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Posts tagged ‘Roman Catholic Church’

UN Panel Says Vatican Enables Sex Predators to Repeat Crimes.


A United Nations committee decried the Vatican’s response to sexual abuse of children by its clergy, saying the Holy See has allowed alleged predators to strike again because it was more concerned about itself than the victims.

“In dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims,” the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said in a report released today. The Vatican in response reiterated “its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child” according to church teaching.

The committee’s report increases expectations on Pope Francis, who has won praise in his first 11 months in office for encouraging dialogue on social issues. The Roman Catholic leader was urged to break what the panel characterized as church practice of harboring sex offenders, retaliating against witnesses and condoning ritualized beatings.

“The committee notes as positive the willingness expressed by the delegation of the Holy See to change attitudes and practices,” the panel said. It “looks forward to the adoption of prompt and firm measures for the concrete implementation of its commitments.”

Benedict XVI

The findings take into account a Vatican report presented to the panel in January 2013, when the church was led by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis, 77, has been hailed as a potential reformer after the final years of Benedict’s reign, which ended a year ago with his resignation. The Argentine pontiff has taken on money laundering at the Vatican bank, signaled an easing of the church’s traditional stance against homosexuality and repeatedly spoken up about the injustice of income inequality.

The church’s decades-long struggle with child molestation, which the UN panel said has claimed tens of thousands of victims worldwide, may be the biggest problem inherited by Francis. The Vatican, while saying it would submit the UN panel’s report to “thorough study,” signaled it will contest at least some of the findings.

‘Gravely Concerned’

“The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed,” the UN panel said. The church “has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” it said.

A “code of silence” has been imposed on clergy in cases of child sex abuse, and nuns and priests have been demoted and let go for stepping out of line, the committee said. It called for transparency and cooperation with law enforcement and victims organizations.

The UN panel called for the Holy See to provide family planning information to minors and make HIV and AIDS a mandatory part of Catholic school curriculum, the panel said. Corporal punishment, which it said has “reached endemic levels in certain countries,” must be banned.

Vatican Response

The Holy See does “regret to see in some points of the concluding observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom,” the Vatican said in its e- mailed response. It didn’t specify which points it objected to.

Mothers who bear the children of priests should no longer be required to sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for financial support, the UN panel said.

The church may be moving in the right direction as it reviews withdrawing references to “illegitimate children” from its law, the panel said. Francis was also recognized for his “progressive statement” in July, when the pontiff addressed the issue of homosexuality.

Still, the committee said past church comments on homosexuality contribute to stigmatization and violence against gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents.

The panel recommended the Vatican “promptly abolish the discriminatory classification of children born out of wedlock as illegitimate children,” it said. “The committee also urges the Holy See to make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation.”

Catholic Voices

Catholic Voices, a U.K.-based blog that comments on media coverage of the church, criticized the report and said dozens of incarcerated priests and millions of dollars in compensation paid to victims undermine the findings. It also argued that the decentralized nature of the church renders the systematic training recommended by the committee impracticable.

“The committee has shown itself to be a kangaroo court,” according to the blog. The findings were produced “by adopting the mythical framework peddled by victims’ advocacy groups and lawyers, and ignoring the evidence put to it by the Holy See.”

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 

In Private Diaries, Pope John Paul Asked: Am I Serving God?.


Image: In Private Diaries, Pope John Paul Asked: Am I Serving God?

Pope John Paul II spent decades constantly questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out, according to private diaries published on Wednesday in defiance of his request that they be destroyed.John Paul, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005, will be made a saint in April and remains for many Catholics a towering model of faith and commitment.

The diaries give a glimpse into his interior spiritual life, showing a man who never became complacent despite the grandeur of the papacy and his star status among many Catholics. Instead he agonized about whether he was doing enough to serve God.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man
His handwritten notes, published as “John Paul II: I am very much in God’s hands. Personal notes 1962-2003,” are a series of his reflections rather than a daily diary.

Although he played a very active public role in communist-era Poland and as pope, the man born Karol Wojtyla in southern Poland in 1920 rarely referred to public events in these pages.

In one note in 1981, the then Cardinal Wojtyla reflected on a theological discussion with other clerics and asked:

“The word of the Lord. Do I love the word of God? Do I live by it? Do I serve it willingly. Help me, Lord, to live by your word,” he asked. “Do I serve the Holy Spirit that lives in the Church?”

In the same passage, he wrote, alternating between Latin and his native Polish: “A pure, holy and immaculate sacrifice. This is why He demands from his priests that they should be of undivided heart (celibate) and demands priestly purity. Jesus, help me!”

