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AUSTRALIA: The Pope may be retreating from his crackdown on paedophile priests as Vatican bureaucrats do all they can to undermine reform efforts, a senior Australian Catholic official has warned.
The Catholic Church in Australia could end up as a “marginalised rump” unless there is real change to an institutional culture hell-bent on self-protection and self-preservation, Truth Justice and Healing Council CEO Francis Sullivan says.
Sullivan, who has led the Australian church’s response to the four-year child sex abuse royal commission, points to very disturbing recent developments in Rome including reports Pope Francis is starting to go light on some paedophile priests.
“You have to seriously wonder whether this isn’t the Pope backsliding on what has been a strong and determined crackdown on offending priests and the circumstances that allowed abuse to take place,” he said.
Pope Francis has told bishops around the world to adhere to a zero tolerance policy for clergy who sexually abuse children but has reportedly reduced sanctions against some offending priests.
Sullivan said another concerning development is Irish clerical abuse survivor and advocate Marie Collins’ resignation from the Vatican’s child protection commission, citing resistance from the Vatican. ’’Together these two developments paint a picture of the Vatican establishment, its bureaucrats and courtiers, doing all they can to either undermine the Pope or driving an agenda that is about maintaining the status quo and protecting the institution.”
It is a very dangerous time for the Catholic Church in Australia, Sullivan said.
“If the church in Australia doesn’t see continuous, concerted change from our leaders driven and hacked by an active and demanding Catholic community, then our church as a religion will become a marginalised rump, stripped of credibility and relevance, left to preach to an ever ageing congregation with eyes on an ever dimming hereafter.”
A total of 1880 priests, religious brothers and sisters, and lay people have been identified as alleged perpetrators in abuse claims made to the Australian Catholic Church by 4445 victims.
Your scholarly Ninety-five theses challenged a lost papal church.
You wielded the sword and divided the marrow from the bone exposing that no godly treasures could be sold.
Disputation on selling indulgences, inner spiritual repentance, true sorrow over sin not mere external sacramental confession. Repent and believe.
You revealed anew salvation to be received as a free gift of God's grace through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone not by works.
Heavenly treasures sprang forth, a fountain of forgiveness. Paid in full. Sacrificial love. Victory over sin and death. New nature birthing into a new life yielding spiritual fruits. A changed heart.
Bible final authority. Translated for the common man. Read. The truth shall set you free indeed.
Our sister and colleague, Carol Champion is still in need of our prayers.
Alongtime servant at Moriel she is suffering from a whole host of medical problems — the latest adding to her woes is going into afib and she currently has cellulitis in both legs.
May God bless her and heal her.
Moriel & Jacob Prasch request urgent prayer for our colleague Carol Champion who is hospitalised and battalion serious immune disease (not HIV) affecting her eye sight and breathing.
The matter appears medically complicated and difficult.
When we go to see a medical doctor in time of need, we want to know that the doctor has good credentials—that he or she is not just making things up or guessing based on faulty data. We take great care to make sure our bodies are in good health. When it comes to our spiritual health and our spiritual needs, why should we look for less? Based on the longevity of our spirit, in contrast to our temporary body, we should be taking greater care to make sure that we are taking refuge in a ―Doctor‖ with truly impeccable credentials.
In Buddhism three basic refuges are offered—the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (the community of monks). The Dharma (Dhamma in Pali) consists of the teachings of the Buddha. In this paper I‘ll examine the historical transmission of those teachings and show why these are lacking in any credentials worthy of our trust. I hope to show not only the negative side, but also to offer historical credentials of a ―Doctor‖ who is worthy of our trust.
What follows is a semi-technical look at Buddhist history. If you are interested in the simpler version of this paper, please skip ahead to the ―Short Summary‖ section:
This month has been a good month to see my parents here in Thailand. We just sent them to the airport. Micah has been enjoying the extra attention and tomorrow will probably be crying for “Gampa” and “Gamma.”
Dear believers in grace,
We wish you all a blessed New Year in the Saviour of the world!
Teaching at an Elementary School
The first week and a half of December we went to another province to help teach at a Christian school. Most of the parents and students are not Christians so it was a good opportunity to share the gospel. I taught English to 1st-5th graders. The 4th and 5th graders were pretty good, but it was challenging to teach the 1st-3rd graders. There are few foreigners in that province so the children enjoyed seeing a foreigner and I got to hand out many tracts and also share Bible lessons at the flag pole and at chapel one day. Micah got to join the nursery school for 3 days until he got some kind of a stomach bug. He enjoyed learning very much and according to Khae was the most enthusiastic student in the class.
We came back to Chiang Mai in time to have a Christmas worship service at the Women’s Prison. We’re still teaching them from the book of Revelation. The massage class there is also going well—still a big group of about 80 students.
We had a Christmas party for our students and invited their parents also. I also invited my adult students. About 20 people came. We sang some Christmas songs and then Khae shared the gospel through the Christmas story and we gave everyone either a gospel of John in the Shan language or some Thai gospel books. Here are a couple of pictures from that.
John’s Signature Words
A couple months ago Khae read a book by a Thai Lutheran pastor who (following in Martin Luther’s footsteps) doubted that John wrote the book of Revelation or if it even should be in our Bible. I did a very interesting word study on this comparing the gospel of John, I-III John, and the book of Revelation. I think the results are beyond any coincidence. The book of Revelation not only has the “fingerprints” of John all over it, but the author also has such a rich knowledge of the Old Testament woven into the book (by divine inspiration)-- it is unmistakably God breathed. I’m attaching a short paper on that here.
Peace in Christ, Scott, Khae, and Micahberekiah.
Prayer Request received
Please please pray for my daughter,the doctors do not know what's wrong,she is paralyzed and lost her ability to communicate,all of a sudden.
Her name is Sarah,Jacob knows us we are Melvin and Joyce Depasquale from Malta,he calls us the Maltese falcon.
God bless joyce