Sunday 23rd of January 2022

thank god for papal infallibility .....

thank god for papal infallibility .....

Lust, gluttony, greed and the rest of the seven deadly sins gathered in the 6th century will have to get used to a modern companion. A Vatican official has articulated seven new categories of sin “due to the phenomenon of globalization.” 

“While sin used to concern mostly the individual, today it has mainly a social resonance,” Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti told L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican City’s local paper. Bloomberg News parsed his remarks into a clip-n-saveable list: [BIG LETTERS BY GUS] 

1.                  “Bioethical” violations such as birth control


2.                  “Morally dubious” experiments such as stem cell research


3.                  Drug abuse


4.                  Polluting the environment


5.                  Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor


6.                  Excessive wealth


7.                  Creating poverty




Seven More Sins, Thanks To Vatican 


Gus: personally I would include GLOBALIZATION in the list but then I'm not the Pope....

and he sings as well...

To a dear friend, I wrote something naughty... I said Buffet was so poor, he could not afford a full size guitar... That's why he plays the ukulele...

the faith delusion

  The atheist delusion

'Opposition to religion occupies the high ground, intellectually and morally,' wrote Martin Amis recently. Over the past few years, leading writers and thinkers have published bestselling tracts against God. John Gray on why the 'secular fundamentalists' have got it all wrong

Religion has not gone away.


The growth of knowledge is a fact only postmodern relativists deny. Science is the best tool we have for forming reliable beliefs about the world, but it does not differ from religion by revealing a bare truth that religions veil in dreams.


Repressing it is like repressing sex, a self-defeating enterprise. In the 20th century, when it commanded powerful states and mass movements, it helped engender totalitarianism. Today, the result is a climate of hysteria. Not everything in religion is precious or deserving of reverence. There is an inheritance of anthropocentrism, the ugly fantasy that the Earth exists to serve humans, which most secular humanists share. There is the claim of religious authorities, also made by atheist regimes, to decide how people can express their sexuality, control their fertility and end their lives, which should be rejected categorically. Nobody should be allowed to curtail freedom in these ways, and no religion has the right to break the peace.

The attempt to eradicate religion, however, only leads to it reappearing in grotesque and degraded forms. A credulous belief in world revolution, universal democracy or the occult powers of mobile phones is more offensive to reason than the mysteries of religion, and less likely to survive in years to come. Victorian poet Matthew Arnold wrote of believers being left bereft as the tide of faith ebbs away. Today secular faith is ebbing, and it is the apostles of unbelief who are left stranded on the beach.


Gus: what a lot of rot...  this fellow John Gray takes a cheap shot at things he does not know anything about and in the process shoots himself in the foot. Matthew Arnold is correct — yet the ebb of faith is like a rotten tidal wave, that destroy all on its path, under pretentious beliefs... 

Superbia, Invidia and Luxuria

Well, colour me cha-cha


However, as religion stubbornly refuses to disappear, it might as well have a go at doing something sensible. Mucking around in frocks while refusing to address the pollution, disease and mortal terror that a prophylactic free Catholic world effects is hardly sensible. And BEFORE you bludgeon the comments field with instances of Christian charity and compassion, think of the HIV epidemic in a largely Catholic Latin America. Think about an elevated western religion with an exclusively all-boy executive chorus. And think of the pomp, Luxuria and Versace textiles that sit governing a global bethel choked by poverty.

Or, you could continue to do as the Bishop of Rome commands and ascend direct to Paradise. Give my regards to Concepción. And tell her I still like the Sex Pistols.

deus ex machina...

Sin, however, doesn’t take well to tinkering. Many Catholic thinkers reacted strongly against the idea that new sins were needed to complement, or supplement, the classical canon. They accused the press of exaggerating Monsignor Girotti’s words. Their reaction underscored how tough it is for the church to manage a moral code grounded in eternal verities at a time of furious change.

The Vatican has long been riven by this tension between dogma and the outside world. Yet it could apply to any religion: it’s hard to rejigger the rules when truth is meant to be fixed forever.

The core benefits of religions, unlike other, worldly institutions, often relate to the afterlife. Some social scientists argue, however, that many benefits of church membership are to be had this side of death. The gains are not unlike the advantages of a club of like-minded people. Religions provide rules to live by, solace in times of trouble and a sense of community. Some economic studies suggest that this can promote higher levels of education and income, more marriage and less divorce.

Such a club needs strong, believable rules. Like marriage, membership will be more valuable the more committed the other participants are to the common cause. Demanding rules — say celibacy, or avoiding meat during Lent — help enhance the level of commitment.


Gus: Ah,... the smell of steak on a Friday!.... 

Dogma is nothing more than imperious theatre... But the chimerical strings used in the act of dogmatic "magic" have been getting more and more like ropes big enough to tie up an oil tanker, killing the illusion...

Deus ex machina... 

buy at throw away prices...

from the Guardian

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has given a resounding vote of confidence to the US stockmarket, saying that now is a great time to "buy a slice of America's future at a marked-down price".

After global equities suffered another bruising week, Buffett revealed that he is now buying US stocks with his own money. He predicted that shares would "substantially" outperform cash as an investment type over the next decade.

Writing in the New York Times, the Sage of Omaha echoed his famous motto – to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.

see toon at top...

discriminating antidiscrimination

Bush Aides Say Religious Hiring Doesn’t Bar Aid

Published: October 17, 2008

WASHINGTON — In a newly disclosed legal memorandum, the Bush administration says it can bypass laws that forbid giving taxpayer money to religious groups that hire only staff members who share their faith.

The administration, which has sought to lower barriers between church and state through its religion-based initiative offices, made the claim in a 2007 Justice Department memorandum from the Office of Legal Counsel. It was quietly posted on the department’s Web site this week.

The statutes for some grant programs do not impose antidiscrimination conditions on their financing, and the administration had previously allowed such programs to give taxpayer money to groups that hire only people of a particular religion.

But the memorandum goes further, drawing a sweeping conclusion that even federal programs subject to antidiscrimination laws can give money to groups that discriminate.

cogito ergo my head is big but my wallet is empty...

Pope's Delayed Message on Greed


By Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

A new encyclical on Catholic social teaching will soon be released as Pope Benedict's response to the current economic crisis. The encyclical, "Caritas in veritate" (Charity in Truth), has been in preparation for more than two years, but was delayed because the pope wanted it updated to respond to the world financial crisis. It could be published as early as June 29 if the various translations are finished.

Conservatives will be shocked and disappointed by the encyclical, which will reflect Benedict's skepticism toward unbridled capitalism based on greed.

Back in February, he said, "It is the Church's duty to denounce the fundamental errors that have now been revealed in the collapse of the major American banks. Human greed is a form of idolatry that is against the true God, and is a falsification of the image of God with another god, Mammon."

Unlike President Obama who wants to reform a system that he believes is out of control, Pope Benedict wants to rethink the whole system. As he said earlier this month, "The financial and economic crisis clearly shows that certain economic-financial paradigms that have been dominant in the past years must be rethought."


See toon at top...

Although I don't like greed much, between god and greed I'd choose greed.

Waiting with anticipation for the pope's updated message on "truth in banking"... I'll obviously read it in Russian.

a new world financial order

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for a new world financial order guided by ethics, dignity and the search for the common good in the third encyclical of his pontificate.

In ''Charity in Truth,'' Benedict denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality of the globalized economy and lamented that greed had brought about the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

''Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,'' he wrote. ''Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.''

The document, in the works for two years and repeatedly delayed to incorporate the fallout from the crisis, was released one day before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet to coordinate efforts to deal with the global meltdown.


I believe we all know this... it's been around since the merchants at the temple... See toon at top...

From the American

From the American Conservative


From the Faith of America comes the Weigelian Church, which preaches liberal capitalism, pre-emptive war, the Little Way of Sarah Palin, global democratic revolution, and faith and works. Walker Percy saw this Church coming in Love in the Ruins. He called it the American Catholic Church. One of its major feast days was Property Rights Sunday, during which the ACC would display a blue banner showing Christ holding the American home (with white picket fence) in His hands.

The ACC would probably not have liked the pope’s new social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate—Love in Truth—any more than Weigel does. Caritas runs to 30,000 words and is a summary of Catholic teaching on such matters as economics, trade, and employment. It is, in other words—at least as far as the media is concerned—a politically charged document. And since Weigel is one of America’s most politically charged Catholic thinkers—known, especially, for his strong support of George W. Bush—his views on the encyclical had been eagerly awaited.


See toon at top...

catholic pill

A Roman Catholic bank in Germany has apologised after admitting it bought stocks in defence, tobacco and birth control companies.

Der Spiegel newspaper discovered the bank had invested 580,000 euros (£495,310, $826,674) in British arms company BAE Systems.

It also invested 160,000 euros in American birth control pill maker Wyeth and 870,000 euros in tobacco companies.

The bank apologised for behaviour "not in keeping with ethical standards".

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I have been unfair on the bloke...


Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday.

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. The much-anticipated message, which will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops, will be published online in five languages on Thursday and is expected to be the most radical statement yet from the outspoken pontiff.

However, it is certain to anger sections of Republican opinion in America by endorsing the warnings of climate scientists and admonishing rich elites, say cardinals and scientists who have advised the Vatican.

The Ghanaian cardinal, Peter Turkson, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and a close ally of the pope, will launch the encyclical. He has said it will address the root causes of poverty and the threats facing nature, or “creation”.

In a recent speech widely regarded as a curtain-raiser to the encyclical, Turkson said: “Much of the world remains in poverty, despite abundant resources, while a privileged global elite controls the bulk of the world’s wealth and consumes the bulk of its resources.”

The Argentinian pontiff is expected to repeat calls for a change in attitudes to poverty and nature. “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” he told a meeting of social movements last year. “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”


I have been unfair in regard to this new pope. He seems to understand NATURE... and the natural processes... I have attacked him before for trying to compare science and religion — in their "similar" interpretation of the big picture —  when one is based on observations and repeat of processes for verification, while the other is a dogma with no checks and balances.

But this does not stop me from recognising that Pope Francis is far more attune to the planet that all his predecessors combined, for whom the value of the earth was near zero, or only an acerbic stepping stone to reach paradise after having been declared by the heavenly custom' office that we're free from the original sin and from all the other sins committed during a lifetime.

see toon of the previous pope at top...