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A memo personally signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, when he headed the powerful Vatican office where all charges of abuse were centralized, was exposed this April and has aroused a new outcry.
Ratzinger overrode and stopped any action against the predator priest Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy.
Reverend Murphy was accused of sexually abusing more than 200 boys at a Milwaukee School for the Deaf, despite appeals for his expulsion even from his bishop.
For decades the former students had used sign language and written affidavits in meetings with bishops and secular officials to demand that Father Murphy be charged and prosecuted.
At the same time, the story broke in Italy that 67 former pupils of another school for the Deaf in Verona had accused 24 priests, brothers and religious laymen of sexually abusing them from the age of 7 years.
In Germany, more than 250 suppressed cases of abuse have surfaced in the last two months, including in districts directly overseen by Pope Benedict when he had been the bishop.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle

Pope 'led cover-up of child abuse by priests'
30 September 2006
Pope as Cadinal Ratzinger issued secret Vatican edict to bishops around world to put Church interests ahead of child safety
The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight.
In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety.
The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it.
And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.
The Panorama special, Sex Crimes And The Vatican, investigates the details of this little-known document for the first time.
The programme also accuses the Catholic Church of knowingly harbouring paedophile clergymen.
Top: Tom Doyle, a priest and a  Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims.

Bottom: 1981 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger accepts Pope John Paul II's invitation to take over as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

1998 Ratzinger elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals.

2005 Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI by conclave of Cardinals
Tom Doyle, a priest and a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims.
1981 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger accepts Pope John Paul II's invitation to take over as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
1998 Ratzinger elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals.
2005 Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI by conclave of Cardinals
Notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in safe at all times
It reveals that priests accused of child abuse are generally not struck off or arrested but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend.
It gives examples of hush funds being used to silence the victims.
Before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI in April last year, the pontiff was Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger who had, for 24 years, been the head of the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith, the department of the Roman Catholic Church charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith.
An arch-Conservative, he was regarded as the 'enforcer' of Pope John Paul II in cracking down on liberal challenges to traditional Catholic teachings.
Five years ago he sent out an updated version of the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis — Latin for The Crime of Solicitation — which laid down the Vatican's strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal.
It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.
Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.
Total disregard for the victims
Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme:
"I found out I wasn't working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself."
And Father Tom Doyle, a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims, says:
"What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.
"When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another.
So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place.
This is happening all over the world."
The investigation could not come at a worse time for Pope Benedict, who is desperately trying to mend the Church's relations with the Muslim world after a speech in which he quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who said that Islam was spread by holy war and had brought only evil to the world.
Raped by a priest when he was 14
The Panorama programme is presented by Colm O'Gorman, who was raped by a priest when he was 14.
He said:
"What gets me is that it's the same story every time and every place.
Bishops appoint priests who they know have abused children in the past to new parishes and new communities and more abuse happens."
Last night Eileen Shearer, director of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults said:
"The Catholic Church in England and Wales (has) established a single set of national policies and procedures for child protection work.
We are making excellent progress in protecting children and preventing abuse."
Comment from someone on the web page:
Crimen sollicitationis is referring to the sacramental seal of confession, and anyone who breaks it, meaning the members of the clergy speaking about what has been told to them inside the sacrament of reconciliation, which is very well known to Catholics, and most non-Catholics.
© 2006 ES London Limited
From Kewe at
'De delictis gravioribus' — on more serious crimes — was the letter written on 18 May 2001 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to all the Bishops of the Catholic Church and the other Ordinaries concerned, including those of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
'Crimen sollicitationis' — the crime of soliciting — is a secret document issued by the Holy Office of the Vatican (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 1962, instructing bishops about how to handle cases in which priests were accused of using the privacy of the confessional to make sexual advances to penitents.
The document dealt exclusively with the procedure to be followed in connection with a denunciation to the ecclesiastical authority of a priest guilty of solicitation in Confession or of similar acts.
It imposed secrecy about the conduct of the ecclesiastical trial, not allowing, for instance, statements made during the trial by witnesses or by the accused to be published.
It repeated the rule that any Catholic who failed for over a month to denounce a priest who had made such advances in connection with confession was automatically excommunicated and could be absolved only after actually denouncing the priest or at least promising seriously to do so
It did not state that such report not be reported to the police, but in no way did is suggest that reports should be made to the police.
The secrecy involved in the document itself — only available to bishops and then to be kept locked — that no outside authority and the public should be aware of that which was written in the document, can be considered to imply that nothing should be taken outside the bishop's office or Ecclesiastical trial proceedings.
The oath of office to be taken by the members of the tribunal was given as Formula A as stated in 'Crimen sollicitationis':
... Spondeo, voveo ac iuro, inviolabile secretum me servaturum in omnibus et singulis quae mihi in praefato munere exercendo occurrerint, exceptis dumtaxat iis quae in fine et expeditiones [recte: expeditione] huius negotii legitime publicari contingat ... neque unquam directe vel indirecte, nutu, verbo, scriptis, aut alio quovis modo et sub quocumque colorato praetextu, etiam maioris boni aut urgentissimae et gravissimae causae, contra hanc secreti fidem quidquam commissurum, nisi peculiaris facultas aut dispensatio expresse mihi a Summo Pontifice tributa fuerit.
… I do promise, vow and swear that I will maintain inviolate secrecy about each and every thing brought to my knowledge in the performance of my aforesaid function, excepting only what may happen to be lawfully published when this process is concluded and put into effect … and that I will never directly or indirectly, by gesture, word, writing or in any other way, and under any pretext, even that of a greater good or of a highly urgent and serious reason, do anything against this fidelity to secrecy, unless special permission or dispensation is expressly granted to me by the Supreme Pontiff.
'De delictis gravioribus' written in 2001 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle:
...that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence.
This was a command to the bishops that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with directly by Rome.
As Tom Doyle, a priest and a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims:
"What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.
"When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another.
So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place.
'De delictis gravioribus' dealt with a number of issues important to the church.
There are eight issues that list as 'more serious offenses in behavior
Four issues concern the Eucharist, the wafer of bread that is taken by mouth.
Three issues concern the sacrament of Confession.
The remaining more serious offences in behaviour issue in the document lists one offence of a moral character.
Not directly connected with administration of the sacraments, this issue was reserved in the same way as these to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, namely, the offence of a cleric (a bishop, priest or deacon) who commits a sexual sin with someone under 18 years of age.
Reservation of these offences to the Congregation does not mean that the Congregation itself tries those accused of committing them.
It requires instead that, if a preliminary investigation shows that it is at least probable that the offence was committed, the ordinary (in the Eastern Catholic Churches called the hierarch) — the Eastern church does not mean the Eastern Orthodox churches for they are not subject to the Vatican Pope — is to consult the Congregation on the manner in which his own tribunal is to proceed.
In addition, any appeals from the verdict of that tribunal are to be made to the Congregation, instead of the usual appeals tribunal.
It cannot be stated any other way:
It is because of Ratzinger, the present Benedict XVI, and behind him Karol Józef, the then Pope John Paul II, who authorized the release of 'De delictis gravioribus' and previously because of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Pope John XXIII, now designated 'blessed,' who authorized the release of 'Crimen sollicitationis,' that child abuse practice by priests, including the rape of children, has continued through the decades.
Tom Doyle:
"What gets me is that it's the same story every time and every place.
"Bishops appoint priests who they know have abused children in the past to new parishes and new communities and more abuse happens."
BBC editors doing their Illuminati work
Notice, if your click on the following two reports, that the BBC when mentioning Ratzinger never mention 'De delictis gravioribus,' nor the Catholic Church's decades of practicing secrecy and outright hostility with regard to those children who come forward with reports of rape and abuse by priests.
Decades of falsification and cover-up by the church is perhaps not sufficient — since the Jesus early truths became taken over by the Illuminati families who controlled Rome, when has this Illuminati religion not practiced secrecy and deception?
One might question the BBC and its practices of leaving out important pieces of the puzzle in its news sheets.
Ratzinger needs to be indicted, prosecuted
Benedict's (Ratzinger's) comments are predictably insincere.   He knew exactly what was going on. As Catholic theologian, Hans Kueng points out:
"There was not a single man in the whole Catholic Church who knew more about the sex-abuse cases than him, because it was ex officio (part of his official role)...
"He can’t wag his finger at the bishops and say, you didn’t do enough.
He gave the instruction himself, as head of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith, and repeated it as Pope."
This case goes way beyond the sleazy details of one man's repeated attempts to conceal the criminal activities of serial molesters and child rapists.
The real issue is whether people in positions of power are to be held accountable for their actions and whether the law really applies to everyone equally and without exception.
That's what's at stake here.
Ratzinger needs to be indicted, prosecuted and - if found guilty - sentenced to prison.
Coverup Operation at the Vatican — click here
Ratzinger Declined to Defrock Child-Torturing Priest
So to add to the list of abuse cases that the pope ignored, we now have one that he responded to.
It just took him a couple years!
And once he responded he didn't actually recommend defrocking the guy who tied up and molested two kids, in church.
Rev. Stephen Kiesle pleaded no contest to charges of tying up and molesting two young boys in a rectory — click here
Archibishop of Westminster.

Illuminati Charlatan - Most Rev Vincent Nichols

Britain’s top Catholic protected paedophile.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales presided over a child protection system that allowed a paedophile priest to continue abusing schoolboys despite repeated complaints from victims

Photo: TOL
Illuminati Charlatan — Most Rev Vincent Nichols
Judge award former pupil £43,000 damages against Pearce and Ealing Abbey for sexual abuse
Twenty years later he is unclear of the exact sequence of events but told the High Court that he had no doubt he had been repeatedly sexually abused.
After less than a year in the care of Father David Pearce, the 10-year-old pupil at St Benedict’s School attempted to hang himself from a stairwell.
The Catholic boy abused by Father David Pearce whose life fell apart — click here
Archibishop of Westminster.

Illuminati Charlatan - Archbishop Most Rev Vincent Nichols walks past the congregation after being installed as the eleventh Archbishop of Westminster at Westminster Cathedral in London May 21, 2009.

Britain’s top Catholic protected paedophile.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales presided over a child protection system that allowed a paedophile priest to continue abusing schoolboys despite repeated complaints from victims

Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Illuminati Charlatan — Most Rev Vincent Nichols
One of his Ratzinger's first acts as Pope was to elevate Law to a prestigious Vatican post
Law a 'Cardinal' of the church had resigned when the Boston Archdiocese was ordered to pay a settlement of between $85 million and $100 million for child abuse.
What was once accepted, because there seemed to be no recourse, has become intolerable.
Thousands of the survivors raising the charges of pedophilia were loyal working class believers who were utterly powerless until years later to resist or even tell their own families of the crimes being committed.
They were abused as children in orphanages, reform schools, schools for Deaf and disabled, local parish schools and churches.
This challenge from below against secrecy and repression was a sharp break from the past.
Abuse had been unchallenged because religious authority was unchallenged.
In many parish schools, although sexual abuse was hidden, physical and psychological abuse and humiliation were so routine that they seemed part of the curriculum.
What is new... is the evidence seeping out from every side showing the personal responsibility of the present Pope Benedict XVI in decades of suppression, cover-up and quiet reassigning of sexual predators.
The scale of the criminal international conspiracy of silence to protect serial molesters and to put church interests ahead of child safety and well-being was fully revealed over the past year in the handling of sexual abuse in Ireland, an overwhelmingly Catholic country
After years of demands by abuse survivors for church action and government prosecution, and a series of exposes in the Irish news media, the Irish government commissioned a study that took nine years to complete.
The report drew on testimony from thousands of former inmates and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions.
The commission found that Catholic priests and nuns had terrorized thousands of boys and girls for decades and that government inspectors had failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.
The report characterized rape and molestation as “endemic” in Irish Catholic church-run industrial schools and orphanages.
Preaching in Springfield, Mass., a long-time critic of the church cover-up, Rev. James J. Scahill, responded to the weak apology by describing some in the clergy as “felons” and calling for the resignation of Pope Benedict.
Scahill New York Times, April 12 2010:
“We must personally and collectively declare that we very much doubt the veracity of the pope and those of church authority who are defending him or even falling on the sword on his behalf.
It is beginning to become evident that for decades, if not centuries, church leadership covered up the abuse of children and minors to protect its institutional image and the image of priesthood,”
Cardinal Bernard Law of the Boston Archdiocese clearly played a role in protecting child-molesting priests from punishment by religious or secular authority and quietly transferring them.
In 2002 a judge in Massachusetts permitted the release of thousands of pages of documents, memos and legal depositions.
The documents showed a clear pattern of cover-up, protecting perpetrators and marginalizing victims, revealing that more than 1,000 children had been abused by 250 priests and church workers in the Archdiocese since 1940.
Cardinal Law was forced to resign his post in disgrace and the Boston Archdiocese was ordered to pay a settlement of between $85 million and $100 million to settle 552 cases.
One of his [Ratzinger's] first acts as Pope was to elevate Cardinal Law of Boston to a prestigious Vatican post.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle
Bush gets help from the Vatican Priest
In a world suffering from environmental degradation,
war from the West,
poverty, hunger, repression, the Bavarian,
who once served for a brief time in Hitler's youth,
chooses to insult the founder of a rival faith.
Bush gets help from the Vatican Pope Priest Ratzinger

In a world suffering from environmental degradation, war from the West, poverty, hunger, repression, the Bavarian, who once served for a brief time in Hitler's youth, chooses to insult the founder of a rival faith. 

