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Fwd: Re: [utepprogressives] John Paul as a reactionary Warmonger

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  • Greg Cannon
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2005
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      --- Twain Ross <treehouseonmars@...> wrote:

      > To: utepprogressives@yahoogroups.com
      > From: Twain Ross <treehouseonmars@...>
      > Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 09:45:25 -0700 (PDT)
      > Subject: Re: [utepprogressives] John Paul as a
      > reactionary Warmonger
      > This week you will be inundated with honorific
      > obituaries to Karol Wojtila, Pope John Paul II. I am
      > writing not to honor Wojtila; he will (quite
      > frankly)
      > receive more honor in the next week than any
      > individual mortal deserves. I write as a witness to
      > the damage this man did during his 26 years as Roman
      > pontiff to the causes of liberty and peace
      > throughout
      > the world.
      > There will be few voices such as mine raised on the
      > occasion of Wojtila's death, but someone must speak
      > the truth. Much of what I say here will be new
      > (perhaps even surprising) to non-Catholics. To
      > Catholics, I write to remind them of what each of
      > them
      > knows but seldom acknowledges. Karol Wojtila forced
      > the best minds out of the Catholic Church, or at
      > least
      > to the extreme margins of the Church. Wojtila
      > sanctified the baroque reproductive/sexual bugaboos
      > that infest the Catholic Church while striving to
      > ideologically lobotomize the Catholic clergy and
      > laity. Although he was a fine ambassador of good
      > will
      > to Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, Wojtila degraded
      > the richness of Catholic faith and tradition into
      > mindless displays of loyalty. An archaic
      > organization
      > that had shown signs of serious promise as a
      > refreshed
      > (and even potentially progressive) social force
      > under
      > Popes John XXIII and Paul VI was methodically and
      > ruthlessly drubbed into the mold of ideological and
      > cultural reaction. The record shows that Karol
      > Wojtila
      > was a charming man and a master of international
      > public relations, but he was a political and
      > cultural
      > reactionary to his core
      > Remember that I and many others did not become
      > Catholics by reason of our voluntary decisions. Long
      > centuries before my birth, complex systems of custom
      > and loyalty and political alliances led the Irish
      > and
      > Bavarian peasants who made up the bulk of my
      > ancestors
      > to become cemented within the Roman Catholic Church.
      > As an infant, my family inducted me into the
      > Catholic
      > Church by way of the rite of baptism. As a young
      > child, I was educated in Catholic schools. In my
      > childhood, loyalty to family and Church stood much
      > higher than loyalty to nation. Even as I have
      > defined
      > myself as an individual in a secular society, the
      > ties
      > of ancestry, ethnicity, early experience and
      > schooling
      > leave me thoroughly "Catholic" in many senses.
      > Largely because of the actions of Karol Wojtila, it
      > is
      > unlikely that my grandchildren will be raised as
      > Catholics. For many years I vowed that I would not
      > cede the Catholic Church to the vile reaction
      > induced
      > and symbolized by Pope John Paul II. I strove for
      > many
      > years to be one of those who kept alive the fine
      > things within the rich Catholic religious and
      > cultural
      > tradition, but in the last two years I have had to
      > acknowledge that this quest can no longer reasonably
      > be pursued within the current institution of the
      > Roman
      > Catholic Church. In death, Wojtila's reaction is
      > likely to entirely prevail, since he transformed the
      > Church itself by promoting only the most rigid and
      > automoton-like of clerics to positions of
      > responsibility.
      > Ignore the press hype about kissing the ground while
      > globetrotting and recognizing Israel. Forget the
      > ridiculous lie that John Paul II favored "human
      > rights." Ignore the canned media obituary coverage
      > that strives to show you that Wojtila (like Nixon,
      > Reagan, Bob Hope, and (soon) Margaret Thatcher) were
      > "great" international figures. Here is part of the
      > damage wrought by this arch-reactionary and the
      > regressive forces he unleashed in the Catholic
      > Church:
      > 1. Among Wojtila's first actions as Pope was to
      > attack
      > freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech in Catholic
      > universities. Progressive theology, feminist
      > thought,
      > and "liberation theology" were driven from accepted
      > Catholic discourse. Catholic universities in Europe
      > and North America have lost their best scholars in
      > the
      > humanities and have sunk into being miserable
      > intellectual ghettoes with respect to history,
      > philosophy, theology, and related fields.
      > 2. Wojtila revived and strengthened the Office of
      > the
      > Inquisition under the infamous Cardinal Ratziger.
      > The
      > "Holy Office" was near abolition under the two
      > previous pontiffs, but Wojtila wielded the
      > Inquisition
      > as his special shock troops in a relentless campaign
      > to silence all varieties of opinion other than his
      > own. Repression of thought at the level of the
      > diocese
      > and parish became commonplace again after a blessed
      > reprieve in the 1960s and 1970s.
