Revelation: The Great Whore Of Babylon: THE Anti-Christ: Here Are Some Answers

Revelation: The Great Whore Of Babylon: THE Anti-Christ: Here Are Some Answers

I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois and attended the local Church of Christ. This was from age ten to age eighteen when I moved away. The local church tended to have total attendance of about 100-140 with probably about 60 of those being the adults.  This was also back before people had home or work computers to use for finding out information. This Church of Christ always stated that they are a ‘New Testament’ church so they basically ignored almost all of the Old Testament yet they also ignored the last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. I was told several times by the local church leaders (Elders and Deacons) that they just didn’t understand it so they left it alone also stating that man kind just wasn’t meant to understand the mysteries of that Book. At 18 I quit attending the Church of Christ and started digging even deeper into the Bible and Christian religions and even more so into non-Christian religions. I am a person that wanted to know what the meanings of things were so I have spent the last fifty years praying and studying religions so I could know what the Holy Spirit inspired writers of the Bible meant by the things they wrote. I am also a big fan of historical information from around our world. This information I am about to give to you is from these results. I hope you will study and consider these answers I give you. To the best of my personal knowledge these things I write to you are simply Bible Truth.

 

If you have a Bible handy or for the purpose of later study, the Scriptures I am going to be discussing with you can be found in the Book of Revelation in chapters 17 and 18. In the first chapter of Revelation we are given the knowledge that John (the writer) was on the island of Patmos in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as a prisoner of the Roman Empire. John ‘the Elder’ was on this island jail because of his teachings of Christianity and of Jesus Christ. Jesus in a Spiritual form visited John and told him to write this book  and gave him the information He wanted given to the seven churches of Asia minor (modern-day Turkey). Today’s article is not about those seven churches though I hope you will read these chapters after you finish reading what I am telling you in this post. Today’s article is about the 17th and 18th chapters and what the Spirit of God has to say to all of us. Obviously folks who are Catholic do not tend to agree with what I am about to write or they would not be Catholic. The problem within the Catholic and Protestant churches flocks is that most folks who do attend a Church tend to almost never open their Bibles to see if what their preachers are saying is in fact what the Scriptures say.

 

From Revelation chapter #17: (The Great Harlot Is Described) The ‘great harlot’ is the Catholic Church of about the past 1,700 years. In verse one it speaks of ‘one of the seven Angels’ that had the seven vials. There are seven ‘Spirits’ that surround the Throne of God in Heaven, almost every scholar I have ever spoken with believes as I do that these are the seven ‘Arch Angels’ of God.

 

And there came one of the seven  which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, come here, I will show you the judgement of the great whore that sits upon many waters: With whom the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. (These are future nations/kingdoms)

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abomination and filthiness of her fornication.

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  2 Thess. 2:7

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyr’s of Jesus and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

 

The great harlot is destroyed: Starting with verse seven: And the Angel said to me, why do you marvel? I will tell you the hidden truth of the woman, and the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

The beast that you saw was and is not; the beast shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (Hell) and go into perdition: and they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in The Book Of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains (Continents) on which the woman sits.

And there are seven Kings: five are fallen (past tense at this time) and one is (at that time) and the other is not yet come for he shall remain a short time.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and he will go into perdition.

And the ten horns which you saw are ten Kings which have received no Kingdom as yet; but will receive authority as Kings after one hour with the beast.

These (Kings) have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.

And these shall make war with the Lamb (Jesus), and the Lamb shall overcome them: For He (Jesus) is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

And he (the Angel) said to me, the waters which you saw, where the whore was sitting, are people, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.

And the ten horns that you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, they shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire

For God has put in their hearts to fulfill His (God’s) will, and to agree to give their Kingdoms to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

And the woman who you saw is that great city, (Vatican City) which reigns over the Kings of the earth.

 

Chapter #18   (Babylon the great is destroyed)

 

And after these things I saw another Angel come down from Heaven, having great power, and the Earth was lighted with his glory.

And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, and has become the dwelling place of Devils and the hold of every foul Spirit and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.

For her sins have reached unto Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled, fill to her double.

How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously: so much torment and sorrow give her; for she says in her heart, I sit a Queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

 

Starting at chapter 18 verse 9:   (Earth bewail’s Babylon’s destruction)

 

And the Kings of the Earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail over her, and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning.

Standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgement came.

And the merchants of the Earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys her merchandise any more:

The merchandise of gold and silver and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet and all scented wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood and of brass and iron and marble. (verses 13-16 are mostly just a continuation of items liken to those just mentioned).

Verse #17

For in one hour so great riches have come to nothing, and every ship-master and all the company of ships and sailors and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off.

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like unto this great city!

And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein we were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour she is made a ruin.

 

The last five verses of chapter 18: (Heaven Rejoices Babylon’s Destruction)

 

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and you Holy Apostles and Prophets for God has avenged you on her.

And a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more at all. (A moderate size asteroid tossed into the Mediterranean Sea just west of Rome/Vatican City would certainly do this).

And the voice of Harper’s and musicians and pipers and trumpeters  shall be heard no more at all in her.

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the Earth: for by her sorceries were all nations deceived.

Verse 24 (last verse): And in her was found the blood of Prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth.

 

Well, that is it folks for tonight, I hope you enjoyed the article. I pray for peace for every human on this planet but to receive true peace we must all be very careful about whom/what we worship and how we ourselves decide to live our lives today and everyday. Good night folks, God’s blessings I wish to you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Am I: What Am I: What Do I Believe To Be The Truths In This Life Of Ours

Who Am I: What Am I: What Do I Believe To Be The Truths In This Life Of Ours

(THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 7th OF 2014)

This is a question that I recently thought of, asking it to myself, about myself. This is a question that we can each ask ourselves or we can always ponder what others think of you, if you are so inclined to care what anyone else cares about anything. I ask the question “who am I” in the title, most times people tend to say what they do for a living wage (hopefully). Most all of my adult life I drove a truck for a living though most of the time the companies and the wages were far from rising to the level of being really lousy. So, I guess that would make me and old broken down used to be truck driver. Good, bad, or ugly, truth doesn’t care, truth is still the truth and it does not change the facts because the truth is the facts. When life is brought into just the physical realm, these things I have said, are true. But, today when these thoughts came to me I was thinking more of looking into myself asking of deeper thoughts.

 

Who made you? I don’t mean who was the egg and who was the juice, I mean who are you in your own head? Do you know exactly what you believe about this or that different issue in life? What about religion, not believing there is any Deity is in itself a faith isn’t it? No matter what a person has as a background in their lives we all get many mixed variances being fed into our brains throughout our time here on this planet. We must all decide for ourselves what we choose to be the real truth among the clatter. If we had religion mingled in with our raising what do we think about what we were taught, was any or all of “what the church says” the truth,  any parts of it?  So I decided to write down different things that I believe to be the truth about different issues coming to conclusions that I know that many people will disagree with me on. I have been blessed in that I have studied many lifestyles, cultures and religions. Traipsing all around America’s lower 48 states and all provinces of Canada for thirty years a person can learn a lot from the different parts of the country their cultures and their people. I was also blessed by God’s Grace to be allowed degrees in Sociology and Anthropology here at our local college (Walters State). (no genius, just a 2.7 GPA)

 

I know I can not possibly say everything that I believe in and why I believe each item, besides I’m rather sure the read would get boring to you and me if we tried that in one sitting. I do believe that the Christian faith is the correct one to follow and I strongly disagree with the demeaning of Christian brothers toward each other. Though a person says they are Baptist, Lutheran, Jehovah’s Witness, Church of Christ, Mormon, or Catholic they all believe that Jesus Christ is The Messiah, the Groom of The Church. We are all Brothers in Christ so how dare Brother touch the Blood of their own Brother and not invite the Rath of the Creator of The Blood. Who created you or I to be the Judge and Executioner, we need to let God do these jobs, He is the Only One qualified to do it.

 

Lets start here with “The Beginning”. What do you believe about the beginning of all things, by this I mean the very beginning of this planet, this Solar System, this Galaxy, or even further back if you so choose? Do you believe what Science tells us to be truthful or do you believe in some sort of God created system in which the Bible and the Churches talk about. I believe that Science and The Bible do agree on most issues, it is just that they don’t realize it. Science often speaks of finding the Missing Link that combines monkeys and humans not believing that it doesn’t exist. I like nature shows, I have closely watched programs showing the likenesses in thoughts and behaviors of some Primates to how we humans act, for non believers I can see where it would be easy to believe as most Science base people believe.

I believe that the Catholic Church spoke many errors in their stringent teachings of old, like how the world was flat and that all heavenly bodies revolved around the Earth. They also taught and enforced the allowing of only Priests to read or interpret any of the Bible. For hundreds of years people were murdered by the so-called Church Leaders for disagreeing with the Pope. Is it any wonder why the Authority of Scriptures is so often thought so little of? Is it not human nature to think that these Leaders if wrong on all these things, what else are they wrong about? The Catholic Church has done many wonderful things in Jesus name throughout these past two thousand years but they from past errors and recent Pastoral short Cummings have thrown many stains of blood upon Christs Cross.  The Catholic Church just like all the rest of the Religions I have studied all are lacking with the connection of the Beginning of time. For the purpose of not losing you because of length of article I will start off my next intended post with why I as a Christian do totally believe in the Big Bang Theory and why the Bible doesn’t disagree with that line of thought.

Iraqi Christians Facing Extinction After 1,400 Years Forgive ISIS of Genocide ‘In the Name of Christ’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Iraqi Christians Facing Extinction After 1,400 Years Forgive ISIS of Genocide ‘In the Name of Christ’

‘There Is No Future for Christians in the Middle East If Islam Doesn’t Change’
(PHOTO: REUTERS/SUHAIB SALEM)Iraqis attend the first Palm Sunday procession in the burnt out main church of the Christian city of Qaraqosh since Iraqi forces retook it from Islamic States militants, Iraq April 9, 2017.

Iraqi Christians are reaching out with forgiveness to the Islamic radicals who have murdered, tortured, and raped their communities, even as they face an existential struggle for survival.

Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, who has been outspoken about the plight of Christians in his country, said believers “have endured persecution in patience and faith for 1,400 years,” but now face an “existential struggle” that could possibly be their last in Iraq.

Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. last week at an event hosted by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the bishop noted that the Islamic State terror group displaced more than 125,000 Christians in the Nineveh region.

Warda said the attacks left Christians “without shelter, without refuge, without work, without properties, without monasteries, without the ability to participate in any of the things that give our lives dignity,” as reported by Catholic News Agency.

“So few of us are left, some estimate 200,000 Christians or less,” he said of the total number of Christians in the country, down from 1.5 million in 2003.

“While it is true that our numbers are small, the Apostles were much smaller.”

Still, the church leader said that Christians are open to forgiveness despite the horrors of the genocide they have suffered.

“We forgive those who murdered us, who tortured us, who raped us, who sought to destroy everything about us. We forgive them in the name of Christ,” Warda declared.

He added that Muslim leaders need to do more than simply clarify that IS does not represent their faith, but praised some nations, such as the United Arab Emirates, for offering genuine support to the victims of violence.

“Since the ISIS attack, they’ve been with us helping all — Catholics, Yazidis, Muslims,” the bishop explained.

“There is a fundamental crisis within Islam itself and if this crisis is not acknowledged, addressed and fixed then there can be no future for Christians in the Middle East,” he added.

“We’ve been hearing some courageous voices from Islamic leaders concerning the need of change and the need to address this issue openly. It should be encouraged.”

The decimated communities have seen hope in the opening of the new Catholic University of Erbil, which welcomes both Christian and Muslim students, offering degrees in economics, international law, English literature, and accounting, among others.

Nineveh Plains Christians were also able to celebrate the reconsecration of the first church since IS’ invasion in December, with the reopening of St. George’s Church in Telleskuf.

Others, such as Ashur Sargon Eskrya, president of the Assyrian Aid Society branch in Iraq, have said that despite the victories against IS and the liberation of Iraqi territories, Christians are facing their “biggest and greatest challenge” in returning to their homelands.

“Iraqi Christians (Assyrian,Chaldean) are indigenous peoples of the country, according to historical sources, and their future in Iraq depends of on international support and protection. Without protections, they will not be able to live in Iraq anymore,” Eskrya said in August 2017.

“It is critical time for the Christians of Iraq — ‘to be or not to be.’ The Christians of Iraq are facing their biggest and greatest challenge” in post-IS Iraq, he added.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Former Pope Benedict XVI says he’s preparing for ‘Home’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Former Pope Benedict XVI says he’s preparing for ‘Home’

(CNN)Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says he “is on a pilgrimage toward Home” in a rare public letter published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The brief note in Italian apparently came after the paper asked the Pope Emeritus for a response to readers who were wondering how he was.
“I can only say,” Benedict wrote, “that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.”
“It is a great grace for me to be surrounded on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined,” he wrote.
The 90-year-old former Pontiff has been living quietly at the Vatican since his surprise resignation as Pope in 2013.

sot vault pope benedict xvi first speech_00013817.jpg

Here’s the full text of Benedict’s letter:
“I was moved by the many readers of your newspaper who desire to know how I am spending this last period of my life. I can only say that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage towards Home. It is a great grace for me to be surrounded, on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined. In this sense, I consider the question of your readers as an accompaniment. I can only thank them and assure you all of my prayers.”

Pope Francis accuses Chile sex abuse victims of slander

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Pope Francis accuses Chile sex abuse victims of slander

Pope Francis addresses youths at the Shrine of Maipu in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.

 AP

SANTIAGO, Chile — Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

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“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’ most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”

The Karadima scandal dominated Francis’ visit to Chile and the overall issue of sex abuse and church cover-up was likely to factor into his three-day trip to Peru that began late Thursday.

