Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Patricia Miller Asks Important Question: "What Does It Mean for the Church That the Last Three Heads of the CDF Have Been Implicated in Covering up Sexual Abuse?"

Recommended: Patricia Miller's latest essay at Religion Dispatches, in which she continues to note the connections between the brutal attack on theologians regarded as dissidents under the previous two popes, and the cover-up of clerical sexual abuse of minors by the top leaders of the Catholic church. As she notes, the former head of the diocesan lay council in Regensburg has stated that the current head of the Vatican's watchdog agency, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Müller, "systematically" covered up clerical sexual abuse cases when he was archbishop of Regensburg. As Patti notes, Pope Benedict's brother Rev. Georg Ratzinger was choirmaster of the Regensburg cathedral boys' choir, about which allegations of abuse of choirboys over many years are now surfacing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mary Hunt Asks, Should Barbie Get Her Feet Washed at Church?

Should Barbie get her feet washed at church? theologian Mary Hunt asks in a sharp new essay at Religion Dispatches noting the interesting coincidence of the Vatican's announcement that women can have their feet washed on Holy Thursday coming down the same week that Mattel announced three new sizes for Barbie and a number of other variations in its old model. And then Mary Hunt says:

Reader Writes: Catholic Master Narratives about Abortion "Don't Cover Much Ground Outside the Western Middle-Class Bubble That Can Afford to Treat Human Sexuality Like a Cupcake Addiction"

In response to my posting earlier today about the Zika virus and the lack of any response — yet — to the serious moral question it poses for the absolutist "pro-life" stance of some folks today, cranefly writes:

United Methodists Discuss Anglican Communion's Sanctioning of Episcopal Church USA for Support of Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for UMC Future?

WHO Declares Zika Situation Global Medical Emergency: Pro-Lifers? Any Response?

A footnote to what I posted yesterday (pointing you to an article by Emma Saloranta) about the cruel irony of leaders of predominantly Catholic nations encouraging women not to become pregnant as the Zika virus becomes rampant in those nations — when neither abortion nor contraception is an easily available option for many women in these nations:

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Interesting Story of Megan Phelps-Roper's Conversion by Twitter: When Online Interaction Cracks the Shell of Cultic Anti-Gay Religious Belief

Who knew? If you're a religious fanatic raised in a tight, repressive, closed-off, bitterly angry religious environment, in a religious community which believes that it and it alone has all the answers to all the serious questions that may be asked by any serious person, the internet might turn your life upside down. 

In the News: ACLU and Colleges Discriminating Against LGBT Students; Anti-LGBT Bills in State Legislatures; Pakistan Censors Gay Times Photo; Anglican Leaders Out of Touch; Dancing Priests and Nuns in Italy

Here's an omnium gatherum of stuff — related in my strange head, but perhaps it won't appear that way to you — that has caught my magpie's sharp eye in recent news: