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BS: Pope John Paul

GUEST,Gaia 02 Feb 05 - 01:08 PM
GUEST 02 Feb 05 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Rapaire 02 Feb 05 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Com Seangan 02 Feb 05 - 04:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 05 - 04:14 PM
gnu 02 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 04:40 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Feb 05 - 04:43 PM
gnu 02 Feb 05 - 04:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 05 - 04:55 PM
TheBigPinkLad 02 Feb 05 - 04:55 PM
gnu 02 Feb 05 - 05:00 PM
Raedwulf 02 Feb 05 - 05:14 PM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 05:17 PM
Once Famous 02 Feb 05 - 05:18 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM
Sorcha 02 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM
Bobert 02 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM
gnu 03 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM
Gedpipes 03 Feb 05 - 06:33 AM
Sttaw Legend 03 Feb 05 - 06:43 AM
*daylia* 03 Feb 05 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Mrr 03 Feb 05 - 08:34 AM
Joe Offer 03 Feb 05 - 01:04 PM
Pogo 03 Feb 05 - 02:01 PM
Little Hawk 03 Feb 05 - 02:10 PM
GUEST 03 Feb 05 - 02:43 PM
Little Hawk 03 Feb 05 - 03:21 PM
MaineDog 03 Feb 05 - 06:00 PM
Gedpipes 04 Feb 05 - 05:02 AM
Wolfgang 08 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 08 Feb 05 - 03:45 PM
Joe Offer 08 Feb 05 - 10:42 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 05 - 09:35 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 05 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 09 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 05 - 01:10 AM
Trevor 10 Feb 05 - 08:59 AM
bobad 10 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 11 Feb 05 - 08:01 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 05 - 01:16 PM
TheBigPinkLad 11 Feb 05 - 02:14 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 11 Feb 05 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Hrothgar 12 Feb 05 - 05:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 05 - 07:11 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Feb 05 - 09:04 AM
robomatic 12 Feb 05 - 11:11 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Feb 05 - 02:49 PM
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Subject: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Gaia
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 01:08 PM

Good to hear the Pope is on the mend after the fear on his life last night due to a blockage in his throat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 02:10 PM

I can't care one way or the other


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 03:18 PM

I dislike to see anyone sick. I hope that he gets well quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:03 PM

Guest. If you don't care, then why bother to write.
There are many (including muself) who disagree with his views. But nobody can deny his courage, faith and strength of character. I wish him well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:14 PM

" who disagree with his views.

Perhps it depends in which views - it's worth remembering that he was strongly against the invasion of Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: gnu
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM

Uh oh... here we go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:40 PM

Yeah, it might be nice to take a vacation from politics and religion for a week, and talk about music. Or maybe we could talk about these subjects with tolerance and an open mind?

Can't say I've been pleased with what John Paul II has done with the Catholic Church. I guess his mindset is a natural consequence of coming from a nation like Poland, which has had such a lengthy history of repression. As a result, his religious thought is defensive, and does not allow questioning or progress.

He's a good man, I believe - but I think it's time for him to retire.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:43 PM

"maybe we could talk about these subjects with tolerance and an open mind?"

LOL!! That's hillarious, Joe! Seriously, you should write for John Stewert, with material like that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: gnu
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:48 PM

I knew it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:55 PM

Talking about contentious things with tolerance and an open mind is a hilarious notion? I'm sure there are a lot of people who would agree with that.

Fortunately Joe has often enough demonstrated that it can be done. (Actually so has John Paul on a wide range of issues.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:55 PM

shurely ... you gnu it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: gnu
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:00 PM

Big time. Just watch, er, read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:14 PM

Whilst I'd agree with Joe, I'm also inclined to think that JP II's views are too fossilized to allow any genuine discussion within Rome.

What might happen under the next Pope is another matter (some of JP's senior theolgians are increasingly disagreeing with him). I would hope that the man gets better.

But that might mean he gets well, & just as easily might mean he dies. I wouldn't claim the wisdom to know which might be better for the world over the next few decades.

I wish the man well, but the priest? I don't know what would be better for the world. My own dad was eager to depart when his body was worn out. Who wants to say how Karol Joseph Wojtyla feels right now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:17 PM

Yeah, Clinton - I thought tolerance and an open mind were supposed to be the Folkie Way.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:18 PM

Sorry folks, the next pope won't be an old hippie, a democrat, a ranting liberal, or a socialist, either.

hate to disappoint ya.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM

Hahahahahahahaha!

