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Thread: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Quote Posted by Beren (here)
    They did formed churches and church as an institution served its purpose and still in some way serves. But the thing is that this is a first step. Church is a first step towards Christ. Then if your heart is genuine God leads you forward.

    Here comes the first problem with all churches in some point. They do the first step in informing people about Creator and then instead to allow God's spirit to work in people, they tend to lock the passage way to God. They then state that actually God speaks through them and in that cloak they impose their new rules and regulations and voila!

    yes I think so too Beren


    the Church is a first step to Christ

    the tangible first step


    we would not know about Jesus except as a footnote in history

    if the first christians walked away from the faith at the threat of their lives


    almost all the Apostles were crucified or stoned for preaching the Gospel

    Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards because he didn't consider

    himself worthy to be crucified like Jesus


    the Bible is preserved by the blood of the martyrs and it's message is preached

    in the churches


    the Gospel would probably be burnt as heresy by both Rome and Jerusalem

    if the first christians that made up the early churches

    denounced Jesus to save their own lives


    we ought to be grateful to those that stick to the truth no matter what


    because humans are constrained with a gross body and inflicted with a dross brain

    it's just a matter of time before the truths are twisted towards some

    self serving needs


    there is an inherent corruption in all physical nature


    the Church has survived up til our times to tell the Gospel of Christ and His victory over death

    and that He is alive and available to help us overcome our own corruption

    but it takes some time and a whole lot of virtues

    which the Church unfortunately is running out of

    as is the world
    Last edited by RedeZra; 21st May 2010 at 20:10.

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    It is good to be reminded of what early Christians went through to carry the message.
    Those who believe have it easy now by comparison.
    As a parallel --- free speech came at a very high price, we dont respect that, just take it as a given.
    We dont really appreciate the message of truth that has been freely given to us through out the ages.
    Always looking for something different something new, something exciting something external.
    Heaven lies within, when we find it there we find it everywhere.
    As Beren, RedeZra and others have said it is simple.
    The path is straight and narrow and time is short.
    We are in amazing times.
    I suggest keep it simple, enjoy the gift of life we have been given.

    Chris
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    http://www.learningtoolsforselfdevelopment.co.uk/

    Be kind to all life, including your own, no matter what!!

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    Thumbs up Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World


    I am please to read and see the new direction of focus and discussion~ this thread has now taken



    Reconciliation brings peace~ that's what the Kingdom of God is all about. In that Kingdom every human being will at last come to a right relationship with the God of All There Is ~ by bringing forth the 'Christ' within each of us. This (Christ like) relationship was interrupted and has long been prevented by our misguided surface minds and egos~ leading us astray.

    As everyone focuses and learns (anew) to live according to God's law of love (Romans 13:8-10), proper relationships among human beings will develop and grow. This is a vital part of the message Jesus Christ preached to the people of Galilee, and then to Judea, and that's the message the disciples began to spread throughout the world.

    my love to all ~ giovonni

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Reconciliation DOES bring peace, gio! We have to reconcile every deed that is coming to our awareness, be it the oil industry or the church. There are so many workers and church members who have nothing to do with the deeds we don't like. Reconciliation requires that we witness the deeds we don't like, first, and then we move on to the balancing. Right now, we are at the peak of the witnessing. It takes a big heart to reconcile with those who have done damage. As long as the damage ends, right? We'll take that.

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World



    reconciliation proposes peace whereas vengeance wants war


    it's been a long time since the state and the church separated

    still wars are faught in the name of freedom and security far far away from home

    the state's atrocities eclipses exponentially the crimes and corruption of the churches

    but both are made up of men and women just like you and me

    the difference lies in whom we serve

    self or Self


    to serve a higher self is still self serving

    to serve the Most high is service to Self


    Jesus is a noble example set forth by the Most high and is a valid Name for God which is Self
    Last edited by RedeZra; 22nd May 2010 at 16:51.

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Not all catholics are bad. Some are saints ~ great lovers of God.



