Pope Francis, Catholics, and Christians in the news

GoSlugs said:

I thought the following was of interest.

"Speaking to the Register, diocesan postulator Father John Hogan said, “With my petition to open the cause now accepted by the bishop, I will assist the diocesan inquiry in its examination of Father Willie’s life and writings.” Father Hogan’s work will also include promotion of the subject of that inquiry, especially as every cause is in need of miracles through the intercession of its subject. “We will need two miracles to see Father Willie beatified and canonized,” explained Father Hogan, “so I am committed to ensuring that we do everything can to bring Father Willie to the sick and those in need of graces.”

I never realized that there was an actual guy in charge of drumming up miracles for these things.  I would think that fact alone would be enough to generate a fair amount of skepticism with regard to any subsequent "miracles".

What the advocate for sainthood does is keep an eye out for people who are invoking the "candidate for sainthood". There's still a "grand jury" type process to evaluate the claims.


mtierney said:

Cynicism abounds

mtierney said:

Cynicism abounds 

And so on and so forth.  I believe you have mistaken healthy skepticism for cynicism.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  No where is this more true than in the realm of sorcery and magic that encompasses "saints" and their "miracles", particularly when they are being discussed outside the confines of your own belief group.

There is a long and tragic history of suckers being taken in by the "miracles" of various shamans and holy men.  


To be sure, whatever you want to believe within the confines of your own mind is your own business. When you post it for discussion on a public board, however, you have to be prepared for it to be discussed.


mtierney said:

 My father fought in seven major  battles of WW1 

Leaving religion aside entirely, as a student of history, this statement intrigues me.  Was your father in the US military or did he serve with the British?

This is a link that we are about to lose to time, the children of the people who fought in the "Great War".  My wife's grandfather (she's the third child of the sixth child) served in the US Navy during the war and on into the 1920s.


Drift to personal comments on veterans of WWI, "the war to end wars":

One WWI vet i knew:  He was sent from Beatrice, Nebraska, to France.  He arrived after the armistice (or anyhow, after the shooting was over where he was), was issued a motorcycle, and rode out on various errands around France.  "How you gonna keep em down on the farm...."  Long and to all appearances happy life after.

Another vet (a degree or two of separation from me):  Family said he was "never the same" after he came back.  He went on increasingly extended hikes in the mountains above LA and finally disappeared sometime in the 1920s, leaving a 20-something wife and a toddler.

(end drift)


He served in the 3rd division, US Army. He was drafted, at the age of 30, when his mother died. He had been her sole support and had been exempt. At one point, he and other soldiers were taken under French Army control. As a result, he did not return to the US until some 6 months after Armistice Day.

I was born when my father was in his mid-40s — back in the day, this was considered old. My Austrian mother was only 19 when they met — he had shell-shock, and had poison gas throat issues, and suffered for years from nightmares. He told me many war stories —which  would be considered totally inappropriate today — but it gave us a special bond.



Interesting that these two matters were reported in the last couple of days.

1/ Pope Francis again commenting on the war in Ukraine, and the horrific acts being committed

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63789475

2/ Church of England may break up…. I find this particularly fascinating as the monarch is Head of Church, and there’s the new King:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/29/calls-grow-to-disestablish-church-of-england-as-christians-become-minority

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-63792408


joanne said:

Interesting that these two matters were reported in the last couple of days.

1/ Pope Francis again commenting on the war in Ukraine, and the horrific acts being committed

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63789475

2/ Church of England may break up…. I find this particularly fascinating as the monarch is Head of Church, and there’s the new King:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/29/calls-grow-to-disestablish-church-of-england-as-christians-become-minority

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-63792408

The time has finally come for the antidisestablishmentarians to rise


There was also the big Scots apology to all women and to the affected families, for torturing and burning at the stake for ‘witchcraft’. That was pretty huge but kind slipped past most commentators. Did you get meaningful coverage?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-30/after-the-witchcraft-act-scotland-offers-pardon-and-apology/101688412


joanne said:

There was also the big Scots apology to all women and to the affected families, for torturing and burning at the stake for ‘witchcraft’. That was pretty huge but kind slipped past most commentators. Did you get meaningful coverage?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-30/after-the-witchcraft-act-scotland-offers-pardon-and-apology/101688412

No such thing as world news here, so no coverage. Thanks, joanne!