Oh... cripes, Joe... Stop it... yer KILLIN' me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM

I don't like to see anyone sick but it's not because he is the Pope. We don't need Popes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM

Word on the street is that he's gonna convert to Presbyterianism as soon as he gets back to feeling okay...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: gnu
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM

I am a Frisbyterian. I believe when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and you can't get it down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Gedpipes
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 06:33 AM

I wish herm well.
Love Ian Paisley


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 06:43 AM

God Bless Him - and his cotton socks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:14 AM

Pope John Paul II is to be commended for his courage and lauded for his efforts to modernize an ancient, much misused and maligned institution to keep it relevant, to make amends for the past horrors and abuses so many have suffered at the hands of certain members of the Church in the past, to meet the changing needs of the present world population.

IMO he is more loved, universally influential and powerful than any secular leader on the globe today. I see him as divinely inspired and guided. Even as an ex-Catholic I'm proud of this Pope. I am keeping him in my thoughts and prayers as he recovers and wish him only the very best.

(Maybe I'll add a prayer or two that he'll be inspired to nominate a black lesbian for Pope next time around - and that he'll be able to do that without getting assassinated!   ;-)

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 08:34 AM

the man is dying, why won't anyone over there who knows what is going on admit it and get ready?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 01:04 PM

Mrr, they've been ready for John Paul II to die for years. Discussion of his successor and the political jockeying began ten to twenty years ago.

People who say "we don't need popes" probably give the Pope more credit than he's due. He's just a man, the man who's in charge of the Catholic Church. Most organizations need somebody to be in charge. It's as simple as that.

I suppose that to the extent that people believe in an organization, they may also also believe in its leader. I've worked and taught in the Catholic Church all my life, and I have some questions about him. I think he's done much to promoted the cause of peace and justice in the world, and I applaud him for that. He promoted the cause of democracy in the Philippines, and he opposed George Bush in Iraq. He did much to end Communism in Eastern Europe, although the situation there is still far from perfect. Under the his leadership, the Catholic Church has involved itself in extraordinary disaster and poverty relief programs all over the world - without preaching.

I question the Pope's position on many internal church issues, such as the ordination of women and the use of birth control. I also question the level of acceptance and encouragement he has given to fundamentalist Catholic groups, including some who had been excommunicated by his predecessor, Pope Paul VI. But that's just part of the process, the growth pains of change in a large organization.

I've read that John Paul II sees his suffering as a sort of martyrdom, that he is suffering on behalp of all who suffer in the world. He also seems to understand his assassination attempt in the same way. Well, I think that's admirable - bur I also think that he's not doing much of a job any more, and that it's time for him to retire.

One other thing - papal infallibility, one of the most misunderstood teaching of the Catholic Church. I think it's dangerous to say the "the Pope" is infallible. It leads to a serious misunderstanding of the doctrine of infallibility, which says that in certain very limited circumstances, the teaching of the Pope on matters of faith and morals can is without error. The doctrine of infallibility has been invoked twice since it was promulgated in the 1870's, and both of these instances involved bestowing rather inconsequential titles on Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are other parts of Church teaching that say that in general, Catholics are supposed to accept Church teaching as the truth - but not necessarily as unquestionable truth.

So, to say "we don't need popes" bothers me. Why don't we?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Pogo
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 02:01 PM

Poor old fellow...I hope he does get better :) I imagine it's not an easy thing to lead the entire Catholic church. I wish him the best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 02:10 PM

We don't need presidents either. Or a National Football League. Or Jerry Lewis. Or TV. Or skidoos. Or Howard Stern. Or push-up bras. But we've got 'em all, so enjoy them for what they are.

I hope the Pope is doing okay, and not suffering much pain. If he passes on, I hope he has a smooth transition into Spirit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 02:43 PM

you forgot the Shat, LH. We don't need him either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 03:21 PM

True. But it is SO hard to accept that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: MaineDog
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 06:00 PM

I am not Catholic, however, the Bible instructs all of us to pray for great leaders.
Lord, bless Pope John, and keep him in Your presence. In this, and all things, Thy Name be glorified!
Amen
MD


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Gedpipes
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 05:02 AM

That was a good response Mr Offer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM

Pope Gregor XII in 1415 was the last pope to resign. There are rumors we can add John Paul II to the very short list of resigning popes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 03:45 PM

OK Joe, how many popes would be the right number? There's been up to three at a time in the past. And what about anti-popes?

