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Pope Benedict before his throne in the Vatican.
Pope Benedict XVI will be the first pope to abdicate his throne in six-hundred years.
  • By the end of this month, Pope Benedict XVI will be gone. His reign wasn't shaping up to be much in the way of greatness, but recent events suggest the final verdict may be quite worse. The latest rumors swirling about the Vatican:
    Italy's Repubblica newspaper ran a series of unsourced stories this week about the alleged contents of a secret report prepared for the pope by a commission of three cardinals who investigated the so-called Vatileaks scandal last year.

    Paolo Gabriele, the pope's butler, was convicted of stealing personal papal documents and leaking them to the media. He was jailed and later pardoned by the pope.

    The documents alleged corruption in the Vatican and infighting over the running of its bank, which has been at the heart of a series of scandals in past decades.

    On Friday the Vatican denied Italian media reports that Benedict's decision to send a senior official to a new post in Latin America was linked to the secret report about leaked papal papers.

    True or not, Benedict's papacy is tarnished by a bunch of other scandals, many of which have their roots during the reign of his hallowed predecessor. Historians outside of Rome's own may reevaluate Pope John Paul II's legacy as the Mother Church's current hierarchy was almost exclusively created by him. That is the same hierarchy that has been mired in scandal for decades, the same one that produced Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI.
  • National Catholic Reporter's John R. Allen, Jr., writes in his publication:
    Among many cardinals, it's become a fixed point of faith that the Vatican is long overdue for a serious housecleaning, and certainly the furor unleashed by the La Repubblica piece is likely to strengthen that conviction.

    Another news report Friday suggested Benedict XVI may authorize sharing the three cardinals' report with the other members of the college to help guide their deliberations about what, and who, the Church needs to move forward.

    Allen goes on to write that he believes that Benedict lacked energy required to clean house and that this played a role in his resignation.
  • Catholic membership at the beginning of 2012 reach a total 1.2 billion, a record. Contrary to popular belief, membership in the Church is not shrinking overall. But it is shrinking in the Western world, North America and Europe. Over 75% of the world's Catholics live outside of Europe. Yet, the Church's top ranks remains overwhelmingly European. Since the 1960's, the Church's fastest growing membership demographic is Africans, followed by Asians, although this has slowed since the death of John Paul II.
  • The Church's decline in the West has not abated as the institution becomes increasingly conservative, doctrinally and politically. The Church and its allies wage all its battles on the conservative side of social issues, contributing great wealth to the anti-marriage equality and assisted suicide movements. The Knights of Columbus, a key ally loyal to the American Bishops and Cardinals, contributes millions to fighting marriage equality.

    But the Church does not, as a rule, use its wealth to fight poverty in the public policy sphere. For that, it limits itself to a charitable role only. So it appears one area of Church doctrine, personal behavior is worth fighting for in the public arena. But the other area of Church doctrine, which lends itself to a social democratic view of dividing the spoils of civilization, gets almost no political support.

    Perhaps if the Church in the West started fighting on the social justice side of Church teaching, they'd get some new people in the pews.

  • I'll enjoy reading the links you post in today's open thread. Discussion welcomed.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pope looks like Joe Pesci in "Goodfellows"... (15+ / 0-)

    ...at least in the face.  Did you do a wee bit of photoshopping perhaps?

    :=)

  •  The Debt Everyone Is Freaking Out About........... (16+ / 0-)

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    The Debt Everyone Is Freaking Out About Does Not Exist

    Between the new-and-improved Simpson-Bowles plan, Joe Scarborough’s feud with Paul Krugman, the relentless drumbeat of the entire Republican Party, and the media blitzkrieg launched by the billionaire-driven “Fix the Debt” campaign, one might think no serious and responsible American can ignore the unassailable truth: America faces a debt crisis, which we must act on immediately and decisively.

    Well, not quite. The actual truth is that the debt everyone’s freaking out about does not exist.

    Some of the debt certainly exists, like the roughly $11.6 trillion owed to foreign and private creditors. But that isn’t the debt anyone’s worried about. If we stopped adding to it tomorrow, the debt as it stands would pose essentially zero threat to the country’s fiscal health, as the ongoing growth of the economy would send our debt-to-GDP ratio dropping like a rock.

