There has been much speculation about the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. According to a report in the February 21 edition of The Reppublica “Sesso e carriera, i ricatti in Vaticano dietro la rinuncia di Benedetto XVI – Repubblica.it ” it appears that the cause was learning of a web of corruption, sex scandals and blackmail within the Catholic Church.
Having deconverted from Catholicism and been witness to a few priests with their “nieces” and “godchildren” and watching how they were changed from one parish to another and some minor corruption, it comes as no surprise.
The report was done by a three-man commission that investigated the Vatileaks affair. Spearheaded by a Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz. Assisted by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo, and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko, who was once in charge of the Vatican’s department for missionaries.
It seems that the information contained in the almost 300 page volume was too much for the octogenarian pope to handle. And though his resignation is being purported to be an act of strength and not of weakness, I believe that he is only trying to save face and has more interest in the institution he presides than in the welfare of the members. The pope’s position on human rights and the sexual molestation by the clergy has been lacking. The systematic cover-up makes all those involved just as guilty as the rapists themselves. The Catholic Church has not handed the culprits over to the justice system and the stories of priest-shuffling are myriad. There is no justifiable excuse for not taking an open stance against these criminals. Once detected , they should be immediately removed from their parish, handed over to the police and if found guilty defrocked and have anathema imposed upon them. The problem with the anathema bit is that it would have to include much of the hierarchy including a number of popes.
Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive (Name) himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment.
The article also mentions that the next pope should be strong, young and “saintly” enough to handle this situation. As I can not get my wish to have them all resign and have the institution disbanded and its assets sold with the proceeds put to use in some charitable fashion, I would hope for an ethical pope with a high degree of respect for human rights.
The report mentioned in the article is for the pope’s eyes only and will be handed to the next pope only, so unless there comes a new Vatileaks style butler, don’t expect to be privy to the details.
See you next time.
- Top News: Pope Benedict retired after inquiry into ‘Vatican gay bishops’, says paper (guardian.co.uk)
In the past weeks I stumbled upon a series of articles in the news that quite frankly were the harbingers of doom. Modern civilization is coming to an end in this century.
The Mayas missed the date, but it seems that in the later half of this century, civilization will come to a halt. At least in the way we know it today.
The articles all talk about climate change and how around 2080 wild arabica could be extinct. This does not mean that coffee per se will disappear, but it will be more difficult to keep up production of this variety of coffee.
Coffee production will not come to a halt, but we could be in for a change in the variety of coffee used in our blends. Reuters reported in an article called Analysis: Coffee roasters stick with less costly robusta that roasters are using more robusta in their blends due to cost and the possibility to maintain market share . Consumers have switched to non-premium blends of coffee that contain a higher content of lower quality robusta.
The more resistant variety of coffee known as Robusta or Coffea canephora gives your coffee more bitterness, more caffeine and an unpleasant rubbery taste. The best espresso roasts use primarily Arabica beans, which originated in Ethiopia, but have spread around the world. In some blends Robusta beans are typically included in the blend because of their ability to generate crema. High quality Italian espresso blends such as Illy use no robusta at all.
Robusta has on average half the flavour and aromatic oils compared to Arabica. These oils attack the foam and make it disappear. Less oil in your brew equals more foam – crema. But at a cost. Less oil equals less aroma, flavor and overall quality of your espresso.
So let us reduce, reuse and recycle so as to limit our carbon footprint, lest we leave behind a world of low quality/high price coffee to those that come after us.
Here is the link to the article from PLOS ONE.
See you next time.
- Why the Maya Fell: Climate Change, Conflict – And a Trip to the Beach? (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- A jolt for coffee lovers: Arabica beans doomed to extinction? (ctvnews.ca)
- Caffè assolto: non favorisce malattie il guaio è che rischia l’estinzione (repubblica.it)
- Climate change threatens coffee crops(guardian.co.uk)
- Is our daily cup of coffee under threat?(kew.org)
- Repent! The End Of Cheap Coffee Is Nigh! (forbes.com)
- Robusta Economy (nytimes.com)
According to a recent study 16% of the world’s population are religiously unaffiliated. That is 1.1 billion people. The “nones” include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys.
The tendency for unaffiliated persons is higher in Asia-Pacific followed by Europe and North America and lowest in the Middle East-North Africa.
The Pew Research Center study is called The Global Religious Landscape – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life .
However, many of the religiously unaffiliated have some form of religious beliefs and also engage in certain kinds of religious practices.
The age of the global “nones” is a bit higher than the average in the U.S. study ‘No Religion’ on the Rise: 19.6% Have No Religious Affiliation – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life bet there is a trend worldwide.
I would like to remind you that the Atheist Census is now underway and would ask you to take part. There are only 6 questions you have to answer. It takes a few minutes to contribute to this project that will allow us to counted. Or as the census site states Atheist Census – Numbers matter. Be counted..
See you next time.
What better way to remember Christopher Hitchens than to watch one of his great debates.
or for a short version with a few extra Hitch Slaps:
After only 17 hours the Atheist Census page went offline as the result of a denial of service (DoS) attack.
There were 8,880 confirmed entries and another 2,300 pending according to the Atheist Alliance International site.
Looks like somebody does not want us to be counted. What are they afraid of?
I hope that the people at AAI get the site up and running soon.
Please support this effort through donations, reblogging, and above all by participating in the census.
Stand up and be counted. Let others know that they are not alone. Let others know that there are more of us than they think we are.