Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mexico's Supreme Court OKs Adoption by Gay Couples (and So Much More)

     Joe.My.God is reporting that Mexico's Supreme Court just ruled in favor of the right of same sex couples to adopt children.

     And we "Americans" think that the United States is the ultimate forerunner in advancing civil rights and equality in the world.

     Canada has had marriage equality since 2005.  Other countries in the Americas with marriage equality include Uruguay and Argentina.

     Despite the Catholic Church's homophobic, anti-scientific, medievalviolent, and hate-based views of gay rights, civil governments in heavily Catholic countries are leading the way in LGBT equality in the Americas. 

     Canada is 44% Catholic.  Mexico is 90%.  Uruguay and Argentina are 66% and 92%, respectively.  By contrast, the United States is merely 23%.

      This map (via Wikimedia) shows the worldwide laws by country concerning homosexuality, ranging from marriage equality for same sex couples to the death penalty for outed or accused gays.  Notice that the United States, "Land of the Free," is the same color as all those communist countries that the Religious Right loves to demonize.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pope Benedict Failed to Take Action Against Pedophile Founder Of the Legionaries of Christ: New Revelations

It was better for eight innocent men to suffer than for millions to lose their faith.

     The men brought allegations to then-Cardinal Ratzinger (now-Pope Ben) in 1998, and guess what?  After they kissed Ratzinger's ring to show him respect, he buried the case for eight years, while Maciel remained in the company of innocent children.  In 2006, after Ratzinger became pope, he finally removed Maciel from his post, but never tried him for his crimes.

     Maciel's case reveals how the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict have handled sexual abuse allegations, sacrificing innocent children for the sake of preserving the larger church from scandal.  Here are a few highlights from the Times article.  My comments are interspersed.
     The Rev. Alberto Athié Gallo, a Mexican priest who in 1998 tried to bring allegations of sexual abuse by Father Maciel to the attention of Cardinal Ratzinger, said the Vatican allowed Father Maciel, who died in 2008, to lead a double life for decades.  “This was tolerated by the Holy See for years,” Father Athié said. “In this sense I think the Holy See cannot get to the bottom of this matter. It would have to criticize itself as an authority.”
     This is the heart of so many issues in the Catholic Church, an institution that claims god's will is revealed through both scripture and big-T Tradition (as opposed to dispensable little-t traditions, like ringing the bells during the elevation of the host at Mass).  Tradition (big-T) is that which is revealed through the ultimate authority of the church from via the pope and ecumenical councils (like Vatican II).  For the Catholic Church to criticize itself as an authority would undermine two thousands years of divine revelation by Tradition.  

     Perhaps, that's an overstatement, and, in fact, it is, because Vatican II made the distinction between a "sinful church" and "church of sinners," thus enabling the big-C Church to be sinless, while all the individuals, who make up the Church are that sinners that cause scandal, etc.  Even so, at the highest levels of the Vatican and the papacy, there is little distinction between church and Church in the popular theology of the church.  For the pope to be seen as colluding in sexual abuse would undermine the authority of the Church, at the risk of the lesser and weaker masses losing their faith.  Or so, that is the logic and fear of the clerics in power.

     Here is this "logic" at work in the mind and actions of Pope Benedict back in 1998 when the accusations against Maciel were brought forward:
     In an interview, Father Athié said Bishop Talavera — who has since died — told him that the cardinal had read the letter and decided not to proceed with the case. “Ratzinger said it could not be opened because he was a person very beloved by the pope,” referring to Father Maciel, “and had done a lot of good for the church. He [who is now Pope Benedict] said as well, ‘I am very sorry, but it isn’t prudent,’ ” Father Athié said.  Saúl Barrales, a schoolteacher who once worked as Father Maciel’s secretary and is a cousin of Bishop Talavera, said he had heard the same account of the conversation from the bishop.
     Prudent: marked by wisdom or judiciousness; shrewd in the management of practical affairs; marked by circumspection.

     For Ratzinger, who coveted the papacy himself, confronting a serial sexual abuser, who was tight with Pope John Paul II and brought in billions into the church coffers, definitely wasn't prudent.  

     As soon as a call to pedophile prudence rings, a pope from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith springs.
     Just before Christmas 1999, Ms. Wegan, the lawyer, wrote to Mr. Barba and Mr. Jurado to say she had “sad news.” She said that she had spoken twice to Father Girotti and that he had told her they had done some research into the matter, but had decided to close the inquiry “for now.”  Mr. Barba said that in a later phone conversation with Ms. Wegan, she told him it was better for eight innocent men to suffer than for millions to lose their faith.
     And, "the truth will set you free."

     Why does anyone still refer to Catholic clerics as "men of faith."  Men of fear would be more accurate.  Fear of "scandalizing the faithful" is beat into the mind of priests during seminary formation.  Always err on the side of sparing the vulnerable, malleable, and ignorant laity by doing what Father knows is best for them, even if this means withholding the truth, especially a truth that could harm Father's reputation and his chances of climbing the ecclesial ladder.
     Even so, Father Athié said Monsignor Scicluna told him during his inquiry in Mexico that there would be no formal trial. Upset, Father Athié said he asked, “What is the point of the investigation then?” He said Monsignor Scicluna responded: “ ‘Father, Father Maciel is already an old man. In what way can one punish a priest who is already so old?’ ”
      No need to punish him, because he's old?  Older than Moses was when god pushed him by not letting him enter the promised land because he tapped the rock twice?  Maciel tapped more than rocks and more than twice.  But he was too old.  That makes total sense, especially in light of Catholic belief, which is that one will live eternally in communion with god in heaven.  Therefore, Fr. Maciel was infinitesimally young at the time and deserved a spanking, no wait, that might have pleasured him.  He deserved a trial, public accountability for his sins against the youth of the church, and castration.

     Father Maciel was removed in May 2006, but it wasn't until two days ago that the Vatican officially spelled out why he'd been dismissed.
     Father Maciel’s “objectively immoral behavior” included criminal acts “and showed a life devoid of scruples and authentic religious feeling."
     But Pope Ben is still going to keep the religious order founded upon Maciel's immoral behavior, way of living that was devoid of scruples, and had no authentic religious feeling.  Of course he is.  It wouldn't be prudent to disband the Legionaries of Christ, worth an estimated $35 billion.

     Notice that in the condemnation of Father Maciel, there was no mention of sexual abuse of boys and girls, no mention of rape, and no mention of fathering children.  Later in the Holy See's statement, the whole of which can be read here, sexual abuse was mentioned:
     It will also mean dealing sincerely with all of those who, within and outside the Legion, were victims of sexual abuse and of the power system devised by the founder: They are in the Holy Father’s thoughts and prayers at this time, along with his gratitude to those of them who, even in the midst of great difficulties, had the courage and constancy to demand the truth.
     "Dealing" with victims of sexual abuse?  Sorry to inconvenience you, Ben.  

     "Power system devised by the founder"?  I don't think Maciel can take the blame for the power system of the Catholic Church that has enabled clergy all over the world to sexually abuse children for generations.

     How generous of you, Ben, to thank the victims, who came forward for over fifty years, while the Vatican (and you) allowed pedophile Maciel to remain in power (in the system "devised" by him).  How many lives were shattered and generations plagued while the church (and you) enabled this pedophile?  How many more were abused in the five years that you waited for prudence to arrive?

      Pope Benny and his entourage believe that he's divinely elected, that he is the Vicar of Christ; therefore, his excrement smells like incense.  There will be no resignation, because can do no wrong and because whatever transgression or acts of omission he may have committed in the past are forgiven.  If he resigns, then the domino of church authority will fall, starting a cascade that could scandalize a billion Catholics to challenge the big-T Tradition of the big-C Church.  But the dominoes have been falling for millennia, as the Christian history of schism, not communion, can attest.

     It's repulsive that a Father would abuse his own children, correct?

     When you worship a god who killed his innocent son for the sake of abusers like Maciel, there is no logic, no justice, and  no accountability.