    So the debt that’s got everyone worried is the part we haven’t yet incurred. And that debt, by definition, does not exist. It’s not a certainty, it’s merely a projection by the Congressional Budget Office. And trying to model how the federal budget, not to mention the entire American economy, will behave years or even decades in the future is a devilishly treacherous business.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:34:02 AM PST

  •  Let's talk about ... Rand Paul! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, cosette, JML9999, Bridge Master

    I'm rather confused that he's given a decent shot at a nomination, yet the party faithful hated, loathed, and despised his dad? I understand that he doesn't put his stuff out there in such a blunt manner, but still ....

  •  wait, what? heard a new rumor that the pope's gay (0+ / 0-)

    and he was about to be outed and that is why he is quitting

  •  There was once an Archbishop in the Church (11+ / 0-)

    who fought for social justice.  His name was Oscar Romero.  I couldn't tell you who succeeded him after his assassination...so I'm guessing he emphasized a different approach.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:38:52 AM PST

    •  Actually (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, blueoregon, stevenaxelrod, forester

      At the time he was appointed, Romero was considered a conservative.  The preferred choice of the more progressive elements of the region was Romero's eventual successor, Arturo Rivera.  Rivera was critical of the government and supported social justice, but he was less confrontational; his more conciliatory approached aided him in his work at trying to mediate a peaceful end to his country's civil war.  If he had also died from a bullet, instead of a heart attack, perhaps you would have heard of him.

      •  Being murdered while saying mass (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, kayak58

        when the assassins claim to be standing for traditional values, that has a tendency to make people sit up and take notice.

        After Romero's murder, the US did apply pressure to avoid the most obvious forms of human rights violations -- in large part so that it could continue its reign of terror over the peasant population without the US press getting too involved.  It wasn't entirely successful, but the next real high profile murder of clergy didn't occur until the massacre of the Jesuits, and that pretty much put the nail in the coffin of the extremist death squads.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:38:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  corrupt power structure top to bottom (9+ / 0-)

    For all the good the catholic church does via charity, it remains based on a corrupt power structure, a mafia, where it is more important to preserve it hedgemony and perquisites than anything else.

    What else should be expected from a orgainization that holds at it's foundation a superhuman divine right and power of access to god?

    Martin Luther exposed this about 500 years ago.

    From top to bottom, catholic church is based on lies and coverups.  This current nazi pope is only one of the slighly more egregious examples.

    •  re: Catholic charity (4+ / 0-)

      Someone else probably saw a blurb about the Catholic church being a conduit for our federal tax dollars and claiming that as a large part of their charitable donations...
      ??
      I wonder when one is asked to donate a dollar for charity at the cash registers when shopping....does that store claim our
      largesse as their own??

    •  It appears the Bishops are going to take the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exterris, jds1978

      RCC on an even more Conservative tack though there is some small hope a moderate will be chosen

    •  So: I probably qualify as the bottom (0+ / 0-)

      Being a layman and all and barely an Easter Catholic.
      Since the whole structure is lies from top to bottom, I'm probably lying when I mention the Church's
      67,848 kindergartens
      93,315 primary schools
      42,234 secondary schools
      1,358 colleges and universities
      5,428 hospitals
      18,025 dispensaries
      529 Care Homes for people with Leprosy
      15,985 Homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability
      9,962 orphanages
      11,902 creches
      34,250 social rehabilitation centers

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  11,902 creches?? (0+ / 0-)

        granted there are fine institutions associated with the catholic church, however, the point is the power structure is corrupt.

        Those 67,848 kindergartens - I'm curious how much funding comes from the archdioces and rome versus fees and donations from the local parishioners.  Likewise for the rest.

        Are those 1,358 colleges and universities subsidized for all catholic families?  Are those 5,428 hospitals providing free care - what are the salaries for the presidents?

