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RE: Papal History 2009/01/19 23:52:46 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

ORIGINAL: Sophie

Dear friends,

I have been reading through the exchange in this thread and would like to share.  I am cautious about ascribing deceitfulness or duplicity personally to Pope John Paul II.  The work for women's equality is a complex endeavor. 


Dear Sophie,

I am sorry but from everything I have read regarding the theology of the body, OS, letters of encouragement written to women's groups who support "wives be submissive..."  in the traditional sense, the way he dismissed Sister Kane in her request, the gag order on priests to not even discuss the topic of women’s ordination, the excommunication of people who attend women’s ordinations, the threat of excommunicating those who support the ordination of women, the notion that women are ontologically different...  JPII’s apology to women does not ring true to me. You and others may feel differently but I cannot.

Apologizing for mistakes of other’s in the past does not equate to a sincere apology in my opinion. Apologizing for women being raped, murdered, oppressed, marginalized by other men does not make what he did to women acceptable. I thoroughly reject the way women have been excluded and marginalized in the Church. If JPII had been a real man and apologized for his own transgressions against women, I could have more respect for the content of the apology. As it is he did great harm to women in their cause for ordination to the priesthood by promoting this false theology of the body. I am offended as a Catholic woman and saddened by this.

Perhaps God needed JPII to help liberate Poland, perhaps he instituted some good changes in placing women on the altar as servers, but it is far from where we need to be and the theology of the body is an offensive slap in the face. I am hurt, truly hurt by it.

Duplicitous, yes I think he was. I do not rationalize his behavior away. If he was not duplicitous then he would have to be pathetically ignorant about the spirituality of women. Not a great spiritual leader by any stretch of the imagination.

The ignorance manifest by past men (even some Saints) may have been understood due to their lack of scientific knowledge and primitive indoctrination. Today we know better, we have global communication and information literally at our fingertips. There is no reason for this ignorance. In fact it seems that JPII and others in the Vatican realized how difficult the ban on women’s ordination was to defend, so much so that they needed to institute a ban on all discussion. This does not seem like the action of someone sincere.

You believe they are sincere and act out of ignorance. This is difficult for me. Perhaps I credit them with too much intelligence. Either way the hurt is the same. There is restlessness inside of me that will not dismiss, excuse, or apologize for the perpetrators of such sins against women committed in the name of God.

I don’t expect these men to be perfect. I do forgive their transgressions against women, but I will not apologize for their wrongdoing. They are the spiritual leaders of the Church and they need to be told when they are not living up to the responsibility entrusted to them.



Dear friend, 

One of my roles as Moderator is to facilitate and keep open the pathways for dialogue about the case for women's ordination.  Be assured that my aim is to support dialogue.  In no way am I suggesting that your feelings and opinions are wrong, that we should rationalise away actions or apologise for mistakes of the Vatican.  Counselling acceptance of the exclusion of women?  Nothing could be further from what www.womenpriests.org, yours truly included, stands for.  We are committed to the long haul effort to bring an end to discrimination against women in our Church.

Your words capture the hurt, anger, disappointment and disillusionment that many women are struggling with. No question -- there is much wrong with the current state of affairs. We are deeply committed to goal of facilitating change. In this spirit I hope that you will see my comment as one made in my capacity as referree of dialogue and not as challenge to your opinion.

The view of our Team is that many people do not understand the case for women's ordination. Thorough research by Team members, countless other scholars, theologians, and canon lawyers too numerous to mention demonstrates that the case is solidly rooted in Tradition, scripture, theology and canon law. We want people to know this. Part of our effort includes 'spreading the news' that the reasons that support women's ordination are ancient and not something 'new.'   They are stronger than 'new.'  They are consistent throughout history and have been buried because of social prejudice against women which has become culturally ingrained against women.   Also, the case quite simply outshines personalities who pass by in time. 

We are convinced that when both sides of the case are fully aired, many more people will see why it makes so much sense and why it is so compelling.  One of my responsibilities as Moderator then is to protect the space we have created for the 'airing' that's needed and to do as much as possible to encourage different voices to stay in the conversation.

In my view as Moderator, not only is there a risk that critiquing a recent Pope's character as duplicitous, deceitful or fraudulent crosses a line in courteous discourse, it also tends to derail or completely shut dialogue down.  The close of dialogue is potentially harmful to the advance of the case.  They draw attention away from the strength of the case. 
 
The compelling features of the case are in content and not character (weakness or otherwise.) When dialogue shuts down it gives us cause for concern.  A prosecution of character usually invites defence of it.  Focus is not on the case.  Because attacks on character have the potential to foster hard feelings that are unnecessary to the advance of the case, my concern as facilitator of discussion is that worse yet, there is a risk that current contributors will leave the discussion ... for good. And potential contributors may be dissuaded from even entering in.  We lose opportunities to make the case known.  People who still need to be convinced about merits will turn away from exploring www.womenpriests.org.  There is so much about this that is potentially defeating, I feel obliged in good conscience to exercise my referee's call to ensure that focus of discussion be kept on the case. 

