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In two highly recommended DailyKOS diaries, this community has been responding to Francis' long provocative interview and his subsequent homily on money as the root of evil. Mostly, progressives have been excited, though we've asked to what extent his reforms are merely style and not substance. We also wonder when he'll really tackle the big issues.

CNN now has two essays up on these issues. I wrote one of them.

Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League, wrote the first. It's because of his piece that I am writing this diary. And although I didn't know it at the time, I sent my essay to CNN to answer his argument.

Donohue basically says that there is nothing to see here, so please move along.

If you talk to conservative Catholics, or read them (I read them so you don't have to), it's a message you will hear a lot. Francis still is anti-homosexual. He's anti-abortion. He's NOT a progressive. He has changed no doctrine. Here are some highlights (lowlights) from Donohue:

Laurie Goodstein's article in The New York Times on the pope's comments says U.S. bishops will feel the pinch of these remarks as they often appear "to make combating abortion, gay marriage and contraception their top public policy priorities." This is inaccurate.

It is not the bishops who have made these issues front and center -- it is the Obama administration. It would be more accurate to say the pope would find fault with the bishops if they did not resist these state encroachments on the religious liberty rights of Catholics.

That's right - Donohue is blaming the Obama administration for the Catholic obsession with gay marriage and abortion over the past few decades.

He finishes with: "Pope Francis unequivocally rejects abortion and gay marriage." "Pope Francis wants us to oppose abortion." "He wants us to oppose same-sex marriage."

To sum up - Donohue agrees that Francis said Catholics shouldn't focus on abortion, contraception, and gay marriage. Then he focuses on abortion, contraception, and gay marriage. And Obama.

I respond - Again, I didn't know that Donohue was writing this piece, but I knew the tenor of his arguments before I ever read it - by arguing that the lack of doctrinal change is the STRENGTH of Francis' reform movement.

Don't be surprised at what Francis is doing; instead, wonder if the rest of the church hierarchy is going to catch up. Francis' revolution emerges out of the core of Catholicism. He emphasizes humility, poverty, social justice, non-judgment, peace and especially mercy. That he can seem so transformative without changing any theological principles is a testament to the depth and power of his reform, not its limitations.
I then talk about historical precedent. I am a medieval historian by trade and I take the long view. Doctrinal change almost never happens. That's not the way the Church reforms itself - rather, it re-interprets the significance of existing doctrinal positions. If we just look back to Vatican II, then sure, Francis hasn't done much in comparison. But he doesn't need to hold a big council to bring about effective change.

I talk, in particular, about the Pope's new namesake, St. Francis. Francis was always very careful to remain within existing practices (lest he be condemned as a heretic), and in doing so invented a new kind of Catholic practice, one focused on outreach and service rather than hierarchy and formula.

I conclude by turning back to the modern age.

St. Francis' revolutionary message focused on a return to first principles, as he saw them. While Pope Francis has ascended to the throne of St. Peter and St. Francis never chose to be ordained, one can locate certain parallels unfolding between the two men and their efforts at reform. This pope is also turning to the first principles as he perceives them. Pope Francis makes the argument that everything he needs to transform the church already exists within the core teachings. And if this is the core, how can anyone choose not to follow?

What would it look like for the rest of the hierarchy to go where Francis is leading? For one thing, they might find lots of their lay parishioners and the women and men in holy order already there, working.

Because that's where the Catholics I know, love, and respect are - they are not in the hierarchy. They are working. They are working hard to make a more just world. I'm so pleased the Pope is pushing the elites of the church to catch up.

It's going to take a lot of pushing.

EDIT: Thanks for the recommends and the constructive comments. Be nice to each other in there, even if you disagree.

Per request, here is a link to the long interview that sparked this conversation. I will also post a complete set of links to everything to which I refer in the essay to my blog. I may not get to that today though. If someone finds the complete Italian version free online somewhere, please message me.

------------------------------
I am history professor and essayist for the likes of CNN, The Atlantic, and The Nation.

I have a blog: How Did We Get Into This Mess? It updates daily.

To read more, you could 'like' my public Facebook page.

Or you could follow me on Twitter:

Originally posted to Lollardfish on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Anglican Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (153+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shopkeeper, kerflooey, Lonely Liberal in PA, Kingsmeg, tobendaro, citizenx, erratic, Hammerhand, Naniboujou, lcrp, Its a New Day, blueoregon, marleycat, Mike S, Aunt Pat, freelunch, Matilda, gchaucer2, marykk, JoeEngineer, missLotus, avsp, mama jo, Sylv, createpeace, johanus, Bonsai66, Bill in Portland Maine, klompendanser, ferg, cocinero, DBunn, CwV, native, Lilyvt, Dirtandiron, unclebucky, filkertom, janmtairy, varii, belinda ridgewood, Nulwee, kurious, LanceBoyle, mrhelper, anodnhajo, LynChi, wuod kwatch, tapestry, fcvaguy, luckylizard, Catte Nappe, Alumbrados, kimoconnor, blue aardvark, Fury, wasatch, Wee Mama, slowbutsure, CroneWit, Yellow Canary, Smoh, lostboyjim, psnyder, ratzo, VA Breeze, SueM1121, gulfgal98, Involuntary Exile, Sean Robertson, Leftcandid, gerard w, journeyman, joe from Lowell, LSmith, Publius2008, sturunner, poco, pico, Simple, Horsefeathers, Timaeus, LSophia, Nespolo, maybeeso in michigan, WisVoter, Thinking Fella, highacidity, War on Error, OldSoldier99, Eyesbright, jbsoul, Magnifico, Matt Z, Marihilda, basquebob, kyril, old possum, skrekk, philipmerrill, Rosaura, Steveningen, Brooke In Seattle, sidnora, Jim P, lotlizard, MRA NY, randomfacts, elziax, Blue Bell Bookworm, SaraBeth, Nowhere Man, poligirl, Tool, AnotherAmericanLie, AllanTBG, pat bunny, ladybug53, Joy of Fishes, Mistral Wind, side pocket, serendipityisabitch, Tunk, anastasia p, Jackson L Haveck, EdSF, Alice Olson, blueoasis, radarlady, AllisonInSeattle, tofumagoo, o76, Chaddiwicker, SneakySnu, elwior, onceasgt, FogCityJohn, dle2GA, TheMeansAreTheEnd, Egalitare, BlueDragon, CA Nana, Grubdnikk, tom 47, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, howabout, wsbuffalo, celdd, jayden, Johnny Nucleo, texasmom, LuvSet, ehavenot
  •  It kind of sounds like (25+ / 0-)

    "I'm not going to change anything, but I'm going to apply a little perfume to it so it doesn't smell quite as much."

    Good PR isn't to be underestimated.  It certainly convinces those who already wish to be convinced, as well as anybody not paying attention.

    However, I have a nasty tendency to look to the actions of a person or institution for clues as to what they believe.  In this case, with no changes, I'm not getting a positive feeling.  Quite the opposite.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:22:37 AM PDT

    •  This has been my reaction (26+ / 0-)

      to Francis also in light of the sex scandals, the chasing of people out of the pews and the political activity by the Church. This interview has moved me a bit to consider the diarist's points.  Our country works in the same way.  We don't change our Constitution at every turn, we work to change opinion and that transforms actions using the existing parameters. This Church needs to move opinions by looking at the reality of what it teaches.  The conservatives have been the changers and they need to be told they are wrong and they need to be shut down.  I now believe Francis is going that direction and has started the process.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:36:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm delighted by Francis' rhetorical emphases (51+ / 0-)

        One reason I'm generally so critical of organized Christian churches is their usual lack of emphasis on the social justice teachings in the New Testament.  In most denominations lip service is paid by the hierarchy, but little more.  It is left to parishoners to read the Beatitudes and act accordingly.  Moral actions are a primary arena of religious life for followers, but not often for leaders.  Parallels with today's Democratic party are difficult to avoid.

        If Pope Francis starts a dialogue in the religious world about how they are performing in these true moral arenas -- as opposed to the false ones of sexual identity and reproductive choice -- then the easy identification with their religion many conservatives have will become more challenging.  It might start with Timothy Dolan, but it should proceed almost immediately to Paul Ryan.  Conservative Protestant churches might then feel some pressure to address Matthew, instead of skipping the whole book in between Leviticus and Revelations.  

        The idea that society should be organized exclusively to benefit the rich has become far too accepted in this country, and worldwide thanks to neo-liberal economics.  Pushback on that idea, from any quarter whatever, is welcome and overdue.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:36:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Contrary to what the diarist has said, many (10+ / 0-)

        churches have significantly changed their doctrine (maybe he is just referring to the Catholic church) especially when it comes to women and gays in the clergy and same-sex marriage (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian, Episcopal).

        Moreover, in much of the industrialized world, the majority of people have simply stopped attending church and/or become openly atheist. The decline of organized religion in many European countries is unprecedented, something the Church has never faced before.

        All this means that what's happened in the past is no measure of the future. Without drastic doctrinal change the Church will become a quaint museum-like relic.

        •  Shades of Neitzsche and the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Williston Barrett, Wee Mama, Tool

          "God is dead" essay that the churches of Europe were tombs.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:00:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nietzche expected a big upheaval (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Williston Barrett

            in society and culture when religion finally came to be seen for what it was: an empty set of promises, and a doubtful basis for morality. But instead it is going out with a whimper, not a bang. People realize that nothing really changes when they accept things like gay marriage. And some people realize that dropping belief in religion doesn't change anything for the worse, either.

            •  Religion is still hangin on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluedust

              But Nietzsche thought that the idea that there was no Lawgiver would lead people to reject the idea of moral Law. As Kant pointed out, most people accept the idea of Moral Law, even if they reject the idea of there being a Lawgiver.

              If people buy into Nietzsche's view that no God = no rules, we will have trouble. As in "Lord of the Flies" / "Heart of Darkness" style trouble; experience shows that letting people make their own rules does not end well.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:23:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I was talking about Catholic church (27+ / 0-)

          I take the long view of Catholic doctrine, as an historian, and am pretty comfortable with my statement. Yes, other churches have moved on doctrinal issues more quickly.

          •  I agree. (6+ / 0-)

            My take is the change in focus from the few hot issues to the core teachings of Jesus Christ.  For of what use is any Christian doctrine, if it isn't a mirror image of the teachings of Jesus?

            It is the history of Christian churches, Catholic and others, that actually creates much of today's religious cynicism.

            The Inquisition, Bloody Mary, and the burning of so-called heritics by the Church of England, as well as the combined Christian persecution of Jews and Arabs, the human rights abuses of the Christian Empires, all stack up for a very hateful, intolerant, murderous history.

            When all the churches step up, put aside their needs to be right, to rule, and to hang onto their wealth, admit and apoligize for their sins of the past and present, perhaps those who know history will be more open to their messages.

            Until then, I hope the awakened within their ranks will continue to push for these changes from within.

            Love One Another!

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:38:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why do so few Churches simplify the path? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy of Fishes, Williston Barrett

            I found more direction from the Upanishad, found on page 34 at this link, than in the scriptures although I don't think I could have appreciated this Upanishad without the establishment of a desire to Love One Another firmly rooted in my heart.

            Know the Atman (Self) as the Lord of the chariot, and the body as the chariot.  Know also the intellect to be the driver and mind the reins.

            The senses are called the horses; the sense objects are the roads; when the Atman is united with body, senses and mind, then the wise call Him the enjoyer.

            So here the Ruler of Death represents the Self as the Lord of this chariot of the body. The intellect or discriminative faculty is the driver, who controls these wild horses of the senses by holding firmly the reins of the mind.

            The roads over which these horses travel are made up of all the external objects which attract or repel the senses:

            the sense of smelling follows the path of sweet odours,

            the sense of seeing the way of beautiful sights.

            Thus each sense, unless restrained by the discriminative faculty (intellect/mind), seeks to go out towards its special objects.

            When the Self is joined with (the intelliect to control the) body, mind and senses, It is called the intelligent enjoyer; because It is the one who wills, feels, perceives and does everything.

            He who is without discrimination and whose mind is always uncontrolled, his senses are unmanageable, like the vicious horses of a driver.

            If you haven't already, I think you would enjoy the gist of the Upanishads.

            Accepting Jesus is easy.  Living like Jesus seems to be quite difficult.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:55:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree on the point that (11+ / 0-)

          the doctrines need to change or the Church will surely die out.  But I like the repositioning of emphasis on the things parishioners and members have been quietly doing forever.  People don't need the hierarchy.  Only the authoritarians want it. The Church is the members and the majority certainly understand the leaders have been not only lax but criminal and evil.  I think Francis understands that and wishes to grow the Church to its full potential.  He may become Sisyphus but at least he is trying. The evil doers may get set down and be phased out.  Maybe then doctrine can change.  One can always hope.
               The priests and bishops must understand that they have created the situation of declining attendance and membership.  They preach that a good Christian should vote for the conservatives while conservatism has brought us to a situation where people must work two or three jobs to live. There is no time to attend mass and no money to give to support a Church that does nothing for them.   They like to blame lifestyle and selfish acquisition but it is more simple than that.  Church has become a waste of time and income because it suits no needs and demands much from those who have little.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:26:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  More like they escaped a cult (5+ / 0-)

          I was in the Catholic church when I was young. In those days they were just mean. I still remember those whippings by the Nuns.

          There is nothing bad enough that could happen to this evil fucking church.

          ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

          by tommy2tone on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:01:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Reminds me of a bit in "The Pilgrim's Progress." (5+ / 0-)

          The pilgrim, Christian, emerging from The Valley of the Shadow of Death, encounters 'blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men." Wondering what happened to them, he notices an Old Man sitting in the mouth of a cave

          where two giants, POPE and PAGAN, dwelt in old time; by whose power and tyranny the men whose bones, blood, and ashes, &c., lay there, were cruelly put to death.
          Christian, however, is able to pass by "without much danger." It turns out
          that PAGAN has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.
          POPE was too enfeebled to do more than call to him this cheery greeting:
          You will never mend till more of you be burned.
          (sections 167-8)

          Such a heartwarming tale!

          The book was published in 1678. As we now know, the prideful confidence of protestants of the day in the Church's dotage and harmlessness where, like rumors of Mark Twain's death, greatly exaggerated.

          They also underestimated the Church's capacity for self-renewal through the dynamic the diarist describes so well here.

          The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

          by psnyder on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:18:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          congenitalefty

          in the Catholic Church, our beliefs are pretty well summed up with the Nicene Creed. Not a peep about gays, or abortion.
          And the first question in the old Baltimore Catechism, the one that young Catholics learned from 1897 to the time of the Vatican II, is who made you? God made me. And question #2 is "Why did God make you?" God made me to show forth His goodness and share with Him everlasting happiness in heaven.
          The rest of it was how to be obtain heaven, Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, the 7 precepts of the Church, etc
          Not a peep about gays or abortion or any other pelvic issue near and dear to the Right Wing.
          So good for Pope Francis in starting a dialogue with disenchanted Catholics and other believers and even non believers.

          What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

          by cagernant on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:19:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  When our Constitution says that women aren't (6+ / 0-)

        real citizens with a right to vote, or that black men are not men, we change the Constitution.

        I don't care if an organization that teaches that my brothers in law are sinners doomed to hell fire finds it expedient to tone down that part of their message and focus on canned food drives.

        They're still hate mongers unless they change their actual positions.

        "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:29:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not as cynical (24+ / 0-)

      As long as the Dolan and his band of grouchy old bishops are not continually obsessing about sex that they are told they cannot have, they will remember that Jesus taught a lot of stuff that the GOP thinks is kryptonite (they already think they are Superman). The more Catholics talk about things that show that the GOP hates what Jesus taught, the less the GOP will be able to get Catholic parishioners to vote for their agenda of greed and hate.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:45:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perfume on rotting fish is still rotten fish.. n/t (11+ / 0-)

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

      by unclebucky on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:07:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He has changed Dolan's rhetoric and that ain't (24+ / 0-)

      nothing.  As a Single Gay White Male, the rhetoric means a lot.  Maybe he is just putting a smiley face on Church policy, but then again, maybe not, maybe more is in the works.

      I am a lapsed RC with a minor in theology from a Jesuit university.  The most significant thing about all this is that he did NOT go through the normal channels, the Curia, which would surely have gutted his intent.  He is clearly giving them (the Curia) a message and this is the most important part of the message:  Get along with me, give me a free hand, or I will go direct to the public without you and you are/ will be completely irrelevant.  This is very powerful stuff if you understand how the Church works.

      What to look for:  Church policy can change easily enough either through reassessment or through the Magisterium, and for these issues he will need both.  So in the years ahead look for the appointment of a Papal commission to re-investigate contraception.  The last commission rec'd allowing it but the then  Pope contradicted his own commission.  Not this time.  If there is new information or a new "understanding/insight" then that will be the basis for doctrinal change.  Same  for Homosexuality and marriage.  same for the role of women in the Church.  However, I don't see any change coming on abortion.  

      It would not even surprise me if this Pope launched a new Council to reinforce the Vatican II.  His understanding that Church credibility in on the line due to these small minded issues is the CORRECT one and his saying it means he gets it and that is the directional signal.  So, in the next five years (the Church moves glacially) look for commissions, commissions, commissions.

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:50:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we had better hope Pope Francis lives (8+ / 0-)

        at least another 10 years.

        I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

        by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:01:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd love to see an ecumenical council that was (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, LSophia, kyril

        truly ecumenical, with bishops present from the eastern churches and Anglican provinces. Maybe voice without vote?



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They'd have to let (6+ / 0-)

          Bishop Katharine in, as well as Bishop Elizabeth Eaton who will be heading the ELCA.  Do you think they'd be able to stand it?

          I hope, if Pope Francis does decide to take a more active interest in the role of women, he actually ASKS some women their opinion and gets women on his task force or whatever.  We've had millennia of the churches telling us who we should be or what we should want.  It would be nice if we were asked what WE wanted or WE thought.

          •  Yes, well, there is that ::rubs hands; evil grin:: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbsoul, kyril, LSophia

            He washed the feet of a young woman - maybe he can shake the hand of a grown one?



            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:31:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Look for the most prominent women in the orders to (0+ / 0-)

            be given higher profile assignments.  This may be his way of rolling out a new point of view.  The orders, of both sisters, priests and brothers seem to be just as brainy and educated as any curia cleric, often more so, and a lot closer to the design of Jesus in their daily lives.

            GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

            by SGWM on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:01:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's not contraception (0+ / 0-)

        It's the type of contraception.

        The church has always been ok with avoiding pregnancy. They just weren't ok with methods that they considered 'abortion' - methods that interfered with the implantation of a fertilized egg.

        So if the pill or some types of it are shown as blocking fertilization, and not implantation, I suspect the church would be ok with that.

        I think that might be the method of some of the hormonal means, but I'm not sure.

        •  You're mostly wrong. The pill prevents (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, sidnora, Kimbeaux

          ovulation.  The Church is not ok with it.

          And condoms are "Onanism". So, yay HIV.

          "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:34:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Umm, no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Kimbeaux

          the only church-sanctioned method of avoiding pregnancy is the "rhythm method". IOW, avoiding intercourse.

          If the prevention of implantation were their standard, all barrier methods - condoms, diaphragms, and IUDs - would be acceptable. They're not. There's a reason 98% of American Catholics ignore their church's teaching on contraception.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:24:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is a great comment (0+ / 0-)

        I don't want to let this go by without responding to this. Thoughtful and important. Thank you.

    •  Huh (13+ / 0-)

      I would say that your response rests on the idea that there is no good, nothing good, in the RCC. Nothing worth saving, nothing that can be pointed to as a redeeming feature.

      If the RCC is not pure evil, however, than trying to turn the energies of its adherents from the negative activities to the positive activities is worthwhile.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:58:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)

      So far, we are still getting all style and no substance from Francis. However, those who insist on believing for no good reason that wonderful things will happen are not likely to change their minds based on mere reality.

      The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

      by Old Sailor on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:53:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are a few simple tests..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Liberal in PA, Kimbeaux

      ....is the church still funding anti-gay hate groups like NOM?   Are they still inclined to file amicus briefs in support of things like DOMA and Prop h8, or in opposition to insurance coverage for contraception?    Are they now calling the cops when they suspect a pedophile priest or do they still just call a bishop to cover it up?

      Francis' rhetoric is good, but his actions to date seem no different from when he vehemently opposed marriage equality in Argentina.

  •  Great article for CNN there Lollardfish (26+ / 0-)

    and a perfect counterargument to Donohue's Don't worry he still hates the things we hate article.

    So he is working within the rules that are already in place but have been widely ignored by the hierarchy for decades or even centuries? Change the easy stuff first that are already part of your stated positions, sounds like a good plan to me.

  •  I doubt very much the church (14+ / 0-)

    is going to change. I tried to say as much in an earlier diary and was shoiuted down. I was raised catholic, and all i'm hearing is PR. Nothing will improve. Thanks for the diary.

    "Truth catches up with you in here. It's the truth that's gonna make you hurt." - Piper Chapman

    by blueoregon on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:43:13 AM PDT

    •  The Church does change -- under pressure (17+ / 0-)

      It is not the all-powerful oppressor it was a thousand years ago and it will either become more tolerant and just in the future or it will become irrelevant.

      In many countries, a large portion of their members are members for the significant occasions in life: marriage, birth, and death. They don't care about the priests or the doctrine and don't much believe in God. The more the RCC is considered offensive, the more likely those people are to fall away, not bothering with the church for anything.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:57:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you take the long long view (23+ / 0-)

      The church can change. It has changed. It's just a slow process and a frustrating one for reformers.

      That doesn't mean it WILL change. but it can.

    •  but if the Nuns are now free to spend time on (15+ / 0-)

      helping people instead of the Bishops wish that they yell at people for their reproductive choices, then there is a change

    •  The church changed 30 years ago. (8+ / 0-)

      That means it is capable of changs.

      Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

      by Mike S on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:14:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why can't it change? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, journeyman, hayden, kyril, old possum

      Has it not changed before?

      The RCC likes to portray itself as the direct inheritor of Peter, of course, but anyone with eyes to see know that it's not the same church it was 50 years ago, or 500 years ago.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, since the character "Peter" was fictional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimbeaux

        as was "Jesus Christ", the whole kit and kaboodle sits on cotton candy.  Did you know that the Vatican was built on the site of a large shrine to Mithra, which the church looted and razed while it was plundering pagan culture for its own purposes?   And that was just the first 800 years.

        •  All scholars (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          who study the origins of Christianity agree that Jesus was indeed a real person, whatever your theological views of him might be.
          Take the atheist, Bart Ehrman, as a guide.

          •  Bart's last book was in good part (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kimbeaux

            disassembled by Richard Carrier.

            •  Bart Ehrman (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              citizenx

              is a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill with a Phd from Princeton Theological Seminary.  And as noted before, a committed atheist.  Using standard methods of historical scholarship, he affirms that Jesus did exist.

              Richard Carrier is a blogger.  Full stop.

              Choosing to believe Richard Carrier's denial of the existence of Jesus against the firm consensus of scholars is NO DIFFERENT from global warming deniers choosing to believe a few fringe kooks because it fits their agenda.

          •  Define your "Jesus". (0+ / 0-)

            I can't imagine any scholar will argue that no one named Jesus existed around 30 CE.

            On the other hand, no scholar has successfully defended the Jesus as described in the NT, and no scholar publishes to professional, peer-reviewed journals attempting to do so.  Miracles are just not defensible.

            So, are you referring to the guy born no later than 4 BCE, or the one born no earlier than 6 CE?

            Are you referring to a Jesus who was crucified?  Or to an itinerant preacher who commanded no notice whatsoever from the Romans?

            Are you referring to a Jesus whose parents lived in Nazareth?

            To one whose parents had to travel to another city for a census?

            To an amalgamation of itinerant preachers that wandered around 35 CE?

            These things matter if you are trying to argue that "Jesus was a real person."

            Socialist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            by Kimbeaux on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:07:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A few basic facts about Jesus (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LSophia

              that are very reliable have been settled upon by scholars, such as the Jesus Seminar:

              1.  He was a Jew, of humble social background

              2.  He was born sometime roughly around 6 BC

              3.  He grew up mainly in Nazareth

              4.  He became involved in John the Baptist's religious movement, and soon afterward began a public ministry of his own, which attracted a sizable group of followers

              5.  After a public ministry of about 1-3 years, he traveled to Jerusalem during the Passover holiday

              6.  In Jerusalem, he did or said something to attract the negative attention of the Roman authorities

              7.  He was crucified.

              This is about all that one can know for sure.  The miracles and the resurrection are not historically supportable at all, but a matter of religious belief.  Unlike the miracles and the resurrection, the seven  propositions about Jesus that I listed are:

              1.  attested by multiple sources -- in some cases, non-Christian sources such as Josephus

              2.  attested by early sources

              3.  entirely historically plausible

              4.  discordant with contemporary Jewish ideas about the Messiah, and hence useless to the early Christian agenda of converting Jews to the notion that Jesus was the Messiah.  

              This last point is probably the one most commonly misunderstood and overlooked by Jesus-deniers.  Jewish mythology and prophesy asserted that the Messiah would be a powerful, conquering savior, who would overthrow foreign rule and re-establish David's kingdom in Judea.  It never claimed that the Messiah would suffer, die, or resurrect.  All of these latter notions were retroactively inserted into Christian theology in order to conform to what people said at the time about Jesus' life and death -- not the other way around.

              Arguing that Christ was not the son of God is a perfectly valid religious point of view.  But taking that religious viewpoint and going beyond it to argue, against the evidence and scholarly consensus, that there was no such person as Jesus at all is equivalent to denying that the government should take action to protect the environment, and on that basis trying to deny that global warming exists.

              •  Not so much. (0+ / 0-)
                1.  attested by multiple sources -- in some cases, non-Christian sources such as Josephus
                The Testimonium Flavianum is widely considered by scholars to be a partial or entire forgery (interpolation) by christian scribes, most likely the 3rd-4th century  Eusebius.  

                Hagiographies such as the gospels are not credible historical accounts.  Moreover, they are not contemporary accounts, written at the earliest after 70 CE. Matthew, Mark and Luke are only one source, extensively copied from each other, or from another source.  And John clearly indicates it is based on a 'vision'.

                Similarly, there is no credible archeological support that a town of Nazareth existed in the first century.

                Socialist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                by Kimbeaux on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 07:11:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Use Occam's Razor (0+ / 0-)

                  1.  The Testimonium Flavianum passage in Josephus describing Jesus' life and death is generally agreed on by scholars to be authentic in its identification of Jesus as a Jewish leader who was crucified by Pilate.  Only the part about miracles and resurrection was most likely an interpolation by Eusebius or some other Christian.

                  All of this is aside from the other passages of Josephus referring to "James, the brother of Jesus" and John the Baptist.

                  2.  Mark was the earliest Gospel, compiled somewhere around 70 CE.  Matthew and Luke, slightly later, drew on Mark as well as on other oral traditions and on a now-lost second document called by scholars the "Q document."  John was still later, about 90-100 CE.  Around the same time as John was the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, not included in the present-day canon.

                  By comparison among these documents, one can find which assertions these various sources all hold in common, and what was attested earliest.  And lo and behold, those assertions found to be most dependable are all normal, non-supernatural, non-miraculous facts, like "He was crucified."  When it comes to questions like the miracles and when and how he was resurrected, the sources are all over the map.  Surprise surprise, these stories can not be called historically credible.

                  This raises an important question for Jesus-deniers -- why do you think it is that the plausible, non-supernatural assertions about Jesus are also the most strongly attested in our sources, whereas the miraculous and theological assertions are most weakly attested?  That should NOT be the case if, as Jesus deniers assert, every single assertion about Jesus is fantasy because no such person existed.

                  3.  The earliest known references to Nazareth are Christian, but there are also ancient non-Christian references to it.  Furthermore, the town exists today, and it did not just materialize out of nowhere.

                  Your denial of the existence of Nazareth raises a very important point.  If you want to deny the existence of something attested in written sources, you have to ask: why would the authors make this up?  You can't just deny it because you don't want it to be true.  In the case of Jesus' healing miracles, one can easily say that Jesus' followers invented these tales or exaggerated them in order to promote their supposed Messiah.  By why would the Gospel-writers make up an ordinary, unremarkable town in Galilee called Nazareth, just in order to place their Messiah there -- a town that soon thereafter happened to spring into existence?  What purpose did that serve?  BY OCCAM'S RAZOR, it is much simpler and more credible to conclude that there was such a place.

                  The same is true of Jesus.  Why would Christians invent such an unremarkable and failed individual, and then try to cast him as the Messiah?  And if they did, why would the basic outline of his life be completely plausible and consistently attested?  Trying to deny his existence is much like trying to deny the existence of, for example, William Shakespeare -- we have no direct physical evidence of him, so maybe he didn't exist, and is just an invented amalgam of various authors, right?  After all, surely someone stood to gain something from making him up, right?

                  Again, we must use Occam's Razor.  Trying to deny everything contained in documents about Jesus just because you reject and dislike Christianity is agenda-driven distortion.

                  •  Who were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, (0+ / 0-)

                    and why did they all report different passion scenes? And how did they know what Jesus said in his prayer in Gethesemene when everyone was asleep?  And who wrote down Pilates's words?

                    Why would people make this stuff up? Why would people make up any religious story? The answers are numerous and so apparently are the apologetics for them. However, just looking at the history of Christianity and its accumulation of wealth and political power might answer some of that! The major sources that Christians point to to bolster their conviction that this man existed with that particular biography had literally been debunked several times. And yet the misinformation marches on.

                    Old possum, sorry but your sense of reason is asleep. I would challenge you to get a copy of the upcoming book, On the Historicity of Jesus Christ by Richard Carrier. I'm sure you will find the issue of sources addressed there quite thoroughly.

              •  These are not "facts". (0+ / 0-)

                And there is no "evidence" about his 1-3 years ministry or his "crucifixion" by the Roman government.  There are lots of crucifixion records, but not this one. How did that happen.  There is no Roman record of the "trial" of Jesus or his interaction with roman officials, but there are records of other trials and interactions of the roman government at that time. Why not Jesus?

                There were over 40 writers both religious and historical living at that particular 30 year period and living and writing in that area of the world. Not ONE recorded Jesus.  Josephus was not even born until after Jesus was supposedly crucified.

                You might want to do some more homework on these claims.

                •  Jesus was obscure. (0+ / 0-)

                  He was a fairly minor preacher who was executed as soon as he presented even a slight problem to the Roman administration.  He was one of thousands of seditious criminals of all sorts who were crucified.  There would have been no reason at the time to pay any more attention to him than to the obscure "bandits" or "thieves" who, according to the Gospels, were crucified alongside Jesus.  And there would have been no more need to make a written record of Jesus' trial than those of the bandits.  Nothing in early Christian or non-Christian writings contradicts this.

                  The Gospel narratives are not reliable in their details at all.  They were all compiled by Greek Christians decades after Jesus' death.  All scholars of the historical Jesus know this.  As I said earlier,

                  The miracles and the resurrection are not historically supportable at all, but a matter of religious belief.
                  This is obvious.
                  However, the Gospel accounts are also the earliest documents we have about this person called Jesus, and historical research and analysis shows that some of the assertions in them are historically reliable.  To deny this is to deny historical research and analysis itself.

                  Your other comment,

                  Why would people make this stuff up? Why would people make up any religious story?
                  is merely a dodge.  The question at hand is not "why would one make up any religious stories at all," but rather, "why would one make up important aspects of Jesus' life that blatantly contradict core beliefs about the Messiah?"  You have not addressed that question.

                  To put this another way -- if you deny the existence of Jesus, then do you deny the existence of the Buddha?  Of Confucius?

                  •  There is no hard evidence for Buddha (0+ / 0-)

                    but I'd have to look up Confucius.

                    The "biography" of Jesus was a total fabrication based upon some OT writings and biographies of numerous pagan savior figures.  Most of the very early Xtian sects did not believe in a Christ that walked this earth in human form. It was the early RCC that decided to claim that Jesus was real in order to distinguish him from the pagan gods like Mithra.  

                    OF course some of the historical descriptions in the gospels were accurate, but the overlay of the Jesus stories were not. Why do you think all four gospels have differing reports of the passion story and the events that took place after Jesus was dead? Your are hanging your evidence hat on the wrong things.

                    •  Denying history (0+ / 0-)
                      There is no hard evidence for Buddha.
                      Therefore, by your own reasoning, Buddha must not have existed.  Your logical argument thus far is:
                      This person is only attested in religious sources, which are not reliable. --> This person is non-existent.
                      Likewise, by your reasoning, we would have to conclude that the overwhelming majority of people who ever lived in the Roman empire -- Jews, Berbers, Celts, etc., etc., overwhelmingly obscure, illiterate peasants -- all did not exist.  There is no record of them.  They are attested in no documents, religious or otherwise.  So therefore they didn't exist.  They are all fictitious figments of our imagination.
                      Most of the very early Xtian sects did not believe in a Christ that walked this earth in human form.
                      Which "very early Xtian sects" are you talking about?  Do you mean ones that existed before the Gospel of Mark was compiled?  If so please DO TELL what you know about them, since historians and archeologists know nothing at all of them.  Whoever those early Christians were, they were clearly obscure and largely illiterate.  They left behind no trace except the epistles of Paul and James, which say almost nothing one way or another about Jesus.

                      If, on the other hand, you are talking about the Gnostics, whose writings were discovered at Nag Hammadi--
                      a.  They were a significant part of the Christian movement, but certainly not "most."
                      b.  Their ideas did not take shape till the second century CE, at least a generation after the Gospel of Mark.

                      Why do you think all four gospels have differing reports of the passion story and the events that took place after Jesus was dead?
                      Here, you are continuing to ignore the basic point I have explained more than once before, namely:  some assertions in a document may be true and others false.  Historical and textual analysis can help to discern which is which.  You, on the other hand, seem to continue to insist that the truth of a document must all stand or fall as a single unit (ironically, the exact same attitude as a religious fundamentalist).  If this were the case, ALL historical research would be impossible, since one can find reason to doubt some of the assertions in any historical document. For example:  If one wanted to know about Sacco and Vanzetti, the records of their trials would be a good source.  The trial records are sure to contain a good deal of bias and falsehoods, but by looking for consistency, plausibility, and the various sources of attestations, one can judge what is most likely to be true.

                      To put this another way, suppose we went up to a child on the street today and asked her, "what do you know about the life of George Washington?" two things you might very likely hear are:
                      1.  "He chopped down a cherry tree."
                      2.  "He had a wife named Martha."
                      These propositions, as I'm sure you know, are:
                      1.  False
                      2.  True
                      If you knew nothing about George Washington, it would take some work to discern which of these propositions was true and which false--and one reason to question the veracity of assertion #1 is that it teaches a neat little moral lesson, which makes it likely to be a fable or parable rather than literal fact.  The same cannot be said of proposition #2, which gives it, at least for the moment, a slightly better claim to veracity.  We are now doing historical analysis.

                      Your conclusion, on the other hand, would be: "Cherry tree story is wrong.  Therefore THERE IS NO GEORGE WASHINGTON."

                      We are in this type of situation with regard to Jesus.  All of the earliest information we have about him comes from his followers, who had a great deal of bias and motivation to tell tall tales.  Nonetheless, this does not mean that there was no Jesus.  Rather, there is a great deal of information in the Gospels that the early Christians would have had no conceivable reason to invent and then consistently repeat.  The simplest, most reasonable explanation, in historians' view, is that some of that information did come from a real person's life.

                      Since you disagree, please tell me:  why, in your view, would the early Christians consistently make up a Messiah who:

                      1.  Was an ordinary, obscure Jew
                      2.  Came from Nazareth, an ordinary, unremarkable town
                      3.  Was baptized by John the Baptist
                      4.  Achieved NO significant political or military victories
                      5.  Was betrayed by his own followers
                      6.  Died by crucifixion

                      Please, please PLEASE, present to me your plausible scenario for how Christians would cook up a Messiah that fits these parameters (the ones I've listed), and then go and repeat these same claims about him consistently enough that they would be multiply attested.  I want to know how and why you think that could have happened, and how and why you consider that scenario more plausible than the notion that a prototype Jesus did exist.

                      •  I would advise you at this point (0+ / 0-)

                        to copy and paste these questions and remarks and submit them to to Richard Carrier on his blogsite. As for "Buddha", here is but a small exerpt from just one source ....enjoy.....

                        "The Buddhists of different parts of the East differ widely in their chronology. The Northern Division of the faith place the birth of Buddha in 1030 B.C., the Southern fix his death in 543 B.C., a discrepancy of five centuries. Other accounts reveal disagreements of still further magnitude. Upon this absence of even an approach to chronological accuracy, Professor Wilson has broached the idea that probably the existence of Buddha is a myth. 'There are various considerations which throw suspicion upon the narrative and render it very problematical whether any such person as Sakiya Sinha, or Sakiya Muni, or Sramana Gautama ever actually existed.'"

                        Rev. Simpson, Moor's Hindu Pantheon

                      •  One more point.... (0+ / 0-)

                        I was not talking about the gnostics. I was talking about the Christ cults that formed out of both Jewish and pagan religions. The idea of a crucified and resurrected savior was a large part of cultural philosophies way before the alleged lifetime of "Jesus".  These ideas were infused into the allegorical writings of the gospel authors.  A good reading on this is The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Dogerty.   Again... enjoy!

                        •  show me the crucifix (0+ / 0-)
                          Christ cults that formed out of both Jewish and pagan religions.
                          Again, I am aware of no such cults, and neither, I think, are any historians.  There were cults, all over the eastern Roman world, to dying-and-resurrecting gods, but none to a crucified person named Jesus who then rose from the dead--except for early Christianity, which we only know of from Paul's epistle and from the Gospels.  My understanding, from Richard Carrier's review of Doherty's book, is that these cults that worshiped a non-human Jesus who was crucified and resurrected, are purely hypothetical, posited by Doherty in order to fit with his preferred inrepretation of Paul's epistles.  Again, if you know more, please do share, scholars would love to hear!
                          •  The basic question we were debating (0+ / 0-)

                            was whether there was an actual person (maybe named Jesus or not) who was actually crucified in an specific event which sparked the formation of a new religious society.  Again, there is no credible evidence of this specific person in history that can be attached to the sects and cults that came out of the salvation narratives.    I have read so many articles and books on this, it would be hard for me to go through and find the specific answers you want to have.  I do have a manuscript of something I found online that shows some of the pagan gods being crucified on a cross shaped tree or symbol. So even that mode of torture is not original to the Christian ideas.  Tammuz is mentioned in the old testament and he was one of those dying/resurrecting gods, but I can't offhand remember the names of the ones put with the cross symbol.  The cross symbol actually represented the sun.

                            Doherty's book is fascinating and he comes to the conclusion that Paul Christianity was from one of those cults who believed that the Christ crucifixion/resurrection  happened on a different plane of existence and not on earth.  This explains why Paul never refers to Jesus's early biography or to any of his reported sayings.

                            Anyway, I am looking forward to Carrier's book.  He wrote a lengthy rebuttal to Bart Ehrman's latest book that claimed Jesus was historical.  And Carrier was a fan of Ehrmans before that.

            •  Well apparently they don't matter (0+ / 0-)

              to old possum... see below.

        •  Oh, boy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          old possum

          You just baldly asserted you can prove a negative, which is a logical impossibility, and went on from there.

          It's moments like this when the assertion that atheism is logical seems dubious.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:57:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's exceedingly conservative (9+ / 0-)

      For the most part, they're still acting like it's 1400, except they now sell indulgences via Twitter.

      I don't think they can change fast enough to save themselves, actually.  News now travels at near-light speed.  The church can barely crawl with all the baggage they're carrying.

      Changes that occur will be very slow, incremental, subject to being rescinded before returning at long last, and insufficient to convince anybody who has even half a doubt that they're all that interested in the things they say they're interested in.

      Consider the sex scandals.  It's been decades with very little change, and that's a clear cut violation of their vows and professed reason to exist.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:19:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have seen several comments lately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk

      of this basic form:

      [Person who believes the Church can never do anything good and can never change]
      +
      [Pope saying good, new, and surprising things]
      =
      [DENY! DENY!  HEAD EXPLODE!!!!!]

  •  Dogma doesn't change - his ex cathedra privilege. (6+ / 0-)

    But if dogma is gospel doctrine is politics, no?  Not likely to change but could, maybe, a little...Politics is forever wrenched by the tension between service and power.

    The tonal change of a nudger vs. a rottweiler could organically manifest as a doctrinal change, not by design as much as seepage, by bringing the enrobed closer to the trenches, as you say, to the people, to the gospel, their roots.

    •  Nudger v. Rottweiler (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, Wee Mama

      We live such short lives that it's no wonder we're impatient when such massive change is needed.  It's horribly frustrating to see such change move so slowly.  Years ago, I had a boss who would occasionally surprise me with a perceptive comment.  The one that stuck in my mind was,

      "Evolution, not revolution."

      It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

      by Eyesbright on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:19:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It would take a full Encyclical, I think, to get (11+ / 0-)

    the bishops to ACTIVELY lobby as much for social justice and labor as they do on the "culture war" side.

    It would take direct orders and not just a homily or an example.

    I mean, if Francis actually made a strong public admonition against those that only speak of and lobby on the gay/abortion debate then that might make more news.  Because you'd see people like Dolan desperately spinning like Donahue is spinning.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:54:39 AM PDT

  •  Donohue is a desperate liar. (21+ / 0-)

    Does he really think people are stupid enough to believe that this all started with Obama? Does he think we will forget all of the times that Democrats were told they should not accept communion?

    The church turned away from social justice in the 80's and has gotten more militant since then. The church I grew up with isn't even remotely like the church of today.  I went to services in the early-mid 70's at the Air Force Academy and even there it was all about social justice. When the church decided to join ranks with "The Moral Majority" I decided to leave the ranks. When they decided that Leviticus was more important than Jesus I knew I made the right choice.

    Now I am agnostic leaning atheist. To be honest I actually thank the church for that.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:55:46 AM PDT

  •  Francis is about Priorities. Jesus spent no time (25+ / 0-)

    talking about sexual issues except to stop stoning adulteresses, he talked about loving and caring for one another.

  •  Not since John XXIII (35+ / 0-)

    have I seen an ounce of humility in the papacy.  Tone means a tremendous amount to many Catholics who feel alienated from a church in which they were raised and may have remained until driven out by the overt hatefulness and systemic evil.

    I was a member of a progressive religious order -- co-founded by a Jesuit in the 1600s.  At that time, most religious women's orders were cloistered.  The women founders of my community saw the need to be in the community as educators and healers.  Single women in France could not go out unescorted unless they were widows -- hence the style of our habit -- it looked like widow's garb.

    Even though our community was under the thumb of the Vatican, many of the dictates were ignored.  What I heard from this Pope, about whom I haven't been completely sold, is that he may be calling off the Inquisition of American progressive nuns.  

    Without turning dogma on its head, he returns to the basic tenets of the Sermon on the Mount.  And that sort of turns dogma, as it has been applied, on its head.

    Thanks for the diary.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:02:13 AM PDT

  •  Couple of questions for the dismissive (14+ / 0-)

    Do you invariably find yourselves having difficulty accepting yes for an answer?

    Does the phrase - Rome wasn't built in a day ring a bell?

    And finally - Geesh?

    •  Agreed, but ... (0+ / 0-)

      Even though I am quite hopeful about this pope, I also know that there is a long history of the papacy being used to oppress and a long history of uncleaned corruption in the Vatican.

      The reactionaries are hardly in retreat. Dolan seems quite satisfied that he can find a way to keep his obsessions front and center. We will have to see.

      It may be that Pope Francis has taken his name from Francis of Assisi, but he also took it from Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Society of Jesus, his religious order. The question will be which approach he uses to get the bishops to follow or how he would manage to integrate Franciscan and Jesuit methods.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:17:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Couple of questions for the credulous. (5+ / 0-)

      Do you always react so strongly to fair words and small deeds, or no deeds at all?

      Do you always praise people for what you imagine they might do? Would you climb to the top of a pyramid of "ifs" to praise the Republican Party, for instance?

      If a known criminal said he was kinda sorry and it was a pity that he'd ruined some lives, and he won't do it again, probably, and that was all he did, would you let him off scot free?

      In many parts of the Western world, organized religion is dying. What benefits do you expect from galvanizing the corpse of the Church Universal? Shouldn't we just bury the damned thing with a stake through its heart, and move on?

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:56:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be so hard on the dismissive skeptics. (0+ / 0-)

      I tend to form opinions based on evidence. I spent many years reading various sources on the inception of Christianity, its roots, church history etc. etc.

      Based on that evidence, I don't believe a single thing this new pope or any other representative of this institution says.  

      And I abhor the fact that this institution has a continued presence in the world and has even a smidge of power or influence.

  •  Hierarchy Unchanged (5+ / 0-)

    And here in the U.S., which is dominated by ultra right-wing bishops, that is indeed important.

    However, Francis is giving those few American Catholics under the age of 70 who remain in the pews room to change their personal interpretation of church doctrine a little bit.

    That is good.

    I don't know if this means that parish priests will harrassing their mostly elderly congregants about not having abortions and getting into gay relationships.

    But the rest of the American Catholic community might be inspired to look at this institution in a slightly more charitable light.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:07:34 AM PDT

  •  Why are liberals and conservatives so focused on (48+ / 0-)

    the Church's doctrine? This is the problem when you let intellectuals interfere with religion and vice versa. The Church will NEVER have the right dogma positions to ever satisfy an atheist. Its a religion for chrissake!

    Conservatives are so caught up in what the church stands for rather than who the church stands with.

    Francis is talking about the sorts of thing Christians, and even a few non-believers, should always stand for: MERCY. COMPASSION. LOVE.

    Rather than bitching about doctrine, seems to me more people should be happy he's spending time focusing on the universal values that SHOUD make both atheists and fundamentalists pleased: the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel for the poor, the sick, and the brokenhearted: love, mercy, and charity.

    •  Excellent comment. n/t (9+ / 0-)

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:13:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The RCC has made its bed with the GOP recently (7+ / 0-)

      As long as the bishops are obsessed with sex to the exclusion of concern for those in need, they will continue to be handmaidens of the Republicans.

      We'll know that the bishops are listening when they again start supporting Jesus' views on helping others.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:21:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude. When did you learn to preach? (9+ / 0-)

      Off to Top Comments.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:11:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like (6+ / 0-)
      The Church will NEVER have the right dogma positions to ever satisfy an atheist
      it will never have the right dogma positions to ever satisfy gays and women either . . .

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:13:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course not. (8+ / 0-)

        The question about the morality of homosexuality in Christianity is not in dispute. It is a sin. The question is, why should we give a shit? We shouldn't. We should leave those things up to that person and the Almighty. Jesus never told us to go around regulating other people's sexuality. What he said was 'Love one another' 'Judge not lest ye be judged' 'he who is without sin cast the first stone'

        I'm really not concerned with litigating theological questions and far more concerned with...you know...Jesus.

        •  Why should we give a shit? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Old Sailor, corvo, blueoasis

          Because if we cherry-pick assiduously enough, we can put a glossy shine on just about any doctrine. Communism sounds great, too, in theory. Practice, not so much (and ironically, it was some of the early Church thinkers who gave the best explanation of why it wouldn't work).

          Broaden your question a bit. Why should we give a shit about religion at all? In the end, things happen because human beings make them happen. Marriage equality, for instance, wasn't advanced by a minatory voice from Heaven denouncing its opponents. It made progress because people decided that it was more just than prejudice.

          Postulating any sort of divinity or divine force at all, or invoking the supposedly holy of the distant past, is an insult to the people who make things happen. Show me God's signature on a petition if you want to argue with that.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:09:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MRA NY, Wee Mama, Jackson L Haveck

            I think the contribution of those motivated by nothing more than their faith have contributed far more to humanity than those motivated by some intellectual construct contrived at university coffee house. There are those like yourself who care more about intellectualisms and declarations, and then there are the doers and toilers inspired by what they read in the bible and feel in their hearts.

            So while you would love to engage, and I'm sure its fun for some, in some sort of discussion about the necessity of religion or free will, or the existence of divinity, or any of the crap that seems to consume the minds of atheists to no end, good Christians are for more concerned with people's broken hearts, everyday struggles, and yearning to be part of something greater than themselves. That's what Jesus was interested in, not theology.

            •  Eh. They've "accomplished" the murder of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, blueoasis, Fishtroller01

              tens of millions in the name of the deities they worship. They've "accomplished" conning starving peasants out of nearly all they had in order to build ludicrous palaces.  

              They've "accomplished" multiple genocides of those who wouldn't fall for just the right set of fairy tales.

              Meanwhile, smallpox is gone, and it sure as fuck wasn't "faith" that did it.

              In the end, I don't really give a crap if people believe they have an imaginary friend in the sky - but if they believe that women are innately inferior, gays are "offending God", or that pedophiles who wear robes and collars ought to be hidden from civil authorities, I don't care what kind of bullshit they spout about "good works".

              Because, in the end, for institutional Religious bodies, charity is never anything but a means to recruit vulnerable and easily exploited people.

              "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

              by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:47:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Meh. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jackson L Haveck

                I think I can count on my hands the number of atheists I've ever seen do anything except bitch about the religious. Then again, bitching is the liberal pastime...so there's that.

                They're more consumed with religious doctrine than the folks in the pews.

                Of course, they're are some Christians who seem consumed with atheists for some reason. But they are a tiny few. Best to do what everyone else does: ignore them.

                •  Atheists don't wear uniforms (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, Fishtroller01

                  We don't wear badges, or rings, or anything of that sort to tell other folks that we're atheists. And if you see someone doing charitable work, it's usually, in most circumstances, considered at least a little bit rude to ask them about their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

                  So perhaps your anecdotal observations don't really tell the whole story, eh?

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:06:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You have not one iota of an idea (0+ / 0-)

                  of the roles that atheists play in the community, as members and as workers in charity.  Have you even bothered to look up atheist charities?  

                  What am I saying. Of course you haven't, because in your book, only religious people have morals-right?

                  I'll tell why many people become atheists... because they read books like the bible and realized that most people are more moral than the gods portrayed in the texts.

                  Ok- you can go back to your "ignoring them" mode now. But watch out at night. There are atheists everywhere!

              •  Nice to see what I just wrote above (0+ / 0-)

                isn't just my opinion.

        •  Not in my church (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, kyril

          Sexuality is viewed as "morally neutral" in many Episcopalian churches, as well as in many Methodist, ELCA, and Disciples of Christ churches.

          Our House of Bishops authorized liturgies for blessing of same-sex unions at our convention last year, and, in dioceses in which marriage equality is legal, Episcopalian churches - including mine - are performing same-sex weddings.

          I agree with you on the larger point that we should stop focusing on other peoples' sings, but wanted to mention that Christianity as a whole does not automatically condemn lesbian and gay sexuality.

        •  That has been re-thought, as you probably know. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LSophia

          In the Episcopal church re-examination led the church to new ways of thinking and all people, LGBTQ, are now fully included even up to the level of bishop. That was not done by discarding scripture but by re-examining it and applying it in new ways, just as the Council of Jerusalem did.

          It is not impossible that the Roman Catholic church will follow suit at some point - they did on using the vernacular.



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:38:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes, but as long as HMC relies on (0+ / 0-)

          Matthew 16:18-19 for its very reason for being, She has to pass judgment on what is and isn't sinful.

