Sexual abuses: President of American atheists accused

Even David Silverman, President of American Atheists – the main secularist organisation in the USA –, has been removed from his charge after believable complaints of sexual assault. Identical specific charges have been recently made against the last celebrity of the atheist world, physicist Lawrence Krauss. Some years ago, instead, this happened to the founder of the main atheist magazine, Michael Shermer.

The American Catholic Church (and Chilean, in particular) is coping with the terrible scandal of paedophilia, for which we all feel enormously humiliated and angry. But, in its little, even the atheist community is hit by a spread phenomenon related, also in this case, to sexual abuse, albeit towards women. Beside misogyny and discrimination of women. Crimes and scandals about which few talk and which – why not – it should be made known that is being defined by lay feminists even as an epidemic, many of them having been victim of the abuses and of the veil of secrecy.

Silverman had been the great priest of American atheists...

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A.R. Wallace discovered biological evolution: «It is guided by a Mind»

The book Nature’s Prophet (University Alabama Press 2018), dedicated to Alfred Russel Wallace, was published some days ago. The author, Michael A. Flannery, science historian at the University of Alabama di Birmingham has held that Wallace’s formulation of biological evolution was totally incompatible with Darwin’s. Indeed, his theory developed in a theological context. A theistic evolution, we may say.

Flannery, member of the controversial movement Intelligent design, suggested that this very theological opening was fatal for him from the viewpoint of fame, which was gained almost exclusively by his competitor Charles Darwin, co-discoverer of natural selection. This cannot be excluded, although it must be remembered that many of the first Darwinists were theists and Christians, existentially much closer to Wallace than to agnostic Darwin. Let us think of Asa Gray, Lyell, Herschel, Henslow, Mivart, De Filippi, Chambers, Rosa, De Nouy, Sinnott, and Marcozzi.

Entomologist George Beccaloni, who in 2013 curated an exhibition on Wallace at the Natural History Museum, explained: «Wallace was the one who had the paper ready for publication, and if he’d sent it directly to a journal, it would have been published and natural selection would have been Wallace’s discovery». Instead, the naturalist chose...

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Going to Mass also benefits mental health: a new study

«The new data suggests a person’s religious involvement benefits their mental health by promoting social engagement providing psychological resources (hope, optimism, sense of meaning) and promoting healthier lifestyles». A new study, published on Sleep Health: Journal of National Sleep Foundation, refers it.

Another time, Blaise Pascal won his wager. The mathematician, indeed, dared to make a provoking reflection: who believes in God always wins, because, if God exists, he will obtain salvation. If he is wrong, he will have lived anyway a more serene existence than who does not believe. «Religion and spirituality positively affect a person’s health and quality», wrote Christopher Ellison, from the UTSA Department of Sociology.

The recent US study, therefore, adds to the copious scientific literature on this topic, which we wanted to collect in a specific dossier of ours.

For the sake of completeness, we shall report the result of the most recent research: married couples attending Mass together live longer, have less probabilities of getting depressed, and have less probabilities of getting divorced, according to the Harvard School of Public...

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Msgr. Viganò condemned: he stole from his disabled brother while he scolded the Pope

Judgment against Msgr. Viganò. The Tribunal of Milan condemned Washington’s former Apostolic Nuncio to pay a maxi-compensation to his disabled brother, Fr. Lorenzo. The dark scolder of Pope Francis had just written that “The Lord will render to every one of us according to our actions”.

 

“Dark”. So we had defined the biography of Carlo Maria Viganò, Washington’s former Apostolic Nuncio, when he decided to publish his report against Pope Francis, by openly asking him to resign. Yes, because we immediately noticed that the moralising Monsignor was involved in fraudolent public procurements and false invoicing, sued by his sister Rosanna for the misappropriation of 900 million Lire, and accused by his other brother, Lorenzo, of being a liar and of having lied even to Benedict XVI. A dark portrait emerged out of it, indeed: money, revenge, and power.

However, at that time his dossier, his reconstruction of the McCarrick case, and his multiple charges of immorality against dozens of his brothers in Christ and the Pontiff. We dealt with that and showed that his main criticism against Pope Francis was false: he had not rehabilitated Card. McCarrick at all, who had been...

