Monday, June 30, 2008

Chavez Starts a Reformed Catholic Church

A Venuzalean parishioner drew my attention to this. It is obviously designed for thinking Catholics.

For example, reformists consider that ''homosexuality and bisexuality are not sins in and of themselves.'' Divorce is allowed and priests do not take vows of chastity.
The church, which was publicly announced last week, also lines itself up squarely behind Chávez's ''Bolivarian Revolution'' and its socialist agenda.
Venezuelan Catholic leaders, who reacted sharply to the new church, claim Chávez is bankrolling it with petroleum proceeds.
But whether that's true or not, Reform Catholic leaders line up squarely behind the Venezuelan president.
''We completely support the socialist project led by Chávez,'' said Enrique Albornoz, one of the new church's first bishops -- a group that is to be ordained on Sunday.
The ordination of the bishops is scheduled to take place in Ciudad Ojeda, a small oil-rich town in the Venezuelan state of Zulia.

I always get anxious when Christians completely support anything other than Christ.


Paulinus said...

It's happened before, it'll happen again: the Church of England, the clerics who apostasised in France at the time of the revolution etc etc.

Christ's Church will weather this as it has every other storm.

Anonymous said...

Is this the chap who waves Noam Chomsky books at the united nations assembly?

Love the red boiler suit. Slightly lacking on the Che Gavara good looks front though.

I agree it is distressing to see Christians turn anti-Christ. Such a turn usually results in Catholic persecution. Prayers for Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

Chavez has spent too much of his life in jackboots to be much good in politics.

His new church will probably brand the Jews as accursed Christ-killers and deny that the gratuitous nuclear incineration of the State of Israel is a sin in and of itslf.

It will probably brand the Pope as the Antichrist, and welcome the Imam Mahdi as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vicar on earth.

Just to make sure his new religion sticks I suspect Chavez will force everyone to join it on pain of death.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I don't think you follow; this is an attempt to wound the Church through liberalism, not repression.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure, Father. Chavez is a typical Latin American strongman, not David Jenkins.

He is a former soldier who looks to Fidel Castro as a role model, plays kissy-kissy with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and in one photograph Robert Mugabe was seen to be so pleased to see him that he laughed like Norman Wisdom.

gemoftheocean said...

Chavez could not run a lemonade stand. How is he supposed to run a church?

nickbris said...

So now it is the turn of Chavez to be demonised,the War-Mongers in Washington will have another go for "regime change" in Venezuela.

In Saturdays Daily Telegraph Chavez has been found guilty of flooding the FREE world with drugs.

It's enough to make you weep.Check the calendar to make sure it is not April Fools' day.

Anonymous said...

OH that made me laugh out loud - "I always get anxious when Christians completely support anything other than Christ." Brill. I might have that engraved on my headstone. It`s genius.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this isn't related but...
Does anyone know what has happened to Fr Z's blog (What does the prayer really say?) - It seems to have dropped off the face of the web and I can't find links to it anywhere. Is anyone else having the same difficulties? Has it miraciously disappeared as part of a left-wing conspiracy to silence traditionalists?

Anonymous said...

Nickbris, do you always, or merely often, use the word 'demonise' as a boo-word to stifle criticism of revolutionaries and buffoons you like?

gemoftheocean said...

Chavez is simply an idiot. Same Marxist-Socialist BS that has never worked an never will. Isn't worth a bucket of spit.

Fr Ray Blake said...

try the sidebar link, he is there now.

Anonymous said...

Nick, do you have a fondness for insane dictators because you are a compassionate soul or because you admire the fact they can get the job done, no matter how ludicrous or bloodthirsty they are?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Fr Ray,
But no still cant get it. No matter what I do I get 'Website declined to show this page' (or similar). I've tried using links, google searches, web-page address but all the same. I don't know if the problem is perculiar to me (I've been blacklisted by Fr Z or my virus protection doesn't approve of the site anymore!) or his blog has been deleted.
Has he posted in the last week and is everyone else managing to access it ok?
Ta to all.

Anonymous said...

Laurence, I would say that referring to a president who has been repeatedly democratically elected and who has consistently respected the outcome of national referenda when they have gone against him as an "insane dictator" is fairly good justification for using the terms "demonisation." How is Chavez "blood thirsty"? Which massacres and genocides do you have in mind? This is all news to me, so I'd be very interested in hearing your evidence.
Chavez's main crime is that he has tried to divert some of Venezuela's new found oil wealth from the middle class to the poor (i.e. what Chavez refers to as "socialism"). He may not have done a very good job, the middle class live better under Chavex than they have ever done. But the fact that he openly talks about it is why the middle class and the US government want him dead. But don't worry, I don't think he'll last long as the US gov probably will probably try again to have him disposed or killed in their usual bit for democracy in Latin America. Remember Bush, the great Christian, had catholic priest/President Jean Bertrand Aristide thrown out of Haiti, who was also portrayed as some kind of cannibal. Have a look at Fox News on LAtin America and tell me demonisation doesn't happen.

nickbris said...