        The list raises another question - since the catholic church operates so many businesses and brings is so much revenue from tution to schools, from fees for health care, etc.  and a tithe amount goes up the church org chart, funding bishops and cardinals and popes and gold altars in Rome, etc.  how is the tithe not just another form of profit margin?

        Because god told the pope it is holy?

        As Martin Luther said - the Pope and the Priests do NOT have any special access or relationship to god that any other believer does not.

        The catholic church concentrates power in priests, bishops, cardinals and popes far, far beyond what is appropriate.

        •  No offense, but you really don't know much about (0+ / 0-)

          how Catholic Church institutions are funded and organized.

          A lot of people assume it's one monolithic organization because the hierarchy enforces a fairly high degree of doctrinal discipline, but in fact the Church's institutions such as schools and hospitals are pretty radically decentralized. Not much, if any, money that comes into the typical Catholic hospital finds its way to the Vatican.  

          As far as practicalities such as tuition, salaries, and so forth, this is the real world and that's how you run institutions, even nonprofits.  The question is, do to take the trouble to run them, or not?

          five thousand hospitals

          We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

          by bmcphail on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:07:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  309 confirmed kils (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, sturunner, blueoregon

    - one of the greatest snipers of all times & why you should know -

    in this diary

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:43:55 AM PST

  •  We need to fix problem of "dark campaign (7+ / 0-)

    contributions where 501C3s are not supposed to engage in political campaigning but the IRS has interpreted that to mean "substantially" engage.  Some 501C3s, which do not have to reveal their contributors estimate this to be 49% of revenues while a few have spent as much as 79% of their revenues supporting various conservative candidates
    Here is some information:
    http://www.propublica.org/...

  •  I wonder about the official membership numbers (17+ / 0-)

    of the Catholic Church.  My wife gets mailings from the local Catholic church frequently.  She even gets regular mailings of offering envelopes.  The problem is that she has not attended or had anything to do with the church since 1989.  She said she tried to get them to stop once but they paid no attention.  I suspect that they carry her on the rolls as a member to keep their "official" membership numbers higher than the real number.  How many other people are in the same situation?

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:51:51 AM PST

    •  i never believe the "Catholic" numbers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynChi, JeffW, wintergreen8694

      If you were christened in a Catholic church, they count you, even if you haven't attended Mass in decades. Protestant churches, on the other hand (at least most mainline churches) pay their national organizations a headcount fee (called a per capita) for each member. So it behooves them to keep their numbers honest.

      I mean, 24% of the U.S. is Catholic, if you believe the official numbers. No way!

    •  I've never gotten anything from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      the church but, I was never a member while an adult, that may have something to do with it.
      I did get mailings in my father's name long after he passed and I moved into his house, for all I know, my sister may still get mailings to him.

      "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

      by blueoregon on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:49:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's irregular by canon law. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bmcphail

      Parishes are supposed to do a census periodically.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:42:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The social justice aspect (5+ / 0-)

    is the only reason I stayed as long as I did.  

    As to scandal in the Vatican Bank - they shoved P2 under the rug 30 years ago, including the possible murder of John Paul I, who was looking to clean up and use some of the vast resources to help the poor.  If this one comes out I really hope someone has the courage to look at 2,000 years of corruption.  

    Not holding my breath, tho.

  •  This is a fascinating statement: (7+ / 0-)
    Perhaps if the Church in the West started fighting on the social justice side of Church teaching, they'd get some new people in the pews.
    I remember learning about the "Liberation Theology" movement, for humanist-democratic social change in Latin America. I also recall hearing the phrase "Worker Catholic," to describe religious Catholics prone to critique the interests of the wealthy. I guess the church has subsumed these vestiges of social democracy in recent decades.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:54:01 AM PST

    •  Hi, here's some information for you: (5+ / 0-)

      Liberation Theology
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Read about:
       - Gustavo Gutierrez
       - Jon Sobrino
       - Leonardo Boff
       - Hélder Câmara
       - Oscar Romero
       - James Cone
       - Richard Cleaver

      Catholic Worker Movement
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Read about:
       - Dorothy Day

      The Social Gospel (Protestant counterpart)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Read about:
       - Richard T. Ely
       - Josiah Strong
       - Washington Gladden
       - Walter Rauschenbusch.