          It's not only Her job, it's Her identity.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:49:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think we should give a shit (0+ / 0-)

          because real people get hurt by Her behavior.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:50:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Amen. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

      by journeyman on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:09:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just ignore the kiddie rapists being hidden from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01

      civil authorities, and focus on the rhetoric.

      Seems legit.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:41:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every effort of charity by this church is tied (0+ / 0-)

      to its desire for domination and power. Sorry but that's been so bourne out by the evidence of history that its obvious.  Read about Mother Teresa, read about the treatment of the native americans, read about how the church uses its charity to dominate and control.

      Those values that are universal should not be tied to secondary motives.  With religion, they just are, and there's no getting around it.

  •  It's like watching a circus dog... (7+ / 0-)

    He's cute as he's performing, but then offstage he bites children.

    I don't trust him, in spite of his cuteness...

    Ugh. --UB.

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

    by unclebucky on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:14:10 AM PDT

    •  I'm not completely sold (8+ / 0-)

      on Francis -- nor will I ever be since he is human.  But to compare him to a circus dog is pathetically ignorant.

      I don't care if you don't trust him.  If you find someone returning to the foundations of the Sermon on the Mount "cute," then you have a very shallow comprehension of many, many issues related to a 2,000 plus year old developing tradition and the history of the papacy.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:36:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But he isn't "returning" (5+ / 0-)

        He's talking.

        Talk is cheap.

        And when a rich person with a couple of PR firms on contract talks, we normally don't take it on trust. Yes, it's nice. Yes, it may mean something. But whether it's a shiny to catch the eyes of the rubes or a genuine commitment will be shown by action, not words.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are "talking" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hayden, kyril, Wee Mama

          and so is everyone else on this site and the internet.  What have you done to change anything slightly or profoundly?

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:22:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cheap shot, much? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishtroller01

            I don't head a church. I'd be a good deal richer if I did.

            And ad hominem attacks are logically fallacious. It doesn't really matter if I am a minor deity in my own right, or the spawn of Satan. Or anything in between. I do not have to produce my moral credentials before asking a question or making a remark. The demand that I do displays a disturbing level of insecurity and defensiveness.

            And you might want to go easy on that "just talking." You're sawing off the branch on which you yourself are sitting.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:58:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you know what an ad hom is? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, citizenx

              No one has to head a church to make a slight or profound change -- see, e.g. thousands in the Civil Rights Movement.  See, e.g. millions in the environmental movement.  Rachel Carson didn't head a church or a science industry.

              " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

              by gchaucer2 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:09:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Pope Bergoglio hasn't changed much more than... (0+ / 0-)

            his apartment, car and place of origin (the Americas).

            Big Deal.

            Ugh. --UB.

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

            by unclebucky on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:45:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It seems to me that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Emmet, Wee Mama, Jackson L Haveck

        the people who condemn Christianity because of the Bible's statements on homosexuality and the RCC's views on women and abortion, are doing the same thing they criticize the bishops for.

        If the Bishops are wrong for focusing on abortion and gays to the exclusion of the poor and needy, then so must their critics be wrong for focusing on the bishops to the exclusion of everything else in the doctrine.

        And above all, we should not blame Christ for the Christians.

        •  Especially since "Christ" is a fable! (0+ / 0-)
        •  There never was a Christ. (0+ / 0-)

          That character was an invention of Paul, who had a hallucination of seeing a "Christ" and then developed a whole religion about that.

          Jesus? You can only blame Jesus for not having had his stuff published so that we could tell the difference between HIS WORDS and the words of his interpreters.

          Ugh. --UB.

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

          by unclebucky on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:47:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, I read that 2000 year old (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unclebucky

        developing tradition and the history of the papacy.  It ain't pretty!

      •  Returning to the Sermon on the Mount is... (0+ / 0-)

        correct as it ever has been.

        But I don't trust this guy to be speaking truthfully, and instead pandering to XYZ lobbys in the Vatican.

        Conservative Catholics can be as dangerous as a cornered circus dog.

        A 2,000 plus year old developing tradition???

        Your math is faulty.

        The "Catholic" tradition really only started with Constantine and didn't become institutionalized until Theodosius. That makes it only about a 1600 year tradition of intimidation, torture, book burning , and murder. Heckova tradition....

        As far as the Pope? He has always been the bishop of Rome, perhaps an archbishop or patriarch. However, the infallible leader of the RCC? Hah. only 140 years. And being called "The Pope"? Many regional or diocesanal leaders were and are called Popes: Pope of Alexandria, Pope of All Africa, Coptic Pope, etc.

        Plus, since 1870, the "Pope of Rome" has not had major secular power, having relinquished the Papal States, and since 1920, he has been only secular leader of the Vatican.

        The Pope is NO ONE special, and in this case, he bears watching, since he is trying to be someone special, drawing a distinction between Bennie and himself.

        Meh. Pope.

        Ugh. --UB.

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

        by unclebucky on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:43:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats on your essay getting published (7+ / 0-)

    Francis is a Jesuit. None of us should be shocked by his focus on social justice.

  •  Actually Doing Something (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, there's merit to the argument that not changing doctrine while talking reconcilliation demonstrates that the doctrine all along has been reconcilliation, with the past a perversion of the doctrine.

    But until something actually does change, it's just talk.

    When will Francis turn over to their local police the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of child rapists still out there right now getting away with child rape?

    When will Francis convert his Church's banks from money laundering for dictators and drug cartels into rehabilitating the poor instead of sucking their pennies on plates every Sunday?

    I've been HR'd out of sight by zealots the past day or so for asking these same questions in self-congratulatory diaries where questioning the dogmatic faith is verboten. How about someone inspired by this new pope answer these questions about reality?

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

    by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:47:00 AM PDT

    •  Do you have evidence that there are (7+ / 0-)

      hundreds RIGHT NOW getting away with child rape? Because if you don't, you may actually deserve an HR. Accusing someone of covering up rape is pretty serious stuff and as such demands documentation.

      So: hundreds of priests RIGHT NOW getting away with child rape. Your linkie?

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:14:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they're not being prosecuted for (5+ / 0-)

        past actions, I'd say they're still getting away with it.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:36:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would say (5+ / 0-)
          hundreds, perhaps thousands, of child rapists still out there right now getting away with child rape
          means the child rape is present tense.

          I would also say that it would require linkies for me to believe there are hundreds of child rapists known to the church but not to local police authorities. How, exactly, does one establish such a claim?

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:58:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  re your first paragraph: (6+ / 0-)

            Linguistic ambiguity is an unfortunate but real thing.

            re your second paragraph: Well, the only way to know for sure is to investigate every diocese.  Perhaps eventually we'll get that far.  So far the results haven't reflected much honor upon Holy Mother Church.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:05:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The RCC has admitted to at least 10's of thousands (5+ / 0-)

        of victims around the world over the last 75 years.  However, the hierarchy has categorically refused to hold it's own members responsible for anything.

        No member above the level of parish priest has EVER been disciplined by the Church for failure to report child rapists among their clergy to civil authorities. Priests, nuns, & the occasional bishop who have reported such activity have been severely disciplined.

        When those in the hierarchy are held criminally liable, things will begin to change. So far only 2 bishops in the US--Finn in Kansas City & a supervisory bishop in Philadelphia--have been convicted for failure to report &/or covering up rape & child porn activities by  active priests under their supervision.

        NONE of the statements of the USCCB over the years has addressed the responsibilities of those above the parish level when notified of an attack on a child.

        Until there are serious internal  consequences for business as usual, nothing will change.

        "Get in the way. Create chaos. Cause trouble. " "On global warming there is no more time to change the Overton Window. We have to break it."

        by sturunner on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:52:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tens of thousands of victims (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Timaeus, Jackson L Haveck

          but one perpetrator usually has multiple victims. And then the reason we're talking about this is because so many perps have faced trial - no thanks to the RCC, but they have faced trial.

          So, again, where is the evidence that there are hundreds of priests known to the church but not yet tried?

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Defending the Rapists (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishtroller01

            You are defending the child rapists and the Church that harbors them. Where is your evidence that  the child rapists we've heard about are the only ones, rather than just the tip of the iceberg? Yours is the extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence - or at least any evidence at all.

            You are protecting your church from the consequences of sponsoring child rape (by moving the rapists into new, unsuspecting parishes of children, where they raped again). You are doing your part to rape children.

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

            by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:29:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Baloney (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, Timaeus, Jackson L Haveck

              Suggesting that we need actual evidence before accusing unnamed priests by the hundreds of rape does not mean I support the ones who actually have done so.

              You're at "I have here in my hand a list of child rapists in the Catholic Church" stage.

              Again - the idea is that Pope Francis is protecting hundreds of child rapists. That means he (or his church) knows about them, but are protecting them. I'd like you to give me a reason to believe that other than the rapists that the church no longer protects.

              I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

              by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:42:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Evidence of Hundreds of Priests (0+ / 0-)

                You yourself cited SIX THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED accused priests. It's obvious that on the scale we know we're dealing with that plenty of rapist priests have not been accused, because children usually don't accuse their rapists, even without the extra inhibitions that protect priests.

                As for Francis, he hasn't handed over a single rapist priest to their local cops. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Are you telling me that there's not a single rapist priest known to the Church?

                Your line of agument here is mind-boggling.

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

                by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:47:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Are you claiming the Vatican has released (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, Fishtroller01

        all evidence it's got on pedophiles in the Church to the relevant civil authorities?

        If not, the Church is still protecting them.

        "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I claim no such thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Jackson L Haveck

          I ask for evidence that the Church is protecting hundreds of child rapists, which is a far different thing than "they have not turned over evidence". It's the hundreds of rapist known to the church but not to the authorities that seems to me to need support.

          There are indisputably rapists.
          Some have been prosecuted by authorities.
          In numerous cases, when one rapist was accused publicly, victims came forward both for the first rapist and for others in the same community.
          It is therefore entirely plausible that most rapists within the RCC, at least in the United States, have already been brought to the attention of the authorities by their victims - no thanks to the RCC.

          So now it is alleged that the RCC have hundreds of other priests who (1) no one has had courage to accuse to the police but (2) they nonetheless know about because victims complained to church authorities.
          The count of accused priests, per this link, is about 6,300.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:08:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thousands of Accused (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishtroller01, LeftOverAmerica

            There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the counted accused are the only ones who raped. Everything else we know about rape, about child rape, about powerful men, about the Church, tells us that it's just the tip of the iceberg.

            Against that, we have your ferverent belief that no more rapists are out there uncounted.