Besides the fact that critique of his character is not key, we don't have enough information to do more than guess at what were Pope John Paul II's motivations.  There are many possibilities for his motivations.  Suffice to say, most scholars are in agreement that his writings about gender and sex display an inadequate grasp of the complexities of current biological science and that this is not necessarily unusual for a man of his age, his time, his background and office.  He was a theologian and not a scientist. The facts also are that as time passes, all of us are being equipped with an ever deepening comprehension of the differences between sex and gender. Whether Pope John Paul II acted with or without sincerity or ignorance, and without any intent on my part to make apology for him, the reality is that as of this moment, there are few administrations in the world which can currently boast about having a grasp on the science and moreso, having full implemenation of the imperatives the new vistas require.

This is a work in progress.  From our point of view, it is imperative that the work successfully be done. If we don't seriously take into account the possibility of ignorance, then we completely miss out on addressing a crucial need for consciousness raising.  This failure will surely be defeating to the expenditure of our energies and purpose. 

Finally, whatever our personal beliefs might be about the sincerity of his apology, tactically it is prudent that we keep our eyes on the big picture. Coupled with his 1995 Letter to Women, the mea culpa represents a critical shift in the Vatican's position. In this sense, the question of his sincerity or lack thereof is not germane to the case.  His statements are compelling admissions of institutional failure. They represent concessions to critics of the Vatican in that they underscore there are sound reasons for diligent scrutiny.  Features that make these statements/admissions/apologies so compelling include that they were:
  • delivered on an international stage;
  • delivered with vast publicity in the spotlight of the international eye;
  • delivered in the presence of international media scrutiny;
  • and delivered from the highest voice at the highest level of the Vatican, ie the Pope.
Given the authoritarian nature of Pope John Paul II's papacy, these are critical admissions of failure.

From a strategic point of view, it makes little sense to discount them as meaningless. In fact, to do so is counterproductive. To characterise them as meaningless is to diminish how valuable they are by way of admission.  Yes, they are not enough, and yes, we must press for more --- but to diminish what they already stand for goes against what we are trying to achieve in the case. Strategically speaking then, we want to build on these admissions by reinforcing what is true about them and actually delving into the details that fall short or make no sense -- emphasis on content instead of personal character.

Challenging the Vatican case is a complex endeavor. It includes rigourously scrutiny of the Vatican's reasons, thorough research of scripture, Tradition, theology, history, scientific advance, biology.... In our work, we must provide information to help educate people about both sides of the case. We want to equip people with capacity to speak up about the case with information that will help them do so as effectively as possible. And not only this, we must be inviting so as to encourage critical listening and constructive engagement.

Criticising ideas and reasons is different from criticising character. If we disagree strongly with an opinion, for the sake of fostering dialogue it is helpful to frame disagreement in terms of, “I believe s/he is mistaken.  Here's why.” or “Based on this evidence, his/her statement really makes no sense,” or “I find the position to be unconvincing. Here's where the holes are.” These approaches elicit critical thinking about the ideas instead of derailing the conversation into a dead end back and forth prosecution/defence of the character... that adds nothing to the case.

Just as the Vatican's weakest argument is 'Because this is the way it always has been,' our weakest argument lies in attack of character.  The case stands or falls on its content.  It is critical that we work to keep open all pathways that may lead to engage people's critical discernment about the actual discrepancies, flaws and irrationalities in the Vatican's case.

Believe me, I appreciate and understand the anger. I struggle with it myself. Experience teaches that if our committment to the case for women's ordination is paramount, we must learn to effectively master of our anger instead of letting it master us. Strengthening this skill will improve our potentials and our capacities for the work and engagement that needs to happen for critical reflection about the case.   It is my observation that many of the comments you make in dialogue here show that you have a keen perception, insight and knowledge about the key features of the case. I encourage you to continue with your focus on those features.  Contributions that focus on these features are what's key to the case and the work of illuminating other's perceptions.  If you have questions or comments, please let me know. 

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
post edited by Sophie - 2009/01/20 01:07:18
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 01:04:32 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Sophie



Dear friend, 

One of my roles as Moderator is to facilitate and keep open the pathways for dialogue about the case for women's ordination.  Be assured that my aim is to support dialogue.  In no way am I suggesting your feelings and opinions are wrong, that we should rationalise away actions or apologise for mistakes of the Vatican.  Counselling acceptance of the exclusion of women?  Nothing could be further from what www.womenpriests.org, yours truly included stand for.  We are engaged in a long haul effort to bring an end to discrimination against women in our Church.