      So there's lots of people in and outside of the RCC who can witness a lot about the sad reversals that have taken place since Vatican II and related events.

      Sorry to lay all this reading you, but it's tremendously interesting and important right now.

      --UB.

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:13:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but Dorothy Day was anti-abortion (0+ / 0-)

        after she had one.

        You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

        by kayak58 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:35:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, not everyone is perfect... (0+ / 0-)

          I am fundamentally anti-abortion, but that doesn't mean that I won't drive a person to a clinic and then keep them safe until they get better.

          You can be against things after a bad experience. You can be for things after a bad experience, too.

          The main thing is that conversation and reflection is possible and that a person grows and learns.

          If the world would grow up so that birth control was the norm, then abortion would be relatively rare, but still legal. If the world would educate those who can make babies (kinda sorta everyone!) such that they/we wouldn't do stupid things, we would all be happier.

          Best,

          --UB.

          "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

          by unclebucky on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:24:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I rather agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            unclebucky

            Though I'm not fundamentally opposed to abortion.

            You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

            by kayak58 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:06:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well. Fundamentally means: (0+ / 0-)

              Abortion would not necessary if we were educating, getting health classes, using birth control, etc.

              But when it is necessary for a number of reasons, it is legal, as cheap as birth control or tonsilectomy (?) and definitely not something a doctor would be afraid to recommend WHEN NECESSARY! :)

              Fundamentally means that abortion would not have to be used as birth control, if all the above were working correctly.

              So, I bet, when you deconstruct (AND ASK about!) my statement, that you would have similar feelings and recommendations.

              But, I'm not you, so I ask, would you? :)

              Best,

              --UB.

              "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

              by unclebucky on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 03:48:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                I agree it is necessary sometimes. And in addition to your observations, if birth control always worked....but when all is said and done, it needs to remain available, legal, safe.

                You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

                by kayak58 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:00:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Please write a diary about it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:57:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not Superman, after all. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, litho, JeffW

    Great photo of the Pope upon takeoff, just before he discovered he isn't Superman, after all.

  •  The Catholic church needs poverty to survive (8+ / 0-)

    That's why they will never put any political clout behind anti poverty measures. With poverty comes an uneducated, vulnerable society, one that relies on church run food banks and homeless shelters. If society were to actually tackle poverty, the church would shrivel up and die. Look at the more prosperous countries in Europe. Church membership is in freefall there. Once the daily fear of existence is removed and people feel secure, they leave religion in the dustbin of history.
    And the is the same reason the Republican party is against federal aid to the poor.

    Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: www.wgnu920am.com I do the twit thing too @SmokinJoesTruth

    by Da Rat Bastid on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:04:09 PM PST

  •  amazing (5+ / 0-)

    Who would have thought that this pope will retire and that no one discusses his Nazi Youth background.  It's time the church had an in house Inquisition.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:09:56 PM PST

  •  i look at that picture of Benedict (7+ / 0-)

    and the expression on his face and it does not appear to me one of a man of prayer and blessing, but of someone luxuriating in the exercise of power over others

    anyone else get that sense?

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:18:00 PM PST

    •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSzymeczek

      While John XXIII and JP1 gave me the impression of the same spirit as the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Tutu, some of the other more recent popes have the look on the face:

      "you stupid peasant, I know better"

      And I still can't get out of my head the story of Pomponio Algerio, the Lutheran Italian student who was boiled in oil by the predecessor of Ratzinger (who, I am not sure, has not apologized for that - how could you apologize for murder like that!)

      Pomponio Algerio:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Death by Boiling:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Murderer:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Yeah. It still pisses me off ever since I saw the episode in "Secret Files of the Inquisition" (Episode 3, I think).

      Ugh. --UB.

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

      by unclebucky on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:22:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should have linked to recc'd diary on this (6+ / 0-)

    Our own Betty Clermont has published a series of terrific diaries on what's going on at the Vatican - you should have linked to her current one in the diary, but here, let me do it for you.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    She's done several on the financial scandals as well.

