I doubt that this will go anywhere, but it should provide some entertainment for a while.
The Miami Herald reports:
A church modeled in part after one in Miami but with a ”revolutionary” spirit that praises Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is now at the center of a religious and social controversy in Venezuela.
Although it has adopted many of the symbols and rites of Roman Catholicism, the new Reform Catholic Venezuelan Church departs from traditional belief in some key ways.
For example, reformists consider that ”homosexuality and bisexuality are not sins in and of themselves.” Divorce is allowed and priests do not take vows of chastity.
The new church uses the language of liberation theology:
According to its leaders, the reformist church seeks to establish an institution that is “inclusive, participatory and with a strong Bolivarian spirit that recognizes Jesus Christ as the Lord of History. He is present in the revolutionary process that is occurring in Venezuela.”
This is not the first time politicians in Venezuela have tried this trick:
Attempts to establish churches with political motivations are nothing new to Venezuela. In the mid 1940s several government leaders who had declared themselves anti-clerical decided to establish a Catholic Apostolic Church of Venezuela, by forging the ordainment of a bishop.
I wonder how Catholics who agree with the new Church’s agenda will react?
According to Der Spiegel’s “In the Hell of the Files,” a book in Poland, The Secret Police and Lech Walesa, claims that Walesa, after his first arrest in 1970, agreed, under the code name of Bolek, to inform on his follow workers in Gdansk, and received 13,000 zlotys, about two months pay, for his work.
Walesa, founder of Solidarity and Nobel Prize winner, denies it and says the secret police files are false.
The national conservative paper Rzeczpospolita, which has also reported on the sexual misconduct of Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, has printed a preview of the book by Slawomir Cenckiewicz und Piotr Gontarczyk of the Institute of National Memeory (IPN).
In 1992 the conservative government presented a list of 66 prominent Poles who had cooperated with the Communists, and Walesa was on that list.
But the Polish secret police had destroyed many of their files as Communism was falling, and it was impossible to determine what these men had done. Such accusations were used as a weapon to destroy political foes. The lustration or cleansing of Polish society from Communism became a farce.
The files were sealed, and liberals such as Adam Michnik want them to be sealed forever.
The Institute of National Memory has custody of the remaining files of the secret police, and the new book is based on those files.
Cardinal Paskai of Hungary betrayed his priests to the Communists; and Paetz is suspected of being a Communist informer in the Vatican.
Until the generation of Europeans who might have collaborated with the Communists dies off, the suspicions and accusations will be an open wound on the new democratic societies.
The National Post reports on this exhibition on eugenics at the Canadian War Museum. The exhibition “reveals how it was not thoughtless right-wing thugs as much as writers and scientists, the intellectual elite, who led the movement.”
It also fails to stress just how much the socialist left initiated and supported the eugenics campaign, not only in Germany but in Britain, the U. S. and the rest of Europe. Playwright George Bernard Shaw, English social democrat leader Sydney Webb and, in Canada, Tommy Douglas were just three influential socialists who called, for example, for the mass sterilization of the handicapped. In his Master’s thesis The Problems of the Subnormal Family, the now revered Douglas argued that the mentally and even physically disabled should be sterilized and sent to camps so as not to “infect” the rest of the population.
It is deeply significant that few if any of Douglas’s left-wing comrades in this country or internationally were surprised or offended by his proposals. Indeed the early fascism of 1920s Italy, while unsavoury and dictatorial, had little connection with social engineering and eugenics. The latter German version of fascism was influenced not by ultra conservatism in southern Europe but, as is made clear in the writings of the Nazi ideologues, by the Marxist left.
In England H. G. Wells proposed forced abortion and the elimination of inferior races.
South of the Canadian border the left also led the eugenics movement:
In the United States socialist writer Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and the mother of the abortion movement, called for a radical eugenics approach as early as the first years of the 20th century. She wrote of the need for “a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring. It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization.”
Dietrich Bonheoffer denounced liberal Proetstantism because it preached cheap grace: “Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. … Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
But at West Hill on the faith’s holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity’s central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill’s Sunday service liturgy.
