Pope Francis, Catholics, and Christians in the news

Francis -- the Pope with the "goofy" smile...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/opinion/pope-francis-and-the-art-of-joy.html?ref=todayspaper


Happy outcome!

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/us/the-nuns-spoke-out-but-the-archbishop-listened.html?ref=todayspaper


Times editorial on Vatican recognition of State of Palestine...


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/opinion/the-vatican-and-the-palestinians.html?ref=todayspaper


Sainthood in sight for El Salvador's Oscar Romero

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/05/16/beatification-of-el-salvadors-oscar-romero-a-turning-point-for-catholicism/


In an outdoor ceremony today in Rome, Pope Francis canonized four women saints, two from Palestine. Thousands of SRO people - an estimated 2000 from Palestine alone, filled San Pedro square to witness the ceremony. 


 http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/05/17/pope-canonizes-2-saints-from-19th-century-palestine/


Probably the most obtuse and/or ridiculous statement I have seen on Chrisianity by Charles Blow in his oped piece in today's NYT:

"We already see a rising sentiment in America that Christianity is under attack and losing the culture wars. Some even try to link Christian persecution abroad to the plight of Christians in this country.

It is true that “Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity,” as Kristen Powers wrote two years ago in The Daily Beast. And the recent rise of the Islamic State has made spectacle of the killings of Christians."



CONTINUE READING THE MAIN STORY119COMMENTS

But, it seems to severely cheapen the plight of those Christians whose lives were disrupted, destroyed or even taken by comparing them to American Christians who are simply seeing their reach and influence wane. The issue in this country is less that Christians are persecuted as much as peevish."


So, what is happening to Christians across the globe should be of no concern to American Christians because it could never happen to us?  The belief has a familiar ring to it!




Really? You think the Christians in the U.S. face the same problems as those in the Middle East or Africa? I actually think what he had to say is on target. No Christians are being tortured or killed in the U.S. I think it does cheapen the suffering of those who are being imprisoned or executed overseas to compare it in any way to how Christians are treated or regarded here.



mtierney said:

Probably the most obtuse and/or ridiculous statement I have seen on Chrisianity by Charles Blow in his oped piece in today's NYT:

"We already see a rising sentiment in America that Christianity is under attack and losing the culture wars. Some even try to link Christian persecution abroad to the plight of Christians in this country.

It is true that “Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity,” as Kristen Powers wrote two years ago in The Daily Beast. And the recent rise of the Islamic State has made spectacle of the killings of Christians."



CONTINUE READING THE MAIN STORY119COMMENTS

But, it seems to severely cheapen the plight of those Christians whose lives were disrupted, destroyed or even taken by comparing them to American Christians who are simply seeing their reach and influence wane. The issue in this country is less that Christians are persecuted as much as peevish."


So, what is happening to Christians across the globe should be of no concern to American Christians because it could never happen to us?  The belief has a familiar ring to it!



 I'm assuming the last paragraph is yours. There is nothing in what you quoted which states that American Christians should not be concerned with the suffering of Christians in other countries. Please, pray for them, send out money to help their families and friends, train fighters to protect them by all means, but don't compare your American problems to theirs, it shows odious disrespect to fellow human beings in situations far worse off than any of your fellow Christians with "Put the Christ back into Christmas" bumper stickers adorning the back of their Lexus.


That last paragraph is mine and I stand behind it!

 If complacent Christians  in  America ignore what is happening and delude themselves into thinking it cannot happen here, we will have no one but ourselves to blame when attacks occur here.  Of course we are praying and contributing to charities to help displaced Christian families.

"odious?" Really? What stinks is that ISIS and its ilk are broadcasting their hatred  and intent to kill all infidels. Incidentally, that label includes agnostics, atheists. Jews, etc etc.  

Europe and America looked away in the early 30s and we all know how that turned out. 



I have no idea what you think you were responding to, mtierney, but do you really think what you wrote is connected in any way with what preceded it???

What exactly did you think that guy wrote, anyway? He was saying that people should not compare the suffering of American Christians with the suffering of Christians who are genuinely persecuted in other parts of the world. No one said that what happened to people in other parts of the world could never happen here. This is not about Americans looking the other way.

I'm baffled at your response. Really. You could not possibly have understood what Charles Blow wrote.


