Not only has our shortest month come to a close, but so too has the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. Yes, the short-term successor to John Paul II has voluntarily stepped down as the head of world’s largest church, citing his age as the determining factor. This is the first time in six hundred years the world will have an ex-Pope running around, causing many to suspect a clandestine motivator.
There is, of course, his sordid past as a Hitler Youth that perhaps cast a dark cloud over his leadership, as well as his prior post as the Grand Inquisitor where he was charged with keeping all the immoral and illegal secrets of the clergy across the globe, including every known instance of child abuse.
Some are currently speculating that Benedict quit in order to avoid blowback from a report regarding known gay leaders at the Vatican, thereby making the Church’s firm stance against homosexuality a hypocrisy.
As more information is released about the current situation, the ordained minsters of our organization have to ask; what will be uncovered next? For more on these possibilities, see our blog, The End of the Catholic Church.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees the benefits of compassion and charity. A disturbing study has shown that a significant group only extends gifts of their time or money to others of their own faith, while behaving abhorrently to people of other groups. Read about a now infamous stingy minister and the restaurant tip debacle here.
TIn much more encouraging news, a group of African leaders has come out against the practice of female genital mutilation, a dangerous and painful practice designed to rob women of any pleasure that could be derived from sex in order to control them like cattle.
Fundamentalists haven’t had much ground to stand on, as even strict orthodox interpretations of religious texts do not prescribe this action. Check out the full story on our blog.
The ULC Monastery welcomes comedy and fashion legend Joan Rivers to our ranks of wedding officiants.
The red carpet queen, known for her role in the movie Space Balls and her current show Fashion Police, performed the wedding of friends Theo Bleckmann and Preston Bailey atop the Empire State Building in NYC.
Bringing a whole new flair to the Monastery, Rev. Rivers said of the experience, “thrilled to be an ordained minister, but I’m also a performer – every wedding I officiate has a cover charge and a two-drink minimum.”
Speaking of a two drink minimum, we could use a cocktail after hearing the utter disrespect spouted by commentators on the show Fox and Friends.
While we support free speech, and understand that people have strong feelings on religion, Tucker Carlson’s recent mockery of Wicca wasn’t just a difference of opinion. It was based on false and crude caricatures, with his remarking that every Wiccan is “a compulsive Dungeons and Dragons player.” If you can stomach the bile, read the full story.
In stark contrast to the Fox News piece, we leave you with an impactful story of people setting aside their differences; a counter-example to the stingy restaurant tipper, these men gave the ultimate gift and sacrifice.
In early February, 1943, an army troop ship was fired on by the Germans and began to sink rapidly. 4 Chaplains (a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and two Protestant ministers) handed out life jackets and offered comfort to troops. When no preservers were left, they offered their own without regard to troops' religion or race.
As the final life boats reached a safe distance, the Chaplains were seen bravely on the deck praying for the soldiers when a torpedo struck the ship. These are the Immortal Chaplains, and though we hope no one must make the ultimate sacrifice as they did, their leadership and compassion for people of all faiths (and for each other) is exemplary.