    Love,

    Kriya
    NEVER MIND HIS SILENCE~REMEMBER HE IS LISTENING
    :grouphug:

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Quote Posted by kriya (here)
    Not all catholics are bad. Some are saints ~ great lovers of God.
    that's right Kriya

    the Church has a long history of producing veritable Saints

    but there are bad apples there too - as everywhere else

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    Question Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    From USA Today;
    Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson, authors of the new book~

    "Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal"

    Authors defend Pope Benedict, say sex crisis will mold legacy

    By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
    Pope Benedict XVI's legacy will be shaped by his response to the explosive global clergy sex-abuse crisis, say two Catholic authors who detail and defend his record in a book published this week.

    The Vatican and Benedict are accused of "acts of neglect, cover-up, and disregard for the plight of the victims," they write. Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal is their rebuttal.

    Greg Erlandson, head of the Catholic publishing company Our Sunday Visitor, and church historian Matthew Bunson, editor of The Catholic Almanac, take a long view — tracing the church's confrontations with sinful clergy back to the fourth century.

    In two current examples in the headlines, the authors argue that Benedict was either unaware of the abusive priest or made a decision in favor of mercy (by declining to defrock a dying Wisconsin priest decades after he abused 200 deaf children).

    However, the book also includes a compendium of speeches, letters and documents so readers can draw their own conclusions. The authors discuss their findings (replies have been edited for length and clarity):

    Q: You both rely on a Catholic, church-based readership. What if you found Benedict did something wrong?

    Erlandson: If there were a smoking gun, it would be reported and it would be dealt with. I take my cue from Benedict, who says, "There is a need to tell the truth."

    Q: Why can't Benedict just fire bishops who protected abusive priests and make new rules for the whole church?

    E: The Catholic church is not a multinational corporation with bishops as branch managers that the pope can hire, fire and mandate actions. It's much more complicated. In history and canon law, bishops are descendents of the apostles. It would be like Peter firing James. ... But it's pretty clear that he is chiding the bishops as a group and individually. There's definitely some steel there.

    Bunson: Look at Ireland, where a number of bishops' positions became untenable as a consequence of their failures in office. You see the direct timeline between their February visit to the Holy See and (three) resignations in short order.

    Q: Before he was pope, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II and was steeped in reports of abuse that reached Rome. How much blame for failure to act sooner falls to him and John Paul II?

    E: I'm wary of a tendency to throw John Paul II under the bus. ... He was taking steps, working with Ratzinger every week on this and certainly not clueless or insensitive to what was happening.

    B: We remind readers that the U.S. bishops, in close consultation with (Ratzinger) and Pope John Paul II, put together a program in 2002 that has proved remarkably successful.

    Q: You say the U.S. bishops' approach — zero tolerance for abusive priests and clear provision for child protection — has worked well. Why hasn't Benedict pushed other nations to follow it?

    E: What the U.S. bishops did was tough medicine — and controversial. As painful as it is right now, (global bishops) may need time to see this is what is needed.

    B: We think (worldwide church law) based on the U.S. approach is coming soon, but each country in a church of more than 1 billion people has to deal with this in its own legal culture and society.

    Q: Benedict calls for both mercy and justice. But does the public want mercy for abusive priests?

    B: The church always has to remember both. Church and civil law can be frustrating. Each has its process and requirements, and equal justice is still required regardless of how horrendous the accusations.

    The word I think everyone is really looking for is accountability. We think this pope is demanding accountability. What people really should know, and our book tries to tell them, is that the rules and guidelines (to prevent and root out abuse) were always there in church law, but many bishops just chose not to act on them.

    E: We are in a really angry age. We are angry at everybody —Democrats, Republicans, the Tea Party, the coffee party, what have you. People want vengeance.

    But sometimes the desire for justice cannot be met. The accused are dead or too old. The Catholic Church is about the salvation of souls. The question becomes: How do you save a person's soul and at the same time show penalties? No one gets a free pass.


    USA Today story here;
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...ook19_ST_N.htm

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    Question Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Please forgive me i couldn't resist this one


    Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life

    With religious chastity under scrutiny, a new book throws light on Gandhi's practice of sleeping next to naked girls. In fact, he was sex-mad, writes biographer Jad Adams

    It was no secret that Mohandas Gandhi had an unusual sex life. He spoke constantly of sex and gave detailed, often provocative, instructions to his followers as to how to they might best observe chastity. And his views were not always popular; "abnormal and unnatural" was how the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, described Gandhi's advice to newlyweds to stay celibate for the sake of their souls.

