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« LA woman claims to be descendant of Jesus. Publishers swoon! | Main | Benedict working on new book, encyclical »

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Comments

Ed Peters

As one who, some feel, cuts artists too much slack for the personal antics when assessing their professional work, may I say I think this is exactly the right response to CC, taken for exactly the right reasons.

Plato's Stepchild

I believe that a perusal of Thomas Aquinas, Dorothy Sayers (and by implication, Jacques Maritain), Flannery O' Connor will attest that whether we are speaking of the gifts of prophecy (imagination), writing or other of the fine arts, the exercise of that gift is not dependent upon moral perfection, unfortunately.

I do hope that, one day, she will come to see the error of her ways.

Ed Peters

Better peruse again. The POSSESSION of a gift is not PROOF of moral perfection (duh), but the exercise of a gift IS subject to legitimate authority and community needs. I think your analogy fails in several respects, but surely one whose influence is entirely dependent upon public profile should not be surpised when her public profile is diminished by outlandish behavoirs.

The Dali Lama

Ladies and Gentlemen:
EP versus PlayDough Child:
Winner:EP
We have witnessed a quick takedown and submission by rear naked choke.
The winner and still heavyweight champ!

Perusal's Stepchild

"the exercise of that gift is not dependent upon moral perfection, unfortunately."

Hmmm. Well, I hate to split hairs, but I didn't say proper or perfect exercise of that gift, merely the exercise. Perhaps the word is "proper". Ah well, my Latin is rusty, and my typing moreso. I do note Aquinas' warning about sin disturbing the intellect, of course -- hence Ms. Church's artistic trajectory toward the YouTube remainder bin. Much as Norman Mailer's literary gifts were long ago eclipsed by the incoherence of his gnostic underpinnings.

Or something like that.

Plato's Stepchild

"We have witnessed a quick takedown and submission by rear naked choke."

I have yet to fall victim to a rear naked choke, what with Plato being an ex wrestler with a 20" neck. I do, however, often fall pray to a shoulderlock while attempting a neck crank on my opponent.

I blame it on a defective epistemological upbringing and linguistic trauma brought about by the public school system.

I'm a victim.

The Dali Lama

Victim, smicktim...or perhaps it is bad karma. Also, Plato didn't wrestle nearly as good as he let on. Pride. He is presently in his 1,547th manifestation as Boy George.

Plato's Stepchild

"He is presently in his 1,547th manifestation as Boy George."

In the end is my beginning. -- TS Eliot.

Ed Peters

You guys are a scream.

Plato's Stepchild

"You guys are a scream."

We were thinking of cutting a deal with Carl Olson if those who put up with us can be granted a partial indulgence in the latest Enchiridion indulgentiarum.

Margaret

Okay, seriously, we should pray for this girl. She seems awfully young to have gone off the rails so badly and has probably been under a lot of bad influences from people who should know better.

Plato's Stepchild

Ok, but please spare a prayer or two for Madonna, who is also a mixed up fallen away Catholic. There are quite a few of them out there.

joe

I'm surprised with the stellar job of catechizing performed over the last 40 years that we'd have "mixed up fallen away" Catholics.

Jackson

Was Madonna ever really a Christian? Was Church?

Carl Olson

Was Madonna ever really a Christian? Was Church?

God knows. I do know that Church once was a singer. I'm not sure about "Madonna."

Concerned IP catalogue recipient

Does this really surprise anyone, though? Look how shamelessly she flaunts her collarbone on her CD covers (here, for example: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OWEJ/sr=8-3/qid=1153314732/ref=pd_bbs_3/104-1694601-7262341?ie=UTF8)
Frankly, I was troubled by IP distributing such smut in the first place.

Bubbles

"I'm surprised with the stellar job of catechizing performed over the last 40 years that we'd have "mixed up fallen away" Catholics."

Despite the non-specific mutterings about "the bishops," despite the abject refusal to name names, despite the rejection of even the notion of any temporal accountability, this truism of reality remains: "Half-assed catechism will out - and people will go to hell for it."