 

DZIWISZ IGNORED REQUEST

Before his death, John Paul entrusted his diaries to Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, his personal secretary and now a cardinal in the southern city of Krakow, with instructions that they be burned.

In the foreword to the book, Dziwisz said he did not burn them because they hold the key to understanding the pope’s private spiritual life.

“They reveal the other side of the person whom we knew as .. the pastor of the universal Church,” wrote the cardinal, who was both praised and criticised in Polish Catholic circles after announcing the publication of the book last month.

Now available only in Polish, the 638-page book is dominated by deep theological reflections that reveal little of what the pope was otherwise thinking or doing when he wrote them.

The picture that emerges deepens but does not jar with his public image, in contrast to the posthumous diaries of Mother Teresa – who died in 1997 and was beatified by John Paul in 2003 – that revealed her long periods of doubt about God’s existence.

Despite the questioning of his own role, there is no sign in the diaries from 1962 to 2003 that the pope’s belief in God wavered.

The first signs of his questioning appear in comments from 1970 where he wrote: “Can the misfortunes of people close to me, which have happened recently, be seen as a punishment? As a sign? What can it mean?”

He paid close attention to the skills required of a priest. “What language do I use when I speak to people?” he asked in 1974. “Do I proclaim the Gospel with complete conviction?”

In his final years, debilitated by illness, the pope’s entries become sparser and the handwriting less assured.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man
The last entry in 2003 referred to the Biblical story of Jonah, who was ordered by God to preach his word but instead runs away.

The pope, who before his final illness travelled tirelessly around the globe preaching the Gospel, wrote in a sloping script in Italian across the bottom of the page: “Jonah, this is the fear of proclaiming the love of God.”

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

3 major challenges facing Pope Francis.


Pope Francis I waves to his supporters from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 13.
Pope Francis I waves to his supporters from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on March 13.
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis I, takes the helm of a Roman Catholic Church that is facing numerous challenges. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, left a legacy that was decidedly mixed. So what exactly is Francis up against?

1. The decline of Catholicism in the U.S. and Europe
The growth of Catholicism in Africa has been astounding, jumping from 55 million Catholics in 1978 to 146 million in 2007, according to USA Today. The story has been very different in the U.S. A new report from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that the “percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves ‘strong’ members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012.”

That translates to less people in the pews. In 1974, the percentage of Catholics who said they attended Mass at least once a week was 47 percent; in 2012, it was 24 percent.

The numbers are similarly bad in Western Europe, where weekly Mass attendance and the proportion of baptized Catholics are both at an all-time low, according to the Los Angeles Times.

2. Continuing sex scandals
The church’s rolling sex abuse scandal has badly undermined the church’s moral authority, and even tainted its most recent pontiff. In 1981, Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger, the man in charge of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is responsible for investigating claims of sex abuse. He would later be the subject of a lawsuit by the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which claimed he either “knew and/or some cases consciously disregarded information that showed subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes.”

The church hasn’t come close to putting the scandal behind it. Just today, it was reported by the Daily Mail that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay nearly $10 million to settle a sex abuse case involving former priest Michael Baker, who confessed to molesting children to Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1986, only to return to work after a short break. In 2009, Pew found that 27 percent of those who left the church said that the sexual abuse scandals had influenced their decision.

3. Women’s demands for equality
The day before a conclave of men picked Francis as the new pope, female protesters from the Women’s Ordination Conference set off a pink smoke flare on a hill above the Vatican. The message? “The current old boys’ club has left our church reeling from scandal, abuse, sexism, and oppression,” the group’s leader, Erin Saiz Hanna, told Reuters. “The people of the church are desperate for a leader who will be open to dialogue and embrace the gifts of women’s wisdom in every level of church governance.”

The case of Rev. Roy Bourgeois, who was excommunicated in 2012 for participating in the ordination of a woman priest in Lexington, Ky., was a particular sore point for groups like the National Coalition of American Nuns. According to Reuters, in 2012 the Vatican appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to take over the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which includes most nuns, in order to cleanse it of “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” Not exactly the message that will attract women in droves.

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Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIMEDetailsVICE, and the Village Voice.
  • Source: YAHOO NEWS/ THE WEEK.

By Keith Wagstaff

Spirit of Jezebel.



The Jezebel spirit seeks to hide itself, seduce, intimidate, manipulate, murder and trade in human souls.

Some people talk about the “Jezebel spirit” because this is the kind of spirit that was working powerfully through Queen Jezebel, a Sidonian princess who married King Ahab of Israel, and killed so many prophets of God.

The woman Jezebel is mentioned also in the book of Revelation, chapter 2, verse 20 in the context of the church of Thyatira.

Here she is called a false prophetess, a teacher of sexual immorality. It would seem here again that Jezebel is the name of a person who comes under the influence of this spirit, because the Lord says he gave her time to repent.

The Queen of Heaven/Spirit of Jezebel/Mystery Babylon/Harlot Spirit is a very religious spirit, but it promotes religious things that are contrary to God. Jezebel promotes fleshly indulgence amongst God’s people and shuns the cross.

The Jezebel spirit is the enemy of the true prophets of the Lord. The book of Revelation has a chapter almost exclusively devoted to exposing this spirit – Chapter 17. In this chapter we read that the woman is drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

(Revelation 17:6). So this spirit especially hates and seeks to murder righteous people and those who speak faithfully the Word of the Lord, just as Jezebel the wife of Ahab was responsible for most of the true prophets of Yahweh in her day (1 Kings 18:13)

This evil power is also exposed in the book of Isaiah, chapter 47

“Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate.

2 Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers.

3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.”

4 As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.

5 “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; For you shall no longer be called The Lady of Kingdoms.

6 I was angry with My people; I have profaned My inheritance, And given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.

7 And you said, “I shall be a lady forever,’ So that you did not take these things to heart, Nor remember the latter end of them.

8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children’; 9But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood.

They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments.

10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, “No one sees me’; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one else besides me.’

11 Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know.

12 “Stand now with your enchantments And the multitude of your sorceries, In which you have labored from your youth– Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you will prevail.

13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you From what shall come upon you.

14  Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before!

15 Thus shall they be to you With whom you have labored, Your merchants from your youth; They shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you.

We are still dealing with this Babylonian spirit today. It is the spirit that takes captive the people of God.

It is this spirit that caused the church to go into the bondage of Roman Catholicism for centuries. Note Revelation 17:9 – the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. It is a fact that Rome is built on seven hills.

The same spirit which caused the Israelites to worship “the Queen of Heaven” mentioned in Jeremiah 44:17-19 and Jeremiah 7:18 is the one behind all the false mother/son religions that ever have been, including the Marian cult of the Roman Catholic Church.

This spirit does lying wonders, such as making statues weep.

Jeremiah 7:18 says:

“The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.”

The true God is NOT happy with such worship to the Queen of Heaven. Why do Roman Catholics and so-called Orthodox Christians call Mary the “Queen of Heaven” and practically exalt her above Jesus in their art and theology? It is this same idolatrous spirit, taking a “christian” form.

But this harlot spirit has an influence beyond that of roman catholicism. Its influence extends into Hollywood and the TV programs Christians pollute their minds with, into the United Nations, and in fact into the whole global political, economical and religious system of the world which is now seeking to unite all people everywhere under the antichrist.

It gets into the church as a spirit of ungodly control and seduction which encourages people to “live it up” in the world as long as they are submissive to the church leadership and don’t move in the Holy Spirit.

It seeks to kill the prophetic even in pentecostal churches, and this has happened in many places already.

To say ‘No’ to this spirit you will start to experience opposition in this life. You can dream along well enough and live a life of carnal pleasure, telling yourself you are Christian, without having too much trouble from this spirit, because in this way you are still held captive. Try to break free, and you will see what it is.

God has promised to judge and destroy this spirit and its works. This will not come without pain to the people of the world.

We may well be entering the season of this kind of judgment, with the collapse of economic systems. Yet, I believe that this Babylonian spirit has not yet come to the zenith of its power.

We will have to persevere and endure for some time yet. Things may get worse before they can get better.

Even so, we can get the claws of Jezebel and Babylon out of our own lives. We do this by taking an uncompromising stand for truth in an age of religious expediency. We do it chiefly by embracing the cross. Those who do not are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction. (Philippians 3:18,19).

“18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame–who set their mind on earthly things.”

We have to be willing to actually suffer for Jesus if we want to defeat this evil power. It is by saying ‘No’ to the cravings of our flesh and to carnal ambition that we can be the true servants of the Lord in an age of “deep darkness” (Isaiah 60).

The cross is the place where we truly meet the Messiah. Any “anointing” which is not rooted in the cross is a false jezebel anointing. Such false anointings can be used to gather people together to hear what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).

And many are impressed because the people so gathered can be induced to give large amounts of money to the cause. This then multiplies the influence of this false spirit.

If we keep the cross central in our lives and our teaching, we will do much to escape this spirit. For their is no deliverance from its witchcraft and its sorceries on the fleshly side of the cross. The man who is dead and hid in God will escape her, but the ungodly and the fool will not.

I hope to write more on this subject in the days ahead. Please pray for me that the Lord will give me the strength and the wisdom to do so.

By Elder Marvin.

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