The Rev. Vosper wants to Schliermacherize Christianity completely:
She wants salvation redefined to mean new life through removing the causes of suffering in the world. She wants the church to define resurrection as “starting over,” “new chances.” She wants an end to the image of God as an intervening all-powerful authority who must be appeased to avoid divine wrath; rather she would have congregations work together as communities to define God – or god – according to their own worked-out definitions of what is holy and sacred. She wants the eucharist – the symbolic eating and drinking of Jesus’s body and blood to make the congregation part of Jesus’s body – to be instead a symbolic experience of community love.Theologians asked to comment on her book said they wouldn’t until they’ve read it. But one of her colleagues who knows her well, Rev. Rob Oliphant, the progressive pastor of Toronto’s Eglinton St. George’s United Church, said, “While I’m somewhat sympathetic to the aims of it all – getting rid of the nonsense and keeping the core faith – I think that there is something lacking in it all. Gone is metaphor, poetry, symbol, image, beauty, paradox.”
For some reason she thinks that the world will flock to this Christianity without Christ. Vosper seems to unaware of her literary antecedents in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood and the church of truth without Jesus Christ crucified. She might do well to read that story.
There is a very odd discussion at the Commonweal blog about the
The source of this is two fold: the total lack of doctrinal catechesis is for a generation, and the false catechesis that extreme informality and casualness in the liturgy gave. A 1992
At a roadside café we encountered this recently-posted sign:
At a roadside café we encountered this recently-posted sign:
My Spanish is not very good, but here is the substance:
Dear Drivers and Travelers:Please be informed that on the road between Guer Aike and El Calafte the personnel of civil defense has detected a plague of spiders commonly known as black widows. We therefore recommend that you not get out of your car and much less open the ventilator windows.
We pulled up our feet, got in our van, and locked the windows.
The majority of Austrians (63%) fear the consequences of the low birth rate in their country, according to Kath.net.
Consequently, the number of children born in
At one scout camp I was at, a boy with a minor eye problem was patiently learning how to shoot a rifle. I overheard him explaining to the instructor that he hoped to overcome his eye problem so he could enlist in the army and protect his country.
The president of the
was saved from assassination Tuesday when a boy scout grabbed the knife of an attacker who had jumped out of a crowd greeting the leader, an official said. Maldives
This fellow in the crowd with a knife in his hand attempted to stab the president in his stomach,” Shareef said by telephone from Male, the capital. “But a 15-year-old boy came in the way, and grabbed the knife. One brave boy saved the president’s life.”The scout was identified as Mohamed Jaisham Ibrahim, who had lined up to welcome Gayoom, according to the president’s Web site.The boy was injured in the hand by the knife. “His wound was stitched but later he complained that he could not move some of his fingers, so he was flown by a sea plane to Male,” Shareef said.“There was blood on the president’s shirt, but it was not his but the boy’s. Still we got a physician to examine him,” Shareef said.
When a boy is willing to shed his blood to protect you, you can put up with a lot of difficult adolescent behavior.
A Canadian woman declared dead eight hours earlier, her organs ready to be harvested and donated, suddenly opened her eyes after Filipino priest Fr. Fernando Suarez prayed over her.
In his ministry, Suarez has a quiet approach:
Suarez goes about it gently, in his own soothing way, touching, praying over people, pleading for healing. And because he wants everything centered in the Eucharist, he always begins with a Holy Mass.
Businessman Greg Monteclaro of Couples for Christ-Gawad Kalinga has seen it all. “Except the raising of the dead,” he says. “But the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk — all that is told in the Bible — I have seen it happen.”
“All that is told in the Bible” – seems to hold much more sway in the Third World than in the
Mitteleuropa has the tradition of the New Year’s Eve Dust Up. It involves, as always, young men, and their motives are the same the world over.
Der Standard reports:
Bucharest: The Romanian police on Monday morning ended the traditional Sylvester Fight in the with a tear gas attack. In the settlement near the northeast city of villageof Ruginoasa every year on New Year’s Eve the young men, costumed in sheep skins and divided into groups, go at each other with truncheons, to impress the girls. Iasi
Because there were wounded in past years, the police were present with 200 men in battle uniform, as the Romanian station Realitatea reported. Many of the village dwellers let loose on the officials and destroyed their protective shields. It was not reported how many wounded there were. By this originally imaginary symbolic action, the “New Year’s
,” of Ruginoasa, the “victorious” troop wins the right to woo the girls. Battle
Unimpressed Maidens of Ruginoasa