I just realised I double-posted that link. Sorry!


Was the Vatican Hacked Again?| National Catholic Register (ncregister.com)

[Edited to add] Speculation is centered on Russia as a likely perpetrator this time.


nohero said:

Was the Vatican Hacked Again?| National Catholic Register (ncregister.com)

[Edited to add] Speculation is centered on Russia as a likely perpetrator this time.

Well Papa changed his mind about Russia attacking Ukraine…even Pablo is annoyed….

the pope described Ukraine as a “martyred people” and singled out two Russian ethnic minorities — Chechens and Buryati — as “generally the cruelest” in the conflict


More on the hacking from CNA today….

“The perpetrator and motives of the alleged hacker or hackers in this case remain unclear, though there is precedent for hacking groups targeting the Vatican because of public statements made by Pope Francis. For example, in 2015, a Turkish hacker took credit for hacking the Vatican’s website because Pope Francis referred in a homily to the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Turks as a “genocide.”

“In the present case, the apparent attack comes a day after Russian leaders criticized Pope Francis for comments he made about Russia’s war in Ukraine in a recent interview. In the interview, the pope described Ukraine as a “martyred people” and singled out two Russian ethnic minorities — Chechens and Buryati — as “generally the cruelest” in the conflict.

“The Vatican’s aging main website has attracted other hackers, too. In 2012, the Italian branch of the activist hacking group Anonymous took down the Vatican’s website using a simple “denial of service” hacking method, whereby the site was artificially flooded with traffic in an attempt to overload it.

“More recently, in 2020, Chinese state-sponsored hackers reportedly targeted Vatican computer networks and other Catholic targets in an attempt to give China an advantage in negotiations at that time to renew a provisional deal with the Holy See.

“Experts have accused Russia of using hacking, cyberwarfare, and disinformation in its present conflict with Ukraine, and in addition, Russia has a history of targeting Catholic entities with its hacks. In 2018, reports emerged that Russian hackers had infiltrated the email inboxes of Orthodox, Catholic, and other religious leaders connected to Ukraine.”


Jaytee said:

Well Papa changed his mind about Russia attacking Ukraine…even Pablo is annoyed….

Never listen to "Pablo" about what the Pope ever thought.


Re the Church of England’s future, following analysis of the census, the Guardian published some reader responses, from people who’ve left the Church:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/02/i-couldnt-pretend-any-more-readers-on-why-they-left-the-christian-faith

Some of it is a bit unexpected to read. Obviously not a life decision that one makes in an offhand moment. And it’s in interesting to read and think about in a week when we have reports of ageing courtiers asking inappropriate questions of others’ backgrounds. 


What does forgiveness mean? The 1960 Profumo scandal resounded over radio and TV networks and was fodder for newspapers worldwide, as I remember, one of the first sex scandals to captivate public attention and then faded away. Here is the rest of the story from David French…..

To understand what I mean, I want to turn to a different story at a different time. John Profumo, born in 1915, was an English aristocrat, a soldier and a politician. He served in World War II with distinction. He landed on the beaches at Normandy and was mentioned in dispatches. He was awarded a military OBE in 1944.

He began his political career as a member of Parliament, and by 1960 he rose to become secretary of state for war in the British cabinet. Shortly thereafter he began an affair with a young woman named Christine Keeler. The affair was bad enough, but it was rendered incalculably worse when it was discovered that Keeler had also been sleeping with the Soviet naval attaché Evegeny Ivanov.

At first Profumo lied about the affair to Parliament. A 2006 profile of Profumo by Theodore Dalrymple notes that lying to Parliament was then “regarded as the most heinous sin a gentleman could commit, rather than as merely par for the course.” But then he confessed, “resigned in shame and resolved never to obtrude upon the public again.”

What did he do? He dedicated his life to quiet service for the poor. As Dalrymple notes, “He went to work for the poor of the East End of London, starting by washing dishes in a hostel.” After washing dishes, he raised money for Toynbee Hall, a charitable organization located in London.

None of this service was performative. None of it was designed to pave the way for his return to public life. Once he lost the public trust, he never attempted to gain it back.

