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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:19 am 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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Terrible analogy, but the church has always been ironclad on the subject of moral relativism, which whatever you think of gender fluidity theory, it is. I happen to think Gender theory to be a load of bullshit, though I don't have two thousand years of historical resistance to moral relativistic concepts to fall back on.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:07 pm 
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So long as the Church accepts that transsexuals are suffering from a legitimate medical condition that deserves treatment, I don't particularly care what their opinion on gender fluidity and in-betweens is. I happen to be rather fond of androgyny, but the two matters are distinct, and one is simply more serious than the other.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:38 am 
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Pope Francis Calls Armenian Deaths ‘First Genocide of 20th Century’

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Pope Francis described the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Turks as the “first genocide of the 20th century” on Sunday, touching off a diplomatic furor with Turkey and entering into a tense historical debate with wider implications for the Vatican’s relations with Islam.

Turkey, which has long rejected the term genocide to describe the killings, swiftly called its ambassador to the Vatican back to Ankara for consultations after the pope’s remarks. Turkey’s foreign ministry also summoned the Vatican’s envoy to Ankara, informing him that the government was “disappointed and saddened” by the pontiff’s comments, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

The pope, speaking at a mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the 100 years since the killings, addressed the massacres in the context of the contemporary persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. That subject has become an increasingly pressing theme for Pope Francis—who, before becoming pontiff, had close ties to Buenos Aires’s overwhelmingly Christian Armenian community.

Even as he has continued to call for better relations between Catholicism and Islam, the pope has urged Muslim leaders to denounce the actions of extremists and pushed Christians of different churches to stand together in the face of anti-Christian violence.

The pope’s statement is a boost for Armenia’s decadeslong campaign to define the killings as genocide, as well as a setback for Turkey’s efforts to fend off the accusations of systematic killing.

Armenians—the vast majority of whom are Christians—say that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed during World War I in today’s eastern Turkey, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire.

A number of countries officially recognize the killings as genocide. But Turkey contests Armenian claims about the scale of losses; it argues that hundreds of thousands actually died in warfare and famine, and that many Turks were also killed by Armenians. Turkey argues that the question of genocide should be left to historians rather than politicians.

Pope Francis said Sunday that “it is necessary, and indeed a duty,” to “recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forbears had to endure…Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”

Turkey accused the Vatican of using history for political aims: by singling out Armenians and not mentioning all lost lives in Anatolia during World War I. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the comments were “not fitting of the Pope.”

“The Pope’s declaration, divorced from historical and legal facts, is unacceptable. Religious posts are not positions to stoke hatred and grudges on baseless claims,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a message from his official Twitter account.

It wasn’t the first time a pope has called the 1915 deaths genocide. Pope Francis, in referring to “the first genocide of the 20th century,” was quoting a 2001 common declaration by Pope John Paul II and Catholicos Karekin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, who was also present at Sunday’s Mass, along with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

Pope Francis went further than the 2001 declaration, calling the killing of Armenians one of “three massive and unprecedented tragedies” in the 20th century. “The remaining two were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism,” he said. The latter reference was to the 1932-33 man-made famine in Ukraine, part of Joseph Stalin’s effort to collectivize Soviet agriculture, which killed as many as 7.5 million people.

The pope also spoke of the 1915 killings in connection to recent attacks on Christians, with an impassioned reference to “so many of our defenseless brothers and sisters who, on account of their faith in Christ or their ethnic origin, are publicly and ruthlessly put to death—decapitated, crucified, burned alive—or forced to leave their homeland.”

The pope has become increasingly vocal about the persecution of Christians around the world, especially in Muslim-majority countries. He has called on Muslim leaders to denounce the actions of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. At a Good Friday ceremony on April 3, he deplored the world’s “complicit silence” about such persecution, including the previous day’s killings of nearly 150—many of them Christians—by a Somali insurgent group in Kenya.

The Good Friday ceremony prominently featured Christians from Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt and China, countries in which Christians experience varying degrees of violence and official discrimination.

As he has campaigned on behalf of persecuted Christians, Pope Francis has ardently promoted better relations between the Catholic Church and the Muslim world. He has written that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.” On a May visit to Israel, he made a gesture of solidarity with Palestinians by stopping to pray at the controversial Israeli separation wall on the West Bank. He has publicly prayed with Muslims at the Vatican and in an Istanbul mosque.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:11 pm 
Pleasure Kitten Foreman
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But... technically, it was Genocide.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:58 am 
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The Daily Beast

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Pope Francis has not only made it easier for Catholics to divorce, he has also shown how easy it is for him to do things his way.

On Tuesday afternoon in the Holy See press office, seven men in priestly collars, whose combined experience in marriage is nil, presented radical changes to the Catholic Church’s approach to divorce as defined by Pope Francis.

The changes, outlined in twin “Motu Proprio” documents titled Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, Latin for “The Lord Jesus, the Gentle Judge” penned by Francis in late August, will streamline the process of annulment and pave the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to practice their faith fully. The Catholic church does not recognize divorce, so those who remarry are considered adulterers and, as such, are not allowed to take certain sacraments, including Holy Communion.

Until now, Catholics whose marriages failed could be granted annulments through a lengthy and expensive process that often took years and several layers of church bureaucracy. Now, thanks to Francis, from December 8 that process will be drastically cut and virtually cost-free, with the divorced Catholics being asked only to pay moderate administrative expenses that will no doubt be much less expensive than the civil component of their decoupling.

Last August, Francis appointed a commission to study the procedures relating to the church’s rules. The new changes clearly reflect that group’s recommendations. “Some procedures are so long and burdensome people just give up,” the pope said when he appointed the commission. He said that the church’s laws must be designed for the “salvation of souls” and should not “lock the salvation of persons within the straits of legalism.”

Francis was clear that the new rules don’t “favor the nullity of matrimony” but they do serve to make it easier for those whose marriages are broken to retain their faith. The new rules are designed especially for those in situations where domestic violence or infidelity has led to the breakup.

The new procedures have been welcomed by many divorced Catholics who have been held at arm’s length from the church, but it will likely anger many conservative Catholics who see anything that reinterprets the church’s approach to doctrine as a threat to the church at large. Among the “potential problems” outlined during the press conference were such issues as what to do with children of divorced and remarried Catholics who were previously considered born in adulterous unions and denied baptism.

By legitimizing them, the church potentially also opens the door to babies born from other unions the church does not recognize, such as adopted babies in same-sex unions, which Pope Francis has previously said should be baptized, though no regulations are in place to register those children born of unions not recognized as legitimate by the church as a whole. “If a homosexual couple wants to baptize the child, what should the procedure be?” pondered Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the highest-ranking Vatican official on canon law, adding that this will no doubt stimulate dialogue at the autumn synod on the family. “The nullity of the marriage is part of this vast panorama of problems and regulatory reforms.”

On the sidelines of the press conference, Monsignor Dimitrios Salachas told The Daily Beast that by issuing a Motu Proprio now rather than waiting for the upcoming Synod on the Family, the pope was exercising his right to rule. “In doing this now rather than the fall, the Holy Father is exercising his right to do God’s will,” he said, adding that there were still many details that the synod participants would no doubt discuss.

The last pope to change rules relating to annulment was Benedict XIV, who led the church from 1740 to 1758—which makes Francis’s intervention all the more profound. These new rules follow the announcement on September 1 that gave priests the power to forgive those who have had an abortion.

The pope has had a busy year reforming the church, making headlines with his views on climate change, abortion, and now annulment. It’s anyone’s guess what is next on the pope’s reform to-do list, but there is little doubt that it will go unnoticed. The pontiff begins a 10-day visit to Cuba and the United States this month.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:54 am 
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bbc

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One of the most influential US energy politicians says she will reject the Pope's plea to tackle climate change.
Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the second-highest ranking member on the House energy committee, says the jury is out on global warming.