      > 3. Pursuing his lifelong dedication to fanatic
      > anti-communism, Wojtila pressured the reluctant
      > Christian Democrats of Italy, Germany, and Holland
      > to
      > accede to the placement of US cruise missiles in
      > Europe in the early 1980's. As a result of this
      > provocative action by the United States, nuclear war
      > between the US and the Soviet Union came even closer
      > than during the Cunan Missile Crisis. The result
      > might
      > have been the nuclear annihilation of the planet. No
      > credit to Wojtila, the planet survived. Wojtila's
      > claims as an advocate of peace are false to their
      > core.
      > 4. Wojtila has intervened repeatedly in the
      > electoral
      > politics of his homeland, Poland, since the late
      > 1980s
      > to bring about government by socially conservative
      > politicians who pass papal muster on women's rights
      > and abortion and "anti-materialism" (opposition to
      > the
      > introduction of consumerism). Despite some cultural
      > and economic promise in the late 1980s, Poland has
      > become stultified with vast out-migration of
      > educated
      > Poles and economic paralysis. When they are being
      > honest, migrating Poles will tell you that Wojtila
      > and
      > the power of the Polish Catholic Church are
      > destroying
      > their homeland.
      > 5. Wojtila badgered the progressive Latin American
      > bishops and archbishops (yes, there used to be
      > several
      > of them!) to abandon support of cooperatives,
      > peasant
      > political initiatives, and community organizing in
      > his
      > infamous campaign to eliminate "liberation
      > theology."
      > Only safe, traditional, right-wing candidates were
      > promoted into the Catholic hierarchy. Wojtila
      > denounced "liberation theology" and drove its
      > proponents in Nicaragua and many other places out of
      > the Catholic Church.
      > 6. In the United States, Wojtila in 1980 forced
      > Father
      > Robert Drinan, one of the nation's leading elected
      > progressive politicians, to resign from Congress
      > (under penalty of being forced to leave the
      > priesthood). At the same time, Wojtila fostered the
      > alliance of right-wing American Catholic bishops
      > with
      > the "Christian right" on the issues of abortion,
      > women's rights, and homosexuality. In North America
      > and beyond, a double standard has been applied by
      > Wojtila for Catholic clergy involvement in political
      > causes. Advocating for progressive causes has been
      > forbidden as impermissibly "political" while
      > advocacy
      > and alliances against abortion, contraception, and
      > women's rights has been approved as necessary
      > "witnessing" to Catholic values.
      > 7. Wojtila has systematically purged what were
      > previously culturally and politically progressive
      > religious orders such as the Jesuits and
      > Franciscans.
      > These worldwide purges of the orders have been
      > carried
      > out by appointees Wojtila has made as heads of the
      > various orders. In some cases, progressive leaders
      > in
      > the religious orders were forced to retire early so
      > that his handpicked reactionaries could take
      > command.
      > 8. Wojtila has refused to acknowledge what had been
      > a
      > central role of women in the Catholic Church. He not
      > only opposed the elevation of women to ministry
      > (despite powerful evidence that women performed such
      > roles in the early Christian Church), he refused to
      > allow the many orders of nuns to creatively adapt to
      > modern conditions. As a result, the Catholic
      > sisterhoods are virtually defunct, and the clerical
      > personnel of the Catholic Church has been turned
      > into
      > an all-male private club.
      > 9. Wojtila has forbidden the use of indigenous
      > cultural forms in worship services in non-Western
      > countries. Gone are the marvelous masses and hymns
      > from Africa and Latin America that inspired
      > Christian
      > worship in the 1960s and 1970s. In Western
      > countries,
      > he has insisted on restricting the use of Catholic
      > church buildings to specifically religious purposes
      > despite their great value as venues for concerts,
      > art
      > exhibits, and community activities. Multiple uses of
      > churches was a tradition carried down from the
      > Middle
      > Ages. The great cathedrals of Europe were designed
      > on
      > the assumption of multiple uses.
      > 10. Despite painfully obvious need and institutional
      > commitments made during the Second Vatican Council,
      > Wojtila refused to modernize working conditions for
      > the Catholic clergy. Catholic priests remain the
      > most
      > underpaid and overworked of denominational Christian
      > ministers. In addition, the input of priests into
      > promotion processes within the clergy, which
      > traditionally acted as a counterweight to
      > hierarchical
      > oppression, has been reduced by Wojtila to a
      > nullity.
      > 11. Flying in the face of historical precedent and
      > the
      > most basic common sense, Wojtila refused to consider
      > issues of clerical celibacy and the upgrading of the
      > diaconate to the central functions of the ministry.
      > Clerical celibacy is (quite frankly) a custom
      > originating in the early middle ages for purposes of
      > property consolidation, and it has always been
      > "honored more in the breach than the observance."
      > Furthermore, deacons performed sacramental functions
      > until modern times. The restriction of sacramental
      > functions to a celibate priesthood was not even an
      > official ideal of the Catholic Church until the
      > sixteenth century. Wojtila's refusal to even permit
      > discussion of issues concerning clerical celibacy
      > and
      > full sacramental functions for the diaconate has
      > created a vast shortage of Catholic clergy and
      > turned
      > the most energetic and talented Catholics away from
      > ministry within their own Church.
