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3 concerning updates on Pope Francis

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3 concerning updates on Pope Francis

Pope Francis has been quite active in 2018 and its only the beginning of February. Many big stories regarding the Pope are receiving little attention. Pope Francis seeks to be different from his predecessors but it doesn’t appear he’s immune from the pedophilia scandals within the Catholic Church. As the Pope branches out to reach more people, is the Chinese government really a good partner for the Christian faith? Lastly the Pope Francis balances his call to fight antisemitism with encouraging a highly Islamic regime.

Story 1

CBS News- AP: Despite denial, Pope Francis got sex abuse victim’s letter

Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

While the victims’ testimony was deemed credible by both Vatican and Chilean prosecutors, the local church hierarchy clearly didn’t believe them, which might have influenced Francis’ view. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz has acknowledged he didn’t believe the victims initially and shelved an investigation. He was forced to reopen it after the victims went public. He is now one of the Argentine pope’s key cardinal advisers.

In a rare rebuke of a pope by a cardinal, O’Malley issued a statement Jan. 20 in which he said the pope’s words were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” and that such expressions had the effect of abandoning victims and relegating them to “discredited exile.”

A day later, Francis apologized for having demanded “proof” of wrongdoing by Barros, saying he meant merely that he wanted to see “evidence.” But he continued to describe the accusations against Barros as “calumny” and insisted he had never heard from any victims.

Even when told in his airborne press conference Jan. 21 that Karadima’s victims had indeed placed Barros at the scene of Karadima’s abuse, Francis said: “No one has come forward. They haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.”

He stood by Barros, saying: “I’m certain he’s innocent,” even while saying that he considered the testimony of victims to be “evidence” in a cover-up investigation.

Story 2

WSJ: Pope Francis to Bow to China With Concession on Bishops

Pope Francis has decided to accept the legitimacy of seven Catholic bishops appointed by the Chinese government, a concession that the Holy See hopes will lead Beijing to recognize his authority as head of the Catholic Church in China, according to a person familiar with the plan.

For years, the Vatican didn’t recognize the bishops’ ordinations, which were carried out in defiance of the pope and considered illicit, part of a long-running standoff between the Catholic Church and China’s officially atheist Communist Party.

The bishops approved by the Beijing-backed Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association are seen as more willing to toe the government’s line, or even to support a Chinese Catholic Church free of the Vatican’s influence. Several of the bishops are members of a government advisory body controlled by the Communist Party.

It would then be up to Beijing to accept a proposed agreement giving the pope veto power on future bishop candidates, whom he would approve or veto after their selection by the Chinese government. Beijing’s major condition for that agreement has been that the pope recognize the seven bishops, the person said.

The Communist Party keeps a tight grip on all religious practice, mandating that religious institutions be free of foreign control. New regulations that went into effect on Thursday require that religious institutions gain government approval for teaching plans, overseas pilgrimages and other activities.

On the other hand, a deal would represent a breakthrough: the first official recognition by the Communist government of the pope’s jurisdiction as the head of the Catholic Church in China.

Story 3

Telegraph: Pope Francis gives peace symbol as gift to president Erdogan as Turkish forces pound Kurdish militia

Pope Francis gave a symbol of peace as a gift to Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, as Turkish forces continued their military offensive against Kurds in Syria.

The Pope and the Turkish leader had a 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, during which they discussed the situation in Syria as well as refugees in the Middle East and the Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which they both oppose.

It was the first visit of a Turkish president to the Vatican in nearly 60 years.

After the meeting, the Pope gave Mr Erdogan a bronze medallion showing an angel embracing the world while battling a dragon.

“This is the angel of peace who strangles the demon of war,” he told the president, whose forces have been accused of grave human rights abuses in the northern Afrin region of Syria.

My Take

Full disclosure: I’m a staunch protestant. But despite doctrinal differences, I recognize the faith of Catholics who have a relationship with Jesus.

Many people had high expectations for the Pope to address and make reforms in response to the child sex abuse that is within Catholic Church. The recent article by the AP shows evidence contrary to the Pope’s initial zero tolerance stance. The Pope’s lack of zeal in dealing with a scandal that was closer to him, both geographically and through connections, demonstrates an alarming amount of hypocrisy on the issue.