Photo: Al-Rifa'i, Ad Dustour, 9/17/06
September 16/17, 2006
Papal Insults
A Bavarian Provocation
Was Benedict's most recent provocation accidental or deliberate?   The Bavarian is a razor-sharp reactionary cleric.   A man who organises his own succession to the Papacy with a ruthless purge of potential dissidents and supervises the selection of Cardinals with great care leaves little to chance.
I think he knew what he was saying and why.
Choosing a quote from Manuel II Paleologos, not the most intelligent of the Byzantine rulers, was somewhat disingenuous, especially on the eve of a visit to Turkey.   He could have found more effective quotes and closer to home.   Perhaps it was his unique tribute to Oriana Fallaci.
The Muslim world with two of its countries---Iraq and Afghanistan-- directly occupied by Western troops does not need to be reminded of the language of the Crusades.   In a neo-liberal world suffering from environmental degradation, poverty, hunger, repression, a 'planet of slums' (in the graphic phrase of Mike Davis), the Pope chooses to insult the founder of a rival faith.
The reaction in the Muslim world was predictable, but depressingly insufficient.   Islamic civilization cannot be reduced to the power of the sword.   It was the vital bridge between the Ancient world and the European Renaissance.   It was the Catholic Church that declared War on Islam in the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily.   Mass expulsions, killings, forced conversions and a vicious Inquisition to police the cleansed Europe and the reformist Protestant enemy.
The fury against 'heretics' led to the burning of Cathar villages in Southern France.   Jews and Protestants alike were granted refuge by the Ottoman Empire, a refuge they would have been denied had Istanbul remained Constantinople.   'Slaves, obey your human masters.   For Christ is the real master you serve' said Paul (Colossians 3: 22-24) in establishing a collaborationist tradition which fell on its knees before wealth and power and which reached its apogee during the Second World War where the leadership of the Church collaborated with fascism and did not speak up against the judeocide or the butchery on the Eastern Front.   Islam does not need pacifist lessons from this Church.
Violence was and is not the prerogative of any single religion as the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine demonstrates.   During the Cold War the Vatican, with rare exceptions, supported the imperial wars.   Both sides were blessed during the First and Second World wars; the US Cardinal Spellman was a leading warrior in the battles to destroy Communism during the Korean and Vietnam wars.   The Vatican later punished the liberation theologists and peasant-priests in Latin America.   Some were excommunicated.
Not all Christians joined in the crusades old and new.   When Pope Urban launched the crusades the Norman king of Sicily refused to send troops in which Sicilian Muslims would be compelled to fight against Muslims in the East.   His son, Roger II, refused to back the Second Crusade.   In doing so they showed more courage than the leaders of contemporary Italy, who are only too willing to join the imperial crusades against the Muslim world.
'To make sure of being right in all things', said the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, 'we ought always to hold to the principle that the white I see I should believe to be black if the hierarchical church were so to rule.'
Today most Catholic prelates in the West (including the Bavarian in the Vatican) and politicians of Centre-Left/Right worship the real Pope who lives in the White House and tells them when black is white.
40 percent of all nuns in the United States sexual trauma
Not only children have been the victims of abuse.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of Jan. 4, 2003, a national survey conducted by researchers at St. Louis University was paid for, in part, by several orders of Catholic nuns.
It estimated that a “minimum” of 34,000 Catholic nuns, or about 40 percent of all nuns in the United States, have suffered some form of sexual trauma.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle

  News & Issues



Pope Uses Easter To Attack Gay Families
by Malcolm Thornberry, European Bureau Chief
April 14, 2006
(Vatican City) In marking the Stations of the Cross during Good Friday observances in Rome Pope Benedict XVI called for the "filth" the surrounds society to be cleansed and said the world is in the grip of "a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family".
"Lord, we have lost our sense of sin," he said.   "Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”
Although the Pontiff did not specifically name same-sex relationships the message was clear, less than a week after Italian voters elected a leftist government committed to recognizing gay and lesbian couples.
In a much publicized event less than two weeks before the election the pope used a meeting with the conservative coalition to launch an attack on the leftists for their support of a domestic partner law.
"Attempts to make [marriage] juridically equivalent to radically different forms of unions which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization," the pope declared.
Papal attacks on same-sex couples are not new.   although Friday's was the harshest to date.   Benedict's predecessor John Paul II condemned Spain and Canada's moves to legalize gay marriage and Britain's civil partnerships.
Six weeks after he became pope, Benedict made his first public statement on same-sex marriage.
Calling same-sex unions "pseudo-matrimony" the pope said: "The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man."
Although was his first public comment on same-sex marriage since becoming Pope, Benedict had long history of attacking same-sex unions.
As Cardinal Ratzinger he was the Vatican's most outspoken opponent of gay marriage.
He was the author of the a 2003 Vatican directive to priests around the world calling for a proactive stand to stop governments from legalizing same-sex marriage and for a repeal of those those already on the books that give rights, including adoption, to gay couples.
The 12 page document called on Catholic bishops and lawmakers to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions.
Last November the Vatican released it long-awaited document directing seminaries to reject gays a prospective priests.
©® 2006
Ratzinger removing from parishes, schools and all positions priests, bishops and religious who were in any way progressive or concerned with advocating for the rights and dignity of poor and oppressed people
While absolving, covering up and transferring thousands of priests who were guilty of child abuse, Pope Benedict XVI used his position for 25 years as head of the most powerful church institution, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to remove from parishes, schools and all positions of authority thousands of priests, bishops and religious persons who were in any way progressive or concerned with advocating for the rights and dignity of poor and oppressed people.
Dissident Catholic theologians, teachers, writers and intellectuals were prevented from writing, publishing and teaching in church institutions.
Bishops who attempted to use their authority for social change were investigated for loyalty and forced to resign.
They were replaced by the most politically reactionary clergy who were concerned mainly with preserving religious authority and dogma.
This was a right-wing effort to stamp out a progressive religious current known as “liberation theology,” which sought to align the church with the liberation movements and anti-colonial and revolutionary struggles sweeping Africa, Asia and Latin America and the civil rights movement in the U.S.
Activist nuns who led the sanctuary movement to provide assistance and safe transit to Salvadoran immigrants fleeing death squads were targeted.
So were Philip and Tom Berrigan, priests who continually risked arrest and served jail time with a militant Catholic grouping opposed to the Vietnam War.
Liberation theologians, such as the charismatic Leonardo Boff of Brazil, were prohibited by the Church from speaking or writing.
Priests who sought to serve the poor, like Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, were expelled from their religious order and forced to resign for the crime of “glorification of class struggle.”
Under Pope John Paul II and then Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church was a staunch ally of U.S. imperialism opposing socialist construction in Eastern Europe.
In turn the powerful U.S. media played an active role in promoting and giving favorable coverage to the church while demonizing Muslims and other religions of oppressed people.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle
April 8, 2005
Opus Dei and John Paul II
A Profoundly Rightwing Pope
The predominant perception of John Paul II, as extensively reproduced in most of the Western media, is that he was very conservative ("traditional" is the term widely used) in religious subjects but progressive in social matters, as evidenced by his defense of the poor and his concern for human and social rights.
His key ideological role in the demise of the Soviet Union is put forward as further proof of his commitment to liberty and democracy.
John Paul's support for the Polish trade union Solidarnosc, his numerous speeches in support of the poor and of those left behind by capitalism or globalization, and his frequent calls for human solidarity ­not to mention his opposition to the invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces all are presented as examples of his progressiveness in the social arena.
In this perception of Pope John Paul II, some critical elements are forgotten.
Ultra right sect Opus Dei
Let's detail them.
He was groomed for the Papacy, long before he was elected Pope, by the ultra-right-wing sect Opus Dei.
This secret organization was founded by Monsignor Escrivá, a Spanish priest who was formerly a private confessor to General Franco, organizing spiritual meetings for the Spanish fascist leadership.
Opus Dei chose John Paul as the candidate for Pope very early in his career, when he was bishop of Krakow.  His conservatism and anti-communism were very attractive to this sect.
John Paul traveled extensively at that time on trips organized and funded by Opus Dei, developing a very close working relationship with the sect.
Opus Dei was the organization that developed the strategy to make him the Pope, assisted by the bishop of Munich, Joseph Ratzinger; the U.S. cardinals close to Opus Dei, Joseph Krol and Patrick Cody; and a cardinal then close to Opus Dei, Cardinal Franz König from Vienna (who later distanced himself from Opus Dei and from the Pope).
The center of operations for this campaign was Villa Tevere, the Opus Dei headquarters in Rome.
Opus Dei special order directly accountable to him
Immediately after his election as Pope, John Paul designated Opus Dei as a special order directly accountable to him, not to the bishops.
He surrounded himself with members of the order, the most visible being Navarro-Valls, an Opus Dei journalist who had worked for Abc, an ultra-conservative Spanish paper that had been supportive of the Franco regime.
Navarro-Valls is well-known for selecting journalists to cover the Pope's international visits who would report on them favorably.
He constantly vetoed critical voices, such as that of Domenico del Rio of the Italian paper La Republica.
The Pope later named another Opus Dei member, Angelo Sodano, as Secretary of State of the Vatican.
Sodano had been the Vatican's ambassador in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, becoming a close friend and advisor to the dictator.
He was responsible for the Pope's visit to the Pinochet dictatorship in 1987.
During this visit, the Pope never called publicly for liberty or democracy in Chile.
By contrast, when John Paul visited Cuba he was publicly critical of the Cuban regime.
But he remained silent when he visited Pinochet.
Later, when Pinochet was detained in London (awaiting extradition to Spain at the request of the Spanish Judge Baltazar Garzon), the Vatican, under Sodano's influence, asked the British Government to let Pinochet return to Chile.
Liberation theologian Leonardo Boff a traitor to the Church, the Judas of Christ
This same Sodano had referred to liberation theologian Leonardo Boff ­ one of the most popular priests in Latin America ­ as "a traitor to the Church, the Judas of Christ."
Under Pope John Paul II, the founder of Opus Dei was made a saint just twenty seven years after his death (one of the fastest such processes ever).
Meanwhile, Pope John XXIII and Bishop Romero, assassinated in El Salvadore because of his support for the poor of that country, have been waiting in line for sainthood for a much longer time.
Opus Dei and its Pope were profoundly hostile to liberation theology.
John Paul condemned it at the II Latin American Conference, presided over by Opus Dei member Monsignor Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, Secretary General and later president of that Conference.
Identification of Church with strong oligarchical regimes
John Paul also was displeased with the Jesuits who had become increasingly concerned about identification of the Church with the strong oligarchical regimes of Latin America.
He changed the leadership of the order, appointing very conservative priests as its new leadership.
As reported by the ex-Jesuit Luis de Sebastian in the Spanish Daily El Periodico (5 April 2005), the Pope received periodical reports from U.S. CIA Director William Casey (a Roman Catholic) on the "distressing" Jesuit movements in Latin America.
John Paul's speeches on the poor were highly generic and sanctimonious, humanistic in character, without ever touching on the cause of poverty.
When I call the Church to be with the poor, I am a saint.  When I call about the causes of poverty, I am a communist
As Archbishop Helder Camara of Brazil once said, "When I called for the role of the Church to be with the poor, I am called a saint; when I'm asked to do something about the causes of poverty, I am called a communist."
John Paul was profoundly political, always on the side of the powerful in Latin America and in Spain.
He never touched on the political causes of poverty, he marginalized and ostracized the mass religious movements in Latin America that called for major social reforms in favor of the poor, and (with Cardinal Ratzinger, the guardian of the Church orthodoxy) he condemned such movements, ordering their leading figures ­Gustavo Gutierrez, Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino, and others ­ to remain silent.
Bishop Romero wrote in his personal notes that, when he denounced the brutal repression carried out by the fascist dictatorship in El Salvador, the Pope reprimanded him for not being sufficiently balanced in his criticisms of the Salvadorian dictatorship, whom John Paul referred to as the legitimate government of El Salvador.
In Spain, John Paul was political to an extreme.
He was openly supportive of the post-Francoist party, the Popular Party (whose founder is Fraga Iribarne, ex-Minister of the Interior of the Franco fascist regime) and just a few months before his death he gave a speech against the Zapatero government that was actually written by the pro­Popular Party leadership of the Spanish Church.
Although he opposed the invasion of Iraq and the bombing of the Iraqi population, he never condemned the Franco regime (which the Spanish Church supported), nor did he ever condemn the bombing of Spain's civilian population by the Franco Air Force, with the help of German Nazi bombers.
When he was asked to condemn the bombing of Spanish cities by the Church-supported fascist forces of Spain, he declined to do so.
Rather than pushing a social agenda worldwide, Pope John Paul II became a major obstacle to such an agenda by making conservative issues (anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-homosexuality, and others) rather than social ones the center of political debate.
Anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-homosexuality rather than social issues
The evolution of the U.S. political debate among Catholics is an example of this.
In the past, Catholics in the U.S. voted Democrat more than Republican, but this is no longer the case.
In the 2004 presidential election, more Catholics voted for Bush (52%) than for Kerry (47%), and they indicated that the primary reason they supported Bush was the "values" issue.
Based on all this evidence, it is remarkable that John Paul II, Opus Dei's Pope, can be considered a progressive icon.
Vicente Navarro is Professor of Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University, USA and Pompeu Fabra University, Spain. Navarro contributed an essay on Salvidor Dali's fascist ties for CounterPunch's collection on art, culture and politics: Serpents in the Garden.
John Paul II and Ratzinger
For 24 years Ratzinger headed the most powerful and historically repressive institution in the Catholic Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
This body was known for centuries as the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
It was the church institution responsible for establishing religious courts for the charging and torture of tens of thousands of people accused of witchcraft and heresy.
It led the pogroms and mass expropriations of Jews and Muslims. Through this office within the church Pope John Paul II tried to install a modern-day Inquisition.
Ratzinger was an extremely right-wing political appointee of Pope John Paul II.
Faced with growing opposition on every level, this powerful institution that has for centuries protected the property and privilege of the Western ruling classes increasingly chose to elevate the most fanatically reactionary forces to do battle with those urging change, opening, equality and attention to the needs of the poor and oppressed.
How extensive are the sex abuse crimes committed against youth? Are the church hierarchy guilty of ignoring the problem — meaning criminal negligence?
Are they guilty of criminal complicity by refusing to take action even when crimes were brought to their direct attention?
Throughout Europe there is a growing call to criminally prosecute Pope Benedict...
The Vatican should feel the full weight of international law.
Pedophilia is a crime against humanity.
Geoffrey Robertson, London Guardian of April 2 2010:
"The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state — and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action — cannot stand up to scrutiny.”
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle
Monday, 28 November 2005
Vatican fuels gay clergy debate
By Peter Gould
Religious affairs analyst
Priest being ordained in St Peter's Basilica.

