Friday, March 22, 2019

More from Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican on the Source of Corruption in the Catholic Church: Not Glitches, but a System



As I keep reading Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, I'd like to say more about the theme of corruption I featured in my last commentary about thiss book. I noted, pointing to several important passages in Martel's book as documentation, that  much of the corruption in the Catholic church right now is rooted in the historical matrix of the papacy of St. John Paul the Great. The corruption is rooted quite specifically in the following: while hiding homosexual secrets, the powerful Vatican courtiers surrounding John Paul chose to mount war against the queer community, combating its rights, scapegoating LGBT people — especially for the abuse crisis in the church — and targeting theologians calling for compassionate outreach to queer people.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ed Kilgore on White Evangelicals as Heart of Trump Base: "Committed to a Common Desire to Take America Back to Its Days of Greatness in the 1950s"



In "White Evangelicals Are Still the Heart of Trump's Base," Ed Kilgore comments on new Pew Research Center data that some commentators are erroneously interpreting to mean that white evangelical support for Donald Trump is waning. As Ed Kilgore notes, it's not waning. To the contrary, it remains robust, especially among the most churchgoing and committed of white evangelicals, 70 percent of whom report strong support for Trump.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

More on Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: The Dark Heart of Martel's Story — Corruption of Pretend Heterosexuality Coupled with Abominable Treatment of Queer People



I have now made my way about halfway through Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, trans. Shaun Whiteside (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), and am finding the book grim going. It's, as many commentators have noted, eye-popping, and overwhelming in the detail with which it tells — and documents — its story of corruption. To quote Mary Oliver in her poem "The Chance to Love Everything," this is for me the dark heart of the story here: it's a story of incredible corruption running through the governing structures and clerical culture of a major Christian institution, a story that does a very convincing job, I think, of rooting that corruption genetically in the intense homophobia of the governing elite of this institution.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Now New Zealand: Murderer's Manifesto Proclaims Trump as "Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose"



Things I've read this dark morning that are illuminating, and which I want to pass on to you:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Pell Conviction in Light of Frédéric Martel's Exposé of the Gay "Parish" Inside the Vatican: Twisted Connection of Catholic Officials to Gay Community


In commenting on Cardinal Pell's conviction and sentence, Michael Cook's Lessons from Cardinal Pell’s 6-year jail sentence makes a move that should trouble all of us concerned about shoring up the legitimacy of court systems and criminal justice systems in democratic societies. Cook opens by reminding us of that Pell was conficted on the basis of the testimony of one person testifying behind closed doors.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Trump Signs Bibles: Golden Calves, Get 'Em While They're Hot! — Commentary on White Evangelicals' Idolatrous Cult of Trump


Some things I've read this past week that I want to pass on to you:

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Pell Case, the Continuing Vast Gulf Between What Francis Says re: Abuse and What Really Happens, and the Anger of Catholic People


Another set of items that have gotten my attention lately, with a theme binding them together: