|Melinda Gates with some of the women she hopes to give a helping hand in making a fundamental life choice--when to have a baby. The Vatican is not thrilled with Melinda's choice to do so.|
In my last post I wrote that I feel the particular culture war issues the Vatican has chosen to do battle over are really a message for Africa and not the West--well other than to more or less tell Western progressives to go to hell. Yesterday the Vatican Insider ran an article dedicated to a front page article in L'Osservatore Romano. In that front page article, Bill and Melinda Gates are attacked over Melinda's self stated mission to provide birth control for those women who want it in the developing world. It's Melinda who launched the program the Vatican objects to, but of course she can never be acknowledged with out dragging in her husband--and listing him first. The following is the entire article from Vatican Insider. I couldn't find a link for the L'Osservatore Romano original article.
L’Osservatore Romano attacks the Gates’
The Pope’s newspaper has criticised the philanthropic contraception initiative launched by the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, referring back to Nestlé’s “cunning” operation in AfricaAndrea Tornielli - Vatican Insider - 7/28/2012
L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See’s official daily newspaper, has taken up arms against Bill Gates and Nestlé. The Pope’s newspaper has launched a tough and clear attack against the two on the front page of this afternoon’s issue: an editorial by Giulia Galeotti on “birth control and disinformation” entitled “The risks of philanthropy”, defines Bill Gates’ wife as being “slightly off the mark and confused” as well as “misinformed”. Melinda Gates announced to the CNN that over the next eight months she wants to spend 450 million Euros on research into new birth control methods, improved information on contraception and providing access in the planet’s poorest countries, primarily Africa, to such services and instruments. Speaking to the CNN, Mrs. Gates confided the difficulty she faced as a believer, aware that her initiative challenges the leaders of the Catholic Church. (Melinda Gates has spent far more time on the ground in Africa bringing medicine to sick babies, talking with their mothers, and providing funds to keep their babies healthy than most Vatican clerics, but she is the one who is misinformed, slightly off the mark, and confused.)
In an attempt to erase the idea of the Catholic Church as a promoter of the deaths of women and children as a result of the misogynous intransigence shown in its aversion to contraceptives, an interpretation it defines as “unfounded and cheap”, L’Osservatore Romano recalled that the Church “agrees with natural birth control methods, that is, with methods based on reading the signs and messages sent by the body.” Here it refers to the Billings method which is “considered 98% effective.” “L’Osservatore Romano points out that “in some parts of the world” the Billings method “is seen as a double disadvantage” because since it is a simple method that is easy to adopt, women, including the illiterate among them, use it independently and consciously, without the need for mediation.” “The unforgivable original sin inherent in this method is that it is a solution that is completely free. This makes it highly unpopular in the pharmaceutical industry which makes huge profits from the administration of chemical contraception. And this will be guaranteed through Mrs. Gates’ philanthropic actions.” (Oh yes, I can certainly see a good Catholic woman or girl insist their panting rapist wait until she can take her temperature and examine her vaginal mucus. Oh and the perception of the Church 'as a promoter of the deaths of women and children as a result of misogynous intransigence' is not that unfounded.)
But the Vatican newspaper also packs a mighty punch at multinational company Nestlé. On its front page, L’Osservatore Romano writes: “The multinational company notoriously and in a cunning and improper manner supplied African women with free packs of dried milk for their newborn children. These lasted just enough time for the mothers to lose their natural milk. Mothers were then forced to purchase the dried milk, lured by advertisement campaigns which presented breast feeding as barbaric and the artificial method as the modern and civilised alternative; the campaign was furthered through various forms of psychological pressure exercised by elusive doctors and nurses. A need was therefore created in the name of charity and with profit in mind.” (Nestle has been embroiled in this issue for almost forty years. The Roman Catholic Church has not been a major player in getting Nestle to change it's practices. It was the UN and World Health Organization, amongst other secular NGO's that were at the forefront of this campaign. Nestle is still being boycotted world wide over this issue. It's nice though that the Vatican has finally noticed, even if it is only to slander Melinda Gates by association.)
I find it deliciously ironic that one of the richest, if not the richest practicing Catholic woman, is using her wealth to promote the very religious freedom issue the USCCB is trying to manipulate in an effort to throw the US presidential election to Mitt Romney. And she is doing this for the women of the very continent the Vatican is bending over backwards to keep in the patriarchal fold mostly for the benefit of their own continued exclusively patriarchal existence.
I love the attack on Melinda Gates as a lackey for pharmaceutical companies. I am still waiting for the Vatican itself to admit it's stock portfolio has made millions off of ED drugs, and that Pfizer PR people waited breathlessly for the Vatican to give it's OK to Viagra as a morally neutral drug before pushing it in US TV commercials. The cynic in me wonders how large the 'donation' was for that Vatican stamp of approval. But I digress.
The single largest killer of girls 15-19 in the developing world is pregnancy and giving birth, but as we are all, endlessly reminded by 'real Catholics' pregnancy is not a disease and shouldn't be treated like a disease. That maybe true, but it's also true pregnancy is the number one killer of young women. For some reason we aren't supposed to look at that Truth. Melinda Gates is saying it is time we look at that truth.
Lets look at some more truth. The thirty one countries with the highest infant mortality rate are all in Africa with the lone exception being Afghanistan. A child born in Chad is 70% more likely to die by age five than one born in Sweden. The Gates foundation has pumped enormous dollars into evidenced based solutions for the largest killers: vaccinations for the usual childhood diseases, mosquito netting for beds, antibiotics, clean water, and micro nutrient supplementation amongst others. The single biggest factor in dropping these numbers in other global areas has been reliable birth control. It's easier for poor women to take care of their children if they don't have ten of them and they are spaced out. No woman wants to watch her young children die. Not even to 'save her own soul'. Melinda Gates has finally said it's time to deal with real facts and to ignore the clueless clerical men and their silly politics around this issue. Thank God she has the financial resources to do just that. She may not be the Pope, but she doesn't have to be when she can put 650 million dollars where her heart lies.
Melinda Gates is not talking about forcing artificial forms of birth control on anyone. She is promoting education and choice, and making sure the choices are available. The Billings method has advantages, at least in theory, in more rural areas just for distribution reasons. The problem is getting the men to go along with the necessary periods of abstinence in cultures which don't facilitate women having any power in determining when they will or will not have sex, or in cultures that use rape as a weapon of war. Artificial forms of birth control go a long way to solving those kinds of problems.
Ultimately birth control is about empowering women to make their own determination as to how many and how frequently they will give birth. That is not acceptable when the religious mentality is absolute about all things involving women's reproductive biology and when it's coupled with a sexual moral theology that says women are their reproductive function. It doesn't even matter that reliable birth control has had a huge impact on reducing the numbers of abortions. Bishops like Cordileone lie outright about that when they claim birth control increases the abortion numbers. The real data support just the opposite, and it's time more Catholics called out these bishops for these kinds of lies. It is absurd to think you can 'evangelize' truth through spreading lies. Well, maybe not in the Vatican.
Melinda Gates says she has gotten an out poring of support from women all across the globe--even many nuns. Shock. For what it's worth she has my full support as well, because this issue of empowering the women and children in developing worlds has been a big concern of mine--especially as Roman Catholicism has been involved in it. Africa will be the final battle ground with mindless entitled murderous patriarchy and the Vatican has chosen it's side. Thank God women have their own champion. This woman doesn't carry a sword, just a large checkbook, a pen, a lot of brains, and a heart large enough to dream of a different world for the women and children of an entire continent---and lest I forget, a husband who agrees with her. A formidable combination indeed.
To be fair though, she is "slightly off the mark" and "misinformed", as are you when you lead with "Melinda Gates with some of the women she hopes to give a helping hand in making a fundamental life choice--when to have a baby. The Vatican is not thrilled with Melinda's choice to do so."ReplyDelete
Women in poor countries full of black people are no different from women in rich (or, 'differently endebted') countries full of white people, in that as women they are able to limit the children they have without resorting to a fundamental corruption of sex through contraception or sterilisation.
The logic that in order to control the size of one's family one must debase sex is not a sound one, and demonstrates thinking which can be described as "slightly wide of the mark" and as "misinformed".
There are other areas of this blog post which display a similar failure to reason clearly, but I'll leave them aside and leave the focus on the Melinda Gates stuff.
The assumption that practicing birth control debases sex is not one shared by the vast majority of Catholic women or women in general. It is however, one promulgated by men who do not have sex and who are not women to begin with, and so have very little real knowledge of pregnancy or sex from a woman's perspective.Delete
I've always found it simply presumptuous that celibate men would tell women they have to be open to creation with every single sexual act. That is the thinking of men who live in the world of Platonic ideals, not the gritty mess of real life.
It's not an "assumption", it's a "doctrine", and that makes it a big deal for anyone who feels inclined to consider themselves Catholic.Delete
For your information, nearly all of the Catholics I know who believe in and campaign for Catholic teaching about sex are girls and young women.
I suspect that they'd be literally disgusted at your pathetic assumption that they can't think for themselves and have simply been conned or coreced by the 'patriarchy'.
Not using reliable contraception or sterilization debases sex because it always endangers women with resulting marriage-ruining obstetric bladder and bowel incontinence which only became somewhat fixable 150 years ago. Such childbirth injuries are why early male clerics denounced wives as "piles of dung". No wonder divorce and adultery are out of control among Catholic GOP hypocrites like Speaker John Boner who trades his treasonous votes for sex with hot lobbysists.Delete
Invictus, all the sensible Catholic women I know reject your pro-spoiled pedophile priest enslavement of us as throwaway incubators. NFP nearly killed my mom with fistulas, outsourced dad to hookers, and made my life hell since mom was urged by a playboy priest to burn all my skin off as her abstinence excuse. Jesus never condemned the popular, effective abortifacient herbs and mid-wife/abortionists of his day. I'll listen to Jesus over Nazi- and pedophile-coddling MOTHER KILLERS any day. You're the heretic here.Delete
Invictus ask the girls and young women if they change their minds after they are mothers.Delete
Several of their own mothers have the same belief in Catholic teaching, so your cynicism is unwarranted.Delete
If you reject the teaching of the Church, that's your call.
Invictus, your cherry-picked examples convince no one.Delete
I don't cherry-pick my Catholic friends, I meet them when I go to Mass, Benediction, retreats etc.Delete
Judging from the depth of your bitterness, I doubt even an apparition of Mary could persuade you to love the Church, so no - you're not someone I realistically expect to be convinced by me of anything at all.
Invictus, Every comment of yours is about your bitterness. Why are you so bitter?Delete
Obviously, going to Mass, Benediction, retreats etc. has not had a good or even remotely holy affect on you. It has had a very bitter affect on you from what I see from your comments.
You say you have love for the Church. We are the Church, the People of God are the Church. You do not show us any love, so you are really a hypocrite.
You are speaking to HeilMary whose mother burned her skin off .... and a priest helped her mother make that decision. You are the blind one and the deaf one to not want to reach out to someone like HeilMary and offer some love and respect. You can't even offer her respect at all with your judgment, which is from the depth of your own bitterness.
How often to I associate my opponents with nazis and pedophiles and mother-killers? Oh, no. I don't. So let's just be clear where the bulk of the bitterness resides! ;-)Delete
Invictus 88 is an anonymous spammer. He/she/it just hit my blog with its support of his worshiping penis madness.ReplyDelete
Melinda Gates is good people - People of God - people.
What the fucking fuck?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what's odder here; the allegation of penis worship(?), or Melinda Gates as a plural!
McShea, I've been posting here for something like a year now. I think they've twigged that I'm not an anonymous spambot. Do keep up.
Invictus what do you know about sexual and marriage mores in Africa? Do you think a twelve year old girl has the right to tell her husband he can't have sex for the next three days and he will pay any attention? Women in most of Africa most certainly are different from women in white countries, if only in the fact a twelve year old can be forced to marry in Africa, but to touch a twelve year old in the States is statutory rape. It is the male culture that fundamentally corrupts you ideal of sex. It is the Melinda Gates' of the world who are willing to face this fact and empower women to have some control about the outcome of the sex.ReplyDelete
If you think otherwise you are delusional.
Of course the Vatican "defines Bill Gates’ wife as being “slightly off the mark and confused” as well as “misinformed”". Because we all just know that people can't be knowledgeable and fact-based and come to differing conclusions as to the best course of action. That would be just too secular, or relational or something.ReplyDelete
And just what is with all the constant referents to Melinda Gates as a mere appendage of her spouse? It looks to me like a rhetorical method to tell Bill Gates that he needs to put his wife 'in line'. And by extension then telling all other men to put their own women in line... Because by God, if the men don't stand up and impose pregnancy on women, there won't be any more babies and the human race will just die out. Or something.
Melinda Gates has my support as well. The keys here are education, choice and self-determination and the tools to achieve same. Contraception may not be perfect, but then what tools ever are? For that matter, since when is 'natural' perfect? As for contraception methods other than the Billings Method being a source of corporate profits, that might be true. Then again so is food production. So why isn't the Vatican also insisting on the moral imperative that each person must grow/gather his/her own food rather than submit to the agri-giants?
Thank God that Melinda Gates loves women enough to stand up for them when these women do not have the means by themselves to stand up for themselves. I am grateful and appreciative for what she is doing.ReplyDelete
With all her money she could have just went on a spending spree for herself, bought expensive luxurious clothes to parade around in, lived on an island and shut the rest of the world and its problems out, given money to hijack elections & hijack all rights against the people & fought to privilege the elite wealthy even more & give themselves all the tax breaks, like the Vatican chooses to do. Melinda is wise though, in knowing that living in a bubble eventually means the bubble will burst. I admire her courage in helping others and sharing the wealth in this good cause she is engaged in.
The day that women can not stand up for other women with regard to their bodily rights, their freedom to use whatever type of birth control is the most effective for them, natural or unnatural ways, is the day of our own self-imposed slavery to patriarchy and all its foibles.
Every time the Vatican has something to say about women at the forefront of their times on the issues that matter, it is never affirmative, never honest, never loving or kind, or reasonable or sensical or compassionate at all to the women. From Mary Magdalene to Joan of Arc to the LCWR and countless other women through the ages, the boys in the Vatican since Constantine continue to bully and insult women. Women are sick and tired of it, and they should be.
The Vatican has a ritual hissy-fit anytime a woman has the heart and mind to overturn the tables of patriarchy and misogyny. The Vatican continues to want to cheat women out of their God-given rights to make their own decisions about their lives and their bodies, what they wear, what they think, etc.
The Vatican just proves in their statements regarding the issue of birth control how willfully blind and ignorant they are of the issues that confront women, of the issues that confront twelve year old little girls in cultures where they are married off too young, and the men are not taught to respect women.
The Vatican does not understand the meaning of compassion or empathy towards women or females in general. I'm glad for Melinda Gates and her husband's understanding and wisdom that is caring and loving. They are doing something positive in the world. Too bad the Vatican men are insistent on dragging everyone down into their "confused" and "misinformed" view.
You have correctly phrased some important problems faced by women (and girls) in Africa (and many other countries). However, if you seriously thing that the solution to the rape of young girls is to distribute contraceptives...it is you who is deluded.
And you all speak much too lightly of mortal sin here. I'm not surprised, given the general track record of the place, but it's definitely not cool.
Your misogynist heretic cult is run by and for pedophiles, and you are criminally enabling its kidnapping of all women's wombs to refresh its stock of victims. YOU are the mortal sinner here, and your bullying insults and lies won't scare us enlightened back into your anti-christ heresy cave of holy pedophilia and squalid killer breeding. Your indignant hypocrisy sounds like it had some "exorcising" by molestor/"exorcist" IRreverend Tom Euteneuer!Delete
Heil, maybe a just a little over the top.Delete
Invictus is a young man thoroughly enamored of Traditional devotions. Historically those devotions were intended to keep the innocent in the flock so enamored of the experience they would not question any teaching from the priest on the altar---or the pope in the Vatican. There is no question the combination of sight, scent, and sound are powerful. They are designed to be that way. Roman Catholicism is hardly the only spiritual system that manipulates sight, sound, and scent to create a predisposition for a spiritual experience. It doesn't mean the all powerful men in charge actually have any truth to tell us outside of their own milieu. Plus none of them are women or have given birth. Hence they know not of what you speak of when it comes to vaginal and rectal fistulas.
As to mortal sin, if none of us believe we meet the three criteria, then Invictus attempting to tell us we do, is committing a sin himself.
Invictus, I seriously thing that until men respect females and accept the fact that we are not your puppets on a string, but are children of God, baptized in Christ just the same as males are, that the solution does happen to be a compassionate one, for girls of all ages to have access to contraceptives for as long as they need them or want them. And as long as the men have access to Viagara, there should really be no discrimination against women taking care of themselves. That is not a mortal sin, for women to take care of themselves. Consider it a boundary issue Mr. Invictus. Our wombs and bodies and minds and souls are not your property. You are overstepping our boundaries. It is not a mortal sin in the eyes of a loving God towards women. To men in the Vatican and someone such as yourself who is in agreement with their harsh and cruel narrow-minded view of women in general, yes, we are such big sinners. Because we know God loves us and you can't stop that. Nobody can. That's the track record. God's the one in charge, or haven't you figured that out yet?Delete
My puppets? The Catholic girls I know are "narrow minded" for their fidelity to Catholic doctrine? I think your enthusiasm is getting the better of your reasoning, Schultz!Delete
It is of course not a mortal sin to look after oneself, but it is not looking after oneself to debase sex, and it is a mortal sin.
Invictus, the Church hierarchy are the one's who debase sex and make just about everything about sex into a mortal sin. I suppose they think it empowers them to control what people do in their own bedrooms. Hence, the pedophilia scandal in the Church and the enabling of predator priests. If you trust the views of men who hide pedophiles and who think that raping children and adolescents is all well and good and not a mortal sin, you are just kidding yourself.Delete
One of the biggest failures of the Church is in teaching things that are actually good for men and women, such as healthy consensual sex, turning up the heat in the relationship and having wonderful sex, hot and steamy natural sex, not the unnatural sort cooked up by JPII whose idea of a good time was whipping himself. Talk about debasing sex. The theology of the body really has nothing to do with healthy sex, but is a view of a man who was truly ignorant of the subject.
I said that the men in the Vatican and you had a harsh and cruel narrow-minded view of women in general. I meant it. You seem to prove it in your response that you are willing to hold on to delusions that the hierarchy has all the answers for you and everybody else regarding sex and birth control. That's delusional to follow the delusions of the hierarchy about their notions of sex.
What the hierarchy should do is be able to be honest and quite frankly, they disable themselves all the time from being honest. Enthusiasm for the truth is not a mortal sin, but I guess if the Pope told you it was you would agree and that would be the end of any discussion, right? That would make you their puppet for sure, having given up your own God-given grace to discern the truth for yourself.
"... Church hierarchy are the one's(sic) who debase sex and make just about everything about sex into a mortal sin."
This says much much more about your idea of what sex is about, than it does about sex or about the Church's teachings about sex.
Your bitterness toward the Church has clearly blinded you to its actual teaching. You keep talking about "the hierarchy" in the same way many people talk about "the establishment" or "the Man" or "the bourgeoisie", but it's not productive. It's just a lazy way to set up a complex reality as a 'goodies vs baddies' fiction which is so much easier to handle.
Get a grip of your faculties, and get real. Then it'll be possible to talk productively.
Fran, your comments are spot on! Invictus isn't just an obedient Kool Aid drinker -- his comments are seething with malignant hatred of sensible free thinkers.Delete
Colkoch, sorry to be over the top, but ivory tower dwellers like Invictus are never made to see the backfiring squalid and deadly results of their "pristine" policies. There is a female Invictus that posts elsewhere, and I bring up pregnancy's embarrassing dangers to appeal to both women's valid fear of disfigurement and abandonment, etc. and men's looksism that drives them to flee disfigured women. I know many pregnancy-disfigured and -injured women whose subsequent body changes repelled their clueless spouses. Religions that bully single mothers never address the underlying pregnancy disfigurements that sent male partners packing. Anti-choice men like Deal Hudson and Speakers John Boner and Newt Gangrene are prime examples of looksist wife-dumpers/cheaters. Will Invictus pick up child support tabs when NFP failures cause divorces?
Mary, thank you. I am a sensible free thinker. Thanks as well for the truth about some men, not all men, who will leave their woman for just about any reason they can cook up it seems. Newt abandoned his wife when she had cancer. So did Edwards. It is a disease in the male population & it doesn't matter which part of the political spectrum they're in. They get a case of the frights when it comes to the test of actually loving when the going gets rough it seems. Men have been malformed, for the most part, by misogyny in the culture and in the Church. The malformation continues with new hate groups and people who love to bully others cropping up. They think it's their right to dump on others whenever they feel like it. The don't really like discussion either.Delete
Invictus, you are really too much. You are showing your rude, nasty, sly, adolescent, narcissistic, vindictive bullying spirit. That seems to be all there is to you. No other substance except ridicule and bully tactics from you. You comment is hollow. Grow up! Quit insulting me and everyone else you have been picking on.
And another thing, Invictus, you have the audacity to even mention anything at all about my faculties when you completely ignored everything I said. You ignored the heart of what I was saying. Apparently, It all just went over your head. Nothing I said was meaningful to you because your faculties can not contain the meaning and the substance because you reject the entire notion of receiving anything that might be intelligent, thoughtful, considerate of others and loving. I see no reason to have anymore discussion with you when you refuse to even meet me half way and you continue to act so immaturely.Delete
'Liberal' dissidents lining up against an orthodox apologist alongside a poster by the name of "HeilMary"?Delete
I wish I could be surprised by that travesty.