Some fear the policy will discourage new applicants for the priesthood.
Priest being ordained in St Peter's Basilica.
Some fear the policy will discourage new applicants for the priesthood
The Vatican's new policy on homosexuality and the priesthood seems certain to cause further controversy within the Catholic Church.
Due to be officially released on Tuesday, the 1,300-word document was leaked a week ago, when an Italian news agency posted details on its website.
Having had time to digest the new ruling, some Catholics say they are confused about what it really means.
The issue has provoked a fierce debate in the United States, where revelations about paedophile priests led to a scandal that reverberated around the Catholic world.
Faced with the question of whether to ordain gay men, the Vatican seems to have stopped short of an outright ban.
It says anyone who is actively gay, or has "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies, or who supports the "gay culture", should not in future be ordained.
But it says that such tendencies might be a manifestation of a "transitory problem". This has to be overcome at least three years before the man is ordained as a deacon - the step before priesthood.
Sexual honesty
John Allen, Vatican correspondent of the National Catholic Reporter, says the document does not define "deep-seated homosexual tendencies", leaving it unclear how exactly they differ from "transitory" impulses.
"The instruction never uses the word 'orientation' or 'condition' with respect to homosexuality," he says. "Instead it refers to 'tendencies', a seemingly deliberate choice, suggesting that homosexuality is an impulse or inclination which can be reversed."
The US bishops have discouraged researchers from asking questions about sexual orientation because they know that the results would make front-page news across the country
Father Thomas Reese
The Vatican's choice of language is puzzling some of the Church's own experts.
Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit scholar based in California, also questions the use of the word "tendencies".
"Is 'tendencies' the equivalent of 'orientation' or does it mean something else?"  he asks. "The document never uses the 'O' word, which has left many people scratching their heads."
Father Reese says it can be inferred from the Church's previous teaching that "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" are not chosen but are some kind of innate instinct, or an incurable pathological constitution.
"Is this the Vatican definition of homosexual orientation?"  he asks.
"Some canon lawyers and theologians will undoubtedly argue that even under this new instruction a bishop could still ordain to the priesthood a mature, celibate homosexual."
John Allen

John Allen: The Vatican's definitions are left unclear
John Allen: The Vatican's definitions are left unclear
With the decision on individual cases being left to bishops and religious superiors, the Vatican is urging candidates for the priesthood to be honest about their sexuality.
The number of homosexual priests already in the Catholic Church is a matter for speculation; there are no definitive figures.
"The US bishops have discouraged researchers from asking questions about sexual orientation because they know that the results would make front-page news across the country," says Father Reese.
"They don't know because they don't want anyone else to know. As a result, the Vatican is making decisions about the appropriateness of ordaining homosexuals in total ignorance of how many current priests are homosexuals, how well they observe celibacy, and how well they do ministry."
'Lavender Mafia'
There has been talk of a "homosexual subculture" in the priesthood, and a "Lavender Mafia" that operates within the American church. This hidden network, it is claimed, promotes a gay agenda and seeks to cover up scandals.
Concern has been expressed that this subculture may deter young men from training for the priesthood, at a time when there is a serious shortage of new recruits for the ministry in the United States and Western Europe.
Michael Rose, the author of a study of American seminary life called "Goodbye, Good Men", believes the teachings of the Church are being undermined.
"One aspect of this gay subculture of both priests and seminarians is that too many men who want to be chaste, whether gay or straight, are propositioned, harassed or even molested," he wrote in a recent article for the Dallas Morning News.
"This is not simply about homosexuality or homosexual acts. It is about an agenda and subculture that systematically undermine celibacy."
Some Catholics believe homosexual orientation should be an automatic disqualification for the priesthood. But for others, the key issue is whether the man - no matter what his sexual orientation - can remain celibate and become a good priest.
No discussion
While the Vatican's new policy document was prompted by the sex-abuse scandal within the United States, it is intended for the worldwide Church.
"Sad to say, reports from more and more countries are now showing that sexual abuse is not a uniquely American problem," says Father Reese.
"Although there is still a great deal of homophobia in the United States, it pales by comparison with Africa and Latin America, where many both inside and outside the church would deny there are any homosexuals.
"Bishops in Africa and Latin America would certainly not welcome a document that indicated any openness to homosexuals in the clergy.
"In Africa, such a document would open the church to attacks from Muslim clerics and in Latin America it would open the church to attacks from fundamentalists. Only in the United States is this issue even being discussed."
Ratzinger leading enforcer of archaic religious doctrines on sexuality
While taking no action against sexual predators because this threatened the authority and sanctity of the priesthood, Ratzinger was the leading enforcer of archaic religious doctrines on sexuality and the subordinate role of women in the church and in society as a whole.
No liberalization on issues of birth control, abortion, divorce or recognition of homosexuality was allowed.
Within the church these rules were enforced through focus on sin and guilt.
Gay Catholics, Catholics who remarried, practiced birth control or had an abortion were denied the sacraments, barred from the church or excommunicated.
The full weight of Church institutions with large amounts of funding and political leverage were aggressively used in secular society to oppose liberalization of divorce laws and a woman’s right to birth control and to abortion.
The Catholic Church organized and funded political campaigns against same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gay couples.
But while proclaiming their religious duty to protect the “unborn child,” they refused to protect children directly under their control.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle
Gay fetish: the infinite shelf life of homo-distraction
Katy McKy — Raw Story Columnist
Published: January 30, 2006
The sky isn't falling, but it's fraying.
The ozone, that blanket of O3 between oblivion and us, dissolves when we spray fluorocarbons.
The oceans rise.   Divorce rates also rise, as more and more Americans, especially in the red states, emulate Britney Spear's matrimonial habits.
Burn us off the global body
Then there's more.   According to Sir James Lovelock, the original Gaian guy, the Earth is treating us like a virus, raising the temp to burn us off the global body.
With every factory closing, we become more a nation of consumers and borrowers rather than producers and savers.
And we're borrowing 2 trillion dollars to fund our Iraqi imperialism.
Via that imperialism, we've cultivated a fresh crop of terrorists.
We're running out of oil, but we're running high on gluttony.   And so on.
Gay people are taking over
And what worries the Right?   Brokeback Mountain!   And gay marriage.
As a college class exercise, a friend of mine recently interviewed a classmate.
My friend asked, "What don't you like about America?"
The 18-year old classmate said, "Off the record, gay people are taking over."
Homosexualizing of America
What has taken over is the discussion of gay people.   Whereas I consider the civil rights of gay people to be fundamental to the American dream and a requisite for Constitutional integrity, I consider the Right's ad nauseam appetite for gay-themed diatribes to be a deadly diversion.
Janet Parshall, the talk show host, said on the January 17th edition of Larry King Live, "After all, I think what we're witnessing, Larry, is the homosexualizing of America."
What most recently wadded up Parshall's panties and shoved them so far up her rectum that it'll take a proctologist to remove them is Brokeback Mountain.   It's a semi-mainstream movie and it has Parshall squawking that the sky is falling.
Well, Ms. Parshall, the sky is fraying.   The oceans are rising.   So is the temp.   And what worries you?   Make-believe amour between a couple comely sheepherders?
The hunky horror, the hunky horror.
Homosexuality is sin
Parshall and others assert that homosexuality is sin.   Thus, if one is straight and frames homosexuality as sin, it's the sweetest sin, for it's not one's sin.
This gives homosexuality an infinite shelf life.
It's never grows stale, for whereas it demands change of others, it requires no personal change.   No sacrifice.
So long as one is straight and heterosexuality demarcates purity, one is permanently pure.
Delivering healthcare to all children
Thus, such Right-thinking straight people can use homosexuality as their fetish object for moral masturbation.
It would be merely creepy if it didn't keep the Right from the work of weaning ourselves off oil, decreasing the production of gases that accelerate global warming, equalizing education, delivering healthcare to all children, and so on.
On a personal level, the gay moral fetish distracts from Biblical adherence.
As long as Rush Limbaugh rants about queer folk, he's distracted from returning to his first wife, as the Bible demands.  
As long as Parshall squawks about Brokeback Mountain, she won't have to forsake her family and her fortune, as the Bible also demands.
As oil prices rise, the oceans, and the temperature rise
Perhaps the homophobe should pay gay people for their perpetual diversion.   One pays a cable provider for the television shows that distract us from the work of our time and the deprivations of the future, for as oil prices, the oceans, and the temperature rise and rise, quality of life will fall and fall.
So, shouldn't the homophobes of the Right pay gay folks for distracting them from their patriotic duties and their Christian duties, since those duties are hard and their distraction means that their children and grandchildren will bear the brunt of massive debt and monstrous drought?
Like the 18-year old who believes that what's wrong with America is that "gay people are taking over," when you can hold back your rising worries with a sturdy dyke, life is good.   For now.
Queer people are the divine other
But gay people do more than distract.   They pander to our inveterate desire for an other.   Queer people are the divine other, for homo-bigots believe that they have Biblical clearance to hate.
"Yes, uh, Flight 2002," they imagine God saying, "you have clearance to land on the civil rights of your fellow homosexual citizens.   On final approach, you might run into some Constitutional interference, but tune that out and when you taxi over to the tarmac, we'll, uh, amend that Constitution."
The homo-fetish also serves an ancient purpose.
It's no longer safe to publicly articulate racial hatred.
But there remains a deep desire to define and elevate oneself by what one isn't.
With God's green light, the fundy Right references gays everyday.
However, with only 3 gay references in the Bible, and a hundred times that number of warnings against wealth, the arithmetic suggests that the real work of being a Christian is casting off wealth.
Jesus told one story
Jesus told one story about a man going to Hell.
That man was a rich man, a man who lived on the sweet side of a wall while a poor man suffered on the other.
But walking away from wealth would be Hell on Earth for those that love manna more than their fellow man.
So, thank God for gay folks.
Katie McKy is the author of It All Began With a Bean, which answers a child's true query: "What would happen if everyone in the world passed gas at once?"   Her work can be found regularly on Raw Story.   You can visit her online at
Violent attacks on gay people
Pope Benedict [as Ratzinger] in a well-known letter to bishops in 1986 described homosexuality as an “intrinsic moral evil.”
He went so far as to justify and even encourage violent attacks on gay people by stating that “neither the church or society should be surprised if irrational and violent reactions increase” when gay people demand civil rights.
The years of repression, witch-hunts and organized bigotry have given the Catholic hierarchy less and less a basis of support.
They are more out of touch with their own congregation and totally out of touch with the values of society as a whole.
Despite every effort, they cannot go back to their absolute hold of 500 or even 100 years ago, when priests and bishops did not have to account for crimes against women or against slaves, serfs, peasants or illiterate workers.
Carefully crafted apologies that accept no blame and scripted public relations meetings with a few selected abuse survivors will not solve the crisis facing the reactionary leadership of the church.
Today those who have suffered abuse have found their voice and have found allies.
Sara Flounders — The Pope, Pedophilia and the Class Struggle

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims
For immediate release:
November 27, 2005
Alleged Abusive Clerics Who Worked at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in San Pedro, CA
At least seven accused abusive priests have worked at this one parish.   At least four of the accused predators allegedly molested dozens of girls.
Some of the archdiocese's most prominent clerics, including Msgr. Richard A. Loomis, former head of clergy who oversaw misconduct allegations against priests is accused of abusing teenage boy.
Father Michael Stephen Nocita worked at Mary Star of the Sea despite church officials’ admission that they knew Nocita had a “problem” in the seminary before ordaining him into the priesthood and assigning him to the parish.   Two women have filed civil lawsuits against the Los Angeles Archdiocese for covering up his alleged crimes.,1,3303571.story?coll=la-news-religion
Father George Neville Rucker is accused of molesting dozens of girls.   In 2002, Rucker was arrested aboard a cruise ship off Alaska by state troopers at the request of Los Angeles police.   Charges against Rucker were later dropped after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned California’s new criminal law that allowed prosecution of child sex crimes in cases where the statute of limitations had already expired.
Monsignor George Scott is accused of molesting at least one girl and boy while working at the parish.   Scott’s nephew and high ranking church official, Bishop Patrick Ziemann, is also accused of sexual abuse.
Father Santiago Tamayo along with six other priests is accused of gang raping and impregnating a girl.   The victim was then secretly sent to Philippines to give birth to the child.   Tamayo initially denied the allegations and left the country.   He later returned to the U.S. despite church officials warning him not to return to avoid prosecution.   Tamayo publicly apologized to his victim and admitted that he and six other priests raped the girl.
Two other priests, Father Raymond Tepe and Monsignor Patrick O’Dwyer are also accused of molestation and worked at Mary Star of the Sea.
Gary Schoener, a Minneapolis psychologist whose Minneapolis Walk-in Counseling Center has worked on more than 2,000 cases of clerical sex abuse, says the majority of clerical abusers that he and his staff deal with (from several denominations) victimize girls and women.   Yet, he says, public perception is that far more males are abused, and that the harm they suffer is more serious than what females experience.
"Women and girls are every bit as much at risk as boys and men," says Schoener.   "But the sexual abuse of a boy is treated far more seriously, and is considered a far worse offense.   Men are regarded as too strong to be victims; their victimization is somehow more shocking to the public.   Women are expected to put up with more.
The group hopes to persuade victims and people who know or suspect abuse to report it to criminal authorities, expose molesters and protect kids and vulnerable adults.
Straight & Narrow
By Chris Floyd