      > 12. The ancient tradition of partial autonomy of the
      > "nationes" within the Catholic Church has been
      > broken
      > by Wojtila. Traditionally, the national councils of
      > Catholic bishops within each country had
      > considerable
      > leeway in governing the local churches. Wojtila,
      > unlike any of his modern predecessors, regularly
      > intervened and overturned decisions by the national
      > councils concerning details of religious customs and
      > personnel decisions.
      > 13. Wojtila deepened and intensified the
      > reproductive
      > doctrinal fetishes of his most reactionary
      > predecessors. Official "Catholic" positions on
      > contraception and abortion are creations of
      > deservedly
      > obscure, personally bizarre, and sexually twisted
      > theologians resident in the Roman theological
      > colleges
      > during the nineteenth century. They have no basis
      > whatsoever in the beliefs and practices of either
      > the
      > ancient or medieval Church. Because of Wojtila's use
      > of the Catholic Church's influence in international
      > organizations and its alliance with the "Religious
      > Right" in the USA, international birth control
      > programs have been starved and gutted over the last
      > two decades. As a result, tens of millions of
      > African,
      > Asian and Latin American infants and children have
      > lived and died in misery!
      > 14. Despite Wojtila's external reputation as some
      > sort
      > of "liberal," Catholics know that Wojtila is the
      > close
      > ally of the extremist and highly secretive Catholic
      > movement known as Opus Dei. Wojtila has welcomed and
      > blessed the practices of Opus Dei, which is a kind
      > of
      > "Church within the Church." He has promoted clergy
      > who
      > are affiliated with Opus Dei to the highest of
      > positions within the Church. Opus Dei members
      > congregate in secret in KKK-like costumes and engage
      > in practices which include wearing hairshirts and
      > self-flagellation. They maintain a network of secret
      > monasteries and houses where young Catholics
      > (especially those from wealthy and prominent
      > families)
      > are taken for intensive indoctrination sessions.
      > Opus
      > Dei members have been reliably reported by
      > deprogrammed former members to favor
      > re-ghettoization
      > of Jews and international military crusades against
      > Islam. US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a
      > key member of Opus Dei in North America. The most
      > likely successor to John Paul II is the ultra
      > reactionary Archbishop of Milan, Dionigi Tettamanzi
      > (known in Italy as the "Beast of Milan") who is
      > reputedly one of the maximum leaders of the
      > secretive
      > cult of Opus Dei.
      > 15. Wojtila methodically purged the College of
      > Cardinals of any creative or free-thinking members,
      > and almost all members of the current College of
      > Cardinals, which will now choose Wojtila's
      > successor,
      > are rightwing clerical robots appointed by Wojtila
      > himself. The Catholic Church is now guaranteed to
      > have
      > a self-perpetuating reactionary leadership for the
      > indefinite future.
      > 16. All initiatives for democratization of
      > governance
      > of the Catholic Church which began in the 1960s and
      > 1970s were stopped in their tracks by Wojtila.
      > American Catholics no longer talk about lay input
      > into
      > major decisions of the Church. The many talented
      > laymen and laywomen who run the day-to-day
      > operations
      > of Catholic parishes and diocese are treated with
      > highhanded disrespect, and the most talented have
      > left
      > or are in the process of leaving.
      > 17. Wojtila cruelly abandoned the Catholics of
      > Northern Ireland to a fate of political oppression
      > and
      > denial of their basic human rights. The Catholics of
      > Northern Ireland are the only European Catholics
      > still
      > undergoing systematic persecution for their
      > religious
      > beliefs. One might have thought that Pope John Paul
      > II
      > would have championed the human rights of Northern
      > Irish Catholics. Instead, Wojtila never spoke out
      > against the horrendous oppression of his
      > coreligionists in Northern Ireland. His sole
      > contribution to the discussion of Northern Ireland
      > was
      > to condemn IRA violence (without any corresponding
      > condemnation of British Army or loyalist violence)
      > and
      > demand a cessation of IRA activities, which would
      > simply have left the Catholics in Northern Ireland
      > completely helpless to their oppressors.
      > 18. Last but not least, Karol Wojtila proved his
      > utter
      > moral bankruptcy in his horrendous mishandling of
      > the
      > pedophile scandals in the Catholic Churches of the
      > United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain, and several
      > other nations. Wojtila could never bring himself to
      > a
      > clear apology or an acknowledgement of wrongdoing or
      > institutional responsibility for the Catholic
      > Church's
      > practices of abuse, intimidation, and rape of tens
      > of
      > thousands of children and adolescents. Most
      > reprehensibly, Wojtila removed the independent power
      > of the United States Catholic bishops to discipline
      > pedophile priests while attributing the horror and
      > filth within the American Catholic Church to some
      > sort
      > of American cultural malady.
      > Visiting a synagogue and a mosque, issuing a few
      > statements about Iraq and Palestine, opposition to
      > capital punishment as an isolated issue--Sorry, but
      > these and some other (mainly symbolic) "proofs" of
      > John Paul's "humanity" and his "apostolate of peace"
      > ring very, very hollow to this American Catholic who
      > has had his tradition and his Church wrenched from
      > him
      > by an Eastern European rightwing fanatic in Pope's
      > clothes.
      > Jim Connolly can be reached at: JConno2031@...
      > __________________________________
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