Apparently it's easier to affirm an individual who calls the Church a "misogynist heretic cult" which is "run by and for pedophiles (who) are criminally enabling its kidnapping of all women's wombs to refresh its stock of victims.", and who rants that their "mom was urged by a playboy priest to burn all (their) skin off as her abstinence excuse." than it is to affirm the Catechism.
And then I am called immature and hateful? The values and principles of the 1960s liberal are certainly intriguing...
You are not familiar with Heil's story.Delete
You are quickly becoming a spamming troll. Shouting louder and more frequently will not change anyone's point of view. Attacking personalities rather than content is pretty much the forte of today's trads, which says to me you can't rationally justify to yourself what you believe so you reduce yourselves to attacking people rather than defending your beliefs.
You are no victim, you have picked this blog on your very own to comment on, if you can't take the heat get out of this kitchen.
Invictus, don't play victim, as Colleen has said. You've been attacking us here, taking pot shots left and right without letup. Your claim of us lining up against you is absurd, because you have lined up against us, do not engage in dialogue, resort to analytic exercises that are full of prejudices. You like to affix labels on people and they are really hollow labels having nothing really to do with the reality & perceptions of the people you are in judgment against. This is a serious problem. A Catholic problem.Delete
Someone taught you to hate what you define as "liberal." Someone taught you that & drilled it into you until you can not hear or see anything else but that hate-filled image, a false image of a person taken all out of its truthful and experiential context. Anyone who thinks outside an orthodox box you consider them of no value and of not having any principles other than your crazy hate-filled interpretation of the 1960's, whatever that view is, of which time you did not live, did not experience, did not really know. This view you have is a fabrication and is not even real. Ask yourself if holding onto a fabrication of an opinion of a time and of a people that is a distortion to begin with will bring you to the truth of anything.
FYI, I was a young teenager in the 60's, writing to a Catholic guy who was also in his teens in the Vietnam War, a world away from the comforts of home, Church, benedictions, retreats, etc. The real world of that time. Wish he was still around to speak his truth. My orthodox parents gave up on the Catholic Church. I simply had a lot of questions then, as I have a lot of questions now. Does that define what a liberal is or a dissident is? Have you considered that God speaks to us all in a way that we can understand? Can you even ask yourself questions, or is that too "liberal" to question and to meditate on.
Part II - I'm going to a Catholic funeral tomorrow for my cousin's husband who just turned 60 recently. He died of the same kind of cancer that my dad had who was in his 70's when he died. I have to wonder if exposure to nuclear fallout from all the nuclear bomb testing in the 60's, and/or that he grew up in an area with toxic chemicals in the air in his neighborhood might be the cause, for many are getting cancer now at a younger age who were exposed to many such toxins. That he also worked for a gas company, I have to wonder the exposure of harm as the cause of such an early death. I know life is too short and whether one is a liberal, orthodox, conservative, progressive, or whatever, it is time to just stop and examine your own conscience and have a good talk with God.Delete
The issue I have with the Church is not a bitterness, it is the understanding that the Catholic Church should be seeing the bigger picture with compassion, and they are not. It cannot do that without the women being heard. The Church now is lining up against us and resorting to a theology of which is a conjured up fabrication. My view is to expose the lies. That is not hatred for the Church. It is calling for the Church to open the way to the truth. The travesty is that the RCC leadership is leading immaturely, without the benefit of the Sensus Fidelium, without the benefits and fruits of Vatican II of which they seem to be in denial there is good fruit. The RCC Bishops appointed by Benedict disallow discussion, force people to take oaths of allegiance to the Pope is a travesty.
I don't hear the Catholic Church speaking out against the toxins put in the air from fossil fuels, or of trying to create a world without nuclear weapons, or of even acknowledging the obscene money from taxes going to making weapons that kill people. They back politicians who don't want us to have real health care & enable insurance companies to reap profits from the sick. They don't talk about high unemployment either & side with politicians who are backed by corporations & banks that hoard their money and do not invest in people. Benedict's Bishops support those who want to spend more money on the military than they do on building a better world. Instead they want to send people to war like they have in the past. That seems strange, and not Christian. And that is who our Bishops are supporting in this next election. People are dying young, the young don't have jobs and they don't care at all about that is the message they are giving us.
Part III - Ask your Catholic girlfriends if they want to raise their children in a world in which only the privileged few will get a higher education and while they are changing diapers all the time and raising their children, they continue to hear sermons, take part in liturgies, go to Mass, they can accept the lie that God doesn't call women to serve their Church.Delete
Ask your Catholic girlfriends how they will support themselves and their children if their husband dies at a young age and they don't have the education or resources to get a good paying job what they think of an all-male priesthood that will just tell them to carry their cross.
Ask your Catholic girlfriends when and if they have an ectopic pregnancy if they will have any right to have a doctor fix the problem, or if they should just die and leave their other children without a mother.
Ask your Catholic girlfriends after they have had one child after the other and their husband is never around to help out what she thinks of the male head of the family rendering her as second class, not worthy of any say in the marriage or in her own Church.
Ask your Catholic girlfriends when they have had so many pregnancies that she knows one day will kill her, if she is willing to follow the dictates of a theology she doesn't really know is really the truth.
Ask your Catholic girlfriends if they are willing to send their children to wars because their Bishop said it is a good thing and she has no right to say anything and she won't be listened to anyway.
Ask your Catholic girlfriends that when and if it ever were to happen that they can no longer conceive children if that theology would allow her man to dump her, divorce her, leave her for another woman.
Ask yourself if your wife could not conceive, would you leave her because a Bishop said it was ok for you to dump her and find somebody else.
Ok, Fran. I'll field.Delete
1. I don't hate 'liberals'. I just find it frustrating when people try to identify themselves as Catholic whilst rejecting or neglecting to inform themselves about basic Christian doctrine.
