Archive for March 2010

The sole test of a good priest

Mar 31st, 2010 12:40 pm | By

Hitchens coldly observes that the pope is not above the law. ‘The pathetic excuses of Joseph Ratzinger’s apologists evaporate before our eyes.’

So now a new defense has had to be hastily improvised. It is argued that, during his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, Ratzinger was more preoccupied with doctrinal questions than with mere disciplinary ones.

So we read that New York Times article and we learn more about the pope’s preoccupations.

Cardinal Ratzinger ruffled feathers almost upon arrival in Munich by ordering priests to return to celebrating First Communion and first confession in the same year, rather than having the first confession a year later, a practice that had become established over the previous

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AI Annual Report on the Death Penalty *

Mar 31st, 2010 | Filed by

After China, the worst offending nations were Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US.… Read the rest

Serbia Apologizes for Srebrenica Massacre *

Mar 31st, 2010 | Filed by

Serbia’s parliament voted to condemn the 1995 massacre of c. 8,000 Bosnians and apologize to the victims.… Read the rest

Catholic Church Practicing Unholy Art of Spin *

Mar 31st, 2010 | Filed by

Say it’s old news. Blame someone else. Say up is down. Demonize gays. Blame the victims. Blow smoke.… Read the rest

Washington Post Asks: Should Pope Resign? *

Mar 31st, 2010 | Filed by

No. He should remain while the profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution falls.… Read the rest

Hitchens Notes: the Pope is not Above the Law *

Mar 31st, 2010 | Filed by

It is impossible to miss the calculated manner in which the predators used the authority of the confessional.… Read the rest

Not to be missed

Mar 30th, 2010 12:13 pm | By

Josh Slocum suggested that I should flag up Alaina Podmorow’s retort to Melanie Butler’s article here, so that people who read just this page wouldn’t miss it. Good idea. So if you read this page and no other – well one, you’re a chump, because the front page is updated every day, so you’re missing news items and the occasional Flashback goody as well as a lot of very good articles – but two, don’t miss Alaina’s piece. Alaina is 13, she founded Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan when she was 9, she has raised a lot of money for women in Afghanistan and has seen the money matched by the Canadian government. She doesn’t agree with … Read the rest

‘Contrarian’ Spiked Joins Defenders of Church *

Mar 30th, 2010 | Filed by

It wasn’t that bad, and besides, new atheists, ew.… Read the rest

‘Hutaree’ Militia and Rise of Far-right Violence *

Mar 30th, 2010 | Filed by

Disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to say there are ‘crazies on both sides.’… Read the rest

More Props for Alaina Podmorow *

Mar 30th, 2010 | Filed by

And a rebuke for Canadian universities.… Read the rest

Terry Glavin Cheers On Alaina Podmorow *

Mar 30th, 2010 | Filed by

Schoolgirl crushes ‘post-colonial feminist theory’ that attacks feminists who do real work for their living sisters in Afghanistan.… Read the rest

Nick Cohen on Defending Violent Misogyny *

Mar 30th, 2010 | Filed by

How it becomes politically reputable to ignore the suffering of others.… Read the rest

Pharisee? Moi?

Mar 29th, 2010 5:40 pm | By

And now, for a different take on the whole ‘why are you telling atheists to shut up when we’ve barely had time to open our mouths?’ question, we can consider how these things should be done. With a little panache, that’s how.

[F]reethought thrives on contrarian impulses. The whole “Who says so?” attitude of many secular humanists leads to purist rigor, one-upsman-ship, even soteriology: The God I don’t believe in is bigger than the God you don’t believe in. The harm religion did me was more serious than the harm religion did you. The full-frontal unbelief I represent is truer and purer than the unbelief you’re espousing. Reason saves, faith enslaves. (That’s pretty good: try it on a

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Joe sticks it to the man

Mar 29th, 2010 5:11 pm | By

The pope is such a rad rebellious dude – he doesn’t take any shit from anybody, you know? He’s his own man. He makes up his own mind. He doesn’t let the vulgar herd tell him what to say or do or think. Odi profanum et proceo kind of thing.

Addressing crowds in St Peter’s square during a Palm Sunday service, the pope did not directly mention the scandal spreading though Europe and engulfing the Vatican, but alluded to it during his sermon. Faith in God, he said, led “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion”.

Yeah, man! Sing it! The pope is like Holden Caulfield or somebody – fighting … Read the rest

Greta Christina Says Thanks for the Advice *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

‘I have yet to see a believer advise the atheist movement to speak up more loudly and more passionately.’… Read the rest

Neo-humanism or Atheism *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The whole ‘Who says so?’ attitude of many secular humanists leads to purist rigor, one-upsman-ship, even soteriology.… Read the rest

Jack of Kent on the Church and the Criminal Law *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

Why do we still seem to have this bizarre medieval duality of secular law and “canon law”?… Read the rest

Pope is a ‘Head of State’ So He Has Immunity *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The Vatican claims it is protected by a US law which prohibits lawsuits against foreign countries.… Read the rest

Catholic Priests Are Not the Only Child Rapists *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

‘The reality remains that children are most at risk in their own homes. Yet we don’t demonise fathers.’… Read the rest

Silence of the Vatican on Rwanda is Contempt *

Mar 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The church can let those African bodies remain buried, dehumanised and unexamined.… Read the rest