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Benedict XVI, The Kitten Strangler

Auguste L'Orange. Girl sleeping with Kittens.
Fortunately for those kittens, nasty Pope Benedict XVI isn't around!
(Auguste L'Orange. Girl sleeping with Kittens. [Source])

1) Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you're sensitive and easily brought to tears, don't read the following text. Indeed, the vastly courageous Father Claude Lacaille hereby reveals and exposes the hideous and machiavellian crimes of Pope Benedict XVI, in this letter published in Le Devoir of May 16, 2007 [Source].

(For the smarty-pants familiar with this web site, you've already guessed that Father Lacaille is a great fan of Slander Soup, especially paragraph 3.4.2 on diversion: if a bank robber took care of poor little abandoned kittens, Father Lacaille would accuse the Police of being "anti-kitten" when they would jail that robber for bank robbery!)

2) Open Letter To My Brother Benedict XVI - Living The Gospel With The Excluded

By Claude Lacaille, Father of Foreign Missions (currently in Trois-Rivières, Province of Quebec). The sloppy translation from the French original is mine. Also, see The Critical Traffic Light for the colors.

[Green] I'm writing this letter to you because I need to communicate with the pastor of the Catholic Church

[Red] and that there are no communication channels to reach you.

1) Your religious community's Superior is in contact with Rome, and in theory you are aware of who is the Superior of your own religious community.

2) Canada's Apostolic Nuncio is in direct contact with the Pope, and his personal secretary answered me every time I called him in Ottawa:

Mgr Luigi Ventura, Apostolic Nuncio
724, Manor Ave., Rockcliff Parc
Ottawa, Ontario
K1M 0E3
Phone: (613) 746-4914
Fax: (613) 746-4786

3) You can always send an e-mail or a real paper letter directly to the Pope. I've never tried, but I've been told John Paul II read many of his e-mails.

[Green] I'm adressing myself to you as a brother in faith and in priesthood, since we've both together received the mission of announcing the Gospel of Jesus to all nations.

[Green] I'm a Quebec missionary Priest for 45 years now; I committed myself with enthusiasm to the Lord's service, at the opening of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council. I was led to work closely with particularly poor environments: in the Bolosse neighborhood in Port-au-Prince under François Duvalier, then with the Quichuas in Equador, and finally in a working-class neighborhood in Santiago, Chili, under Pinochet's dictature.

[Green] When I read the Gospels of Jesus during my high school years, I was impressed by the crowds of poor and down-and-outs of life that Jesus surrounded Himself with

[Green] whereas the many Priests who accompanied us in that Catholic college only spoke about sexual morality.

In theory, it's quite possible that the Priests you knew during your youth were all rotten. In my youth, some of them were rotten, and some were very good.

But in practice, if we look at the rest of your letter, you're using the typical coded language of the "spirit" of Vatican II crowd. Priests faithful to the Pope are supposedly obsessed with sex, whereas Jesus is supposedly "open" and "tolerant" to all sexual deviations!

[Green] I was 15 years old.

Misguided mixture of Faith and Politics?

[Green] On board the plane that was taking you to Brazil, you more than once condemned Liberation Theology as a false millenarism and a misguided mixture of Church and Politics.

[Yellow] I was deeply shocked and wounded by your words.

We mustn't be surprized when the Pope defends the official teachings of the Catholic Church! Otherwise, it's like a farmer who would be "shocked and wounded" at the sight of a cow who gave milk when it was milked!

[Green] I had read and re-read both instructions published by ex-cardinal Ratzinger on this topic.

[Yellow] They describe a straw man which absolutely doesn't reflect my life's experiences and my beliefs.

In theory, if we read an official document of the Catholic Church which condemns a heresy, and that our "life's experiences and beliefs" are very Catholic, it's possible that this document has no connection with our "life's experiences and beliefs". But I doubt that's what you're trying to say.

[Green] I didn't have to read Karl Marx to discover the preferential option for the poor.

[Red] Liberation Theology,

For a Priest who claims to have "read and re-read" the official documents of the Church concerning Christian liberation, you exhibit a stunning ignorance of those documents!

I'll refresh your memory. Here, almost at the very beginning, is what the Big Bad Kitten Strangler says:

The expression, "Liberation Theology" refers first of all to a special concern for the poor and the victims of oppression, which in turn begets a commitment to justice. Starting with this approach, we can distinguish several, often contradictory ways of understanding the Christian meaning of poverty and the type of commitment to justice which it requires. As with all movements of ideas, the "theologies of liberation" present diverse theological positions. Their doctrinal frontiers are badly defined.
[Libertatis nuntius, #3]

The Pope talks about liberation "theologies" plural, whereas you speak of "The Theology", singular. What a coincidence! It's just as if you were getting ready to make a diversion, to make your readers believe that the Pope hates poor little kittens, whereas the Pope is getting ready to condemn bank robbers!

[Yellow] it's not a doctrine, a theory; it's a way of living the Gospel in proximity and in solidarity with excluded and impoverished people.

Yes, according to one of the meanings of the expression "liberation theology", the one which is explicitely approved by the Catholic Church:

[...] freedom demands conditions of an economic, social, political and cultural kind which make possible its full exercise. A clear perception of the obstacles which hinder its development and which offend human dignity is at the source of the powerful aspirations to liberation which are at work in our world.
The Church of Christ makes these aspirations her own
[Libertatis conscientia, #1]

The warning against the serious deviations of some "theologies of liberation" must not be taken as some kind of approval, even indirect, of those who keep the poor in misery, who profit from that misery, who notice it while doing nothing about it, or who remain indifferent to it.
[Libertatis nuntius, #11.1]

[Red] It's indecent to thus publicly condemn faithful who have dedicated their lives, and we are tens of thousands of laypersons, religious, and Priests from all over who have followed the same path.

It's indecent to thus publicly condemn a Pope who has never said the silly things you're putting in his mouth.

[Green] Being a disciple of Jesus, means imitating Him, following Him, acting as He acted.

Yes, but some bad Liberation Theologies corrupt the teachings of Christ. Jesus came to free us from the radical slavery of sin. It's sin itself that causes all other slaveries (like the exploitation of the poor by the rich). Satan is quite happy with nice intentions in favor of the poor, as long as we don't fight against the radical slavery of sin! Except in the end, Satan's theory turns against the poor:

In the case of Marxism [...] the ideological principles come prior to the study of the social reality and are presupposed in it. Thus no separation of the parts of this epistemologically unique complex is possible. If one tries to take only one part, say, the analysis, one ends up having to accept the entire ideology.
[Libertatis nuntius, #7.6]

Let us recall the fact that atheism and the denial of the human person, his liberty and rights, are at the core of the Marxist theory.
[Libertatis nuntius, #7.9]

The class struggle is presented as an objective, necessary law. Upon entering this process on behalf of the oppressed, one "makes" truth, one acts "scientifically". Consequently, the conception of the truth goes hand in hand with the affirmation of necessary violence, and so, of a political amorality. Within this perspective, any reference to ethical requirements calling for courageous and radical institutional and structural reforms makes no sense.
[Libertatis nuntius, #8.7]

[Green] I don't understand this doggedness and harassment we are subject to.

I have no doubts. If you're unable to carefully read an official document of the Church, you probably find it difficult to correctly interpret the world around you.

When you meet a janitor who's mopping the floor, and a yellow sign saying: "Careful, wet floor!", you must feel "persecuted" when the poor janitor tells you to be careful not to slip!

[Green] Just before your trip to Brazil, you silenced and dismissed from catholic teaching Father Jon Sobrino, a committed and dedicated theologian, companion of Jesuits martyrs in Salvador and of Mgr Romero. This 70 year-old man served the Church of Latin America with courage and humility thanks to his teachings.

Once again, you present to the spectators some nice little innocent kittens, in preparation to the calumnies you're going to vomit, to make people believe that the Pope is a "Big Bad Kitten Strangler".

Did you read the official document on Jon Sobrino? Nowhere can we find the slightest condemnation of persons who are "committed" or "dedicated" or "companions of martyrs", etc. Those are very nice qualities.

[Yellow] [Yellow] Is it a heresy to present Jesus as a man and to infer the consequences?

It depends. Jesus is a 100% man. Nothing heretical there. But Jesus is also 100% God! Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, true God born of the true God, consubstantial with the Father, etc.

The works of Sobrino are not condemned because they present Jesus as a man, but because they deny the divinity of Christ:

[Father Sobrino] fails to affirm Jesus' divinity with sufficient clarity.
[Notification on the works of father Jon Sobrino, sj, #4]

Father Sobrino reflects the so-called theology of the homo assumptus, which is incompatible with the Catholic faith which affirms the unity of the person of Jesus Christ in two natures, divine and human
[Notification on the works of father Jon Sobrino, sj, #5]

[To describe the salvation of mankind by His death on a cross,] Father Sobrino uses phrases such as [...]: "it is not efficient causality but symbolic causality". [...] This reduces Redemption to moralism.
[Notification on the works of father Jon Sobrino, sj, #10]

[Green] I lived through the dictature of Pinochet in Chili, in a Church bravely guided by an exceptional pastor, Cardinal Raúl Silva Henriquez. Under his guidance, we accompanied a people that was terrorized by a fascist

[Red] Catholic

[Green] military, who pretended to defend Western Christian Civilization by torturing, jailing, eliminating and assassinating.

[Green] I lived for years in a working-class neighborhood particularly touched by repression, La Bandera. Yes, I hid people; yes, I helped some flee the country; yes, I helped people save their lives; yes, I participated in hunger strikes. I also dedicated those years to reading the Bible with people in working-class neighborhoods. Hundreds of persons discovered the Word of God, and that helped them face the oppression with Faith and courage, convinced that God would accompany them.

[Green] I organized soup kitchens, and craft workshops to help ex-political prisoners re-insert themselves in society. I picked up assassinated bodies at the morgue and gave them a burial worthy of men. I promoted and defended human rights, under threats for my physical integrity and my life. Yes, most of the victims of the dictature were marxists, and we made ourselves close because these people were our neighbors. And we sang and hoped together for the end of this disgrace. We dreamed together of freedom.

Congratulations for all that work well done! I'm sure the Pope is very grateful for all the acts of virtue you made during your pastoral ministry.

By the way, did those poor victimes of the dictature get a fair trial, before being condemned? Or did the dictators decide they were guilty, without even making the effort of carefully reading what the defense attorney had written? And you, did you take the time to carefully read what the Pope wrote, before condemning him?

Changing our point of view

[Red] What would you have done in my place? For which one of these sins do you want to condemn me, my brother Benedict? What annoys you so much in what I did? Is it that far from what Jesus would have done in the same circumstances?

Please, Claude, stop insulting the Pope. Insinuating that the Pope condemns justice and charity, is a serious injustice and a serious lack of charity.

[Yellow] How do you think I feel when I hear your repeated condemnations?

Yes, you must "hear" many condemnations and voices inside your head, since you don't know how to read the official teachings of the Church we put in front of you. Maybe you should consult a professional.

[Green] I'm coming to the end of my ministerial service, like you, and I was expecting to be treated with more respect and affection on the part of a pastor. But you're telling me: "You didn't understand the Gospels. All of that is Marxism! You're naive!" Isn't that very arrogant?

Yes, in the imaginary world which dances inside your head, there must certainly be a lot of arrogance everywhere, except in the fact you're slandering the Pope!

[Green] I'm returning from Chili, where I was able to see my friends from the neighborhood after 25 years; last January, they were 70 to greet me. They greeted me as a brother, while telling me: "You lived with us, like us, you accompanied us during the worst years of our history. You were showed solidarity and you loved us. That is why we love you so much!"

[Yellow] And these same workers were telling me: "We have been abandoned by our Church. The Priests have gone back to their temples; they no longer share with us, nor live with us."

In theory, it's quite possible that many Priests in Chili have become rotten. Even here in Quebec, it's hard to find a Priest who has the courage of teaching all the teachings of the Church. Most shut up, and just cash their paycheck.

[Yellow] In Brazil, it's the same reality: for 25 years, Bishops who were committed to the landless farmers and the poor in the favelas of big cities have been replaced by conservative Bishops who fought against and rejected the thousands of base communities, where Faith was lived at the ground level of life.

Here too, I can't pass judgment. It depends on what you mean by "conservative Bishop" and "base community". If the Brazilian Bishops are against social justice, then they are seriously mistaken and against the explicit teachings of the Catholic Church.

Except, in practice, given your spectacular ignorance of the teachings of the Catholic Church, allow me to avoid taking your word for it.

[Green] All this has created an immense vacuum which the Evangelical and Pentacostal Churches have filled: they have remained with the people, and it's by hundreds of thousands that Catholics move on to those communities.

If the Catholic Clergy in those countries is as ignorant and hypocritical as you, it's not surprizing that people are fleeing to the Evangelical Churches!

I know a few Evangelical Christians, and they are not hypocrites. They wouldn't spend their whole careers in a Church that teaches exactly the contrary of what they believe, while there's a Church just across the street that is perfectly adapted to their desires.

[Green] Dear Benedict, I beg you to change the way you see things.

Yes, mercy, Mister Pope, please discipline Priests like Claude Lacaille! Stop being so indulgent toward them. They've had their chance. Now it's time to go!

[Red] You don't have an exclusivity on divine inspirations; the whole ecclesial community is enlivened by the spirit of Jesus.

In Pentacostal and Evangelical Churches, it's the whole "ecclesial community" that is "the Pope". But in the Catholic Church, it's the Pope who is the Pope.

But that might be too complicated for you to understand.

[Red] Please, put away your condemnations;

By the way, Father, instead of condemning the Pope, why don't you leave the Catholic Church, in order to go back to a "base community" in South America? Ah yes, I remember, here in Trois-Rivières, you have a nice comfortable retirement paid for by the Catholic Church... Isn't private property a nifty thing?

[Green] you will soon be judged by the only One authorized to classify us to the left or to the right, and you know as well as I do that it's on love that our judgment will be rendered.

And all together now: To love yes, but ...

it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ.
[Humanae vitae, #29].

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