NEWS:  April 16, 2012

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

ÇA IRA! ÇA IRA!   -   These words (It’ll go! It’ll go!) from the song the French revolutionaries used to sing when they were taking the nobles to be summarily hanged or beheaded during the Terror, came to mind as I read the news report on the last meeting of the German Bishops of Bavaria. Indeed, on February 17, Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg announced to his colleagues that he had decided to close 800 of the 1,000 parishes of his important Diocese. Zdarsa’s plan is to replace the 800 parishes with 200 pastoral centers where religious services will be available to the faithful (The Tablet, March 3, 2012, p. 30).

Bishop Konrad Zdarsa

Bishop Zdarsa launched a trial balloon
This is the most radical initiative I have seen since the “iconoclast phase” of Paul VI’s pontificate ended. In those years that immediately followed the Council - from 1965 to 1975 - Catholics witnessed the drastic destruction of their churches’ interiors, which were stripped of altars, Communion rails, pulpits, confessional, statues, bells, etc.

Now, the destruction is aimed no longer at the interiors, but at the churches themselves. This German initiative seems to be a trial balloon. If people accept it, it will set the parameters for a mammoth increase in the process of church closures.

So far, this practice of closing/selling churches has been executed by invoking a variety of non-convincing reasons – not enough money to pay for the pedophilia crisis of the clergy, not enough priests to say Mass, not enough people going to Mass (check here, here and here). If the Augsburg experiment works out, the “prophecies” made by Cardinals Schönborn and Ratzinger predicting a complete change in the face of the Catholic Church will come to pass.

In 150 of the 800 parishes to be closed, the faithful organized protests. On March 4, the Second Sunday of Lent, they encircled their parishes after Mass in human chains to symbolize that they “embrace” or love their churches (The Tablet, March 10, 2012, p. 34).

Embrace Church protest movement, Augsburg

Parishioners in an Embrace Church protest rally in the Augsburg Diocese
Writing on “Being Church Today,” a discussion forum in Augsburg, Fr. Max Stetter affirms his opposition to Bishop Zdarsa’s plan. He states:
“We want to give the message that we are not in agreement with the plans to restructure the Diocese. There is much confusion and turmoil here. This reaction is not coming from some few grumblers on the margins, but from many Catholics who have been working day in and day out for their church.” These “Church Embrace” protests are a response to the closures in the form of a protest rally.

The action of Bishop Zdarsa is defended by others, such as the Facebook campaign “Pray for Bishop Konrad,” which opposes the protests. Diocesan spokesman Mark Kremser declared that if the aim of the protests was to demonstrate the displeasure of the faithful to diocesan leadership, then “the initiators have chosen the wrong sign” (Cathcon.blog).

The trial balloon has been launched… Let us see if and how it flies.

PUSHING OCCUPY TO RETURN   -   When the Occupy Movement (OM) was at the height of its momentum last year, it claimed that there was no power, direction or organized leadership behind it. It pretended to be a spontaneously generated reaction, the fruit of the indignation of youth and workers responding to the unfair distribution of money and social injustice. When the American people became tired of hearing OM’s communist slogans and had enough of their public parks disfigured by its filth, that “spontaneous” indignation ended as quickly as it had started. The obedient youth returned to their middle-class homes to await another order to reunite.

Now, while OM is on vacation, guess who is pining for the return of its subversion? None other than the editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times, the influential spokes-organ for the left-wing wealthy bourgeoisie of California, quite familiar with the liberal Judaism that dominates the local macro economy. Indeed, in a March 7, 2012 official editorial, the newspaper calls for the anarchic action of OM to come back and continue its attempt to destroy the present day political-social status quo. I will transcribe some excerpts that summarize the editorial.

Occupy Oakland 2012 burns the American flag

Occupy anarchists return to Oakland City Hall in January 2012 to burn an American flag
Its expressive title is “Will Occupy be heard from?” The editorial begins with these questions: “Whatever happened to Occupy Wall Street? Are you folks still out there?” And continues: “As a political force that could rally the nation on behalf of the 99%, who tend not to contribute enormous sums to campaigns and so have less influence than their numbers deserve, you’re still badly needed.”

It is interesting to observe that the editorial cannot avoid acknowledging the failure of the movement: “It’s still hard to escape the feeling that since Occupy activists were kicked out of their encampments across the country this winter, the group has lost a good deal of its momentum as well as what little organizational coherence it possessed.”

In the last paragraph, the LA Times encourages OM to enter the electoral fight campaigning against those who represent Capitalism:

“Occupy leaders say they’re planning big protests during the Group of Eight economic conference in May. And there are of course splinter groups all over the country holding regular demonstrations at banks and city halls. But 2012 is an election year that presents a sharp contrast between candidates who aim to help level the playing field dominated by the 1% and those who don’t. If the Occupy movement is to have much influence over that contest, it will probably have to do something its leaders have so far resisted: get organized” (LA Times, March 7, 2012, p. A 16).

This codified language seems quite clear to me. It is the LA Times inviting the Occupy Movement to return to the stage to campaign for Obama against Mitt Romney. Even a bit more is implied: If Obama fails to be reelected, the LA Times is suggesting OM to take over the stage and break the political system, finishing with the myth of democracy in the U.S. Its wish could be expressed in the impasse: either Obama or the deluge.

While OM is out of the picture, it is worthwhile to register what powers are feeding it and its ultimate goal. Here we see the leftist LA Times promoting its return; before we saw the banks giving it support and supplies to keep it alive. Also the present administration gave OM all possible prestige with many declarations of support by Obama himself (here and here). No doubt the Communist Party was also pleased with OM’s past performance.

Thus, we have the answer of who is behind the “spontaneous” action of the Occupy Movement. It is good to keep this in mind when OM reappears.


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