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Shroud of Turin and “false bloodstains”: Dr. Di Lazzaro debunks the study

We come back, albeit briefly, on the recent study of the Shroud of Turin, concerning the pathway followed by the blood. The authors, Luigi Garlaschelli and Matteo Borrini, poured some blood on a mannequin and on the body of Garlashcelli himself, thereby comparing the blood’s pathways observable on the famous linen cloth and concluding their incompatibility. But the mistake is macroscopic, as we have written.

The kind of surface on which the liquid flows is fundamental in imprinting a certain type of trajectory on it compared to another. For this reason, it is methodologically incorrect to have compared a mannequin’s smooth plastic and the the clean and intact skin of Garlaschelli, in an aseptic lab, with the body of the Man of the Shroud, victim of tortures, flagellations, wounds, skin tumefactions, and dehydratation. Without considering, besides, the different blood density of a man dead because of traumatic stresses as opposed to the one of the blood used in the experiment.

All these are variables that clearly influenced the blood flow in a crucial way: in consideration of the two profoundly different situations put in comparison, an overlapping of the results would have been unrealistic and impossible. The criticism...

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The “forced Christianisation” of the Americas? Some historical clarifications.

Some talk about the forced evangelisation of the Americas. This was done yesterday by historian Edmondo Lupieri in his Identità e conquista (Feltrinelli 2005). We read about “colonialism”, “Christian conquests”, and “imposition of Christianity”. What is true about that?

Things should be historically clarified, and we did so in our specific dossier dedicated to the topic: relating the Catholic religion to colonialism is a controversial operation. Beside the fact that many “Catholic” sovereigns – those of Spain, France, and Portugal – were such in quite nominal a way (whilst England, the Netherlands, and other countries had already adhered to the Reformation), the authorities of the Church were often elected and governed directly by the king and not by the Pontiffs.

The Popes, in any cases, already in 1435 (with the bull “Sicut Dudum” by Eugene IV), condemned the enslavement of indigenous people under threat of excommunication (here the in-depth analysis) and, since 1537 with the bull “Veritas Ipsa”, wiped out the appetites for slavery over the populations of the New World by proclaiming that “Indios veros homines esse”. A queen deemed historically a genuine...

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The ex ISIS executioner who found peace by converting to Christ

The conversion of Muslims. In Iran the path of the ex terrorist of ISIS, the jihadist group. But many are the stories of conversions from Islam, and many have to do with dreams.

 

Heart4Iran is an associations of Christians devoted to the evangelisation in Iran and in close contact with Muslims. They also run a TV channel, Mohabat TV, which deals with news and assists the Iranian Christian Church. Amongst one million daily viewers, though, there are also many Muslims.

Some months ago, a particular call arrived at the TV switchboard. Nazanin Baghestani, supervisor of Mohabat TV, recounted to have talked to a man who revealed to be one of the ISIS executioners, the jihadist terrorist group. He wanted to understand something more on Christ and reported to experience frequent nightmares and apprehension.

Nazanin met the man, whose name is kept secret, and a friendship, a dialogue, started out of it. «One night» – he said: «after we’d prayed and talked with him and read the word, he slept. And that night he said ‘that was the first night I could sleep in peace’». From what the supervisor of Mohabat TV reported, the ex executioner started a path of forgiveness towards himself, thereby finding peace and freedom in Christ, even in view of the immense evil he is always more conscious of having committed.

...

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Vatican-China: “clandestine” Bishop Wei Fu: «we are joyful about the agreement»

The historic agreement between China and the Vatican has been greeted with joy by the Chinese Catholics, by the clandestine Bishops, and by the missionaries who really know the situation. Let us listen to what they have to say.

 

Every action, every speech, and every decision of Pope Francis receives by now its preventive dose of malicious criticism by the notorious pseudo-Catholic bloggers who like to act, according to the situation, as theologians, diplomats, historians, or experts of international politics. This was the case with the historic agreement between the Holy See and the Chinese government of last September 22. But they overlooked its enthusiastic welcoming by the “clandestine” Chinese Catholics and the fact that this agreement had been longed for by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Someone talked about a “betrayal” of the clandestine Church, not recognised by the government, without checking, though, the judgment of the Catholic clandestines themselves. «If one criticises Pope Francis for having surrendered to the Chinese government on the appointment of Chinese bishops, he can do so only because he does not have faith and therefore cannot really know what the Church really is. And I would let such a person say whatever he wants: he can say whatever he likes; anyway, he does not know what he is talking about». This was...

