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Pope Francis delivering his first homily in Rome, is not as consumed with
elaborate clothing as his predecessor Benedict XVI.
  • Pope Francis has been making waves both inside and outside the Catholic Church. First, he declared that his church would "be poor and for the poor." Then, in his first homily following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope called for humanity to be protectors of the environment, animals and the vulnerable among us:
    The vocation of being a "protector", however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God's creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.
  • Pope Francis is also taking a no-nonsense approach to abusive pedophile priests:
    During his 14 years as archbishop, Bergoglio ordered church officials to report all allegations to the police rather than simply moving them to avoid damaging the church.

    “That solution was proposed once in the United States ... switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea,” Bergoglio said. “That way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes.”

    Methinks the Holy Father has plenty of clergy to expel right now. Clean them out and send them to law enforcement for prosecution. That is the first step in restoring the Church's credibility with Catholics and non-Catholics.
  • The Vatican, from the Curia on down, stinks with the stench of Benedict XVI and the neglect of John Paul II. Something akin to a massacre needs to take place. Heads have to roll. There are early signals that this may be happening.
  • Pope Francis isn't going to turn the Church into a thoroughly modern institution. He is a traditionalist. The Church will remain against marriage equality, contraception and abortion. However, it can confine those issues to theology seminars rather than using its political power. The emphasis of what the Church chooses to use its great organization and wealth for is due for swift change.  That involves turning toward income inequality and raising the issue of poverty directly to political leaders. It involves a focus on the victims of sexual abuse rather than what's best for the church hierarchy. It involves an honest house-cleaning of corrupt officials in the Vatican. It means speaking out for the environment and animal rights. Finally it involves a focus on the people of color around the world, where the church is growing, rather than Europe and North America, where it is shrinking. Especially in the appointment of cardinals.

    We will have to see where he's going with his Papacy. But so far, he's off to a good start. With the right message, especially on the issues of the environment, animal rights, and income inequality, Pope Francis could be a key ally to progressives in furthering the cause of a better world.

  • Looking forward to your links and discussion. Have a great weekend!

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM PDT.

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  •  Okiciyap Quilt Auction Diaries Series (6+ / 0-)

    Okiciyap logo

    These diaries are to promote the Okiciyap Quilt Auction which will directly benefit Okiciyap Food Pantry and Childrens Center.  Please visit, read & recommend them.  The Auction begins Weds, March 27th.
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    DK Quilt Guild: Quilting for a Good Cause ~ weck

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:03:01 PM PDT

    •  Watch Republicans start calling the Vatican (9+ / 0-)

      pronouncements "foreign influence". I know it won't come to that, Francis is leading with his left foot, the right will follow soon enough.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:08:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  love to see split between Catholics, evangelicals (8+ / 0-)

        But back to the real world, I think that just like most lay Catholics ignore the Church's teachings on contraception, divorce, etc., conservative Catholic bigwigs will just ignore anything good the Pope has to say about inequality, peace, etc.

        •  Yup, but how he directs the US heirarchy means (9+ / 0-)

          a great deal to political discourse UNTIL he starts talking about income inequality in a way which might upset the well heeled. I believe his advocacy of the poor is more in the Sister Theresa model, I could only wish it was like Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:33:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and Theresa didn't give a crap about the poor (5+ / 0-)

            She thought that their suffering was good for them and for the world.  

            I'm not sure that a religion based on the redemptive power of suffering is capable of making the world a better place.

            •  Medieval obscurantism, anyone? (6+ / 0-)

              Mother Theresa's rejoicing in poverty, as opposed to recognizing that the poor act as if they have less to lose, and sometimes that leads to good works, is medieval -- it's like St. Francis throwing his priests into manual labor, crowding out people on the margins of society who needed manual labor's wages to survive.  

              Back in 1905, people had more sense in the Catholic Church...(from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)

              Poverty has, indeed, been a school of virtue for many persons who otherwise would not have reached such heights of moral achievement, but these are the exceptions. The vast majority of persons are better off, physically, mentally, and morally, when they are above the line which marks the lower limit of elementary health, comfort, and decency. For the great majority, the wish of the Wise Man, "neither poverty nor riches", represents the most favourable condition for right and reasonable life. If any person sees in poverty better opportunities for virtuous living, let him embrace it, but no man ought to be compelled to take this course.

              "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 Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:22:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the link to this article (6+ / 0-)
      If Democrats could embrace Pope Francis’ connection between social justice for the poor and equal protection of the laws for our prenatal children, they could finish the GOP for a generation...

      If Democrats can find the will to connect pro-lifers to their message of social justice and nonviolence--using Pope Francis as a model-- they will wrap up the key demographics for decades to come...

      And give a death blow to the Republican party as we know it.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

      by Pam from Calif on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:11:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "prenatal children". Is that another phrase for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      philipmerrill, Mgleaf

      fetus?

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:21:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  among other prenatal stages (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gustynpip

        The article's lure is inaccurate -- (paraphrase) turn against abortion and you'll win elections, Dems -- but its Repubs in disarray is juicy although thin.

        Hillary has been good about this back in the day. The issue of "choice" is real and reflects larger issues about how society should function. Avoiding unwanted pregnancies and assisting mothers carrying their babies to term has NEVER been enough for the pro-life forces who have other things on their mind than abortion and use abortion to pursue their creepy agendas.

        Unfortunately, in several ways, the linked article reeks of those other agendas. Dems need to be dems and a well run society will minimize abortion and minimize individual tragedies.

        As countless commenters have observed, these pro-life sentiments do not extend to the postnatal stages. So why should we believe they aren't anti-Dem groupthink, revved up by backroom big money that is ready to grab onto different issues whenever necessary to gain a mob for their big money agendas?

  •  Pope and Shadow Pope are all the rage in media! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, joe from Lowell, Ed Tracey
  •  Not perfect but better (26+ / 0-)

    I am encouraged by Pope Francis's choice of St Francis of Assisi as a model. That suggests he is going to be focused on economic and social justice issues. I think that's a great step forward and plays to the Church's traditional strengths.  As you point out, he won't completely change the Church, marriage equality and birth control are still issues. But I do think this is a step to a more relevant Church.

  •  As a life long Catholic (22+ / 0-)

    and product of a Jesuit education, I truly hope Francis CAN reform the church, clean out Vatican corruption, and root out and offer up any pedophile priest for prosecution.  May he always remember the Jesuit emphasis on comfort and protection of the poor and helpless, logic, education, and social justice for all.

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around..."

    by cgvjelly on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:14:13 PM PDT

    •  The Jesuits are the good guys, as I see it from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      the United Methodist pew!

    •  I have previously observed (7+ / 0-)

      the apparent symmetry of inspiration from both Assisi and Xavier.

      The Jesuit Order has always been an evangelizing force in its works and mission, which I don't believe is lost on either the Cardinals or the new Pope from the New World.  It also may not seem initially evident from its preeminent position in education and political activism, but the S.J. has long been devoted to uplifting the poor and disenfranchised -- a purpose always associated more directly with Assisi.
      I do hope that Francis I becomes more than simply charismatic inspiration and truly advances the values of social justice and tolerance.  There is no shortage of issues in which he will be tested on this.
      •  As to Jesuits uplifting the poor, etc., this from (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue, madhaus

        the Catholic Encyclopedia by way of wiki:

        By the mid-18th century, the Society had acquired a reputation in Europe for political maneuvering and economic exploitation. The Jesuits were regarded by their opponents as greedy plotters, prone to meddle in state affairs through their close ties with influential members of the royal court in order to further the special interests of their order and the Papacy.

        Monarchs in many European states grew progressively wary of what they saw as undue interference from a foreign entity. The expulsion of Jesuits from their states had the added benefit of allowing governments to impound the Society's accumulated wealth and possessions....

        The suppression of the Jesuits in France began in the French island colony of Martinique, where the Society of Jesus had a major commercial stake. They did not and could not engage in trade, buying and selling to make a profit, any more than any other religious order could do, but their large mission plantations included large local populations that worked under the usual conditions of tropical colonial agriculture of the 18th century, not easily distinguishable from the hacienda system. As the Catholic Encyclopedia expressed it in 1908, "this was allowed, partly to provide for the current expenses of the mission, partly in order to protect the simple, childlike natives from the common plague of dishonest intermediaries."