Pope Francis told a White House audience on Wednesday further action was needed as the problem could "no longer be left to a future generation".

He is due to speak more on the subject in an address to Congress on Thursday.

Speaking as part of a forthcoming Radio 4 documentary series "Climate Change - Are we Feeling Lucky?", she asserted that the earth had cooled in the last 13 years by 1F. And she said no evidence would persuade her of man-made warming.

She also rejected the theory of evolution. Scientists say her views are "complete nonsense".

"The jury is still out saying man is the cause for global warming, after the earth started to cool 13 years ago," she says.
When challenged that the earth's surface temperature had not risen substantially in 13 years - but had definitely not cooled, she said - "I think we've cooled almost 1 degree (F)."

The earth's scientific authorities - including the US space agency NASA - say the earth is still warming, with ice melting, sea level rising and oceans warming.

Ms Blackburn declined to name the sources of her scepticism about mainstream science.

"We have met with different researchers," she says. "We had had numerous committee meetings in which we've had individuals come to present and from all of that and what we have been able to read you come to an opinion.

"There are some that feel like human activity is the cause for carbon emissions and because of that we need to revert to where we were in the 1870s for carbon emissions. I just choose to disagree with that."

Asked what scientific evidence would persuade her that climate change was a threat, she replied - "I don't think you will see me being persuaded."

Asked whether she accepted the theory of evolution she said: "No I do not."

Ms Blackburn's views matter because Republicans in Congress are trying to roll back President Obama's attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Brian Hoskins, a leading climate scientist at the Royal Society said her remarks were "absolutely staggering".

"It is nonsense to say the world has cooled," Hoskins said. "If no evidence will persuade Ms Blackburn of climate change, that shows how well-founded her views are."

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"it takes two sides to end a war but only one to start one. And those who do not have swords may still die upon them." Tolken


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:56 am 
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bbc

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Pope Francis has named 18th-Century missionary Junipero Serra a saint, in a move cheered by Hispanic Catholics but criticised by some Native Americans.

Serra, who lived in what is now California, is the first person to be made a saint in the US.

Latino churchgoers have said honouring him is an overdue acknowledgment of the American Church's Hispanic history.
However, Native American groups have accused him of helping wipe out indigenous people and their culture.

Serra was a Franciscan friar who brought Christianity to California. Native Americans there say he was instrumental in the killing of thousands of people by the Spanish conquerors.

But his defenders insist he worked as a moderating influence.

The Pope, who is on his first official visit to the US, defended Serra saying he helped protect native peoples.

"[Serra] was the embodiment of a Church which goes forth," the Pope said on Wednesday. "Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward. Let's keep moving forward. "

Junipero Serra: Saint or sinner?

The Pope - speaking in his native Spanish - made the announcement during a Mass in Washington attended by about 25,000 people.

The Pope had "fast-tracked" his canonisation, meaning that there was no need to show proof of two miracles.
Earlier, the Pope called for further action on climate change saying that it was "a critical moment of history", on the first day of his visit to the US.

Speaking at the White House, he said the problem could "no longer be left to a future generation".

President Barack Obama said the Pope reminded people "that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet".

The environmental issue is divisive in the US, with one Republican congressman boycotting the Pope's speech to Congress on Thursday because of the pontiff's stance.

All the leading Republican presidential hopefuls say tackling climate change will hurt the economy.

At the White House large crowds gathered on the South Lawn to greet the pontiff. Officials said over 11,000 tickets had been issued, but noted that the crowd was even larger

After the Pope spoke, he held a private meeting with the president at the White House Oval Office before the Pope embarked on a parade in a specially outfitted jeep known as the "Popemobile".

He will also visit New York and Philadelphia.

The pontiff, who has sought to bring Catholics back to the Church with a more inclusive message, is very popular in the US and is expected to draw massive crowds.

