Tag Archives: catholic church

The Soapbox: Why I Don’t Love Pope Francis & Am Remaining A Lapsed Catholic

The Soapbox: Why I Don't Love Pope Francis & Am Remaining A Lapsed Catholic

Fun facts about me: My mom’s whole family is Catholic going back centuries. It’s part of our family legacy – the Veteri Ponte (shortened to Vipond) were Catholic barons in England, and depending on who was ruling and whether they were Anglicans or Protestants, we had our land granted and taken away over and over. One of my ancestors was Queen Elizabeth I’s handmaid, and apparently she was mouthy (now you know where I get it from).

Which is all to say, Catholicism is part of my identity. I was loosely raised in the Catholic church. I stopped short of getting confirmed because I didn’t want to make a promise to a god if I didn’t know that I believed in it. Later in adulthood, when I was attending a Jesuit university, I started inching further back toward it. I took classes on Catholic history and on sacramentalism, I started reading the Bible more, I grew an affinity for Graham Greene. One of my favorite novels is still The Power and the Glory, in no small part for this very twentieth-century Catholic point of view, which I still think is a beautiful way of framing Christ:

“Man was so limited: he hadn’t even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization–it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”

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Bodies Of 800 Babies Found In Septic Tank At Former Irish Home For Unwed Mothers

Bodies Of 800 Babies Found In Septic Tank At Former Irish Home For Unwed Mothers

From 1925-1961, the Home, in Tuam, Ireland, was where thousands of unwed mothers and their “illegitimate” children were sent to pay a penance for their out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the form of indentured servitude overseen by Catholic nuns. Like the Magdalene Laundries, which were also run by the Catholic Church, the Home’s treatment of these women/girls and their babies was abusive, with moms and children often kept separate from each other and ostracized by the surrounding community. Now, five decades after the Home was shut down and destroyed, the remains of 800 hundred babies, the children of those women whose only crime was getting pregnant out of wedlock, have been discovered in a septic tank on the property. Keep reading »

Pope: The Catholic Church Is “Obsessed” With Abortion, Gays

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  • In an interview published by 16 Jesuit publications around the world, Pope Francis criticized the Catholic Church for being “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and birth control. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the Pope said. “We have to find a new balance.” [New York Times]
  • Occidental College in California has settled with 10 female students, past and present, who accused the university of mishandling their sexual assaults. [LA Times]
  • A BBC reporter confronted former Rep. Ron Paul over his nincompoop plan for mothers to drop out of the workforce and homeschool their children. [Raw Story]
  • I have nothing but good things to say about this article in Bitch magazine about the history of anti-abuse activism in BDSM. [Bitch Magazine] Keep reading »

Pope Francis: Who Am I To Judge Gays?

Pope Francis: Who Am I to Judge Gays?

Pope Francis continues to make news by making waves: for assuring the world that atheists can be good people, for blessing leather-clad Harley riders, and, now, for softening the church’s position on gay priests. With the ink barely dry on yet another big news moment (he racked up the No. 2 most-attended papal address on record yesterday), Pope Francis boarded the papal plane and gave his first news conference during his overnight flight back to the Vatican. This is the line getting a good bit of attention: “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can’t marginalize these people.” Read more on Newser…

The Pope Resigns With Mixed Legacy On Marriage, Condoms & More

The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict XVI will resign, making him the first pope to do so in six centuries. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, and he will step down at 8:00 p.m. Rome time on Feb. 28 due to advanced age. The pope is 85. Over the past eight years, he has led the Church’s staunch stance against gay marriage, but he has also showed some modernization on the issue of condoms, especially in Africa. As the leader of the Catholic Church, he has the power to influence the actions and attitudes of millions around the world. Before we find out who will inherit the papal Twitter account, let’s look back at Pope Benedict’s XVI’s legacy on issues of sexuality. Read more…

Magdalen Laundries Report Released, But Irish State Stops Short Of Offering An Official Apology

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On Tuesday, Ireland Senator Martin McAleese released a report on Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries, where 30,000 women and girls were enslaved in Catholic Church-run laundries between 1922-1996. (The Laundries actually existed since the 1700s, but the free state of Ireland was only established in 1922.) McAleese’s report specifically focused on uncovering the Irish State’s involvement in the Laundries and, as survivors have long claimed, found that, according to the Guardian, “the state and the Irish police force bore a major responsibility for sending the women there and failing to protect their rights as workers.”

Women and girls who were considered “troubled” or morally “fallen” — i.e. unwed mothers and girls who were deemed “loose” or wild — were sent against their will to the Church-run laundries to live and work, receiving no pay, no pension, and no protection. The McAleese report found that the women and girls were used as free labour and that the labour laws were repeatedly broken. Women and girls who died in the Laundries were often buried in unmarked graves. Babies born to the “Maggies” were taken from their mothers, often never seeing them again. The report detailed that a quarter of the women sent to the Laundries (for whom records exist) were sent by the state; that the state gave these laundries lucrative contracts but did not abide by fair wage clauses; and that the state was responsible for inspecting the laundries and thus allowed them to be run in manner that was illegal and amoral. Keep reading »

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