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The Galileo case: the philosopher of science Feyerabend defended the position of the Church

Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Church. The most ancient version of the "Letter to Benedetto Castelli" by Galilei was found in London. We exploit this occasion to publish a reflection by philosopher Feyerabend, whose quotation meant the censorship of Benedict XVI by some professors of the Sapienza University in 2008. Paul Feyerabend was professor at the main European universities as well as at the California University. His approach, as can be deduced, is absolutely secular.

 

By Paul Feyerabend* * Philosopher of science

 

The Church at the time of Galileo not only kept closer to reason as defined then and, in part, even now: it also considered the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s views. Its indictment of Galileo was rational and only opportunism and a lack of perspective can demand a revision. […]

The trial of Galileo was one of many trials. It had no special features except perhaps that Galileo was treated rather mildly, despite his lies and attempts at deception. But a small clique of intellectuals aided by scandal-hungry writers succeeded in blowing it up to enormous dimensions so that what was basically an altercation between an expert and an institution defending a wider view of things now looks almost like a battle between heaven and hell. The so-called trial of Galileo consisted of two separate proceedings, or trials. The first occurred in 1616. The Copernican doctrine...

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“Jesus did not want to found a new religion”: how to answer?

«Jesus had no intention of founding a new religion». This is the strongest statement emerged in the debate started by the review Jesus with some scholars, and it was pronounced by Mauro Pesce, full Professor of History of Christianity and the author of controversial theses expounded in his book with Corrado Augias: Inchiesta su Gesù [Inquest of Jesus].

The attempt is to reduce Jesus to a pius Jew who only wanted to go into Judaism more in depth, by indicating Christianity only as a betrayal of his real intentions (and usually accusing Saint Paul of having been the founder of a new religion). Anthropologist Adriana Destro, for example,  added: «Jesus did not want to form a separate group; he does not found a new Church. The reasons for his death, therefore, have nothing to do with theological questions, but with social and political questions». Pesce agrees and adds in the his above-mentioned book: «Jesus did not even want to change a dot, if we want to use an if we want to use a more recent term, of the Torah, that is of the religious law contained in the first five books of the Bible». But these theses are wrong.

From a certain point of view, it is true: Jesus never talks about a new religion to found. And, indeed, “Christianity” is nothing more that group of devout Jews who, meeting...

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Ratzingerian Ouellet debunks Viganò’s charges: «false and blasphemous»

The Viganò case and Ouellet. The former nuncio’s charges against Pope Francis have been defined as “false” and “blasphemous” by an ex close collaborator of Benedict XVI and by a pupil of John Paul II, Card. Marc Ouellet. His’ are well-documented replies, unlike the accusations by Viganò, after days of study in the Vatican’s archives.

 

And after the Viganò dossier, few hours ago the Ouellet dossier came out, which, based on a deep knowledge of the archival documents, debunks the charges and the reconstructions by the former apostolic nuncio. But who is Marc Ouellet? A loyalist to John Paul II and, above-all, to Benedict XVI. Back when no-one would have imagined, it was even anti-Bergoglian Vaticanist Sandro Magister to witness it, as he reported that Ouellet and Ratzinger’s «friendship is long-standing, strengthened by common battles». In a  second article, dated 2013, Magister defined Ouellet «a cardinal of solid Ratzingerian background and rich in talents».

Effectively, after having been created cardinal in 2003 by John Paul II, appointed by him as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Preisdent of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Metropolitan Archbishop of Québec, and Primate of Canada, Ouellet participated in the...

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Card. Caffarra: «Let who is against the Pope go away; he will lose himself»

Card. Caffarra, the dubia, and Pope Francis. One year after the death of the Archbishop of Bologna, many are remembering him. Amongst them, there are also the critics of the Pope, who exalted Card. Caffarra after the perplexities manifested about Amoris Laetitia. But three years before he passed on, Father Carlo gave a teaching on which many avoided reflecting.

