In one of the more explosive shakeups in the recent history of the Catholic Church, the second-most powerful man in the Vatican has been ousted.
American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a darling of conservative Catholics who is virulently anti-gay, has confirmed to BuzzFeed what rumors from Rome have said for weeks. He will be demoted by Pope Francis from the head of the Roman Catholic Church’s version of the Supreme Court to a figurehead role as the Patron of the Knights of Malta, a chivalrous order known for its work among the sick.
This is not the first demotion for Burke, who was dropped by Francis almost a year ago from an important Vatican bureau that selects bishops around the world. Burke was replaced on The Congregation for Bishops by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who, while also conservative, does not use the inflammatory rhetoric that has made Burke a favoriteÂ of the far-right in the Catholic Church.
Burke recently told an interviewer that legally-married gay and lesbian family members should be shunned from family celebrations during the upcoming holidays, asking â€œwhat would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?â€
Burke’s strong criticism of a preliminary document that included more inclusive welcoming of LGBT community members in the life of the Church and his challenge to Francis, who is seen to have had a hand in the drafting of the document, were apparently the last straw for the Pope.
Francis recently replaced outspoken Chicago Cardinal Francis George with the more conciliatory Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, a major promotion for the 65-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska. Admittedly, George was two-and-a-half years beyond the age of 75, when bishops and cardinals submit their resignations to the pope. However, some cardinalsÂ have been kept on the job until age 80 when they lose their right to vote in the conclave that selects a new pope after the death or resignation of the reigning pontiff.
These moves are thought by Vatican watchers to be signs that Francis wants to tone down the attacks on communities that are marginalized by the Catholic Church, including LGBT parishioners and divorced and pro-choice Catholics. Burke is a major proponent of the Latin Mass and is known for his fondness of clerical garb that went out of style following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which attempted to modernize the Church in worship and its relationship to Jews and to other Christian faiths. Burke opposes those reforms and his move to Rome from St. Louis, where he served as archbishop, was seen as a sign of favor by the ultra-conservative Pope Benedict XVI.
Burke’s influence on the Congregation for Bishops was seen in the naming of several controversial choices in major positions in the American Catholic Church, including Salvatore Cordileone, the Church’s leader in the successful Prop 8 movement that reversed marriage equality in California, from Oakland to San Francisco, an obvious thumb in the eye of the large LGBT community there.
In Chicago, Cupich will take over from George in November. While, for example, Cupich opposes marriage equality, in Spokane he is one of the rare U.S. Church leaders to speak out against attempts â€œto incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity.â€ Cupich wrote in a pastoral letter that was read in all Catholic parishes in the diocese, â€œIt is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Churchâ€™s pastors wherever it occurs.â€
The first major appointment of an American Archbishop tipped Francis’ hand as to how he wanted a change of tone among the hierarchy in the U.S. He named the affable Bishop Bernard Hebda, who had served as head of the diocese of Gaylord, Michigan for only four years, to be co-adjutor bishop with right of succession to the authoritarian and controversial Newark Archbishop John Myers, in 2016 when Myers turns 75.
How long Francis will have to change the leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church remains to be seen, as the vast majority of current ecclesial office-holders were appointed by conservatives John Paul II and Benedict XVI over a 35-year period. In his initial choices, Francis is veering slightly left in tenor. However, it is doubtfulÂ that any change in doctrine will be put in place during the remaining years of his pontificate.
Image viaÂ Wikimedia
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Watch: Anti-Vaxx ‘Expert’ Claims COVID-19 Vaccines Will Turn People Into ‘Transhumanist Cyborgs’ Controlled by 5G
Sherri Tenpenny is an influential religious-right anti-vaccine activist who has testified before the Ohio state House, appeared on Charlie Kirk’s podcast, and been a speaker at multiple ReAwaken America events, where she has shared the stage with the likes of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Eric Trump, Mike Lindell, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and Alex Jones.
Recently, she has begun to claim that COVID-19 vaccines are designed to create “quantum entanglement” between those who take them and the internet in an effort to turn humanity into “transhumanist cyborgs.”
