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Papal History

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RE: Papal History 2009/01/14 20:45:56 (permalink)

Perhaps resistance to change is due to the fact that some people don’t want to think. Perhaps they choose to let the Church think for them.

God never designed children to be indoctrinated, instructed, and marched around as though they were in some sort of military boot camp in the name of God, but for countless generations that was exactly how children were indoctrinated and instructed in the Church.  Take a good look at the old Baltimore Catechism sometime and try memorizing it yourself and you'll have an idea what their world was like.  Young children had to memorize that little booklet, each question line by line and word for word, followed by each answer line by line and word for word, with not a word out of place, or they were going straight to hell, yes sir! of course, sir! and I salute you, sir! 
These children grew up to be parents, grandparents, and greatgrandparents and the long term aftereffects of this childhood indoctrination method to a large extent still permeate the Church of the modern day.
 
It was never a matter of anybody not wanting to think, it was a matter of thinking having been an offense that was severely punished in the last century, which was defined by two world wars in which absolute allegiance to one's own side/nation/gang/ethnicity/religion defined one's entire existence, and any sort of fraternizing with anyone else or engaging in any independent thought was most often severely punished.  Children learned those lessons all too well and grew up and passed them on down to their own children and grandchildren.
 
It's a matter of overcoming childhood indoctrination in adults far too old and too immensely fearful to remember their own childhood before senility and ill health bless them with a greater understanding of life.
(I'm kidding, right?)  I'm not kidding.  You should have been there to see the day her nasty lifelong bigotry (her lifelong habit, indoctrinated in her since infancy), finally left the old woman.  Old age had dimmed her vision and illness had put her in the hospital, and we never realized that these were God's greatest gifts to her until we saw her hugging, praising, and blessing the beauty and kindness of all those doctors and nurses who were caring for her, and somehow it just didn't matter any more to her that they were all of foreign races and religions she had previously disdained and defined as the "enemy" all her life, in a century defined by two world wars.
 
Galileo said that you cannot teach people anything, you can only help them to find out for themselves.
Galileo was right.
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/14 20:52:21 (permalink)
It was never a matter of anybody not wanting to think,


Some people don't want to think. keep life simple. Let somebody else do the thinking. Blame them if something goes wrong.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/15 00:14:23 (permalink)
It is true that brainwashing can have a very potent effect on behavior. I suppose some brainwashed people may believe that if they disagree with the Church they will be sent to hell to burn for eternity by our loving God (who happens to be an old muscular man with a long gray beard –which is why we call God “Father”)…
 
Yet it is curious that not all those so indoctrinated end up in such an unquestioning state of blind ignorance.
 
So it seems that there is more going on with such people. It is almost as if they are afraid that if they even listen to other points of view they may start to think and question their beliefs with the result that some of what they were taught will cease to make sense. And so they fear that if they reject one part of what they were taught, what else might be wrong? How will they know the difference between good and evil?
 
This is a dilemma because it requires difficult thinking and discernment. It requires searching your heart and opening it to love. It requires a lot of energy that people just don’t want to spend. .
 
It is much easier to just follow a few rules, let the Church tell you what to believe and close your mind to everything else. It requires little work and you don’t have to worry about spending eternity burning in hell, which could be your fate if you go in a different direction and happen to be wrong.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/15 14:07:03 (permalink)

...follow a few rules, let the Church tell you what to believe and close your mind to everything else. It requires little work and you don’t have to worry about spending eternity burning in hell, which could be your fate if you go in a different direction and happen to be wrong.

A nice summary of the Baltimore Catechism!
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/15 15:16:44 (permalink)
Dear friends,

The act of debriding the wound:  Until I began work with www.womenpriests.org, I must admit that I had no idea of the attitudes towards women reflected in our history.  Embedded though they are in our past, they are pieces of critical information for us.  Thanks to the work of those who are  excavating them and bringing them into the light helps our community gain better comprehension of why we are where we are today.  To my mind, the act of research and exposing discoveries is similar to the act of debriding a wound.  And perhaps a better appreciation as to why Pope John Paul II felt apologies to women were necessary.  It was his belief that repentance could transform the Church.

