Pope Francis, Catholics, and Christians in the new normal era

When we first began discussing the Pell case, Australia was also uncovering public discussions of child abuse, mainly sexual, in other faith communities including very observant Jewish communities that rarely mix with the secular world. 

What made the Jewish cases so prominent was the involvement of the police and then the media - within the Jewish world, regardless of one's depth of affiliation, there were cries of 'treason', 'heresy', and worse for both sides of the debates (should the victims have spoken up? Should they have gone to the police? Were the 'perpetrators' guilty? Etc) Then the Royal Commission was held and schools, rabbinical councils and other authorities were slammed for inaction.

In all the time since, the Yeshivah College has failed to remove the Rabbi who let the victims and their families, and the community, down. He even ignored legal rulings to vacate his post.

Finally he's going. https://www.jewishnews.net.au/rabbi-telsners-tenure-ends-at-yeshivah/93704

Now, to get Malka Leifer back from Israel... 

That happens with insular communities. In Lakewood, New Jersey, you will be shunned if your orthodox child is molested and you report it to the secular authorities.


Witnesses spoke of a world in which abuse allegations are typically “investigated” not by the secular authorities, but by rabbis lacking supervision by the criminal justice system. It is a world where victims and perpetrators alike are subjected to threats of social ostracism and, in some cases, physical harm for non-compliance with the “system.”
“Most victims of abuse and parents in Lakewood are afraid to speak up because [they fear being threatened by rabbis],” Debbie Rudin, a victim of childhood sexual abuse who now lives in Lakewood, told The Jewish Week.


In 2006, Yocheved Mauda reported to the police that her 15-year-old daughter was raped by a 35-year-old man just over the border in Howell. When her rabbis in Lakewood learned the authorities had been alerted, they were furious, she said, telling her she should have brought her complaint before a Bais Din. Now it was too late. Monmouth County prosecutors charged the offender, Levi Danziger, with kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

The major difference here, I believe, is that after the internal justice system and the State legal system, there was a national enquiry into child sex abuse and the responses of the institutions set up to protect, house and educate those children - most of them run by faith-based organisations and charities. A long list of recommendations came out of that long and thorough enquiry, and many people were charged with historical crimes. 

Yeshivah had pledged to revise its policies and procedures to match those of other schools, meeting secular legal requirements. It was also required to completely change Board and faculty, including rabbi, principal and legal advisers. Rabbi T refused to listen to either external advice or his Board. 

I mentioned a couple of days ago that our Ambassador to the Vatican had died. Tim Fischer was an extraordinary man, who worked very hard to appear relaxed and ordinary. He really was an ethical politician. 

Tim had been our Deputy Prime Minister, leader of the National Party, a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer for preservation of our historic railways - so much more:

His State funeral was held today, and was broadcast live on the national radio service


Well thank goodness someone could get emergency services to respond on a Sunday cheese


Some of our fellow Americans are always a challenge for Pope Francis:

In an informal exchange aboard the papal plane, Pope Francis told Nicolas Senèze that he is “honored that the Americans attack me” when the French Catholic journalist presented him with a copy of his book How America Wants to Change the Pope (Comment L'Amérique veut changer de Pape) on the flight from Rome to Maputo, Mozambique, on Sept. 4.

The book describes how a wealthy and often traditionalist sector of the American Catholic church—both clerical and lay—attacks Pope Francis and notes that it is already working, with projects such as the “Red Hat Report,” to ensure that the cardinal elected pope at the next conclave is to its liking. It was clear from the context that Pope Francis was referring specifically to that sector of the U.S. church that is mentioned in the book and not to anyone else.


[Edited to add] "The pope said he had tried to get a copy of it, but it was not yet available for sale. He then handed the book to an aide and commented with a smile, 'This is a bomb!' "

Closer to home, yesterday:

They laid down in the street at a major downtown Newark intersection and formed a human crucifix. Catholic leaders and their faithful were ready to get arrested for a just cause.

President Trump’s immigration policy is not humane and separation of immigrant children and families in detention centers must end, they said.

Momentum from Wednesday’s movement in Newark began with a national campaign in Washington, D.C. that was started by a coalition of 13 Catholic organizations. In July, about 70 Catholic leaders were arrested on capitol grounds when they called on Congress and the Trump administration to end detention centers.

The campaign got a huge lift when it reached Newark Wednesday. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark joined the demonstration, which started with a prayer service at St. Mary’s Church Newark Abbey, a parish that had its first church destroyed by an anti-immigrant mob in the mid 1800s.

“It’s significant that the march begin here,’’ Tobin said in front of the church, sending a clear message to the president.

“Recognize this because you’re hardening the heart of a nation and ultimately placing all of our most precious values in jeopardy.’’

Full article at this link.

mtierney said:

“The future of the Catholic Church is in Africa”...


