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On June 5, Pope Francis met in private with Doug Coe, one of the most influential evangelicals in the US and head of the Family, tea-party ally Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne who served under Bush 43 amid unprecedented scandal.

“Their goal is a worldwide invisible organization….The core issue is capitalism and power.” The Family has connections with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries, the CIA, Pentagon and Department of Defense according to Jeff Sharlet, investigative journalist and author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Their “friends” include:
•    Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury for the torture of thousands.
•    Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, a minister also linked to the CIA and death squads
•    Omar al-Bashir, the president of oil-rich Sudan, who has been indicted for genocide in the International Criminal Court
•    Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, which recently enacted the Anti-Homosexuality Bill mandating the death penalty for some homosexual acts.
•    General Sani Abacha, dictator of Nigeria, the US's fourth-largest supplier of petroleum. “Abacha was known for two qualities: the greed that led him to steal $3 billion from his country, and the ruthlessness that made that theft possible. His execution of dissident writer Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995 made international headlines.”

“Sen. Mike Lee was Sen. Ted Cruz’s right-hand man throughout the 16-day government shutdown.”

In February, Lee and Cruz introduced S. 2024, the State Marriage Defense Act “which respects the definition of marriage held by the people of each state and protects states from the federal government’s efforts to force any other definition upon them.”

Lee joined Cruz and Palin at a “Liberty Rally” on April 24 and agreed to raise money together with Cruz “through a new joint fundraising account” with Cruz.

When 46 Senate Democrats cosponsored legislation to reverse the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, on July 16 Cruz accused Democrats of "declaring war against the Catholic Church."

Under Dirk Kempthorne’s supervision, “something akin to a secret society residing within the Interior Department was colluding to undermine the protection of endangered wildlife and covering for one another’s misdeeds,” Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, chairman of the House Natural Resources stated.

In September 2008, Inspector General Earl Devaney reported wrongdoing by current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, an agency under Kempthorne's administration which collected about $10 billion in oil and gas royalties annually, and one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes. According to the New York Times, "Eight officials in the royalty program accepted gifts from energy companies whose value exceeded limits set by ethics rules - including golf, ski and paintball outings; meals and drinks. [There was also] frequent consumption of alcohol at industry functions, use of cocaine and marijuana, and sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives."….
On December 16, 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity announced intent to sue the Interior Department under Kempthorne for introducing "regulations... that would eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act." …..
The meeting with Pope Francis was partially funded by the Vatican Foundation and participants were selected by Coe. Other attendees were:

Tim Timmons, a pastor based in Newport Beach, Calif. Timmons gave his support to a meeting of U4RF (United For Religious Freedom). The group was founded by Catholic CEOs to oppose the Obamacare “mandate regarding abortion pills, contraception, and sterilization.” The ubiquitous Catholic theocon, George Weigel, was also present.

Gayle Beebe, president of the evangelical Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church, said to be the largest in this country. With a vibrant community and a weekly collection totaling $600,000, the pope could have been asking Osteen for advice.

In addition to the pope, the group was scheduled to meet with various cardinals. The purpose of the meetings was “to promote ecumenical prayer and interfaith understanding.”
_

On June 24, a delegation of evangelical leaders met privately with Pope Francis for almost three hours and then had a private luncheon with him.  

Like Osteen, Kenneth Copeland preaches the “gospel of prosperity,” the belief that faith can increase one's wealth. He is founder of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark, Texas, Eagle Mountain International Church and co-host of Believer’s Voice of Victory.

Copeland was one of several televangelists targeted by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2007 for their lavish lifestyles. Calling Copeland the "Godfather of Prosperity,” CBS News released a detailed report in 2008 on Kenneth Copeland Ministries, saying an investigation “raises serious questions about the Copeland’s religious empire.” “In my viewpoint,” one of the Copelands’ former employees told CBS News, “I believe that they were using a lot of the ministry’s assets for personal businesses.”

Copeland and his wife “live in a 20,000-square-foot lake-front mansion near Fort Worth, Texas. They regularly fly one of their two expensive jets around the world, including regular trips to their multi-million dollar mansion in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In 2008, Mr. Copeland even boasted that he had collected over $1billion in donor funds during his career.”

James Robison of Life Outreach International is an “apostolic elder” at Gateway Church and co-hosts the Life Today TV program. “Property records show that James and Betty Robison live in a ‘modest’ Texas home appraised by tax-assessors at $742,800. They also own one or more multi-million-dollar homes in Silverthorne, Colorado and their large Robison ministry ranch and lodge in East Texas, likewise built with donor money.” “Robison said he and Pope Francis found common ground in caring for the poor.”

Other attendees of the June 24 meeting included:

Rev. Geoff Tunnicliff, CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance and Rev. Brian Stiller and Rev. Thomas Schirrmacher, also from the World Evangelical Alliance.  The World Evangelical Alliance recently terminated the membership of Oasis Ministry after founder Steve Chaulk’s decision to support gay marriage and faithful same-sex relationships.

Rev. John Arnott and his wife, Carol, of Catch the Fire Toronto are co-founders of Partners for Harvest ministries in Toronto, Canada. Hank Hanegraaff, in his book Counterfeit Revival (see Google eBook) used Arnott’s “healing” of the legally blind (and still legally blind) Sara Lilliman as an example of “counterfeit revivalists who pepper their appearances with fabrications, fantasies and fraud.”

The meeting was organized by Tony Palmer, former director of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Africa. Palmer is ordained with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC), a small congregation unrelated to the main Episcopal denomination. “The CEEC also ordained Gene Ewing, who for decades has been running a direct-mail operation sending out gimmicky letters (with prayer cloths, holy water from the Jordan and holy oil) promising riches and healing for anyone desperate enough to send him money.” When Bishop Palmer began working to reconcile Roman Catholics and Protestants in Italy, Kenneth Copeland Ministries was one of his first financial contributors.

Mr. Robison said he was “blessed to be part of perhaps an unprecedented moment between evangelicals and the Catholic Pope.” He described the private meeting as “an intimate circle of prayerful discussion and lunch to discuss not only seeing Jesus’ prayer answered, but that every believer would become a bold, joy-filled witnesses for Christ.”
__

Certainly “ecumenical prayer,” “interfaith understanding” and the hope that “every believer would become a bold, joy-filled witness for Christ” are legitimate goals for religious leaders. So why didn’t the Vatican and corporate media trumpet these meetings like other news about this pope?  

For the same reason they didn’t report the pope’s March 31 private meeting with Steve Green, billionaire owner of Hobby Lobby during which they discussed “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom.” Pope Francis even “asked how the (Hobby Lobby Supreme Court) case was progressing.”

And didn't report that the only two American laypersons currently working in the Vatican - Juan Zarate and Mary Ann Glendon - were both members of the Bush 43 administration.

Because fortifying the Church’s alliance with the American rightwing and evangelicals does not conform to their carefully constructed image of this pope. Nothing demonstrates the enduring partnership between the Catholic Church and the corporatocracy more than the corporate media’s coverage of Pope Francis.