     And besides, it's better that eight innocent men (and uncounted innocent children) suffer than for millions to lose their faith.
Image Credits:
Maciel at Mass, New York Times
Maciel and the Women, EXLCBlog
Maciel's Papal Blessing, Newsome/AP
Maciel Eying the Boys, Telegraph
Maciel Embracing Ordinandi, OurFatherWhoArtInBed
Maciel's Recruits, Quiron

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pope Benedict Take Over the Legionaries of Christ: Lipstick on god's Rottweiler

     Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday took control of the Legionaries of Christ, a powerful and wealthy Roman Catholic religious order whose founder, a close friend of Pope John Paul II, was found to have molested seminarians and fathered several children.  The moves constituted the most direct action on sexual abuse since the most recent scandals have engulfed the church — and prompted criticisms of the pope's own handling of such cases as an archbishop in Munich and as a cardinal who led the body reviewing many sexual abuse charges.
     Why the papal takeover?  Because Pope Ben believes that he's showing the world that he's trustworthy when it comes to handling sexually abusive clergy.  Just ask these victims of the serial pedophile that Benny boy dragged his heels to defrock in Wisconsin. 

     It's god at work that Pope Benedict acted so swiftly to address the sexual abuse perpetrated by the Legionaries' founder that started in 1956.  The Holy Spirit works swiftly, moving the pope to act four years after the Legionaries' serial-pedophile-founder was removed from ministry.  Yes, swift actor that pope and politically deep, too. 

"Béseme, México!  Soy su Papa."
Lipstick on god's Rottweiler by Dave the Chimp

Friday, April 30, 2010

Vatican "Caught by Surprise" in Sexual Abuse Scandal, so Pope Benedict XVI Throws the People an Apologetic Crumb

There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.  And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table.

    Surprise!  The word is out.  Cardinal Levada, head of the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (i.e. the new Ratzinger), acknowledged that the Vatican was "caught by surprise" by the velocity of the sexual abuse scandal over the past few months.  Levada stated that he "wouldn't be surprised" if Pope Benedict XVI finally issues an apology for the mishandling of scandal abuse a meeting of a group of June.  Thanks for the crumb, Benny.

     There's nothing like the promise of some theoretical distant apology to quiet desperate Catholics in the pews, but why the wait?  And why give the apology to a group of clergy?  It's the victims of sexual abuse, their families, and the folks in the pews, who have been lied to, their children dangled before pedophiles for generations who deserve the apology, directly, not through the medium of some gathering of clergy.  Thanks for the crumb, Benny.
     Another case of sexual abuse has broken in Brazil (in addition to the octogenarian priest, who got caught having sex with altar boys on video).  Of the new case, Bradly Brooks of the AP reports:
     A Roman Catholic priest in Brazil is facing charges he abused eight boys in cases dating back to 1995, prosecutors said Wednesday, adding to a growing list of allegations against clergy in Latin America.  Father Jose Afonso, 74, is accused of abusing altar boys between the ages of 12 and 16, Sao Paulo state prosecutors said in an e-mailed statement.  Prosecutors said the reported abuses occurred this year, in 2009 and in 2001 in the city of Franca, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Sao Paulo city. At least one case was reported in 1995 in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.  Afonso remains free while a judge decides if he should be jailed.  Calls to the Franca diocese rang unanswered.
     The scandals in Argentina, unwrapped in December, march onward, as well.  But, June sounds like a great choice for an apology.  Thanks for the crumb, Benny.

     The scandal in Mexico, concerning Legionaries of Christ founder Rev. Marcial Maciel who raped boys and girls over decades but went unpunished because he was bringing in the conservative Catholic bucks, got some papal attention earlier today.  Since the first accusations of Marcial Maciel's sexual abuse of seminarians  occurred in 1956, it's expedient of the Vatican to hold meetings on what to do about the Legionaries of Christ in 2010.  How blessed is it that Pope Benedict surprised the gathering by dropping in for a visit.  He  is showing the world that he's a hardliner, not a headliner, when it comes to sexual waiting until June to apologize.  Thanks for the crumb, Benny.