The move to recognize Chinese bishops is troubling for Christians in the east. Consider a segment of this thread on Chinese persecution:

The concern with this move is that the Pope just legitimized bishops who likely have no business being bishops. Since the Communist government approved of them, the indication is clear that the “radical” teachings of the Bible will be whitewashed with government sanctioned politically correct church material. So one must wonder, how serious is the Pope taking the Great Commission? The underground church is booming by most reports and so is the persecution. By absorbing apostate Chinese churches into the Vatican, the Pope is not only doing underground Catholics a disservice but also every other denomination. China is using a can’t beat them, so lets get them to beat themselves. These state-approved Churches are detractors to faith and the Pope gave his nod to them in exchange for recognition as the head of these churches. This is naive negotiating. We all know the government will truly be the authority these bishops respond to. Whether the Pope is egotistical or naive, he’s giving the Chinese government a brand name (the Vatican) for it to control Christianity through its state-run churches.

The last story is perhaps the most dangerous. Not only is it demonstrating a high amount of hypocrisy, or at very least inconsistency, in Pope Francis’s beliefs, but it could have more eternal/providential implications. Pope Francis met with Turkish President Erdoğan after his military commenced Operation Olive Branch to terrorize Kurds in Syria. Instead of confronting his attack on the Kurds, the Pope gave this dictator a medal of peace. What’s worse is that the Pope is basically being a tool for which Turkey can advance its Islamism. While the Pope scolded America, on Christmas, for moving it’s Israeli Embassy, Turkey announced it’s opening a Palistinean Embassy in Jerusalem, unscathed by the Vatican. Who’s side is the Pope on? Is he on the side of Jesus or Muhammad? This is a serious question. The Pope pushing to divide Israel only furthers the latter’s cause. As noted in my scathing critique of Paul Nelen’s antisemitism, Jesus will return to save Israel and nations will be judged. It is my understanding that Catholics believe in the second coming like the rest of Christianity. Why then would Pope Francis cozy up to a man bent on forming the next Caliphate?

A Kurdish pastor said something which is a bit of a wake up call: Turkey is a bigger threat to Israel than Iran. In truth, we cannot say for certain when the end-times are but soon. Turkey is a big player and Erdoğan has risen to the world arena, ending Turkey’s Kamalism in favor of Islamism. He could establish a caliphate through his neo-Ottoman pursuit. His land grabs in Syria are at very least a display of power. This is not the type of behavior the Pope should promote. Many opponents call the Pope Francis the Antichrist. He’s not, but he did just give a peace medal to the current front-runner.

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Culture and Religion

Houston library had Alberto Garza, a registered child sex offender, read stories to children for Drag Queen Storytime

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Houston library had Alberto Garza a registered child sex offender read stories to children for Drag

Conservatives know the LGBTQ community has their say in most aspects of life in America today. Their political and cultural influence is unquestionable and public organizations jump through hoops to appease the various groups. Many libraries have even embrace “Drag Queen Storytime” as a way to teach tolerance to children by allowing transvestites to read stories to children.

Houston Public Library is one such progressive public organization that has embraced the practice. Unfortunately, they didn’t do anything to protect the children that visit the library by allowing “Tatiana Mala Nina” to read for the children. The problem arose because”Tatiana” is actually Alberto Garza, a 32-year-old child sex offender.

My Take

Houston Public Library has apologized. Is that really enough? Mistakes happen, but there are certain situations and jobs in which extra special care must be taken. Our public libraries, which are often considered to be truly safe places and popular venues for children to learn, should be able to give a reasonable expectation to parents that registered child sex offenders are not given explicit access to children.

This is gross negligence. I may be in the minority on this one, but this is a terminable offense in my books. Someone’s head should roll.

Keep in mind I rarely call for anyone to be fired for a single offense, but this is literally the worst case scenario for a library administrator. When you give someone access to the children that come to the library, they cannot be convicted child sex offenders. That’s sort of a no-brainer.