From out of the mists of a black and bloody history, the Inquisition reared its head last week  (pun entirely intended)  to condemn a goodly portion of humanity as “inhuman” practitioners of “evil,” a people so “intrinsically disordered” that even their most noble and loving action — raising a child — is a crime that “does violence” to society.
Yea, the very existence of these evildoers threatens the entire structure of civilization — the “common inheritance of humanity.”
The target of this frothing revenant — now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — was not, as of old, thrice-damned Jews, hellbound heretics or devil-worshiping Mohammedans, but that ever-popular Vatican whipping boy: homosexuals.
Oddly enough, the thing that has so incensed the aging, arch-conservative pope (who is definitely not going gentle into that good night) is the fact that so many same-sexers — long condemned for their intractable promiscuity — want to settle down and get married, just like real humans do.
Pope John Paul George Ringo II (or was Pete Best really one of the original apostles?   The doctrinal debates rage on) launched his broadside against homosexual marriage last week in a well-timed one-two punch with President George W.M.D. Bush, who pronounced his own anathema on gay monogamy.
In a rare incarnation at a formal press conference (only his eighth blessed appearance since the Lord appointed him to office), Bush sidestepped unimportant issues like, oh, launching unjust wars on the basis of known lies, and instead thrust boldly into the open maw of gay sex — a rampaging obsession with his “core supporters” on the hard Christian right.
(Bush also took the opportunity to warn Americans of imminent terrorist attacks from al-Qaida — before taking himself off for a monthlong vacation at his fortified ranch in Texas.     Well, discretion is the better part of valor, they say.     And no one knows that better than Ole AWOL Bush.)
With the linguistic precision for which he is so justly famous, Bush told reporters that unspecified “lawyers” in the White House were working on unspecified measures to make sure that “someone like me” doesn’t have to “compromise on issues such as marriage.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if someone who wasn’t like Bush would be allowed to compromise on issues such as marriage, but no doubt it will all come out in the wash.     At any rate, we will probably see a Bush-sponsored “Preserve Gay Promiscuity” Act in Congress real soon.
Perhaps Bush’s eagerness to protect his homosexual subjects from the ravages of matrimony was inspired by the recent travails of his brother, Neil.    (Yes, the same Neil Bush whose insider savings-and-loan scamming cost taxpayers $1 billion to clean up during Daddy’s presidency.)     Neil, who has ditched the old ball-and-chain for a racier model, admitted during his rancorous divorce proceedings that he’d engaged in extramarital sex with “three or four women” during supposed business trips.     Three, four, who can say?   They all look alike to a really manly man.     Especially one who has as much trouble with numbers as Neil does.
Anyway, while those manly Bush boys are down in Texas this month, Pope Ringo and his band of skirted celibates will carry on the good fight for holy heterosexuality.     Or, to be more accurate, for a single tightly circumscribed manifestation of heterosexuality.     For it turns out that Ringo is not only all het up about homos.
Even straight married couples engaging in the most prayerful congress are “inhuman” and “unnatural” — unless they do it the way Ringo likes it.
In his latest blast, the pope reiterates the doctrine that “sexual relations are human” only when they “are open to the transmission of new life.”
In other words, sexual relations are human only when they are most animal-like — i.e., when they involve the genetically programmed injection of sperm into an egg to effect the mindless replication of DNA.
Thus, by this demented logic, a rutting hog is more human than, say, a married couple pleasuring each other in some fashion — or at some time of the month — that is not “open to the transmission of new life.”
This divine elevation of rutting hogs over “intrinsically disordered” gays and insufficiently procreative straights is bestowed by something Ringo calls “natural moral law” — which, naturally, stems not from nature but from whatever the Vatican’s interpretation of various passages of scripture happens to be at any given time.
Slavery, war, autocracy, conquest and racism were once countenanced under this most elastic rubric, but it’s pretty much down to various forms of genital friction these days.
It appears that the wrong kind of friction will lead inevitably to the “collapse of the family” — as if men and women who are attracted to the opposite sex will no longer join in legal unions and raise children just because men and women who are attracted to the same sex are allowed to do likewise.
One begins to suspect that the Inquisition’s natural lawyers know very little about human nature.
And yet these sexless, childless, womenless old men believe that their peculiar and entirely non-experiential view of family life and sexuality should be imposed on the whole world — by government force if necessary:  Ringo has called on all Catholic politicians to take up the cudgels (figuratively we hope) against matrimonial-minded homosexuals.
He’s certainly found a willing partner (of the same sex!) in the Protestant president.
Surely, in the spirit of this ecumenical crusade, they’ll soon be joined by the like-minded bin Laden?
Bush Takes Responsibility for Iraq Claim, Address Gay Marriage Issue
Washington Post, July 30, 2003
Pope Calls for Halt to 'Evil’ Gay Marriages
The Guardian, Aug. 1, 2003
Gay Unions Defy God, Says Vatican
The Guardian, Aug. 1, 2003
© Copyright 2002, The Moscow Times. All Rights Reserved.
Monday, 13 February 2006
Gay rights win in Warcraft world
By Mark Ward
Technology correspondent, BBC News website
Sara Andrews and her in-game alter ego - Shimmre

Ms Andrews and her in-game alter ego - Shimmre
Ms Andrews and her in-game alter ego - Shimmre
The maker of the hugely popular online game, World of Warcraft, has changed its policy on gay teams following an outcry from many players.
Blizzard was accused of being heavy-handed by threatening to expel a player for advertising a gay-friendly team or guild.
Blizzard has officially apologised to the guild recruiter, saying the warning should never have been issued.
More than five million people regularly play World of Warcraft worldwide.
Team play
Warcraft involves players taking a character adventuring so they become more experienced in their chosen class of warrior, mage, rogue, druid, hunter, shaman, warlock, priest or paladin.
The row blew up around Warcraft player Sara Andrews, who plays a high-level mage called Shimmre on the Shadow Moon server. Each server runs a separate duplicate of the Warcraft world.
Warcraft adventurers, Blizzard

World of Warcraft is a social phenomenon too
Warcraft adventurers, Blizzard
World of Warcraft is a social phenomenon too
Warcraft players are spread out across the realms to make sure the game worlds do not get too crowded.
When adventuring, many players join "guilds" to get help from other players in regions filled with dangerous monsters, get quick access to good magical items and, just as importantly, so they can stay in touch with friends and make new ones.
Many guilds use Warcraft's text chat channels to recruit new members.
In late January, Sara Andrews used these channels to say that the guild she helps run, called Oz, was set up to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender "friendly".
But an in-game admininstrator issued a warning saying that such talk was a breach of Warcraft's terms of service.
She was threatened with being banned from the game if she continued to advertise the Oz guild using such language.
Ms Andrews challenged the warning and the claim that it broke the terms of service. She said many players used homophobic language in the game that went unchallenged.
To publicise her plight, Ms Andrews visited many discussion sites and forums where Warcraft players gather. The debate that followed largely criticised Blizzard for its heavy-handed treatment.
Many pointed out that Warcraft has a thriving community of gay players, or gaymers, and that it made no sense to censor talk about players' sexuality outside Azeroth.
Gay pride marches are known to have taken place in Warcraft and there are many other guilds in the game that are known to be friendly toward the gay community.
Two such guilds, Stonewall Champions and The Spreading Taint wrote an open letter to Blizzard criticising its policy.
Sensitive area
Stone giant, Blizzard