Your words capture the hurt, anger, disappointment and disillusionment that many women are struggling with. No question -- there is much wrong with the current state of affairs. We are deeply committed to goal of facilitating change. In this spirit I hope that you will see my comment as one made in my capacity as referree of dialogue and not as challenge to your opinion.

The view of our Team is that many people do not understand the case for women's ordination.  Thorough research by Team members, countless other scholars, theologians, and canon lawyers too numerous to mention demonstrates that the case is solidly rooted in Tradition, scripture, theology and canon law. We want people to know this.  The reasons and justifications that support women's ordination are ancient and not something 'new.'   They are stronger than 'new.'  They are consistent throughout history but have been buried because of social prejudice that has become culturally ingrained against women.  Also, the case quite simply outshines personalities who pass by in time. 

It is our conviction that when both sides of the case are fully aired, many more people will see why it makes so much sense and why it is so compelling.  One of my responsibilities as Moderator is then is to protect the space we have created for the 'airing' that's needed and to do as much as possible to encourage different voices in the conversation.



~Sophie~

 
Dear Sophie,
 
Thank you for your reply.
 
My response is not a reactionary response in anger. I have looked and the evidence and arrived at a conclusion regarding motives based on all the contradictions. Speaking on a world stage about offenses of others against women all the while committing those offenses… well  …enough said.
 
If you find my opinions or deductions offensive, I am sorry. I must be true to myself and my opinions.
 
Again I am sorry. My contributions will end.
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 01:13:47 (permalink)
 
Dear friend,

I am afraid I am misunderstood.  Your opinions do not offend me. 

My responsibility as Moderator is to keeping open the pathways for dialogue among all potential contributors.  If Pope John Paul II was duplicitous, so be it.  The fact is that duplicitous or not, his character is not germane to the case.

If we are serious about our efforts to bring an end to discrimination against women in the Church, then it is important that strong focus be kept on the case and what is key to it.

It is content not character of a Pope that is persuasive in seeing our side of the case.

I hope that you will give this some thought and continue with us in conversation that helps move the case.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 01:57:11 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Sophie

 
Dear friend,

I am afraid I am misunderstood.  Your opinions do not offend me. 

My responsibility as Moderator is to keeping open the pathways for dialogue among all potential contributors.  If Pope John Paul II was duplicitous, so be it.  The fact is that duplicitous or not, his character is not germane to the case.

If we are serious about our efforts to bring an end to discrimination against women in the Church, then it is important that strong focus be kept on the case and what is key to it.

It is content not character of a Pope that is persuasive in seeing our side of the case.

I hope that you will give this some thought and continue with us in conversation that helps move the case.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~

 
Dear Sophie,
 
A contributor was praising Pope JPII in a way that might be described as “pro woman.” I disagreed and gave my reasons why I was disagreeing. I was not commenting on the total character of the Pope but rather on his treatment of women. His speech did nothing for me and I explained why.
 
The content of Pope JPII’s character is not the issue, but I am not so naive as to not recognize the political motives behind speeches of public figures.
 
All of us have personal flaws. That needs to be understood but please understand that it is difficult to contribute if one is constantly worried about offending someone and shutting down dialogue.
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 04:35:09 (permalink)

It is content not character of a Pope that is persuasive in seeing our side of the case.

But perhaps it might also need to be further explained that it is not necessary for guests to be persuasive for any particular side of the case nor is it necessary for guests to adopt the stance of the membership of this site in order to further the discussion, be welcome, and provide food for thought for all. 
 
woman who votes with feet
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 21:47:46 (permalink)
Ideas that extend thinking in new ways and further dialogue are very welcome.  New ways of looking at issues lead to further understanding and to solutions and problem solving.
 
I thought your comments were insightful and necessary.
 
I agree that there are many instances of manipulation, cynicism and spin in what the Popes have sent out in regards to women and the church.  I think what you say is often very true and accurate.
 
Others may see nothing wrong in anything the Popes send out or do. However, not everyone thinks like that. 
 
 We must be careful when our Shepherd in the Vatican is really being a Wayward Wolf who deceives and tricks us instead.  And I must add. real wolves found in nature are fine animals (our wonderful pet and working dogs come from the family of wolves.) Your ideas are welcome.
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 23:14:19 (permalink)

We must be careful when our Shepherd in the Vatican is really being a Wayward Wolf who deceives and tricks us instead.  And I must add. real wolves found in nature are fine animals (our wonderful pet and working dogs come from the family of wolves.)