Karadima’s victims reported to church authorities as early as 2002 that he would kiss and fondle them in the swank Santiago parish he ran, but officials refused to believe them. Only when the victims went public with their accusations in 2010 did the Vatican launch an investigation that led to Karadima being removed from ministry.

The emeritus archbishop of Santiago subsequently apologized for having refused to believe the victims from the start.

Francis reopened the wounds of the scandal in 2015 when he named Barros, a protege of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Karadima’s victims say Barros knew of the abuse, having seen it, but did nothing. Barros has denied the allegations.

His appointment outraged Chileans, badly divided the Osorno diocese and further undermined the church’s already shaky credibility in the country.

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/embed/video/?v=4#zVdrb9s2FP0rgj50G2BaT9uSgWJY06ZN1ofTpEOaajAokrIYS6RKSnbcwP99l5LsxFmLFkOLNV8kU%2BQhzzn38t7c2itOmbSntzZtFK65FPbUj%2FyBXVY3b1l2Qu2pTV%2BcHH18nUf84%2Bnm8kKvNleT01LO8%2Bb0ND3N3hN7YNd5U6YC8wKm53Vd6WniJA5JtWBrHQzhhesa4MmQyDJx8iZNHJ44KnF815skjhsnjuclzjiKCU3TCQomMUEhjiIUx5GLSBaNsTsK3WycJc5%2BN1gQujfB2E0c7LIR%2FHDjOGU4TXHAUhqOGYkDGsOy0OzheSijqJIVyxQWhGspatWUFS9LvujYIy%2BIwyBwUQ88vK4Whp%2BsOBG4ZMDv6Mn5axjSihjZ8kKbR8prAIDPI9f8DeyKG%2Bmat9lLLtbvmRvODMymMghmzcBu1E6tVixeYYp0rRguuVgMe%2B06vUpGOYZHdfNQMM8Ng9iPvMCb%2BEHHcX78dD4DjscdxzfiwnA8ueM47zjGczjrf1gyLIMmsrcDQ2O%2BwopjUc%2BrXAp2IIR3T4aXq6vVhcufB%2Br65ECGB%2Bt%2FBlHak3yWY43TgtVfJPnq%2BTvlecXs01n55PMke4CfgWV3lD1NVZfVAbGJyaU9tdnSfzK%2FxMvFyavLO2rtoh2Z2xILnjFdTwXotzXfujugiqNgHAwZXbCM6KFgdeJIQRnMp4nzO27q%2FDEwfoR5Vj1eua73SBdwWTy%2BbR8zxTJ%2Bs71NQZzlths75gWb4Trf9tp8L1n8eD6Jx8OyCh%2Fsc8ctC8vt3rbeJ7TKh3iJS8xz2tH7lDgdwnQK9wubZrjQbDskujRX1g5sCGB3yODENyDzryDrmqnW1D3w1ti75hk%2FtDe8f0vR8dV89deVOmrev7izt130r1ilci0KiemPj1JjR%2BgaOx4moqy%2FnIVn1%2FOz4OObSzE6Kz6fhWb1z5CCcI59%2FgWLA0L%2BgT2j1J%2FE85uFXy%2Bu7igFi%2F%2FZHH9nDpxfN6kmiqeMHkFNZaL1Z8XZ2lwzdhur9yYpuwvcgc312AXB23Kcc80OPjy7ATkORsII7gMD24%2B2O1eVYhqKsGiKYtD1MzWvzba2IWL1TCwprJbLL9q6V%2FAt6EsEOSw9XfeyXq8PdWyhE8f0D6hvIBB0DG0LodH9JqLDTBzTJhQNeGt%2F8yJzkKa13aNhFFM%2FQxFOoRcaxRTFE48il%2FmEZGEURIFn94QpWz6ku8bawnrJqJVurGvZKIHNxQGDqcSKWnXOrApXuLCqAgtmKVbDHAh%2BK1OytHKj2IopzQCnVryyamkdyUKWKccGo6nbOZAxpNURPhvIAgJY11YlC042ls55Vg93p6wAWObMkDsqeAkzLZJjsWAmBaAQyFmBN%2FYUAh%2BMJ0s4iwkjrp8JE0Z0F0dYQSNZsD%2BgckhlOtQPduBSDI0jQWMcYeR5zEcx9XwE5STKWIRdN3Xtvx8sfd32cx%2Fs3mTr15xTygToVXDBfrs3v22Dw0k4zjw%2FRJhmAQqp76KIegGauBkjY5oGHjN%2B9EtmTfq0zWUbUi5Croe82PLcaeBNg%2Fhu2kUfqSY%2BrD4%2BLExIo5kGcaACWZrdgN4wYK04SF2CL5mlwTMKiXQH1N0KpEu%2FeT8K3ykkDNl9pkwvoZe1TTo9ZStzOniv8GI3wQgx5zUrTejC8wU32frBXktVUKOIGTxnpPtPoR%2FuRnsESMZKCs1XzFqzdNc7twqO3ckoC90ITUYR%2FZJL%2FYLOnP0GQF%2F1G2BoMGAkXZ7DpgY3gH59YENAcbh2wr0i5xDzpF1Q9SfsMXu%2FW21KCelX5Zz8yTbaEL2W6XEjOn4D8%2BsIXFxItTGaCdpAjTCvcCFUDRTbmZIZJ5wJshvFYnPOPxnlF2xn0YI9V7Kp2hmNMAigZM0gIZvShHhlUIp7ZzOnhdlMGIvgKzUZ0ubQux9yS5kI%2BCqyeXsA3EcqaiMVQaSiNlJRH6lIZqiP1P02hyZMvwcs1y%2BYkvtK0da7mQQNgWUfNKyE2gSl6h8%3D