            You're not going to get into heaven on the strength of faith in a church that rapes children. You don't have to defend it anymore.

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

            by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:31:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Covering Up Rape (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01

        Every one of the hundreds of child rapists the Catholic Church has hidden the past 10, 20, 30 years, decades... they're all getting away with it. They're not punished. The Catholic Church has been covering it up actively that entire time.

        Child rapists are sick. They do not stop raping children just because they're being hidden. They cannot stop, and they do not stop.

        You're not actually denying all this, are you? Were you born yesterday? Or is your devotion to the Church so deep that you're even here trying to protect it from the truth of its instrumental role in perpetuating child rape? Because unless my eyes are fooling me, you are doing exactly that. You are helping child rapists get away with it, in the tiny way that you can help.

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

        by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:26:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  aardvark-Look up the black collar crime page that (0+ / 0-)

        is printed every month in Freethought magazine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.  The reports are right out of the police records.

    •  Um...not quite. (4+ / 0-)
      I've been HR'd out of sight by zealots the past day or so for asking these same questions in self-congratulatory diaries where questioning the dogmatic faith is verboten.
      Taking a quick look at your comment history, asking this question didn't get a single HR in this instance.  In fact, this reiteration of the question in another received 7 recs and no HRs.

      I saw one comment where you received HRs for a personal attack against a commentator (calling him a liar), and a subsequent comment in that same thread that received HRs when you attacked the commentator who HR'd you a hypocrite.

      I can't find a single HR on your comments in which you "asked these same questions."  In fact, the two 'personal attack' HRs mentioned above are seem to be the only HRs you're received in the last 8 days.

      Where, exactly, are you being "HR'd out of sight by zealots"?

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:35:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01

        One comment that got HR'ed was the one where I responded to this post:

         Now where have I seen this comment before? (8+ / 0-)

        It is so deja vu .... Ah, when Obama could not make anything right for you, yes?

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:48:16 PM PDT

        that just made up their "deja vu", since I never said any such thing, so I replied with:

         Liar (0+ / 4-)

        You just made that up. That's a sin.

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

        by DocGonzo on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

        Someone lies in a holier than thou defense of the pope, and I tell them they're a liar, and remind them that lying is a sin.

        To which one of the HR'ers replied:

        HR'd. Direct double insult. (1+ / 0-)

        by Timaeus on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:48:28 PM PDT

        To which I replied:

         Inquisition (0+ / 3-)

        No, they were both facts. You didn't HR their comment insulting me with their lie. You're a hypocrite. That's a sin too.

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

        by DocGonzo on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 03:24:32 PM PDT

        Which was indeed the truth. Which got HR'ed for it.

        The truth is no slander. When people are lying to disagree, and HR'ing people for insults but only from those with whom they disagree, the truth hurts.

        Are you surprised that people who want to celebrate the words of a pope who is now being celebrated for inaction would suppress the truth about their hypocrisies and lies? I'm not.

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

        by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:38:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Markos has specifically prohibited this kind of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jackson L Haveck, citizenx

          dragging in of shit from another diary.  You know that.

          We get it.  Your hatred of the Catholic Church knows no bounds, to the point of irrationality.

          This comment here should be HR'd as well.  It definitely violates the DBAD rule.

        •  But you weren't HR'd for asking the questions... (0+ / 0-)

          You wrote:

          I've been HR'd out of sight by zealots the past day or so for asking these same questions in self-congratulatory diaries where questioning the dogmatic faith is verboten.
          ...but the comments in which you asked the questions were NOT HR'd.

          In other words, your earlier statement was false.  Your comments asking "these same questions" are sitting there, free of HRs, for all to read.

          I see no "zealots" where your criticisms of the Catholic Church are concerned.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh But I Was (0+ / 0-)

            I asked questions, was replied to with lies, and replied to the lies outing them, and got HR'ed for the replies. The HR'ers only went over the edge when their lies didn't shut me down.

            It's really not much of a difference on their part.

            You don't see the zealotry in people defending the Church's coverup of rape by lying about my posts and HR'ing me when I complain about their lies? Then you don't recognize zealotry.

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

            by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:51:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Good catch. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jackson L Haveck

        He's still so sore about it that he's dragging this shit into other diaries, which is specifically prohibited.  And as you point out, wildly exaggerating.

        Gosh, on this site it really takes courage to attack the Catholics.

    •  Yeah Doc, I met those zealots too.... (0+ / 0-)

      pretty sad bunch.

  •  Damn...this is a great diary (8+ / 0-)

    just when I think that Daily Kos is full of bullies and robots, along comes something truly well-written and thoughtful.

  •  I'm still waiting for the Church Head to kick out (5+ / 0-)

    those that participated in, hid (and hide) or otherwise were involved in the pedophile crimes. That hasn't happened. When I see the RCC kick out these folks, including several local people near me, I'll think something's afoot.

    You know... "Show me what you do..."

    The clock is a tickin'.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:25:08 AM PDT

    •  Here's one example but apparently sacking a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMeansAreTheEnd

      suspected pedophile and launching an investigation was not well received by some.

      In his first month he called for rooting out and punishing pedophiles.

      He has changed Vatican law, the only law he can change:

      Under the reported changes, sexual violence and sexual acts with children, child prostitution and child pornography are cited in a broader definition of crimes against minors and punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
      In Argentina, he "ordered the church officials to report all allegations to the police rather than simply moving them to avoid damaging the church."

      I have a hunch that some people think that because the pope is at the top, in some sense he can just boss people around. It doesn't work like that.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:06:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, read this... then tell me that nothing (0+ / 0-)

        more can be done.

        HOW can any Pope even allow this man to take Communion let alone be on a Vatican panel?

        Sorry, not buying it.

        Read this.

        Finally, it's not because it's the RCC that I am concerned. I too am Catholic (as in Episcopal), just not the Roman flavor. And I guarantee you that I would leave the church in a heartbeat if the church allowed Bishops etc. who actively covered up such horrible crimes to continue to have a place in the church. Of this I am certain.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 05:55:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey! You got an avatar! Congrats. (0+ / 0-)

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:28:14 AM PDT

  •  I dig Pope Francis... (10+ / 0-)

    his sunny disposition and the focus he's brought to the causes Jesus actually advocated for--giving voice to the voiceless and a seat at the table for the marginalized.

    He's a thrilling figure, really.

    I'm gonna enjoy watching Bill Donohue & crewe feign disinterest while Pope Francis defangs them and unmasks their decidedly unchristian Christianity.
    .............
    .............

    •  Or... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      ...Pope Francis runs interference for the Donahues of the church, who are put to no greater inconvenience by his (literal) pontificating than the need to occasionally roll their eyes.

      At best, the jury's out. It's premature... to say the least... to behave as if we know the verdict.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:21:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm willing to relinquish all good feelings and dismiss the Church as ineffectual, dishonest or worse. But you'll forgive me, I hope, for latching on what appears to be a bit of good news?

        My opinion on the Church is not set in stone.

    •  Brilliant PR move worked, and now (0+ / 0-)

      they don't need to change a thing.

      As you just demonstrated.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol, thanks I think? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama

        I wasn't gonna start handing out bibles and converting  folks. My atheism renders me spectacularly ill-suited to the task. But I take a small measure of comfort in his kindly nature---as well as what appears to be a renewed focus on the poor.

        Sorry?

  •  Could you add a link to Pope's interview? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, kyril, Wee Mama

    I read the Guardian's two articles on it yesterday, but I've lost track of the link to the article (interview) that was published earlier this week.

    I'm reading you CNN article now.  Thanks for writing about this Pope's paradoxical radicalism.

    One think I noticed about the Guardian's quotes was the Pope's use of the terms 'the person' and their 'narrative'.  Could you address how his concepts of these terms informs his theology, particularly as it shapes his thinking about pastoral work and relations among people?

    Thanks for posting here, Lollardfish.  I appreciate your viewpoint, and I would likely miss (not find) your work if you didn't post it here.  Thanks again.

  •  Just like all that want real change (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, MRA NY, Wee Mama, Grubdnikk

    the new pope has to deal with the deep state within institutions themselves.  They are the biggest impediments to change there are.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:55:02 AM PDT

  •  The Pope should be in the Tea Party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cpqemp, Fishtroller01

    He has their values.

    He talks a good game, but he's rich, white, thinks women have no rights, and is the leader of a cult.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:58:28 AM PDT

    •  This is trolling (8+ / 0-)

      You are entitled to your opinion. But this is inflammatory trollish behavior. You're better than that. DailyKOS is better than that.

      •  It's blunt. (5+ / 0-)

        It might have been better phrased.

        But it's merely the inverse of the uncritical praise that you and others have offered.

        "He's rich" -- no argument is possible with that, though how he uses the funds to which he has access is another question. Being free of material needs affects one's worldview. This is so obvious that it is embarrassing to have to defend it.

        "He's white" -- this will affect his worldview in certain other ways, many of which can be harmfully limiting if not consciously guarded against. Again, pointing this out would go without comment if we were discussing a non-religious figure.

        "He thinks women have no rights" -- hyperbolic, but saying or implying the inverse is no closer to the truth. It would be hard to argue that the leader of an organization that forbids women to rise in its hierarchy thinks women have equal rights.

        "He's the leader of a cult" -- the meaning of "cult" is no more or less than "a religious organization of which I disapprove." It shows a negative bias. But if you object to this, are you willing to forswear the use of every term that shows a positive bias? Didn't think so.

        There were no personal attacks on you in the posting, and each of the statements made is defensible, though none can be assumed to be true. That you found it necessary to call the poster a "troll" says more about you than it does about him/her. If someone throws salt, you will not feel it, except that you are raw, as the old proverb goes.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:37:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's a hoax. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01

        If you have evidence, lets see it.

        What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

        by Cpqemp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:11:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Holy cow Lollardfish, if he had said the (0+ / 0-)

        same thing about Rush Limbaugh it wouldn't have been considered "inflammatory trollish behavior" at all.

        Do you think religion should get a pass on harsh criticism?  Isn't a political opinion on the same level as a religious opinion, or does it need to be protected at a different level freedom of speech-wise?

        •  You and he are free to write whatever you like (0+ / 0-)

          I am free to assess it however I like.

          Saying the Pope belongs in the Tea Party is inflammatory and trollish. It's also profoundly stupid, given that his perspective on poverty, social justice, and peace is to the LEFT of most of DailyKOS. That was true with Pope Benedict, for that matter.

          I call it like I see it.

