101 1 min 7 yrs

On economic relations Pope Francis is proving to be a good Latin Marxist. He simply cannot hide his inner authoritarian on other matters of liberty either –

Pope Francis has defended freedom of expression following last week’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – but also stressed its limits.

The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people’s faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

Why not?

Ultimately, religions are simply ideas, and the notion that some ideas should be beyond insult or ridicule is absurd.

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  1. I’m sorry I know a lot of people like this pope, but from day one this guys been an embarrassment. As the head of my church I cringe every time I see he’s opened his mouth.

    Do a Catholic a favor father…. sit down, shut up and pray for our souls. The public arena is not your forte.

  2. Not only was Pope Francis wrong for the reasons Pete says, but the way he said it was crass and far more obnoxious than most of the speech he condemns:

    “If my good friend Doctor Gasparri [who organises the Pope’s trips] speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched,” he said, throwing a pretend punch at the doctor, who was standing beside him.

    In the context of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, comparing the response to criticism as a punch in the face is pathetic.

  3. The Christians in the Middle East are in an even more perilous situation than they’ve been in.

    I think that this has played a part in the Pope’s thought process, leading to these comments.

  4. As has pretty much every political leader in the last few days. The French Prime Minister came out and said that freedom of speech will not cover anti-Semitism, racism and Holocaust denial.

    The fact is that most people have the opinion that there are limits to freedom of expression. Most people would argue that incitement does not come under freedom of expression. However, whether they are right or wrong, that is still placing limits on what someone can say.

  5. That is true Seamus, but it would just be more honest if all these politicians and other figures stopped making noble claims that they champion free speech and the right to offend and that it is sacrosanct .

  6. The only big country with ” real ” freedom of speech appears to be the US.

    You can deny the Holocaust all day long. People will look at you funny, but you will not be fined or prosecuted by anyone.

    You boys need a First Amendment and do not have it.

  7. Phantom – Holocaust denial is not an offence in the UK but I am sure there is pressure from Europe for it to become so. I am surprised the European Human Rights Court hasn’t struck down the Holocaust denial laws.

  8. Even the US has limits (just common sense limits). If you use speeches to encourage terrorism in the United States you will go to prison.

  9. you can even promote terror.

    It has to be shown that you were doing undeniable incitement before the person arresting you for preaching it isn’t sued for discrimination, harassment, etc etc

    incitement is a very hard charge to prove.

  10. But it can still be done. If you actively encourage other people to target specific targets for terrorist attack then you can be prosecuted. So even the US has some limits on freedom of speech.

  11. The pope’s statement was expected, the major religions always stick together when their ridiculous stories and unbelievable holy men are being effectively ridiculed and undermined.

    It’s not marxist, Pete.

    It’s simply an act of desperate, hypocritical self-preservation. One the catholic church has repeated many times since its inception.

  12. Yes, and the Christians in the Muslim world on the verge of final extinction too.

    Do not forget the possibility of diplomatic sounding words in a desperate situation.

  13. Daphne

    The ‘Marxist’ reference Pete made was in relation to the Pope’s supposed advocacy of socialised economics, not the views on the limits of expression.

  14. Colm, the pope is supposed to spout advocacy for socialized economics, he represents Jesus for christsake.

    It follows that Pete would classify the son of god as a marxist.

  15. Socialism / Marxism ( in the Cuban sense ) is a guarantee of poverty and no rights for nearly everyone. The big fella from Nazareth didn’t preach that.

    Social protections, I bet he’d be all for them, as most are.

  16. Phantom, would you categorize the catholic church getting into bed with Hitler as desperate diplomacy?

    The vatican operates by expediency and is driven by self-preservation, nothing more.

  17. How do you think that the Catholic Church got in bed with Adolf?

    Yes, Cuba. It’s Marxist. Petr thinks it’s a light unto the nations, just like Israel I suppose.

  18. Elucidate if you please, Phantom.

    How exactly did Cuba entice the vatican into bed with Hitler?

    On July 8, 1933, a mere few months after taking power, Hitler formed a treaty with the vatican.

  19. Well, Germany did, not Hitler exactly. The record is rather mixed.

    While Cuba style Marxism is not what Christ taught, neither is the predatory capitalism celebrated by many here.

  20. I see no Cuba in your response, Phantom.

    Maybe you could tie the vatican rat line of helping nazis obtain documents papers for their escape to South America to Cuba?

    You do realize Castro wasn’t in power during WWII?

    The record is not mixed, Mahons. Hitler was in control of Germany and made a treaty with the Vatican. How is this a mixed record?