“The stated goal is to depopulate the planet and the ones that are left, either make them chronically sick or turn them into transhumanist cyborgs that can be manipulated externally by 5G, by magnets, by all sorts of things,” Tenpenny said during an appearance on “The Stew Peters Show” Thursday night. “I got dragged through the mud by the mainstream media when I said that in May of last year in front of the House committee in Columbus, [Ohio]. Well, guess what? It’s all true.”
“The whole issue of quantum entanglement and what the shots do in terms of the frequencies and the electronic frequencies that come inside of your body and hook you up to the ‘Internet of Things,’ the quantum entanglement that happens immediately after you’re injected,” she continued. “You get hooked up to what they’re trying to develop. It’s called the hive mind, and they want all of us there as a node and as an electronic avatar that is an exact replica of us except it’s an electronic replica, it’s not our God given body that we were born with. And all of that will be running through the metaverse that they’re talking about. All of these things are real, Stew. All of them. And it’s happening right now. It’s not some science fiction thing happening out in the future; it’s happening right now in real time.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
1/6 Committee Subpoenas 14 Republicans Who Allegedly Submitted Forged Electoral Certificates
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) Friday afternoon announced the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has issued subpoenas to 14 Republicans from seven states who submitted the forged and “bogus” Electoral College certificates falsely claiming Donald Trump and not Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in their states.
The Chairman appeared to suggest the existence of a conspiracy as well, noting the “the planning and coordination of efforts,” saying “these so-called alternate electors met,” and may know “who was behind that scheme.”
He adds that “groups of individuals met on December 14th, 2020 in seven states carried by President Biden.”
“The so-called alternate electors from those states then transmitted the purported Electoral-College certificates to Congress, which multiple people advising former President Trump or his campaign used to justify delaying or blocking the certification of the election during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th, 2021.”
Some legal experts have said their actions may constitute a felony.
School Officials Remove Student’s ‘Gay Is OK’ Artwork and Liken It to the Nazi Flag, Sparking Local Outrage
The principal and vice-principal of an Athens, Georgia elementary school are under fire from both parents and faculty after they reportedly ordered an unnamed student’s artwork that includes the words “Gay is OK” to be removed from a collection of works hung on a classroom wall, with the vice-principal allegedly comparing it to the Nazi flag.
“It’s been brought to our attention that one local school’s administration at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary did not find the art to be ‘okay.’ A local teacher has had the art hanging in her classroom since October, as part of several different student art pieces. According to the teacher, one parent eventually complained to the principal,” Athens Pride reveals on its Facebook page, which has also been reported by multiple news outlets.
“The principal reportedly asked the teacher to move the art to a less offensive place– she stood in solidarity with the student and did not remove the piece,” the Athens Pride post continues. “We have been told she was then summoned to the principal and vice principal’s office, where the display of the rainbow and verbiage were likened to ‘displaying a swastika’ by the school’s vice principal.”
Local Georgia news outlet 11Alive reports parent and University of Georgia professor Jemelleh Coes says, “Nothing has been done and that is part of the problem and that is why we are finally at a place like this. Enough is enough.”
“There are ongoing complaints about this current administration has been discriminatory against women, being discriminatory against LGBTQ people, being discriminatory against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, emerging multilingual and Spanish speakers. So we have seen a pattern of inequity at our school and we have been asking for support at this point for years,” Coes added.
A current teacher who wished to speak anonymously said in a statement to 11Alive: “On behalf of a majority of the staff at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, we are disheartened that these words and actions have happened in our school building during this time. This does not represent why we chose this profession, and it does not represent the feelings, beliefs, values, and attributes our amazing school family has within these four walls. We are disheartened that there has been no action taken by CCSD or our building administration to rectify the divide that has been caused. We will continue to seek resolution and promote a community of love, acceptance, and tolerance within our building and community. ”
Athens Pride on Facebook sums up the current situation: “The truth is, our children are watching and they are listening.”
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