U.S. Roman Catholic leaders called on Monday for greater transparency and vetting in the appointment of bishops after the scandal of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who rose through the ranks despite repeated allegations of sexual misconduct.
The American bishops made the suggestions during their annual general assembly, held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and in the wake of an explosive 450-page report issued by the Vatican last week.
McCarrick, a star of the U.S. Church, was expelled from the priesthood last year after an internal investigation found him guilty of sexual abuse of minors and adults and abuse of power.
The report showed that Pope John Paul II had promoted McCarrick in 2000 to be archbishop of Washington DC despite persistent rumours of sexual misconduct. The late pope believed his personal denial over the word of several senior Church officials who had advised him against promoting McCarrick.
“The lesson learned is that we should take very seriously the recommendations and comments that come from those in authority,” Donald Hanchon, an auxiliary bishop of Detroit, said during a public session of the meeting that was streamed on the Internet.
Bishop Mark Brennan of Charleston, West Virginia, said procedures leading to the appointment of bishops – which are for the most part secret and carried out by Vatican representatives – should be transparent.
“We should look at the way bishops are vetted,” he said. Brennan added that once a priest is slated for a promotion to the bishopric, his name should be made public before he takes office.
He suggested a two-month period to give people time to come forward with any information they may have.
“I’m really amazed with the autonomy we have, that we are really beholden to no-one,” said Bishop William Wack of Tallahassee, Florida.
“It’s a stunning, stunning report… people knew, there were whispers about things but no-one put the pieces together and very few people confronted the offenders directly,” Wack said.
Other bishops suggested the Church set up a system whereby seminarians studying for the priesthood are asked regularly if any bishop is abusing his power.
McCarrick has said he had no recollection of child abuse and has not commented publicly on allegations of misconduct with adults. Now aged 90, he is living in isolation.
The report found that he used his authority over the careers of priests and seminarians to force them to sleep with him.
The former cardinal was also a formidable fund raiser and often gave monetary gifts to other bishops and Vatican officials.
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, said the report mentioned the gifts but did not name who received the money. He said the information should be made public.
Several of the bishops defended the legacy of Pope John Paul, saying McCarrick was a pathological liar who had deceived the pontiff.
John Paul died in 2005 and was declared a saint in 2014, a record nine years for a process that sometimes takes decades or even centuries. Critics have said the canonisation process was too hasty.
A Pretty Face Might Not Be A Pretty Heart (Read Carefully)
Sunday Akanni Moshood
There are lots of innocent-looking ladies that are actually filled with wickedness. Unfortunately, people that moved closer to such (particularly men that married them due to their looks), are still nursing the pains they suffered from such decision, and always wished they could turn back the hands of time.
There are many responsible-looking men who are actually terrible individuals. Talk about ‘Behind’ Doctors, Lawyers, Professors, Bankers, MDs, etc. They appear like a gentleman, always looking good and even dressing smart. Unfortunately, those that moved closer to such (particularly women who married them because of what they portrayed on the outside) have suffered vehemently from the bitter venom such men posesses (some even turned their wives into punching bags).
Don’t be deceived by people’s outward appearances. That sweet-looking lady or gentleman you see, might be an apprentice of the devil! So, can you see why you must align with the Holy Spirit so you won’t get ruined?
Many of those beautiful-looking folks you see around are actually ugly within. And you should know that the inside is what really matters. If the inside is ugly, then the person is ugly (irrespective of how good-looking their face is). They have beautiful faces with ugly character. Pleasant-looking appearances with an ugly attitude. Don’t be deceived!
So, today, you see pleasant-looking ladies flaunting their bodies on our streets and on social media. Exposing parts of their bodies meant to be private, with boldness. What many don’t know is that such ‘beautiful’ ladies are not ordinary humans. They appear beautiful and sexy during the day, but check them out (if you can) during the dark when they gather at their evil covens, as witches, ladies of the underworld from evil marine kingdoms, holding evil meetings in thick forests, and even inside trees.
They will drop their borrowed pleasant-looking appearances, and they turn into their real features (old, ugly, evil, and brutal)
So when next you see that ‘beautiful’ and scanty-dressed lady, have it at the back of your mind that she is on a mission during the day (to make people sin, so the devil her master can have access to plunder you), and when it’s dark, she transform into a terrible ugly creature.
Listen, if you failed to have certain divine wisdom and knowledge that will keep you ahead of these evil folks from the kingdom of darkness, they will deceive you with their appearances, have access into you, and get you ruined. These things are true.
We live in a terrible world. Hence, to be secured (and ahead of these evil forces), you must surrender your life to JESUS Christ. He is the Ancient Wisdom of GOD, and He will help you live life properly and securedly.
JESUS will send the Holy Spirit to you, and the Good LORD will help you discern who you should associate with, and those you should run away from. Just call upon the Name of Jesus wherever you are, and He will come to you.
The world is evil. Please, don’t allow these evil folks (who always appear pleasant) to sweep you away.
Create and maintain an intimate relationship with God.
Between Love For Money And Sexual Lust? Which Is More Difficult To Overcome?