  21. Well he was coming into control and had not yet carried out the full horrors he brought to the World. The treaty was intended primarily to keep a measure of freedom for the Church in Germany. To say it did not work out that way is an understatement.

  22. Did the Pope call for ridicule of religion to be criminalized?

    Not this one, but plenty in the past had no problem with that particular state sanctioned concept.

  23. Well I think advocacy of criminalizing speech has hardly been the sole province of some past Popes. Many secular and atheist regimes have imposed stringent speech restrictions.

  24. Hitler was in control Mahons and there is no excusing the Vatican for negotiating unchallenged control of the education of Catholic children in Germany in exchange for the cessation of Nazi propaganda against the abuses inflicted in Catholic schools and orphanages,

    It’s worth mentioning that the Holy Catholic See instructed the Catholic Center party to disband and brusquely ordered all German Catholics to abstain from any political activity on any subject that the regime chose to define as off-limits as part of the treaty.

    Hitler announced at his first cabinet meeting that these new circumstances would be “especially significant in the struggle against international Jewry.”

  25. Hitler was not quite Hitler as we know him now, though he was already a deplorable character by that time. Don’t forget others continued to negotiate with him thereafter, a lesson we may have in hindsight learned, one that had not been learned then. I wish they had not entered into the agreement.

  26. And I wish the vatican hadn’t covered up the systemic rape of untold numbers of children, but they did and still do.

    Why should this church get a pass for all of their horrible mistakes? God knows they’ve made more than any other religious institution on record.

    Back to my original point, of course the vatican condemns religious blasphemy of all sorts (as they always have) – they wouldn’t have a wobbly leg to stand on if they didn’t stand in concert with the other big two.

  27. You seem to think I have suggested to giving it a pass for its failures, I dont. I think the Popes point on this occasion was that while no one should kill in the name of God we don’t have to approve of and can be opposed to those whose aim is to attack people’s faith.

  28. The church’s relationship with Nazi Germany is, as mahons says, a mixed one. Overall, however, and for a long time the church was the most formidable opponent the Nazis faced, the Pope was the only leader to confront Hitler head-on while the rest of the world was appeasing him, and of course men inspired by the church came closser than anyone else to killing him.

  29. not to get involved in the actual debate that you guys are having, but are any of you Catholic?

    I mean don’t get me wrong. I’ll poke holes in the Church all day long. I know it’s systems cause I am Catholic.

    Mahons I thought you said you weren’t but the Mrs Was, I doubt if the other two will answer the question.

    I’m just curious, trying to get a perspective on the view where your coming from. Whether an insider or an outsider.

  30. be in the world, but not of the world

    a simple rule that the Church has never been able to live up to, one that has caused many arguments amongst us Catholics ourselves.

    Now I say ridicule this halfwit Alter boy they’ve made Pope, judge the Church on any period of history you choose. If you are another faith while you criticize mine provide me with examples of your faith dealing with the same situation.

    Because if you are not Catholic your demanding an awful lot of perfection from a group you’re not part of, and I’m sure can provide example after example of where the head of your church handled the situation better than mine… right?

  31. Noel I hope you read this….

    I’ve seen your comments get hung up in moderation for two days now. I e-mailed David to see why…..

  32. I am Catholic. I also don’t mind non Catholics weighing in, he is by any definition a public figure.

  33. I haven’t commented on this thread but am Catholic as well.

    I agree with Mahons though. The Pope is an international figure and so everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    And I couldn’t disagree more with Troll. I think the current Pope is a shining light after the trenchant conservatism of Benny.

  34. no I agree 100% I knew you were once I didn’t know if you still viewed yourself as one.

    Once a Catholic always a Catholic as American Catholics we have always seamed to be a separate branch of the Church anyway.

    I was more interested if others knew what the hierarchy of their own church was doing at these same time periods.

    I also don’t mind non Catholics weighing in.

    What I have found in a lot of circumstances over our lifetime is Rome cares about no ones opinion on any topic inside or outside the church. and there has for this same period time always been two versions of Catholcism, American vs European.

    I was more curious on Daphne…. Baptist, Evangelical, etc etc looking for perspective

  35. Thanks, Troll. I appreciate that.

    //but are any of you Catholic?//

    One of the strange thing about ATW, imo, is that so many of the contributors are Catholic or of a Catholic background.

    There are probably proportionally more Catholics here than on St Peter’s Sq any Sunday morning – all 4 yanks, most of the British (including Mike, Colm, Bernard and Pete, I think, previously Tom and Alison. I also rather suspect Allan) and of course almost all of the Irish.

    In fact, the only heretics I can think of are David, Peter and err… Logical Unionist.
    What this place needs is a few Jews and Muslims for diversity and enrichment.

  36. your welcome Noel will see if it gets fixed.

    We had a great Jewish Character Felix was fun….

  37. John Paul II should have been dragged from the Vatican in handcuffs for his complete lack of leadership as the full scope of the child abuse scandal in the church more fully emerged during his tenure.

    John Paul II arranged for a very soft landing pad for Cardinal Law of Boston when Law resigned under pressure.

    And this pope recently met with Law, who now lives in Rome, in comfort.

    They’re not sorry, and they have not reformed.


  38. The Unionists would drum David out of NI if they knew he provided such a haven for Catholics.

  39. //more curious on Daphne…. Baptist, Evangelical, etc//

    Daphne has also said she is, or was, a Catholic.

    //We had a great Jewish Character Felix was fun….//

    Felix wasn’t Jewish; he was also Irish Catholic. He just supported Israel and all Jews (except of course the many who criticise Israel).

    I forgot to list Ross and Ernest as some of the few ATW heretics.

  40. Former ATW regulars of Protestant flavor included Aileen, Mad, Agitated and I think mccann. Course the fish eaters would have included Gaskin who was more Catholic than the Pope and Adrian.

  41. What the hell happened to Gaskin?

    He used to blog 24/7 and now he’s in the witness protection program.

  42. I think that he would fall into the category of ” retired Catholic ” the same as yours truly.

  43. //the damnable ODwyer, sorely missed, was a former RC if memory serves.//

    ODwyer wasn’t just a Catholic, he was a flaming Jesuit, at least in background. He came out of the famed Belvedere College S.J. in Dublin.

    One thing about the Jesuits, they seem to produce either saints or atheists.

  44. I will give a $5 bounty to whoever can drag Gaskin and O’Dwyer back to these pages, even once in a while.

  45. Interesting Noel. We should have an ATWpedia. We could use it to establish profiles over the years.

  46. John Paul II was greatest Pope in Centuries. Him Reagan and Thatcher defeated the Soviets

    excuse the bluntness that is about to follow.

    The Bishops and the Cardinals are to blame for the last 100 years of recruitment, training, and lack of discipline that has caused the seminary to be infested by faggots.

    Now as a Rule I try to not comment on this subject because I have no problem with Gays. What I do have a problem with is pedophile Priests. Each and everyone should have been taken to the front of the churches where they serve the press called to film their collars being ripped of as they were handed over to the cops.

    This shit had been building for a long time you want to lay it on JP another out of depth moment for Phantom….

    Phantom are you Catholic? Do you know the way the Seminary system works?, or are you just bashing?

  47. JP has a rightfully positive legacy in dealing with Communism. He failed in my opinion on the pedophilia scandals (which I wish people wouldn’t confuse with homosexuals).

  48. save my last comment for another Time

    Aileen, Mad, Agitated and I think mccann plus Gaskin and Chas I’d give my good leg to see them return.

    God I loved Gaskin never agreed with a word he said but unlike those that share his views amongst us now he would discuss point for point with me. I respected him.

    I really miss Mad

  49. I walked away from the church a long time ago.

    As great as JP II was in facing the Soviets and Communism as an authentic Pole , he was weak and feckless in dealing with the greatest moral issue of his papacy.

    The gay culture of seminaries and the gay molestation / molestation protection culture in the priesthood is a direct result of the celibacy rules, which are not essential to Christian doctrine.

    The wrong people have been attracted to the robes, if you get my drift.

  50. Because the last three or so Popes were such different characters, and generally good men, and because none of them succeeded in rooting out this huge problem, we can assume the problem can’t be dealt with in the Vatican without causing upheavels so major that they would cause even worse damage to the Church’s mission in the world.

  51. mahons

    99.999999999999999999% of these incidents are males molesting boys.

    Say it like it is.

  52. I have managed not to confuse the clergy with the faith, but in its feudal authority I can fully understand how many have walked away.

  53. The Problem lays in the seminaries and what the had become. They didn’t get that way under JPs watch, they were already corrupted.

  54. //99.999999999999999999% of these incidents are males molesting boys.
    Say it like it is.//

    OK. It isn’t like that.

  55. Troll

    Do you really think there was ever a time when sexual abuse by priests wasn’t an issue. Do you think it only happened in the last 100 years ?

  56. I posted it earlier “be in the world, but not of the world” that concept has been lost for a millennium.

    I taught both my girls exactly what you just said Mahons not to confuse the clergy with the faith. The teachings of the faith haven’t changed, but the politics of those running the church well I got quite a few problems with them and have had for decades.