    But was there something more complex than a pious plea for chastity at play in Gandhi's beliefs, preachings and even his unusual personal practices (which included, alongside his famed chastity, sleeping naked next to nubile, naked women to test his restraint)? In the course of researching my new book on Gandhi, going through a hundred volumes of his complete works and many tomes of eye-witness material, details became apparent which add up to a more bizarre sexual history.

    Much of this material was known during his lifetime, but was distorted or suppressed after his death during the process of elevating Gandhi into the "Father of the Nation" Was the Mahatma, in fact, as the pre-independence prime minister of the Indian state of Travancore called him, "a most dangerous, semi-repressed sex maniac"?

    Gandhi was born in the Indian state of Gujarat and married at 13 in 1883; his wife Kasturba was 14, not early by the standards of Gujarat at that time. The young couple had a normal sex life, sharing a bed in a separate room in his family home, and Kasturba was soon pregnant.

    Two years later, as his father lay dying, Gandhi left his bedside to have sex with Kasturba. Meanwhile, his father drew his last breath. The young man compounded his grief with guilt that he had not been present, and represented his subsequent revulsion towards "lustful love" as being related to his father's death.

    However, Gandhi and Kasturba's last child wasn't born until fifteen years later, in 1900.

    In fact, Gandhi did not develop his censorious attitude to sex (and certainly not to marital sex) until he was in his 30s, while a volunteer in the ambulance corps, assisting the British Empire in its wars in Southern Africa. On long marches in sparsely populated land in the Boer War and the Zulu uprisings, Gandhi considered how he could best "give service" to humanity and decided it must be by embracing poverty and chastity.

    At the age of 38, in 1906, he took a vow of brahmacharya, which meant living a spiritual life but is normally referred to as chastity, without which such a life is deemed impossible by Hindus.

    Gandhi found it easy to embrace poverty. It was chastity that eluded him. So he worked out a series of complex rules which meant he could say he was chaste while still engaging in the most explicit sexual conversation, letters and behaviour.

    With the zeal of the convert, within a year of his vow, he told readers of his newspaper Indian Opinion: "It is the duty of every thoughtful Indian not to marry. In case he is helpless in regard to marriage, he should abstain from sexual intercourse with his wife."

    Meanwhile, Gandhi was challenging that abstinence in his own way. He set up ashrams in which he began his first "experiments" with sex; boys and girls were to bathe and sleep together, chastely, but were punished for any sexual talk. Men and women were segregated, and Gandhi's advice was that husbands should not be alone with their wives, and, when they felt passion, should take a cold bath.

    The rules did not, however, apply to him. Sushila Nayar, the attractive sister of Gandhi's secretary, also his personal physician, attended Gandhi from girlhood. She used to sleep and bathe with Gandhi. When challenged, he explained how he ensured decency was not offended. "While she is bathing I keep my eyes tightly shut," he said, "I do not know ... whether she bathes naked or with her underwear on. I can tell from the sound that she uses soap." The provision of such personal services to Gandhi was a much sought-after sign of his favour and aroused jealousy among the ashram inmates.

    As he grew older (and following Kasturba's death) he was to have more women around him and would oblige women to sleep with him whom – according to his segregated ashram rules – were forbidden to sleep with their own husbands. Gandhi would have women in his bed, engaging in his "experiments" which seem to have been, from a reading of his letters, an exercise in strip-tease or other non-contact sexual activity. Much explicit material has been destroyed but tantalising remarks in Gandhi's letters remain such as: "Vina's sleeping with me might be called an accident. All that can be said is that she slept close to me." One might assume, then, that getting into the spirit of the Gandhian experiment meant something more than just sleeping close to him.

    It can't, one imagines, can have helped with the "involuntary discharges" which Gandhi complained of experiencing more frequently since his return to India. He had an almost magical belief in the power of semen: "One who conserves his vital fluid acquires unfailing power," he said.

    Meanwhile, it seemed that challenging times required greater efforts of spiritual fortitude, and for that, more attractive women were required: Sushila, who in 1947 was 33, was now due to be supplanted in the bed of the 77-year-old Gandhi by a woman almost half her age. While in Bengal to see what comfort he could offer in times of inter-communal violence in the run-up to independence, Gandhi called for his 18-year-old grandniece Manu to join him – and sleep with him. "We both may be killed by the Muslims," he told her, "and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked."