Please provide a link so I can read the rest of the column you quoted without having to use up all my NY Times for the month searching through his other works?



mtierney said:

Europe and America looked away in the early 30s and we all know how that turned out. 


Yeah, a *****-ton of people were killed and Europe and America won and there are still Germans and Japanese people. What's your plan, mtierney? 


But, it seems to severely cheapen the plight of those Christians whose lives were disrupted, destroyed or even taken by comparing them to American Christians who are simply seeing their reach and influence wane. The issue in this country is less that Christians are persecuted as much as peevish."

Blow alleges here that Christians  are using the slaughter, kidnappings, beheadings, etc of fellow Christians to bolster Christians political "reach and influence"! And that American Christians are "peevish"! How condescending and sickening. Or is Blow paranoid? 

Link to the Charles Blow piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/opinion/charles-blow-unaffiliated-and-underrepresented.html?ref=opinion

mtierney, in my view, Blow is correct. To liken problems that Christians in the US face to those Christians in the middle east face is cruel. It shows disregard for their plight if you think the suffering is remotely similar. Christians are not under attack here. Christians might be losing power, and it would be fitting, because Christians represent a shrinking majority. As Blow points out, the vast majority of people in Congress are Christian, but it does not resemble the populace any more.

The US is supposed to be a representative democracy, not a theocracy. If you want religious freedom, you should fight to keep it from becoming a theocracy.

I'm sure you didn't mean to say anything repugnant. But here's the bad news: you did.



mtierney said:

But, it seems to severely cheapen the plight of those Christians whose lives were disrupted, destroyed or even taken by comparing them to American Christians who are simply seeing their reach and influence wane. The issue in this country is less that Christians are persecuted as much as peevish."

Blow alleges here that Christians  are using the slaughter, kidnappings, beheadings, etc of fellow Christians to bolster Christians political "reach and influence"! And that American Christians are "peevish"! How condescending and sickening. Or is Blow paranoid? 

 No he doesn't. He alleges that Christians in other countries are being murdered, kidnapped, raped and beheaded, while American Christians are complaining about gay marriage and not being able to pray at school sports events and yet still consider their first world problems as "persecution" on a similar level. He's pointing out how stupid that is. 


mtierney said:

But, it seems to severely cheapen the plight of those Christians whose lives were disrupted, destroyed or even taken by comparing them to American Christians who are simply seeing their reach and influence wane. The issue in this country is less that Christians are persecuted as much as peevish."

Blow alleges here that Christians  are using the slaughter, kidnappings, beheadings, etc of fellow Christians to bolster Christians political "reach and influence"! And that American Christians are "peevish"! How condescending and sickening. Or is Blow paranoid? 

 He is correct about conservative American politicians using the events in the MIddle East for their arguments about Christians being oppressed in the United States.  Those American politicians are "peeved" that it's been pointed out.


Christians being proactive..


Christians Across America Wear Orange to Church in Honor of ISIS VictimsAPRIL 16, 2015LEAVE A COMMENT

A new campaign sweeping through American churches has worshipers wearing orange – either in their Sunday best or on ribbons – to raise attention to the Christians executed at the hands of ISIS.

The trend draws on the color orange to represent the jump suits worn by captives of the terrorist group, including some 20 Egyptian Copts beheaded last month in Libya. The campaign comes on the heels of remarks by Pope Francis calling attention to the modern-day persecution of Christians around the world. The Rev. Frank Karwacki, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Pa., hoped to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians by encouraging members of his congregation to wear orange ribbons and dress in the color.

“We are all brothers and sisters in Christ,” Rev. Karwacki told FoxNews.com. “It’s so sad how they are being tortured—we need to get prayer power going.”

Karwacki said his church has long prayed for persecuted Christians, but he was spurred to action by the destruction and executions he saw from ISIS in the Middle East.

“They destroyed those ancient churches and killed so many of our Catholics there,” he said. “I’m hoping that other parishes and churches” join the orange campaign.

His efforts follow similar ones by others, including Catholic writer Rey Flores who declared ‘Orange is the New Color of Martyrdom’ in an article for The Wanderer.




ParticleMan said:

Squirrel!

 LMAO!!!!!!!



ParticleMan said:

Squirrel!