The irony is that he did in fact recover that trust. In 1975 he was awarded a CBE for his charitable work, and In 1995, he sat at Queen Elizabeth’s right at a dinner honoring Margaret Thatcher’s 70th birthday. And when he died in 2006, he was eulogized as a deeply honorable man. But he never asked for the public to trust him again. He never tried to make a political return.

I agree with Dalrymple’s conclusion:

In fact, the dignity, discretion, restraint, and repentance with which Profumo lived his life after his fall were the last gasp of an old system of values. His honorable conduct—continued for years, away from the blaze of publicity—would now be almost inconceivable among the political elite.

Dalrymple was obviously talking about politics, but his words apply to the religious elite as well. How many disgraced pastors and ministry leaders do we confront every single year who are looking not merely for grace (all who seek grace can find it) but also for a return?

Late last month Auburn University hired Hugh Freeze to be its next football coach. Who is Hugh Freeze? You might remember him from the book or the movie “The Blind Side.” He was the football coach at a Christian high school in Memphis who coached Michael Oher, the gentle giant who was the star of the book and the film.

Or you might remember him as the former football coach at Ole Miss, where his rising star fell (briefly) to earth after he was caught in multiple recruiting violations and caught calling a phone number tied to an escort service.

He resigned—but then reappeared a few months later in January 2018 to speak at Liberty University’s convocation service, where he asked for forgiveness and then scolded other Christians for being unforgiving. Liberty hired him to be its football coach that December.



Well, we're not certain where that text was first published, but what we do know now is that the Profumo affair pales in comparison to the guy you voted for in 2016, who had 2 affairs with other women just after his wife (with whom he had an affair while with his second wife, with whom he had an affair while with his first wife) had just given birth. With the Profumo affair, there was a court case and he resigned from office and everything. Unlike TFG, or even Matt Gaetz. So maybe you can tell us why did you post it?


(I love how people say sex scandals are something new and a product of modern media headline hunger - and forget about the public outrage and horrified muttering over, for example, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, or Russia’s Empress Catherine’s dress and free behaviour, or even George Elliot etc. How many men deserted families by emigrating to USA, Canada, India, Australia or New Zealand?? smile)


@joanne, I think you missed the point. 

@ridski, I understand how your TDS clouds your response. Profumo’s life after scandal is center stage here. Not who was badder than who.


mtierney said:

@ridski, I understand how your TDS clouds your response. 

I thought you would have put that TDS nonsense to bed, now that your favorite abomination has publicly admitted that he is running in 2024 (something that everyone except you already knew).


Mtierney, I was quite young yet Mr Murdoch’s Melbourne papers and the UK media were making very deep indelible marks in my brain about Miss Keeler and her affairs.  I remember asking my mother what ‘an affair’ was, and her confused expression as she tried to phrase a suitably generic answer. 

We currently have another ‘scandalous’, ‘philandering’ member of the British peerage who deserted his wife and family, and his mistress by hiding out here in Australia a couple of decades ago… some journos rumbled him, photos flashed through all the world press showing  him before and after disguises and revealing all his nom de plumes…  Blow me down, he’s been missing again for well over 15 or so years!! Still thought to be somewhere else in the Outback!


mtierney said:

Happy Birthday, St Nicholas!

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249794/5-things-to-know-and-share-about-st-nicholas

They left the best fact out - the time Saint Nicholas went all "Will Smith" on Arius at the Council of Nicaea.

Bishop Nicholas Loses His Cool ::: St. Nicholas Center (stnicholascenter.org)


Speaking of Christmas music and hymns...

The best scene in one of the best Christmas movies ever made.


ridski said:

Speaking of Christmas music and hymns...

The best scene in one of the best Christmas movies ever made.

Thanks, Ridski. 


@ridski, you have to see the OwlKitty version of Home Alone!!  oh oh oh oh

(I’ve fallen in love with with OwlKitty)


joanne said:

@ridski, you have to see the OwlKitty version of Home Alone!! 
oh oh
oh oh

(I’ve fallen in love with with OwlKitty)

Oh, joanne, I'm sorry, I saw an Owlkitty Top Gun (I think) and had to turn it off halfway through, but I'll try it.


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