    Such behaviour was no part of the accepted practice of bramacharya. He, by now, described his reinvented concept of a brahmachari as: "One who never has any lustful intention, who, by constant attendance upon God, has become proof against conscious or unconscious emissions, who is capable of lying naked with naked women, however beautiful, without being in any manner whatsoever sexually excited ... who is making daily and steady progress towards God and whose every act is done in pursuance of that end and no other." That is, he could do whatever he wished, so long as there was no apparent "lustful intention". He had effectively redefined the concept of chastity to fit his personal practices.

    Thus far, his reasoning was spiritual, but in the maelstrom that was India approaching independence he took it upon himself to see his sex experiments as having national importance: "I hold that true service of the country demands this observance," he stated.

    But while he was becoming bolder in his self-righteousness, Gandhi's behaviour was widely discussed and criticised by family members and leading politicians. Some members of his staff resigned, including two editors of his newspaper who left after refusing to print parts of Gandhi's sermons dealing with his sleeping arrangements.

    But Gandhi found a way of regarding the objections as a further reason tocontinue. "If I don't let Manu sleep with me, though I regard it as essential that she should," he announced, "wouldn't that be a sign of weakness in me?"

    Eighteen-year-old Abha, the wife of Gandhi's grandnephew Kanu Gandhi, rejoined Gandhi's entourage in the run-up to independence in 1947 and by the end of August he was sleeping with both Manu and Abha at the same time.

    When he was assassinated in January 1948, it was with Manu and Abha by his side. Despite her having been his constant companion in his last years, family members, tellingly, removed Manu from the scene. Gandhi had written to his son: "I have asked her to write about her sharing the bed with me," but the protectors of his image were eager to eliminate this element of the great leader's life. Devdas, Gandhi's son, accompanied Manu to Delhi station where he took the opportunity of instructing her to keep quiet.

    Questioned in the 1970s, Sushila revealingly placed the elevation of this lifestyle to a brahmacharya experiment was a response to criticism of this behaviour. "Later on, when people started asking questions about his physical contact with women – with Manu, with Abha, with me – the idea of brahmacharya experiments was developed ... in the early days, there was no question of calling this a brahmacharya experiment." It seems that Gandhi lived as he wished, and only when challenged did he turn his own preferences into a cosmic system of rewards and benefits. Like many great men, Gandhi made up the rules as he went along.

    While it was commonly discussed as damaging his reputation when he was alive, Gandhi's sexual behaviour was ignored for a long time after his death. It is only now that we can piece together information for a rounded picture of Gandhi's excessive self-belief in the power of his own sexuality. Tragically for him, he was already being sidelined by the politicians at the time of independence. The preservation of his vital fluid did not keep India intact, and it was the power-brokers of the Congress Party who negotiated the terms of India's freedom.


    Gandhi: Naked Ambition is published by Quercus



    from the independent book review page link;
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...e-1937411.html

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  12. Link to Post #150
    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Hi Gio
    May well be so but for possibly a different reason well some of it.
    Tantric is believed to be a valid path to enlightenment.
    The union of the male and female leading to union with God Oneness.
    Mantak Chia wrote some good books on this from a Taoist viewpoint.
    Barry Long claimed enlightenment happened in this way as does Bernie Prior.
    From personal experience I know that it is possible without leaving the body to make love at any distance with your partner thats part of Tantric.
    Ghandi no doubt could have been satisfied and satisfied a woman without physical intercourse.
    Tantric states that orgasm is possible and beneficial without ejaculation.
    The energy builds up in the male body instead of being lost, female also benefits.

    Regards Chris
    A charity to help African Children become self sufficient. :attention:

    http://www.learningtoolsforselfdevelopment.co.uk/

    Be kind to all life, including your own, no matter what!!