Francis had sought to heal the wounds by meeting this week with abuse victims and begging forgiveness for the crimes of church pastors. But on Thursday, he struck a defiant tone when asked by a Chilean journalist about Barros.

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

Francis had defended the appointment before, calling the Osorno controversy “stupid” and the result of a campaign mounted by leftists. But The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican was so worried about the fallout from the Karadima affair that it was prepared in 2014 to ask Barros and two other Karadima-trained bishops to resign and go on a yearlong sabbatical.

According to a Jan. 31, 2015, letter obtained by AP from Francis to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops’ conference, the plan fell apart and Barros was sent to Osorno.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who have mounted a three-year campaign against Barros, questioned why Francis was now accusing the victims of slandering Barros when the Vatican was so convinced of their claims that it planned to remove him in 2014.

“Isn’t the pastoral problem that we’re living (in Osorno) enough to get rid of him?” Claret asked.

The reference was to the fact that – guilty or not – Barros has been unable to do his job because so many Osorno Catholics and priests don’t recognize him as their bishop. They staged an unprecedented protest during his 2015 installation ceremony and have protested his presence ever since.

Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database BishopAccountability.org, said it was “sad and wrong” for the pope to discredit the victims since “the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims – and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed.”

“He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis,” she said in a statement. “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis’ words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.

German Silva, a political scientist at Santiago’s Universidad Mayor, said the pope’s comments were a “tremendous error” that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.

Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said Francis had gone much further than Chilean bishops in acknowledging the sexual abuse scandal, which many Chileans appreciated.

“Then right before leaving, Francis turns around and says: ‘By the way, I don’t think Barros is guilty. Show me some proof,'” Navia said, adding that the comment will probably erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.

Navia said the Karadima scandal had radically changed how Chileans view the church.

“In the typical Chilean family, parents (now) think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school because you never know what is going to happen,” Navia said.

‘Chop him up’: Accusers seethe over Cardinal Law’s funeral plans

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

‘Chop him up’: Accusers seethe over Cardinal Law’s funeral plans

Story highlights

  • Pope Francis will deliver a final blessing at Law’s funeral, the Vatican said
  • Some sex abuse survivors have urged against a “celebratory focus” on Law

(CNN)Alexa MacPherson says very little about Cardinal Bernard Law’s death — or the Catholic Church’s plans for a full cardinal’s funeral — gives her peace of mind.

MacPherson, a Boston-area native who says she is a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest, says Law deserves no such dignity as the funeral that will be held for him at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on Thursday.
Law, 86, died Wednesday, 15 years after he resigned as Boston’s archbishop amid allegations that he covered up for pedophile priests like the one accused of abusing MacPherson.
“With his passing, I say I hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him, because I feel … no redemption (for Law)” is worthwhile, MacPherson said Wednesday.
Robert Costello, another Boston-area native who says a priest abused him, and that Law covered for the cleric, was just as blunt.
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“Chop him up and put weights on every piece of body part that he has and drop him in oceans around the world,” Costello, 56, said.
Instead of being given a Vatican funeral, he said, Law should just “disappear.”
MacPherson and Costello vented to reporters Wednesday in the Boston office of attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents many who accuse priests of sex abuse.
Costello’s first thought upon hearing that Law died, he said, was, “Where’s the party? Where are we going to celebrate?”
“And then I realized it would be no celebration whatsoever,” he said. “It would be a meeting of people who tell their stories and bring it all back up again.”

Survivors’ group urges against pomp

The Vatican said early Wednesday that Law, 86, had died in Rome after a long illness. He served in Rome as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign in 2002 as Boston archbishop.