        Father Antoine La Vallette, Superior of the Martinique missions, managed these transactions with great success, and like secular proprietors of plantations he needed to borrow money to expand the large undeveloped resources of the colony. But on the outbreak of war with England, ships carrying goods of an estimated value of 2,000,000 livres were captured, and La Vallette suddenly went bankrupt for a very large sum. His creditors turned to the Order's Procurator at Paris to demand payment, but the Procurator refused responsibility for the debts of an independent mission— though he offered to negotiate for a settlement. The creditors went to the courts, and an order was made in 1760, obliging the Society to pay, and giving leave to distrain in the case of non-payment.

        The Fathers, on the advice of their lawyers, appealed to the Parlement of Paris. This turned out to be an imprudent step. For not only did the Parlement support the lower court, May 8, 1761, but having once gotten the case into its hands, the Jesuits' enemies in that assembly determined to strike a blow at the Order.

        Enemies of every sort combined. The Jansenists were numerous among the enemies of the orthodox party. The Sorbonne joined the Gallicans, the Philosophes, and the Encyclopédistes. Louis XV was weak; his wife and children were in favor of the Jesuits; his able first minister, the Duc de Choiseul, played into the hands of the Parlement, and the royal mistress, Madame de Pompadour, to whom the Jesuits had refused absolution, for she was living in sin with the King of France, was a determined opponent. The determination of the Parlement of Paris in time bore down all opposition.

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

        Yah, "protect the simple, childlike natives from" whom, again?

        Isn't trying to sort out reality from history just so much fun?

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:14:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope he does move to a social justice agenda (13+ / 0-)

    and uses it to push governments to treat all people more humanely.  But as a woman I still feel estranged and will until my gender is fully accepted as equal.  

  •  " A Cypriot official has told Reuters that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg

    nationalised pension funds will not be part of the package to secure a bailout."

    "Cyprus has agreed with EU/IMF lenders a 20% levy on deposits over 100,000 euros at leading lender Bank of Cyprus and a 4% levy on deposits of the same amount at other lenders, a senior Cypriot official has told Reuters."
    http://www.enetenglish.gr/...

    Great coverage at the link.

    0% "tax" on deposits under 100k Euros

    •  Pretty disastrous for Cyprus (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know why they went along. Should've defaulted. Their banks are now kaput. 70% of the people will be unemployed soon. Any bailout money is about to disappear as the country's economy craters.

      There are other countries like Austria and Luxembourg and Latvia that are not as transparent as Cyprus, but they went after Cyprus for a reason, and it has a lot to do with geopolitics.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cautiously optimistic (8+ / 0-)

    It will especially be interesting to see what he does here in the US.

    The Pope was against going full liberation theology in Latin America, choosing instead to focus on the poor but from a theological and hands-on, DIY method versus a political or challenging the state strategy.

    I wonder if his influence will be towards driving the US church this way in some of the issues - stop making it political and focus on what the church can do itself.

    We'll see.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:20:42 PM PDT

  •  not now & never was (5+ / 0-)

    a Catholic, but I am encouraged by the renewed emphasis on social justice and the poor.  Glad to see some of the pomp ditched, too.  But the red shoes were kinda cute!  

    have you no sense? ... plenty of it he answered but at times we get tired of using it ... don marquis

    by grannyboots on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:21:39 PM PDT

  •  He could stop wearing brand new embroidered silk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue

    and French cuffs. Humility and poverty seem out of mind in this pic.

    •  Well, maybe, but... (18+ / 0-)

      Francis has ratcheted down the finery a ton from his predecessor.  Go check out what Benedict wore in his early appearances. The contrast is stark.

      Regardless of the message, Francis is the head of a major multinational religious organization and is the head of state of a sovereign nation (well, city-state, anyway). While it's appealing to think that a leader speaking on the subject of poverty and humility might do so wearing sackcloth robes, realistically that's not going to happen, and a lot of people wouldn't take him seriously if it did.

      I'm about as far from being Catholic as its possible to get, so I don't have much horse in this race, but so far, his statements are promising. And, yes, clearly, I'd prefer he go much further on issues of women's rights, especially. But any change in the right direction is a welcome change. If this pope can set the church on the path to being advocates for the poor and stewards of the environment, and we have to wait until the next pope for the church to consider that women really are people, too, well, it's not fine, exactly, but the long arc of history and all that...

      In the meantime, I don't much care about his clothes. I'm waiting to watch his actions.

      "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -Douglas Adams

      by Serpents Choice on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is being co-opted by the Curia when he gets (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, joe from Lowell

        dressed. I don't expect sack cloth.

        •  Don't be so sure. (6+ / 0-)

          It looks to me like he's telling them he's in charge.  I think that he knows how important it is to establish that fact from the first moments, as shown when he was first introduced as pope.  But he still has to do the job, and he cannot do it entirely by himself.  Yes, he can pay his own hotel bills, but somebody else has to be there to do the administrative work.

          Five years after I chose my username, happily living somewhere else.

          by Tenn Wisc Dem on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:39:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why would people not take him seriously if he (0+ / 0-)

        was dressed in sack cloth?  He's the pope.  I seriously doubt anyone's going to give a shit what he's wearing.  He has the power, regardless of his dress, and everyone knows it.  I'm happy to see the pomp cut down some, but I'm waiting to see some real action, rather than a few words and a couple examples of slightly less arrogance.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also consider the circumstances (5+ / 0-)

      A little more pomp is almost expected at major commemorations, for example Palm Sunday/Easter. I'll be interested to see how he commemorates the Triduum (3 great days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday).

      Missed becoming Catholic by luck -- was deeply in lust with a Catholic boy and toyed with the idea when we briefly discussed marriage. But I'm still interested in what happens with the Church, because it can have such an impact on what happens in everyday life.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:36:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank God (3+ / 0-)

    for a Pope of the People

    •  Yeah, well, the last "Pope of the People" (4+ / 0-)

      was found dead in his bed in short order. If I was Francis I'd be very careful about who has access to my medications. Just sayin'.

      -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

      by Wreck Smurfy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:08:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In The Spirit of Francis of Assisi (11+ / 0-)
    “We too, I think, are this people who, on one hand want to listen to Jesus, but on the other, sometimes we like to beat up on others, condemn the others,” he said.

    “The message of Jesus is mercy,” he added. “For me, and I say this with humility, mercy is the strongest message of the Lord.”

    These statements will not, over time, resonate well with the US conservative Christian entertainment complex. You don't see any 'mercy' to speak of when it comes to those they condemn; Lots of condemnation, verbal beat downs, and demonization, though.

    You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

    by paz3 on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:30:12 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary! (7+ / 0-)

    It's good to see a church - any church - treated with respect around here.  It doesn't always work out that way.

    It's true Francis is no Liberal, but at least he's not a hypocrite, particularly on justice issues.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:30:20 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

      What will the Daily Kos despisers of religion and all things spiritual DO around here if Francis follows through on prosecuting the pedophile priests and cleaning up the Vatican Bank? What if he continues working for the poor by denouncing the 1% and blessing the Occupy movement?

      Will the despisers be a living example of 'Dazed and Confused.'?

      (Of course, for now they have to jump on "IF he follows through", which, while fair, perhaps should be accompanied by less glee. Give the man a chance. He's only been in office a fortnight. He doesn't even know where all the light switches are in the place.)

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:03:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THIS atheist (0+ / 0-)

        ...will be flabbergasted.  And could be unsurprised if Francis has a short tenure ended by unforeseen death.

        I'm betting that I won't have to worry about flabbergastation.

        America, we can do better than this...

        by Randomfactor on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:56:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The treatment of Catholicism here... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NWTerriD

        reminds me of the treatment of Islam on Red State.

        Except instead of accusing everyone of defending terrorism, they accuse everyone of defending pedophilia.

        The Know-Nothings who used to burn down convents thought they were quite progressive, too.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:02:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They'll be undescribeably pleased. Good lord, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue, madhaus

        do you really think we revel in the hypocrisy and hate that religion so often peddles?  Do you think we object to that kind of behavior because we have some kind of bizarre resentment or jealousy against those who chose to believe in a supreme being and will be unhappy that we have less hypocrisy to point out.

        I really would not have expected such pettiness from you WineRev.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:31:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Compared to other Cardinals that could have (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, joe from Lowell, JBraden, Cofcos

      been elected, he is (relatively) liberal.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:50:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, we have some folks here (0+ / 0-)

      who would walk into a small Catholic parish in rural Congo, where probably that church and its priest are the only source of education, medicine, and in some cases food, and basically call the parishoners a bunch of idiots while taking a dump on the alter.