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    Wink Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    i greybeard~ just having some fun with the enlightened ones (Gandhi's) great mystic image. i have been reading from the Perfect Matrimony ( the door into initiation~tantra and sexual alchemy unveiled)
    from the e-book on sexual magic > http://www.anael.org/descargas/books/matrimony.pdf


    Without spilling the seed~
    "Something is created when a man and woman unite sexually. In those instances of supreme adoration he and she are truly one androgynous being with powers to create as the Gods. The Elohim are male and female. The man and woman, sexually united during the supreme ecstasy of love, are really a terribly divine Elohim. In those moments of sexual union we are really in the Laboratorium-Oratorium of the Holy Alchemy."

    i'm sure Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi is having a chuckle with the release of the new book on his sexual habits~
    "Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life"
    Last edited by giovonni; 25th May 2010 at 21:42.

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Hi Gio
    People expect enlightened ones to be Saints.
    No they enjoy life to the full without fear or limitation.
    The pathway of saint hood is rather different from the path of enlightenment, though some saints are enlightened and some enlightened are saints.
    Its good not to take anything too seriously or label or put anyone in box of expectation. Ie they have to conform to our belief system.

    Regards to you my friend
    Chris
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    Unhappy Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    The latest~ from the Raw Story

    Obama admin. backs Vatican’s claim of immunity to sexual abuse lawsuits

    The Obama administration in a brief to the Supreme Court has backed the Vatican's claim of immunity from lawsuits arising from cases of sexual abuse by priests in the United States.


    The Supreme Court is considering an appeal by the Vatican of an appellate court ruling that lifted its immunity in the case of an alleged pedophile priest from Oregon.

    In a filing on Friday, the solicitor general's office argued that the Ninth Circuit court of appeals erred in allowing the lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was sexually abused in the 1960s by the Oregon priest.

    The unnamed plaintiff, who cited the Holy See and several other parties as defendants, argued the Vatican should be held responsible for transferring the priest to Oregon and letting him serve there despite previous accusations he had abused children in Chicago and in Ireland.

    The solicitor general's office, which defends the position of President Barack Obama's administration before the Supreme Court, said the Ninth Circuit improperly found the case to be an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a 1976 federal law that sets limits on when other countries can face lawsuits in US courts.

    "Although the decision does not conflict with any decision of another court of appeals, the Court may wish to grant the petition, vacate the judgement of the court of appeals and remand to that court for further consideration".

    The case, which was filed in 2002, does not directly address questions raised in a separate lawsuit in Kentucky alleging that US bishops are employees of the Holy See.

    But the Vatican plans to argue that Catholic dioceses are run as separate entities from the Holy See, and that the only authority that the pontiff has over bishops around the world is a religious one, according to Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican's US attorney.

    In recent months, large-scale pedophilia scandals have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in a number of countries, including Austria, Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI's native Germany and the United States.

    Senior clerics have been accused of protecting the priests involved by moving them to other parishes -- where they sometimes offended again -- instead of handing them over to civil authorities for prosecution.

    The pope, who has himself faced allegations implicating him in the scandal, has repeatedly said priests and religious workers guilty of child abuse should answer for their crimes in courts of law.

    Fox News, other media outlets falsely tar Kagan on Vatican immunity

    If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it then it's fair to suggest it didn't happen.

    However, if media outlets ignore widely reported and key news regarding a Supreme Court nominee -- which should have been assumptive in the first place -- questions of kneejerk bias are bound to emerge.

    At the popular Beliefnet website, which Rupert Murdoch's Fox Entertainment Group acquired in late 2007, Nicole Neroulias writes, "Some good news for Pope Benedict: the Obama administration, in a brief filed by Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, has sided with the Vatican in the 2002 Oregon lawsuit pending SCOTUS review over sex abuse claims, saying that the Holy See has diplomatic immunity."

    Kate Shellnut, reporting for The Houston Chronicle-owned Houston Belief (The Chonicle did endorse Obama in 2008, the first Democrat the paper backed since Lyndon Johnson in 1964), writes, "Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, acting as Solicitor General, filed a brief last week granting the Vatican diplomatic immunity over a lawsuit brought against the Roman Catholic Church for sexually abusive priests."

    And Fox News reports, "The office, headed by Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, argued that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- which lifted the Vatican's immunity in the Oregon priest case -- should not have treated the case as an exception to a 1976 federal law that limits when foreign countries can face charges in the U.S. judicial system."

    But Kagan's name doesn't appear anywhere in the brief (pdf link), since she stepped aside over two weeks ago, as the Associated Press noted last week.

    Kagan wrote a letter to the Supreme Court on Monday, saying her deputy, Neal Kumar Katyal, will serve as acting solicitor general in light of her nomination.

