Catholic Priests Survey Finds Lower Morale, ‘Conservative Shift’ Among U.S. Clergy

A new survey released this month suggests a more “pessimistic” view of the Catholic Church among U.S. priests today as compared to 2002, as well as an increasing perception of “more theologically conservative or orthodox” young priests as compared to their older counterparts. 

A Nov. 1 report summarized findings from the 2021 Survey of American Catholic Priests (SACP), which comprised 54 questions posed to 1,036 Catholic priests in the United States. 

“If the major story of the SACP had to be summarized briefly it would be noticeable conservative shifts among U.S. priests over the last two decades coupled with a turn toward pessimism about the current state and trajectory of the Catholic Church in America,” write the report’s three researchers.

link

The afterlife

If you are a hard no-afterlife-is-possible, you will never actually experience it. If you are right, death = end of all experience.

If you are open to there being an afterlife, you will be better prepared for one if it happens. If there is no afterlife, you will never know you were wrong.

Given the above, it is reasonable to presume that our instincts and inklings that morality matters should be heeded. It is reasonable to look for signs of an afterlife. It is reasonable to prepare for an afterlife.

FRANCE: Notre-Dame interior faces woke ‘Disney’ revamp: Critics aghast at plans for ‘Christianity for dummies’ trail inside the cathedral

Paris’s fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral risks resembling a “politically correct Disneyland” under controversial plans for its renovation seen by The Telegraph.Critics have warned that the world-famous cathedral will be turned into an “experimental showroom” under plans to dramatically change the inside of the medieval building.Under the proposed changes, confessional boxes, altars and classical sculptures will be replaced with modern art murals, and new sound and light effects to create “emotional spaces”.

link

How Amish Communities Achieved “Herd Immunity” Without Higher Death Rates, Lockdowns, Masks, Or Vaccines

Initially the Amish in Lancaster adopted a very brief shutdown at the start of COVID. Like many others, they were trying to find out what was going on ad how severe the disease was. But once things were more clear, they took an approach that somewhat resembles what The Great Barrington Declaration sets forth – some focused protection for the vulnerable, but let people live their lives.

As COVID continued on, the ‘outside’ world began locking down. Governments were telling their citizens to lockdown, stop working, wear masks, social distance etc. The Amish didn’t feel this was in alignment with what they believe in.

link

Exemptions to the COVID-19 Vaccine: And an update on the federal vaccine mandates

I’ve had a ton of questions about the status of the various federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates (OSHA, federal contractors, CMS). In this post I’ll explain (1) the status of these mandates; and (2) strategies for filing medical/religious exemptions. If you have questions on mandates or exemptions, comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

link

I think ultimately the best Buddhist religious no-vax position is simply, No, it is against my religion, against my sincere religious beliefs. If we are asked to “justify” this by someone with no understanding of Buddhism, it might be hard to explain. But there is nothing in federal law that says we need to do anything more than have a sincerely held belief and state that we do. In fact, we should not even need to appeal to federal law. The “unalienable” religious right stated (emphasized is the better word) in the US Constitution is enough. A new Kansas law makes this point very clearly:

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if an employer implements a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the employer shall exempt an employee from such requirement, without punitive action, if the employee submits a written waiver request to the employer stating that complying with such requirement would:

(2) violate sincerely held religious beliefs of the employee, as evidenced by an accompanying written statement signed by the employee.

(b) An employer shall grant an exemption requested in accordance with this section based on sincerely held religious beliefs without inquiring into the sincerity of the request.

link

Note carefully the last clause: “without inquiring into the sincerity of the request.” This how it should be. I believe we should stand firm, politely declare no-vax is our sincere belief and more or less leave it at that. You will probably need to write something about right livelihood and Buddhist moral responsibility. If your employer fires you anyway, document everything and if you have the inclination sue them. Lawsuits, especially class-action ones, are the only way in our society to police interpretations of our laws. Employers do not want this burden, and thus are often checked by it. Major US car manufacturers have already backed off vax mandates for these reasons, among others. ABN

Duterte’s “Spiritual Advisor” Charged with Child Sex Trafficking

U.S. prosecutors announced sex trafficking charges this Thursday alleging that girls and young women were sexually assaulted by a close friend and advisor to Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines.