This week, the pope received the usual media saturation by stating that “two percent of priests are pedophiles, even bishops and cardinals.” What wasn’t reported is that he also said, “most of these abominable acts occur within families.” He stressed again, “this frequently happens within families, and it is practiced by relatives, grandparents, uncles, family friends. Often, the other members of the family are conscious of that, but they do not intervene, taken by interests or by other forms of corruption.” (For those of you who follow papal news, yes, the Vatican questioned the accuracy of the pope’s third interview with journalist Eugenio Scalfari but only “the claim that some cardinals have been guilty of sexually abusing children and [the pope’s] vow to ‘find solutions’ to the ‘problem’ of priestly celibacy.”)

Sadly lacking were OpEds noting that Pope Francis’ meeting with six carefully selected and vetted victims of clerical sex abuse has had little effect if he is still trying to shift focus away from his Church and/or that he still depends on his inner circle of appointees for information when reliable studies put the percentage of pedophiles in the priesthood at 5.9 – 10%.

Another glaring media omission was reporting that Pope Francis excommunicated members of the Mafia but not that he had also excommunicated the leaders of a Catholic reform movement.

Last July, when Pope Francis was receiving confidential reports accusing his nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, of sexually abusing minors, he enacted a law criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and sex abuse of minors punishable by up to 12 years in the Vatican’s prison. The law applied not only to residents of Vatican City State but also to all diplomatic employees of the Holy See. This gave the pope justification for not turning Wesolowski over to civil law enforcement authorities and would generate great publicity about Pope Francis "getting tough about sex abuse" when Wesolowski would be tried by a Vatican tribunal.  

The pope whisked Wesolowski out of the country a week before accusations became public that he had paid poor boys to masturbate for, and engage in oral sex with, him as he filmed them with a cell phone. While the governments of the Dominican Republic and the Wesolowski’s native Poland were “seeking his prosecution by local judges” the archbishop's whereabouts remained unknown.

Three days after Santo Domingo Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop Victor Masalles said he “was shocked to see the former papal nuncio walking freely around the center of Rome,” the Vatican announced on June 27 that Wesolowski had been defrocked. The Vatican acknowledged that the archbishop “has been granted relative freedom of movement as he awaits verification by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the basis of these accusations made against him.” So Wesolowski apparently still has unlimited access to children.

The AP and others inaccurately reported that Wesolowski had been “convicted of sex abuse” and “sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization.” Had Wesolowski been “convicted of sex abuse” he could have been "sentenced to the harshest penalty” of a Vatican prison term. Or the pope could have just turned Wesolowski over to Dominican or Polish authorities from the get-go and he wouldn’t be “walking around freely” during this past year.

During the reign of Pope Francis, the Vatican has shown remarkable expertise in manipulating the willingly complicit media. Some of the most egregious examples have been demonstrated by the Associate Press. With “more than 1,700 newspapers, more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters,” the AP drives much of the flattering news about the pope.

At the height of the worst publicity for the Church surrounding the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child hearings last January, an “APNEWSBREAK: POPE DEFROCKED 400 PRIESTS IN 2 YEARS” appeared and was quickly picked up by about every media outlet imaginable. This information was taken from “an internal Vatican document prepared to help the Holy See defend itself before a UN committee” and given to the AP.  

In his last two years as pope, Benedict XVI did defrock 384 priests for sexually assaulting children but 202 were voluntary requests by the priests themselves.

On April 11, 2014, the AP reported (and picked up by other media):

Pope Francis said today he took personal responsibility for the "evil" of priests who raped and molested children, asking forgiveness from victims and saying the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect the young….Francis made the off-the-cuff remarks [as he spoke] to members of the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French Catholic network of organizations that protects children's rights….
Francis comments during the closed audience were only reported in part by Vatican Radio, and Vatican Television excluded them entirely in its initial edit of the audience. The full quote was obtained after the Associated Press requested video of the full comments from Vatican Television.
As noted above, not every papal meeting is reported by the Vatican nor covered by the secular media. So it is probable that the AP was tipped off that the “video of the full comments” should be obtained.

In a January article, David Gibson of the Religion News Service did a great job highlighting some of the almost absurd widely reported stories about Pope Francis:
•    The Vatican once again had to dispel media reports that went well beyond what Francis actually said, as his spokesman formally denied that the pope had signaled an openness to same-sex unions in a recently published conversation with leaders of religious orders.
•    On New Year's Eve, Fr. Federico Lombardi put out a statement to counter a column by a prominent Italian journalist and atheist, Eugenio Scalfari, claiming that Francis "has abolished sin." Lombardi had to reiterate that those "who really follow the pope daily know how many times he has spoken about sin."
•    After fevered speculation that the pope might break with tradition and name women as cardinals, Francis himself denied the rumors. "I don't know where this idea sprang from," he told an Italian journalist in an interview in December.
•    In early December, the Vatican categorically denied a media report that Pope Francis has been slipping out at night to visit the homeless in Rome.
•    In September, the Vatican "firmly denied" that Francis had called a gay man in France to assure him that "your homosexuality doesn't matter." No way, no how, Lombardi said.
•    And last May, the Vatican called the claim that Francis had performed an exorcism on a handicapped man in St. Peter's Square "absolutely false."

I am somewhat puzzled that people who consider themselves to be well-informed Democrats, liberals or progressives and know that the raison d’être of the religious right is to elect Republicans, and/or who claim a certain sophistication as regards the corporate media, have been so naive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So, by my reckoning, that means Francis has had as (26+ / 0-)

    many meetings with secretive power-mad evangelical American political fixers as he has with victims of pedophile priests.

    Lots of Kossaks look at Francis and see Elizabeth Warren in a simple white soutane.

    He so isn't.

  •  Wow... That's a lot to take in, this A.M.... n/t (8+ / 0-)

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:53:31 AM PDT

  •  As always, insightful reporting (21+ / 0-)

    It is a disappointment, that people impose their wishes on the man instead of simply studying his actual actions. Then again, the Catholic Church hasn't survived two millenia without some lessons in PR

  •  Wasn't Osteen in Obamas Inauguration? (15+ / 0-)

    The second one? I almost turned it off when he came on. Gobsmacked that a Dem POTUS would have a discredited, cheap religious huckster deliver the invocation. Might as well have invited some professional wrestlers, snake handlers and faith healers, too. SMH.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:09:02 AM PDT

  •  There are several writers on Kos (36+ / 0-)

    and many many readers who have been concerned about The Family and its many tentacles for years.  This diary is extremely important in more ways than one. First, it ties the Pope, the Vatican and the RCC to CONSERVATIVE powers in the US, which has been noted before, but not to this level.  Second, it demonstrates that the conservative and Christ crazy Family people are still active and seeking alliances that will insure they remain in power.

    And, I might add, per Jeff Sharlet's book on The Family, Hillary Clinton is connected to them.

    Thank you Betty for finding this and reporting it. I am hoping that it gets the full attention it deserves.

    •  Rachel Maddow has done a lot of (18+ / 0-)

      reporting on this group.  I think she was the first one to give national attention to them.  Aren't they the ones behind giving the death penalty to gays in Uganda?  That the Pope would stoop to meet with them is alarming.  He should be calling them out instead.

    •  v. good points, Ft, esp. the one re. HRC (14+ / 0-)

      since the majority of this site refuses to really vet her, it must remain for the rest of us to bring all this out to the light.

      w/re HRC, we need to know before we buy.

      And yes, this diary is very helpful

      Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

      by SeaTurtle on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:48:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read Jeff Sharlet's book (8+ / 0-)

      It was frightening......but it did give a lot of background to answer the "who, what, where, why, when" stuff.

      Not to excuse HRC, but every president since the group initiated the "National Prayer Breakfast" has been connected so to speak, including Obama.  Not saying that makes it OK, just saying it is not unique to HRC.

      It is a powerful group.  I won't judge this Pope on this meeting, as meeting with those with whom you disagree is as important as meeting with those who believe in the tenets of Christianity.  At least that was what I was taught.  In my reading of history, the downfall of really following the words of Christ was the making of war, seeing as enemies those who believed differently.  So at this point I will hold on to the hope that this Pope is meeting for reasons other than conspiring.

      I know this Pope is not perfect and there are things in the church with which I will always disagree.  But his speaking out for the poor, for the immigrants, for those without power, matters, imo.

      “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

      by Jjc2006 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:04:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate you comments, but... (13+ / 0-)

        the Pope's "speaking out for the poor" or even immigrants is meaningless until he endorses birth control, as controlling one's fertility is a key to climbing out of poverty. Large families and sick women do not help to alleviate the suffering, it adds to it.

        The church IMO has never been concerned about the powerless unless they can be used in some way to enhance the Church's power or prestige.

        •  My cynical self thinks that Catholic officials (0+ / 0-)

          like Francis and the Archbishop of L.A. want more U.S. immigration from Latin America to boost the Catholic population of the U.S.

          Which would be fine, except that Catholic officials are already attempting to exert political power in the secular arena when Catholics are only 22% of the U.S. population.  

          I like most Catholics I meet.  Some are lovely people.  

          The Catholic hierarchy, on the other hand, wants to strip me of rights, and oppose the advancement of women's and LGBT equality.  

          They've never been like, "Oh, we're 95% of the population of this country, but we don't want to get involved in worldly matters."  Not ever.

          Meanwhile the Catholic Church is still protecting pedophile priests and the bishops who inflicted them on community after community.  ALL the pedophiles and ALL their enablers should be tried, convicted, and sent to jail.  And we let them get away with this not happening, because they talk about Jesus.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:21:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look I have no illusions (0+ / 0-)

          about the catholic church.  I was raised catholic but consider myself to be an agnostic.  
          However singling out the catholic church seems silly/unfair to me.  While under the last two popes the church has definitely aligned more with the right wing, the catholic church is no worse than the evangelicals, the fundamentalists of any of the major religions.  That does not make it OK in any sense.

          My point is this: Francis rhetoric is far more left in many areas than any Pope since John XXIII.   If there is no action behind the words, it will be sad.  However even the words of a pope tend to have power and I would rather the rhetoric be making catholics rethink their alliance with evangelicals than not, even if it is in just certain areas.

          I agree that the stance against birth control has been stupid.  But the reality is that MOST catholics, even the poor ones, use it if it is available, regardless of the church pushing procreation.   Still the power of words should not be underestimated.  Rejecting some good for lack of perfection makes no sense to me.   A pope pushing for compassion seems better than those in the past who seemed to have forgotten the poor.

          “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

          by Jjc2006 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:29:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Then why does he never meet with US Democrats, (13+ / 0-)

        progressives or liberals (other than Pres. Obama)? Why does he never meet with US mainstream and black Christians?

        Nor has the pope stated he disagreed with anyone included in these two meetings.

        Yes, the pope's and US bishops' positions on migration and human trafficking are admirable. But they have not yet put their money where their mouths are.

  •  I am curious about where you get your info (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reinvented Daddy, cotterperson

    Not a lot of sourcing in this piece about these meetings, except background stuff many of us already knew.

    I must be dreaming... (3764 forever!)

    by murphy on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:21:39 AM PDT

    •  The reason is ask (0+ / 0-)

      Is this piece in the WaPo http://wapo.st/... doesn't quite give the slant you infer.

      I must be dreaming... (3764 forever!)

      by murphy on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:26:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good info and thanx but after reading the ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... sourcing, I don't see any "there" there.  I mean, the Pope has audiences with literally thousands of people every year.  Yes, organizations with agendas work their way onto his schedule.  He clearly wanted to meet with protestant thought leaders to , well, let the "Noozhawk" writer describe it:

        On Friday, he left Santa Barbara to journey east as part of a select group chosen to visit the Vatican and meet with Pope Francis to discuss finding common ground between Protestants and Catholics.

        "Here is the request: Can we find common ground to advance the life and ministry of Jesus?" Beebe said.

        Yes, they may have been secretly plotting the overthrow of the world order and a new Inquisition but there is zero evidence of that.  Simply there is proof of a bunch of rich old protestants getting FaceTime with a Pope.  I just don't see anything more.  It's equivalent to stating that Obama shares the beliefs and is colluding with everyone he ever meets with.

        Sorry, I just don't see it.

        •  Putting your words in my mouth is a poor argument. (8+ / 0-)

          FYI, the pope has NOT met with US mainline and black Protestant leaders, only evangelicals who happen to be his allies in the religious right.  

          POTUS is the leader of ALL Americans and has a responsibility to meet especially with those with whom he disagrees. So, no, it's not the equivalent.

          •  Have any of the US mainline and Black protestant (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Yoshimi

            leaders tried to get an audience with the Pope?  I'm not knowledgeable on the process but I'm sure its similar to getting an audience with the President, you don't simply call his secretary and make an appointment.  I'm sure you have to get together with a group, submit an agenda, work out details with the secretary, being willing to fly to Rome on your own dime and it probably helps to make a nice donation to the Pope's favorite charity - much like high dollar donors are more likely to see the President than someone like me who gives $75 to the DSCC.

            •  I can't imagine any refusing an invitation if it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JVolvo, Fishtroller01, cybrestrike

              offered and my guess is that's how you get a private meeting with the pope other than, as you state, making huge donations. Which has happened with groups like the Papal Foundation. The first meeting I wrote about was funded by the Vatican Foundation and the Family. As we know, the rightwing never lacks for money.

          •  But the Pope did meet with our AA President (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi

            That has to count Betty.  We have zero reason to think he is snubbing mainline and African religious leaders.  He has been Pope for less than a year.

            I'm going to Rome next week, not for the Pope but I certainly intend to see him if I can during this once in a lifetime trip.  I'll see the Pope at mass from a hundred yards away with 2000 people.  I will have as much influence on him as Mike Coe or Joel Osteen.

            I am thankful for the good this Pope is doing and humbled at the enormity of his task

            •  I couldn't find the link to this meeting. But let (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishtroller01, cai

              me clarify something. Every Wednesday when the pope has his "general" audience with thousands of people inside the Pope Paul VI auditorium and outside when he rides around St. Peter's Square, there are special areas set aside although still behind a barricade of sorts. Dozens of people every week get to shake his hand and maybe exchange some pleasantries. So they can say they "met the pope" but it's not the same as a private and confidential meeting. I'm not saying this is necessarily the case, but it may be.