  •  the Oregon House passed tuition equity for kids (4+ / 0-)

    of undocumented immigrants, and you can see how various reps voted here: map.

    33 Democrats voted for it, all who were present.  5 Republicans voted for it, though it may've gotten another vote or two as a few were not present (and one of them is one of the most moderate Rs, and in fact was first elected as a Democrat).  All Republicans who voted for it were either in Democratic leaning districts or districts with significant Hispanic populations.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:25:22 PM PST

  •  Funny, when you're raised Catholic (6+ / 0-)

    you're indoctrinated with this image of bishops and cardinals as saints walking the earth. The higher their rank, the holier they must be.

    Who knew they were humans, with vanities, and schemes, and a lust for power, and lord knows what else?

    I mean, sure, we all eventually learned that the Church of centuries ago was corrupt and power-mad. But we were led to believe that was all ancient history.

    As my wife (NOT raised Catholic) likes to say: the Catholic Church is just the Roman Empire by other means.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:28:13 PM PST

  •  When he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (8+ / 0-)

    Benedict didn't lack the energy to "clean house" of the Liberation Theologists, whose main objective was to preach the social option for the poor.  Cleaning house of pedophile scum, however, that was just too much for him...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:28:39 PM PST

    •  This is the perception that many of us non-catholi (0+ / 0-)

      many of us non-catholics have. The RC church seems more interested in purging liberals and covering up corruption, and in maintaining status, both political and tax-exempt status.

      The RC church is more concerned with perpetuating its patriarchal dominance, keeping women voiceless and minorities well within the fold on social issues - mostly so "pro-family" that women have little say outside the home.

      RC leaders like their politicians compliant and conservative, male and observant, not independent or thinking for themselves, or liberal.

      No birth control or abortion is to be spoken of favorably.

      If you're not Catholic, the RC is easily viewed as part of the same band of retrogressives as the NRA, the Tea Party, the Koch brothers and the far right wing - there's sometimes little distinction to be made among them, as they might as well be working together to take us all back to some fantasy of a paranoid past.

      Yes, some of us know there are some more thoughtful voices among the RC clergy, but they sure are muted. So much so, they seem to be whispering to ghosts in the dark...

      "We must not confuse absolutism for principle." - Barack Obama

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:07:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was raised Catholic (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't set foot inside a church except for a funeral, wedding or christening in 45 years, but I still consider myself a Catholic. Perhaps because of the indoctrination while young, I'm not sure, but it does become part of you. It becomes a part to the extent that if I was forced to renounce Catholicism I wouldn't bother with any other faith.

        The main reason would be that my cynicism about the church has morphed into cynicism of religion in general. But I'm not "religious" about my agnosticism. When I die I'll probably get Extreme Unction and a church funeral, if for no other reason than to hedge my bet.

  •  Here's a link for you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    I like this person's cynicism. It's in a league of its own. The final visual of swim instructors for a papal conclave is, well, fabulous.

    http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.com/...

    "Here comes the landslide" Dick Morris

    by wild hair on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:46:15 PM PST

  •  Meanwhile, in the American Catholic Church (2+ / 0-)

    Cardinal Dolan of New York, formerly of Milwaukee, was deposed this weekn the bankruptcy hearing of that Diocese.Lawyers are interested in his moving 170 million dollars from the general fund and into to the Catholic Cemetaries of Milwaukee's perpetual care fund.  That's a lot of grass mowing, folks, probably unitil the year 3013.  It would appear that there might have been some question as to whether the jovial and holy Cardinal Dolan might possibly be making some sort of an attempt to hide funds so that they couldn't be taken in lawsuit settlements.  

    The diocese has since gone bankrupt, but I wonder if that money in the perpetual care fund was untouchable.  

    I don't see him becoming the first American pope if any of this can be proven. I'm not even sure he'll be asked back to say the opening prayer at the next GOP convention.

  •  We know there are no "political parties" per se... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    but there are decidedly conservative and arch-conservative factions.

    So, among the cardinals, we need to see:

    * Who is Opus Dei (Cipriani of Lima, for instance)

    * Who is still Vatican II / Liberation Theology (anyone?)