The thread is misnamed, by the way. This guy isn't fit to lick the boots of Pope John Paul, who in his four weeks in the job made clear his intention to sweep away much of the big-business intrigue and corruption rampant in the Vatican. Makes you wonder why he died so suddenly and was (exceptionally) cremated before anyone had a chance to find out? Of course, with his early demise, Vatican links with organised crime continued unchecked, and John-Paul II was quick to give Bishop Marcinkus sanctuary in the Vatican, as a fugitive from justice.

Just amazing that the present incumbent had the gall to inherit his predecessor's name, which had been adopted to signal a bridge between the ecumenically minded John XXIII and the austere Paul VI. J-P has done everything in his power to dismantle the consequences of John XXIII's great legacy, Vatican II.

He has canonised the founder of that separatist cult Opus Dei, along with hundreds of priests who supported the fascist Franco in Spain; and beatified Cardinal Stepinac, who as an archbishop worked hand-in- glove with the genocidal clero-fascist puppet ruler of Croatia and Bosnia during WW2. To fast-track some of his more dubious promotions, including Stepinac, he decided to waive proof of miracles in the case of martyrs. Stepinac was deemed to be a martyr, though he died at home of natural causes. (You couldn't make it up.)

Strictly speaking, popes don't create saints, they discern that God has done the honours. This pope must have been on commission. He has been vigilant enough to "discern" more saints than all the previous popes in history, put together.

Since John Paul II has shown he has no intention of issuing unqalified apologies for his church spiriting Nazi war criminals to South America and for many other crimes, and has allowed the doctrinaire thug Ratzinger to spout his bile unchecked, it might be appropriate for believers to pray that he is allowed to linger on, as a living embarrassment to the power-crazed mob of cardinals around him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 10:42 PM

Gee, Peter, you certainly like to put spin on your statements with emotion-charged words. I think I'd agree the old guy has been there too long and be put out to pasture. I think maybe a twelve-year term for pope might be nice, with mandatory retirement at age 75. I can't say I like the guy - it seems to me that he has been to the Catholic church what his contemporaries Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were to the U.S. and the U.K. Still, your statement sounds rash, maybe even a bit bigoted.

As for the "crimes" you speak of, there really isn't hard evidence outside what the tabloids print. I'm sure there is some truth in some of the allegations, but these things were hardly official acts of the Church. It's difficult to make a meaningful apology for something when the facts are unknown. John Paul II has certainly made an effort to apologize for misdeeds of the Church that are known, particularly the participation by Catholics in the Holocaust.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:35 AM

I'd say your own reference to "tabloids" is a tad hyperbolic, Joe. Most sections of the mainstream press have given some coverage to the notorious Vatican "ratline" and, of course, books have been written about it too. Much of the hard evidence has come to light only in the last few years, through the forced disclosure of CIA papers (yes, they were implicated too) in the course of class actions brought in the US by the JWC and other groups.

The "participation by Catholics in the Holocaust" can easily be explained away as unsactioned behaviour by "bad apples." Harder to explain, whether by this pope or anyone else, would be the silence and indifference of Pious XII (Pacelli) during those horrific times. I'd say that anyone reading such of the relevant diplomatic correspondence as has become public would be bound to conclude that Pacelli knew at least about the purge of eastern orthodox Christians in Croatia/Bosnia, and about the Catholic government in Slovakia paying the Nazis to take away their Jews. For my part I'd be fairly sure he knew about the death camps in Poland too.

If it seems impossible to comprehend that any Christian institution would behave with such disregard for human life, it must be remembered that the Vatican was driven by a fear and loathing of anything even vaguely associated with communism/socialism, to an extent that bordered on paranoia.

Apologies do count for something - witness Blair's apology today to the Guildford Four and the Maguire family. One might expect it to come as second nature to a church that sets such store by confession. But so far no pope has gone nearly far enough, and I cannot see that it should require that much of an "effort."


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:37 AM

The previous post was mine, as if you couldn't guess. In by the back door again, and failing to notice that my cookie had not kicked in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM

GUEST owning up that he has made a GUEST post. You've made my day, GUEST (P.K.?).

Wolfgang (still grinning)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM

Oh dear, oh dear.... Someone nicked my pipes (practice set) etc in Dublin, pre-Portaferry, then the bus driver gave someone else my suitcase (complete with newly acquired replacement whistles!) on the last leg home. It looks like I've still not got back to thinking straight!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:10 AM

Gee, I hope you left the tabloids behind on the bus, Peter. Click here for an editorial in U.S. News and World Report by John Leo, who used to be a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter (which is viewed as heretical by some conservative Catholics, but I've read it faithfully for years). I generally agree with what Leo has to say on the subject - and I think you might agree with him too. Yes, there are real shortcomings in the Catholic Church and in its history - but they should be dealt with in a balanced, realistic manner. Your hysterical tabloid smear journalism is just not credible to reasonable people, and it detracts from the credibility of those who want to acknowledge the faults of the Catholic Church and to set up structures that will help prevent these things from happening.