 

Created Cardinal by Benedict XVI in 2006, Carlo Caffarra was always a lucid witness, an international point of reference of moral theology. «A great master», as defined yesterday by Msgr. Massimo Camisasca, Bishop of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, during a commemorative Mass celebrated by Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna. «His task first of all as theologian and then as Bishop was to feed himself continuously with God’s truth to transmit it to the people entrusted to him. He was able to reconcile continuously reason with the reasons of faith, he showed us paths that reason can follow and those that only faith can illuminate. I am happy to have known Father Carlo, to have been able to live with him many moments of my maturity and of the beginning of my old age, to have been a witness of his infinite love the Church and for the Pope».

The ending of Bishop Camisasca’s speech was not casual, since for many the name Caffarra is reduced to one of the Cardinals of the...

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Gay suicides? Nothing to do with homophobia; relationships are the cause

Gay discrimination leads to suicide”, “They commit suicide because they are victims of bullying”, “when they are hindered by their family, homosexuals risk committing suicide”. These and other ones are the usual statements by pro-gay psychiatrist Vittorio Lingiardi, Professor at the Sapienza University in Rome. All balderdash, at least according to an Australian study, saying that the causes prevalently derive from the higher incidence of relationship problems amongst homosexuals.

Dr. Delaney Skerrett, from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at the Griffith University, led a group of researchers studying suicides, so as to discover that the main cause of suicide amongstlesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex” (LGBTI) individuals is the stress deriving from their partners. «We tend to assume that the psychological distress LGBTI people are often going through is due to family rejection. But it seems that’s not so much the case. The conflict seems to be largely related to relationship problems, with partners» – declared the scientist.

The causes of suicide and depression inside the homosexual community are unfortunately more complex than gay activists admit. They «Pro-homosexual activists have long given a single explanation for the high rates of physical and mental health problems among those who engage in homosexual...

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Nobel Prize W.D. Phillips and that God present «in my life and in the Universe»

The US physicist and Nobel Prize William D. Phillips is called “the man who freezed atoms”, as he developed some important methods to cool atoms with laser light, to slow down their movement and be able to study them. He is Professor of Physics at the Maryland University and member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He never hid his faith: he is a Methodist Christian with a great esteem for the Catholic Church, as well as, besides, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

«I do not thing there is anything strange» – he explained few days ago. «Many scientists I know believe in God. I do not think there is what is called the “conflict between science and religion”; maybe, at the most, some people are devoted to creating conflicts».

He refers to his “new atheist” colleagues, already singled out by his fellow mathematician Amir Aczel, from the University of Massachusetts: they «compromised the integrity of science» to try to demonstrate that «the idea of the necessity of God must be necessarily wrong» (A. Aczel, Perché la scienza non nega Dio, Raffaele Cortina Editore 2015, p. 14). Aczel decided to enter into the debate precisely in response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens’s “scientific atheism”, in vogue until few years ago. Nobel Prize Phillips, on the contrary, has always declared...

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Sexual abuses, report on priests in Pennsylvania: what the media are hiding

The topic of paedophilia inside the Catholic Church has once again become the main focus on attention, and it is important that Pope Francis has talked about “crimes” in the letter diffused yesterday, because the sexual abuse by these corrupt men is not only a sin, but a tragic betrayal of their vocation. Few days ago the report realised by the Grandy jury of Pennsylvania, which describes the abuse occurred from 1947 until today in six dioceses of the American State.

The news went around the world, but there are two details to add, which do not diminish at all the seriousness of these actions, but they permit to contextualise things better. Few have talked about it, not even the “Catho-traditionalist” media, which are exploiting this issue to spread hatred towards today’s Pontiff and his collaborators. Until yesterday, they were talking about a secularist plot; today they are «ready to ask for the resignations even only on the basis of “it is not possible that he did not know”, when some clergymen considered close to the Pontiff in charge end up in the crosshairs (only in theirs)» – wrote Andrea Tornielli. A battle not in favour of the victims but «pursued by self-styled Catholic...

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