New Pope: Is he a good guy?

ZSplash Forums State of the World New Pope: Is he a good guy?

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    Saeeda Bukhari

    I read this and my first thoughts were. Great move, maybe we have a progressive Pope. That would be great. Then I started looking a little closer, a habit I have formed in the last few months.

    The new board that sacked staff include “Marc Odendall, who administers and advises philanthropic organizations in Switzerland, and Juan C. Zarate, a Harvard law professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) , a think tank based in Washington D.C”.

    Hmmmm alarm bell,

    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
    What did I read in that book recently (Pappe, Chomsky, Gaza in Crisis) about a lobby in the US called AIPAC (American Isreali Public Affairs Committee) which lobbied the US to give military aid to Israel, and had repeatedly lobbied for war moves in the middle east.

    AIPAC created a think tank which later went on to advice the government of the US on policy in the Middle East. No that is not an issue because the institute is .”The Washington Institute of Near East Policy” . Graduates Include Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Rumsfeld, His deputy Wofowitz, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee at the time of war on Iraq Perle.

    Well that is a relief, let me have a google and find out about.
    Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

    Wikipedia page: .

    hmmm past scholars from the CSIS include Ehud Barak. Ehuk Barak was a former Prime Minister of Israel and headed the Israeli Military. Ok, its Wikipedia let’s look at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

    own page.

    Hmmm . The website staff members page ….
    “H. Andrew Schwartz is senior vice president for external relations at CSIS and is responsible for directing the Center’s media relations, congressional relations, large scale events, publications, Web site, marketing, and other external relations matters. Prior to joining CSIS, Schwartz was a spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), America’s pro-Israel lobby”.

    OK OK not a big deal. The Pope appointed Juan C. Zarate from CSIS who is he?

    Zarate served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from 2005 to 2009 and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. government’s counter terrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats.

    2005 TO 2009 is the Bush Presidency, the hawks and war makers in the middle east. Credited to be AIPAC. Remember graduates of AIPAC’s Military policy think-tank Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Rumsfeld, His deputy Wofowitz are all in Bush’s government.

    Wow so has AIPAC moved to the Vatican. Or is the Pope unaware of Zarate’s credentials What motives…?????? Are there any connections with politics in the Middle East and the fate of the Palestinians?

    Robert Fisk’s, Middle East reporter for The Independent book (p538,hardback first edition, 2005) writes in The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East. He notes that Denis Ross ( the US’s Lead Chief negotiator for the Middle East Peace Process was formerly one of the most powerful members of the AIPAC lobby. The Leader peace negotiator appointed by the US to broker peace impartially for Israelis and Palestinians was a member of AIPAC. During this time more Palestinians were killed and more land taken then when there was an open state of war.

    The Link goes full circle, The Vatican’s new appointee Juan C Zarate was in George Bush’s government along with the former AIPAC negotiator, Dennis Ross. Both dealing with the Middle East.

    Any way the moral of the story is that anybody can do their own research and every thing you read is only part of the story.

    • This topic was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Saeeda Bukhari. Reason: Used Bloque quote instead of bold type

    Pope Francis is supposed to be more humble and less dogmatic than his predecessor. Arguably, a change of guard was needed to reassure people following child abuse and financial scandals.

    That Juan C. Zarate is on the new board of the Vatican’s financial regulator isn’t too surprising in the light that the US Government and CIA have worked with the Vatican, in part to fight communism.

    Vatican’s financial regulator new board

    Cover Story: The Holy Alliance – President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II (Time 2001),9171,159069,00.html

    Their Will Be Done – Let the pope keep the kingdom and the glory — the CIA wants the power. (motherjones 1983)

    Can the pope reform the Catholic church and do what is morally right (rather than working with any power to advance Catholicism). That is the true test of whether he is a good guy.

    Do the US and Vatican share any common goals in the Middle East? It seems less obvious than the fight against communism.

    John Goodrich

    The Pope heads a totalitarian regime in which refusal to acknowledge Christ as the way results in eternal torment in Hell .

    As Christopher Hitchens put it the Abrahamic religions, at least, represent a sort of celestial North Korea except that in North Korea when they kill you for disobedience your punishment ends with the grave.

    So …is he a good guy ? He’s a pimp for totalitarianism . He’s the Godfather for sure.
    His beliefs are antithetical to democracy . You cannot question the Pope much less God .

    That said, since the other three pillars of most societies are totalitarian: capitalism, oligarchy, the male-dominated nuclear family structure, a totalitarian religion fits precisely the predominant wish for totalitarian systems .

    Religion, as has notably been seen in the Islamic areas of the world is a cause for conflict more often than the cause for peace and goodness between peoples.

    You cannot make a silk purse (democracy) out of a sow’s ear (controlling totalitarian belief systems.) so the Pope and his church are immoral and undemocratic/totalitarian from the get-go .
    Analogous to a Mafia who provide funds for the poor while overall doing great harm to the society.
    No good can come of lies and systems antithetical to democratic processes: what is central and critical for anarchy, socialism and communism .


    In many ways I agree with you. However, I won’t consider religion as the root cause of war, it is used as a way to build power. Misuse of religion is what it is, similar to how the Catholic church uses it.

    Religion can be an attempt to live a moral way. If used in this way it can limit or slow down the worst aspects of capitalism.

    John Goodrich

    Religion throughout history has caused the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, centuries of persecution of Jews, the legitimation of slavery and racism., wholesale child abuse through pederasty and genital mutilation and so on .
    You probably have your own list of such things
    No one has a problem coming up with religion-caused conflicts, persecution and death.

    IMO , saying that because the churches publicly make a show of helping humanity in certain circumstances somehow negates the enormous immorality of lying to children, the traditional support the churches have for capitalism and the state and all manner of tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, the Greek junta , the Latin American countries revolting against U.S. imperialism and neo colonialism and the New World genocide after Columbus , is analogous to praising Hitler because he made the trains run on time.

    IMO< we face the likely prospect of a world wide war with Islam in the not-too-distant future even were capitalism to die and eliminate the imperial and neo-colonial reasons now for the blowback that is often called Islamic extremism which of course, is a lie , it being “blowback” -justifiable response to U.S. imperialism/atrocities
    Islam is the most primitive, the most socially regressive of all extant religions
    and unlike Christianity and Judaism which have stopped killing unbelievers for not having
    the same faith the Islamic religion is still spread as it was by the Prophet….by the sword.

    I still maintain that no good can come from anything that is totalitarian to such the extent that religion is and since all of the Abrahamic religions are based on myths, legends and hallucinations and are atavistic/primitive in their morality and way of life, belief in an imaginary being just does not serve humanity’s aspirations for greater things.

    Belief in an eternal father is to wish to be a slave for your entire life and for an eternity after you die .

    As an anarchist, as a democrat I could never accept that totalitarianism in my life or on the planet.

    It’s well past time we grew up as a race and started living
    a far better life without that primitive,celestial dictator .

    And not to be forgotten is the fact that any moral act that is done in the name of a religion can/could be just as readily done, and is, by secular humanists/atheists .

    And how many acts of evil are done SOLELY for religious reasons ?

    , n

    anival veron

    hello i am from argentina

    the cost of a Argentinian pope is to slow down or return the conditions off the womans 30-40 years in the past (and their re vindication). it have a very bad impact in our country. we need that the abortion be legal so our sister’s mothers and freedom fighters comrades don’t die because of the conditions in the illegal abortion.

    it is one off the biggest shit that in our fascist country church have a new face wash.


    It is sad to hear that the church is influencing policy to that degree.


    John G: I am hesitant to post this here and I guess it’s out of place, but I want to respond to the obvious hurt that religion has caused you.

    I would encourage you to rediscover the essence of Jesus, starting with his Sermon on the Mount (matt 5-7.) I too abhor the history of oppression and violence involved in organized religion, but I believe that it is the result of man and not God.

    Jesus taught through example that we must all be servants of each other, must all love each other unconditionally, that no one should hold private property or shed blood. Yes God is a mystery; the mystery of Love that overcomes all human incapability and obstacles.

    Sorry, I didn’t want to say this because I know I have said it badly. You have to experience it, which I have, and it has turned my life upside down.

    Saeeda Bukhari

    Ok, I think I was not direct enough on my original post. I am an atheist and this post is not about whether religion is a force for good or bad, or which group of religious fanatics are committing more murder and mayhem in the world today.

    This is a political post, talking about political intent and manipulation carried out by real people in the world today. The need of left wing people to stop pretending that political strategic goals that are carried out with intent are coincidence. That intelligent left wing people need to be consciously investigating and discussing what and how strategies are implemented in the real world by real people, without succumbing to false ridicule and labeling as “Conspiracy” or “Fallacy”.