2. Yeah, I can ask myself questions. I didn't just open the Catechism one day and decide to accept every letter. I was an atheist, an agnostic, a cafeteria Catholic, as I challenged everything and beat back what was bad in search of what was good. Throughout my school years I was notorious for being excessively and savagely questioning of all the status ques and accepted norms, so you're talking to the wrong guy if you think I haven't questioned any of this.
3.You're angry that the Church isn't paying enough attention to pollution and nuclear weapons. That's fair enough.
The Church takes strong positions on things like promotion of peace, protection of life, and promotion of education and healthcare, but by all means throw your weight behind Catholic environmental movements and Catholic anti-nuke movements. Just, for goodness sake, don't let your disillusionment over these matters push you into heterodoxy.
If it helps, look to Caritas is Veritate, esp para #50, and other things you can build upon; http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0807-hance_pope.html
4. We all serve the Church, and the girls I know realise that they're no less called to that than men are, so you needn't worry about their feeling marginalised.
Your other questions for them betray a misunderstanding of Catholic teaching, but too many for me to respond to individually. Suffice to say; the Church doesn't permit divorce, separation&remarriage, or the reckless production of children.
There. Questions covered.
Invictus, well at least it does not seem that you are yelling at me in your comment here. I have to point some things out of yours that I find frustrating. Here's Part I.Delete
1. I find it insulting that you say I "try to identify" myself "as Catholic" .. You're denying that I am a Catholic. You're saying that I was not baptized, did not receive First Holy Communion, was not Confirmed, was not even taught the basics with ten years Catholic education. I think it is very arrogant to assume that I am not a Catholic, whilst you go on saying you are the "real" Catholic. You've elevated yourself & gone overboard to an extreme position of denial. You are very presumptuous & too quick to pass judgment on others.
2. 3. 4. I don't think like you do. I am not like you. I am not attracted to the writings of the Pope, for his actions speak louder than words. I was never an atheist. I was taught in a VI Church in a different time, raised in a Catholic family. Part of the reason for the high rates of divorce among Catholics is that we married too young & didn't know ourselves or our partner, many other reasons, & a lot of us leaving the Church is the terrible way in which we are treated, told we are just in a class by ourselves, a bunch of adulterers. That's not teaching the way of Jesus or pastoral, imho. Seems to suggest the Church wants us to wear a big letter A when at Mass, sit in the pew while everyone else receives Communion because they are not sinners at all.
Regarding your perceptions in #3, you would have to add that the Church does not pay enough attention to what it is doing in the world & how it creates the circumstances for war, the killing of someone like AB Oscar Romero, enabling pedophile priests. Colleen's blog is a good way for you to try to discern the truth on how the Church does not really promote life in the current political climate.
It is interesting to note that you say of yourself that you are "frustrated" when it comes to different views that others have. But you describe my views or anybody else's views that are not in conformity with yours as "angry." That's not fair. That says that you have rigid concepts of people that are one-dimensional & stagnant.
Invictus, here is Part II.Delete
You seem to think you are the only true Catholic around here because you prefer the Catechism or dogma, the Pope's writings to show you the way. God speaks to us all differently. Some of us are guided by the Holy Spirit. You cannot seem to grasp the concept that while you may think your views are more Catholic than anybody else, your views disallow you to accept other views that would be good for our Church.
Your saying that the "Church doesn't permit divorce, separation and remarriage" is irrelevant to those who are divorced & remarried. People who do not use birth control that works & use the rhythm method instead - which is a form of birth control that does not work - will produce children recklessly. The Church really does accept divorced & remarrieds though, maybe, IF they submit to an annulment & many of us don't believe in it, so while the dogma says one thing, the Church does permit it.
Welcoming the SSPX back into the Church invites notions that are lies, proves a right wing political acceptance of pro-Hitler types. You don't seem to understand the implications of the actions that Pope Benedict means for all of us Catholics. The stance against gay persons, women, the enabling of pedophiles, aligning with & allowing such groups like Opus Dei & the Legionnaires, the attack against LCWR, the agenda to silence theologians who are considered "liberal" ... Invictus, you just don't get it. I hope & pray that one day you will. There is no promotion of Peace in these Acts by the leadership in the Church! It's all about those in powerful positions seeking to Lord it over everyone. That's their idea of Catholic. About their identity, protecting their rights while denying everybody else's freedom of conscience and liberty to seek God outside the box of the defenders of rigidity and arrogant illusions of identity that they know it all for everyone.
Ok, round two then. The numbers are jumbled now, so I'll respond in subject areas.Delete
I'm not elevating myself. It's not higher to be in the Church than out of it, just as it's not higher to be a priest than a monk, nun, or layman.
It's about definition. I can accept that you are Catholic in the same way I can accept that Martin Luther was a Catholic; he had been indelibly baptised and confirmed into the Church, but had in his life placed himself voluntarily outside of the Catholic tradition and outside of the Church.
Most studies suggest that Catholics have a below average divorce rate, and that observant Catholics have a remarkably low divorce rate (NFP = 0.2%~5%).
If you were taught badly, or in an excessively negative way, that should be your encouragement to cheer on the positive way in which the Church currently catechises people, rather than your reason for placing yourself in opposition to the Church.
As an aside, Colkoch usually posts politely. The people I accuse of being angry are people like HeilMary and Butterfly, who are indeed genuinely angry, even aggressive.
My views aren't 'more Catholic' than any other Catholic view, they are just Catholic and nothing more. I'm not, nor would I want to be, 'the most Catholic person in the room', I just happen to agree with the Church. And you happen to disagree with it. That's just how it is.