              I didn't say he was "snubbing" anyone, only the fact that only evangelical leaders have had private meetings with the pope and other American religious leaders have not. I don't think that's coincidence.

        •  Have you read The Family by Jeff Sharlet? (0+ / 0-)

          Or his book on K Street?  I think you might be a little more impressed with the meaning of the Pope meeting with this group.  They do not run any kind of official church or religious institution.  They are religious crazy nut power brokers and nothing more.  

    •  All of her many, many (6+ / 0-)

      anti-Catholic diaries are like that. Then she'll post the "sources" and anyone who reads them sees that they don't say what she's claiming they do, but she'll continue to pretend they do. A few people will chime in about what important work she's doing exposing the evil pope and Catholic Church. Repeat it all over again in the next diary, and the next, and the next...

      If she were obsessing like this over some other group like Jewish or black people, she'd likely have been banned long ago, but since it's just Catholics, she regularly makes it on the rec list instead.

      •  None are "anti-Catholic." ALL are about decreasing (5+ / 0-)

        the ability of the leaders of the Catholic Church to adversely effect the American commonweal by showing those leaders to be the hypocrites they really are.

        My sources are valid. Of course, when 99% of everything written about the RCC and its leaders come from the complicit media, one has to suss out the meaningful portions. There's no point in my parroting their BS.

        •  Oh, I know... (4+ / 0-)

          It's all a conspiracy wherein a minority religion in this country that has historically been discriminated against and is still hated by many people is actually a greedy cabal that secretly controls it. Where have I heard this story before?

          Most reasonable people look at Pope Francis and think he's probably the best a liberal could hope for in a pope. But yes, the pope is still Catholic. Shocking, I know. As an atheist I'm of the opinion that the world would be better off without religion, including Catholicism, but it is nice to see an apparently good man who is at least trying to make the world a better place in his own way in charge of one of the world's major religions for a change. That's opposed to someone like you, who sows the seeds of hate within internet communities.

          •  "Most reasonable people look at Pope Francis and (4+ / 0-)

            think he's probably the best a liberal could hope for in a pope."

            Actually, most reasonable people would look at what Francis has done in his nearly 18 months and be appalled that he has still not done a single thing to protect children against rapist priests.

            Not one single action.

            •  Well, I certainly would not disagree (0+ / 0-)

              that more should be done, but saying that he has done absolutely nothing on the sexual abuse front is, like Betty's diaries, false.

              •  You can correct me by stating the things that he (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Betty Clermont, Fishtroller01

                has done on the sexual abuse front.

                Absent presentation of those facts, my claim stands.

                •  Off the top of my head? (0+ / 0-)

                  Removed an archbishop
                  Declared zero tolerance going forward
                  Formed a special commission to come up with a plan to address past occurrences and prevent future ones

                  More could certainly be done, but those aren't nothing.

                  •  Who was the archbishop that was removed? (0+ / 0-)

                    Name the archbishop who was removed in conjunction with the sex abuse scandal.

                    How can he "declare zero tolerance going forward" while leaving in place a bishop who claimed under oath that he wasn't sure if he knew that sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was a crime? Are we to believe that men such as that are suddenly going to start cracking down?

                    Why would a "commission" be necessary? Is there any doubt that there is a problem, and therefore the commission has to study the question? No, there is not. Why, if as you say, he has declared "zero tolerance going forward", would there be a need for a commission to come up with a plan?

                    And, finally: you say this commission is going to address past occurrences. Are you aware that Francis fast-tracked the canonization of John Paul II - the fastest in history? So, seriously, how much of a through-going-over is the conduct of the Vatican under his very long reign going to get??

                    I put it to you that the Republicans would be more capable of producing an honest report on Iran-Contra under Reagan than the Catholic Church can now generate with regard to the failings of the Vatican under JPII.  Francis sealed that deal once and for all - that's a book that is now closed and will remain so.

                    •  Jozef Wesolowski (0+ / 0-)

                      And who are you arguing with? I said that more could be done. Here is what you said:

                      Actually, most reasonable people would look at what Francis has done in his nearly 18 months and be appalled that he has still not done a single thing to protect children against rapist priests.
                      Not one single action.
                      And I refuted that ridiculous hyperbole. Now you're off to argue over some other set of goal posts? Sorry, I don't play those games.
              •  Um, yeah. I'd like to see all your responses, too. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fishtroller01

                This pope hired an ex fox-news consultant to do his PR.  You are buying it hook, line, sinker, bell, book, and candle. You gotta look beyond the words the news services are spitting up.

          •  As an atheist also I sure wish you would (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IowaBiologist

            do some more homework on this man before putting yourself out as an apologist for the head of an incredibly corrupt religious institution.

            Plus, I have a question for you.... exactly HOW is this Pope making the world a better place?  By not allowing women reproductive rights? By buying up US hospitals an imposing catholic tenets on patients? By blocking gays from marrying?  By continuing the cover up of massive pedophilia and child abuse?  Tell us HOW the world is better in reality, not how the world might get better if he keeps talking.

            Last, the only seeds Betty sows on here are seeds of well researched and important information. It is information that is being well hidden by the Pope's newly formed PR machine (including a former Fox News reporter) and mass media outlets that the RCC has kept in their power ring for a long time.   I have seen Betty's reporting slowly being repeated in other venues, and that gives me hope for more eyes being opened.

      •  A classic Gish Gallop if we've ever seen one. (0+ / 0-)
  •  most of the Congress (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, WisVoter, Catte Nappe, Yoshimi

    and the Presidents over the years have attended the Families Prayer Breakfast,  many maintain close ties with the Family, the government has done much to promote their ideals of Christian domination and greed.

    The Pope is still Catholic, he still holds social policies that are just wrong.    He is however an important voice against greed.   Perhaps he embraces it in private to advance the Church's social agenda.

    We are supposed to be a secular democracy, we have even less excuse that we as a nation haven't been more attuned to these very dangerous people.

    •  The pope TALKS against greed, but don't forget: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, AllanTBG, Fishtroller01

      Big Money Republicans learned from their mistakes in 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/... They “plan to change the public perception that the GOP doesn’t care about people….It is time to smartly change course…and learn once again how to appeal to more people.” Their candidates in competitive states will campaign on populist issues,  http://www.salon.com/... of  “talking in normal, people-oriented terms.” Their methodically constructed image will be that of a “compassionate” http://www.politicususa.com/... person concerned with the welfare of the middle class. http://www.aei.org/... Corporate-owned television, http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/... websites, radio, newspapers and magazines will gloss over or fail to cover the candidate’s past and present actions contradicting his/her image.

      •  I realize your emphasis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        knitwithpurpose

        is on the Pope, but I truly don't believe that he is just like an American political party.

        Again, my point is that our parties are supposedly part of a democracy that idealizes individual liberties, etc.  The pope has probably done more to back up his position on helping the poor, condemning greed than any Republican officeholder in America.  And he heads a notoriously corrupt and conservative church.    Our power structure is worse.

        •  The pope's words as reported by the corporate (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, unfangus, Fishtroller01

          media are meant to bolster his popularity and by extension, the ability of the US bishops to influence our political process in favor of the GOP.