      But, just know that folks of like mind are never going to agree on everything. Like marriage.

  •  Don't Tell Me What You Believe (4+ / 0-)

    Show me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    When this pope starts threatening Catholic polluters and theftocrats with eternal burning damnation and excommunication, I'll see what he believes. When he starts liquidating the vast Catholic wealth, even if he spends it all on Catholic health and education, I'll tell you what he believes.

    When he starts threatening Catholic homosexuals with eternal burning damnation and excommunation, when he scapegoats all homosexuals for the "devil's work that subverted the church", I'll tell you what he believes.

    Which looks more likely? Even if he does all of that, which are American Catholics going to go along with more: giving 10% of their wealth to the poor, or persecuting homosexuals? We'll see what they believe, too.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:31:32 PM PDT

    •  About that "vast Vatican wealth" (6+ / 0-)

      You ARE using the term "wealth."

      So tell me, how much is Michaelangelo's ceiling in the Sistene Chapel worth? Your choice of currency, but how do you "liquidate" it (ie. turn it into cash or income)?

      Sell it to.....whom?

      Dismantle it and move it to the "highest bidder's" mansion....where?

      The world is made a better place because this gorgeous piece of art is now tucked away in private hands because....?

      There's already an admission charge to the Chapel. Should it be raised? To what? Should only the wealthy be able to view it in situ? Or should everyone submit a financial statement at the gate and 1% of someone's wealth collected before you can see it?

      OR....what about the papyrii in the Vatican Library? Tell me (if you can) what is the going market price for Codex Vaticanus? There are other places that have the preservation and viewing facilities available for scholars but do they have the money to pay for it? Is it better (and in what way?) for the Codex to be a German library? A French institution?
      Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were sliced and diced up into hundreds of postage stamp pieces and sold to various collectors for immense sums all through the 1950s to the 1970s. Should we do the same for the Codex? Makes money, you know.....

      And once the (name your number) is given to the poor/spent on works of charity/used to purchase hospital equipment around the world/pay teachers in parochial schools.....all at once?

      Do you promise NEVER to come back and ask for more? After all, once you sell capital assets those are a one-time, NEVER to be repeated transaction, so what about next year....or the year after?

      Or should the assets be sold and the funds doled out a little at a time? Keeping the "principal" intact (which once again counts as "vast wealth of the Vatican", right?). Or if you give away the principal, what happens when it runs out? You got another Sistene Chapel for sale?

      Just asking how this would play out in practical terms....

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:20:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. If anyone wants to see the Sistene Chapel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        ceiling, if they can afford to go to Rome, they can see it in person. If it's in some wealthy collectors' home, good luck trying to see it.  

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:53:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  oh for heaven's sake, it's not just the art, (7+ / 0-)

        the vatican owns vast amounts of property, including arable land, around the world.  the church is incredibly land rich.

        Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

        by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:32:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How much is the Church's land in America worth? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1, gustynpip, DocGonzo, madhaus

        ...its industrial investments?  

        They've got plenty of divestments they could do before de vestments have to get sold.

        America, we can do better than this...

        by Randomfactor on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:58:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, they could discontinue charging anything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, madhaus

        in order for the peons to see it.  

        Are you really trying to pretend that the church's wealth is all tied up in historical treasures that can only be entrusted to the hands of the church's hierarchy?

        How about the church reduce the ridiculous luxurious lifestyles of the upper branches of the hierarchy and spread just a portion of that cost amongst the poor.  And maybe take a small portion of the billions it has in liquid assets and do the same.  

        Yep, we really should start panicking now over whether the church is going to go broke.  Poor church.  Not safe to give anything away.  Must horde it all, or the danger of starvation is just around the corner.

        My god, do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:37:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the Church were a corporation, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lysis

          it would have annual profits of about $6 million.

          Of all the institutions of the world with a charity problem, you really think the Catholic Church is the poster child for worst offender?

          Try Goldman Sachs.

          •  That sounds way way way way too low (0+ / 0-)

            Where did you get this figure? The Church owns land throughout the world that has no religious purpose. As many corporations do, the land is valued by its acquisition, not current price. Easy way to hide how much they're reall worth.

