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Spanish ‘mini-blockbuster’ on the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi

Tell-all Regnum Christi book

Written by a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi, the book “to be published very soon” by Editorial Planeta is entitled (translated from Spanish “The Kingdom of Marcial Maciel, the Secret Life of the Legion and Regnum Christi.”

Life-After-RC used Google to translate the announcement:

Regnum Christi

What is the future of the Legion of Christ?

Can it survive the stigma of having been founded, designed and conducted by Marcial Maciel?

Nelly Ramírez Mota Velasco, former consecrated women of Regnum Christi, strictly and accurately describes life inside the Legionaries of Christ and many of the characteristics that define this organization as a cult phenomenon within the Catholic Church.

This provides documents and testimony of those who gave their time, their resources, their faith and devotion to a man who, in the name of God, built his own kingdom and disappointed those who met and endorsed the group. Here we illustrate the abuse, control measures, embezzlement and diversion of funds that have been made for decades under the manipulation of the Gospel. It’s time to be self-critical, courageous, and change the house. For all who were and are part of the Movement, it’s time to tell the truth.

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Catholic | , , , | Comments Off

Bart Stupak: Health reform + executive order = fewer abortions

Pro-life Democratic former Rep. Bart Stupak told Chris Good of The Atlantic that there have been fewer abortions with health reform than there would have been without it.

Stupak, the leading pro-life House legislator during health reform’s enactment, made that statement in explaining whether the executive order had worked as intended:

Yes, because the president has had three opportunities to throw us under the us, if you will, and he has not. Number one, in the high-risk pools. Remember how New Mexico send theirs in and had abortion in there, and Right to Life and all of them jumped right on it, and [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and all of them said, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t do that. We had an executive order.’ They changed their law. So did Pennsylvania. So in order to apply for the high-risk pool, their law had to be reflective of the executive order, which says no public funding for abortions. They held firm to it.

Secondly, the community health centers, which the law was silent on. The executive order says you cannot perform abortions or advocate for them in public health centers. That has been upheld.

And, last but not least, there’s a number of grants you can apply for right now, especially for developing health care professionals–that’s going on right now in the bill–and if you go online and look at the application form, it says you must comply with the Hyde language, even in your application for the use of these federal funds. So there have been three opportunities for Secretary Sebelius or President Obama to just sorta look the other way, and they haven’t. They’ve upheld it. So there have actually been less abortions now because of that executive order and the health care bill than there would have been if we’d never had it.

Expert analysis showed that health reform was abortion-reduction legislation, all along. Arguments to the contrary were, as “ardent pro-lifer” and Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law Timothy Stoltzfus Jost put it, “erroneous information.” Still is.

[H/T: Bold Faith Type]

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Health | , , , | Comments Off

Northwest Jesuits’ $166.1M settlement cannot restore lost childhood/shattered faith [Updated]

In what is probably the Catholic Church’s third largest sex abuse settlement, the Northwest Jesuits “agreed Friday to pay $166.1 million” to some 500 Native Americans and Alaska Natives who were abused at the order’s schools in the Pacific Northwest in the 1940s to the 1990s.

There have been two larger settlements. The Los Angeles Diocese, agreed to pay $660 million to 508 victims in 2007, and the San Diego Diocese agreed a $198 million settlement to 144 victims, also in 2007.

As Janet I. Tu of the Seattle Times explains the Northwest Jesuits’ payments are part of a bankruptcy settlement:

The order has also agreed to no longer call the victims “alleged victims,” to write apologies to them and to enforce new practices designed to prevent abuse, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys.

“It’s a day of reckoning and justice,” said Clarita Vargas, 51, of Tacoma, who was abused while a student at St. Mary’s Mission and School, a former Jesuit-run Indian boarding school on the Colville Indian Reservation near Omak.

Of the 500 victims, about 470 suffered sexual abuse. About two dozen others were physically abused.

Insurance companies will pay $118 million of the settlement, with the Jesuits paying $48.1 million.

Including this week’s settlement, the Northwest Jesuits, formally called the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, and their insurers have agreed to pay about $250 million total to some 700 victims. Victims’ lawyers say they’ve identified about 57 Jesuit priests or brothers who have abused.

According to Evi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Seattle Post Intelligencer:

It was, attorney for the plaintiffs said, “spiritual incest” on a staggering scale.

. . .

“Instead of teaching these Native American children about the love of God, these pedeophile priests were molesting these children,” said Blaine Tamaki, a Yakima attorney whose firm represented about a third of the non-Alaskan plaintiffs in a suit filed in 2009.

“It was a culture of abuse of Native American children,” Tamaki continued. “Today is the day where they are acknowledging guilt.

“The $166.1 million is the largest settlement by a religious order in the history of the world,” lawyer Blaine Tamaki said. “Over 450 Native American children – infants, toddlers to teenagers – were sexually abused repeatedly, from rape to sodomy, for decades throughout the Northwest. Instead of teaching these children how to read and write, Jesuit priests were teaching them distrust and shame.

“No amount of money can bring back a lost childhood, a destroyed culture or a shattered faith,” said Tamaki, who represented about 90 of the victims.

A sense of the horror of the underlying events is captured by a 2009 feature written by Brendan Kiley for theStranger. In a passage about Father James Poole. Kiley writes:

In a 2005 deposition, Rachel testified that she had been molested by Father Poole in 1975, while in Nome for her second suicide attempt, an attempted overdose of alcohol and pills. He’d come sit by her bed, put his hand under the hospital blanket, and fondle her, she said.

She traveled between Stebbins and Nome several times in the late 1970s, spending time in hospitals and receiving homes. By 1977, Rachel testified, Poole had given her gonorrhea, and by 1978 she was pregnant with his child. In an interview with The Stranger, she said Poole encouraged her to get an abortion and tell the doctors she had been raped by her father. She followed his advice. “He brainwashed me,” she said. “He messed up my head, man.”

This settlement does not cover all grievances or conclude the legal actions, as the Catholic Sentinel points out:

The settlement does not dismiss 37 lawsuits filed last month against entities, including Jesuit High School and Gonzaga University, on behalf of abuse victims. Those lawsuits were seeking about $3.1 million that the province had paid out prior to declaring bankruptcy two years ago.

In addition, the settlement does not include five to seven claims the lawyers are pursuing against two other insurers for the Jesuits — Travelers Insurance and Atlantic Mutual.

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Catholic, children | , , | Comments Off

Training Army chaplains for the end of DADT (or departure)

Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service seems to think the message is clear:

“The Chaplains Corps’ First Amendment freedoms and its duty to care for all will not change,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint presentation, released to Religion News Service Thursday. “Soldiers will continue to respect and serve with others who may hold different views and beliefs.”

Critics familiar with the Army presentation, however, say the military is essentially telling chaplains who are theologically conservative that they are not welcome.

U.S. Army now warning chaplains: If you don’t like the homosexual agenda, get out!” reads a headline on the website of Mass Resistance, an anti-gay group based in Waltham, Mass.

The Army doesn’t see it in such stark terms:

Lt. Col. Carleton Birch, a spokesman for the Army chief of chaplains, said about half of the military service’s 2,900 chaplains have received the training, which started in February and is likely to conclude in April.

“Our training is an opportunity for our senior chaplains to have an honest and open conversation about the repeal policy, its effects on them and their ministry,” Birch said. “And it’s going very well. … In no way are we giving the message, shape up or ship out.”

Birch said only one Army chaplain has left the service over the pending repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , , | Comments Off

No, Christianity has not been shown to cause fatness

MSNBC and CNN attracted some attention with the high-calorie piety story:

Young, religiously active people are more likely than their non-religious counterparts to become obese in middle age, according to new research. In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.

What is unclear from the new research is why religion might be associated with overeating.

Might is the key word here. It fell to atheist (and biological scientist) PZ Myers to put that story in its proper perspective:

How can our news media get the story so completely backwards? MSNBC is reporting a correlation between religiosity and obesity, which simply can’t be true. Aside from the difficulties of going from a correlation between two complex phenemona to an assumption of causality, we have it from an unimpeachable, objective source that the opposite is true.

The Conservopedia argues, Myers explains, that atheism causes fatness (not religion).

So that’s that.

Well, if and only if you dwell on “the difficulties of going from a correlation between two complex phenemona to an assumption of causality.”

Thus it was a combination of bad science and bad logic that produced the “religion linked to obesity” story. Yeah. Forget it.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Health, Religion | , | Comments Off

In Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery

Today is the United Nations’ International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade:

In commemoration of the memory of the victims, the General Assembly, in its resolution 62/122 of 17 December 2007, declared 25 March the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, to be observed annually. The resolution called for the establishment of an outreach programme to mobilize educational institutions, civil society and other organizations to inculcate in future generations the “causes, consequences and lessons of the Transatlantic slave trade, and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote:

By studying slavery, we help to guard against humanity’s most vile impulses. By examining the prevailing assumptions and beliefs that allowed the practice to flourish, we raise awareness about the continued dangers of racism and hatred. And by honouring slavery’s victims — as we do with this International Day, with a permanent memorial that will be established at the UN Headquarters complex in New York, and with the observance of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent — we restore some measure of dignity to those who had been so mercilessly stripped of it.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | History | , | Comments Off

Obama, Romero and the politics of liberation

Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado wrote:

Obama’s visit to the tomb [of Oscar Romero] is being described as “extraordinary” by the Central American press, describing Romero as a Salvadoran martyr who was killed by the military. Roberto D’Aubuisson, the military officer who is suspected to have ordered Romero’s assassination, was trained in the United States and was permitted to observe US Special forces in action. D’Aubuisson is also the founder of ARENAS, the conservative political party that governed the country until 2009.

. . .

I see Obama’s visit as symbolic of a shift in US attitudes toward Central America. Gone I hope is the era of intervention and manipulation. The Central America of today is different from the one that saw Romero’s blood shed while saying mass. Some would argue that the crisis of gangs and drugs that is engulfing this region is leading to a crisis that will eclipse the civil wars of the 1980s and 1990s. And yet in spite of the growing violence, figures like Romero give us hope.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Catholic, Obama, Politics | , , , , , | Comments Off

Why not pool Southern Baptist funds to better protect children?

That controversial Southern Baptist Pastors Conference is getting “$141,549.00 from the Southern Baptist Convention’s operating budget” – funds provided by the “autonomous Southern Baptist churches,” as Christa puts it. At the Stop Baptist Predators blog she goes on to say:

Why do Southern Baptist officials insist that the local churches are so absolutely autonomous that no cooperative effort can be made for the better protection of church kids against predatory pastors, and yet Southern Baptist officials have no problem at all with the local churches making a cooperative effort for the promotion of bigwig pastors at a national conference?

How many well-informed Southern Baptists, who read outside the family of Southern Baptist publications, also wonder? The abuse, after all, continues apace.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | SBC | , , | Comments Off

Don’t talk to writers from non-SBC publications?

North Carolina pastor Tim Rogers recently counseled fellow Southern Baptist Convention pastors to decline comment to non-SBC publications. He did so in he context of an internecine debate over an SBC-funded pastor’s conference. Rogers wrote:

Dr. Vance Pitman has responded to various questions and concerns raised by Southern Baptist Pastors regarding the upcoming Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference (SBPC) in Phoenix, Arizona. You can see various questions and concerns here here and here. The medium Brother Pitman chooses to give his response is the Associated Baptist Press (ABP), the news agency started by disgruntled former Southern Baptist because the Executive Committee (EC) terminated Baptist Press (BP) editors. This news agency is controlled and maintained by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) the group that would not affirm the inerrancy of Scripture and splintered from the Southern Baptist Convention to form their own Fellowship denomination. You can read the ABP article which contains Brother Pitman’s interview here.

Rogers goes on to give explicit advice about how SBC pastors should handle calls from reporters who do not work for SBC publications:

Once he found out the reporter was out side of the SBC the proper way to respond would have been to politely dismiss the call with a promise to get back.

Thus he advises putting non-SBC reporters off with a fib.

Odd. And the specific reporter to whom Pittman Rogers refers in this case is Norman Jameson, clearly identified at the conclusion of the ABP article as “former editor of the North Carolina Biblical Recorder.”

The North Carolina Biblical Recorder is a Southern Baptist newspaper, which like its peers is declining toward oblivion.

Srsly then. Doesn’t keeping debate “in the family” still mean keeping it quiet? Suppressing it. The way cults do.

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Publications, SBC | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Richard Land lazily repeats his slanders of health reform

Richard Land’s Nazi libels and “death panels” prevarications failed to stop health reform, but he continues his lazy slanders.

The Florida Baptist Witness reported that. speaking last week to the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute, the Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar repeated thoroughly discredited claims he made before health reform was approved by Congress. To wit, he said:

Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so-called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.

“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”

  1. Regarding sanctity of life, “none” is the amount of “federal funding for abortion” found in an expert assessment by Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, whom Mark Silk describes as “an ardent pro-lifer who’s an expert on abortion and health care.”
  2. Regarding care for elderly Americans, “senior scare is what FactCheck.org calls the alleged “half trillion dollar cut to medicare” with which this slander was launched. Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact.com is no more complimentary.
  3. His reference to rationed care is more scare words and the opposite is what helped inspired Catholic Health Association President Sr. Carol Keehan, DC to say “it is time for health reform.” No, as Jost explained more than a year ago, health reform provides more care for those who need it worst. Not less.

[H/T Right Wing Watch]

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Health, SBC | , , , | Comments Off

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