Love Of Money Or Sexual Lust? Which Is More Difficult For A Believer To Overcome?
I used to seriously struggle with both issues before I repented and surrendered my life to God, but immediately I did, I noticed the love of money that used to lead me to steal and cheat others immediately died. The sudden change in my life was something that was remarkable and astounding. I never expected it to be so sudden because prior to that I was very covetous and materialistic at the time, and at the same time I was a men-pleaser, so I was eager to impress people and I didn’t have much, so this combination of wrong tendencies led me to take things that did not belong to me.
But that completely changed once I repented that the same me that would be looking for any opportunity to cheat someone and collect excess change, even when people do not get their calculations correctly after conducting a transaction with me or unknowingly give me excess change, I would immediately bring it to their knowledge and refund their money where applicable.
It was that easy for me to overcome the love of money, but that of sexual lusts was on the contrary not that easy for me as it took much longer for me to get it under control. It came to a point that I was asking God to do the same thing He did for me with the love of money and covetousness in the respect of sexual lust. So it wasn’t easy at all for me to overcome it, but thanks be to God that He’s answered my prayer as I have been able to overcome both immoral tendencies not just one of them.
If my experience was anything to go by, the answer to the question would sexual lust because it took me much longer to overcome it. However it seemed a pastor begged to differ with what he said to me sometime in the late nineties or thereabout which was, “if there was one issue pastors have and have not overcome yet is the love of money. It’s the one thing that bring problem between pastors”.
And he said that after the person he started a church with reneged on the money sharing agreement they had beforehand, so he made that comment out of disappointment and a feeling of betrayal of trust. And the person in question that betrayed his trust was his friend and colleague who he had graduated together with from WOFBI not long before they started the church, which is the now arguably the biggest in Port Harcourt.
So if we choose to go by his comment, it was love of money that was more difficult to overcome of the two, so the love of money is really an issue not just among believers but also church leaders, even some of the most respected ones because this was coming from a pastor himself and the person who did this to him is now one of the most respected church leaders in Nigeria. So he should have known what he was talking about even though such an idea is often dismissed to be unfounded by some, but that shouldn’t be surprising because even the Pharisees who had such an issue in those days did same when Jesus confronted them about it.
So love of money is indeed also a big issue believers struggle with alongside sexual lusts, but regardless of whichever of two was more difficult to overcome, the truth is that with God it is not impossible. And my life and those of several others is a testament to that Truth.
So whichever it is of the two you’re presently struggling with as a believer even if it be the both of them, God is able to deliver you and help you to overcome them. But first you have to be sincere and admit that you have such an issue, and be willing to leave it, then you sincerely ask God to help you to overcome them.
He could help you overcome as fast as He helped me in the respect of love of money, or it could take more time as that of sexual lust. But regardless don’t give up but keep praying and fasting where need be, until you get to the point where the inclinations of the spirit begin to supercede such cravings of the flesh such as the love of money and sexual lust.
Eventually you’d find out that your ways are no longer conformed to those inclinations of the flesh but those of the spirit, to prove that you’ve overcome them. So what you just need to do at that point is to maintain that level by continuing in those spiritual exercises that got you there.
Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Ruling On A Muslim Man Marrying A Non-muslim Woman And Vice Versa
I have some questions about Islam, could you explain them for me? Is it permissible for someone who follows Islam to marry someone who does not follows Islam without that person converting to Islam after marriage?
Praise be to Allah.
It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman if she is Christian or Jewish, but it is not permissible for him to marry a non-Muslim woman who follows any religion other than these two. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Made lawful to you this day are At‑Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends”
Imam al-Tabari said in his commentary on this verse:
“chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture” means, free woman among those whom have been given the Scripture, namely the Jews and Christians who believe in what is in the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) from among the people who came before you, O believers in Muhammad, whether from among the Arabs or other people; you are permitted to marry them “when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage)” which means, if you give to those whom you marry of your (Muslims’) chaste women and their (Jews’ and Christians’) chaste women their mahrs or dowries.”
(Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 6/104)
But it is not permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Magian (Zoroastrian) woman or a communist woman or an idol-worshipping woman, etc.
The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allaah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you”
A mushrikah is an idol-worshipping woman who worships stones, whether from among the Arabs or others.
It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim from any other religion, whether from among the Jews or Christians, or any other kaafir religion. It is not permissible for her to marry a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, a communist, an idol-worshipper, etc.
The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember”
Imam al-Tabari said:
What is said concerning the interpretation of the words “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you” is that what Allaah meant by that is that Allaah has forbidden the believing women from marrying to a mushrik, no matter what kind of shirk he believes in. So, O believers, do not give your daughters in marriage to them, for that is forbidden to you. For you to give them in marriage to a believing slave who believes in Allaah and His Messenger and that which he brought from Allaah is better for you than to give them in marriage to a free mushrik even if he is of noble descent and honourable origins, even if you like his descent and background…
It was narrated that Qutaadah and al-Zuhri said, concerning the phrase “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon”, It is not permissible for you to give them in marriage to a Jew or a Christian or a mushrik who is not a follower of your religion. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 2/379).
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