World of Warcraft has become hugely popular
Stone giant, Blizzard
World of Warcraft has become hugely popular
The uproar has prompted Blizzard to officially apologise to Ms Andrews. It said that her comments should not have produced a warning.
In an e-mail to Ms Andrews, Thor Biafore, senior manager of Blizzard's customer service, said: "Please accept our apologies for the way our staff characterized your conduct, and rest assured that your account will not be penalized in any way for this occurrence."
The 1,000 or so in-game administrators Blizzard uses to police Azeroth are also to get training to help them deal more sensitively with such issues.
Blizzard defended itself by saying that information about players' real lives can lead to harassment in the game and its warning was only intended to limit such harassment.
The game firm also said that it would create a separate chat channel in the game that guilds can use to advertise themselves and look for recruits.
       Warcraft spyware used on your computer       
        — How Warcraft spies on you       
Pope warns of gay threat to Christian unity
By Barney Zwartz
Religious Affairs Writer
October 6, 2003
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, kisses the ring of Pope John Paul II during a private audience at the Vatican at the weekend.
Photo: Reuters
One is the frail, ailing leader of a powerful church, a staunch traditionalist in practice and doctrine.  The other is in vigorous health but heads a denomination that some say is in its death throes.
At the historic meeting between Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at the Vatican at the weekend, the pontiff, 83, made his sharpest remarks yet about the threat to relations between the churches that homosexual issues pose.
The leader of the world's billion Catholics told Dr Williams that "new and serious difficulties have arisen on the path to unity" within the Christian faith, a reference to the ordination of an openly gay Anglican bishop in the US.
Speaking haltingly in English and barely able to raise his head from his chest, the Pope told Dr Williams that the difficulties extended to "essential matters of faith and morals".
"Faced with the increasing secularism of today's world, the church must ensure that the deposit of faith is proclaimed in its integrity and preserved from erroneous and misguided interpretations," the Pope said.
And in a symbol that will disturb many of the world's 70 million Anglicans, Dr Williams knelt and kissed the Pope's ring at the end of the meeting.
Traditionally, this indicates submission and obedience, but Anglicans and Catholics in Melbourne yesterday preferred to interpret it merely as a sign of esteem.
Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, who has been outspoken in his opposition to actively gay clergy, yesterday endorsed the pontiff's message.
"The Pope's words to Dr Williams are a reminder that the vast majority of Christian leaders teach, as they have always taught, that the endorsement of sex outside marriage is inconsistent with Christian leadership," he said.
The Vicar-General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Monsignor Les Tomlinson, said it was significant that the Pope had highlighted a new obstacle to reunification.
"Some Anglican churches are departing from what we would understand was a moral position," he said.
Dr Williams did not address the criticism in his prepared speech, replying: "I am glad to reaffirm my commitment to the full, visible unity of the church of Christ.  It is a vision that I know you share."
Dr Williams has his own crippling worries.  In 10 days the 38 primates of the Anglican Church gather in London to discuss the crisis over the gay bishop and same-sex blessings.
Leaders from Africa and Asia, representing by far the majority of the world's Anglicans, want Dr Williams to repudiate the American action decisively.
Monsignor Tomlinson said that, rather than homage, the kiss should be seen as an act of reverence towards the Pope as a man Dr Williams admires.
Canon Charles Sherlock, the Australian Anglican representative on the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, which is working on issues of unification, said Dr Williams was a bit of a mystic, and his act of respect might have been instinctive.  "Officially, of course, to the Catholics, the Archbishop of Canterbury is only a spiritually enlightened layman," Dr Sherlock said.
The meeting, the first between the two, lasted less than 30 minutes.  Observers reported that the Pope was exhausted.  He has Parkinson's disease, complications after a 1981 assassination attempt nearly succeeded, and crippling knee and hip problems.
He is due to celebrate his 25th anniversary as Pope on October 16, although fears were raised last week when one of his closest advisers, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said the Pope was "in a bad way". Several observers, including Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who met him last week, said the gravity of his condition had been overstated.
— with agencies

Copyright  © 2003. The Age Company Ltd
December 23, 2005
Bush's Hypocrisy, Radical Holiness and Woody Guthrie
Gospel Truth
C ountless words of condemnation have been heaped upon George W. Bush and his hard-Right regime — a crescendo growing louder by the day, with voices from across the political spectrum.   But the most devastating repudiation of the Regime's foul ethos was actually delivered almost 2,000 years ago by the man whose birth is celebrated at this season of the year.
We speak, of course, of Jesus of Nazareth, whose Sermon on the Mount, as reported in the Gospels, called for a revolutionary transformation of human nature — a complete overthrow of our natural instincts for greed, aggression, and self-aggrandizement.
This radical vision — erupting in the turbulent backwater of a brutal world empire — is the true miracle of Jesus' life, not the primitive fables about virgin births, magic tricks and corpses rising from the dead.
The vision's living force sears through dogma, casts down the pomp of church and state, and gives the lie to every hypocrite who evokes the name of Jesus in pursuit of earthly power.
Bush professes to believe that Jesus is the son of God, whose words are literally divine commands.
Yet anyone who compares what Jesus really said to Bush's actions in power — the abandonment of the poor, the exaltation of the rich; the dirty insider deals, the culture of corruption, the politics of smear and slander; the perversion of law to countenance murder, torture and predatory war — can readily see that this profession of faith is a monstrous deceit.
But it ain't Jesus
Bush — and his politicized, pseudo-religious "base" — may well believe that some divine being approves of their unbridled greed, aggression and self-aggrandizement; but this mythical godling in their heads has nothing to do with the man from Nazareth who, as Matthew and Luke tell it, went up into a mountain one day and began to preach:
"Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God.   Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled.   Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh."
"But woe unto you that are rich!   For ye have received your consolation.   Woe unto you that are full!   For ye shall hunger.   Woe unto you that laugh now!   For ye shall mourn and weep."
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you: Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.   And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.   Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
Love your enemies
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy.   But I say unto you: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
Thus you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.   For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?   Do not even publicans the same?   And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others?   Do not even publicans so?"
For where your treasure is
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
"No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.   Ye cannot serve God and mammon.   Therefore I say unto you: Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.   Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?"
Judge not
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.   For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
For this is the law and the prophets
"Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets."
And what would happen today if a swarthy Middle Eastern man without wealth or political connections suddenly appeared in front of the White House proclaiming such a radical doctrine of mercy, forgiveness, charity, self-denial and love — love even for the "evildoers" who "want to destroy our way of life"?
Would he be targeted by the lawless spy gangs that Bush has personally loosed upon the nation, as the New York Time revealed last week?
Would he be condemned as a terrorist sympathizer and expelled from the country?
Would he be seized and "rendered" to some secret CIA prison or Bush-friendly foreign torture chamber for "special interrogation"?
If Jesus was to preach here like he preached in Galilee
Or perhaps Woody Guthrie saw the truth years ago, as he sat in a cold boarding house in New York City, transfiguring an old folk song about an outlaw into a gospel for modern times: "If Jesus was to preach here like he preached in Galilee, they would lay Jesus Christ in his grave."
Chris Floyd is a columnist for The Moscow Times and regular contributor to CounterPunch.   A new, upgraded version of his blog, "Empire Burlesque," can be found at
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
— 2018
— 2017
— 2016
— 2015
— 2014
— 2013
— 2012
— 2011
— 2010
— 2009
— 2008
— 2007
— 2006
— 2005
— 2004
— 2003
Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
To say hello:     hello[the at marker]
For Kewe's spiritual and metaphysical pages — click here
  Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy      
       Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO      

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