Cardinal Bernard Law, seen here in Novemember 2012 at the Vatican, died after a long illness, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Critics say his reassignment to Rome amounted to a cushy second career that shouldn’t have been afforded him.
Widespread child abuse by the Catholic clergy in the Boston Archdiocese was uncovered by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative reporting team, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its efforts. A big-screen dramatization of the team’s investigation in the 2015 movie, “Spotlight,” won the 2016 Best Picture Academy Award, bringing the story to a much wider audience.
The funeral plans for Law appear to follow the Catholic Church’s protocol for cardinals who die in Rome, even as a network of survivors of sex abuse by priests has publicly called on the Vatican to keep survivors in mind when planning the event.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate the funeral Mass, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the Vatican said. Pope Francis then will give a “final commendation,” or blessing, as he has previously for cardinals’ funerals.
Before the funeral plans were announced, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had urged against a “celebratory focus” on Law.
“We highly doubt there is a single victim of abuse who will ever receive the same attention, pomp and circumstance by Pope Francis,” the network said in a news release after Law’s death.

From left to right, Robert Costello, attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Phil Saviano and Alexa MacPherson speak at Garabedian's Boston office about the death of Cardinal Bernard Law on Wednesday.

“Every single Catholic should ask Pope Francis and the Vatican why,” the group’s statement reads. “Why Law’s life was so celebrated when Boston’s clergy sex abuse survivors suffered so greatly? Why was Law promoted when Boston’s Catholic children were sexually abused, ignored, and pushed aside time and time again?”
The survivors’ network said the “celebratory focus on abuse enablers like Law must end.”
“It is time for the Vatican to refocus on change: protecting children and those who have been hurt,” the statement reads.

Law’s successor apologizes to victims

Law’s successor as Boston’s archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, reacted to Law’s death in part by apologizing to victims of sex abuse by clergy.
“I recognize that Cardinal Law’s passing brings forth a wide range of emotions on the part of many people. I am particularly cognizant of all who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy, whose lives were so seriously impacted by those crimes, and their families and loved ones,” O’Malley said.
“To those men and women,” he added, “I offer my sincere apologies for the harm they suffered, my continued prayers and my promise that the archdiocese will support them in their effort to achieve healing.”
“Cardinal Law served at a time when the church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences,” O’Malley said.

‘Opening it all up again’

Phil Saviano, who also says a priest sexually abused him, told reporters Wednesday that he’s relieved Law is gone. Law had been in a position to do good and expose abusers, but instead chose to stand up for the priests, he said.
But relief is not the same as healing, he said.
“I had been hoping that the passing of Cardinal Law would remove a target of great anger and animosity and consternation that survivors have felt about him,” he told reporters at Garabedian’s office. “(But) it’s not a source of healing. It’s not a removal of the pain for survivors.
“If anything, it’s sort of like opening it all up again.”
MacPherson, like Costello, said she doesn’t feel like the Vatican should give Law the funeral that he’s getting.
“I think it should be very quiet and not celebrated.,” she said. “There’s nothing to celebrate (with) somebody who allowed children to be victimized and to have a lifetime of irreparable damage.”

Ex-Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of church sex abuse scandal, dead at 86

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Ex-Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of church sex abuse scandal, dead at 86

Cardinal Bernard Francis Law is pictured last year during a mass in Vatican City

Story highlights

  • Former Boston cardinal died after a long illness, Vatican says
  • He resigned as archbishop in 2002

(CNN)Bernard Law, the former Boston cardinal who resigned in disgrace during the church sex abuse scandal, has died, the Vatican has confirmed.

Law died in Rome, where he served as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002.
The Vatican issued a press release early Wednesday confirming the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, with one line reading “Cardinal Bernard Law died early this morning after a long illness.”
Law never faced criminal sanctions for his role in allowing abusive priests to remain in church parishes. The scandal reverberated through the church, exposing similar allegations worldwide that compromised its moral authority and led to years of multimillion-dollar settlements. To his detractors, his second career at the Vatican was a slap in the face to victims of church sex abuse, one that further undermined the church’s legitimacy.

Rise of Boston’s spiritual leader

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Law was born in Torreon, Mexico, on November 4, 1931, to Helen and Bernard Law, an Air Force colonel. He did his postgraduate studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Louisiana and at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained as a priest in the Natchez-Jackson, Mississippi, diocese on May 21, 1961 and became vicar general of the Natchez-Jackson diocese in 1971.
In 1973, he was made bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese in southern Missouri. He served as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interracial Affairs and in 1976 he was named to the Vatican Commission on Religious Relations with Jews.
The posts were stepping stones to his becoming the spiritual leader of Boston’s large and influential Catholic community. In 1984, Pope John Paul II appointed Law to be the archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, consisting of 362 parishes serving 2.1 million members. That same year, Law received a letter from a bishop expressing concerns about Rev. John Geoghan. Law assigned Geoghan to another parish despite the allegations.
In 1985, Pope John Paul II elevated Law to cardinal, one of just 13 Americans holding that office at the time.