    * Who is either moderate or non-conservative

    * Who if any are re-considering all or some:

     - Women priests and bishops
     - Married priests and bishops
     - Gay or Lesbian priests and bishops
     - Equal Marriage

    We need the daylight to open up. Right now, it's "men in dresses" all the way down (like turtles all the way down) and I don't think it's that bad, but heck, who knows?

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:56:39 PM PST

    •  Add another (0+ / 0-)

      http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com

      He's a practicing Catholic but he has a lot of insider stuff. e.g. one of those at the center of the 'gay' scandal (and what on earth is a Gay Lobby at the Vatican, anyway??) has just been given a prime post as Vatican envoy to Colombia - way ahead of his experience - mostly to get him out of town, it appears. Cardinal Bertone is the one who needs to go.

      You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

      by kayak58 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:38:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not Catholic or religious in the sense (0+ / 0-)

    that any organized faith would apply to, so take my next statement with a grain of salt.

    That is not the face of holiness.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:30:08 PM PST

  •  The Elephant In The Room (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els, Dave the Rave

    The institutional church does not agree with the overwhelming majority of people in the pews, but one thing trumps all: money.  With all of the growth in membership,from Africa and Latin America, the bulk of the cash comes from North America, the United States in particular.  Since the abuse scandal broke in 2002, participation has decreased by 24%.  That represents serious money.  No matter what else is going on in the Vatican, they will vote for someone who has a chance of improving their bank balance.  The only way to jump start their re-evangelization of the West is to elect a moderate whose body of work is centered in social justice.  If Catholic people are faced with another doctrinal flamethrower they will continue to vote with their feet and walk away.  

  •  I'm going to break my Lenten resolution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CSPAN Junkie

    of staying away from blogging in order to register some mild corrections.

    The pope is not "abdicating."  That's an old feudal term that means renouncing a throne in favor of a known successor.  The pope is not a noble, and he has no known successor.  He is resigning.

    This is an example of journalistic and blogging laziness (and stupidity), where one term is put up first and everybody copies, because that's what they've read.

    Second, for what it's worth, it's been a lot longer than six centuries since a pope resigned.  That's another common mistake, which everybody repeats after an initial mistake in the reporting.

    The post says:

    But the Church does not, as a rule, use its wealth to fight poverty in the public policy sphere. For that, it limits itself to a charitable role only. So it appears one area of Church doctrine, personal behavior is worth fighting for in the public arena. But the other area of Church doctrine, which lends itself to a social democratic view of dividing the spoils of civilization, gets almost no political support.
    I have no idea what that means.  I started to criticize, and then realized I just don't understand what the poster is trying to say.  The Catholic Church gives more money to charity BY FAR than any other organization--how is that not fighting poverty?  Every Mass the faithful are exhorted to give to the poor, and I also do, generously.

    I have no idea whether there is any truth in the claims that the pope's resignation is related to some salacious secret report.  I doubt it.  I think it's ridiculous how many of the so-called reality community here automatically glom on to such reports as truth.  You have no evidence, just claims in newspapers, and they're not the most respectable newspapers.  It's a conspiracy theory, which is supposed to be prohibited here, except that any CT against the Catholic Church is allowed.

    Finally, I want to say again that, although it's like a king commanding the tide to retreat, I deplore the consistent anti-Catholic bias at this site.  Every single Sunday there is at least one top-recced Catholic-bashing diary.  Every one!  That kind of bigotry would not be permitted against any other religion or organization.

    That bias exists because Markos and as far as I know every single front-pager is anti-Catholic.  I've stayed here for more than 10 years because this is the closest community I've found to my overall political beliefs.  But I hate the non-stop Catholic-bashing.  

    They are the largest part of the Democratic electoral majority!  So the Catholic-bashing is all completely opposite of the stated purpose of this site.

    I've been unhappy with the current pope, and I hope he will be replaced by a wise and holy person from Africa or South America.  But I truly despise the constant, nasty, uniformed, hateful attacks on him that are so unpopular here.  He's a good man.