Carl Olson

Look how shamelessly she flaunts her collarbone on her CD covers...

Forget the collarbone. What about the make-up and the teased hair!? Outrageous! Oh, and her use of modern recording technology is also scandalous.

Nick

I don't know Carl, "Concerned", may have a point even if he handled it in a backwards way. She was young. Off the shoulder was once reserved for women, "comming out," into the social world. It allowed you to show off your...ah...womanly virtues. Is it a possible sign that something is wrong when done so young (in one she's 12 right?)?

My two year old does stuff like that and I tell her to put the shirt up over her shoulders (Beauty in the Disney movie wears off shoulder which I think started it). Mind, wearing just a diaper's fine. Off the shoulder...I don't know. Bug's me.

Irene N.

Good riddance.
By the way, who is this Charlotte Church? Never heard of her.

joe

Bubbles,

I quote Claude Rains: "I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you."

-J.

Barry Brus

Bishop Kenneth Povish, former Bishop of Lansing, was reportedly Madonna's parish priest in Bay City, Michigan in her youth.

Jenn

I'm absolutely FLOORED! I cannot believe she has stooped to such a low level. I was just checking into all of this and was looking at her website. What an eye full! She has truly turned into another Madonna (and not the Blessed Mother, that's for sure!) On her website, under the "diary" section, her name is signed "Charlotte X" Makes you wonder what's going on in her mind, eh? What a pity.

Warren Anderson

It is a very sad thing, indeed, to see Ms. Church behaving in such a manner. No doubt, the life of a celebrity can be a bizarre thing. Ms. Church has been in the spotlight for some time - since she was a little kid. The bizarre music world can have a huge influence on anyone. So often, the dynamic promoted by the producers is that one needs to constantly reinvent one's self in order to remain marketable (and profitable!). In a sense, it's a bit like any product competing for shelf space. And this is the very bad side of the music biz - performers are reduced to a mere commodity. Her present excursion could be seen in this light. Likely, she has taken the bad advice given her by the media moguls. Ms. Church needs our prayers. She is still young and very impressionable. Perhaps the actions taken by Ignatius Press and others will help her appreciate a more dignified approach to a music career. She will need to assert herself in a positive way against the tide of commercialism in which she is immersed. The action taken by Ignatius is well founded. Perhaps this action will give her the information she needs to find herself while standing against that tide. She can use these actions to convince her "promoters" to make a course correction.

It seems people only respond when they feel a little pinch in the pocketbook. Ms. Church is such a marvelous talent; her voice is truly a gift from God. I'm sure her many fans are making their feelings known. Let's hope that the extra attention she gets doesn't merely play into the hands of the profiteers.

Tony Partington

How ironic that you should mark your objection to being called Nazis by banning works of art. Why don't you go the whole hog and organise a nice big bonfire?

Mike E.

Tony,
Maybe you have poor reading comprehension skills (I hear that's going around) or are just in need of a dictionary. Ignatius is not in any way "banning" Ms. Church's music, or restricting anyone's access. They are just not going to purchase her product for distribution. You know, to avoid financially supporting something they find offensive. It's a pretty simple concept, Tony. Instead of childish and overheated comparisons, why don't you actually "think" about what is happening and note how many instances in your own life are EXACT parallels to what IP is doing. I bet there are many, many such instances.

Brian

Carl -

Thank you, both for sticking up for the Church (that's Catholic, not Charlotte) and for putting position above sales. Very good move on the part of Ignatius, and very well handled.

Brian

Tony Partington

My "reading comprehension" skills are all right, I own a dictionary and I'm well capable of thought. But thank you for asking.

How strange. Petty abuse from people who want to banish Charlotte Church for...petty abuse!

No, IP don't have to make a profit from Charlotte Church's work if they don't want to. Nobody could object if they had quietly stopped stocking her material.

By making a song and dance about it, however, they reveal themselves as hysterical and intolerant.

But then, hysteria and intolerance are the stock in trade of oprganised religion as far as I can see.

Turn the other cheek. Wasn't that what your main man said?

Carl Olson

By making a song and dance about it, however, they reveal themselves as hysterical and intolerant.

I'm not sure how posting a note explaining in clear and level-headed terms why IP will no longer be carrying CDs by Charlotte Church is "hysterical and intolerant." As for making such senseless comments, "hysterical" certainly comes to mind. Besides, I find it intolerant and silly that Mr. Partington thinks a Catholic company should happily sell products created by someone who bashes the Catholic Church.

Patricia

Okay, this isn't rockey science guys. If you read her bio on wikipedia and look at the gallery pics on her website you see another Catholic gone down the tubes. She looks like a Madonna remake. It's tragic and very sad. She's only following in the footsteps of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and other Catholics who'd do anything for fame.

Cerydwen

I was raised in a Catholic family and my mother put her religion before the happines of her children. I had an oppressive upbringing, culminating in my 'excommunication' from the family when I chose to marry a non-Catholic. The abuse and psychological cruelty inflicted by my mother in the name of that religion were astounding. I completely understand Charlotte's behaviour and do not for one minute condemn her.

Cristina A. Montes

Frankly, I don't know how Ignatius Press could be "banning" works of art. Since when was Ignatius Press a sovereign power?

Tony Partington

I chose the words “hysterical” and “intolerant” with care.

To proscribe and publicly excoriate a silly young woman for a couple of ill-advised jokes on a TV show is a ludicrous over-reaction.

You haven’t called for Charlotte Church to be beheaded or issued a fatwa against her. But it all comes from the same place. It’s zealotry. It’s precisely how a fascist regime would respond to criticism.

I always thought one of the supposed benefits of religion was that it bestowed a certain serenity or certainty about life. Not in your case, apparently. How feeble is your faith that you can’t shrug off a bit of showbiz nonsense?

I gather the TV show was a pilot and hasn’t yet been broadcast. It may never be. Your denunciation has only succeeded in bringing these barbs to the attention of millions of people who may never have heard them. And it’s reinforced the image of the Catholic church as authoritarian, defensive and - I repeat - intolerant.

My original reference to Nazi book-burning was meant to be satirical. Since then I have found this post on another of your message boards:

“A devil's work!!I will surely pray for her but I will burn all what I have that features her.”

I obviously wasn’t being satirical enough.

Two more of your correspondents are convinced that Charlotte Church must have been driven to commit her terrible crimes by having an abortion. Absolutely priceless.

In another post Mr Olson, he of the “clear and level-headed terms,” suggests Charlotte Church is “on the edge of the chasm of self-destruction.” I don’t know how well Mr Olson knows Ms Church, but I don’t find find that assessment very level-headed.

Your public announcement may have been carefully worded but your more private thoughts strike me as being infected with more than a touch of paranoia.

Do you guys have any idea how potty this all looks from outside the Catholic world?

You may have guessed by now that I’m an atheist. Tell me a joke that demeans atheists and I’ll probably laugh. I certainly won’t take offence.

But then that’s the advantage of being secure and confident in one’s beliefs.


pattif

Congratulations to Ignatius Press for their principled response to Miss Church's outburst. Perhaps it will serve as a useful lesson that insulting the sensitivies of your target audience is not even good business sense.

What a pity the bishop of Wrexham could not summon up a suitably response. "Distasteful" does not even come close to describing the scandal caused to Catholics by Miss Church's antics, and His Lordship might have pointed out that Catholics in the public eye have a responsibility to avoid leading their fans into error.

Rivendell

Mr. Partington, your arguments hold no water whatsoever. If you don't like what Ignatius Press has done, then fine, you don't have to make a capital case of it. As a Catholic seller, Ignatius Press is well within its right to cease offering CC's products. Ms. Church has clearly and very publicly announced herself as anti-Catholic for some time now, her pilot TV show is not the first time she has flaunted her displeasure with Catholicism. After all she has said and done, if IP continued to sell her merchandise, it would be a wrongful act on their part and they could rightly be branded as hypocrites. And we honestly don't care "how potty this all looks from outside the Catholic world." The outside non-Catholic world's overall standards of decency and good taste have long since disappeared, to put it mildly, especially in today's corporate-driven pop music industry, which is Ms. Church's trade. If anyone wants to buy Charlotte Church's music, there are hundreds of other places they can purchase it from, but it's no longer going to be from Ignatius Press, THANK GOD! And hope that one day Ms. Church will wake up and smell the coffee, before it is too late for her.