Spotlight team investigates cover-up

The church sexual abuse scandal widened in July of 2001, when Law admitted receiving the letter in 1984 outlining the child molestation allegations against Geoghan. Geoghan was eventually convicted of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year old boy.
Law’s fall began in January 2002, one week after The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team revealed that he and other bishops before him covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese. In a news conference, Law apologized to victims of abuse by Geoghan but insisted the abuse was in the past.
The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into the widespread child abuse by the Catholic clergy. The scandal and investigation also inspired a film in 2015, which won the Oscar for best picture in 2016.

Calls for resignation

Law attempted to resign as Archbishop of Boston in April 2002, but Pope John Paul II rejected the resignation. In 2002, a judge presiding over the child rape case of Rev. Paul Shanley ordered Cardinal Law to be deposed by lawyers of one of Shanley’s victims.
Law testified about his supervision of Geoghan in 2002, saying he relied on his assistants to investigate charges of abuse. In May 2002, he apologized for his role in the clergy abuse scandal in a letter distributed throughout the archdiocese. But he denied knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against Shanley until 1993.
In August 2002, Law appeared in court to testify about a settlement reached between the archdiocese of Boston and victims of clergy abuse. The archdiocese rescinded the monetary offer shortly afterward.
In December, as calls grew for him to resign, Law was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating “possible criminal violations by church officials who supervised priests accused of sexually abusing children.” Days later, he resigned as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America, followed by his resignation as archbishop of Boston.

Pope Francis wants Lord’s Prayer changed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

((OPED) WOULD IT NOT BE BEST TO USE THE ORIGINAL GREEK WORDING THAT THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEN IN, NOT THE LATIN, NOT THE ENGLISH?)(TRS)

Pope Francis wants Lord’s Prayer changed

Pope Francis addresses the crowds in St Peter's Square in the Vatican on 8 December 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe Pope is suggesting changes to Christianity’s best-known prayer

Pope Francis has called for a translation of a phrase about temptation in the Lord’s Prayer to be changed.

The current wording that says “lead us not into temptation” is not a good translation, because God does not lead humans to sin, he says.

He suggests using “do not let us fall into temptation” instead, he told Italian TV on Wednesday night.

The Lord’s Prayer is the best-known prayer in Christianity.

The pontiff said France’s Roman Catholic Church was now using the new wording “do not let us fall into temptation” as an alternative, and something similar should be used worldwide .

“Do not let me fall into temptation because it is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell,” he told TV2000, an Italian Catholic TV channel.

“A father does not do that, a father helps you to get up immediately.”

Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has not shied away from controversy and has tackled some issues head-on, Vatican observers say.

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How the World Is Marking the 500th Birthday of Protestantism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)

 

How the World Is Marking the 500th Birthday of Protestantism

Oct 27, 2017

Five hundred years ago, an unknown monk named Martin Luther marched up to the church in Wittenberg, a small town in what is now Germany, and nailed a list of criticisms of the Catholic church to its door.

The date was Oct. 31, 1517, and Luther had just lit the fuse of what would become the Protestant Reformation. His list of criticisms, known as the 95 theses, would reverberate across world history. The Church would split, wars would be fought and people would be burned at the stake. It was the birth of Protestant Christianity.

Religiously speaking, the Reformation led to the translation of the Bible into languages other than Latin, allowing many people to engage with scripture for the first time. It also brought an end to the controversial sale of “indulgences” — payments the Church said reduced punishment for sins after death, which Luther regarded as corrupt.

More generally, the Reformation contributed to the expansion of literacy, with people no longer needing to rely on priests to read and interpret the Bible. Luther promoted universal education for girls and boys at a time when education was reserved for the wealthy, and believed in the connection between literacy and empowerment, both spiritually and socially.

Luther’s act is taught as one of the cornerstones of world history, even though most historians now agree that it was a relatively unremarkable event which was canonized at a later date for political ends. Nevertheless, it remains a lasting symbol of resistance 500 years later.

So how is an anniversary of that magnitude being celebrated?

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The hub of anniversary celebrations will be Luther’s homeland, Germany, where “Reformation Day” has long been celebrated as a holiday in certain states. This year, it’s set to be a full-blown national holiday. Chancellor Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, has encouraged German churches to promote a narrative of unity over division in their celebrations.

That’s a line that the Catholic Church and some of the biggest protestant denominations are also keen to stress. On last year’s 499th anniversary, Pope Francis joined leaders of the Lutheran World Federation in Sweden (where Lutheranism is the dominant religion) to hold a joint commemorative service. In his address, Francis said: “We have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.”

