Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity

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http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0223/1224290630240.html?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d67f0beae63a4d6%2C0

 

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

TWO GERMAN lawyers have initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court, alleging crimes against humanity.

Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel, based at Marktheidenfeld in the Pope’s home state of Bavaria, last week submitted a 16,500-word document to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Dr Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Their charges concern “three worldwide crimes which until now have not been denounced . . . (as) the traditional reverence toward ‘ecclesiastical authority’ has clouded the sense of right and wrong”.

They claim the Pope “is responsible for the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats”.

They allege he is also responsible for “the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-Aids infection exists” and for “the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”.

They claim the Catholic Church “acquires its members through a compulsory act, namely, through the baptism of infants that do not yet have a will of their own”. This act was “irrevocable” and is buttressed by threats of excommunication and the fires of hell.

It was “a grave impairment of the personal freedom of development and of a person’s emotional and mental integrity”. The Pope was “responsible for its preservation and enforcement and, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of his Church, he was jointly responsible” with Pope John Paul II.

Catholics “threatened by HIV-AIDS . . . are faced with a terrible alternative: If they protect themselves with condoms during sexual intercourse, they become grave sinners; if they do not protect themselves out of fear of the punishment of sin threatened by the church, they become candidates for death.”

There was also “strong suspicion that Dr Joseph Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of his church and as Pope, has up to the present day systematically covered up the sexual abuse of children and youths and protected the perpetrators, thereby aiding and abetting further sexual violence toward young people”.

Boston high school students demand better sex education. But guess who opposes it? Why, the Catholic Church Organizations. Boy, do they hate condoms and information that could help people have safer sex.

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Students: Let’s talk about sex

By Jessica Fargen and Colneth Smiley Jr.  |   Sunday, February 13, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com |  Local Coverage
Photo 

Photo by Patrick Whittemore

An ambitious group of Hub teens get their moment in the spotlight Tuesday, when they pitch to the City Council their long-sought plan to get better sex-ed programs and free condoms in all Boston schools. But a growing number of opponents say not so fast.

“This is important. Our young people want change. They are advocating for this,” said Carla Poulos, an organizer with the Hyde Square Task Force, a group of teens who want to revamp sex education in Hub high schools.

Supporters of a plan to make condoms available in all Boston public high schools and create a sex-ed curriculum plan to pack a City Council hearing Tuesday on the issue.

“Kids are having sex,” said Samantha Brea, a senior at Snowden International School at Copley. “Giving them a condom isn’t increasing their sexual activity. It’s just pushing them to have safer sexual behavior.”

Condoms are available, with parental permission, in nine Boston public high schools that have health centers, said Boston Public Schools spokesman Matt Wilder.

Though Superintendent Carol Johnson is reluctant to expand condom availability, she has created a team to come up with sex-education curriculum and study the issue of condoms in the schools, he said.

“She is hesitant to make condoms available at every high school without any kind of research and safeguards,” he said.

At-large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley said alarming teen pregnancy and STD statistics are driving the conversation. More than half of Boston high schoolers are having sex, and 34 percent had sex before age 14, according to a 2009 study. In addition, more and more teens are testing positive for STDs.

Opponents of wider condom distribution say BPS should focus on abstinence.

“Condom distribution sends the wrong message to students that sexual activity before marriage is normative,” said C.J. Doyle, director of the Catholic Action League, which plans to speak at the hearing.

“Condoms are not the solution,” said Chris Pham, a member of the Boston chapter of Pure In Heart, a Catholic chastity group. “Teens are being misled into believing that they can strap on a condom, have sex with whomever, and be safe.”

The effort is not just about condoms, said Patricia Quinn, director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.

Boston schools are sorely lacking consistent, comprehensive sex education, she said.

“It’s school-by-school. That makes it somewhat haphazard in terms of what kind of sex ed you can count on your child getting,” she said.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1316329

Quote of the day

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“Bastards. Mother-fucking evil bastards.” – PZ Myers

House Rethuglicans have just voted to deny all funding to Planned Parenthood.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

“This is what we can expect from these lunatics in the Republican party — years and years of destructive policy-making, in which they’ll rip out the infrastructure of the country, demolish the social safety net, and criminalize everyone who isn’t a wealthy white man.”

Got to love PZ!!!!!!

True Grit

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True Grit (2010)

A Coen brothers production. Jeff Bridges plays a bounty hunter with the badge of a US Marshall. He generally shoots first and asks questions if there is anybody left alive. He is a drunk and used to be a bank robber, but now it is better to work for the law, instead of running away from them all the time.

Matt Damon plays a Texas Ranger hunting down a man who gunned down a state senator. His character is a real boy scout goody goody who is determined to catch his man.

Both these men end up helping a young lady who gets them to hunt down the man who shot her father, who is the same man Damon is hunting.

Fist off, let me say, this version beats the hell out of the old John Wayne film.

I enjoyed it a lot. It is well made. It shows the darker side of people, and what it took to get justice in those days.

A couple of small things annoyed me that was not realistic. I always notice these things, and I see it as lazy work by the directors and producers. If you are going to spend so much time and money making a good movie, why do they let these things slip by?

I recommend this movie. It has it’s moments, but the best part is that it is much much better than the old John Wayne version. God, I hate those old goody goody westerns where the good guys were all saints and the bad guys were all stupid.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

 

Pale Rider

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Pale Rider (1985)

A movie review by McBrolloks

Another Clint Eastwood classic. Eastwood loves to tell the untold stories of the old West.  This has plenty of action. The bad guys are a bunch of thugs, but after they have a run in with Clint, they hire some real professional bad guys to sort him out.

I enjoyed this movie many times. It is a classic, and on my favorite Clint Eastwood list.

Rating: 7 out of 10

ASA bans church’s healing claims

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ASA bans church’s healing claims
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA Feb 03 2011 18:14

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the Christ Embassy church from airing its claims of faith healing, following a complaint from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

However the church says it intends to appeal.

The ruling, released on Wednesday, came after the ASA rejected an initial complaint in June last year.

TAC spokesperson Nathan Geffen said on Thursday that the claims were aired during the church’s regular early morning slot on e.tv on Sundays.

He said the church claimed to use faith healing to treat several diseases, including heart disease, and had run adverts on its website claiming to treat HIV/Aids.

“Quackery of this nature is not merely misleading. It is life-destroying,” he said.

He said TAC knew of a woman infected with extreme drug resistant TB who stopped taking her medication because she believed the church had cured her, and died, after infecting her own children with the disease.

Advertisement for services
Geffen also criticised e.tv for continuing to run Christ Embassy programming even after it was alerted to TAC’s concerns.

“During the ASA proceedings, the extent of the financial motive involved in running Christ Embassy’s ads became abundantly clear: a broadcast agreement between Christ Embassy and e.tv shows that Christ Embassy paid R2,6-million excluding VAT to run 52 24-minute episodes,” he said.

In its ruling, the ASA’s Advertising Standards Committee said the particular Sunday morning programmes that TAC complained of, in which a woman was allegedly healed of rheumatic heart disease, clearly constituted an advertisement for services.

The probable impact of the material on those likely to see it was that Christ Embassy possessed, or had the power to transfer, God’s healing powers to the ill and diseased.

“Common sense tells us not to allow false hope to grip vulnerable and sick people,” the committee said.

“The ASA will be failing in its duty if it allows miracle cure [a phenomenon that is known to occur in very few instances] to be touted as an everyday cure that is available at Christ Embassy.”

An attorney acting for the church, Sean Sim, told the South African Press Association the church would definitely appeal the ruling. It had 20 days to do so, he said.

The church was not going to make an apology for or backtrack on the belief in faith healing.

“It is one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity,” he said. — Sapa