Dodgy Padres!

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Wobbly church fathers,monks and rabbis!

The Churches during the National-Socialist era

Charles Marsh’s recent biography on the heroic Pastor Bonhoeffer provides some insights on the less laudable responses of the Churches to the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Christian teachings “could be commandeered in the service of Germany, especially when the German theological establishment prsumed the providential blessing of the warrior God”.  Moreover, “Nazi banners ornamented the churches; one minister declared, ‘Christ has come to us through Adolf Hitler”.  Susan Heschel in ‘The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany’ records how Church intellectuals such as Walter Grundman condoned the publication of a ‘dejudaized’ New Testament (Die Botschaft Gottes) in which Jesus connections with Judea were removed, as well as references to his virgin birth and miracles. However, for the record, it should be noted that the Lutheran churches were split between Nazi-supporters (Deutsche Christen) and those opposed (Bekkende Kirche). Bonhoeffer became a leader of the latter, or ‘Confessing Church’

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Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

No wonder the Pope has been embarrassed by the actions of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in charge of the Holy See and its administration under Pope Benedict XVI . This church leader has apparently decided to settle in a  luxury 6,500 square foot apartment in the grounds of the San Carlo Palace in the Vatican, with a spacious roof garden. The simple-living Francis is not amused.

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A loose cannon (or is it the Rev. Canon?) James McConnell of the Whitewell MetropolitanTabernacle in Belfast tok a very uncharitable swipe at Islam, declaring to his Sunday congregation on 18th May that “Islam is heathen, Islam is Satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in Hell.”  We await the Church leadership to disassociate itself from this intolerance – perhaps Muslims can take some comfort from Jesus’s teaching: Blessed are the persecuted. click here

“There is a Roman Catholic priest at a medieval church an hour’s drive from Paris who has been indicted by a United Nations court for genocide, extermination, murder and rape in Rwanda. Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka was notorious during the 1994 genocide of 800,000 Tutsis for wearing a gun on his hip and colluding with the Hutu militia that murdered hundreds of people sheltering in his church. A Rwandan court convicted the priest of genocide and sentenced him in absentia to life in prison. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda spent years trying to bring him to trial. But the Catholic church in France does not see any of this as a bar to serving as a priest and has gone out of its way to defend Munyeshyaka.” Chris McGreal in The Guardian, 8 April 2014

The priest at St Mary and All Saints church, Hampton Lovett, Worcestershire: “The church said it had been unaware of the most serious accusations when it appointed the Right Rev Jonathan Ruhumuliza in 2005, even though they had been widely aired during and after the genocide, in which 800,000 Tutsis were murdered, and which led to a schism within the Anglican church in Rwanda.” 15 Feb 2014

The Revd Paul Flowers – statement from the Methodist Church: “We expect high standards of our ministers and we have procedures in place for when ministers fail to meet those standards. Paul is suspended from duties for a period of three weeks, pending investigations, and will not be available to carry out any ministerial work. We will also work with the police if they feel a crime has been committed.
We are also asking people to pray for all those involved in and affected by this story.” http://www.methodist.org.uk/news-and-events/news-releases/the-revd-paul-flowers

“..the newly-elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, David Lau, was seen on a video telling an audience of yeshiva boys that they shouldn’t watch European basketball games in public. “What difference does it make,” Lau said, “if the kushim who get paid in Tel Aviv beat the kushim who get paid in Greece?” Kushim, especially when used in a dismissive context like Lau did, is a well-understood derogatory term for blacks.
http://forward.com/articles/182171/israels-everyday-racism-and-how-american-jews-tu/#ixzz2bqwwScs4

“Israeli police say they have questioned the country’s chief rabbi and raided his home and office over his alleged involvement in a bribery and money-laundering scheme.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/israeli-police-raid-home-chief-rabbi

“Father Piero Corsi has sparked outrage in Italy with a Christmas message posted on the door of his church arguing that women suffer sexual violence because they neglect housework and children, serve cold dinners, dress provocatively….”
http://www.commondreams.org/further/2012/12/27-2

“France’s top rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, has resigned amid a scandal over plagiarism. Rabbi Bernheim had admitted to plagiarising several authors and lying about an academic status on his CV, reports said”.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22111313

“Two more infants have been infected with a deadly herpes virus in the last three months after undergoing a controversial religious oral circumcision in New York City…The identify of the rabbi who performed the circumcision is being withheld by the boys’ parents, preventing the health department to step in, they said.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304793/Two-babies-stricken-HERPES-ritual-oral-blood-sucking-circumcision-New-York-City.html

“Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, who is leader of the UK’s Strictly Orthodox Jewish community, told the alleged victim that it was “mesira”, or forbidden, to report a suspected Jewish sex offender to a non-Jewish authority”.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/senior-british-rabbi-filmed-telling-alleged-child-abuse-victim-not-to-go-to-the-police-8471779.html

“Palestinian sources in the city of Haifa have said that a group of rabbis has sent threatening letters to hotels and banqueting halls in the city, warning them not to host any New Year’s Eve parties or display any Christmas decorations. The warning refers to the celebration of “Gentile” festivals. Should the warning be ignored, the rabbis have threatened to withhold religious services and the monthly inspections which provide Kashrut supervision”.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/4897-rabbis-issue-warning-to-hotels-about-new-year-celebrations

“Father Piero Corsi has sparked outrage in Italy with a Christmas message posted on the door of his church arguing that women suffer sexual violence because they neglect housework and children, serve cold dinners, dress provocatively….”
http://www.commondreams.org/further/2012/12/27-2

“Israeli authorities have indicted a former chief rabbi of the country on charges of fraud and breach of trust…Bakshi-Doron and others are accused of falsifying rabbinical certificates for more than 1,000 soldiers and police officers so they could be eligible for salary increases”.
http://news.yahoo.com/former-israeli-chief-rabbi-indicted-fraud-161756424.html

“It has been alleged that the [Swiss] priest has been funding the website herself, the Tages Anzeiger reported. The prosecutor also believes it possible that she has been contributing some of the racist content, albeit under pseudonyms. The Council [of Reformist Churches] had already warned the priest previously for her participation at extreme-right Islamophobic events in Germany. Having reviewed the content of the website, the Council described the articles posted there as ‘inflammatory and derogatory’
http://www.thelocal.ch/3398/20120525/.

“Hewlett Johnson became the Dean of Canterbury in 1931, when he was already getting on for 60, and clung on to the post, despite numerous attempts to get him out, until 1964. Over those 33 years, Johnson devoted the bulk of his astonishing energy to proving that Soviet Communism, especially as practised by Stalin, was heaven on earth…”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/8660471/The-priest-who-thought-Stalin-was-a-saint.html

“Padres who earn as much as bishops in the Church of England, starting on more than £37,000 have their own moral mazes to navigate. Last month the government inquiry into the death of the Basra hotel receptionist Baha Mousa ñ who was beaten to death while in British custody in Iraq in 2003 ñ criticised Father Peter Madden, who was attached to 1st Battalion the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, for not reporting the abuse. The inquiry accused Madden of giving inconsistent evidence and “lacking the courage” to report the “shocking and shameful” treatment of 10 Iraqi men, including Mousa. His conduct shocked serving chaplains. One, who does not wish to be named, says: “The inquiry was very damning. That padre got it wrong. I hope it was a one-off but it will be a marker for us.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/05/uk-chaplains-afghanistan-priests-congregation

A priest suspected of being an IRA leader and masterminding a bombing atrocity was allowed to escape arrest thanks to a secret deal between police, ministers and the Roman Catholic Church, a report revealed yesterday. Father James Chesney was the ‘prime suspect’ after nine people, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed and 30 injured when three car bombs exploded in the quiet Northern Ireland village of Claudy in July 1972.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305646/Claudy-bombing-priest-James-Chesney-Cover-agreed-police-ministers-Church.html

Rabbi Meir Kahne ‘un jour aprËs líenlËvement de ces soldats, IsraÎl devrait sortir et attraper 100 Arabes, les mettre dans des cages mesurant 2 mËtres par 2 et dire : “Ils seront assis ici jusquí‡ ce que vous rel‚chiez gratuitement nos enfants’…Aucun arabe ne vaut la vie díun seul soldat juif. Certains pensent que cíest du racisme, moi je ne le crois pas.” http://www.uam93.com/news/comment-meir-kahane-aurait-il-fait-pour-liberer-gilad-shalit.html

“Catholic priest Brendan Smyth pleads guilty to 17 counts of indecently assaulting five girls and two boys in Belfast. His order, the Norbertines, spent decades shuttling him among Irish and American parishes and harbored Smyth from British arrest2.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1184828/Revealed-decades-ritual-child-abuse-Catholic-schools-orphanages-damned-report.html

“The resignation of Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the Bishop of Bruges since 1984, was the first from Belgium since a child abuse scandal began testing the Catholic Church several months ago in Europe and the United States”.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/7625123/Belgian-bishop-Roger-Vangheluwe-resigns-over-abuse-of-boy.html

“A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine last week, the BBC has learned. This incident took place on Saturday in Anuradhapura, an ancient Buddhist city and Unesco world heritage site. The monk who led the group told the BBC he did it because the shrine was on land that was given to Sinhalese Buddhists 2,000 years ago. But a prominent Muslim in the area said he was very sad and the sentiment was shared by many Sinhalese too.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14926002

“Rabbi David Twersky, leader of the Rachmastrivka Hasidic dynasty, says the recent tsunami in Japan, which has left thousands of people dead, was the result of the arrest of two yeshiva students by Japanese authorities after being convicted of smuggling drugs.”
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4050133,00.html

“A leading rabbi in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar has encouraged Israel Defense Forces soldiers to make use of the outlawed ‘neighbor procedure’ while operating in Palestinian areas. ‘Anything you do to keep the war tough is permissible, and obligatory according to the torah,’ Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, headmaster of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, wrote in fliers distributed to his students.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/leading-rabbi-encourages-idf-soldiers-to-use-palestinian-human-shields-1.320311 (605)

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