I can't comment on the SSPX issue. Those negotiations are taking place way above my level, so I don't know enough of the details to make fruitful comment.
The Church isn't denying anyone the freedom to seek God in whatever path they choose. After all, it's permitted to convert to Islam, Buddhism, or whatever breakaway Christian sect. The Church simply recognises what is obvious; that if one departs from Catholic belief, then one is no longer fully a part of the Church, and that if one attacks Catholic belief, one is no longer really a friend of the Church.
Go where you will, of course, but you'd be naive to expect the rest of us to mistake you for a bona fide Catholic when you end up on the pill, backing abortion, attacking the pope and ordaining lesbian priestesses. Some things are just too far, you know?
Invictus, my mom's abuse of me wasn't caused by 60's liberalism, but by your Dark Ages condemnation of safe motherhood. But I'd take loving hippies any day over torturing feudal war lords like you any day, decade or century.Delete
OUTSTANDING BLOG!!! Great job, Colleen. I'm so grateful that you take the time and use your gifts to provide us with informative articles such as this. Your opinions and conclusions are pitch perfect.(Not anonymous - Betty Clermont)ReplyDelete
Hello Betty Clermont,Delete
Your article on the "7th most powerful..." was a great piece. Leadership theory says that when a person attempts to influence his or her power changes with the result. Success makes you more powerful while failure diminishes the individual. The same is true of organizations too. The church has steadily eroded its own power in these last 50 years or so with bad decisions. It opposes the great social movements of our times. Women will never go back to those subservient roles. People will not willingly return to being economic or social serfs.
The USCCB has laid their bets on Romney, the worst GOP candidate in living history. I don't know how they could bear to associate themselves with slime like Karl Rove and Deal Hudson, let alone be convinced to double down, but I digress. Obama is going to win (53/47 you read it here first) Obamacare is going to be wildly successful and popular. (as it is here in Canada and every other developed country in the world)
All the pope's dough is going to buy a smaller less powerful, less influential church.
I agree p2p. The Church is flushing money down the proverbial toilet if they think the American people are not going to wise up to the fact Romney is a worse choice than Obama.Delete
Hopefully, we will then use the intervening years to end the financial corruption in our politics and start electing candidates where the choice is between who is the best, not who is the least worst.
I want to whole heartedly agree with p2p about your recent post on Open Tabernacle. I was actually surprised to see the Koch brothers rated 40 something, and Benedict rated number 7. That says a whole lot about the power of secrecy, cultic formation, and coerced loyalty.Delete
Hints of conspiracy theory there, Colkoch?Delete
No hints, just fact. Our current Vatican has been a hot bed of intelligence operatives because it has a global footprint. One very famous and very proven conspiracy was the 'Rat Line' which provided passports etc to thousands of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers to Argentina and other South American destinations. Google Rat Line, you might find fascinating reading about the real things Dan Brown wouldn't have to invent.Delete
Cool story. Can you tell us one about something good the Church has done, too? Or might that unsettle the deeply help bigotries of your readership?Delete
Well, almost all of the people in this group claim their Catholic heritage as the origin and basis of their search for God and God's way. You'd do well to see that.Delete
But none seem to move toward Catholicism in their future, only as the thing they left behind! :-p Pretty telling, no?Delete
Invictus: My first inclination is to tell you to F... Off. Don't you dare presume I have moved away from Catholicism. What we have left behind, if I may speak on behalf of some of the others here, is the immature understanding of the faith you revel in, the one promoted by the Vatican, by emotionally and socially developmentally delayed clergy. (Although when you get to you're 80's it is obvious the deficits will never be made up.)Delete
+1. well said.Delete
Your own words, p2p, your own words. The "origin and basis", rather than that toward which you are moving, and thus as the thing you are leaving behind.Delete
If you hate the Church, that is your own sad issue, but you could at least refrain from ugly lie that one can love Jesus whilst hating His Church, or the one can accept Jesus whilst rejecting His Church.
mjc's words, not mine.
How did Jesus teach? Did he hand down commandments? Teach in parables? If he used parables, why couldn't he be more clear for the convenience of people like you? Rules would be easier to follow wouldn't they? What do you make of the story of the prodigal son? How about the lessons to be learned by the Good Samaritan? Not so clear, eh? They really invite discussion, interpretation, use of judgment, personal reflection. The sermon on the mount could have been more directive I suppose but you, and all of us, are asked to let your light shine, let our light shine.
Good points about the way Jesus taught. He didn't teach the left hemisphere of the brain the way we do in the West. He taught in a way the engaged both hemispheres. Parables do that because they circumvent the logic of the left hemisphere.Delete
I've spent a great deal of my life deciphering what Jesus meant by going with in to find the Spirit.
Jesus taught by parable, by encouragement, by command, and by example. Then Jesus died and left us the Church, explicitly tasked and spiritually defended in the task of correctly interpreting these teachings.Delete
If our personal interpretation departs greatly from the consistent interpretation of the Church through time, then - given that the Holy Spirit was placed as a promised safeguard over the Church and not over every individual person - we should probably look more closely, fully, and critically at our personal interpretation.