     In the case brought in Milwaukee, which is one of many that have been brought across the country, what we’re learning, and what we have known to be the case for twenty-five years, is that all roads are leading to Rome. The decisions are made at the top of the pyramid by the Vatican. What we know is that the documentary trails that are being revealed showing that just like Lawrence Murphy and archbishop Weakland covering-up locally, they’re doing so under directions from Rome, from the Pontiff, from the Pope and his predecessor. And their directions and their laws and their protocols, which is what’s so alarming, require every cleric, every bishop, every cardinal all the way to Rome, to keep these matters secret to avoid scandal of the Universal Church. And in so doing, their concern is more about the reputation than the well-being of the children.
     Twenty-five years!  Imagine if the Vatican had been working as hard as Anderson and other sexual abuse victims' lawyers  to bring justice to perpetrator-priests over the past two and a half decades, rather than covering things up.  After twenty-five years, what's a two month wait for an apology?  Thanks for the crumb, Benny.

     So, what is the Vatican to do about its secret methods for covering up sexual abuse over the past fifty years being exposed, besides promising distant apologies?  The New York Times reports:
     That secrecy was made bluntly clear in a 2001 letter written by a top cardinal, who contended that this was a policy supported uniformly from John Paul on down. Only this month did the Vatican affirm that bishops should follow civil laws in countries that require reporting pedophilia and other abuse to the authorities.  
     This month.  They are working quickly to do something about this in the Vatican.  After all, it took three centuries to figure out a way to rip off pagan Greek philosophy to describe the alleged the full godhood and full manhood of Jesus in the term homoousious.  (If you chose homoiousious, sorry, you're an Arian heretic).  But I digress, back to...
     This month, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, 80, a former head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, made headlines when he said that John Paul had approved of the letter he wrote to a French bishop in 2001, praising him for facing prison rather than handing over a pedophile priest to civil courts.  The priest was convicted of molesting boys, and the bishop received a three-month suspended prison sentence for not turning him in. In a radio interview last week, the cardinal upped the ante, saying the letter emerged from a meeting where the future pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was also present... Father Lombardi confirmed the letter’s authenticity.
     Critics and defenders of Benedict say healing the church will require action and a full accounting of the past. That will not be easy on the legacy of John Paul.
     Yes, blame it on John Paul, that makes it much easier on Benedict who is doing so much.  The New York Times continues:
     Last year, Benedict confirmed the “heroic virtues” of John Paul, moving him closer to sainthood, but Vatican experts say the renewed attention on historical questions may delay the process.    
     Oops.  How does one blame a saint, who is heaven? 
      Benedict has met with sexual abuse victims four times, including this month in Malta, but only in private and after intense pressure from the media.

     Thanks for the crumb, Benny.

     And what of Jesus' story about the beggar Lazarus?
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.  And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.'  Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.  Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.'
-Jesus of Nazareth, Luke  16:21-25

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Law, with Racial Profiling Language

I was a stranger and you did not take me in.
-Jesus Christ

     Why is it that if laws are passed protecting LGBT persons from discrimination in the workplace or at the marriage altar, conservative Christians claim that it is the Christians that are being discriminated against, but if conservative Christians pass a law that requires police in Arizona to detain people who look like illegal immigrants (i.e. people of color or who look like Muslim terrorists) that is called a protection of people's rights and a "matter of safety"?

     Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.
     Hispanics, in particular, who were not long ago courted by the Republican Party as a swing voting bloc, railed against the law as a recipe for racial and ethnic profiling. “Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe,” a statement by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said, predicting that the law would create “a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions.” While police demands of documents are common on subways, highways and in public places in some countries, including France, Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.
     And we're back in the U.S.S.R., courtesy of the Republican/Tea Party that calls President Obama and the democrats Socialist Commies.
     Ms. Brewer acknowledged critics’ concerns, saying she would work to ensure that the police have proper training to carry out the law. But she sided with arguments by the law’s sponsors that it provides an indispensable tool for the police in a border state that is a leading magnet of illegal immigration. She said racial profiling would not be tolerated, adding, “We have to trust our law enforcement.”
     Even before she signed the bill at an afternoon news conference here, President Obama strongly criticized it.  Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active-duty service members in the Rose Garden, he called for a federal overhaul of immigration laws, which Congressional leaders signaled they were preparing to take up soon, to avoid “irresponsibility by others.” The Arizona law, he added, threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."
     Senator John McCain is busy searching for the next right wing issue that he can use to campaign against his former self.