            In addition, the "corporation" has so many sub and sub-sub corporations that it's easy for them to claim not to own something that is theirs for the taking if they demand it. Look at the nonsense that went on when lawsuits filed against individual dioceses had defenses saying, "Oh, we don't own that building, the parish does, you can't make us sell it!" The they turn around and order the same parish to close, consolidate, and, guess what, sell the buildings they said they didn't own.

            The Vatican is the same shell game on a worldwide scale.

            And haven't you been following the shenanigans with the Vatican Bank (IOR)?

      •  Liquidate It (0+ / 0-)

        You're saying no one would buy the Sistene Chapel? Not the Italian government? Not the Louvre?

        I don't know where you're getting the idea that only the rich would be able to access it. There are plenty of nonprofit orgs that do a great job of sharing the human inheritance with everyone than the Vatican ever has. And which take in money from outside the admission price to subsidize it - does the Vatican subsize the Sistene operations, or the other way around? How about if the Vatican had to pay to use it for private functions like electing a new pope, like any rich/powerful member of the public would?

        The other collections likewise. The Codex Vaticanus, papyrii, all sold to actual public, nonprofit orgs - or governments - actually dedicated to public education and preservation, not just as a means to an end. And the buildings and land along with them. The world is full of these institutions, Europe chief among them.

        Or lease/rent them to those orgs. But really, having "a poor church minister to the poor" as the new pope claims to want is exactly what Jesus was talking about. It might or might not be economically effective to sell all that wealth, but so what? Jesus taught that it is spiritually better to give away your wealth and join the poor, live in poverty and give your time and love, without any comforts of wealth.

        This pope got use of an "island estate" called El Silencio owned by "a senior Catholic official" in Argentina. Just like Jesus!

        And if the wealth does run out, the church has actually fulfilled Jesus' instructions. Maybe it's not even as good for the poor as it was when the Vatican skimmed a little off the bottom of its pile to spread around to them. But it certainly is what Jesus taught. Unless the Vatican lives what Jesus taught, it is a scam - even if it does do some good, to keep the scam going.

        But really, you think that all the Vatican's wealth is in name-brand art? Not in the many $BILLIONS in real estate, gold stolen from converts, art and artifacts hidden from the public because it's inconsistent with one or another story made up for the convenience of the Vatican over the past couple millennia.

        In practical terms, the Church has bent the course of history for millennia, citing mandates like "give up your wealth". Now the pope is saying that, a good message for recovering some goodwill to an institution that's paying money to children it's raped rather than spending on educating or feeding thousands more of them.

        I'm not Catholic, so I'll have to see it to believe it. There is no Earthly reason why I shouldn't, if the pope is honest, and no heavenly reason at all I shouldn't. Unless the pope is lying...

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:38:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the 'solution' was not proposed in the (4+ / 0-)

    united states.  it was proposed by the church though its dioceses, and it was proposed and occurred world-wide, stemming from various CYA schemes proposed by the vatican's congregation for the doctrine of faith, headed by joseph ratzinger.

    this is at best, an extremely disingenuous comment.  

    the united states  and its culture, had nothing to do with the expedient moves the catholic church took to avoid confronting its issues.  in fact, the united states through the legal systems of its states, enjoys one of the higher rates of prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated pedophile priests in the world, while winning many monetary judgments for the victims of the catholic church.

    frankly, i think this comment fucking stinks.  and is entirely inappropriate for someone of such international stature.

     

    “That solution was proposed once in the United States ... switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea,” Bergoglio said. “That way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes.”

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

    by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:40:01 PM PDT

  •  March 23 - This Is A Christian Nation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wreck Smurfy, Superpole

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

    It was on this day, 80 years ago, March 23, 1933,  Adolph Hitler stood poised to seize power with the passage of the Enabling Act with these words:

       The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society.....The national Government will allow and confirm to the Christian denominations the enjoyment of their due influence in schools and education........And it will be concerned for the sincere cooperation between Church and State.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:40:44 PM PDT

    •  and at the end of his life, when he was being (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      defeated, hitler blamed christianity for his losing.  Albert Speer quoted Hitler as saying: "The Mohammedan religion would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"

      Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  good god, 80 years is such a short time ago. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      it is frightening how close in time that monster is.

      Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:38:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It Can't Happen Here, Right? (1+ / 0-)

        Because we'd only use those techniques for good.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:49:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, right. it seems every time (0+ / 0-)

          the right wing of congress, or the right wing politicans in various states  make a move, i can find its equivalency somewhere in the annals of nazi history.  particularly so during the cheney /bush administration.  

          Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

          by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:53:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's Deja Vu All Over Again (1+ / 0-)

            The three legs of the National Socialist reengineering of German civil society:

            1) Crush the unions via the 1933 Enabling Act  to choke off support for the Social Democrats (Right to Work, eh?)
            2) Regulate marriage with the 1935 Nuremberg Laws (DOMA anyone?)
            3) Abolish local governments in 1935 (like the Emergency Manager laws?)

               ....under pressure from the Reich Interior Ministry under the Nazi Wilhelm Frick, a new law abolished all the federated states, from Prussia downwards, along with their governments and parliaments, and merged their Ministries into the corresponding Reich Ministries. Thus the federal constitution which inone form had characterized the German political system for over a thousand years, and was to do so again after 1945, was swept away. Characteristically, however, some elements of federalism remained, so the process of dissolution was incomplete. The Party Regional Leaders retained their position as regional Reich Governors, and continued to occupy powerful positions within the Party hierarchy. They wielded considerable influence over local and regional affairs, though here the Reich Local Government Law of 1935, in abolishing local elections, placed the appointment of mayors largely within the competence of the Interior Ministry in Berlin. This in turn aroused the hostility of the District Leaders (Kreisleiter) of the Party, who often exploited the right of participation accorded them by the law in the appointment of local officials to interfere in local government and place their cronies and clients in offices for which they were often quite unsuited.
                Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich In Power
            And of course throw in the neocon wars of choice, xenophobia,  and an obsession with birth and fertility, and you've go the package.

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:27:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  also stacking the courts with pro-nazi judges. (0+ / 0-)

              believe me, that had me completely freaking out in the george bush era... in particular that incident with the federal attorneys being forced to resign.

              i've often thought i would do a series of diaries here that would be something like 'this day in nazi history' that would draw the parallels just via the resonancy of their actions with today's headlines.

              Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

              by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:35:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  We shall see (7+ / 0-)

    what Francis brings, what he can change, what he is willing to do.  

    He has to clean house of all the horrid followers of Benedict, the worst of right wing ideologues.  It will be interesting to see what happens to Opus Dei and all their well-connected and powerful followers in the US (Santorum)

    I think Francis is off to a good start, he seems more in the mold of John XXIII, a Pope of the People, who created Vatican II and led to the reforms of the Church dissembled by the conservative wing in the decades following his death.  I remain hopeful that Francis will be a leader like John XXIII, but we shall see.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:04:27 PM PDT

  •  finally some leadership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell
  •  I observe my birthday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randomfactor, gustynpip, grannyboots

    It is reckoned on the day I was born, not the day I was conceived.
    I am not buying you a conception day present.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:22:18 PM PDT

  •  I am cautiously optimistic (8+ / 0-)

    I just happened to hear his opening homily and also heard a lot that made me hopeful that he may use his power for good instead of evil.

    I read something recently that pointed out that his morality stances seem to be much more reasonable than past popes. Oppose gay marriage? OK, I get it and I am not surprised. Couch opposition in terms of "best outcome" instead of SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN! DEATH TO SINNERS! LEVITICUS!

    Even if their church doesn't agree with me, I will be happy if they just stop using their might and power to actively and aggressively oppose progress and justice. I have my fingers crossed that he will pull back our busybody US Catholics and make them stay out of politics. He can totally do that with just a few well chosen words.

    www.dailykos.com is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:33:26 PM PDT

  •  Pope Francis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, joe from Lowell, madhaus
    Something akin to a massacre needs to take place. Heads have to roll. There are early signals that this may be happening.
    I hope that is exactly what happens. There needs to be a thorough house cleaning.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:44:48 PM PDT

  •  Francis needs to deal with the (2+ / 0-)

    Shadow Pope before it becomes a problem. Surely there's an unused dungeon somewhere in the Vatican that can be put to good use.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:48:08 PM PDT

    •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell, JBraden

      I think the reason Benedict resigned is because he's either failing mentally or way sicker than anybody knows.

      I never thought he was the kind who would allow people to see him shaking visibly the way JPII did, or saying things that revealed that he was suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia.