Francis - the first Pope to hail from Latin America - is from Argentina. He arrived in the US on Tuesday, after his first visit to Cuba.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:08 am 
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Thousands will line the streets to see Pope Francis on American soil for the first time. But his stance on several issues has alienated him from certain sections of public opinion.

The Pope is much more popular in the US than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. According to Gallup, 59% of all Americans view him favourably, which is down from previous highs but still considerable.

Many have been impressed by his humility, commitment to helping the poor and his modern communication style, complete with 22 million followers on Twitter.

That will be reflected in the crowds who will greet him in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. "People want to feel his magic," says New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

But in a few areas, his views strike a note of discord among some Americans.

Pope Francis helped broker the deal between the US and Cuba that thawed 53 years of icy relations between America and the communist country. But this makes him unpopular with the American right.

New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has said Pope Francis is "wrong" on Cuba.
"I just think the pope is wrong," said Mr Christie, who is Catholic, on Sunday. "The fact is his infallibility is on religious matters, not on political ones. I just happen to disagree with the pope on this one."

Mr Christie said Cuba harbours fugitives, like Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973 and has since found political asylum in Cuba.

Climate change
Pope Francis has been vocal about his concern for climate change and called on western nations to do more - at once drawing the ire of sceptics.

US Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona is boycotting the pope's address to the US Congress and said in an opinion piece why.

"When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can be expected to be treated like one," wrote Mr Gosar.

"If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time. But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous."

Pope Francis has not pulled any punches in criticising what he calls "an economy of exclusion and inequality", and called on the rich to share their wealth.

Biographer Paul Vallely says this sympathy for the poor has brought the US and its unrestrained capitalism "into papal crosshairs".

Some wealthy American Catholics have expressed concerns, even indicating they may withdraw their financial support to the Church if the Pope continues his crusade against excess and free markets.

Valley writes in Politico Magazine: "The pope's aversion to red-blooded capitalism is just too apocalyptic for America's tycoons - overlooking the curative powers of technology, ignoring the way the free market had lifted millions from poverty and refusing to consider that Catholic teaching on contraception is partly to blame for our overcrowded planet."

Conservatives like radio host Rush Limbaugh have denounced his beliefs as "pure Marxism".

And Senator Mike Rounds, a former South Dakota governor and a Roman Catholic, says he disagrees with the Argentinian pope's view of capitalism.

"Personally, I think if you think of the quality of life that has been delivered to millions of people around the world and freedoms that we find for people around the world, most of it has happened because of innovation due to capitalism, and because the United States of America exists," Rounds said.

Catholics in America:
80 million baptised as Catholics
Six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Catholic
31% of the US Congress (22% general population)
One Catholic president (JFK) and one vice-president (Joe Biden)
Six Catholic Republicans running for president, the most ever

It is not just those on the conservative right who differ with Pope Francis. Liberals note that he holds traditional Catholic views on gay marriage, abortion and contraception, though he has softened the tone in talking about them.

Earlier this month he relaxed forgiveness rules on abortion for the coming Jubilee Year, allowing all priests to forgive it rather than only bishops.

That does not go quite far enough, a New York Times opinion piece argued earlier this month.

"While the pope's announcement has been hailed as evidence of the church's new, softer approach, it's actually the latest example of the modern anti-abortion strategy: Portray women as victims who need to be protected from themselves with laws that restrict abortion rights," writes Jill Filipovic, who went on to argue that the move covers up the "real problems" the Catholic Church's views on anti-contraception and anti-abortion cause.

Canonisation of first Hispanic saint

The first Latin-American pope will give the US its first Hispanic saint when he canonises Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan who founded a mission in California in the 18th Century.

But Native Americans view the missionary as someone who aggressively imposed Catholicism on their ancestors.
Pope Francis has in the past apologised for the treatment of indigenous people, and could do so again at the canonisation Mass on Wednesday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington.

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