    "I ask that you please address future correspondence from the Court to him, and that the Court's docket sheets reflect his designation as Counsel of Record," Kagan said in a letter to Supreme Court Clerk William Suter.

    ....

    The solicitor general is the top government lawyer who argues the administration's cases before the Supreme Court.

    Katyal's promotion was effective as of May 10, the date President Barack Obama nominated Kagan to the high court as the replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

    Of course, if Kagan hadn't been nominated, chances are she would have done the same as Katyal, since both previous presidential administrations sided with the Vatican on similar cases.

    In 2005, the Associated Press reported, "The U.S. Justice Department has told a Texas court that a lawsuit accusing Pope Benedict XVI of conspiring to cover up the sexual molestation of three boys by a seminarian should be dismissed because the pontiff enjoys immunity as head of state of the Holy See."

    Assistant U.S. Attorney General Peter Keisler said in Monday's filing that allowing the lawsuit to proceed would be "incompatible with the United States' foreign policy interests."

    There was no immediate ruling from Judge Lee Rosenthal of the U.S. District Court for the southern district of Texas in Houston. However, U.S. courts have been bound by such "suggestion of immunity" motions submitted by the government, Keisler's filing says.

    A 1994 lawsuit against Pope John Paul II (search), also filed in Texas, was dismissed after the U.S. government filed a similar motion.

    But blaming Obama's Supreme Court nominee makes for better copy at some outlets, apparently.

    from the raw story here;
    http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0525/oba...buse-lawsuits/

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    Serbia Avalon Member Beren's Avatar
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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Of course! How can it be different when they work hand in hand...
    Love, love and see what happens!

    http://www.fromforgottenworld.com

    :welcome:

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    Lightbulb Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Quote Posted by Beren (here)
    Of course! How can it be different when they work hand in hand...


    thank you Beren~ for pointing that out


  19. Link to Post #156
    Serbia Avalon Member Beren's Avatar
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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    What a cute couple and a granddad...
    Amazing people ,really inspiring along with old man...

    It just stinks that they work for the dark side...
    Love, love and see what happens!

    http://www.fromforgottenworld.com

    :welcome:

  20. Link to Post #157
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    Lightbulb Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Here I think is a reasonable assessment of where the Catholic sexual abuse scandal stands.


    Looking behind the Catholic sex abuse scandal

    By Aidan Lewis
    BBC News



    In recent months allegations and admissions of child abuse by priests have shaken the Roman Catholic Church to its core, as a continuous stream of cases has surfaced across Western Europe and beyond.

    The Vatican has defended itself by suggesting this is a problem that affects society as a whole, and that the Church has now taken steps to deal with it - an approach that has often provoked more anger and frustration among critics who believe it systematically covered up many cases.

    With allegations still surfacing, there is no conclusive account of the extent of Catholic abuse worldwide or its causes.

    But current research and expert opinion suggest that men within the Catholic Church may be no more likely than others to abuse, and that the prevalence of abuse by priests has fallen sharply in the last 20-30 years.

    What has made the crisis stand out are the cover-ups and other alleged shortcomings in the way abuse was dealt with.

    "The real problem is an abuse of authority, the duty of care that pastors have to their flocks," says the British historian, and former member of the Jesuit Catholic order, Michael Walsh.

    "This has been abused and that is the greatest scandal - that's what is systemic, rather than sex abuse."

    'Social problem''

    The best-known study on sex abuse by Catholic priests was published in the US, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, its main findings were published in 2004, two years after abuse cases threw the Church there into turmoil.

    The study established that the vast majority of known cases in the US happened decades ago, though they were only reported much more recently.

    “ There is a big gap between the reality and the public debate ”
    Christian Pfeiffer Criminality Research Institute of Lower Saxony

    Some 4% of American priests and deacons in active ministry were accused of abusing children in cases dating to the years between 1950 and 2002, the study found, with 75% of the abuses alleged to have taken place from 1960-1984.

    The authors of the study say they do not have data on abuse by other, comparative groups in the US - though research on the boy scouts is currently being compiled. But they stress that cases involving Catholic priests should be seen within the broader context of the widespread sexual abuse of children.