    If the labels appear, get more evidence and publish it and make it transparent. By being unable to deal with political strategy in the world, the left has succeeded in disarming itself and weakening itself. Wake up.


    John Goodr: You’ve got quite a hate on for organized religion. So do I. The problem with that is that there are good religious people who you might spook. We all have something to prove. How we prove what we have to prove rightly suggests to others whether they should bother to care about the message we carry.

    I consider myself progressive, but I have a hard time, sometimes, talking to leftists because of the anti-God streak within the Left. The Right is the place to go when you believe in power and view principles as an encumbrance. If decent rightwingers are put off by my statement, I guess I can take the position that they should be able to figure out that were I to know them personally, I probably would not mind knowing them personally. (Sometimes that’s important. Farmers and other landholders in Alberta are finding that they need to work with pinko environmental orgs and First Nations neighbors in order to resist the capitalist expansion of the oil industry that is destroying their land, health and future. Zionists recently marched together with caring people protesting the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by Netanyahu’s Nazi killers, otherwise know as the most moral army in the universe.) Hopefully that cuts both ways, but passion often overrides reason. No one is immune.

    I’m religious. I was once a Jehovah’s Witness. Do you think they’d be okay with my interest in politics? (And yet, When you read their literature, they are commenting, knowledgeably, on world events.) I’ve even voted, although I’ve given up on that for a variety of reasons, the main one being that, at present, voting is legal precisely because it can’t accomplish anything, pretty much everywhere, to riff off of Emma Goldman here. At the same time, I don’t agree with (casual) abortion. And the there’s my belief in God. So progressives who might not mind that I believe in God, because they’re easy or they too believe in God, will choke on my abortion stand (which the Christian Bible supports). I don’t fit in anywhere.

    I’m not saying that I can’t function. Actually, I function quite well. I manage to elicit agreement from all kinds of people at times. I don’t force my religious views on anyone, for example (don’t have the need to), but when I reveal them in posts online, I’m pleasantly surprised to find up votes more often than down votes. And I don’t expect it.

    That’s offered as food for thought and also because, er, well, I’m testing out this forum.


    Is the new Pope a good guy? From my reading around, the answer is ‘no’. He’s interesting for sure. And I find the fanatical, uncritical acceptance of him by Catholics to be frightening. What does it tell corporatist authorities about people? You know they are interested (See “US Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements” by Glen Ford at:


    Hi, Arby. You are right there are many good people who associate with organized religion. After all religion can be used as tool to manipulate people.

    I was curious about what you define as ‘casual abortion’, where the bible speaks of this, and whether you think what the bible says should be the last word?

    Saeeda Bukhari

    So the pope appointed Juan C. Zarate, I can see that he served with the Neo-conservative government above.

    So is there an Israel lobbyist embedded with the pope? I have a new connection with Mr Zarate from the Wikileaks cables.

    Under the heading

    Strong U.S.-Israeli Cooperation On Combating Terror Finance ——————————-

    1. (S) Summary: NSC Counterterrorism Chief BG Danny Arditi expressed concern to the Ambassador March 1 about continuing support from Hizballah for Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While the U.S. and Israel are making progress in combating financial flows from Saudi Arabia and Europe, he said, flows from Hizballah in the last two weeks alone amounted to close to $1 million. According to Arditi and his staff, these funds are channeled primarily through the Arab Bank and Western Union. Arditi defended the IDF operation the previous week that seized $9 million from 310 bank accounts in Ramallah, although he took on board U.S. criticisms and made clear that this operation was “unique.”

    I wonder what the Palestinians have said the money was for, or did they have a voice in this matter.

    So Udi Levi, who is responsible for financial aspects of terrorism, both at the NSC and for the Mossad is particularly grateful for the help of Mr Zarate for the help he has in stopping financial flow to the West Bank

    Udi Levi, who is responsible for financial aspects of terrorism, both at the NSC and for the Mossad. Asked by Arditi to brief on GOI efforts to combat terror finance, Levi praised U.S.-Israeli cooperation on this issue, noting that, in his six years of working on terror finance, terror finance cooperation had been the best during the past 12 months. Levi was particularly grateful for the efforts of Treasury DAS Juan Zarate on this front, including at the previous week’s multilateral meeting on terror finance in Paris, at which, according to Levi, the GOI had shared a substantial amount of documentation about financial flows. Levi predicted that the European approach would change as a result of these interventions. Meanwhile, he said, the U.S. and Israel are also working closely to find a solution to financial flows from Saudi Arabia. “We’re on the right track,” he said, forecasting “dramatic and strategic changes” in the coming months.


    And I’m curious about you, jonpatterns. You’ve created no bio.

    Casual abortion would be abortion for any reason other than medical. If the mother’s health is gravely endangered by her condition of pregnancy and might lead to her death should she carry to term, then abortion is acceptable. That’s my understanding. Rape, poverty and other serious situations don’t qualify. The meaning of ‘casual’, as I’m here using the word, is therefore broad and not meant to imply that adverse conditions aren’t adverse. ‘Casual’ only refers to any situation that isn’t one of immediate, physical danger for the pregnant woman. Sometimes casual abortion can certainly refer to casual behavior, such as when a woman wants to have sex all the time, leading to an ‘accident’, or unwanted pregnancy, but not involving medical problems for either the woman or child. If the pregnant woman enjoys favorable economic conditions, then the casualness of her choice to abort is even greater. The desire for a pregnant woman to abort her growing child because she didn’t choose it is unacceptable – if one believes that that’s a living human being with a soul growing in her. Some choose to not believe that. Others perhaps don’t believe that.

    I am a Christian. I regard the Bible as the inspired word of God. What does that mean? It means different things for different people, I guess. I do have problems with the Christian Bible and would go so far as to say that I don’t think it’s perfect. I have to believe that that is due to the tolerance, by God, for a level of contamination of it’s form, if not it’s contents, by the human agents used to write it’s 66 books.

    It all comes down to whether you believe in God. If you believe in God, then, obviously, You’re going to assume that problems with the Bible – the seemingly casual call by God for genocide against Israel’s enemies that Noam Chomsky finds appalling for example – are a problem with the reader’s ability to grasp the context and allow for subtle changes in form, as a result of the process of translation and transliteration, that can make meaning less obvious. If you don’t believe in God, then you’re going to feel no need to go beyond what the relatively plain words say about how Israel must deal with an enemy people.

    I haven’t given up on God, by a long shot. But I sure do have problems with passages in the Bible, not all which deal with the grimness of (seeming) genocide mind you.

    My belief is that when conception occurs, God literally creates the soul that completes that person. And all who arrive are invited.

    If the Bible writer talks about the way an embryo, which is “screened off in the belly” but not unseen by God who “saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all it’s parts were down in writing,” I would have to conclude that that means something more than just a soulless biological growth is here being examined ‘if’ this is also a God by whom “we have life and move and exist.” And possess a soul, so that our physical bodies can come and go but we remain until we request that we be destroyed. (Psalm 139:13-16; Acts 17:28; John 11:11-44)

    And here’s an example of the sort of thing I question. Jesus resurrected his friend Lazarus from his burial chamber, where he had been bound up with “wrappings,” like a mummy I presume. When Jesus called for him to exit his chamber, he came out with those wrappings on. That’s not impossible, but that’s not something I see God doing. God isn’t Hollywood, where nothing is left to chance and unnecessary instructional dialog is thrown in so that the 10 year olds in the audience can understand the slaughter taking place or whatever. When Jesus himself was resurrected, and he decided to reward Thomas for his loyalty and the degree of faith he did show by appearing before him and displaying the holes in his hands, I found that to be strange. That was an entirely new, disposable as it turned out, body that Jesus was showing up in here and there for 40 days after his resurrection. Did God ‘have to’ put holes in the hands where there were holes in the original body as a result of Jesus’s impalement? Maybe I just don’t think enough like God. Or I don’t get it.

    But there is enough about the Bible to astonish me as well.

    And if others want to agree to disagree with me about God and abortion, I can live with that. Not always easily mind you. I do believe in choice (abortion-related) because I have no choice about that. I don’t know how we are supposed to prevent pregnant mothers from murdering their unborn children (which is how I see it I’m afraid) without getting ‘too’ radical. And that can be painful.


    Hi Arby,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I disagree with you regarding abortion, especially regarding rape victims.

    You say God creates a soul when conception occurs. What do you believe happens to a soul when somebody dies?

    You emphasize it coming down to whether you believe in God or not. But there are many concepts of God which aren’t necessarily compatible.

    Regarding the bible – it seems to have been assembled and edited by people wishing promote their own particular brand of Christianity. For example only using certain writings to form the canonical works, leaving out works like the Gospel of Thomas

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 12 months ago by avatarjonpatterns.
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