Carl Olson

The abuse and psychological cruelty inflicted by my mother in the name of that religion were astounding.

Not to speak ill of anyone's mother, but it does seem the real issue here is with your mother, not with the Church. Religion, like nearly anything else, can be abused and misused. The key questions, it seems to me, is "What does the Church actually teach?", and, then, "Was I being raised according to the Church's authentic teachings, or according to someone's abusive or wrongheaded version of those teachings?"

Carl Olson

To proscribe and publicly excoriate a silly young woman for a couple of ill-advised jokes on a TV show is a ludicrous over-reaction.

I think it should be obvious to anyone of good sense, whether atheist, Catholic, or Californian, that you are the one who is being hysterical and intolerant, not to mention sloppy and illogical in your arguments and remarks. You think that Charlotte Church's actions constitute "ill-advised jokes." Very well. Let's say that Ms. Church performed a skit in which she mocked Jews and/or Judaism, sneered at the Torah, and then derisively insisted that the Holocaust was a myth. Would that be "ill-advised"?

You haven’t called for Charlotte Church to be beheaded or issued a fatwa against her. But it all comes from the same place. It’s zealotry. It’s precisely how a fascist regime would respond to criticism.

Gain a little perspective! Ignatius Press is a publisher and seller of books, CDs, and other Catholic-related materials. As a non-profit organization (without any financial support from the government, of course), Ignatius Press has the right to sell or not sell whatever it wishes. It has absolutely no legislative or judicial power over what people can or do buy. If Catholics or anyone else wish to still buy CDs made by Ms. Church, that is their right and Ignatius Press has no interest in saying "yeah" or "nay" about it.

Ms. Church's actions do not constitute "criticism," but mockery. It is hysterical to act as though the decision of Ignatius Press to cease selling Ms. Church's CDs is the same as censorship or some sort of fascism. After all, Ignatius Press has never sold, for example, any CDs by Snoopy Dogg, or KISS, or even ABBA. Does that mean Ignatius Press is acting in an intolerant or fascist manner toward those artists/groups? Obviously not.

I always thought one of the supposed benefits of religion was that it bestowed a certain serenity or certainty about life. Not in your case, apparently. How feeble is your faith that you can’t shrug off a bit of showbiz nonsense?

What does "faith" have to do with deciding to no longer sell the CDs of a person who mocks someone's religious beliefs? This is simply a matter of civilized behavior. The entire "feeble faith" argument is simply evidence of a feeble mind incapable of comprehending common sense and basic etiquette.

Your denunciation has only succeeded in bringing these barbs to the attention of millions of people who may never have heard them. And it’s reinforced the image of the Catholic church as authoritarian, defensive and - I repeat - intolerant.

Ah, yes, "image." Your priorities and sense of perspective are obvious. And, again, your comments are hysterical.

In another post Mr Olson, he of the “clear and level-headed terms,” suggests Charlotte Church is “on the edge of the chasm of self-destruction.” I don’t know how well Mr Olson knows Ms Church, but I don’t find find that assessment very level-headed.

I wrote, "This looks like someone who is either on the edge of the chasm of self-destruction, or already sliding down the slope." That is a fair assessment. Again, if Charlotte Church mocked Jews, or Muslims, or homosexuals, in a similar manner, we can be certain that she would incur the wrath of pundits, journalists, and the PC-police at every turn. Her willingness to engage in such actions, as well as other comments/actions in recent months, indicates someone who is not only immature, but flirting with self-destructive behavior. Disagree if you like, but at least be accurate in portraying my stance.