There are many people in the Catholic Church who are trying to heal past wrongs and open the door to reasonable acceptance of homosexuals and to equal treatment of women, and to prevent further child molestation and coverups. Unreasonable attacks like yours only serve to strengthen the right-wing Catholic reaction to any questioning of the Catholic Church.

In fact, it may be that the Pope limited his apology because he has to couch words in terms the right wing Catholics will accept. Otherwise, the vehemence of the right-wing reaction would cancel out any progress toward reconciliation that might have been made by the apology.

I had an ex-wife who believed that the only way I could adequately apologize for the many evils I had done was to roll over and admit that I was totally worthless and had never done a good deed in my life. I do believe in giving honest apologies, but it appears you are demanding what my ex wanted.

She's single now - her second marriage lasted five months. I can arrange a date with her for you if you're interested...

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Trevor
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 08:59 AM

You know why people write "f--k the Pope" on walls?

It's cos they can't be arsed writing "f--k the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland"


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: bobad
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM

"Don't follow leaders
Watch your parking meters"


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 08:01 AM

Followed the link, Joe, and I did indeed agree with it. as far as it went, though I've no idea whether the newspaper in question is a tabloid or not. I say "as far as it went" because I would go much farther and say that weasel words and verbal gymnastics make a mockery of "that sacred depository of all truth" which the Holy See claims to be.

I note your own theory, that the right-wing Catholics would not tolerate unequivocal apologies. That, if true, would be a disgrace, the implication being that your church was backing off that which was right, to keep on board a faction that was wrong. Some church.

Lastly Joe, I note your various, vague generalisations. You say for instance that my statement "sounds" rash, and maybe even bigoted. Which statement, and in what respect bigoted? Then you refer to my "hysterical tabloid smear journalism." Perhaps you could quote what you've got in mind from my posts above?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM

Peter, much of what you said is solid and reasonable. I certainly will agree that People Pius XII does not deserve to be proclaimed a saint because he failed to show heroism at a time when heroism was required - but there is much evidence that he did many things to quietly protect Jews and only limited evidence to indicate that he did anything actively that might have promoted the cause of Fascism.

I don't know much about Cardinal Stepinac, except that he was revered as an anti-Communist in the 1950's. If he was a Croatioan Catholic leader during World War II, then he probably should not be canonized, because Catholics Croatia supported the Nazis and there was no vocal Catholic opposition. I doubt that he was involved in pro-Nazi activities, but there is no evidence that he made a courageous attempt to oppose them.

I think saints should be heroic in the defense of the ideals they believe in, expecially in times that demand heroism. Maybe Pius XII and Stepinac were pretty good guys (or maybe they weren't), but they certainly did not stand out for their courage in the face of Fascism. So, I agree that they shouldn't be made saints - but you have polluted your argument in this thread and in the past with a lot of unproven innuendo that implies far more than you can prove.

As for the circumstances of the death of Pope John Paul I, what does it have to do with John Paul II? Your inclusion of JPI's death gives a not-so-subtle implication that JPII was somehow involved. You say that JPII "isn't fit to lick the boots" of his predecessor, but his predecessor had only a 30-day history as Pope and there is no way to tell how he would have performed in the long run. While I disagree strongly with John Paul II on many issues, I think I have to applaud him for supporting Solidarity in Poland and Corazon Aquino in the Philippines, and for strongly opposing George Bush on Iraq. You accuse John Paul II of giving Bishop Marcinkus sanctuary during the financial scandal, but neglect to say that Marcinkus didn't have sanctuary for long.

"Hysterical tabloid smear jorurnalism"? Yes - your anti-Catholic posts are always filled with the very same misleading tactiocs the tabloids use.

You make many good points, but then you defeat your own argument by clouding it with a bucket of unrelated accusations that cloud the issue and diffuse the argument to the point that it's so scattered that nobody can possibly post a logical argument to either agree or disagree with you.

You use emotion-charged tabloid terms like "thug," "spout bile," "power-crazed mob of cardinals" and "gall." Heck, you even try to make an issue out of John Paul II's choice of a name.