Not long after Francis’ address, the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury in England expressed remorse for the violence committed there in the name of the Reformation. Hundreds of churches and monasteries were demolished in the 1500s, and many people gruesomely killed, during England’s pained transition from Catholicism to Protestantism.

After 500 years of division, there seems to be a consensus from the top that this anniversary will be one of reconciliation.

But official church celebrations aren’t the only ways in which the milestone is being marked.

In popular celebrations Germany also leads the way, and for proof you need look only as far as its toy economy. In 2015, a commemorative Martin Luther figurine from Playmobil became the German company’s fastest-selling product ever. It took just 72 hours for the initial run of 34,000 to sell out, leading the company to rush another batch into production. A spokesperson labeled the demand a “big mystery.”

Martin Luther is now the best selling @playmobil of all time – with 750,000+ sold! 

RT for the chance to win your own! (GK)

Americans are also doing their bit. A musical entitled Luther: The Rock Operapremiered in Wittenberg earlier this year. The North Dakota pastor responsible for the two-and-a-half hour production describes it as “Hamilton meets Jesus Christ Superstar meets Monty Python.” Performances in Berlin and Wittenberg will mark the anniversary.

And, as the anniversary falls each year on the same day as Halloween, around the world people are taking inspiration from Luther for their costumes. On Reddit’s Christianity subreddit, a post asked whether it would be sinful to dress up as Martin Luther for Halloween. On Twitter, others had no qualms about their plans to do the same, whilst on Amazon, a search for “Martin Luther Costume” turns out enough results to dress a small congregation.

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the reformation, I say we all dress up as Martin Luther for Halloween and nail stuff to people’s doors.

Back in Germany, the broadcaster ZDF is airing a two-part serial entitled “Reformation” commissioned especially for the anniversary, starring Maximilian Brückner as Martin Luther. It is also airing in the U.K. on the BBC, and both channels have also commissioned special documentaries to mark the occasion.

The town of Wittenberg itself is understandably excited; in fact it’s already in the tenth year of a “Luther decade” it proclaimed in 2008. On the anniversary, a “Reformation festival” will see “jugglers, musicians, hosts, craftsmen and people from the Middle Ages” gather in the town center, before the church opens for a commemorative concert in the evening.

For some people, this anniversary may be the first they’ve heard of Luther and the Reformation. But the wide range of celebrations, exhibits, documentaries and even commemorative toys mean that it’ll be hard to escape its legacy, 500 years on.

Colombian rebels ask Pope for forgiveness

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Colombian rebels ask Pope for forgiveness

Colombian President: Pope has ‘tremendous leadership’

Villavicencio, Colombia (CNN)Amid lush greenery and tropical humidity, Pope Francis touched down in Villavicencio on Friday, bringing his message of peace to one of the most notorious sites of guerrilla warfare in Colombia for the past 50 years.

Here, in one of the last major cities before the vast expanse of the Amazon, the Pope listened to powerful testimonies from ex-guerrilla fighters and from victims of their violence, such as Pastora Mira Garcia, who lost her father, husband and two children during the civil war.
“Do not be afraid of asking for forgiveness and offering it,” the Pope told them. “It is time to defuse hatred, to renounce vengeance.”
It is a message the Pope has echoed throughout this five-day visit in the country, aiming to help Colombians, many of whose memories are still fresh with crimes committed against them, embrace the historic peace agreement reached in December 2016.

Rebels ask for forgiveness

There are signs that Francis’ words may be having an effect.
In an open letter to the Pope published on Friday, Rodrigo Londono, former leader of the leftist guerrilla group FARC, asked for forgiveness from Francis for the actions of his group during five decades of war.
“Your repeated expressions about God’s infinite mercy move me to plead your forgiveness for any tears and pain that we have caused the people of Colombia, Londono wrote.
At a Mass on Friday, Pope Francis beatified two Catholic priests who were murdered during the years of the civil war, calling their martyrdom a sign “of a people who wish to rise up out of the swamp of violence and bitterness.”
Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca was kidnapped and shot twice in the head by Colombian Marxist guerrillas in 1989.
The Rev. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, known asNM! the “martyr of Armero,” was killed at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948. The conflict claimed an estimated 220,000 lives.

Pope meets Venezuelan bishops

On Thursday, in an unscheduled private meeting, Pope Francis briefly spoke with bishops who had come from Venezuela.
Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, told reporters in Bogota that the bishops had come to ask the Pope for help for the “desperate situation,” in their country.
“There are people who eat garbage,” Urosa said, “yes, the garbage, and there are people who die because there is no medicine.”
“So we want to remind the Pope of this again and especially the serious political situation, because the government is doing everything possible to establish a state system, totalitarian and Marxist.”
Francis continues his visit in Medellin on Saturday and Cartagena on Sunday, before returning to the Vatican later that evening.