    •  hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

      "But I truly despise the constant, nasty, uniformed, hateful attacks on him that are so unpopular here."
      Freudian slip, that one???

      "We must not confuse absolutism for principle." - Barack Obama

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:10:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and I have stayed at Daily Kos (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zinger99

      for more than 6 years despite the apologists for a criminal, institution bereft of honesty or morality.  The pope was previously IN CHARGE of investogating andprotecting the child rapists in the church, and the church has consistently protected and abetted them.  He is the CEO of an institution  with ties to the Mafia and money laundering. Yet he is a "good man"?

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:18:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm. (0+ / 0-)

      It is quite remarkable to me that you find this openthread a bashing of Catholics. At every opportunity, I noted the Church with a capital C. I even called it Mother. I do this because I am Anglican and therefore have a great respect for the Mother Church.

      However, this Church, our Church, is clearly a corrupt institution of the first order. Your church heirarchy protects pedophiles. That is a truth you must face. Does the church condone pedophilia? Not officially no. But do they protect pedophiles within the clergy? The evidence is clearly yes. And it goes all the way up to the very top. Defend the indefensible if you must.

      I have no idea what that means.  I started to criticize, and then realized I just don't understand what the poster is trying to say.  The Catholic Church gives more money to charity BY FAR than any other organization--how is that not fighting poverty?  Every Mass the faithful are exhorted to give to the poor, and I also do, generously.
      Its not working obviously, now is it? Because despite these noble efforts poverty is at record highs. Along with income inequality.

      The Church invests a significant amount of its wealth to funding conservative Super PACs on gay marriage, abortion, and assisted suicide. Tons of money. The high ranking clergy openly campaign on political positions they deep of significant importance, like contraception.

      When was the last time you saw that kind of money and political action being pushed against tax cuts or cuts to social security? Or collective bargaining rights, which the Church OFFICIALLY supports. Right. You don't. Because the Church isn't pushing hard on those things. For that stuff, they turn to you, the flock, to keep up a charitable energy that isn't stemming the tide of poverty one iota.

      And these, among other factors, is why the Church, at least in the West, is withering away. I include my own in this, because my Church is ridiculous in the other direction, solely focused on making everyone of every stripe feel good rather than BE GOOD. Neither one is focused on the pressing real day to day lives of real people.

      You know what Churches are doing that? Evangelicals. That's why their pews are overflowing every Sunday and Catholic ones are full of white hairs and no hairs.

  •  wrote a diary on the papal scandal and MSM s*x (0+ / 0-)

    and I invite you to take a peek http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Now with more SNAP: Saturday hate mail-a-palooza End of a series

    by annieli on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:37:29 PM PST

  •  Catholic bashing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99

    I have not been a participant in bashing the RCC or any church for that matter, but I have no patience with religion in general and hierarchical religion in particular. The official attitudes of the RCC towards issues important to women are archaic and controlling. The opposition to family planning is criminal. With one short sentence from the pope, women could have increased access to pregnancy prevention. In many parts of the world, complications of pregnancy, labor and delivery still claim the lives of millions of women and the pope endorses endless pregnancies. In the absence of forbidding men to have sex, contraception is an effective way to improve the health and survival of women and the children they already have.

    "Bashing" or repeating unsubstantiated accusations of misbehavior is unacceptable. However, it is just as reasonable for those of us who find religion unbelievable and church doctrine offensive to express our opinions as it is for Timaeus and others to express their support of either the RCC or religion in general.

  •  I recommend (0+ / 0-)

    1) Less Opus Dei
    2) More compassion

    as the two keystones to reforming the Vatican.

  •  I don't understand why the media devotes any (0+ / 0-)

    coverage at all.  It is not a majority religion in the US.  When there are changes in the administrative or religious hierarchy of other religious institutions, they get no media coverage whatsoever.  But the supposedly mainstream media, and now sadly Kos itself, wastes space on the doings of the Pope and the Catholic Church.

    Why?

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:29:39 AM PST

  •  JP II was given a pass as the 'cute' Pope (0+ / 0-)

    but behind the scenes it was business as usual.

    It was a media love affair.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:54:18 AM PST

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