          There's lots of room for detailed criticism of organized religion. If you read my essays, you'll see I engage in plenty of it. I just like to argue from a position of accuracy rather than hate.

          •  OK, you are accurate and others (0+ / 0-)

            are hateful.  Maybe you accept the positions of the church on poverty, social justice and peace as being totally benign and existing and operating with no strings attached, no hidden agendas and no hypocrisy behind them.  Others don't. Including myself.

    •  um, the tea partiers are rich? i guess you mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Lollardfish

      those  that support the astroturf, and not the much less resourceful grassroots.

      um 2, their values? cut food stamps, social security, unemployment, deny healthcare, deregulate wall street...

      and so on

      if you think that matches what the Pope has said, you have a very serious reading comprehension problem.

      "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

      by MRA NY on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Somehow I don't worshiping Ayn Rand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Grubdnikk

      is something that would appeal to him.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:43:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. (6+ / 0-)

    My only comment is to be baffled yet again that anybody listens to self-appointed Bill Donohue.  There really isn't a real national organization called The Catholic League.  It's just a one-man self-promotion.

  •  I'm of opinions mixed so far, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sagesource, kyril, Wee Mama

    for all the reasons you laid out here.  On the one hand, the focus on humility and service in the best Franciscan tradition is like a breath of fresh air in a long-stale room... To echo what gchaucer2 said above, no Pope has seemed this welcoming since John XXIII, and that's high praise.

    On the other hand, I wonder how much of this will be rhetorical, and how much the application of doctrine will be more along the lines of what Donahue expects.  We already have one excommunication under Francis due to doctrinal differences over homosexuality and women.  I don't expect Francis to shift gears from Catholic teaching, but stuff like this has me leaning more on the cautious side of "cautiously optimistic".

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:24:37 AM PDT

  •  This could be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Wee Mama, Grubdnikk

    the first steps in an attempt to instill real, actual reform within the Roman Catholic church, or it could just be window dressing, designed to re-engage those on the outskirts.  Time will tell.

    If Pope Francis is sincere about wanting reform, I do think that a gradual approach is the only one that might actually work.

    In general, religions and societies are not terribly amenable to radical reform, particularly when loss of power or privilege in involved.  Just ask Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Oscar Romero - or Jesus himself.

  •  What have they changed? (0+ / 0-)

    I see they may prioritize things a little differently. But sins are still sins.

    I hate to be the turd in the punch bowl (no I don't), but it's still a hoax. The Pope knows damn well that he doesn't have a phone line to god. He knows this. Admit that, then we're getting somewhere.

    Evidence is important.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:09:07 AM PDT

  •  When the Pope sells off the treasures of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01, jayden

    Vatican and give all of the proceeds to the poor and turns the Vatican itself into a hospice and homeless shelter....

    When all of the Bishops and Cardinals move into small apartments on the bad side of town and minister to the poor and helpless....

    When the Church is held responsible for pedophile priests. And A LOT of clergy goes to jail....

    Then, maybe, just maybe, I might recognize that the Catholic Church is really changing.

    Until then, what the Pope has to say is to me nothing but sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:38:55 AM PDT

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

    Francis is important.  You're the historian: has there been another pope in history except for perhaps John XXIII that has stood for humility, peace and justice?  All the way back to Gregory the papacy has been about power.

    The key event to look for is the fate of the American bishops.  I read above that Dolan has changed his tone, but George here in Chicago has been curiously silent.  I think the biggest push back will/has come from the Americans.  If we see them retiring steadily, then Francis will be making real change.

    He also knows that had priests been able to marry, there would have been no sexual abuse crisis.  D'ya think???

    BTW, yet another piece of excellent writing that pops up on DK.  Thank you.

    •  Thanks., (0+ / 0-)

      I'm in Chicago too and the Dolan/George contrast is indeed interesting.

      I do think it's important to view the church as global and not through the American lens only; that said, here I am working for a Chicago Catholic university, so I am as guilty as anyone of focusing on US Catholic discourse.

      I disagree, though, that the sex scandal is about marriage/celibacy. It implies that people rape because they can't have consensual sex, but that's not really what's going on there.

      On the other hand, I do think we'll see married priests. There's no core doctrine/dogma that makes it impossible and it would solve the numbers crisis.

      •  I agree with you on celibacy, but what is going (0+ / 0-)

        on?   Recently, in spite of 10's of thousands of pages of internal documents showing decades of cover-up by the entire hierarchy, the Church has doubled down & has joined with the insurance companies & the pro-pedophile lobby to crush every victim trying to get justice.

        Francis has studiously avoided doing or saying ANYTHING about the herd of elephants in his throne room.

        "Get in the way. Create chaos. Cause trouble. " "On global warming there is no more time to change the Overton Window. We have to break it."

        by sturunner on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:48:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Culture of Life in the Catholic Church (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmet, TheMeansAreTheEnd

    If you look at the pronouncements of the U.S. Catholic Bishops (http://www.usccb.org/...), you will see that there are there are numerous statements against the death penalty. By and large, the official Catholic positions against the arbitrary termination of any life are pretty consistent.
    Much of hostility to Catholic moral doctrine from pro-choice advocates comes from the vilification of women who choose abortions and medical providers who provide them. We certainly don't see similar condemnations of pro-death penalty Governors, legislators and prison officials. With Pope Francis, I suspect we will see more sorrow than judgement when pregnancies are terminated, with an acknowledgement that in a perfect world, it would not happen. But because the world is imperfect, i.e. "we are all sinners", we must all rely on the mercy of God. This is all speculation, but I think this is what Francis meant when he spoke about healing the wounds as being the first priority for the work of the church.

  •  He said outright that he wants change & reform (0+ / 0-)

    And he's going to listen to church members, not just the hierarchy:

    "many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment… Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen, the feeling of the people, especially the poor."
    And he wants a change in the role of women:
    “what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo. Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role … The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”
    And he is opposed to a rigid hierarchy:
    “I did not always do the necessary consultation. And this was not a good thing. My style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning had many faults… It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems… But now I hear some people tell me: ‘Do not consult too much, and decide by yourself.’ Instead, I believe that consultation is very important.”
    ...and also doctrinal rigidity:
    “Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists – they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.”
    And while tradition has its uses, the church must support new ways of doing things:
    “The young Catholic churches, as they grow, develop a synthesis of faith, culture and life, and so it is a synthesis different from the one developed by the ancient churches… They build the future, the young ones with their strength and the others with their wisdom. You always run some risks, of course. The younger churches are likely to feel self-sufficient; the ancient ones are likely to want to impose on the younger churches their cultural models. But we build the future together.”
    Without changing the "culture war" doctrines, he seems set to change their whole meaning. Sounds radical to me!
    •  But he's been completely silent on child rape by (0+ / 0-)

      clergy, which is the dagger pointed at the heart of the church.

      He can change that, but does he have the courage?

      "Get in the way. Create chaos. Cause trouble. " "On global warming there is no more time to change the Overton Window. We have to break it."

      by sturunner on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:02:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, not completely silent... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner

        ...as per links in an earlier comment.

        And I don't think the Pope personally hears such cases. In which case what he needs to do is to change internal processes at many levels.

        If he's for real, he's already working on that...

      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        On the plane back from Rio the pope explicitly talked about the abuse of minors as a crime, then used that to distinguish between pedophilia and the alleged consensual homosexual activity of Monsignor Ricca.

        He has not talked at length about the pedophilia issues to my knowledge, but completely silent is not accurate.

        •  Actually 2.0 (0+ / 0-)

          And then there's this, in which he said

          Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to "act decisively" to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished, the Vatican said on Friday.

          Francis, in a meeting with the Holy See's doctrinal chief, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, had declared that combating sexual abuse was important "for the Church and its credibility", a statement said.

          Again, you can say (I would say) he hasn't done enough. But it is inaccurate to say he's said "nothing."
      •  And then there's this (0+ / 0-)

        Here's the papacy cooperating in the Dominican sex abuse investigation. Really, I can keep doing this all day.

        •  When anyone in the hierarchy is held responsible (0+ / 0-)

          for covering up child rape & significantly sanctioned, let me know.

          This is not directed at you.  It is just that in the American RCC, the bishops have repeatedly "come clean" to the press but continue to block reasonable settlements only to end up further torturing survivors & paying much more in the end than if they had negotiated a lower settlement early in the process.

          It would be better for the Church's finances & the survivors lives if there  were smaller & earlier settlements.

          "Get in the way. Create chaos. Cause trouble. " "On global warming there is no more time to change the Overton Window. We have to break it."

          by sturunner on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:36:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            We can have that conversation based on evidence and fair discussion. We can talk about the hierarchy and specific cases and issues with settlements. I'm all for it. It's just that when someone says, "Pope Francis says nothing," they are either ignoring facts or ignorant of them.

            I want him to say more.

            I want him to say and do a lot of things.

            But that isn't going to stop me from being pleased at the steps forward.

    •  4/24/13 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsbuffalo

      Pope Francis:

      "We must never turn a blind eye. ... I do not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporate spirit to avoid damaging the image of the institution. That solution was proposed once in the United States: they proposed switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea; that way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes."

  •  I have had a cold heart towards the Church because (0+ / 0-)

    of Donahue and the catholic bishops, John Kerry, pro-life prayer vigils, etc etc.  Pope Francis has addressed almost every hateful action of the modern church.  

    it makes me want to go back.

  •  Yeah, they work hard to help the women (0+ / 0-)

    Who have been forced to give birth over and over and over again.

    You know, like brood mares that you take care of, but you insist on them giving birth no matter what.

    Sure, they are fed well, and get great health care, but at the end of the day they are still being used as child producers, and only as child producers. Their bodies are being broken down, injured, and they are more likely to die early deaths because they are expected to bear so many children.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:11:23 PM PDT

  •  reprimands (0+ / 0-)

    I was struck in the excerpt of an interview with the Pope that he said he was reprimanded -

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that."
    That's from the Washington Post.

    Considering that the other use of the word in reference to the Pope led me to news from April - Pope Francis Reaffirms Reprimand of U.S. Nuns - it's an interesting choice of words.

    What would signal the greatest change (speaking as a nonCatholic, nonXian) would be the ceasing of this reprimanding business. There are plenty of good people who are Catholic who would readily speak out in favor of equal rights and other good things, but the previous two popes kept smacking those good people down.

    •  The nuns I work with (0+ / 0-)

      They feel that Francis is going to go forward with the conversation about nuns in America, but that it will turn from inquisition to just that - conversation. We'll see.

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