As you are familiar with working dogs, wolves, and apparently sheep.... have you ever seen any shepherd (human shepherd or working dog) act in the capacity of leader of the sheep, or do the sheep basically find their own way while the shepherd attends to keeping them together (safe from predators) and looking after the lost or injured?  From my limited observations of sheep, I have observed only the latter case and was instructed as a child that one does not ever lead sheep, but that the head sheep will come forward and act as leader(s) of the flock whenever a leader is needed (finding the best crossing on the creek, etc.)  I seek a better practical understanding of Biblical pastoral references that were common knowledge in Biblical times but are no longer such common knowledge in our urbanized world. 
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 23:40:59 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

ORIGINAL: Sophie


Dear friend,

I am afraid I am misunderstood.  Your opinions do not offend me. 

My responsibility as Moderator is to keeping open the pathways for dialogue among all potential contributors.  If Pope John Paul II was duplicitous, so be it.  The fact is that duplicitous or not, his character is not germane to the case.

If we are serious about our efforts to bring an end to discrimination against women in the Church, then it is important that strong focus be kept on the case and what is key to it.

It is content not character of a Pope that is persuasive in seeing our side of the case.

I hope that you will give this some thought and continue with us in conversation that helps move the case.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~


Dear Sophie,

A contributor was praising Pope JPII in a way that might be described as “pro woman.” I disagreed and gave my reasons why I was disagreeing. I was not commenting on the total character of the Pope but rather on his treatment of women. His speech did nothing for me and I explained why.

The content of Pope JPII’s character is not the issue, but I am not so naive as to not recognize the political motives behind speeches of public figures.

All of us have personal flaws. That needs to be understood but please understand that it is difficult to contribute if one is constantly worried about offending someone and shutting down dialogue.




Dear friend,

I know that it is difficult.  This is a challenging topic.  Except for the comment made labelling John Paul II himself as duplicitous, all of the contributions were on point and pertinent. Direct 'hits' on character lead nowhere. Stay focused on the critique of content. I hope you will stay with us.  Your comments, perspectives and insights add much to the quality of conversation and demonstrate excellent mastery of the case. 

Engage without attacking character.  People need to hear what you have to say. 

For anyone who  hasn't seen them, our Forum Guidelines are here: http://www.womenpriests.org/rules.asp.
 
with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/20 23:51:10 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest


It is content not character of a Pope that is persuasive in seeing our side of the case.

But perhaps it might also need to be further explained that it is not necessary for guests to be persuasive for any particular side of the case nor is it necessary for guests to adopt the stance of the membership of this site in order to further the discussion, be welcome, and provide food for thought for all. 

woman who votes with feet


Dear woman who votes with feet,

Absolutely!  Well said.  Agree or disagree with women's ordination, all voices are welcome in the debate.  The purpose of the ground rules is to help ensure that this can happen.
 
We have confidence in the strength of our case and are not fearful of scrutiny of it.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 00:01:39 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Ideas that extend thinking in new ways and further dialogue are very welcome.  New ways of looking at issues lead to further understanding and to solutions and problem solving.

I thought your comments were insightful and necessary.

I agree that there are many instances of manipulation, cynicism and spin in what the Popes have sent out in regards to women and the church.  I think what you say is often very true and accurate.

Others may see nothing wrong in anything the Popes send out or do. However, not everyone thinks like that. 

We must be careful when our Shepherd in the Vatican is really being a Wayward Wolf who deceives and tricks us instead.  And I must add. real wolves found in nature are fine animals (our wonderful pet and working dogs come from the family of wolves.) Your ideas are welcome.


 
Dear friend,
 
Yes.  It is important that our concerns and questions be raised.  We are reminded of Vatican II's Gaudiem et Spes, no 62 which says:

All the faithful, both clerical and lay, should be accorded a lawful freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

and Canon Law 212.3 which obligates us as members of the faithful to speak out about our concerns.  In doing so, it is important to stay focused on content.
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 00:20:12 (permalink)
I take it back. JPII was not duplicitous. I was wrong. His speech showed that he made great progress in his rejection of sexism.
 
I have just one question.
 
Suppose I owned a business that refused to hire a certain group of people. And suppose I was criticized by some for this policy of discrimination while others thought there was nothing wrong with the policy. Suppose further that I held a position of international prominence and I used this position to give a speech to the world denouncing the oppression and mistreatment of this particular group of people but said nothing of my own transgressions and received great praise as a progressive thinker. Suppose I continued with my policy of not hiring this group of people.
 
What would you think of me?
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 00:28:50 (permalink)
My dictionary gives the definition of duplicitous as demonstrating a contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action which may well be, but may not necessarily be, intentional.
The original statement seemed to be pointing out some contradictory speech and action on the part of the Pope.  I do not understand how pointing out contradictory speech and action qualifies as some manner of character attack(?)
Perhaps there is some different translation or connotation of the word being used that does not match this definition(?)  I would have to say that I too am most certainly "duplicitous" because all too often I have told them I would be off this computer "in just a minute..." when it has already been twenty...
oh dear...
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 08:21:50 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

I take it back. JPII was not duplicitous. I was wrong. His speech showed that he made great progress in his rejection of sexism.