    My wife raised staunch Irish Catholic hates to step in a church. We home schooled our daughters for the majority of their youth. I had to fight to get my girls a few years in Catholic School so they would have a foundation and an understanding of the Faith.

    With one it took, she even does mission work. The other one….. I have no clue where she’s going or what shes gonna do

  57. Colm I think whenever any man gets in a position of power like a Priest there have always been a percentage of them that abuse it for sexual gratification for all of history.

    The problem with the seminaries started in the last 100yrs

  58. //What percentage of priest molestation of the underage are homosexual in your opinion?//

    Hard to say, as I’ve little idea of the situation outside Ireland. In Ireland, I’d say it’s around 70 or 80 pc, maybe a bit lower in some of the more notorious places like Ferns.

    But at any rate, it’s low enough to show that you are wrong in thinking it a solely homosexual problem, as you do. Even if there were never any same-sex molestation, clerical child abuse would still have been a big issue in Ireland.

  59. I never said it was ” solely “ homosexual, Mr. Cochran.

    And I believe the number is well north of 80 percent in my country, and very likely in yours too.

  60. //I never said it was ” solely “ homosexual//

    You did, you said it was “99.999999999999999999%” homosexual, which in the real world of around 6 bn people means exclusively.

    According to the Ferns report in Ireland, abuse in Ireland was around the figures I suggest. I am right, and you are for some reason shutting your eyes to the big problem of heterosexual child abuse. After all, for the child or the crime it doesn’t make much difference (but apparently for some adult commentators it does).

  61. “The gay culture of seminaries and the gay molestation / molestation protection culture in the priesthood is a direct result of the celibacy rules, which are not essential to Christian doctrine.”

    Utter nonsense. The rate of sexual abuse by clergy is pretty much the same as the rate of sexual abuse by secular teachers.

    Also, in terms of the homosexuality element, although rape involves sexual acts, it is not in of itself a sexual act, motivated by sexual desire. It is motivated by the desire for power and control over another person rather than by sexual attraction or the desire for sexual gratification. Those who commit sexual assault are motivated by the desire for power over others and so sexual preference is not particularly relevant to them. Thus, those who have sex with small boys are not necessarily homosexual, or, for what it is worth, even attracted to children. They are just evil bastards who like to dominate and control people.

    In reality if the Church removed the celibacy rules, the rate of molestation by priests would not decrease, nor is the problem any worse in the Catholic Church than in other institutions, religious or otherwise. The only difference between the Catholic Church and other institutions was the systemic cover-up of these crimes.

  62. I am not certain of the situation in the various offshore islands of Europe.

    But in the US, nearly every report you see involves adult men abusing boys. This includes the situation that existed in Boston, Covenant House, many others.

    If you have any evidence to the contrary, please present it.

    And an ” only 70-80% ” number would still involve wildly disproportionate numbers of gay predators, as their numbers in the general population are believed to be 10% or less.

    You can’t solve an illness until you frankly discuss what the disease is.

  63. Rape is not caused by desire. It is a crime of violence and dominance, which is why about the same proportion of priests were involved in the sexual abuse of children as school teachers (whom I presume are able to marry and have sex as they wish).

  64. //You can’t solve an illness until you frankly discuss what the disease is.//

    And by ignoring as negligible cases of abuse of girls, you seem to be unable to discuss the true problem frankly, allowing your anti-gay crusade to get in the way of any honest appraisal.

    //I am not certain of the situation in the various offshore islands of Europe.//

    Exactly, yet still you pretended that the situation in one of them is other than it really was, as that would reveal child sexual abuse as a more general problem than you’d like to think it is.

  65. Noel

    Do you concede that a vastly disproportionate number of these cases are homosexual in nature?

    How is it an ” anti gay crusade ” to state a reality?

  66. This sounds like a global warming song and dance. ( I asked O’Dwyer what empirical evidence would prove AGW is not true and he said some whatever about climate models that was short on the plain English )

    What empirical evidence would be acceptable to you? I am only speaking of the Catholic Church situation, as I have all along, so let’s not go all wandering and slippery here.

  67. //Do you concede that a vastly disproportionate number of these cases are homosexual in nature?//

    What does 80 percent mean to you?

    Do you concede that your were wrong to dismiss as negligible cases of abuse of girls?

  68. There are probably proportionally more Catholics here than on St Peter’s Sq any Sunday morning – all 4 yanks, most of the British (including Mike, Colm, Bernard and Pete, I think, previously Tom and Alison. I also rather suspect Allan) and of course almost all of the Irish.

    I’m of protestant upbringing – Church of Scotland, before it went all gay and enriched 🙂

  69. Frank O’Dwyer is on Twitter, although occasional tweeting isn’t the same as watching him demolish someone’s argument in a blog comment.

  70. Rape is not caused by desire. It is a crime of violence and dominance

    I don’t believe that, it’s like saying armed robbery is about power and violence but not greed.

  71. Noel

    I will take that as a yes

    It would take fantastical contortions, worthy of Cirque De Soleil on their best night to arrive at any answer.

    To say that there is not a particular problem is like saying that there is not a particular problem with certain violent religions

  72. //I don’t believe that, it’s like saying armed robbery is about power and violence but not greed.//

    I agree, especially as a lot of this is statutory rape of minors, where several of the factors in adult rape are absent. Good old lust definitely plays a major part.

    Probably equally important, however, is the role of age difference; some of these creeps probably don’t feel the same inhibitions with kids as they would with someone of their own age, and this allows them more pleasure.

  73. Phantom – I don’t think you can so easily bypass medical studies and the consensus of experts simply because you don’t like the conclusion.

  74. What empirical evidence would prove to you that there was a particular problem?

    Deferring to ” whatever the experts say “ is an effective refusal to address the matter yourself. Which is fine by the way.

  75. I don’t associate one with the other, and neither do any reputable study I have seen. I would certainly be willing to look at any study that suggests otherwise. Could you point me to one.
    We are in agreement on the effects of gravity, right? Or are the experts suspect there as well?

  76. yeah I’ll give you another answer from a different perspective. All the Priest cases are Pedophilia.

    A Pedophile is a monster that preys on the innocent and the vulnerable and receives it’s satisfaction from the corruption. In that environment of course you will see more boys suffer than girls due to simple biology that the monster takes advantage of…. Little boys play with their ding dongs at about a 70-30 rate compared to Little girls this and another factor make them susceptible. First they know they shouldn’t do it themselves yet of course they do, so when the monster first touches them they are less likely to go screaming and more susceptible for that reason to being preyed upon.

    The monster wants the corruption as much if not more than the sex, boys are just an easier target. We tell our daughters if someone touches you you come tell daddy. We don’t stress this thing with our sons the way it should be.

    The monster Preys on that.

  77. Daphne –

    It follows that Pete would classify the son of god as a marxist.

    He was a libertarian. Extend out the command to not initiate violence against others and this becomes clear.

  78. One of the strange thing about ATW, imo, is that so many of the contributors are Catholic or of a Catholic background

    I’d never thought of it in that context Noel, that’s fascinating.

    IMO there are many, many things wrong with the institution that is the Catholic Church ot least the fact that they have almost infinite riches while many of their flock are literally starving but as was said above; don’t confuse religion with faith. Religion is a man made concept whereas spiritual faith comes from a higher plane.

    God I loved Gaskin never agreed with a word he said but unlike those that share his views amongst us now he would discuss point for point with me. I respected him

    Troll, Chris and I had very similar views yet every time I have tried to discuss such issues with you the only thing I get from you is ski masks, child killers etc. I love having my views challenged and challenging those of other where I find it appropriate. f you wish to understand how and why I feel the way I do all you have to do is ask and I’ll gladly reply as long as you’re civil in your engaging.

    (In case you missed it this is an open invitation for you to debate seriously with me if you wish)

    I still remember Maddie with great fondness. Although he was mad as a bag of frogs and diametrically opposed to much of my opinions I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him; articulate, witty and well read. A pleasure to debate with.

  79. There is no simple one line answer that explains the reasons for clerical sexual abuse ( or such a culture in any other institution) – Although I do think the reasons why it is disproportionaly affecting boys is due to the fact that the history of the male ‘celibat’ only culture of the priesthood coupled with the social taboo on homosexuality meant that the priesthood has always attracted a much higher number of homosexual leaning men that heterosexuals and given that in such environments both in seminaries and schools the preists are far more likely to be in authority or close proximity to young males than females , the situation for same sex abuse is going to be more prominent.

  80. Ps – Yes where have all our old flowers gone ?

    I miss all the names already mentioned in this thread. It would be nice of some of them (alive or dead) returned to haunt ATW .

  81. Paul Gaskins and I did not debate that often because of our individual views. We did however have a couple of Hardcore exchanges on the difference between war and terror. We both gave as good as we got and neither of us took offense or got personal.

    He even tried to “explain” me to someone one who was going off about me on his site once.

    You and I have never been able to interact in a fair manner. It’s more than likely my fault. I’ve gotten meaner and harder as time goes by. I thought things were supposed to soften grow mellow… some wine turns to vinegar.

    Who knows I’d be willing to try

  82. Who knows I’d be willing to try

    Okay, how about we try it and if one feels the other is becoming abusive we remind him of this thread?

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