 Reflected in the new class of Cardinals named by the Pope.  For instance:

Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, o.f.m. cap – Archbishop of Kinshasa – was born in 1960 in Boto, in the Diocese of Molegbe. After completing courses in Philosophy at the Seminary of Bwamanda, he studied Theology at the Saint Eugène de Mazenod Institute and professed first vows as a Cappuchin Franciscan in 1981, followed by perpetual profession in 1987. He was ordained a priest in 1988 after which he graduated from the Accademia Alfonsiana with a degree in Moral Theology. He served as pastor in Bobito, Professor at the Catholic University of Kinshasa, then as a Major Superior within the Capuchin community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also served as the President of the National Assembly of Major Superiors (ASUMA) and of the Circumscriptions of the Friars Minor Cappuchins in Africa (CONCAU). He became Bishop of Bokungu-Ikela in 2005 and afterward became Apostolic Administrator of Kole, and President of the Episcopal Commission “Justice and Peace”, Apostolic Administrator of Mbandaka-Bikoro and then its Archbishop in 2016. In June 2016 he became Vice President of the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO) and on 6 February 2018, Pope Francis nominated him Coadjutor Archbishop of Kinshasa. In November of the same year, he became it’s Archbishop.

The new Cardinal is a Francis fan (unlike some Catholics in our country):

A Congolese bishop whose people face difficult questions of natural resource extraction and possible future political violence has said the Vatican under Pope Francis has become a place that understands their needs and makes him feel listened to.

"I believe the Holy See now is closer to our reality, to the reality that we live," Bishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu said. "We have the impression that it is easier for them to understand better our situation."

"Before, it was very difficult," continued Ambongo, a Capuchin Franciscan who led his order's province encompassing the two Congos before being appointed bishop by Pope John Paul II in March 2005. "For me, this is a big, big change. We find now that what we are living is listened to here in the Vatican."

Ambongo, who leads the diocese of Bokungu-Ikela in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also said the changes to the Vatican seem "like a change not only in attitude here, but a new anthropology for the way of living our faith."

From that same article, seems like he'd fit in well with the environmental movement in this country: 

"I am convinced that for we that live in the region of a forest, the future is this renewable energy, namely solar panels," he said. "A word on [Francis'] part for us would be very important."

(Note: Quote is from 2015, anticipating the Pope's Encyclical on the environment that was issued two months later, Laudato Si' , "Care For Our Common Home".)

Thank you for the quotes. 

mtierney said:

How can corruption and greed be so blind?


Ask your "friend" Trump. 

In the last two years he's managed to remove environmental protections that took over 30 years to set up in order to exploit natural resources and stick it to Obama. 

Climate change?  No such thing according to your "friend." Its a Chinese hoax.

So easy to point to POTUS.... easy out for the guilty

mtierney said:

So easy to point to POTUS....

 It is because he makes it easy.

mtierney said:

So easy to point to POTUS.... easy out for the guilty

 It is very easy for anyone with their eyes open.  Oh and I guess it helps if you understand English. 

mtierney said:

Who thinks politics are all focused in Washington? 


 Another awful Douthat column.  He gets away with it because he's conned his bosses at the NY Times that he's actual some kind of expert on the Church.

Douthat brings classic "both-siderism" from American politics to his "analysis".  Don't worry about those Americans who are against the Pope, he says, worry about those Germans who are "liberal".  That's nonsense, there's no "liberal" schism threat, just uninformed slander from Douthat's side.

Could you offer links to support your conviction?

mtierney said:

Could you offer links to support your conviction?

 Isn't the Douthat article that you linked enough to make nohero's point clear?  The whole thing is framed as "both-siderism" frosted with his typical smug, "see, I told you so" asides.  There is no "liberal" schism threat. It's disingenuous to claim as much. And since you can't prove a negative, maybe you should google around and try to find some articles suggesting that there are "liberal" wings of the church threatening to split? 

I’ll admit to not being a theologian, my asking for further information to support such certitude on the schism question was to learn more. 

But, I will accept what the Pope believes — https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/09/10/pope-francis-plane-i-am-not-afraid-schisms-i-pray-they-do-not-happen

mtierney said:

I’ll admit to not being a theologian, my asking for further information to support such certitude on the schism question was to learn more. 

But, I will accept what the Pope believes — https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/09/10/pope-francis-plane-i-am-not-afraid-schisms-i-pray-they-do-not-happen

 Yes, the pope believes that schisms mark the history of the church. Church history makes that clear. But what he says is: 

"He recalled that the history of the church contains many heresies and schisms, saying that what they had in common was that the promoters of schisms “detach [themselves] from the people of God, from the faith of the people.” He said that “a schism is always an elitist state, from ideology detached from doctrine.”

Francis explained: “What I say on the social issues is the same that John Paul II said, the same. I copy him. But [some say], ‘This pope is too communist.’... Ideologies enter in the doctrine, and when doctrine slides into ideology there is the possibility of a schism.”

Nohero's point still stands. There are no "liberal" Catholics calling for schism. The ideology the pope speaks of are from right-wing Catholics, a wealthy if very small minority, following the call of the likes of the disgraced but not silent Cardinal Burke: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/08/29/cardinal-burke-it-licit-call-resignation-pope-francis

not yet, but soon....

I think the Englishman in Zimbabwe might be one sooner. 


mtierney said:

not yet, but soon....

 Nope.  You can polish a cow patty, you can pronounce it a diamond but, in the end, its is still just a pile of manure.  No amount of polishing will turn Fulton Sheen into a Saint.

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