Author Archives: Jim Bowman

Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, —, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago’s North Side, where four of his and Winnie’s six children live close by.

Commonweal Magazine lays Francis out

Concluding with a virtual prosecutor’s brief:

The letter that Francis received in 2015 directly contradicts his claim that no victims had come forward in Chile, and makes it difficult to believe that he was defending Barros out of ignorance. Francis’s election, with its promise to return a real measure of authority to local churches, gave new life to the reform agenda of Vatican II.

But when it comes to the crisis that has devastated the church, it increasingly looks as though Francis is only offering more of the same—or worse. He might not be inclined to judge, but the church and the world are watching, and will not hesitate to do just that. Francis has demanded accountability from priests and bishops, and now must be held to account himself.

via A Time to Judge | Commonweal Magazine

Plus more more more from One Peter Five:

— A Breaking Point in the Papacy?

At the beginning of 2018, Steve Skojec predicted that this year would mark “the beginning of the end” of Pope Francis’ power. It is now becoming increasingly clear that this pontificate might be facing several distinct points of fracture. Francis’ international standing is being undermined.

There are at least five areas where the pope has become vulnerable: the Cardinal Marx scandal; the Bishop Barros abuse case; the Chinese crisis; the controversy concerning the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Ireland; and the growing resistance to Amoris Laetitia.


— Is Pope Francis Opening the Doors of the Church to “Queer Theology”?

The question arises spontaneously after learning that the Portuguese priest-poet José Tolentino de Mendonça has been asked to direct the upcoming and now-traditional Lenten retreat which will be given in Ariccia, Italy, to Pope Bergoglio and members of the Roman Curia.

Mendonça is known to be a fan of Sister Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila, a theologian noted for her “queer” positions and who is presently in Italy to promote her book We are all Diverse! In Favor of a Queer Theology (Castelvecchi Editore).

Actually, Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich beat this Lenten retreat to it some months back, when shortly after Rev. James Martin, S.J., had appearances cancelled in the wake of publication of his pro-gaiety book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (Harper One, 2017), Cupich scheduled him to offer Lenten reflections at Holy Name Cathedral the evenings of March 22 and 23.

Pro-gaiety reaches high ranks not only in Rome but in the U.S.A.


Same-sex-attracted get boost in Oregon . . .

. . . where the archbishop is having a heart for those (and their families) who want to live right.

The first initiative proposed for the Archdiocese of Portland was establishing the ministries of Courage and Encourage, which together provide a support network for same-sex attracted persons who are looking for chaste ways to live their lives, as well as their families.

“We must respond with love, respect and sensitivity to these persons and their families,” Sample said, according to the Catholic Sentinel.

. . . meanwhile pushing a program to strengthen married couples and their families.

The second new effort within the archdiocese was “for our local Church to do a better job of preparing people for marriage.”

Sample said marriage prep begins in youth, through religious education and the ways children grow to view marriage through high school, college and adulthood. He also noted that the archdiocese would be seeking out programs that would best fit existing parish and vicariate-level preparation programs.

and yet more, all

in response to the Church’s 2014 and 2015 worldwide synods of bishops on the topic of marriage, which the archbishop noted was a “major priority for the whole Church throughout the world.”

The very synods which some cardinals and the pope used in effect to strengthen something else — approval of communion for divorced and remarried.

via Portland archbishop celebrates marriage Mass after call for new family initiatives

House Intelligence memo released: What it says

FBI palmed fake info off to FISA judge: Italics added.

* The Steele dossier formed an essential part of the initial and all three renewal FISA applications against Carter Page.

* Andrew McCabe confirmed that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the FISA Court without the Steele dossier information.

* The political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications.

* DOJ official Bruce Ohr met with Steele beginning in the summer of 2016 and relayed to DOJ information about Steele’s bias. Steele told Ohr that he, Steele, was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected president and was passionate about him not becoming president.