Yep. Tabloid journalism. It's too bad you feel driven to that, Peter, because you could make some very good points is you would take the time to logically and specifically present them.

And your one major error is that you imply that because you've found some detrimental evidence against the Catholic Church and some of its leaders, then the church and these individuals must be totally corrupt. That just isn't case. The Church and these individuals have faults that should be explored - but they also have good points that should be stated in the balance.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 01:16 PM

If Pius XII had come out loud and clear against the Nazis it would look good in the record, but whether it would have done anything to check them or undermine them is pretty uncertain.

What is certain is that it would have triggered off the imprisonment and death of enormous numbers of ordinary Catholics across Europe, together with any Jews or others who were being protected or hidden

Perhaps he should have done it anyway, but I don't think his failure to do this can be written off as cowardice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 02:14 PM

Let all the poisons that are in the mud hatch out. (Claudius Caesar)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 11:38 PM

Joe,I said nothing that implied JPII had a hand in the sudden early death of JPI. For the record, I don't think he did. Indeed I have an open mind about whether Luciani was murdered.

The JPI papacy may have been shortlived, but long before it began there was widespread recognition that Luciani was a simple man in the very best sense of the term, and a man of utter integrity. By comparison JPII was driven, at least in part, by a political agenda and narrow worldview which included a loathing of communism - based on the regimes in Soviet Russia and Poland, which of course were NOT communist but simply totalitarian police states. My guess is that this was the over-riding factor in his canonising, by the score, people who had supported the fascist Franco.

Sorry I "neglected to say that Marcinkus didn't have sanctuary for long." I'd have thought a day was too long. Anyway, it was seven years - 1982-89 - not very long in your book, maybe, but disgusting enough, I would have thought, if length of time is so important.

I stand by "thug," given that I was talking about a guy of 6ft 4in who by his own account often said he'd like to strangle people. "Spouting bile" was a reference to Ratzinger's pronouncement, made with papal authority, that churches other than Roman Catholic churches could not be recognised as churches in any meaningful sense. This caused immense hurt and resentment in some of those other churches. So I'd say my words were fair comment, though others are obviously free to use other words.

"Power-crazed mob of cardinals" was robust but not excessive - and certainly not a phrase you'd find in most newspapers, at least in the UK. You yourself have compared them with careerists in other walks of life for whom you have little respect, including members of the US government. So what if I feel more strongly about them than you? You support your church; I'm hostile to all religions. It's pretty obvious we're going to use different language.

It's disingenuous to pretend nothing should be read into the choice of a name. You will know full well that some symbolism attaches to the papal names, and why Luciani went for the novel departure of combining two names. Why did John Paul II follow suit? His papacy has not built in the slightest degree on John XXIII's legacy, and neither could it have been to symbolise respect for Luciani himself. For as soon as Luciani was gone, those with vested interests in corrupt wheeler-dealing - not least Marcinkus - were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

And let us be just a little bit more clear about Croatia/Bosnia during WW2. Many catholics, particularly Franciscans, had senior positions in the Ustase regime, which was installed by the Axis powers. The Ustase publicly declared at the outset how it would dispose of its Serb minority: "We will kill a third, tranport a third and convert a third to Catholicism." Within a week or two the slaughter began, soon followed by mass forced conversions. At the very least, 650,000 Serbs were murdered in cold blood. (Nearly all authoritative estimates are higher.) The Vatican maintained an "apostolic visitor" in Zagreb through all these atrocities, who was photographed many times fraternising and socialising with Nazis, and giving the Nazi salute. He could have reported the carnage to Rome as easily as horrified German diplmoats and military reported it to Hitler. The Ustase leader Ante Pavelic even travelled to the Vatican for an audience with Pius XII, and it was in collaboration withthe Ustaset hat the Vatican helped wanted Nazis flee to South America. For more on some of this, see for example Alperin v Vatican Bank (paras 52-54, for instance, if you don't want to read it all.)

You are wrong to assume there was no Catholic resistance. At the lay level, very many Catholics opposed the slaughter, and a few priests did too. Such priests were consigned to the Jasenovac death camp, where they eventually died - in some cases after unspeakable torture.

I don't understand your obsession with tabloids, Joe. I would be only too pleased if some of them would starting digging the dirt on the Catholic church and on most others. (I would allow exceptions - the Unitarians, the Society of Friends, the Congregationalists, etc.) But even if the tabloids took up my cause, I doubt if they'd do it with the kind of language I use in this forum.