          What he says internally to rightwing Catholics and, more importantly what he does to continue the Church's alliance with the corporatocracy, contradict the selectively reported nice stuff he says for worldwide publication.

        •  Again, until it sinks in.... (0+ / 0-)

          " The pope has probably done more to back up his position on helping the poor.."

          Not allowing women to use birth control CAUSES more poverty in this world than any other factor.  As for the greed thing, I address that above. What a joke.

          •  hate on the pope (0+ / 0-)

            and ignore that the US without being majority catholic or even majority Christian who oppose birth control, a secular democracy in theory is as much as part of the problem, if not a great deal more of it than the Pope.  The Pope may have great influence, but the US turns it into policy in third world countries in ways the pope can't.  We do more harm.  We are worse.

            And few people in the developed world listen to the pope on birth control, catholic or not.  They don't listen on any of the social issues.   But he takes away the argument of the right wing evangelicals that greed makes you a good christian.  It is a war of many fronts.  Emphasis on the evil of the pope is too narrow in my opinion.

            •  People in poor countries (0+ / 0-)

              do not get to go to their drugstores to get birth control. They rely on international government programs to help them.  Now please go and trace the thread of who was behind the withdrawl of US support for International Planned Parenthood funding.

              I don't think the Pope is evil.  I think he represents and foster and nurtures evil in the world as has his institution for 2000 years.  Can't put it any plainer than that.

              •  I am aware (0+ / 0-)

                that poor people in poor countries and THE US don't get their birth control at the local drug store and rely on agencies such as Planned Parenthood to help them.  But even without the Catholic Church,  the right wing evangelicals in this country would oppose birth control and abortion.  Wingers down here abound in huge numbers and will tell you that Catholics aren't even Christian, they are evil.  They aren't listening to the pope and their congressional represenatives aren't responding to the pope.  One idea can exist between two groups for different reasons.

                •  Many of Betty's diaries have (0+ / 0-)

                  shown how the evangelical Protestants and the Catholics have joined hands on issues such as this and put aside the opinions of each other to reach the same goal. And there are lots of Catholic members of Congress too. They both work behind the scenes (lobbying, which shouldn't happen with tax exempt groups, but does all the time) to de-fund birth control and abortion monies when bills on foreign aid come up.  They have been quite successful too.

            •  The Catholic church's stance that birth control is (0+ / 0-)

              evil is what invented and now enables the rights lunatic stance on this issue.

              We can, at the ballot box, overturn government policy.

              The insanity of what comes out of the Vatican is going to take more doing.

    •  An "important voice against greed"? (0+ / 0-)

      That would be the biggest joke of the year if it weren't so absolutely sad that anyone thinks it.

      You know what the Family is all about?  Read Sharlet's book.  It was founded by a man who thinks an angel told him that God wants Christians to move with the up and powerful and not with the down and out.  This group has zero interest in social agendas.

  •  Let's keep this alive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Fishtroller01

    Can we keep up the heat on this important story?  I hope Rachel has Sharlet on her show soon.

    Thanks for the diary

  •  He Also Met With (9+ / 0-)

    Prominent Protestants.

    Abuse Victims

    Speaks out and helps the poor, those suffering illness, for ranchers against greed, etc.

    President Obama

    Since none of those and hundreds of other examples are ignored in your way of thinking I did check and the following domain name is available for your use.

    obsessed-people-spewing-the-same-anticatholic-rhetoric-for-hundreds-of-years-and-pope-francis-is-the-antichrist-and-will-never-be-credited-with-doing-anything-right-according-to-us-because-bengahzi dot com.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:10:20 AM PDT

    •  I had an inkling that this was selective reporting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eeff, michelewln, Fishtroller01

      and it looks like from your links that indeed it was.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:14:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It Always Is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, Yoshimi

        If you check out everything she has written is an Anti-Catholic, Anti-Pope Francis screed with links to nothing but the same anti-Catholic conspiracy theories that have existed for hundreds of years. She has the same creed for me on Pope Francis as Darrell Issa does on Benghazi.

        "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

        by michelewln on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:43:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You obviously haven't read my diaries. (3+ / 0-)

          Nor can you furnish even one quote from any of them which would justify your smears.

          •  Read Your Diaries (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Yoshimi

            I have read your diaries and I'm not impressed. They are no better than conspiracy diaries. You cherry pick things you think are "Benghazi" and ignore anything that has been said or done that is positive. Nothing your write has any resemblance to balanced reporting. You are reporting only one extremist viewpoint. You use only obscure sources that mirror your view and ignore other sources that contradict what you say including well known writers from well known and respected sources. I am not smearing you.

            Please proceed Governor.

            "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

            by michelewln on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:09:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Catholic Church in America is a GOTV operation (4+ / 0-)

          for the Republican Party...it deserves criticism, and such criticism can be delivered without the bigotry you are claiming.

          •  When Democrats don't show up at Mass (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi

            don't blame the priests for talking to their new constituents in Spanish.  Mass is by far the most diverse place I go - Vietnamese, Hmong, Sudanese, Hispanics, many second and now third generation often from a family originally sponsored by a Catholic parish.  

            Democrats once had almost all the Catholic vote.  They still get half of it.  It's an enormous demographic and it cannot be replaced for the very reason that Democrats are counting on Hispanics for their future as they pretty much write off white men and older whites.  

            Wherever Betty and you others think you're going with this anti-Catholic b.s., it's not to winning national and statewide elections.  

            Catholics + evangelicals are a formidable voting block.  One might give the Pope credit for understanding this.  In that, he is a lot smarter than Betty.

            •  It isn't "anti-Catholic" and it isn't "b.s." (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Clermont, a2nite, Fishtroller01

              It is fact-based legitimate criticism of the Pope and the church hierarchy.

              The actions of Francis are thus far not significantly difference from those of Ratzinger.

              But because of a few soundbites, you want him declared "off limits".

              The idea that we have to self-censor ourselves when speaking of the Catholic church because Hispanics is ludicrous.

              •  Hey, it's a free country (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nickrud, Yoshimi, Liberal for Life

                You can be as anti-Catholic as you like, and what counts is how it is perceived by Catholics because we tune in for all the CT like Betty saying we can't get the story because Catholics control the media - just try that on one of your other religious groups and see how far you get with it not being anti-.  

                Of course, when 99% of everything written about the RCC and its leaders come from the complicit media
                What you CANNOT do is BOTH alienate Catholics AND win national elections.  

                But it is totally your choice.   The cognitive dissonance on this is after all one of the more entertaining aspects of DKos.  

                •  I think you need to brush up on your reading (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  a2nite, Fishtroller01

                  comprehension skills. Yes, 99% of what's being written about this pope and the Catholic Church does come from the Vatican press, the Catholic and corporate media.

                  •  Hey, anti-Catholic CT including control of media (0+ / 0-)

                    is welcomed on Dkos so go to it.  There's NOTHING you can say about Catholics that's going to get you banned around here -- but one thing it will not do is win you elections.  Because unlike some other religions, one thing we got is your voters.  That's what we have.  Voters.  And you are not going to round up enough atheists to replace us.