If Chavez' support of Fidel Castro makes him a bloodthirsty tyrant then he can't be all bad.

Anybody who knew Cuba before the overthrow of the American Mafia Brothel-Keepers would know that these new leaders are doing a good job.

The Washington War-Mongers don't like it and they will do anything in their power to turn the clock back.

Anonymous said...

Chavez' main crime is that he has allied himself to Iran whose leaders have directly and public incited the genocide of the Jews and for religious reasons regard war as the normal state of relations between Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Harb.

His other main crime is that the smart money says he will try to make sure that he stays in power for ever by rigging every election in sight.

Finally, as a Marxist-Leninist he is per se a conspirator to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.

Tom said...

I think now is the time to repeat Juan Carlos I's words to Chavez at the Ibero-American summit: "¿Por qué no te callas?" (Why don't you shut up?)


epsilon said...

Well said, If and Nickbris!
This link is from 2006 but also gives a bit of background:
"Father Jesús Silva, a Uruguayan priest, has lived in the Caracas slum of El Valle for 26 years.

"People of Venezuela’s eternally excluded and exploited social classes live here," Silva said, pointing to the tin roofs and unfinished brick buildings. "Today these people have a man in whom they confide," he continued, referring to President Hugo Chávez.

But Venezuela’s Catholic Church hierarchy has stood against Chávez since he took office in 1999. The late Cardinal José Ignacio Velasco was present in the Miraflores Presidential Palace April 12, 2002 during a failed attempt to oust Chávez, and signed a decree giving power to Pedro Carmona, creating some negative publicity for the Church (Latinamerica Press, April 22, 2002 and Feb. 26, 2003)."


Anonymous said...

Only an insane dictator would set up his own Church to directly threaten the place of the Catholic Church in Venezuela.

As for the 'bloodthirsty' comment, that has more to do with a previous conversation I had with Nick regarding another dictator who was not recently voted in democratically.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Chavez does have a big mouth, and I think he is self-defeating in that sense. But if you're going to call someone a "bloody dictator" you'd better give some evidence of what he has actually done to deserve such a label. You might condemn someone for what they call themslves (although the PSUV is NOT a Marxist-Leninist party!), by who they associate themselves with, or what they may or may not do at some time in the future. (By the way, all Venezuela's elections have been witnessed by international observers such as Jimmy Carter and none have been regarded as undemocratic). So, my question, is what has Chavez DONE that is becoming of a "bloody dictator"? If you've got no evidence, ¿Por qué no te callas?, instead of engaging in baseless slander and wishful thinking.

gemoftheocean said...

"If" if "Jimmy Carter" is your answer, it had to be a stupid question to begin with. Jimmy Carter is a monumental buffoon of the first water. He couldn't pour you-know-what out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel. Couldn't find his own rear end with two hands, a mirror and a flashlight. He has helped to make the Nobel Peace prize the joke it is today.

Anonymous said...

I do see your point now, If..., just the recent news about Chavez setting up a separate Church is worrying that's all.

Red Maria said...

This so-called Church of Reformed Catholics which has announced itself with bells and fanfares in Venezuela is clearly nothing more than a reprehensible cluster of self-serving malconents and phoneys who desire all the majesty of the Roman Catholic Church without any of her effort. It deserves our forthright contempt. If, as reported, Chavez is bankrolling this project, it is to his discredit, self-defeating and to the detriment of socialism in Venezuela.

But scarcely less annoying and distracting from a proper debate about the future of the Church and leftwing politics are some of the fatuous comments we have seen about Chavez, from people who imagine that the Roman Catholic Church is the spiritual expression of their own reactionary right wing politics. It isn't and they would do better to read a number of papal encyclicals, beginning with Rerum Novarum, some basic primers on Socialism as well as re-reading Orwell's Animal Farm in a spirit of reflection and thoughtfulness.

As If rightly pointed out, and I sympathise greatly with his/her frustration at having to correct the wilfully ignorant on these basic points, Chavez is the democratically elected leader of Venezuela and those elections were conducted according to UN observers in a free and fair manner. S/he was also correct in noting that Chavez is NOT a Marxist Leninist, a shame in my view since dialectical materialism would at least discipline his thinking, and is not by any means a revolutionary. Chavez is a reformist populist and as such has indubitably achieved some good things, which many Catholics would otherwise applaud.

We have to ask ourselves some important questions. Why is the Venezuelan Church in such conflict with Chavez that this phoney church has been set up to counter it? What are the historical forces at play? Is the Church perceived by the Chavistas as a stalking horse for reaction and if so why? To what extent, if any, is this justified?

But we also have to ask ourselves questions about the nature of this development. It's no accident that this phoney Catholic church stakes its identity in sexual libertinism, not note, the interests of the disposessed or the industrial working class which are vastly more important to the majority of Venezuelans. How must Roman Catholics collectively to respond to this?

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