Also, keep in mind that comments made my readers on this blog are just that: comments reflecting their opinions. If all comments left on this blog reflected the stance of Ignatius Press, then we would have to say that your comments also reflect the position taken by Ignatius Press. That's obviously not the case. Again, feel free to criticize, but be true to the evidence. And consider using some logic, if possible.

But then that’s the advantage of being secure and confident in one’s beliefs.

Very well. I'm sure the fact that you have to go out of your way to tell us how "secure" and "confident" you are is in no way an indication of how insecure and lacking in confidence you might actually be. Of course, I have no way of knowing except by assessing your comments. So far, not so good.

Cristina A. Montes

"Tell me a joke that demeans atheists and I’ll probably laugh. I certainly won’t take offence."

Well, have you heard the one about the atheist swimming in the sea when a hungry shark came up and...? :D

Cerydwen

Carl, I acknowledge your point and understand why you may have taken my comment this way, however my mother was merely using Catholic doctrine 'strictly by the book', a doctrine which was written by mysoginists for the suppression of women. We need only look to the terrible cruelty and oppression of the Magdalene laundries to see the real Catholic church - there is no trace of kindness or compassion to be found.

Shaun smith

A very small minded reaction from a very small minded organisation.

Why not just let the customers decide ?

Censorship is always the tool of the (not so) self righteous.

Carl Olson

A very small minded reaction from a very small minded organisation.

Wow. Great point. Yes, Ignatius Press should have been openminded and mocked Charlotte Church, spit on her CDs, and called her a "Nazi." That would have been much better!

Why not just let the customers decide?

So customers can decide for themselves, but the people at Ignatius Press can't decide for themselves? Makes a lot sense. The fact is, customers still can decide for themselves. It's not as though Ignatus Press is the sole distributor of Church's music. Far from it. Duh.

Also, if a customer decides to not buy Church's music due to her actions, does that also make them "small mindeded"? Or only if they are Catholic? Are people obligated to buy her music? Is Ignatius Press obligated to sell her music?

Censorship is always the tool of the (not so) self righteous.

Your definition of "censorship" is apparently so wide it includes actions that have nothing to do with censorship. How is Church being censored? Is she no longer allowed to speak, sing, or appear in public? Are her CDs no longer available at amazon.com or local music stores?

The misuse of language is always a too of the self-proclaimed (but not so) openminded and tolerant.

Cristina A. Montes

"Carl, I acknowledge your point and understand why you may have taken my comment this way, however my mother was merely using Catholic doctrine 'strictly by the book', a doctrine which was written by mysoginists for the suppression of women. We need only look to the terrible cruelty and oppression of the Magdalene laundries to see the real Catholic church - there is no trace of kindness or compassion to be found."

But this, again, raises the question Carl raised: were the organizers of the Magdalene laundries following what the Church actually teaches?

To use an analogy: when some US troops committed atrocities in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, or even in our country when we were still under the Americans and during the time when we had US military bases here...are those atrocities what the United States of America stand for, as envisioned by your Founding Fathers? It's so easy to make the mistake of equating the actions of an individual member of an institution, with what the entire institution stands for.

Furthermore, what about the female doctors of the church whose intellectual prowess the Church has officially recognized? What about the early Christian female martyrs who were martyred because they preferred to consecrate their lives to God rather than agree to arranged marriages which, in the patriarchal society that ancient Rome was, were merely for the sake of their fathers' conveniences?

I know that it's hard to argue against someone's personal experience. But fortunately, there's a broader reality than our personal individual experiences.

Roberta

I'm not surprised by Charlotte's behaviour. How many young stars who had a squeaky clean image have gone through a rebellious phase in adolescence is trying to become "cool". A young woman reaching sexual maturity is either going to swim upstream against the current, recognizing the wisdom of the Church’s teachings (which is unlikely - I certainly didn’t), or go with the flow and decide that the Church is out-of-touch with the times, and needs to adopt the secular values of our culture. Give her 25 more years of living with the fruits of those values (high rates of STDs, divorce, abortion, fatherless children), and she might do as this formerly prochoice atheist did, and come back to Mother Church in the end. I feel sorry for her. But the actions of Ignatius Press are totally reasonable. Accusations of censorship are absurd.