This article is interesting but the discussion is strange. p2p I agree that Obama will win re-election. I think he will lose Indiana, North Carolina and maybe Virginia but will hold the other states he carried in 2008 and thus retain the presidency.ReplyDelete
Sub Saharan Africa may be the most Catholic part of Africa. But even in the most populous countries where Catholics make up the highest percentage the numbers are working against the RC Church.ReplyDelete
Democratic Republic of Congo is the only African country in the world's top ten Catholic countries by population. It accounts for about 3.2% of the world's 1,100 million Catholics. DR of Congo has about 32 million believers who make up 47% of the country's total population. Birthrates increased in the post-colonial period to a peak of 7.1 children per woman in 1995. The child mortality rate was approximately 283 per thousand. Last year the birth rate dropped to 5.8 children per woman with a child mortality rate of about 170 per thousand. In a generation child mortality was reduced by 38% and the birth rate dropped 18%. However the country still has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.
About 1.1 million adults currently live with AIDS/HIV in DR Congo. In the 1990's the life expectancy for the country dropped by 9% due to the disease. HIV is predominantly associated with heterosexual activity, at 87% with women in their 20's and men in their 30's most effected.
More than half the population, 58%, is under 15 years of age. Many of these youngsters have been exploited as child soldiers. Kidnapping and rape have been used systematically by warlords to destroy the lives of young people. To its credit the local RC church has vigorously opposed the corruption and brutality of politicians, including President Mobutu.
Since 1988 the Vatican has recognized a rite that is more participatory and inclusive of African culture known as the Zairan Rite.
Democratic Republic of Congo more resembles the United States of 1968 than the USA of today from a demographic perspective. This new generation, scarred by war, unopposed by an entrenched group of elders, longing for peace and freedom, in the cell phone age, is more likely to identify with the impetus Vatican 2 than the retrograde motion of Benedict's church.
They will quickly adopt modern technology, including the use of birth control, just as all other true Catholics have done.
Thanks for the more in depth info. I tend to focus on continental changes rather than specific countries. The stats from the Congo closely mirror the birth and infant mortality rates in Brazil in the seventies. By the nineties the birth rate in Brazil was pretty equavilent to the US and now it's lower. The advent of the personal cell phone, which a significant percentage of Africans of all economic classes have, will propel this drop faster. The Vatican just seems totally unable to deal with the future the new information technology portends. I'm not implying anyone else actually has a handle on it either, but the Vatican's days of planning in centuries is long gone, and they don't seem to want to accept this fact.Delete
Some here forget that prior to the 1960's, in most countries, civil law and church law were synchronized when it came to sex. Almost all sex acts were considered to be illegal with serious punishment for infractions. Even today some "sodomy laws" remain in the USA. In Georgia, in 1988, a man was sentenced to 5 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with his wife in the privacy of their own home. Heterosexuals, even legally married, could find themselves criminals for participating in fellatio, cunnilingus, oh I could go on, but we're all adults here, aren't we? We know. Incidentally the church, if it knew anything about sex, would realize those previously named acts are often used to lick the problem of genital dryness that interferes with traditional procreative sex. But I digress.
Homosexual activity was criminal activity. Period.
And we haven't even started to address the eternal damnation aspects of canon law.
Today's Vatican would love to return to those "good old days". Just look at the many photos and videos of the new "orthodox" bishops in their traditional finery. What could the cappa magna mean other than prestige and power? Why has it been revived? A visual reminder of the magisterium of the church. (I know the damn cape is removed symbolically as part of the mass, but come on, in this day and age? Princes and princesses are from long, long, ago and far, far away, including the "princes of the church", unless you are in England where the constitutional monarchy is symbolic and touristic.) But I digress.
American religious conservatives, including some Catholic leaders have been able to influence African countries to enact strict sodomy laws in the past few years. (Mali, Nigeria, Burundi and Uganda) Uganda's death penalty for homosexual acts is known as the "Kill the Gays" law.
Africa continues to throw off the shackles of colonialism. It will no longer follow the lead of the Euro-centric church. The same struggles of the west are apparent in the African church. Two former RC bishops have broken away from the church over the issue of mandatory celibacy. (See: Emmanuel Milingo and Godfrey Shiundu)
Africa is not, and will not be, the orthodox savior of the pre-Vatican 2 church.
Africa present two issues the Vatican will have to change if it wants to maintain it's presence on the continent. The first is mandatory celibacy. It just doesn't fly in the African understanding of a man's responsibility to keep his ancestral line flowing forward into the future, and this obligation is also linked to honoring ancestors. It is rumored that there are few Africans in the Vatican because of their mistresses/wives.Delete
The second problem is the standardization of the liturgy. That flies in the face of tribal cultures and spiritual expression. JPII understood that, even if some of his liturgical fanatics did not.
A long with this is the issue of spiritual authority. Ritual authority is not going to substitute for spiritual authority. Archbishop Milingo also tried to point this out, as he was quite the exorcist/healer. It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out on the African continent.
"Oh yes, I can certainly see a good Catholic woman or girl insist their panting rapist wait until she can take her temperature and examine her vaginal mucus."ReplyDelete
What makes you think that men in the developing world are incapable of self-control or are all rapists?
Seems a bit racist to me.
Taken in isolation the comment might be racist, but taken in the context of the discussion I don't think so.
Rape has been used as a tactic of war throughout history in every part of the world. Unfortunately Africa has had serious wars in Sudan, Uganda, Angola etc. In the Congo more than 5 million have been killed, the greatest loss of life in war since WW2. (The west doesn't hear too much about these wars.) So the issue of rape is an urgent and important consideration in Africa.
I don't see how you concluded African men are different than any others. Shouldn't your question be "What makes you think that men (...) are incapable of self-control or are all rapists?" but that's a bit sexist, don't you think?
waywardson, that references the fact that for various reasons rape is intentionally used as a weapon of war in some African countries. It is not intended to imply that all African men are incapable of self controlDelete