Apollo Carreon Quiboloy is the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, an organization of over 6 million members. He claims to be “the appointed son of God” and “Owner of the Universe,” and is the longtime friend and spiritual advisor of President Duterte.

Quiboloy and two of his top administrators are among nine people named in the 74-page indictment charges, including two U.S.-based church administrators.  They are accused of running a sex-trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with “eternal damnation” and physical abuse.

link

Religious exemptions from vax: “Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs”

[Everything below this is an excerpt. ABN]

Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

42 U.S. Code § 2000e–2 defines “Unlawful employment practices” as follows:

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer— (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

This means that employers must respect your “sincerely held religious beliefs” with regard to the COVID vaccination with a reasonable accommodation. The sincerely held religious belief need only be yours alone, and there is no requirement that such belief be generally accepted theological dogma. 

Written documentation of your sincerely held religious belief is mandatory, as is specifically using the key words “sincerely held religious belief.” Be certain to retain copies of your request and take photos if your employer has an electronic portal system that does not otherwise provide you a written copy. Secure your copy of the request in a safe and readily accessible spot outside of your place of employment.  

link to full article on religious and other kinds of exemptions

HAS YOUR RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION LETTER BEEN DENIED?

Dr Malone: “NY Rabbis are exquisitely sensitive on dysmenorrhea (menstrual irregularities) and quite concerned about it because dysmenorrhea relates directly to loss of fertility… which is why the Hassidic community in NY has come out with a clear and unequivocal determination that there shall not be vaccination in children or young women” and that all adults are “cautioned about the vaccines”

Video prompted to start with Malone, but all of what I’ve seen of it is good:

Texans vote in favor of prohibiting governments from limiting religious services

(RNS) — Texas voters on Tuesday (Nov. 2) overwhelmingly supported a measure barring governments from taking any kind of action that limits religious services, such as the public health orders that shut down houses of worship and businesses earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposition 3, which will add a clause to the Texas Constitution forbidding state or local authorities from prohibiting or limiting religious services, garnered 62.4% of votes, according to unofficial results from the Texas secretary of state

The measure had the support of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops  and some other — but not all — religious groups.

link

A perfect moral, dramatic, pragmatic, linguistic, psychological, spiritual, and emotional act…

…is a proper FIML query.

It is perfect (in no special order) morally because it seeks truth and goodness between two people; dramatically because it uses our innate dramatic instinct to question our own deep sense of live drama in the moment; pragmatically because it is eminently practical; linguistically because it is an extremely good use of language, possibly the best use; psychologically because it benefits both the self and other in profound ways while also revealing deep behavioral patterns painlessly; spiritually because it stimulates the spirit and spiritual metacognition, bringing both partners closer to their ideals; and emotionally because it forestalls false negative and destructive emotional responses, replacing them with joyful understanding. FIML is a pursuit of truth shared by two people. It is a technique, a method, that can be used in any religion, philosophy, world-view, or lifestyle. In the beginning, FIML does not even depend on scrupulous truthfulness because the practice itself will reveal the value of truthfulness, which ultimately will require almost no effort. Truthfulness is an instinct or inkling of deepest consciousness. Once seen, it calls forth itself.

ABN

Archbishop Viganò Writes Stunning Letter on Vaccine Program

Viganò goes on to state that the vaccines proving ineffective in preventing people from getting and passing on the virus means they can’t even be called vaccines.

“In fact a “vaccine” is defined as a medicinal preparation aimed at inducing the production of protective antibodies by the organism, conferring specific resistance against a specific infectious disease (viral, bacterial, protozoal). This definition was recently changed by the WHO, because otherwise it would not have been able to include anti-Covid drugs, which do not induce the production of protective antibodies and do not confer a specific resistance against the SarsCoV-2 infectious disease.”

The Archbishop went on to assert it was a moral “duty” to refuse inoculation given what we now know about the vaccine program.

link