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Canada marching away from religion to secularization

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  • Ernie Schreiber
    Posted by: jlsoaz jlsoaz@gmail.com jlsoaz on Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:55 am (PST) It seems that the authors are lamenting some of the trend they are reporting,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2010
      Posted by: "jlsoaz" jlsoaz@... jlsoaz
      on Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:55 am (PST)
      It seems that the authors are lamenting some of the trend they
      are reporting, but it is interesting to read of the trend.

      >The future of faith
      >Canada marching away from religion to secularization
      >Michael Valpy and Joe Friesen
      >From Saturday's Globe and Mail
      >Published Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 9:00PM EST
      >Last updated Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 10:09PM EST
      Comment from Ernie Schreiber:
      I found an interesting article in "Der Spiegel-onLine" entitled "U.S. dispatches to the Vatican -- Confusing messages from the heart of the Curia." I tried a Google translation into English but, as is common with all these mechanical translation tools, the results were almost incomprehensible. So, I bring you a paraphrased version of the text which should show you how much "out of the picture" the Roman Catholic church hierarchy and the Vatican are in our real world today. They live in a different world that nobody outside their inner circle can understand.

      Here is a link to the article in the original German:

      (by Ulrich Schwartz)
      Astonished U.S. diplomats report from the center of the Catholic Church: At the Vatican, elderly Italians call the shots, people who know nothing about the world. The language of the clergy is a mystery to outsiders - even with great effort one can hardly decipher the clerical gibberish.

      A month after the German Joseph Ratzinger on 18 April 2005 in the Sistine Chapel had been elected Pope, the Vatican embassy cabled the U.S. a first forecast to the State Department in Washington, what America and the world should expect of the new head of the Catholic Church.

      It was "unthinkable", so say the local Vatican-American observers, that Benedict XVI, as one of the closest aides of his predecessor, would abandon John Paul II's strict line on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, contraception, cloning, or homosexuality. Political experience, that was the conclusion of the message, the new man did not have, and because of his age he did not have the luxury to acquire this experience calmly over time.

      About lack of work, the American-Vatican diplomats still cannot complain. They sent 729 reports in the last ten years to the State Department.

      Sometimes they try to simply explain to the State Department, as does the Vatican, a strange world; this church is "highly hierarchical," says a dispatch from last year, "but chaotic. In most cases, only a handful of experts know of upcoming decisions." And then the boss would just agree as a rule. Hardly anyone dares to criticize the Pope or deliver bad news. Independent consultants are rare.

      Here is part of the original text (abridged--the whole text is several pages long) of a telegram sent o Washington by the US Envoy:

      20.2.2009, Vatican: The Holy See: a failure to communicate:

      The inner circle at the Vatican consists almost entirely of Italians, around age 70. "They don't understand modern media and information techniques, and most of them don't even have an e-mail address. ... not even the Cardinal Secretary of State (a kind of Prime Minister) speaks any English and besides, he is simply a 'yes-man'."

      The Pope's faithful talk with each other "in a coded language that no one can decipher outside their circle." ... The Ambassador of Israel, as a U.S. diplomat recently mocked, received a message from the Vatican that was supposed to contain something positive about his country; but the text was so convoluted that the Israeli envoy could not recognize it, even though he knew that it had to be in there somewhere. "

      Together with other flaps, the recent global controversy over the lifted excommunication of a Holocaust denying bishop exposed a major disconnect between Pope Benedict XVI's stated intentions and the way in which his message is received by the wider world. There are many causes for this communication gap: the challenge of governing a hierarchical yet decentralized organization, leadership weaknesses at the top, and an undervaluing of (and ignorance about) 21st century communications. These factors have led to muddled, reactive messaging that reduces the volume of the moral megaphone the Vatican uses to advance its objectives. This is especially true with audiences whose view of the Vatican is informed largely by mass media coverage. There are signs that
      at least some in the Vatican have learned their lessons and will work to reshape the Holy See's communications structure. Whether they'll prevail remains to be seen. End Summary. A centralized hierarchy making decentralized decisions

      I will end it here. It goes on and on. The essence of the whole thing is that the Vatican, and with it the whole Roman Catholic Church, is so far out of touch with the real world that it may well sink into the morass of meaningless ceremonies that cannot connect with the people, the "faithful," and will end up as an irrelevant institution that cannot attract followers, will, in effect, lose more and more staff and faithful until it can no longer maintain itself.

      Let's wait and see...

      H. E. [Ernie] Schreiber
      EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
      Discussion List Server at: <eunacom@yahoogroups.com>

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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