I have just one question.

Suppose I owned a business that refused to hire a certain group of people. And suppose I was criticized by some for this policy of discrimination while others thought there was nothing wrong with the policy. Suppose further that I held a position of international prominence and I used this position to give a speech to the world denouncing the oppression and mistreatment of this particular group of people but said nothing of my own transgressions and received great praise as a progressive thinker. Suppose I continued with my policy of not hiring this group of people.

What would you think of me?


Dear friend, 

As Moderator, here is how I see it: 

In a nutshell: This analogy is an excellent reframe of your original content.  It not only honours the ground rules of dialogue but also delivers your message in a much more powerful and now potent way. As your reader, I draw the conclusion:  "This situation is not right. This is legitimate criticism." If I am inclined to make a response, it must be about content and not a reflexive counter attack by way of defense of a respected community leader.

Feedback: From a practical point of view, the analogy's focus on content delivers a clear assessment of the troubling contradictions between stated principle and action.   Because the direct hit on character is eliminated, there is no obstacle to distract the reader from reaching a full comprehension of what those glaring contradictions are about. If for instance the reader:
  • does not understand that there are contradictions let alone comprehend what they are about; and
  • has a more traditional view
by eliminating an attack on character and by deliberately keeping focused on content, the reader's attention is fixed on processing exactly what is so troubling. Energy is not derailed into the defense of character that a prosecution of character would invite.  If a response is to be made, it must go to content because character has not been put into issue. Especially if the reader respects the Pope, by avoiding character, the awareness the contradictions raise is more potent.

The analogy:
  • wins the audience
  • is powerful
  • potent
  • points out exactly what's problematic
  • is presented in a way that is consistent with the groundrules for dialogue.
From a Moderator's point of view:  Despite the fact that the Vatican has imposed a ban on dialogue about the prohibition of women priests, through Circles, the Team at www.womenpriests.org is attempting to facilitate an international dialogue about that very subject.  I understand why this topic is difficult and personally hurtful because it is so for me.  I readily admit that I bring a bias to my work as Moderator in that I have a deep sense of committment to seeing the Gospel vision of radical equality become a reality in our Church and eventually the world.  It is important to me personally and to our Team that as many people as possible have an opportunity to become familiar with the case. Because you have so much by way of perceptive insight to share, I would be disheartened if we lost your contributions.  Having said this, I would also be utterly disheartened if because of poor moderating on my part, either those who do not yet comprehend why the exclusion of women is so troubling or  those who fail to understand why the case is so strong are discouraged from participating in conversation.  Not only is focus on character a weak form of argument, it also has the ready potential to derail attention from content. It also discourages the interest of uninformed observers who want to learn more about the case.

We have tried to make the ground rules clear.  The development of those rules drew from what are thought to be well established principles of courteous discourse -- focus on content, avoid attacks on character. 

I understand how difficult this is.  So does our Team.  We have recently set up an independent blog called Mosaic which aims more exclusively at support for those who are struggling than it does at education and open dialogue.  I am not up to date with what is happening in Mosaic.  I will find out where it is at and come back with a report.

In all, we appreciate your support.  Most members of our Team offer our service by way of volunteer effort.  Moderating this dialogue is not my paid work. It is done in my spare time.  If you disagree with our ground rules and have suggestions for change, please let us know.  If you have suggestions for improvements that will  make Circles more effective, more inviting to all and more welcoming for different voices in dialogue,  I welcome your comments at my email address:  sophiecircles@yahoo.co.uk

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
post edited by Sophie - 2009/01/21 16:54:19
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 14:28:47 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

My dictionary gives the definition of duplicitous as demonstrating a contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action which may well be, but may not necessarily be, intentional.
The original statement seemed to be pointing out some contradictory speech and action on the part of the Pope.  I do not understand how pointing out contradictory speech and action qualifies as some manner of character attack(?)
Perhaps there is some different translation or connotation of the word being used that does not match this definition(?)  I would have to say that I too am most certainly "duplicitous" because all too often I have told them I would be off this computer "in just a minute..." when it has already been twenty...
oh dear...

woman who votes with feet

 
 
Dear woman who votes with feet,
 
There is nothing wrong with pointing out contradictions between speech and action.  The line got crossed in post 132 when the statement was made, 'He was duplicitous.' 
 
There are several possibilities for why contradictions exist.  Our focus is on the contradictions and the institutional failings.  The focus is content.
 
~Sophie~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 16:57:30 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: Guest

My dictionary gives the definition of duplicitous as demonstrating a contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action which may well be, but may not necessarily be, intentional.
The original statement seemed to be pointing out some contradictory speech and action on the part of the Pope.  I do not understand how pointing out contradictory speech and action qualifies as some manner of character attack(?)
Perhaps there is some different translation or connotation of the word being used that does not match this definition(?)  I would have to say that I too am most certainly "duplicitous" because all too often I have told them I would be off this computer "in just a minute..." when it has already been twenty...
oh dear...

woman who votes with feet



ps By the way, I am glad you keep coming back! We appreciate your excellent contributions and we are grateful for your presence here! ~s~
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/21 21:44:35 (permalink)
Oh my, I see.... this all has to do with the verb "to be" in English.  In other languages we would say that we "have" hunger or fatigue or good or bad behavior (and so one always recognizes the temporary condition), but in English we use "to be" rather than "to have" and so nobody can ever tell if we are talking about some temporary demonstration or some permanent condition or latent characteristic.
 
I told them they could have the computer in "just a minute" but I have not surrendered the computer in 20 minutes and am still using it.  I am demonstrating contradictory behavior by saying one thing (that they will have use of the computer in just a minute) but I am doing exactly the opposite with no indication of changing my behavior in the least (I am monopolizing their public computer!).
In American English someone needing the computer might typically say to me: "I need this computer! you're sure impolite!" (perhaps adding additional colorful metaphors and expletives for emphasis)
Someone else might point out that I was duplicitous, that I was demonstrating contradictory behavior by saying one thing and doing another.  It would be correct to say that I was impolite and duplicitous, I was.  In most other languages, the temporary state would be obvious, but not in English.
 
In most languages, including English, "to be" is generally the equivalent of an equal sign in math, but it is the manner of English, particularly American English, that although we are only human beings, we are always saying that we are also "being" and accusing one another of "being" something else.  
I am a human being.  (I = human being)
I am cold.  (I = cold?)
English makes us sound like interpretive dancers when we describe ourselves! (I am cold.... I AM cold... cold is what I AM... I am equivalent to cold, I am the epitome of cold, the sum entirety of cold, cold defines the entirety of what I am.... I am cold itself.... I am cold and snow and howling winds... I am winter... I am cold.  I sound just like an interpretive dancer; didn't Isadora Duncan once dance this on stage?)
 
Not only are we English speakers always foolishly claiming to "be" something other than human beings, but we also come to blows quite easily and quite often just trying to describe one another with this sorry excuse for a language.  In English our use of the verb "to be" simply does not specify what is a temporary or a permanent condition nor the extent of that condition:
 
"I am cold"  (it could be a sudden chill, or it could be my permanent feeling or condition or the part I play onstage)
"you are cold" (I might be comforting you and offering you a blanket, describing the part you play onstage, or I might be accusing you of some permanent condition of being an unfriendly or unfeeling person)
 
"I am misinformed" (I might be admitting ignorance of some small detail, or describing my total ignorance of the subject)
"you are misinformed" (you might be accusing me of ignorance of some small detail, my total ignorance of an entire subject, or you might be arrogantly but politely dismissing the entirety of my personal lifetime of education, beliefs, experience, faith and observations as total ignorance) (this is why it is not in the interest of women's ordination to characterize or describe anyone opposing women's ordination as necessarily being misinformed)
 
Likewise when they say to me: "You are duplicitous" (they might be pointing out my monopolization of the computer, or they might be accusing me of a permanent condition, a major character flaw) and there is no real way for me to know which.
In English, there really is no easy way to tell the extent and permanence or impermanence of any condition when we are endlessly claiming to be things (other than human beings) and accusing others of being things (other than human beings) as our way of describing ourselves and others. 
 
It is a strange language that says "I am American, I am 5'9", and I am urban" in one breath and "I am late" in the next...
American, urban, 5'9"..... and late??? (to what extent is this a temporary or permanent condition? late can be temporarily tardy or be a permanent characteristic: "the late Mr. Smith, God rest his soul...")
I am not only duplicitous again, monopolizing this computer yet again when I was supposed to be done in just a minute, but now I am also late
English is a very strange language....
and I am now the late, duplicitous, Woman Who Votes With Feet!
 
 
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/22 00:39:20 (permalink)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
 
Consider that the author of the above passage also owned slaves.
 
There are elements of duplicity in even the most revered people.
 
Would you say that Thomas Jefferson was duplicitous in his treatment of Negros?
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/22 01:11:42 (permalink)
Died this day January 22 in 1922 - Pope Benedict XV (b. 1854)
 
Pope Benedict XV (November 21, 1854 - January 22, 1922), born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from September 3, 1914 to January 22, 1922. He succeeded Pope Pius X (1903–14).


Benedict XV 

His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I and its political, social and humanitarian consequences in Europe. ‎ Between 1846 and 1903, the Church experienced its two longest pontificates in history at that time. Together Pius IX and Leo XIII ruled for fifty-seven years. In 1914, the Cardinals choose Della Chiesa at the age of sixty, indicating their desire for another long-lasting pontificate at the outbreak of World War I, which he labeled “the suicide of civilized Europe”. The war and its consequences were the main focus of Della Chiesa. He declared the neutrality of the Holy See and attempted from that perspective to mediate peace in 1916 and 1917. Both sides rejected his initiatives. German Protestants rejected any “Papal Peace” as insulting. French politician Georges Clemenceau regarded the Vatican initiative as anti-French. 
 
Having failed with diplomatic initiatives, the Pope focused on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impacts of the war, such as attending prisoners of war, the exchange of wounded soldiers and food deliveries to needy populations in Europe. After the war, he repaired the difficult relations with France, which re-established relations with the Vatican in 1921. During his pontificate, relations with Italy improved as well, as the Pope now permitted Catholic politicians led by Don Luigi Sturzo to participate in national Italian politics. Benedict issued in 1917 the first ever Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, the creation of which he had prepared with Pietro Gasparri and Eugenio Pacelli during the pontificate of Pius X. The new Canon law is considered to have stimulated religious life and activities throughout the Church. He named Pietro Gasparri to be his Cardinal Secretary of State and personally consecrated Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli on May 13, 1917 as Archbishop on the very day of the Marian apparitions in Fatima. World War One caused great damage to Catholic missions throughout the world. Benedict revitalized these activities, asking in Maximum Illud for Catholics throughout the world to participate. His last concern was the emerging persecution of the Church in the Soviet Union and the famine there after the revolution. Benedict was an ardent mariologist, devoted to Marian veneration and open to new perspectives of Roman Catholic Mariology. He supported the mediatrix theology and authorized the Feast of Mary Mediator of all Graces. After less than seven years in office, Pope Benedict XV died on 22 January 1922. With his diplomatic skills and his openness towards the modern world, "he gained respect for himself and the papacy."
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XV
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/22 01:28:57 (permalink)
Early life of Pope Benedict XV
 
Pope Benedict XV was born as Giacomo della Chiesa at Pegli, a suburb of Genoa, Italy, of noble family, the son of Marchese Giuseppe della Chiesa and Marchesa Giovanna Migliorati. His first name Giacomo in Italian is the equivalent of James in English.


Giacomo in 1886 at age twelve

His wish to become a priest was rejected early on by his father who insisted on a legal career for his son. At the age of 21, he acquired a doctorate of law in 1875.  He had attended the University of Genoa, which after the unification of Italy, was largely dominated by anti-Catholic and anti-clerical politics. With his doctorate in Law and at legal age, he again asked his father for permission to study for the priesthood, which was now reluctantly granted. He insisted however, that his son conduct his theological studies in Rome not in Genoa, in order that he not end up as a village priest or provincial Monsignore.

Della Chiesa entered the Collegio Capranica and was there in Rome when, in 1878, Pope Pius IX died and was followed by Pope Leo XIII. The new pope received the students of the Capranica in private audience only a few days after his investiture. Shortly thereafter, Della Chiesa was ordained a priest by Cardinal Patrizzi on December 21, 1878.  From 1878 until 1883 he studied at the Papal Academy Pontificia Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici in Rome. It was there, on every Thursday, that students were required to defend a research paper, to which Cardinals and high members of the Roman Curia were invited. Cardinal Mariano Rampolla took note of him and furthered his entry in the diplomatic service of the Vatican in 1882, where he was employed by Rampolla as a secretary and soon to be posted to Madrid.  When Rampolla subsequently was appointed Cardinal Secretary of State, Della Chiesa followed him.

During these years Della Chiesa helped negotiate the resolution of a dispute between Germany and Spain over the Caroline Islands as well as organizing relief during a cholera epidemic. Still, his ambitious mother, Marchesa Della Chiesa, is said to have been discontent with the career of her son, cornering Rampolla with the words, that in her opinion, Giacomo was not properly recognized in the Vatican. Rampolla allegedly replied, Signora, your son will take only a few steps, but they will be gigantic ones. When Rampolla left his post with the election of Pope Pius X, and was succeeded by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, Della Chiesa was retained in his post.