I await explanation of where I "sound" bigoted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: GUEST,Hrothgar
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 05:08 AM

I don't know about retiring at 75, Joe. Most of the people being tipped for the job seem to be up in that range already.

Most of them do not seem to be the people to deal with the looming shortage of priests, which can of course be resolved by lifting the bans against married and *shock! horror!) women priests.

... hmm, should this be another thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 07:11 AM

...a guy of 6ft 4in who by his own account often said he'd like to strangle people

If saying you'd sometimes like to strangle people, or do the equivalent, means you are a thug, there can't be all that many people who aren't thugs. Not many Mudcatters anyway. Generally speaking I think you need to actually do something to carry that wish into action before it counts, even as a real wish.

Or do you have to be 6ft 4in for it to count?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 09:04 AM

No, I'd say 6ft 3in would do, McGrath. It's a term I use pretty loosely. I recall a CEO of a Footsie plc who, like Marcinkus, used somewhat aggressive language. We always reckoned him to be a managerial thug, though from memory he was no more than 6ft. Got the job done so well though, that in effect he answered to no-one, again like Marcinkus in those 20 years as boss of the Vatican bank.)

Hrothgar, at least cardinals over 80 are barred from voting on the next pope. Curiously enough, one cardinal has just been exposed as being 80-plus when he'd claimed to be five years younger - but there seems to have been no deceitful intent. He'd knocked five years off his age way back in WW2, to avoid service in the Red Army, and was stuck with the changed documentation thereafter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: robomatic
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:11 AM

Peter K:

I'm interested in your source for the quote: "We will kill a third, tranport a third and convert a third to Catholicism."
The reason is that more than once I have heard a 'parallel' quote from 19th century Tzarist Russia supposedly sourced at the country's Orthodox Christian leader as a policy for dealing with Russian Jews.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pope John Paul
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 02:49 PM

Well, I don't know whether the Ustase were borrowing the phraseology robomatic, or had re-invented it for themselves.

Sources are notoriously unreliable, particularly Serb sources commenting on Croat crimes and vice versa. Two I would regard as reliable in this case are Victor Novak's substantial account of the Ustase, Magnum Crimen (p605), which was published in Zagreb; and Ustasa: Croatian Separatism and European Politics 1929-45 by Srdja Trifkovic (p141). Dr Trifkovic is an academic who worked for some years as a Balkans correspondent for the BBC World Service.

These books quote Mile Budak, the Ustase minister for religion, culture and education, speaking at Gospic, 22 July 1941: "For the rest - Serbs, Jews and Gypsies - we have three million bullets. We shall kill one third of all Serbs. We shall deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to become Roman Catholics."

But similar terminology was in open and widespread use by the Ustase - to the horror of German diplomats, who clearly had no inkling of the horrors shortly to get underway in Poland, in the name of their own country. Here's an extract from the memoirs of Hitler's SE Europe representative, Hermann Neubacher: "It reminds one of the boodiest religious wars in history. 'One third must be converted to Catholicism, one third must leave the country, and one third must die!' The last part of this programme was carried out. When Ustase leaders claim one million orthodox Serbs (including babies, children, women and old men) were slaughtered, this I believe to be a boastful exaggeration. On the basis of the reports I have received,I estimate that three-quarters of a million defenceless people were slaughtered. As I repeated again at Headquarters the horror taking place in Croatia, Adolf Hitler replied: 'I myself have told them that it is not possible to annihilate such a minority, it is too large." - Sonder-Auftrag Suedost 1940-45; Bericht eines fliegenden Diplomaten (Goettingen-Berlin-Frankfurt 1956).

The papers of another German plenipotentiary, Edmund Glaise von Hostenau (Vienna War Archive) includes similar reports . And similar wording about the fate of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies appeared in various issues of the Zagreb newspaper Novi List (July 1941).

Much of the most virulent anti-Serb filth emanated from the Catholic archbishop of Sarajevo. But some of it also got into the Catholic press in Zagreb, where it could not have been published without the sanction of Archbishop Stepinac - now beatified by John Paul II.

The "Independent State of Croatia (NDH)" was illegal in international law, or the Vatican would have sent a nuncio. So what was the Vatican doing maintaining diplomatic relations through the "apostolic visitor" Marcone, and why did the Pope receive the Croatian dictator Pavelic in Rome? But then this was the pope who while a cardinal had signed a concordat with Hitler over the heads of the German hierarchy.

What a church! And we're asked to accept that proper apologies are not a realistic option, for fear of offending Catholicism's "right wing."


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