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Featured Pope Francis condemns exploitative bosses as 'bloodsuckers' who make workers 'slaves'

Discussion in 'Religious News' started by Vouthon, May 20, 2016.

  1. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Not at all, you have every right to express your opinion. I value honesty :)

    I live in the West also - the UK to be precise.

    My point was simply that it's not the same story everywhere, even in the West. I mean, Malta doesn't look like it's losing its Catholicism and its in the Europe, while in Africa:

    http://europe.newsweek.com/jesus-has-found-home-here-rise-catholicism-africa-399114

    JESUS HAS FOUND A HOME HERE: THE RISE OF CATHOLICISM IN AFRICA

    Pope Francis has just concluded his first papal visit to Africa. If he wanted a popularity boost, he went to the right place: the Catholic Church is flourishing in Africa.

    Each of the countries that the pope visited— Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic (CAR)—has a substantial Catholic population. According to a 2011 report on global Christianity by the Pew Research Center, Kenya has 9 million Catholics, Uganda 14 million and the CAR 1.3 million—equivalent to 22 percent, 42 percent and 29 percent of the population, respectively. And these are not isolated phenomena, cherry-picked to ensure a smooth visit for Francis: the report estimates that around one-in-five of sub-Saharan Africans belonged to the Roman Catholic Church in 2010.

    There has also been an explosive growth in the number of Catholics in Africa over the past 35 years.
    The world’s Catholic population has grown by 57 percent since 1980, according to a June report by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University...

    The CARA report predicts that by 2040, almost one in four Africans will be Catholic, putting the continent’s total Catholic population at 460 million.


    In other places, sure, it's been in steady decline, especially in Western Europe. Mixed bag.
     
  2. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    You've missed quite a bit, in fact:
    - human trafficking
    - slavery of women
    - laundering money for the mafia
    - encouraging AIDS in Africa
    - and on, and on.

    And when it comes to pedophilia, it isn't just the sexual abuse itself; the leadership of the Catholic Church has also:
    - hidden and enabled child rapists
    - obstructed efforts within the Church to report child abuse
    - obstructed criminal proceedings against priests

    I agree: most Catholics are good, decent people... despite their church's leadership.

    Yes... all the while paying tithes that, along with some charitable work and upkeep of some pretty buildings, pay for things like obstructing justice for pedophile priests and the bishops who enabled them.

    And for me, Pope Francis - whether or not he is personally sincere - represents the congenial front man who distracts people from the nastiness just below the surface.

    "Except for all the killings, that mass murderer is a pretty stand-up guy. He keeps a lovely home and has some very nice art."
     
  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    The above is very much a glass-half-empty point of view, plus it's somewhat deceiving. An organization of 1.2 billion people is going to have a certain percent that don't do what they're supposed to do, and there's no doubt that one of the problems of the leadership within the church has been to more protect the church than innocent people negatively affected by all too many in the church, including many in the clergy itself. But it's sort of like piling burning coals on the U.S. for all too many faults we have here, and yet the U.S. population is only about 1/4 of the numbers that are Catholic.

    A glass-half-full point of view is a powerful argument on the other side of the ledger, such as the fact that it is the single most charitable organization in the world, whereas even the Mormons contribute millions each year to Catholic Relief Services for the job they do, for just one example. In my area, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen feeds thousands of poor each year, and my Jewish daughter and granddaughter have done charity work to help them out, and were profoundly impressed with what they do. Then there's the St. Vincent de Paul Society here that is remarkably effective on helping the poor. Etc.
     
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  4. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Well, I had thought all that was covered by "inhumane practices" :rolleyes:

    I must admit that, against my better judgement, I feel some grudging admiration towards you for the fact that you do not even pretend to objectivity where anything Catholic is concerned. You are completely and utterly partisan on the issue and proudly so. That's abundantly clear.

    The thing that irks me is not your aversion to Catholicism itself. Other posters have the same attitude and that's fine by me. No, it's that I just don't understand why your religion-bashing isn't more egalitarian - you seem to have a uniquely driven desire to portray Catholicism in as negative a light as you possibly can but you don't extend the same courtesy to other Christian denominations and religions.