Bologna
 
Archbishop
 
But Della Chiesa's association with Rampolla, the architect of Pope Leo XIII's (1878–1903) foreign policy, made his position in the Secretariat of State under the new pontificate somewhat uncomfortable. Italian papers announced that on 15 April 1907, the papal nuncio Aristide Rinaldini in Madrid would be replaced by Della Chiesa, who had worked there before. Pius X chuckling over the journalist’s knowledge, commented, unfortunately, the paper forgot to mention whom I nominated as the next Archbishop of Bologna. In the presence of his family, the Diplomatic corps, numerous bishops and cardinals, and his friend Rampolla, on December 18, 1907, he received the episcopal consecration from Pope St. Pius X himself. The Pope donated his own Episcopal ring and crosier to the new bishop and spent much time with the Della Chiesa family on the following day.  On February 23, 1907, Della Chiesa took possession of his new dioceses, which included 700 000 persons, 750 priests, as well as nineteen male and seventy-eight female religious institutes. In the Episcopal seminar, some twenty-five teachers educated 120 students, preparing for the priesthood.
 
As bishop he visited all parishes, making a special effort to see the smaller ones in the mountains, which could only be accessed by horse. Della Chiesa always saw preaching as the main obligation of a bishop. He usually gave two or more sermons a day during his visitations. His emphasis was on cleanliness inside all churches and chapels and on saving money wherever possible: Let us save to give to the poor.  A meeting of all priests in a Synod had to be postponed at the wish of the Vatican in light of ongoing changes in the Canon Law. Numerous churches were built or restored. Della Chiesa personally originated a major reform of the educational orientation of the seminary, adding more science courses and classic education to the curriculum.  He organized pilgrimages to Marian shrines in Loreto and Lourdes at the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition. The unexpected death of his friend, supporter and mentor Rampolla on December 13, was a major blow to Giacomo Della Chiesa, who was one of the beneficiaries of his will.


Pope Pius X consecrates the future Pope Benedict XV a Bishop in the Vatican on December 22, 1907
 
Cardinal

It was Roman custom that the Archbishop of Bologna would be created in one of the coming consistories. In Bologna this was surely expected of Della Chiesa as well, since, in previous years, either Cardinals were named as archbishops, or archbishops as Cardinals soon thereafter. Pius X did not follow this tradition and left Della Chiesa waiting for almost seven years. When a delegation from Bologna visited him, to ask for Della Chiesa's promotion to the College of Cardinals, he jokingly replied by making fun of his own family name Sarto( meaning Tailor): Sorry, but a Sarto has not been found yet, to make the Cardinal's robe.  Some suspected, that Pius X or persons close to him did not want to have two Rampolla's in the College of Cardinals. His friend Mariano Rampolla died December 13, 1913. On May 25, 1914 Della Chiesa was created a cardinal, becoming Cardinal Priest of the titulus Ss. Quattuor Coronatorum, which before him was occupied by cardinal Pietro Respighi. When after the consistory in Rome, the new cardinal tried to return to Bologna, an unrelated socialist, anti-monarchic and anti-Catholic uprising began to take place in Central Italy, accompanied by a general strike, the looting and destruction of churches, telephone connections, railway buildings and a proclamation of a secular republic. In Bologna itself, citizens and the Catholic Church opposed such developments successfully. The Socialists overwhelmingly won the following regional elections with great majorities.


Archbishop Della Chiesa on pastoral visit in 1910

As World War One approached, the question was hotly discussed in Italy as to which side to be on. Officially, Italy was still in an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. However, an integral part of Austria was Tirol, which was mostly German. The Southern part of which, the province of Trento was exclusively Italian speaking.

The clergy of Bologna was not totally free from nationalistic fervor either. Therefore in his capacity as Archbishop, on the outbreak of World War I, Della Chiesa made a speech on the Church's position and duties, emphasizing the need for neutrality, promoting peace and the easing of suffering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XV
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RE: Papal History 2009/01/22 01:58:58 (permalink)
Pontificate
 
The conclave opened at the end of August 1914. The war would clearly be the dominant issue of the new pontificate, so the cardinals' priority was to choose a man with great diplomatic experience. Thus on September 3, 1914 Della Chiesa, despite having been a Cardinal only three months, was elected Pope, taking the name of Benedict XV.


Coronation of Pope Benedict XV in 1914 ‎(click on image to enlarge) 
Due to the enduring Roman Question, after the announcement of his election by the Cardinal Protodeacon the new Pope, following in the footsteps of his two predecessors, did not appear at the balcony of St. Peter's basilica to grant the urbi et orbi blessing. Benedict XV was crowned at the Sistine Chapel on September 6, 1914, and, also as a form of protest due to the Roman Question, there was no ceremony for the formal possession of the cathedral of St. John Lateran.

Benedict XV's pontificate was dominated by World War I, which he termed "the suicide of Europe", and its turbulent aftermath. Benedict's first encyclical extended a heartfelt plea for an end to hostilities. His early call for a Christmas truce in 1914 was ignored.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XV
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