Pope Francis, the Great

Pope to church: Be more accepting of gays and divorced Catholics

I was raised by the Franciscans in the middle of a military dictatorship in Brazil (1970’s-80’s). Coming from a very Catholic family, I questioned myself about many of the church’s positions since a very young age. I was severely punished by my teachers and principals for my thinking.I was even forbidden of debate during the classes because of my “religious subversive ideas”. What crazy ideas this chubby twelve-year-old could have to invoke so severe sanctions? I was basically defending two principles: a more moderate life for the ones making a “vow of poverty” and more tolerance to the ones living on the margin of the church’s rules.

 

Almost 30 years later, I watch Pope Francis rising to the throne of Peter and to start, vigorously, to preach all of “my” adolescent “subversive ideas”.  Jokes apart, he’s not only preaching those ideas but doing it in a way that doesn’t harm the Catholic doctrines. I’ve never defended that the church should be avant-garde. It should always represent tradition and conservationism. But that doesn’t mean to live 500 years ago.

I agree that the church should be “a mother”. A true mother forgives and loves unconditionally. A real mother has almost unlimited compassion. And if I could summarize all of my “subversive ideas” in one word it will be “compassion”.

In the Buddhist tradition, Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. “Lord who looks down”, in Chinese GuānshìyīnPúsà (觀世音菩薩), in Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is known as Chenrezig, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་) is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion. Portrayed in different cultures as either male or female, Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered deities in mainstream Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions, as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism. One of his/hers manifestations has one thousand hands reaching out to the distressed. However, each one of the hands has one eye, which means that compassion is not pity or charity but the integral understanding of one’s condition of suffering.

Today, Pope Francis cemented his status of greatness.  On his over 260 pages’ apostolic exhortation called “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) he urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations:

“A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives,”

“By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,”

Read the full document here

Bravo! Bravissimo, Pope Francis! You’ve made this humble servant of yours even more honored and humbled to follow you. After all, apparently we both share the concept that religion is a hospital for sinners, NOT a club for saints!

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CNN’s take on this news: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/08/europe/vatican-pope-family/

Inside the terrorist’s mind

Understanding what moves radicals in less than 5 minutes.

People always get shock when I say that the terrorist groups have very little to do with religion. Every revolutionary movement in history had what I call “a pretext ideology”. That means an ideology the group uses publicly to recruit people however, that’s never what originally moves neither the leadership nor the recruits. That can be seen with the French Revolution when the people stormed palaces killing the nobles and even the Royal Family under the pretext of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”. That resulted in one of the most arbitrary regimes ever seen even in the absolutist reign of Luis XIV. A police reactionary State which executed all its main leaders and brought Napoleon to power. Another recent example is the Bolshevik movement that created the extinct USSR. In the beginning, people didn’t even know what they were fighting for. In the end, all the party’s elite was living in luxury and splendor while the proletariat – the main pretext of the whole communist delusion – was still living under extreme poverty.

Therefore, we can conclude that the reason that moves all the revolutionary movements is political power and what comes with it. For the terrorist groups is not different. What moves the recruit is many things but religion: valor, adventure, the sense of being part of something greater than yourself, the current situation of their homelands, the complete lack of purpose in their lives, absence of opportunities, prejudice, etc. Many of the authors and participants of the latest attacks in Europe where discovered buying the books “Islam for dummies” and “Koran for dummies”. So, they were not even serious Muslims before the recruitment. We know that after many videos of them drinking and partying have surfaced on social media.

Hence, the problem is social, economical and political, religion being a pretext. People used Christianity and even Atheism as a pretext so many times for achieving their spurious agendas.

I highly encourage you to watch this 5 minutes’ excerpt of the today’s episode of CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria where experts from the CIA, FBI and NYPD corroborate the above.

Tragic Easter in Pakistan

In my name and in the name of all Ghassanids I want to offer my prayers and support to the victims of the terrible attack in Lahore, Pakistan. Once more, the target was the Christians but people from other religions died.
Are these Taliban real Muslims disposing of their own brothers and sisters like they don’t care just to hit the Christians?
HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII

Terror attacks in Belgium

In my name and my family’s, I’d like to manifest my deepest solidarity to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and my support and prayers to the Belgian people.

Once for all, we have to start working on the causes of the hatred not only “reacting” to its consequences and crying for the victims.

So help us God!

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII