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Pope Francis, formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
As two of my coworkers, my aunt's husband on one side of the family, my aunt and cousins on the other side of the family, and several close friends are Catholic--and because the election of the new spiritual leader of 1.8 billion people worldwide is kind of a big deal, not to mention the election of a new major head of state--I got very lucky and refreshed right when the white smoke appeared, which means none of us got any work done for about an hour while we watched the live feed on my phone for the naming and emergence of the new pope.

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina, the first Latino pope, the first from the Western Hemisphere, the first non-European since the election of St. Gregory of Syria in 731, and the first Jesuit ever to be sit on the papal throne. And also, the second pope in over a thousand years to choose a totally new name. And what a name.

About
Pope Francis on Wikipedia
Who is Pope Francis on NPR

Record
Positions on Moral and Political Issues - no surprises on his social conservatism to be found, but his stance on economic injustice and poverty make some really interesting reading, especially in context of his history.

Human Rights/Controvery
Questions remain over Pope Francis’ role during Argentina’s dictatorship
'Dirty War' Questions For Pope Francis

(Note: The use of 'Dirty War' is apparently extremely questionable, so I'm only using it here because it's in the title of the article.)

Origin of Name

CNN Vatican analyst: Pope Francis' name choice 'precedent shattering'
Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he is a lover of the poor, said Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica.


Above and beyond everything else, I'm very curious about a man who takes his name from Francis of Assisi, patron of the poor and disenfranchised and--right, here it gets interesting:
After a pilgrimage to Rome, where he joined the poor in begging at the doors of the churches, he said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the country chapel of San Damiano, just outside of Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."


I don't even know if it's possible to adequately comment on that.

Question: does anyone have an English language reference or workable summary for the Aparecida Document? I mean, this was from 2007 condemning child abuse, child exploitation, and child prostitution as demographic terrorism, which is a term I haven't heard before, and even if it's introduced as culturally (in general) a problem, the timing on its release is kind of breathtaking.

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here's hoping he acts like his namesake, in which case he will be a HUGE improvement on the lad he's replacing. good on the cardinals for not going with yet another of the old same thang.

*pushes his glasses back onto his nose, looks interested* I hope he'll be less of a hater! *avoids various glaring family members* wut! I gots to be rude mon, iss in mah contract! =)

*sticks out tongue and surreptitiously hugs before running away*

This is a subject I know and care little about but from briefly scanning the Wikipedia article on his moral and political stances, I find myself confused once again by a certain point of Catholic teaching : how can you speak against poverty while disapproving if contraception? Being able to choose the time and number of your children seems to me a cornerstone of ending poverty? Also, an important factor in ending child abuse would be making sure every child is wanted by both parents who make a conscious decision to have the child and take on the responsibility of protecting and raising it regardless of what happens to them. So, again, contraception. Without the acceptance of contraception, any Pope is going, to me, to be just another thoughtless patriarch.

yeah, this is why I'm a mixture of pagan and atheist. *shrug* to each their own, nies? as a queer lad I'll not be joining any of christianity's branches -- but we're all playin' in the same yard, so peaceful coexistence works for me. for the sake of them as do believe, I hope he didn't actually collaborate with the dictator's regime. don't guess we'll find out anytime soon.

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, it's going to be enemy of the good is the perfect. I do actually get their stand on some kinds of contraception, since for one, some kind of chemical birth control interferes with implantation after conception and their interpretation of the Bible considers the human soul is embodied at conception, even if I completely disagree with it. I don't get--though I have read the doctrine arguments when it comes to sex as primarily procreation--on non-chemical birth control and condoms.

Until those arguments can be defeated entirely and doctrine reinterpreted correctly, it's pretty much impossible to get anywhere with contraception and abortion as contributing factors in regard to poverty because it's really hard to believe doctrine as it stands and support birth control et al when according to teachings it's murder.

I understand the "conception is life ergo abortion is murder" argument, while not agreeing with it. I just don't get the anti-condoms argument. What's wrong with preventing conception in the first place, especially since that will lower the number of abortions too? If God can get two virgins pregnant, He can bust a condom if there's a baby He particularly wants.

If it's all about perfection being the only acceptable option, just *sigh* even I know that according to them only God is perfect. Therefore we cannot achieve perfection, therefore we should do what we can now and baby step our way through the decades and centuries until we achieve near-perfection, rather than trying to take one big leap.

But, yeah, this is probably why I'm not a Catholic.

>> What's wrong with preventing conception in the first place, especially since that will lower the number of abortions too?<<

I guess that comes from the idea that a sexual act should only be performed in order to procreate a child and not "just for fun". If you use a condom it means, you want to have sex but you do actively not want a child as a result of it. Which - in conclusion - means, you want to have sex just for fun, not because you want to create the next generation.

And sex "just for fun" is simply a big no-no for the catholic church.

Basically: sex exists for the purpose of having children and therefore it isn't allowed to have it for other reasons, say, for the sole purpose of enjoying it.


NFP—figuring out the day of ovulation and then planning everything else around that—is basically the only method approved for contraception and conception. So, no condoms, no in vitro fertilization, etc. The Church does recognize the need to limit family size but my problem with the Church is that it promotes NFP exclusive of other methods when other methods work even better inclusive of NFP.

The cardinals voting in this were appointed by Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul so no surprise that we get another ultra-conservative even if he is Jesuit. And you’re right, eradicating poverty is great and all but not as effective without intersectionality.

NFP makes OB/GYNs a helluva lot of money, lol. And I don't get the anti-condom/no sex for fun argument either. hell, even the priesthood doesn't adhere to that one -- how many babies can a priest sire on a choirboy, hmmmm?

I heard that the old pope resigned when the retired Cardinal of LA came out and admitted to having been a perv while he was still serving as a priest. and the pope was worried he'd get caught up in this/implicated for knowing and hiding it.

this all is why so many of us follow science instead of religion. I had a damn good friend who suicided in junior high after a priest molested him and the boy was punished and the priest just went to another diocese so he could molest someone else. nobody *ever* punished that priest and nobody in the church did anything for his family after my friend killed himself.

after that, everything I had to say to the church could be said with only one finger.

Edited at 2013-03-15 08:45 am (UTC)

Actually, I don’t understand why you can’t use NFP with condoms and it’s a question I ask from both sides. I’ve seen NFP practitioners slut shame women who use barriers and spermicides and no, slut shaming is wrong! And I’ve seen people who use barriers and spermicides poo poo NFP as superstition when, wait when did ovulation preditor kits sold at the drugstore become superstition? And besides, wouldn’t it be nice to know when to double up on condoms and barriers?

I am kinda torn because as an institution, I do flip the bird to the Vatican but on an individual level, I’ve met amazing people who do take Jesus’ message of social justice seriously and I do see the potential the Church could be without institutional corruption.

yeah, slut shamers just piss me off. like the idiots who say women need to dress differently and hide their bodies cos men just can't help rapin' that. Bullshit. Wanna reduce rape? teach yer sons not to fucking rape people. period, end of sentence.

personally, if I was in a het pairing, the only way I'd agree to using NFP *is* with condoms -- either one alone has issues and weak spots, both is a pretty secure combination. and of course they do prevent HIV infections.

I think 98% of american christianity is nothing Jesus would even recognize. megachurches, crooked TV preachers, kidraping priests, etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I always liked the south american version of the Church, where the guys actually doing the preaching came right out and said poverty is evil and those who have more should give more.

course, that'd never fly here. as for the ovulation kits, they work best for women with a regular cycle, not so? if one's periods are uneven and irregular in interval, the kit is far less reliable.

*full disclosure* mind you, never having needed one meself, I might be full of shite on that last bit.

Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) work by measuring luteinizing hormone (LH) which goes through a surge just before ovulation. That surge and ovulation usually happen within 24 hours. After ovulation, the egg can survive at most a day and double ovulation also happens within a day. So from the moment of (the first) ovulation, the sperm have, at most, 48 hours to get to an egg. And sperm live, at most, around a week. So, NFP as a method for conception or contraception entire revolves around finding the O date and planning around that. And now you know to double up on condoms and spermicides in the first half of the cycle plus 3 days.

As for predictability, the first half of the cycle, the part before ovulation, the follicular phase is irregular. And how irregular is an individual thing but stress is the big variable. However, the second half of the cycle, the part after ovulation, is fairly stable. That’s how NFP is used to predict menstrual cycles: ovulation + luteal phase = date of next period. How long the luteal phase is is also an individual thing but 12+ days is considered healthy. But anyways, right now, NFP is the most reliable way for a woman to predict her next menstrual cycle on her own.

(BTW: OPKs are the easiest way to determine the O-date but can be expensive. What makes them dependent on cycle length is that most kits include only up to seven tests. From a dollor store, that kit will have only one test. There are cheaper albeit less convenient ways of determining the O-date.)

(And if you ever see something called Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), it’s Natural Family Planning (NFP) re-branded for a more secular crowd. Besides, if you’re using it to predict your next period, you’re not really using it to plan your family right? I just say NFP because that’s what people have heard of.)

As for the Catholic Church, I think that just because we don’t hear about corruption doesn’t mean it’s not happening. When sexual abuse scandals started breaking out in the U.S. and the world was wondering what was wrong with priests in this country, I just thought, just wait. The U.S. has a f——k you culture towards authority and in due time, similar scandals will break out around the world and lo and behold, Europe, especially Ireland. Because there is no way that an organization that is entirely male is healthy by any measure.

Also, in developing nations, as anti-poverty as they might be, that doesn’t change the fact that intersectionality is very lacking. Which wouldn’t be a problem except it injects itself into and mucks around in local politics by doing things like pressuring the police to shut down free condom giveaways and etc.

If the Catholic Church has a good reputation in developing nations, it’s because Protestant churches are heavy on the quack individuals pretending to be ministers or the organized ones—Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons and et al—are legit but come with heavy doses of racism. Well. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

Part II of why the Catholic Church has a good reputation is that the Jesuits went in there and said, “Hey! Let’s not enslave the indigenous peoples and Christianize them instead!” And while I have major issues with that, I do recognize it was better than enslavement. Also, the Jesuits usually practiced conversion through acculturation instead of forced erasure of culture which was progressive then and still is when compared to modern, contemporary Christian missionaries who still encourage cultural erasure. Anyways. European govt’s and kings really really really hated Jesuits. At times, the Vatican too has hated Jesuits. Go figure. Not that they’re perfect; they’ve also been involved in sex abuse scandals.

So yeah. That’s what I mean by so much wasted potential.

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