Nothing will likely happen beyond the apology, but here’s hoping.

So many exceptions are made for “alternative lifestyles” for the sake of tolerance. But when this tolerance allows a convicted child sex offender to have access to small children, the exceptions have gone way to far. This is absolutely unacceptable.

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Muslim leader in Ilhan Omar’s district: ‘When David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan agrees with you…’

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Muslim leader in Ilhan Omars district When David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan agrees with you

The controversy over Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) antisemtic statements and Tweets have garnered the freshman Congresswoman criticism from some unlikely sources, including many of the Muslim leaders in her own community. They, along with Jewish Democrats in the district that voted for Omar, are uniting to condemn the way Omar has been handling her first few months in office.

“When David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan agrees with you, you’re not doing something right,” said Mohamed Ahmed, a Muslim activist who spoke with a panel of other local leaders.

The Congresswoman came under fire for her statements, but the response from Congress was muted. Rather than focusing on antisemitism or even including her name in an “anti-hate” resolution, they watered it down to include essentially any form of hate and refused to note Omar’s role as the catalyst for the resolution in the first place.

In other words, she got off without even getting a slap in the wrist.

But the words are still out there and thus far the antisemitic Congresswoman seems more concerned about other people’s reactions than whether or not her words were wrong. Apparently, she still sees no problem in what she said, but will refrain from saying them in public for political expediency.

My Take

As noted here before, one of the goals of the Democratic Party is to normalize antisemitism. While everyone seems to be focused on whether or not Omar is sorry for her words, nobody’s wondering why the Democratic Party as a whole seems to be perfectly fine with her feelings.

It’s getting harder and harder for conservative news outlets to speak out against such things. It’s not that there aren’t enough willing to say it, but between social media and search – the two primary traffic drivers for many conservative sites – they have to tone down their news so as not to get banned. This is just one of many reasons it’s so important for our readers to support us so we can continue bringing these stories to light.

The last thing we need is for someone like Ilhan Omar continuing to spread her feelings unabated. It’s clear the Democrats are unwilling to do something about it. Perhaps it’s time to help a moderate Democrat win a primary election against her. She was endorsed by the Justice Democrats, so it’s pretty clear how her radical ideologies emerged.

The world needs to know that Ilhan Omar doesn’t represent American perspectives. More importantly. voters in her district need to know this. We need to keep spreading the truth.

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Aotearoa, The Land of the Long White Cloud, needs to step back and look at Christchurch objectively

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Aotearoa The Land of the Long White Cloud needs to step back and look at Christchurch objectively

On the 12th of September 2001, the United States began dealing with the unthinkable horror of the day before. After the terror attacks, members of Congress had stood on the Capitol steps and in unison sang God Bless America! Unfortunately, the Kumbaya moment was fleeting. Now in our 18th year after that event that united us, we are more polarized than anytime since the U.S. Civil War.

Day before yesterday, New Zealanders were shocked that their country too could become a target when they knew full well they didn’t deserve it. They had created an open society that welcomes anyone and everyone from anywhere and everywhere. Diversity they recognized to be their greatest asset.

So who would want to do them harm? A self-proclaimed white supremacist from across the Tasman in neighboring Australia chose the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island as the optimum place to massacre Muslims in their mosques during their Friday prayers.

I will submit to you that the combination of a soft target and optimum world media attention were significant factors in his decision. Kiwis were not expecting it. But, who would be?

I will not repeat the perpetrator’s name here to deny him the notoriety he seeks. Nor will I go into everything his manifesto may say. But, because New Zealand is focusing on some of his statements to determine why they were targeted and how to prevent such an occurrence in the future, there are some points that we need to consider.

This heinous hate crime and terror attack must be called exactly what it is. It allegedly was done to make a point about anti-immigration and perpetuation of Eurocentric society. However, in my estimation, it has accomplished precisely the antithesis of that stated objective.

The wanton slaughter of 50 Muslims at last count with at least an equal number wounded beyond that has overnight changed the narrative worldwide. American politicians are jumping on the bandwagon to express their solidarity with adherents of Islam against Muslim victimhood in our own country and elsewhere.

As horrendous and unforgivable as the events in Christchurch are, they do not negate the worldwide narrative that reveals thousands of Christians being slain in their churches in Nigeria. Nor Kenyan Christians targeted and killed if they cannot or will not recite the Islamic shahada by neighboring Somalis. Coptic Christians whose ancestors predated Islam in Egypt being persecuted and killed. A Pakistani Christian woman imprisoned for blasphemy by Muslims who refused to drink water from a cup her unclean lips had touched.

None of these other events have gotten significant world attention. But Christchurch is now a household word for everyone everywhere.

As one who has long been in touch with Kiwis for 30 years or more, monitored security threats in their country and throughout the Pacific Basin, having an admiration and respect for the good people of New Zealand, the events that have unfolded recently absolutely break my heart. I am saddened but honestly not totally surprised.

Law enforcement in New Zealand is respected and respectable. They liaise with counterparts throughout Oceania as well as in North America. The problem is New Zealand politicians who carry political correctness to a level that would make American politicians inside the DC Beltway envious.

Radio New Zealand has been my primary source of breaking events in the Pacific for many years. Even when the Pacific Islands Report from the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii ceased publishing a few years ago, they recommended RNZ which often covers even current and former U.S. territories better than our own American media. That’s why I have relied almost exclusively on RNZ for relevant updates regarding events in the aftermath of the Christchurch Massacre.

Now let’s go back about 48 hours and consider the developments as they occurred chronologically. Not so much the attack itself but moreover the reactions to it both in New Zealand and here in the United States.

One of the more troubling, though not unanticipated, responses of New Zealand politicians is to censor any kind of online expression which they don’t like. But what is over the line when it comes to free exchange of ideas? Who are the authorities and what are their criteria for censorship? Only the United States has our 1st Amendment protections of free speech and even those are under assault by today’s Democrats.

Politicians in Wellington should understand that censorship will only further polarize their own citizens. If they do not have a legal conduit to share their beliefs in social media, what extra-legal means will they find? Censorship invariably creates more problems than it solves.

The other to be expected knee-jerk reaction of liberal politicians is gun control. The perpetrator of Christchurch himself declared that he wanted to cause a 2nd Amendment rift here in the United States over this very issue. This is another indication that the Aussie was not just attacking New Zealand, but the USA and the world. Certainly not just Muslims ~ they were just a convenient scapegoat.

Once they have banned guns, will they turn their attention to box cutters, pressure cookers, knives and vehicles that run people down? Where does it stop? The gun does not pull its own trigger. The evil in the gunman’s heart is the problem that nobody seems to want to address.

New Zealand Police originally indicated as reported by media sources that multiple gunmen were believed involved. There were suggestions of a cell of perhaps 3 to 5 people and even allegations that perhaps 10 or more could have been implicated. One RNZ report, even without detail, lent suspicion that a nearby hospital was also targeted.

Within 24 hours or so after the original incident, a 180° turn has been made and the perpetrator is said to have acted alone. So, did somebody in authority over-react to begin with? Or, are there other suspects still at large that they don’t want to talk about?

Why did they suggest Jews not attend their own Sabbath Services in their synagogues the day after the attack on Muslim mosques? If the perpetrator is in custody and if Muslims were the only object of his hatred, then protecting Jewish synagogues makes no sense whatsoever if there was no such threat.

“The national security threat level has been increased from low to high for the first time in NZ’s history.” A related search was reportedly conducted 225 miles from Christchurch in Dunedin. All this for a lone perpetrator now in custody?

Even here in Hawaii, the Honolulu Police Department and the FBI reportedly contacted the Muslim mosque in Manoa to express their solidarity and to ensure additional security measures would be implemented. Nothing in the scenario in Christchurch suggests that a mosque near the University of Hawaii would become such a target.

A more objective analysis might be that retaliation could be taken to avenge the attack in New Zealand. But I haven’t seen any warning that synagogues and/or churches here in Hawaii should be on the alert. So why alert the mosque if they had no specific threat information?

Christchurch has under 1/4 the population of Auckland. The city name likely figures into its selection for this atrocity. Be it anti-Muslim or false flag, somebody wants to tear NZ apart.

The people to whom the perpetrator allegedly attributes his inspiration seem to totally run the gamut of the political and ethnic spectrum from U.S. President Donald Trump to Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik to black American conservative Candace Owens. But he’s a white supremacist, right? Let’s look a little further into that as well.

“The attack had been planned for two years and … New Zealand was not the original choice for the attack. [The perpetrator] chose firearms for the affect [sic] it would have on … the politics of United States.”

“In the post, the accused said he was visiting Pakistan for the first time. He called it an incredible place filled with the most earnest, kind hearted and hospitable people in the world.” This simply does not compute! Persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan is among the worst anywhere on the planet. How does this contribute to the suspect becoming a white supremacist who slaughters Muslims?

Whenever a Muslim kills Christians, everybody wants to claim it’s due to mental illness and not anything to do with Islam. But such conflicting statements by the man who shed so much blood in Christchurch deserve to be looked at from a psychological and mental perspective. Why did he go to Pakistan and view it through rose-colored lenses? White supremacy appears more of a crutch to fulfill his own perverted fantasies.

It’s more than just irony that the mosque attack occurred in a city named Christchurch. It’s probably deliberate. An alleged white supremacist chose such a locale. So could a Muslim offended by the city name. In this, they’d have common cause. Both wonder why Muslims chose to live there.

In this time of shock and introspection, Kiwis are asking how could such hatred be spawned by someone in their midst. But, in fact, it was not someone who developed these views in their midst. It was a man from another country who chose their country as a soft target for maximum media exposure and global impact.

New Zealanders need to realize that love and acceptance of others and a strong defense and security posture are not mutually exclusive concepts. There is absolutely nothing any of us can do to preclude someone with evil in their heart from wanting to do us harm. We have to be proactive in anticipating threats and able to intervene and stop the act before it occurs.

Acceptance of others is never unconditional. It must be conditioned upon their willingness to reciprocate and not seek to impose their will upon us or to do us harm in any way. That applies to white supremacists. That applies also to jihadis. Both are a danger to decent freedom-loving people.

It is not surprising to read reports of panic buying of firearms in New Zealand before the government can impose draconian gun control measures. Once again, as with censorship, you do not want to further polarize your nation. The shooter in Christchurch wanted to tear your country and my own country apart. We must not let such evil intentions and actions succeed. If you prohibit free speech and prevent people from being able to defend themselves, you are just sowing the seeds of future discontent.

While I’m tempted to outline the prevailing world situation in which Christians are the persecuted targets in countries ruled by either Islam or Communism, we shall let just two brief anecdotes suffice in this context.

2017 Palm Sunday church bombings in Alexandria [Egypt] killed 45 people and was all but ignored by the Western media and politicians. That was just two years ago. But you can rest assured Christchurch will not disappear from public consciousness that quickly. More correctly, a Muslim on Christian attack in Egypt never really attracted any real attention to begin with. As with the genocide in Nigeria, the world just yawns.

An article dated today published by Gatestone Institute is entitled, Iran Inches Closer to its Goal: “Wipe Israel off the Map”. This helps demonstrate that Islam is more often the perpetrator rather than the victim. NZ’s neighborhood is far safer than Israel’s, but on the same planet!

I have focused mostly today on the reaction within New Zealand itself. There will be repercussions in the United States as well. As I mentioned, our own politicians are jumping on the bandwagon to paint Muslims as the victim of hate crimes. But, Christchurch was both an aberration and a total exception to the rule of what has been going on for at least a generation all over the world.

This has been just a snapshot of a developing story. Future reports, particularly actions taken by New Zealand authorities in the wake of Christchurch (which unfortunately may become a one word symbol of terror), will influence interpretations for sure and understanding if we’re lucky.

I don’t wish to offend anyone, certainly not our great Kiwi friends, but I must take that risk in order to admonish Aotearoa to emerge from its cocoon. There is no neutrality in the face of evil which has many masks. Be strong!

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