- NOT --- the Republican-style candidate for Public Advocate for --- YOU --- then maybe --- YOUR REAL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE --- should be MANNY ALICANDRO

Of all the candidates in the Feb. 26 special election for NYC Public Advocate, Manny Alicandro is the only one running >>> and <<< saying that he’s pro-Trump

Recognized as a good choice by many Republican groups and organizations throughout the city  ---  long time favorite of the Craig Eaton faction of the Brooklyn GOP

Manny Alicandro is the Brooklyn-bred Republican attorney, who is on the special election ballot for New York City Public Advocate.  He sees himself as an ally of President Trump and he's borrowed a very identifiable Trump trope.  Manny tells everyone that he wants to  >>>  “Make NYC Great Again.”  
In addition, according to a report in the New York Post, Mr. Alicandro says that he has spoken to President Trump, and the president encouraged Manny to run. According to the Post report, Alicandro is quoted as follows:  “... 'He’s happy that I’m a pro-Trump candidate and there’s a pro-Trump candidate in the race....  I’m the only pro-Trump candidate in the race and that’s important because there’s a bunch of Democrats and there’s one Republican who’s an anti-Trumper and it’s important to point that out.'...” (See "Pro-Trump public advocate candidate wants to ‘Make NYC Great Again’ " bNatalie Musumeci,  2/4/19, New York Post / Metro   []).
The Post article by Natalie Musumeci also quote the pro-Trump Republican thus:  "I think we’ll do great....   I really feel strongly that the people in this city...  believe it or not...  a lot of them are supportive of Trump.... They’re just not necessarily comfortable talking about it....”
Many Republican organizations and groups around the City of New York have recognized and applaud Manny Alicandro's run for Public Advocate. He recently was invited to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club's February "Social".....  Both his appearance and remarks were warmly received,  even though there were attempts by Ulrich supporters to undermine  Mr. Alicandro's appearance last week.
Craig Eaton has been a booster of Manny Alicandro for a long, long time.....   Nothing has happened to diminish Mr. Eaton's appreciation of Mr. Alicandro since he he threw his hat in the ring for NYC Public Advocate in the "Special"  ---  maybe, we should stay tuned for more on that front.  

Craig Eaton is still very influential among Republican movers and shakers, both in Brooklyn and all around the city.  He still influences a significant faction of Brooklyn's elected GOP leaders (State Committee Members) and other Brooklyn activists of all sorts.....  He perhaps has even more leverage through his ongoing associations with various city-wide political operations.  Even his behind the scenes support of a candidate, like, let's say Manny Alicandro, can pay dividends both to the Alicandro campaign in the "Special"  ---  and to later city-wide political initiatives by Mr. Alicandro and/or others.
Although Manny's race is substantially underfunded, he has made good use of "earned media" and has had boosts from several celebrities.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Whither the Catholic Church on homosexuality and its cadre of homosexual priests

Publicly acknowledged to be gay and a practicing Catholic,  Andrew Sullivan's recent column in New York Magazine's "Intelligencer" rates a read by any thoughtful and conservative-minded Catholic [a shrinking breed that likely included Mr. Sullivan not that long ago], be they straight or gay  ---  it is an in depth study of the Catholic Church's problems in dealing with: homosexuality;  so-called "traditional doctrines and rules" about homosexuality;  specific teaching and rules concerning priests and [their possible] homosexuality and/or homosexual tendencies;  and the internal and external politics of it all

Even if you aren't Catholic  ---  or  ---  if you are a Catholic that doesn't care about what's going on inside what you see as a merely formalistic Catholic Church  ---  the information that Mr. Sullivan is passing on is useful in seeing how the Catholic Church is being "deconstructed" from within and without in these revolutionary times  ---  whether Andrew Sullivan is an agent of that "deconstruction" or a defender against it remains to be seen and evaluated, in these parts

Sullivan starts off his main text with this:   "....   We have no reliable figures on just how many priests in the Catholic Church are gay. The Vatican has conducted many studies on its own clergy but never on this subject. In the United States, however, where there are 37,000 priests, no independent study has found fewer than 15 percent to be gay, and some have found as many as 60 percent. The consensus in my own research over the past few months converged on around 30 to 40 percent among parish priests and considerably more than that — as many as 60 percent or higher — among religious orders like the Franciscans or the Jesuits....   This fact hangs in the air as a giant, unsustainable paradox. A church that, since 2005, bans priests with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” and officially teaches that gay men are “objectively disordered” and inherently disposed toward “intrinsic moral evil” is actually composed, in ways very few other institutions are, of gay men....   The massive cognitive dissonance this requires is becoming harder to sustain. The collapse of the closet in public and private life in the past three decades has made the disproportionate homosexuality of the Catholic priesthood much less easy to hide, ignore, or deny. This cultural and moral shift has not only changed the consciousness of most American Catholics (67 percent of whom support civil marriage for gay couples) and gay priests (many of whom are close to quitting) but also broken the silence that long shrouded the subject....   Five years ago, Pope Francis made his watershed “Who am I to judge?” remark after being asked about a flawed gay priest. 'A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,'  Francis went on. 'I replied with another question: 'Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love or reject and condemn this person?" We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.'   In the final draft of the 2014 Synod on the Family, Francis included explicit mention of the 'gifts and qualities' of homosexuals, asking,  'Are we capable of welcoming [them]?'  These sentiments won 62 percent of the votes of the synod bishops — just shy of what was necessary to pass, but still evidence of a sharp shift in tone in official Catholic teaching....  They also triggered near panic on the Catholic right...."  (See  "The Gay Church -- Thousands of priests are closeted, and the Vatican’s failure to reckon with their sexuality has created a crisis for Catholicism"  by Andrew Sullivan, 1/21/19,  New York Magazine/ Intelligencer/ Catholic Church  []).