Dulcimerist

People were still buying Charlotte Church's CDs? I thought people got sick of her after 9/11 when she made the comment that firemen aren't really heroes. That comment she made on international news sure ticked a lot of people off, in light of the recent events!

Marvin

I think it would be useful to introduce a few facts into this discussion. The offending sketch was in a non-broadcastable pilot, filmed before an invited audience of friends and family only. On reviewing the sketch, Church decided it was in poor taste and unsuitable to include in the tape submitted to the broadcaster. Unfortunately for her, a tabloid journalist had tricked his way into the studio and subsequently decided to cause trouble for her by calling up a Catholic bishop and describing the sketch to him. This produced the expected result for his subsequent newspaper article and lo and behold, he had created a scandal. This newspaper article appeared several days after Church had already made the editorial decision to cut the sketch. We can see then that all this fuss is over a sketch that was never seen by the public, which was edited out of a pilot that was never intended for broadcast anyway, fanned by an ambitious journailst putting words into a bishop's mouth. Ignatius have tried and condemned her for something she hasn't actually done yet, given that no one has actually seen it and never will. I wonder what Jesus would have to say?

Cerydwen

Hello Cristina, thank you for respnding to my post. I agree that in many instances religious zealots act in conflict with the true teachings of their own religions, however the many crimes of the Catholic church over the centuries have frequently had the blessing and endorsement of the Vatican. In my opinion, and I agree that it is only an opinion that nobody else has to share, there is enough evidence that can quickly and easily be found to illustrate that this is a corrupt institution that should be deposed. I've posted a few example, but a quick internet search will reveal many more for those with eyes to see:
Vatican endorsed murder and torture.
The First Crusade, l095, was launched with the battle cry "Deus Vult" (God wills it), a mandate to destroy infidels in the Holy Land. Gathering crusaders in Germany first fell upon "the infidel among us," Jews in the Rhine valley, thousands of whom were dragged from their homes or hiding places and hacked to death or burned alive.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux declared in launching the Second Crusade: "The Christian glories in the death of a pagan, because thereby Christ himself is glorified."
In the Third Crusade, after Richard the Lion-Hearted captured Acre in 1191, he ordered 3,000 captives -- many of them women and children -- taken outside the city and slaughtered.
In 1209, Pope Innocent III launched an armed crusade against Albigenses Christians in southern France. When the besieged city of Beziers fell, soldiers reportedly asked their papal adviser how to distinguish the faithful from the infidel among the captives. He commanded: "Kill them all. God will know his own." Nearly 20,000 were slaughtered -- many first blinded, mutilated, dragged behind horses, or used for target practice.
Also during the 1200s, the hunt for Albigensian heretics led to establishment of the Inquisition, which spread over Europe. Pope Innocent IV authorized torture. Under interrogation by Dominican priests, screaming victims were stretched, burned, pierced and broken on fiendish pain machines to make them confess to disbelief and to identify fellow transgressors. Inquisitor Robert le Bourge sent 183 people to the stake in a single week.
In the 1400s, the Inquisition shifted its focus to witchcraft. Priests tortured untold thousands of women into confessing that they were witches who flew through the sky and engaged in sex with the devil -- then they were burned or hanged for their confessions. Witch hysteria raged for three centuries in a dozen nations. Estimates of the number executed vary from 100,000 to 2 million. Whole villages were exterminated. In the first half of the 17th century, about 5,000 "witches" were put to death in the French province of Alsace, and 900 were burned in the Bavarian city of Bamberg.
In 1723 the bishop of Gdansk, Poland, demanded that all Jews be expelled from the city. The town council declined, but the bishop's exhortations roused a mob that invaded the ghetto and beat the residents to death.
In 1983 in Darkley, Northern Ireland, Catholic terrorists with automatic weapons burst into a Protestant church on a Sunday morning and opened fire, killing three worshipers and wounding seven. It was just one of hundreds of Catholic-Protestant ambushes that have taken 2,600 lives in Ulster since age-old religious hostility turned violent again in 1969.