    Your approach to Catholicism is an all or nothing one: it's entirely evil in your eyes. Black and white, dualistic. To me, that reeks of prejudice and lack of objectivity. Prejudice because it seems to be Catholicism alone that you reserve this almost obsessive ire for in thread after thread, without fail. It gets a tad tiring to see the same overly one-sided points and rants reiterated ad nauseam in thread after thread and uniquely targeted at Catholicism. This has been 3 years now. No let up, no light or shade whatsoever, no nuances or recognition of any redeeming qualities. It gets somewhat frustrating.

    I just wish you weren't so inflexible and could keep a more open mind as regards this issue but I have got the message that this wont be the case. Consider Bob Marley yesterday. The guy's a Rastafarian theist, yet I innocently happened to compare his statement to a Catholic mystic, another theist, and you jumped down my throat?

    To me, it seemed the only reason you were so desperate not to admit of any similarity between the two - and indeed my right to agree with the sentiment expressed by Marley, was due to the fact that the person I quoted was Catholic and I am Catholic. I may be entirely wrong here (and hope I am) but you seem to have such an un-nuanced, one-dimensional view of my religion and what I'm supposed to agree with in sentiment as a follower of said religion or think like, that if I don't conform to the preconceived notion you have and take as an absolute given...then I must somehow be acting against my faith, in your eyes.

    Can you understand why I might get that impression?

    What a crass comparison.

    Your comparing a 2,000 year old world religion with all the varying conditions it has existed under, millions of different leaders down the centuries in different countries, movements and cultures...all that infinite complexity...with the black and white comparison to a sociopathic killer.

    To me, that's just silly.

    Sigh. Most of the things you've raised above covers ground I've been on with you before - too many times, without any resolution or common ground or concessions made between us. It's like World War I trench warfare.

    I'm calling it a day.
     
    #64 Vouthon, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  5. Deidre

    Deidre اتبع القلب

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    One of the reasons (if I might guess) that people jump on the RCC a bit more than other religions (Islam sometimes takes a beating here, though too) is that it holds itself up to be a moral compass, so much so, the Bible isn't 'enough,' it needs a ''Catechism of the Catholic Church''...which is supposed to be a bit more in depth, as to how Catholics should be living their lives. Again, the Bible isn't enough? That's why many people dislike the Catholic Church more than other religions (although there are people who loathe Christianity, in a general sense)...because if an institution holds itself up as a bastion of morality, it should conduct itself as such. It often doesn't. We could say, ''well, the Church is filled with fallible people, and thus, the Church is fallible.'' True, but fallible humans ''condemning'' other fallible humans, doesn't sit well with very many people. The Pope doesn't speak for Christ, and the problem is, many Catholics believe he does. He can certainly discuss problems in the world, if given the opportunity, and it's great people are listening to his moral message, but I just know too much about the RCC having practiced Catholicism at one time, to pretend that his motives are entirely altruistic, in nature.
     
  6. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Don't all religions, to an extent, set themselves up as a moral compass? I mean they all claim to have a unique insight into the human condition and the meaning of life.

    I'm not sure that Catholicism is distinctive in that respect.
     
  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    My issue is more with the 414,000-odd clergy. Yes, some (but definitely not all) of the laity support those clergy with their tithes, and even fewer of the laity support the Church's doctrines and policies, but I don't particularly fault someone who never goes to church, supports LGBT rights, and uses contraception while having premarital sex but calls themselves "Catholic" because they were baptized in a Catholic church.

    Even by Catholic sources, about 4% of American priests have been accused of abuse. 4%. 1 in 25. This doesn't include the priests who knew about another priest's abuse but said nothing, or the bishops who helped abusers move from parish to parish and shielded them from prosecution. How many parishes do you think haven't been touched by the abuse scandal? The church I attended had not one but two cases: one priest who was convicted and another who died before his case went to trial. At any given time, that church had three priests living in the rectory in close quarters, much like a dorm. I know in my dorm, I knew when something was up with my floormates: I knew when one had a new girlfriend, or when another was cheating. I'm certain that for each of the priests who actually committed the abuse, there were at least one or two priests who at least suspected what was going on and stayed silent.