 Yeah, really!

mtierney, do you know you said something really awful? If you want to think you care about people's lives, you should roll back and think about this.



Ridski: "No he doesn't. He alleges that Christians in other countries are being murdered, kidnapped, raped and beheaded, while American Christians are complaining about gay marriage and not being able to pray at school sports events and yet still consider their first world problems as "persecution" on a similar level. He's pointing out how stupid that is."

I really thought you knew me better than that! There is no mention of "gay marriage"  by Blow, incidentally. How did you factor that in? 

Christians in this country do have a dog in this race, and it is the persecution of fellow Christians in the Middle East. Tut tutting isn't going to change anything. Raising awareness and prayer, and outrage over the slaughter of Christians, the destruction  churches, cities, historic sites, etc are the means to show solidarity.

BTW, I would be interested to know what Blow' thinks the "unaffiliated " might do.



mtierney said:

Ridski: "No he doesn't. He alleges that Christians in other countries are being murdered, kidnapped, raped and beheaded, while American Christians are complaining about gay marriage and not being able to pray at school sports events and yet still consider their first world problems as "persecution" on a similar level. He's pointing out how stupid that is."

I really thought you knew me better than that! There is no mention of "gay marriage"  by Blow, incidentally. How did you factor that in? 

 It's all part of the "Culture Wars", as defined by the right-wingers, and Charles Blow does mention that.  


Christians in the US are not suffering atrocities like the stuff in the middle east. Don't complain as if you are. It is disingenuous, and it does belittle true suffering. Again: you are not under attack.

And now you have implied that unaffiliated would care less about this than Christians. Poor form indeed.


Tom, you and I are reading different things.

I never implied that Christians are threatened with beheading in this country and yet you repeatedly have accused me of doing so! That,  I do believe is repugnant!

I have said that Christians here have to be extremely concerned over the slaughter and displacement of Christians in the Middle East.

Are you asking that Christians sit by and witness the destruction of a people?

I truly can separate beheadings from cultural concerns. 




mtierney said:

Tom, you and I are reading different things.

I never implied that Christians are threatened with beheading in this country and yet you repeatedly have accused me of doing so! That,  I do believe is repugnant!

I have said that Christians here have to be extremely concerned over the slaughter and displacement of Christians in the Middle East.

Are you asking that Christians sit by and witness the destruction of a people?

I truly can separate beheadings from cultural concerns. 


And what on earth did Blow say that somehow ran afoul of this? I think you completely misinterpreted his op-ed. Apparently, several other people on this thread read his piece exactly the same way I did, and we all think you missed the boat.


I do think that Christianity is under a form of attack in America, but the attack is primarily polemical. This is categorically different in nature from what we see elsewhere. I would much rather respond to paper bullets.


Absolutely.  In the grand scheme of things, Christians have it pretty good IMO, and their global trials seem to pale in the face of those faced by Jews and Muslims, battling (often literally) direct assaults on their persons and their religion (often simultaneously).


"We already see a rising sentiment in America that Christianity is under attack and losing the culture wars. Some even try to link Christian persecution abroad to the plight of Christians in this country.

I think this sentence from Blow''s oped has been overlooked here for the  most part - except  the reference to culture wars . I have to wonder where Blow read about or how he learned   that "some" Christians are confusing persecution  in the Middle East  with anything  going on here in the USA .

Parsing the Pope..

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/world/middleeast/vatican-seeks-to-quiet-uproar-over-popes-angel-of-peace-remark.html?ref=todayspaper

In the final analysis, what we think we heard said is overrun with what our own prejudices interpret what we hear.


Fascinating. I find it funny how people on the one hand say that the Catholic Church is irrelevant, but on the other, they are so obsessed with every word that Pope Francis says--or, at least, every word he says that they want to pay attention to. My point is, the spoken words of the Pope have become even more "important" to people in the past two centuries, starting first of all within the Church among the ultramontanist movement of the 19th c., but continuing even now. And at the end of the day... what the Pope says on a day-to-day basis is actually not that important. Not unimportant, by any means, but he's not making an ex cathedra statement on Abbas's angelic qualities, whether he said "you are" or "may you be."


The main stuff I pay attention to from popes are the encyclicals. But that's a lot for the global press to spend time reading.


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