      I don't think he'll be seen or heard from much. I don't think he's capable at this point. And I bet the cardinals know it.

  •  Hi, bbb! (11+ / 0-)

    All things considered, I like this Pope.  He's got some 'o the John XXIII mojo goin' on.  I'm so tired of popes who are jerks.  This one seems different.

    While we're on the subject, I'll take this opportunity to once again apologize for the premature demise of John Paul I.  Even though no charges were filed, I was forbidden from ever again playing lawn darts on European soil.

    -

  •  I'm really optimistic (7+ / 0-)

       I'm not catholic, and their horid treatment of people abused by priests can't be forgotten. The church will continue to fail to have the best qualities of Bernie Sanders and Amy Goodman.
           But here is an organization that has spent some 40 years shielding pedophiles  now going to be run by someone who sent them to the police, a good thing.
          He leads a billion people and is talking about environmental stewardship, I think in emphasis about a first for a pope.
          Finally he's already fighting for the poor with both his attention in the foot washing service and his sermons.
    I support many politicians in America that despite my best hopes probably would have impressed me less in their first week or so in such a position.  Just choosing Francis as the pope name, how cool! I bought a cheap plastic statue a few years ago of saint Francis and it's in my front yard .  He connected with nature in a pretty special way.
    Well, sign me up as a fan of the pope's and I hope he exceeds all our expectations.
    For those that dwell on the tragic horrors of past mistakes of the catholic church, I acknowledge them and can only hope they never return.

  •  So what do sooper-catlicks think of... (0+ / 0-)

    Pope Bergoglio so far?

    {crickets}

    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 Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:05:39 PM PDT

  •  His positions make it tougher on Paul Ryan and (9+ / 0-)

    the other Republicans trying to cloak themselves in morality while slashing social benefits.

  •  This is very good (3+ / 0-)

    I figured no way no how would the church move on sex oriented social issues.  But it is good to hear a Pope advocate so strongly for the environment, the poor and vulnerable.

    And yes he has to throw the book at pedophile priests.  No more cover ups.  Zero tolerance.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:45:34 PM PDT

  •  The best-case scenario is that they become... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, gsenski

    ...a garden-variety religion with absurd beliefs (you know, being a religion) that only impinge upon the lives of those who choose to believe.  That would be OK with me.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:05:10 PM PDT

  •  needed to call this a Popen thread (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD

    if we're going to pontificate

  •  There is good reason to hope this Pope will.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    ..clean house on the abusive pedophile priests, but what does his history during the  "dirty war" tell about his choice to let slide the atrocities of the anti-leftist junta?

    The first question that a real reporter should ask about an Argentine cleric who lived through the years of grotesque repression, known as the “dirty war,” is what did this person do, did he stand up to the murderers and torturers or did he go with the flow.
    Bergoglio, now the new Pope Francis I, has been identified publicly as an ally of Argentine’s repressive leaders during the “dirty war” when some 30,000 people were “disappeared” or killed, many stripped naked, chained together, flown out over the River Plate or the Atlantic Ocean and pushed sausage-like out of planes to drown.

    The “disappeared” included women who were pregnant at the time of their arrest. In some bizarre nod to Catholic theology, they were kept alive only long enough to give birth before they were murdered and their babies were farmed out to military families, including to people directly involved in the murder of the babies’ mothers.

    Instead of happy talk about how Bergoglio seems so humble and how he seems so sympathetic to the poor, there might have been a question or two about what he did to stop the brutal repression of poor people and activists who represented the interests of the poor, including “liberation theology” priests and nuns, during the “dirty war.”

    Sorry to be so harsh here but Robert Parry has a good point. Where is the coverage of the Popes anti - liberation theology priests cleansing from the church
    In contrast to the super-upbeat tone of American TV coverage, the New York Times did publish a front-page analysis on the Pope’s conservatism, citing his “vigorous” opposition to abortion, gay marriage and the ordination of women. The Times article by Emily Schmall and Larry Rohter then added:

    “He was less energetic, however, when it came to standing up to Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s as the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left that became known as the Dirty War. He has been accused of knowing about abuses and failing to do enough to stop them while as many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by the dictatorship.”

  •  it's a business (0+ / 0-)

    the last thing they wan't to do is piss off their big money donors

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