    I've donated to Catholic-affiliated charities myself and will likely do so in future. I look forward to the day when religious charities in general are made redundant by good secular alternatives, but for the time being, this isn't the case. For instance, the main youth homeless shelter in Toronto (Covenant House) is Catholic-affiliated.

    ... but I don't see this as excusing the horrendous crimes that the Church leadership has perpetrated. Also, you can donate directly to, say, St. Vincent de Paul without funding the Church in general.
     
  8. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Well, strike me down with a feather...

    This is the first time I've ever seen you write anything even remotely positive about something associated with Catholicism - namely, that we can orchestrate worthwhile (indeed necessary) charitable endeavours in our local communities.
     
    #68 Vouthon, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I used to have a positive view of Catholicism. I was married (to my first wife) in a Catholic church. I wasn't a believer myself, but I viewed Catholicism as mildly positive and mostly benign. When the priest interviewed us before our wedding, I had no problem honestly saying that I wouldn't object to my wife raising any children that we had in the Church.

    I never converted, but I attended my wife's church for years.

    The big things that changed my attitude toward the Church:

    - my local archdiocese's actions in the lead-up to the legalization of same-sex marriage here in Canada.
    - my attempt to see if I could actually convert, which involved actually reading the Catechism and the Bible, and reflecting on Church doctrine.
    - learning about the extent of the sex abuse scandal.

    It would've been hard to have grown up in Canada when I did without seeing the Mount Cashel abuse scandal on the news every night for months, but I had researched the Archdiocese of Toronto's current child protection policies and decided they were responsible and adequate. However, after a retired priest who had ministered at my wife's church (and had served as chaplain for the boys' school next door, where the abuse actually happened) was charged and convicted of sexual abuse of children, I started looking more into the issue of abuse. When I found out about the leaked 1997 letter from the Vatican to the bishops of Ireland, effectively nullifying their child protection policy - a policy that was very similar to the policy in Toronto - I lost any confidence that Toronto churches would actually be able to handle suspected child abuse properly.

    My view of Catholicism isn't black and white, so if you think that, then maybe it's a reflection of your own prejudices.

    Consider a few things:

    - you're probably more sensitive to criticism of your own religion, so you don't notice as much when I criticize other religions. You may not even participate in those threads.
    - I have a special familiarity with the Catholic Church, built up over years of attending a Catholic Church and research and reflection done as part of a sincere attempt to become Catholic myself. I'm better able to speak from an informed position on Catholicism than on most other denominations or religions.
    - The only other religious organizations that have had the sheer pervasiveness of abuse and scandal that the Catholic Church has have tended to be fringe groups (e.g. the FLDS or Lev Tahor) that I certainly criticize harshly, but so does almost everyone else. Debates don't tend to happen when everyone agrees.
    - The Catholic Church is the only church whose activities I fund with my tax money. It's also the only church that my country has an ambassador for. I think these facts all by themselves justify me having a greater say in the affairs of the Catholic Church than any other religious group.
     
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  10. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Thank you for providing me with the context for your views regarding Catholicism. I do appreciate that.

    I'm pressed for time at the moment but rest assured I will respond to the points you have raised asap.
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Apologies for shattering your prejudgement of me.

    I'm on two not-for-profit boards. Many of my fellow directors and our volunteers are Catholic - some quite devout. It would be strange if this weren't the case, considering that my country is 43% Catholic.

    I can recognize that many kind, generous, thoughtful people are Catholic while recognizing that many of their kids (who are generally kind, generous, and thoughtful, too) go to a high school where gay-straight alliances have been banned and LGBT students have been bullied by teachers. This would be unthinkable at a secular high school here.
     
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  12. C-Faith

    C-Faith Member

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    I've done my research on the Catholic church. Catholics are NOT Christians and they worship Mary - both unscriptural. In fact, Jesus said not to call any person "Father" here on Earth because only God is the Father of us all. To be clear, Jesus was talking about calling someone "Father" in the religious sense...........(Matthew 23: 9).