FBI deceived the judge.

via House Intelligence memo released: What it says

Democrats in full array; The Schiff memo

The transcript shows the committee Democrats in full obstruct and delay and insult mode. Schiff is a lying drama queen with complicit friends among the mainstream media to perform public relations on his behalf. On page 51, Schiff moves for the transcript to be made public the following day. Chairman Devin Nunes responds with this quotable quote: “I think they are made public anyway, aren’t they? Yeah. I don’t think you need a motion for that.”

via Motions full of Schiff | Power Line

Donald Trump is teaching Republicans how to fight | New York Post

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. He was the one to take on Hillary. And now the world.

It’s an observation so strikingly true that you wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier. “Donald Trump,” a friend said the other day, “is teaching the Republican Party how to fight and how to win.”

The evidence is everywhere every day, and it was on vivid display Tuesday night. The president remains in a fighting mood, determined to keep punching his way forward.

The Trump way starts with the passage of the historic tax cuts despite tiny Republican majorities in Congress and scare tactics from the left. Before passage, polls showed the public was strongly opposed — but Trump pulled, pushed and bullied his party over the finish line.


Trump: I Will Release The FISA Memo

Let not your Trumpian hearts be troubled. The memo is coming. Two of them, in fact, as a co-author of the GOP memo commented:

Rep. Trey Gowdy said this week on Fox that the memo is “embarrassing” to Democrats. Gowdy said:

My Democratic colleagues didn’t want us to find this information. They did everything they could to keep us from finding this information. I think it will be embarrassing to Adam Schiff once people realize the extent to which he went to keep them from learning any of this. That would be the embarrassment…. if it were up to Adam Schiff, you wouldn’t know about Hillary Clinton’s email. You wouldn’t know about the server. You wouldn’t know about the dossier. I do find it ironic that he has his own memo right now because if it were up to him, we wouldn’t know any of it.

Good man, Gowdy.

Get a load of main street mainstream post-SOTU offerings . . .

. . . as delivered by Chi Trib, faithful as ever to its lib-Dem convictions.

Tension grips Congress as Trump calls for unity, then touts GOP agenda
Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker [Wash Post!]

The president sought to repurpose the term “Dreamer,” saying that it shouldn’t be an excuse to shortchange Americans’ economic prospects or safety.


Winners and losers from Trump’s State of the Union address  [Wash Post]

Fact check: Trump’s State of the Union speech doesn’t skimp on exaggerations [AP]

Huppke: State of the Union just fine for those turning blind eyes to Trump

Notice the prominence of  Wash Post and AP. Once it was merely second-city lemming-ism, now it’s actual transferring Trib’s Eastern-seaboard models to its front page.

Question: Where would Trib be without the Wash Post and AP? Once there was a newspaper, now a . . . copy cat?

Pope Francis’ blind spot on sexual abuse | National Catholic Reporter

The perspicacious Reese spots the flaw in the whole Vatican catastrophe:

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors recommended that Francis set up a separate office in the Vatican to deal with bishops who fail to do their job protecting children. At first, he agreed, but then he left the job with the Congregation for Bishops and existing Vatican offices. That was a mistake. The office that creates bishops will never be eager to uncover evidence that the man it helped become a bishop is a failure.

The Catholic Church could learn from secular governments on how to structure itself to deal with crimes and cover-ups, especially those that do not come under the jurisdiction of secular authorities.

The Vatican needs a department of justice with professional investigators and prosecutors who could deal with sexual abuse and cover-ups, as well as financial corruption, theft and other crimes. A separate judicial system should determine whether the evidence of guilt is convincing. The roles of investigators and judges could appropriately be held by lay women and men.

No one should be above the law. It compromises the system when someone like Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is not called to testify under oath in the case involving the misappropriation of funds to pay for the renovation of his apartment.

The status quo is not working. Pope Francis needs to make dramatic changes in the way in which the Vatican investigates crimes, especially those by bishops.

It should happen. Odds are it won’t. (Says this more or less perspicacious blogger.)

Another cardinal puts it to Francis about communion for divorce, this one a sitting archbishop

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

My money is on his NOT clarifying.

Trump HUD official Lynne Patton apologizes for calling reporter April Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’

And well she might apologize, but it was funny.

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