                    So carry on!

                •  Betty is not trying to alienate Catholics. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  run around

                  She's trying to educate them.  It seems for some it certainly is a fruitless effort.

                  I tend to think that most Catholics are smarter than that, especially when you think of the fact that most of them use birth control.

            •  Agreed. The pope understands Catholics+evangelical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishtroller01

              are a formidable voting bloc which is exactly the point I was making. I also made the point in my book, "The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America" (Clarity Press, 2009) and in this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...

              BTW, Democrats get the majority of the Hispanic Catholic vote and the Republicans the majority of the non-Hispanic Catholic vote.

              •  Well keep up your work Betty and Republicans (0+ / 0-)

                will be getting both groups particularly as Hispanics become second and third generation voters.  Voting is as much social and cultural with many people as political, something the Republicans figured out long ago.  

                The only way Democrats win is by splitting the Catholic - evangelical bloc not by reinforcing it.  The goal should be to figure out how to attract Catholics to the Democratic Party not how to alienate us from the party.  

                •  You think Hispanics are going to vote for the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Betty Clermont, Fishtroller01

                  party of white supremacy and tax cuts for the rich done on the backs of the poor because people complain that the Catholic Church hierarchy are aligning themselves with that party?

                  I guess you don't know many Hispanics.

                  •  white fundies vote to screw themselves for Jesus (0+ / 0-)

                    all the time.  Why would Hispanic Catholics be any different?

                    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

                    by Visceral on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:05:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, my parents took me to see JFK when I was 9 (0+ / 0-)

                    because he was IRISH and CATHOLIC. What else did I need to know?  20 years later Irish Catholics were leaving the Democratic Party by the millions.

                    Hispanics will be influenced by many factors and religion will be one social and cultural influence.   One thing I do know, the Catholic Church wants Hispanics every bit as much as the Democratic Party.  They're not just the future of the American Democratic Party.  They're the future of the American Catholic Church.  So if you're not talking to them every Sunday, their priest is.  
                     

                •  I appreciate your giving much thought to this. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fishtroller01

                  However, currently I don't there's much of a "Catholic" bloc of voters as there was a generation or two ago when many urban European hyphenated-Americans (like Irish, Italian, Poles) were dependably Democrats. I think the situation has changed in that the second and third generation Hispanics are currently majority Democrats and those non-Hispanics Catholics who remain as practising Catholics (i.e. not part of the majority who have left or aren't practising any longer) are majority Republicans.  

                •  NO party should be thinking of how to "attract" (0+ / 0-)

                  religious voters to their party. This is a secular Democracy and courting religion should be off the table. (However I am well aware of the Obama campaign and other Dems hiring religious outreach workers and speaking in churches... basically everyone is violating church/state these days).

                  Just HOW does one attract Catholic votes? By hosting wine and cracker parties or by taking the right and moral stands on social, political and foreign policy issues?  

                  If you are saying that the Democratic Party should hold a love fest with the Pope to win votes, then I'm outta here!

            •  So Betty should shut up so the Dems (0+ / 0-)

              can keep the Catholic vote?  Are you an American?

            •  Voting for the wrong side and the wrong (0+ / 0-)

              policies, and hence a lot dumber than Betty.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:48:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  If your only comment is to accuse (0+ / 0-)

          a diarist of writing constantly on the same topic, why don't you go bother the pootie diaries or the environmental diaries or any of the other single topic writers.

          It is YOU who are guilty of screeds.

          If you'd like to counter my charge, then take a claim made in any of Betty's diaries and counter it with research of your own... with links and footnotes.

          I haven't seen even one of the usual RCC/Francis apologists on Kos who haunt Betty's diaries spend one single minute making any effort to prove her wrong either in a comprehensive comment or in a diary.

      •  These meetings were not widely reported for a (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        run around, JVolvo, a2nite, Fishtroller01

        reason.

      •  It's only mildly selective (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo

        I did some checking up on this.

        Yes, there are some meetings with liberal factions. Some.

        But there are many many more meetings with conservative factions. And many large liberal factions that are left out completely.

        Now, how much of that is the Pope? How much of it is conservative factions within the Vatican manipulating his schedule? We can't know that for sure. But what we do know is that his ear is getting bent primarily by conservative factions; and that will almost assuredly lead to conservative-leaning policy.

        This is a common conservative tactic: if you can't control the election, surround the elected with whisperers, isolate them, don't let them hear the people.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:04:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's think about that "he met with abuse victims" (5+ / 0-)

      fig leaf.

      After nearly 18 months of being pope he has had one meeting with one small group of hand picked quiescent abuse victims who have remained in the church and who could be relied upon to be cowed by mass with the pope.

      He has had no meetings with the organized groups of victims who are less timid and who want justice and action.

      He speaks about the abuse scandal as if it were something that was entirely in the past.

      Meanwhile, the lawsuit that is going on in St. Paul makes it clear that it is, in fact, still rolling along.

      The crimes are continuing, the cover-up is on-going, and Francis has not taken a single step to protect children.

      And all those bishops: still in their cushy jobs.

      •  Abuse victims are not a Liberal group. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        get the red out

        Nor are they a conservative group.

        In a conservative/liberal calculation on this Pope - abuse victims just don't figure in.

        How they are treated has little or nothing to do with Church policy in such areas as birth control, abortion, corporate greed, environmentalism, etc.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:12:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You claim to be an adult, thinking being, and y... (0+ / 0-)

          You claim to be an adult, thinking being, and you believe that. You actually, honestly believe what you wrote when you said

          "How they are treated has little or nothing to do with Church policy in such areas as birth control, abortion, corporate greed, environmentalism, etc."

          I'm going to go put a gun to my head now. I have truly seen and heard it all, and you've just proven to me humanity is beyond saving.

  •  What could the Pops's Message to the Family (4+ / 0-)

    have been at the three hour meeting and luncheon? I am surprised this was not publically reported, sort of, and I know that the Church sees itself as having no duty to report anything it says or does, and I know The Family is a passel of mass murderers, but is there any indication of what the Pope would have or could have said in that three hour meeting?

    Politics is strange. Religious politics is stranger still. The old injunction to keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer seems to have originated in the Theocratic Era of Western Civilization, and so, could it be that the Catholic Church is warning The Family..

    1) A Warning that they will be challenged
    2) A Statement of Boldness and Authority
    3) A Competition of Power
    4) A Reminder of duty to the poor
    5) A Caution of Associating with Murderers and Rapists
    6) A Coalition between Catholic Power and Protestant Power
    7) A Declaration of War
    8) All the above..

    The possibilities are endless. How could we ever know what goes on in the secret halls of Theocracy?

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:16:26 AM PDT

    •  You cannot... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nosleep4u, Fishtroller01

      Change an organization by meeting them in secret.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:11:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it was that secret we wouldn't know about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi

        Considering the Pope more or less excommunicated the Mafia in his own country, I'm inclined to grant him a small benefit of the doubt on meetings with powerful interest groups.

        I'm as ex-Catholic as they come, and that's why I can see that a decent man like Pope Francis can't mend a broken institution in just one or two years.  I only hope he makes some progress while he is still alive.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:06:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's been pope for 18 months now and has not taken (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RichM, ScienceMom, Fishtroller01

          a single step to protect children from rapist priests.