Setting aside for the moment the issue that his anthroplogical view of women (called 'complementariansim' -- Many of its defenders do not themselves understand its implications for women.  In the view of many analysts, continues to work against women's equality in that it assigns to women roles of service to men.)  I wonder: w/could his apologies have been more meaningful and would they have had more impact -- greater effect -- had people been informed about the truth of our past?  I sometimes think we are in an awkward spot -- many people still do not comprehend the extent to which apologies were necessary and therefore do not comprehend why there is so much work to be done.

What do you think?

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

From John Paul II's June 29, 1995 Letter to Women:

3. I know of course that simply saying thank you is not enough. Unfortunately, we are heirs to a history which has conditioned us to a remarkable extent. In every time and place this conditioning has been an obstacle to the progress of women. Women's dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude.

This has prevented women from truly being themselves, and it has resulted in a spiritual impoverishment of humanity. Certainly it is no easy task to assign the blame for this, considering the many kinds of cultural conditioning which down the centuries have shaped ways of thinking and acting. And if objective blame, especially in particular historical contexts, has belonged to not just a few members of the church, for this I am truly sorry. May this regret be transformed, on the part of the whole church, into a renewed commitment of fidelity to the Gospel vision. When it comes to setting women free from every kind of exploitation and domination, the Gospel contains an ever relevant message which goes back to the attitude of Jesus Christ himself. Transcending the established norms of his own culture, Jesus treated women with openness, respect, acceptance and tenderness. In this way he honored the dignity which women have always possessed according to God's plan and in his love. As we look to Christ at the end of this second millennium, it is natural to ask ourselves how much of his message has been heard and acted upon.

Yes, it is time to examine the past with courage, to assign responsibility where it is due in a review of the long history of humanity. Women have contributed to that history as much as men and, more often than not, they did so in much more difficult conditions. I think particularly of those women who loved culture and art, and devoted their lives to them in spite of the fact that they were frequently at a disadvantage from the start, excluded from equal educational opportunities, underestimated, ignored and not given credit for their intellectual contributions. Sadly, very little of women's achievements in history can be registered by the science of history. But even though time may have buried the documentary evidence of those achievements, their beneficent influence can be felt as a force which has shaped the lives of successive generations, right up to our own.

To this great, immense feminine "tradition" humanity owes a debt which can never be repaid. Yet how many women have been and continue to be valued more for their physical appearance than for their skill, their professionalism, their intellectual abilities, their deep sensitivity; in a word, the very dignity of their being!

4. And what shall we say of the obstacles which in so many parts of the world still keep women from being fully integrated into social, political and economic life? We need only think of how the gift of motherhood is often penalized rather than rewarded, even though humanity owes its very survival to this gift. Certainly, much remains to be done to prevent discrimination against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers.

As far as personal rights are concerned, there is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic state.

This is a matter of justice but also of necessity. Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future: leisure time, the quality of life, migration, social services, euthanasia, drugs, health care, the ecology, etc. In all these areas a greater presence of women in society will prove most valuable, for it will help to manifest the contradictions present when society is organized solely according to the criteria of efficiency and productivity, and it will force systems to be redesigned in a way which favors the processes of humanization which mark the "civilization of love".

5. Then too, when we look at one of the most sensitive aspects of the situation of women in the world, how can we not mention the long and degrading history, albeit often an "underground" history, of violence against women in the area of sexuality? At the threshold of the third millennium we cannot remain indifferent and resigned before this phenomenon. The time has come to condemn vigorously the types of sexual violence which frequently have women for their object and to pass laws which effectively defend them from such violence. Nor can we fail, in the name of the respect due to the human person, to condemn the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality and corrupts even very young girls into letting their bodies be used for profit.

In contrast to these sorts of perversion, what great appreciation must be shown to those women who, with a heroic love for the child they have conceived, proceed with a pregnancy resulting from the injustice of rape.

Here we are thinking of atrocities perpetrated not only in situations of war, still so common in the world, but also in societies which are blessed by prosperity and peace and yet are often corrupted by a culture of hedonistic permissiveness which aggravates tendencies to aggressive male behavior. In these cases the choice to have an abortion always remains a grave sin. But before being something to blame on the woman, it is a crime for which guilt needs to be attributed to men and to the complicity of the general social environment.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/15 15:24:03 (permalink)
Pope apologises for church sins
BBC World News
March 12, 2000
 

The Pope blesses his bishops at the Vatican

 
Pope John Paul II has publicly asked God's forgiveness for the sins of Roman Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities.

The unprecedented gesture by the spiritual leader of the world's one billion Catholics is one of the first major events of the Vatican's year-long celebrations marking the beginning of the new Christian millennium.


'We are asking pardon ... for the use of violence committed in the service of truth'  -Pope John Paul II

"We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed toward followers of other religions," said Pope John Paul II, dressed in the purple robes of Lent.

The phrase "violence in the service of truth" is an often-used reference to the treatment of heretics during the Inquisition, the Crusades, and forced conversions of native peoples.

Sweeping forgiveness

The Pope's homily at The Day of Pardon Mass in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican did not mention specific groups.


'Christians will acknowledge the sins committed by a not a few of their number against the people of the Covenant.' - Cardinal Edward Cassidy

But confessions of sin made by five Vatican cardinals and two bishops, each with a response from the Pope, did ask for forgiveness for named wrongs.
 
Cardinal Edward Cassidy, raising the issue of the treatment of Jews, said: "Christians will acknowledge the sins committed by a not a few of their number against the people of the Covenant."

"We are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood," the Pope responded.

The Roma, or gypsy people, were also mentioned as having suffered.

Israel wanted more


Jerusalem is preparing for the Pope's visit

 
Israel's chief rabbi, Meir Lau, said he expected more and described himself as "deeply frustrated" by John Paul's failure to mention the Holocaust by name.

"I hope deeply that the Pope of today whom I appreciate very much for his doings and for his condemning anti-Semitism will complete the asking of forgiveness next week in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem," Rabbi Lau said.

The Pope is going on pilgrimage to Israel later this month - the first papal visit for more than 30 years.

 
But Rabbi David Rosen, head of the Jerusalem office of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, said expectations that the Pope would say more were perhaps "a little unrealistic".

Other confessions touched on treatment of racial and ethnic groups and "contempt for their cultures and religious traditions" and towards women "who are all too often humiliated" and marginalised.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/674246.stm
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/15 17:06:42 (permalink)


Dear friends,

The act of debriding the wound: Until I began work with www.womenpriests.org, I must admit that I had no idea of the attitudes towards women reflected in our history. Embedded though they are in our past, they are pieces of critical information for us. Thanks to the work of those who are excavating them and bringing them into the light helps our community gain better comprehension of why we are where we are today. To my mind, the act of research and exposing discoveries is similar to the act of debriding a wound. And perhaps a better appreciation as to why Pope John Paul II felt apologies to women were necessary. It was his belief that repentance could transform the Church.

Setting aside for the moment the issue that his anthroplogical view of women (called 'complementariansim' -- Many of its defenders do not themselves understand its implications for women. In the view of many analysts, continues to work against women's equality in that it assigns to women roles of service to men.) I wonder: w/could his apologies have been more meaningful and would they have had more impact -- greater effect -- had people been informed about the truth of our past? I sometimes think we are in an awkward spot -- many people still do not comprehend the extent to which apologies were necessary and therefore do not comprehend why there is so much work to be done.

What do you think?

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~




Sophie,

good points. Even if one wants to independently become better informed, it sure takes a lot of work. None of this information is readily available or easily accessible anywhere. When I try to talk to my priest about things like this, he just gets angry. I get the sense he has no idea about any of this and that he views me to be a trouble maker for what I talk about. How do we help people become more informed? I love our faith community. I don't want to attack it. I want it to become well. I want us to be followers of Jesus.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 00:37:40 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest


I hope will become clear the fact that during the Middle Ages, members of the Catholic hierarchy and Catholic theologians weren't the only men of faith equipped with extraordinarily dim views of women.

I hope it might also raise the question: are members and philosophers of any religious hierarchy deemed to be "men of faith" simply by virtue of their positions?
While being a member or philosopher of a religious hierarchy might establish certain individuals as having power and influence over others, their positions do not necessarily establish them to be "men of faith" at all.  Those most occupied with having power and influence over others in the world are often those who exhibit the least faith by their words and deeds.

woman who votes with feet


 
god still calls even when faith is not evident.  the message and work of christ is one of love and redemption.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 01:49:46 (permalink)

'We are asking pardon ... for the use of violence committed in the service of truth'  -Pope John Paul II
"We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed toward followers of other religions," said Pope John Paul II, dressed in the purple robes of Lent.
The phrase "violence in the service of truth" is an often-used reference to the treatment of heretics during the Inquisition, the Crusades, and forced conversions of native peoples.

The concept that violence has ever, or will ever, "serve truth" is the antithesis of everything that Christ demonstrated and taught.
 
Asking pardon for the use of violence committed "in the service of truth" is the equivalent of asking pardon for rape committed "in the service of procreation."  Such a statement not only provides zero recognition of and acknowledgment of the criminality of the behavior, but attempts to justify criminal behavior by claiming that it somehow served some great moral good.
In short, it was a masterful apologetic-sounding non-apology and a contradiction of Christ. It was enough to make one lose one's lunch.  Was I the only one wretching in the aisles?
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:04:06 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

 Was I the only one wretching in the aisles?




 
No.
 
And what about the violence of discrimination against women? What truth does that serve?
 
The discrimination against women serves the Master of Lies not the Source of Truth and Love.
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:11:07 (permalink)
I wasn't wretching in the aisles.  I am grateful there are some steps forward made.  The steps are imperfect and there is a long way yet to go. In the apology is an acknowledgement of wrong. Reject that?  I would rather accept it and encourage more.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:20:58 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

I wasn't wretching in the aisles.  I am grateful there are some steps forward made.  The steps are imperfect and there is a long way yet to go. In the apology is an acknowledgement of wrong. Reject that?  I would rather accept it and encourage more.

 
The problem is... it doesn't ring true. I feel no sincerity in the words. I remember the cruel way he dismissed Sister Kane. Those actions said more to me than all the words in every apology he ever gave. 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:25:31 (permalink)
Wasn't the incident with Sister Kane way back in 1978 or 79?
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:34:25 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Wasn't the incident with Sister Kane way back in 1978 or 79?

 
What is your point?
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 02:57:17 (permalink)
He should have apologized for OS.
 
I think that was way back in 1994.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 05:12:38 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

ORIGINAL: Guest

Wasn't the incident with Sister Kane way back in 1978 or 79?


What is your point?


 
My point is that in 20 years, someone can change.  Because he did something wrong in 1978/9 does not therefore mean that his apology is without merit 20+ years later. 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 14:22:49 (permalink)

In the apology is an acknowledgement of wrong. 

If I told you that "I'm sorry my children killed your children, but they did it 'in the service of truth'" would you consider that an acknowledgement of their wrong?
I wouldn't.  I don't think any parent would.
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 15:09:09 (permalink)
if your choices were no progress or progress by increments, which would you choose? 
 
seems like you feel that progress happening incrementally is completely unacceptable.
 
i'll take some progress over no progress. 
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 17:20:57 (permalink)
Change is happening by evolution.

I'll take evolution over no change at all.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/16 19:43:59 (permalink)
In 1945, in Nurenberg, while staring at the heart-wrenching evidence that at least 6 million innocent men, women, and children had been tortured and murdered by the Nazi regime, the world declared genocide to be a crime against humanity.
 
In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a statement apologizing on behalf of the Church "for violence committed in the service of truth," in reference to historical genocides, including the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
 
To claim that violence can ever act "in service of truth" is to completely refute all of Christ's teachings!
So for whom does John Paul's idea that violence can ever be committed "in service of truth" constitute change, evolution, and progress?
 
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