Thursday, September 14, 2017

more violence in the Congo coming?

AustinBay has another article on the unrest in the Congo due to the President there deciding not to obey the constitution and trying to stay in power.

Some observers argue the Kasai insurgency illustrates what could happen throughout the country if Kabila continues to illegally remain in office. Yes, another brutal civil war. Kabila maintains power because he controls the security forces and the government's patronage system. His presidential guard unit is the most powerful military unit in the country — with the major exception of the UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping force.
The Angolan government was once a staunch Kabila ally. Kasai's refugees and Kabila's failure to end the conflict have ended the alliance. Angola, Congo's largest and most populous neighbor, now calls Kabila an illegal president. Angola also possesses central Africa's most powerful national army.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Pope Francis: Obey me Minions

there are a lot of fault lines in church history, including if the bishops are devised from below or from above.

If you let the 'people' chose the bishops, it allows a coterie to push their own guy into power (as in the early church) but if you let the Pope/Vatican do it, you can get a person who the locals ( or the locals in charge) don't like. In places where bishops are powerful or governments are tyrannical, that can cause problems. Think of the power struggles of the Anglo Saxon vs the norman bishops who wanted to reform the locals. Hence the Philippines has it's own breakaway church from the Catholics, and of course in history a lot of the reason for Lutheran and Anglican churches had to do more with politics and nationalism than with dogma.

Since an isolated church can easily slide into heresy or nepotism, you can see the problem.

The church is not just spiritual, but has intitutions such as schools and hospitals, and in some places the priest/ minister is the most educated person around. This has changed in a lot of areas today, thanks to universal education and cheap books (and not the internet) but you still see how politics can rear it's ugly head in church matters.

Nor is it a Catholic problem, as we see as churches that are formed around a charismatic leader degenerates as the leader dies and his sons are not as holy as he was. Think Pastor Shuller in the USA or the InaCristo here in the Philippines.

To outsiders, it looks like trivia, but often it is a subtle thing that means a lot to those involved.

Pope Francis' tendency to push people around is not good: The pope is a pastor/shepherd, not a dictator, no matter what the Fundie protestants think.

And his love of power, not sensitivity to culture, is seen in this Vatican power play against a Nigerian diocese that doesn't want an outsider as their leader (even an outsider from the same tribe)...

according to the comments, he is from a different subtribe who speak a different dialect,

The Tribes have their own dialects and see themselves as unique entities from within. However we all see them as Igbo from outside.
The tribes include
-Onitsha
-Ika
-Nsukka
-Ezza
-Mbaise
-Abriba
-Ikwerre
-Oguta
Etc etc etc.
Their (Igbo) ethnology is one of the most interesting in Nigeria.
Sadly, they are misunderstood.

and the writer clarifies the problem in a second comment...
The diocese is rural and largely away from the city but it is dense in terms of the strength of numbers, both parishioners and priests. They’ve literally taken it upon themselves to train and build this diocese. They’ve also supported and trained many priests from around the country of different tribes. These priests number in the thousands. More than any rural diocese in Nigeria.
With this, there are about 1000 possible persons who qualify from the local diocese and probably up to 2000+ priests that qualify from the state.
This is based on their knowledge of the diocese, its peculiarities and difficulties.
Interestingly, out of these numbers from the diocese, not one has ever been made a Bishop anywhere. So the question is why??
Shockingly, it’s nepotism. The church Ij the east was first domiciled in the Anambra axis and even through others in the east have grown. The Anambra axis doesn’t recognize this fact and tends to through their influence dictate to others who may have slightly different views than they have. This to the local priest is unfair and a sort of denial on the part of the church of both the progress they’ve made and the sacrifices they continue to make.

Therefore, the nepotism claim or tribalism is reversed. Let me explain.
In Nigeria today, this Anambra archdiocese accounts for up to 15 Bishops. Many sent to other smaller dioceses. The argument here was that the Ahiara diocese isn’t a small diocese but has successfully run itself with its own priests and schools and hospitals for about 30years.
They therefore see this as a set back and the people I’ve spoken to see it as if the over 1000 priests they have trained and or sponsored are not good enough or are just plain evil people. This is not fair.
Like I said none of them has ever been sent to oversee their fellow priests anywhere in the universal Catholic Church.
Well, I think they should accept the decision since they’ve made their points for those who care to seek the facts. The question is wil their rural people understand why they or their leaders are not worthy of this honor??
I don’t know!!
 this is a local paper and the comment section is quite interesting.

essentially most of the bishops are all from the same diocese, and locals see this as a power play by this outside diocese to make their local church be seen as inferior to the big shot outsiders who want to run all the local churches.

Yup. Local politics is involved, but also a question if the church is universal or local: should the people have input into who leads them?

. More here.

Crux summary here.


Francis lays out his demands, accusing the recalcitrant priests of wanting “to destroy the church,” and saying he’d even considered suppressing the diocese. Instead, he’s demanding they all write to “clearly manifest total obedience to the pope,” including their willingness to accept the bishop he appoints. No matter how you slice it, it’s a dramatic show of papal muscle. Even Francis conceded, “this seems pretty harsh,” but said he was doing it “because the People of God is scandalized, and Jesus reminds us that whoever causes scandal has to face the consequences.
No, I didn't work in Nigeria so am not knowledgible about the ins and outs.

And does the holyman caste have anything to do with this?I don't know.

my work in Africa was in rural Zimbabwe with the Mashona, and in Monrovia Liberia. Yes I worked with Nigerians there but didn't get to know the culture. So I post this as an FYI.
 
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