Vatican endorsed paedophilia and sexual deviance
Aug. 17, 2005

VATICAN CITY -- Lawyers for Pope Benedict XVI have asked U.S. President George W. Bush to declare the pontiff immune from liability in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a seminarian in Texas, court records show.

'Everywhere I turned, I ran into sexual abuse'

The real conspiracy in the Catholic church has nothing to do with the Da Vinci Code, says Patrick Wall - it's the cover-up of paedophile priests. Mark Honigsbaum meets the former monk who is leading a crusade to hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Wall is a former Benedictine monk turned international clerical sleuth, and this is his 200th case since joining the LA law firm of Manly, McGuire & Stewart. His job is to hunt down Roman Catholic priests retired by the Vatican in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that erupted in Boston and other north-American dioceses in 2002. Many of those priests have effectively gone to ground.

Pope Alexander VI, Roderigo Borgia – enough said.

Vatican endorsed terrorism.
Calls have been made for a full public inquiry into the role of clergymen in terrorism after The Observer learnt that three more priests were involved with the Provisional IRA at the time of the 1972 Claudy bomb massacre. One of the priests was the IRA's officer commanding the Provos' North Antrim Brigade. He cannot be named for legal reasons. The other priests who joined the IRA at the beginning of the Ulster Troubles were Father Patrick Fell and Father John Burns.

How the Vatican Legitimized the PLO and Coerced Israel to Recognize It
* The Vatican's long-term support for Arafat and the PLO, which it championed as being motivated by opposition to oppression, not hatred of Jews;
* Ugly motivation for Vatican's 45 year refusal to recognize Israel;
* The Vatican's pressure on Israel to recognize the PLO as the legitimate Palestinian Arab leadership

Vatican suppression of truth.
Suppression by the Vatican of the Nag Hammadi texts – 52 gospels and writings that painted a different slant on the intended format of Christianity than the one that suited their purposes.

Vatican endorsement of oppression of women.
Magdalene Laundries - The first was established in Dublin in 1766. It was only in October 1996 that the last of the laundries closed. Not just conceiving a child out of wedlock but the suspicion that a girl might be in danger of having sex outside marriage was good enough reason to have her locked away. Often, the mere fact of being a defenceless orphan was sufficient proof that a girl was in moral danger and in need of rescue.
THE CHURCH of Rome bears much of the responsibility for the present Mary Magdalene hysteria and it is worth reviewing the reasons in more detail than was possible in our first article. Rome has declared Mary the mother of our Lord to have been immaculately conceived, preserved from sin in life, and assumed bodily into heaven, making her the perfect woman rather than a sinner saved by grace. As one Catholic girl quipped, “We grew up to believe she ran heaven”. This fostered the idea that virginity was the highest state and that sexuality was somehow defiled. As a result ordinary Roman Catholic women can feel a sense of inferiority, even guilt, as they face the realities of their own burdensome lives lurching from pregnancy to pregnancy at the behest of demanding men. Many simply despair.
Vatican’s anti-contraception policy has caused millions of unwanted pregnancies, contributing to untold hardship and misery for women, while men are able to walk away. It also promoted the spread of disease.

Vatican support of the Nazi regime.
A) The Catholic Church hierarchy - especially Eugenio Pacelli, before and after he became Pope Pius XII - aided the Nazis. Indeed, Pacelli and the Church played a central role in making Hitler the dictator of Germany.

B) The Catholic Church was active in Nazi movements outside Germany, especially in the Baltic region and in the Balkans, where the Church helped run the Nazi puppet State of Croatia. After the war, the Vatican sheltered Croatian Nazi war criminals.

C) Although at Yad Vashem, Pope John Paul II described the Nazis as having "a Godless ideology," this is not how the Nazis presented themselves or how the Catholic Church described the Nazis when they were in power.