          What's your basis for claiming he is a "decent man"?

          •  How do you know he hasn't? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi

            Do you work at the Vatican?  Just because he hasn't personally gone out and shot every one of them doesn't mean he hasn't take some preliminary actions to punish them.

            Skeletons in the closet (more like rotting corpses in this case) also can't be instantly cleaned up.  

            I need evidence like any other skeptic that his policies are having an effect, but the Catholic church is essentially a giant corporation and you can't fix every single problem on day one without getting yourself put high on the assassination list.

            The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

            by catwho on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:39:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know he hasn't because the bishops who do things (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ScienceMom, Fishtroller01, RichM

              like claim under oath that they weren't sure if they knew that sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was a crime are still in their jobs.

              Do you want me to believe that he has secretly told them all that yes I know you are neck deep in this crap but don't do it any more?

              And I'm not demanding "instant" results. He has been pope for 18 months now.

              Nothing has changed.

            •  Because the media is saturated with headlines (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishtroller01

              every time he mentions sex abuse. Since we all knew when he dumped the "Bishop of Bling" we would certainly all know about his actions against his complicit hierarchs.

            •  don't tease (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catwho
              Just because he hasn't personally gone out and shot every one of them
              This is one of the most frustrating things about being one of the good guys: you can't go medieval on the people who actually deserve it.

              As for this:

              and you can't fix every single problem on day one without getting yourself put high on the assassination list.
              A true believer in God, Heaven, and Hell wouldn't care about dying.  In fact it would be better to do the right thing and be killed for it than to live a long comfortable life tolerating the wickedness in one's own house.

              Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

              by Visceral on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:24:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This mess has gone on for over 60 years. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RichM

              And all Francis did was appoint another committee on the topic.

              And if Francis's life was in danger over cleaning out the pedophile closet then you have just confirmed the incredible corruption of this institution.

              No, Francis and the RCC has NO excuses, unless the world is willing to give them 2000 more years of chances to be moral.

              •  Try 600 years... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fishtroller01, catwho

                Or perhaps longer. Changing a culture of refuge for sexual predators in 18 months after several centuries of ingrained and codified promotion, reward and status is not possible. You would arguably have to fire every single padre above the level of Parish Priest longer in service than 20 years. Beyond that, everyone in the hierarchy has guilty knowledge, and it is simply not politically possible for any leader to burn down the entire organization. That is not his job.. his job is to save the Church, and that means a slow and steady unwinding of the culture, starting with the worst of the worst, and going from there. Over time, things will be better, but if he moves too fast, the hierarchy will find SOMETHING on him. That is the way corporate culture works, and there is nothing in the Church which is not Corporate Culture.

                This is the reason I have always stood against Corporate Culture and Church and Religious Corporatism. It only exists for its own benefit; it has a life of its own, and that is NOT what a Religion OR a profit making entity is for. It is the ugly downside of group behavior in humans, and as enlightened people, we need to make sure no Corporate Enterprise EVER can challenge the Rights of Individuals. Ever.

                Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                by OregonOak on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:35:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yet there's a reason they weren't publicized and (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ScienceMom, run around, Fishtroller01

          yes, "private" means secret and not open to the public.

          If you think public pronouncements with soundbite and PR appeal are equivalent to the dozens and dozens of appointments this pope has made of rightwingers and his private meetings with them, well then you do have the kind of pope you could support.

        •  Read the whole story on just exactly who (0+ / 0-)

          the Pope excommunicated.

      •  Unless the story was calculated to leak.. (0+ / 0-)

        if the Papa did not receive the response he wanted. THEN.. well there are open meetings and there are "open Meetings," and there are "closed meetings." If you catch my drift.

        I suspect he was there to warn them about mistakes they are making vis a vis his Skeptical Capitalism Message, and associating with Mob-Like figures, both of which he has publically named as objects of scorn to the Nuevo Franciscan Church. If he did not get some action or message in return, I dont think the Papa is above playing some down and dirty hardball. Remember, he played ball with the worst of the worst Fascists in Argentina, and survived, and saved two Social Activist Priests lives, probably, and probably more. I think his instincts are sharp in this area, and he sees what could happen if they "win." He has acute senses for the Fascist mentality and proceedure.

        I look at all the activities of the Church as fundamentally political. There is not a lot of "Christlike" thinking there, more Machiavellian. And good at it.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:43:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well... we know what he published (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Clermont, Yoshimi

      an Apostolic Exhortation..

      which rather clearly states this man is against many things that those making money off religion do.

      I think you are on the right track. He wasn't there to be friendly with them. At least that's what I am thinking.

      As to the particulars, no one will know so it is all speculation.

    •  The Pope cautioning The Family (0+ / 0-)

      about associating with rapists?  That's some rich imagination you have there.  I think Jeff Sharlet would LOVE this conversation.

  •  Let's not make too much of this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, catwho, vadem165

    While obviously I wasn't present, I don't believe that the Pope's meeting was for purposes of "fortifying an alliance" between the Catholic Church and the American religious right.  This Pope has met with Muslim and Jewish leaders too.

    I'm not Catholic, and I'm never going to agree with the Church's position on many social issues.  But the fact remains that this Pope strongly has criticized unfettered capitalism whereas our President has not.

    A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

    by eightlivesleft on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:23:42 AM PDT

  •  Note (0+ / 0-)

    Abacha is not the current head of state of Nigeria.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:06:47 AM PDT

  •  Yup... (3+ / 0-)

    I reserved judgement on the Pope until I see his actions.  Tell me what you do and I will tell you who you are.  He has said lots of flowery words about income inequality, softening words on homosexuality and sex.  But now, it turns out he may just be another Pharisee.  Here is the thing - if he suckers young folks in who are interested in social justice, but it turns out he is a 'prosperity gospel' supporter, he is going to do more damage than if he continued down the path of Benedict.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:07:44 AM PDT

    •  I agree, RichM. When the general public eventually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, Fishtroller01

      comes around to understanding that this pope's actions are in direct contradiction to his words, I think the backlash (since people don't like being snookered) will make him far more unpopular than Benedict.

      And when that happens, the leaders of the Catholic Church will entirely lose their credibility and their donors will take the $$$ elsewhere. And then these men will no longer pose a threat to our country and I will stop writing and just go work for the Democratic Party.

      •  I am going to respectfully disagree with that (0+ / 0-)

        The Catholic Church is 2,000 years old.  Far older than the Democratic Party, whose actions of late also are in direct contradiction to its words.  It survived the Reformation.  It is not going to lose credibility with its adherents if the Pope suddenly becomes Joel Osteen, which I strongly doubt will happen.

        A religion has to be meaningful to people's lives, and resonate with their daily experiences.  I suspect the Pope realizes this, which is why he has tried to fill the huge vacuum on economic justice issues that presently exists.

        A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

        by eightlivesleft on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think the Church will disappear, I only (0+ / 0-)

          hope that it loses its influence to support the GOP and the plutocracy worldwide. I don't particularly care how anyone chooses to worship God or not at all.

          BTW, he has filled "a huge vacuum" of Vatican appointments with those who support and work for the corporatocracy: http://www.dailykos.com/...

        •  It only survives because most Catholics (0+ / 0-)

          know NOTHING about what this institution DID to the world over those 2000 years.  It is a literal compilation of the most murderous, thieving, culturally destructive institution on the face of the earth.  

          It only "survived the Reformation" because Luther and the Protestant movement was just as corrupt as the RCC.

  •  A 3-hour meeting might seem long (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho

    but the Pope does NOT speak English.  Unless that group was fluent in Latin, Spanish, Italian (and probably other romance languages) maybe Greek, then everything went through a translator.  This takes time and is tedious.

  •  The Pope betrays the poor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Clermont, a2nite, Fishtroller01

    He betrays the poor and all his talk of income equality being a huge world problem by meeting with these "minions of Hell", for lack of a more accurate term.

    I had hope this Pope was at least a step in the right direction, compromising with these hideous people proves he is definitely NOT, and cancels all the good things he has said.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 08:37:24 AM PDT

  •  OK - I had to stop reading about 1/3 of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Clermont, Visceral

    the way in. I was throwing up in my mouth a little. (Will finish later.)
    These people are nothing more than sophisticated snake-oil salesmen taking advantage of their "believers" to get RICH. They have memorized the Bible and gospels as a way to suck in the masses.
    That would be bad enough, but their agenda is simply EVIL. If they want to continue being religious charlatans grabbing all the cash they can, whatever. It's on the people who give it to them. But once they started using that wealth to oppress people whose lives "offend" them, but whose existence doesn't impact theirs AT ALL, then it's beyond the pale, evil.
    I thought even though I'm not Catholic, (or anything for that matter) I kind of liked this Pope. Can he be naive enough not to know or understand their agenda, or is he in tacit agreement with it? Very troubling.

    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

    by manneckdesign on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:18:26 AM PDT

  •  Any chance he was ministering TO the group? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi

    He has spoken out against the excesses of capitalism and de-emphasized culture war issues.  This diarist would probably find nefarious motives in the Pope smiling.  If everyone only met with people they already agree with nothing would ever be accomplished.  Of course, that defines DK and some people seem to forget that.

  •  This has become a DK ritual. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, greenbell, raincrow

    At least once a month we get a diary, often from this unabashed Romaphobe, complaining that the Pope hasn't changed a 2000 year old institution over night, one that took 300 years to acknowledge that Galileo was right.  A small percentage of priests abuse their trust, which granted even one is one too many, but some see the Church as nothing but a pedophile protection racket.  I saw an episode of Frontline the other night that suggested that Benedict XVI resigned at least in part because he could not get accomplished what he wanted to in terms of sorting out the abuse mess.  I am not Catholic myself.  In fact I'm UCC which has many views very different than the RCC, but I grew up in a very Catholic area and went to Catholic high school.  As such I have seen many positive attributes of the Church and its adherents as well.  It is up to prosecutors to go after bad priests; there is no longer the "benefit of clergy" to protect them nor diplomatic immunity as if they are all agents of the Vatican.  We seem to tolerate religion bashing here on DK in a way that would otherwise be unacceptable to progressives if it were against anything else.  When it comes to the RCC any step in the right direction needs to be celebrated, but I'm also not sure why non-Catholics care so much that teachings have not changed.  The Church can only teach and preach, not enforce.

    •  I never wrote a single word that I expected this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      run around

      pope to make any beneficial or progressive changes. In fact, here's my diary dated the day after Bergoglio's election: http://www.dailykos.com/...

      And he HAS completely overhauled the Vatican's financial structure in the past year.

      In fact, I am a devout believer in the Catholic religion and have never "bashed" Catholic Christianity.

      The only "bashing" I've seen on this website is the CatholicChurch's/evangelical's use of "religion" to elect Republicans and destroy women and gay rights.

    •  The RCC is a GOP-promoting right-wing institution. (0+ / 0-)

      Holy F Shit, take a look at the american bishops! Jesus! What a bunch of asshole RWNJs! Ultraconservative GOPs all the way! If you can make a case in support of their politics... you are most likely a republican, or some brand of RWNJ.
          I think that serves as a valid reason for Romaphobic musings, don't you? Or maybe not, if you are so enraptured by the almighty inherent goodness of the church and all its trappings. Or something.
         Religions (systems of make-believe beliefs) should not automatically get some kind of pass from "bashing" because they are not benign within the culture, and as for the RCC, they are bad actors furthering a dangerous and deleterious agenda for the world.

      Opus Dei, Oh Vey!

    •  You win the crown... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Occulus, run around

      Best apologistic comment of the day.

      "Just trust them. They'll get it right someday. They're too big to change. They can only teach and can't enforce a single thing. Criticizing them is just religion bashing."

      Please do yourself a favor and don't look in those corners where women and gays have no rights or where children are abused to the tune of hundreds of thousands worldwide and decades of cover up.  

      I thought progressives stood for women and gays and children and against corruption. This church in America is one of the biggest lying hypocritical institutions we have going. They cry religious freedom on the one hand and take millions of dollars of taxpayers monies to run all those do gooder charities to enhance their PR.

      I don't have patience for thinking like this.  I want the corruption to stop, I want the Catholic Church out of my government, my Supreme Court and my hospitals.   I truly understand now why the Founders were totally distrustful of the RCC.

      Everyone SHOULD be a "Romaphobe".

      •  MIL GRACIAS, Fishtroller. I was starting to wear (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Occulus, run around, Fishtroller01

        out after dealing with these trolls all day. Thanks for jumping in here and giving me a break.

        •  It's fear, Betty. (0+ / 0-)

          Any time something that you have centered your life around is revealed to be very much less than you thought it was, the first reaction is defensive and angry. I'd like to be more understanding, but with the usual crowd I just don't have the patience for their ignorance and stubbornness, nor for their nastiness either.

          One can hope that with repeated information, some more partially open minds will finally see the light. You got more recs and comments than normal, so that could be a good sign.

          I really do wonder if Jeff Sharlet knows about this. I had an email conversation with him years ago and met him at an AU convention (he autographed my books!). He still writes for Killing the Buddha online.

  •  See diary: Hobby Lobby case linked to the Family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai
  •  Any comment Betty? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow
    Pope Francis on Monday removed two American-born cardinals — including former La Crosse Bishop Raymond Burke — from the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, meaning the ultraconservative prelate will lose his influential role in the appointment of bishops in the United States.
    Among those appointed was Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl. While conservative, Wuerl is seen as a bridge-builder and less dogmatic than Burke, who has promoted the denial of communion to pro-abortion rights Catholic politicians and in recent interviews appeared to question the new pope's plans to reshape the Vatican bureaucracy known as the curia.
    http://www.jsonline.com/...
  •  all C Street needs is a holy/bulldozer.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:55:13 PM PDT

  •  2%? How about the 50% of U.S. Bishops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    who've knowingly transferred a pedophile priest to rape again?

    That's HALF, your (really, somebody else's) holiness.

    And they did so following the doctrines and policies of the church.  

    These are not "bad apples".  

    They're the tree.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:11:06 PM PDT

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