    The bible is what we need to read, not the uninspired Catechism that is unprofitable for salvation......
     
  13. C-Faith

    C-Faith Member

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    The scriptures don't lie. And since you don't claim to be a Christian, what makes you think I'm wrong?
     
  14. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Where I come from Cardinal Nichols, the highest ranking churchman in the land, holds LGBT masses or rather masses with a pastoral outreach specifically to LGBT people and their families:


    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/231...y-masses-can-be-rolled-out-throughout-church-

    CARDINAL HOPES GAY MASSES CAN BE ROLLED OUT THROUGHOUT CHURCH

    A Westminster diocesan initiative to extend a special welcome to lesbian and gay Catholics at a regular Mass has proved so successful that Cardinal Vincent Nichols would like it to be rolled out nationwide, his lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) liaison priest has said.

    The Masses, at the Jesuit Farm Street Church in central London, replaced the more controversial, so-called “gay Masses” that were designated for LGBT Catholics at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Soho until 2013.

    Key to the transition was that the Farm Street Masses are an extension of the diocese’s pastoral care for gay people. LGBT Catholics join the regular congregation at the 6.15 p.m. Mass on Sunday evenings twice a month and meet afterwards for a social gathering in the parish hall.

    Fr Keith Barltrop, who was appointed chaplain to the LGBT community by Vincent Nichols earlier this year, said that the cardinal would like to see the Farm Street Masses as a model for other parishes in his archdiocese. He added that the idea could be taken up by parishes in other dioceses.

    The Farm Street Masses are similar to those said for the LGBT community in Chicago and Los Angeles. Martin Pendergast of the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council said that any move to expand the model would be dependent on interested parishioners taking the lead.

    Looking ahead to the October synod on the family in Rome, Mr Pendergast said his group was currently drawing up a briefing paper which it hoped Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, the delegates to the synod from England and Wales, would take with them and feed into the debate. A major line of argument in the paper, he said, would be a move to encourage the Vatican to undertake a “serious review” of the vocabulary it used in relation to homosexuality.

    http://voiceofthefamily.com/cardina...s-will-moderate-english-speaking-synod-group/

    Expanding LGBT Ministry Across Westminster – And Beyond!

    Cardinal Vincent Nichols has urged that the successful model of the Farm Street Masses specifically welcoming LGBTI Catholics be “rolled out” across his Westminster archdiocese, and indeed across “the nation”....​


    Catholicism has always been a minority religion here as well, which might impact how it operates. Certainly not 43% in Britain.
     
    #74 Vouthon, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I note that even this article speaks to the official Church position (while arguing that it ought to be something else):

    BTW: I see that the article refers to a synod in October 2015. I'm guessing that they didn't get the Vatican to change the Catechism so that it doesn't say that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered", did they?

    You do bring up a good point about Catholicism being a minority religion. Many of the worst abuses of the Church were enabled by its influence over the state. The Ryan report talked about cases where sexual abuse would be reported to Irish police, but the local police would just hand over their files to the local bishop and trust him to investigate. Here in Canada, the government was complicit in handing Church organizations orphans (in the case of Mount Cashel) or aboriginal children (in the case of residential schools - though it's fair to note that several denominations were implicated there, not just the Catholics). Same with the baby-selling scandal in Spain: without the government cooperating, it would never have happened on the scale it did.

    History has shown when the Church has influence and power, abuses happen. That's a big part of my problem with Francis: IMO, many people think of him as some sort of autocratic "king of the Catholic Church", able to change policy with a word, but you and I know it doesn't work that way. The Magisterium is in large part the same people who were in charge when horrible things were happening, and the Pope - even if sincere - is only one voice of many in any conversation about policy.

    You may consider your cardinal to be pro-LGBT (though I question just how gay-positive a Catholic cardinal would be), but I remember the anti-LGBT rhetoric of Cardinal Ambrozic. I know how Cardinal Collins is doing his best to block gay-straight alliances in taxpayer-funded schools now. I think you'll find that sort of attitude to be much more prevalent than gay-friendliness among the Church leadership.

    ... which is a completely different matter from attitudes among Catholic laity. Of all the Catholics who I've discussed same-sex marriage with, for instance, the only ones who were opposed to it were my ex-in-laws. Thankfully, the laity doesn't tend to follow the guidance of the Church... at least around here, anyhow.

    ... but the problem with Francis is that his positive rhetoric is improving people's attitudes to the Church, thereby giving it more influence, but there's been little to no reform of the Church leadership, so they're just as prone to engage in abuse as ever. The only check on this that has proved reliable is keeping the Church - and religion in general - as far away from governmental power as possible.
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    You may not have seen me post it before, so let me repeat it-- I am neither Catholic nor Christian. What I do respond negatively to are blanket condemnations of any religion, and I have stepped in on attacks on Muslims, J.W.'s, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism here at RF.

    Abuse of various types affects all religious groups as studies has shown, and the percentages really don't tend to vary that much from denomination to denomination, but it's how the religious institution responds to these events that's very telling, and the typical reaction is to mostly protect the institution. Like in politics, it's often the cover-up that is the most morally repugnant. This is what has happened all too often, and I agree that it is highly immoral.

    However, this is not by any means an isolated problem only found in the RCC or even in religion as a whole as studies have shown us. I grew up in a fundamentalist Protestant church, and even at my local church there had a couple of significant scandals over the two decades I went there. But unless you actually knew of my church, you would not at all likely know about these scandals. OTOH, within the RCC, largely because of its size matched along with some anti-Catholic bigotry, scandals get many more "legs" in the media. The media may report these accurately, but they do tend to stand out more than what may happen at your local church.

    So, I am not defending what I believe is indefensible, but I do feel it is unfair to label an entire religion or denomination as being immoral when it clearly is not.
     
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  17. C-Faith

    C-Faith Member

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    Catholic church supports homosexual relationships - something the bible condemns.

    1 Corinthians 6: 9-11
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I agree: scandals happen in other religious groups, too. But the ones in the Catholic Church have historically been bigger, mainly because of three big differences:

    - Most other denominations don't have a hierarchy and authority structure like that of the Catholics. The Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, doesn't have the power to pull a minister out of one church and plunk him down in another. Because of this, it tends to be much less frequent for a predator minister to go from church to church preying on new congregations.

    - Worldwide, the Catholic Church tends to have much more political influence than other churches. This has helped it convince authorities to look the other way and in some cases (like Mount Cashel) even get the government to supply then with victims.

    - The Vatican has been very slow to get on the child protection bandwagon, and has even obstructed dioceses that tried to act on their own on this issue.
     
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  19. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Big business is not faith based.
    directors of companies follow all faiths, and none.
    The pope is clearly making a moral point. That is recognised in law in many countries.
    In the UK, All employers are required by law to offer a penson scheme and pay no less than the minimum wage...even if they only pay one person. This includes private individuals employing a maid.

    The USA is way behind Europe on this. The Pope will be well aware of various countries positions on this subject, it is good that he is speaking out.

    He has already recognised his churches past sins has been steadily working through ways to correct the problems.

    it would be stupid to suggest that he could change history or the effect it has had on those that suffered. Or to suggest that he is responsible for it.
     
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  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I taught it to adults for 14 years, not including teaching a comparative religions course for two additional years. You obviously do not know the scriptures anywhere as much as you think you do, so instead of trying to play the we/they card, why not just stick to the subject and show through both the scriptures and historical accounts where I supposedly am wrong. Until you can do that, all you are doing is blowing smoke. But first, let me recommend that you do some serious studying. Let me give you an example.

    Before coming on to various message boards over the last several decades, my understanding of Hebrew was somewhere between nil and nada. Now, after all these years on the boards here, I am still horribly terrible with Hebrew. But where the difference lies is that I know who and where to turn to in order to get help. There's about a half-dozen folks here who can really help me, plus they have shown me where I can better look things up.

    Therefore, let me recommend that you do the same because learning from others is one major way we learn.
     
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