    "If you think about the vast number of youth that are affected by this you have to look at this as an overall social problem of significant dimensions," says one of the report's researchers, Margaret Smith.

    Abuse 'reduced'

    In Europe, the reporting of cases has accelerated more recently, though the emerging patterns are not uniform and the picture is still patchy.

    In Germany, the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI and one of the countries where the Church has come under the most pressure, abuse by priests seems to have been most widespread several decades ago - as in the US - but also relatively contained.

    Christian Pfeiffer, the director of the independent Criminality Research Institute of Lower Saxony and a former regional justice minister, says about 150 priests in Germany have been accused of abuse alleged to have taken place since 1990.

    That is about 0.1% of the 138,000 active priests in the country, he says - though he estimates that the rate of abuse was higher in earlier decades.

    "We assume that three-quarters of the cases are old cases from the 50s, 60s and 70s," says Mr Pfeiffer, who has approached German Church authorities about doing a full study of the issue.

    In Ireland, where about 1,000 witnesses told the 2009 Ryan report on abuse in Catholic institutions that they had been victims of sexual abuse, that abuse is thought to have peaked at a similar time.

    Mr Pfeiffer says that in Germany, the attention the subject has gained has led to misconceptions about the extent of abuse.

    "There is a big gap between the reality and the public debate," he says.

    "I can understand that people are angry at the Church because it was terrible how they treated the victims, how they treated the offenders.

    "But the public assumption that the German Roman Catholic Church has the same kind of problem as those in Ireland or the United States is wrong, as the quantity is much smaller."

    Overall, from 2001-2010 the Vatican has considered sex abuse allegations concerning about 3,000 priests dating back up to 50 years, according to figures given last month by Monsignor Charles J Scicluna, who as the Vatican's Promoter of Justice heads the office that investigates such cases.

    Though the cases were spreading geographically, "the phenomenon itself is much reduced," he said, noting that there are 400,000 priests worldwide.

    Celibacy 'challenge'

    Amid intense media attention, questions have been asked - sometimes by Roman Catholics - about whether there are aspects of Catholic priestly life that encourage abuse.

    “ The vast majority of child abuse... is carried out by men who are heterosexual, and many of whom are married ”
    Margaret Smith Researcher, John Jay report on clerical abuse

    Particular attention has focused on celibacy, though many experts dismiss the idea that this could be a direct cause of abuse.

    "Celibacy can indeed be a challenge but the vast majority of sexual abuse is not committed by celibates," says Ms Smith. "We found 4% [of priests] involved in child abuse - that means for 96% celibacy did not present a challenge in terms of child abuse."

    Mr Pfeiffer says that in Germany, young priests have told him it would be possible to have sexual relationships with women if they really wanted to - lessening the risk of sexual frustration leading to abuse.

    But he also raises the "hypothesis" that paedophiles - who only represent a small minority of abuses - might "become priests because they want to be protected against their hidden ideas".

    Earlier this month Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, rejected any relationship between abuse and celibacy, linking it instead to homosexuality.

    The remarks caused outrage among gay groups, and while research shows that most US victims were teenage boys, that is thought to be because this was the group to which priests had most access. "The vast majority of child abuse [against] both male and female is carried out by men who are heterosexual, and many of whom are married," notes Ms Smith.

    She said she had been asked by a bishop whether there was a greater risk of abuse from homosexual candidates for the priesthood entering the seminary today. "I said 'no, our research does not sustain that.'"

    Blind eye

    Whilst the John Jay has yet to publish a new report on the context and causes of abuse in the US, research to date points to a background of poor screening and training of priests, an over-reliance on psychologists, psychiatrists and lawyers, and an atmosphere of complicity in which people both inside and outside the Church often turned a blind eye to abuse.

    In a letter to the Irish people published in March, the Pope placed abuse in the context of "the rapid transformation and secularisation of society", and mentioned a "well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches".

    But the idea that secularisation fuelled abuse was challenged by Katarina Schuth, a US expert on seminaries who has worked recently in Europe. She noted that cases appear to have dropped off in the 1990s, even as the social changes continued.

    Ms Smith suggests social transformations did play a role in the US in that priests with "little explicit preparation... were responding individually to some of the social influences that the 1960s and early 1970s brought to bear." But she and Ms Schuth say steps have now been taken to improve screening and training.