The German Catholic Church's Centre Party (Zentrum) did clash with the Nazis in the 1920s, but as Hitler wrote (see quote below) their quarrel was over politics, not Catholic religious teachings, let alone belief in god. I can find no record from the period of Nazi rule of the Catholic Church attacking the Nazis as atheists, perhaps because they weren't. The Nazis themselves claimed they were fighting against atheism, specifically Bolshevist atheism, which they charged was a Jewish-created movement. In attacking the Jews, the Nazis routinely employed Christian symbolism and traditional Christian antisemitic arguments, with which Europeans were familiar.
The Vatican’s influence in Croatia.
The Independent Kingdom of Croatia, having thus officially sprung into existence, set forth with burning zeal to fulfill all the hopes so obstinately entertained by its religious and political promoters: the Vatican and Fascism. Everyone had to be or to become a Catholic. Refusal meant instant dismissal, loss of property, or arrest. And, very often, all three.
Additional decrees were issued, e.g. "Law concerning the conversion from one religion to another." On June 1, 1941, the Ustashi Premier set up an Office of Religious Affairs, in charge of "all matters pertaining to questions connected with the conversion of the Orthodox Church" (Decree No. 11,689).
Such legislation rested upon the tenet that "the movement of the Ustashi is based upon the Catholic Church," as enunciated by Mile Budak, July 13, 1941, at Karlovac.
Forcible conversions became the standard practice of Ustashi Croatia. The conversions were duly legalized by the State and gave immunity to the new Catholics, from arrest, from seizure of property and from execution.

The most ruthless promoters of bloodshed throughout the ages have invariably been religious and political fanaticism. The history of man has proved this to have been true, not only in the past, but, more portentous still, now in the present. Ustashi Croatia is the most frightening instance of modern times. There the identification of Church with State, of civil with religious authority, of spiritual with military ruthlessness, was found to produce individuals who committed barbarities unimagined even by themselves. Cassocks and tonsures have never given moral strength to clergymen nor rendered them immune to human frailty, passion, or vice. The murdering Catholic priests in Croatia were the victims of primitive frenzy. As such, they should be judged more with pity than with execration. Can, however, the master minds in Zagreb and in Rome, calmly exploiting the blind emotionalism and even wickedness of their clerical subordinates, be acquitted from the condemnation which history has already passed on them? Their calculated promotion of the Ustashi terror cannot be either minimized, excused, or condoned. For the mass murders carried out by individuals appareled in clerical garb truly were instigated from the archiepiscopal palaces of the Catholic Hierarchy.

Anything that divides people breeds inhumanity. Religion serves that ugly purpose.

Carl Olson

The offending sketch was in a non-broadcastable pilot, filmed before an invited audience of friends and family only.

So Charlotte Church apparently did do the things described, but the sketch was not aired. But the offense, ultimately, does not stand or fall on whether or not the piece aired, but that she did the sketch. Yes, it's good that she decided not to air it. Yet she produced the sketch and it sounds as though she had to be talked out of airing it. This is certainly enough to warrant the decision of Ignatius Press to no longer carry her CDs.

Ignatius have tried and condemned her for something she hasn't actually done yet, given that no one has actually seen it and never will.

It would seem, even from your own remarks, that several people did see the sketch, and that the description of the sketch -- however that description was obtained -- was accurate. This is not to endorse unethical journalistic practices. But what she is reported to have said and done in the skit has not, to the best of my knowledge, been denied or shown to be incorrect. Frankly, the fact that she would perform the skit, even in private, is enough.

Carl Olson

Anything that divides people breeds inhumanity. Religion serves that ugly purpose.

Cerydwen: If you are going to write tomes, please open up your own blog. I'll just say, first, that there are a lot of problems with the history you provide and, secondly, that man's free choice of evil and violence, not religion, is the cause of inhumanity. After all, tens of millions of people were murdered under religion-free, atheistic regimes in the 20th century in the Soviet Union, China, and many other countries.

Cerydwen

Carl, I apologise for the over-long post and appreciate your response.

Brian John Schuettler

arm lock...tap-out...submission.

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