    "Reports often present the risk as if it were equivalent now to 1980. We don't see that in the United States," she says.

    Whatever the prevalence and causes of abuse, some are warning that the scandal will smoulder on unless institutional changes are made.

    Mr Walsh, the former Jesuit, says the crisis of authority that the allegations have brought about "arises out of a culture among the clergy" - one he thinks is reinforced by the insular nature of celibate life.

    "That is why I think it's such a threat to the Church and it can only be changed by a regime change, a change at the top, because the Vatican's model is this authoritarian approach to Catholicism and the priests just pick it up."

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...pe/8654789.stm

    Published: 2010/05/04 08:09:32 GMT

    © BBC MMX

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    Avalon Member noxon medem's Avatar
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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    ( comment coming )

    - for now, a simple picture of a light-switch. (real)
    Someone thought that was a clever design ..

    Click image for larger version

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    - Know it depends on the imagination, but come on .!.
    Last edited by noxon medem; 6th October 2012 at 22:17.

  22. Link to Post #159
    Avalon Member noxon medem's Avatar
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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Institutionalized belief, especially one that has grown so big and powerful as the catholic church, will allmost naturaly
    decay to selfpromoting, selfprotecting protocol and empty rituals, from a starting of true passion and heartfelt belief.

    And the more power the institution gather, the bigger the potensial to gather even more, and the bigger chance of
    attracting negative forces that seeks the position to rule, not to serve.

    If the church closes the walls around itself,
    and starts ruling by strict dogma, and stops interacting with the true believers and the society and time were it excist,
    then it will start degrading, both on a spiritual and institutional level. Like any institution,
    or any physical or mental area of matter will degrade by nature,

    if it is sealed off in a confined and closed space, away from the changing and regenarating force
    of the bigger, whole, creation. This goes for any group of any kind of belief or physical presence,
    if they close them self off in glory of their own supremacy,
    they will decay from either mental or physical inbreeding.

    The abuse of children in the catholic church is an example of degeneration in a closed,
    powerful system or institution.

    In their case it is natural to connect the problem with their dogma of celibacy for their priests,
    were they are not allowed to live natural with the very strong force of sexuality,
    and the strict rules are forcing any such activity into the dark,
    where it is more easily perverted.

    Priests are basicly humans, and for a lot of them the celibacy will not have the intended effect
    of elevating their spirit and consciousness above the mundane physical excistense,
    but will instead leave them frustrated with urges they can not handle, and with little or no possibility
    to release, and there is probably a poor climate to debate it inside the church.

    There are close to 50 million catholic priests in the world, and even if just a small percentage of them turn to negative,
    unhealthy sexual practises, it makes up a big number of offenders,
    and even bigger number of victims.

    The institutional construct also makes it difficult for the church to deal with the subject of abuse, or sexual conduct at all,
    and the mechanisms of denial and supression can easily become the
    dominant forces in dealing with any problem in that field.

    They must discuss the celibacy as part of the process that now has started to open up this sensitive subject,
    and airing out and cleaning up the dirt from the darkend corners.
    Love and wisdom, and courage, will equip them to face the difficult matters openly,
    and they just have to hope that the many followers and victims have a greater sens of forgiveness
    for sins and personal transgression,then the church itself has portraid on many occations.

    I found this picture of a stained glass window. Interpret at your own disrecion.

    Click image for larger version

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    (click on image to view)
    Last edited by noxon medem; 8th February 2011 at 12:38.

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    Default Re: At the Vatican, Up Against the World

    Quote Posted by noxon medem (here)
    And the more power the institution gather, the bigger the potensial to gather even more, and the bigger chance of
    attracting negative forces that seeks the position to rule, not to serve.

    the governments are powerful

    the state is in charge from cradle to grave


    the church shines a light on an afterlife

    so it still stands

    as long as people has hopes for a better life here and hereafter


    the state kicked the church to the curve a long time ago


    the ambition for personal power is not with the clerics of the church

    but the nobles and the bourgeois of the lodges


    if one misses this point

    that masons rule at least the Western world

    as representatives of the governments and the law and order

    one is not capable to connect the dots


    our leaders come from a secret society

    there is the core of the problems
    Last edited by RedeZra; 3rd July 2010 at 17:08.

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