Thursday, November 30, 2006

R-61 Pope bids to unite divided Churches

Pope bids to unite divided Churches Pope Benedict XVI has held prayers with the spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians during his visit to Turkey.

At the Church of St George in Istanbul, the Pontiff and Patriarch Bartholomew recommitted their aim to find unity after almost 1,000 years of schism between their Churches...... The Western and Eastern branches of Christianity split in the Great Schism of 1054 over differences on theology and papal authority.

Pope Benedict XVI has held prayers with the spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians during his visit to Turkey....... At the Church of St George in Istanbul, the Pontiff and Patriarch Bartholomew recommitted their aim to find unity after almost 1,000 years of schism between their Churches.

The Western and Eastern branches of Christianity split in the Great Schism of 1054 over differences on theology and papal authority..... The Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church have been at odds over Orthodox charges that Catholics have been trying to win converts after the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Vatican denies this.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

R-60 Pope in Turkey.... urges leaders to renounce violence

Pope urges leaders to renounce violence ANKARA, Turkey - Pope Benedict XVI urged leaders of all religions Tuesday to "utterly refuse" to support any form of violence in the name of faith, while Turkey's top Muslim cleric complained to the pontiff of growing "Islamophobia" in the world..... As he began his first visit to a Muslim country — a trip that drew extraordinary security but few onlookers — Benedict sought a careful balance as he extended friendship and brotherhood to Muslims, hoping to end the outcry from many Muslims over his remarks linking Islam to violence.

He expressed support for Turkey's efforts to join the European Union, moving away from opposition he voiced when he was a cardinal.... He avoided mention of any specific religion, even as he decried terrorism and the "disturbing conflicts across the Middle East."

Benedict also said guarantees of religious freedom are essential for a just society, and the Vatican said he raised specific issues such as property rights of Turkey's tiny 32,000-member Catholic community during talks with Turkish officials.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

R-59 Is Benedict XVI the next to last Pope?

I've felt for some time that that the next Pope following John Paul II would not be around too long and that the one following him would be the last. I'm not going to go into any details as there is a lot of information on this subject on the net already. I've provided some links and if you are interested, you can do your own follow up.


Lateran Pacts of 1929

Lateran Concordat of 1929 - Papal Wound Healed!

Vatican City (Holy See)

A Short History of the Holy See's Diplomacy


The Aftermath

Nazis mixed religion with government

The Catholic Church and the Nazis

So long as Adolf Hitler was in power, his Roman Catholic Church never questioned his Catholicism in public, where it mattered.

Hitler's Pope? Pope Benedict XVI - Former Hitler Youth

The Papacy - A Historical Perspective (list of Popes)

THE SPIRITUAL AMBUSH OF A UNIVERSAL RELIGION How It Will Be Utilized For The Manifestation Of The False Christ

The M+G+R Foundation

Some Major Contemporary Religious Bodies:

English Bible History

Bible; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

R-58 Turkish protests at Pope's pending visit

Turkish protests at Pope's visit Thousands of Muslims are holding a protest in Istanbul against the Pope's forthcoming visit to Turkey..... Crowds have been booing - and shouting slogans such as "Don't come Pope" - as pictures of Benedict XVI have been shown on a giant screen.

The Pope sparked outrage across the Muslim world in September, when he quoted a 14th-Century Christian emperor who criticised the Prophet Muhammad..... The Pope stressed that these were not his own words and later expressed regret for any offence his words caused...... However many Muslim leaders have been demanding an unequivocal apology.

Turkey's Christians await pope's visit When Pope Benedict XVI visits Turkey for four days starting Tuesday, he will try to ease anger over his recent remarks linking Islam and violence. But he is also expected to press the 99 percent Muslim country to give its Christian community more rights. Some of those Christians are forced to worship in so-called "apartment churches," and suffer prejudice, discrimination, even assault.....

Of Turkey's 70 million people, some 65,000 are Armenian Orthodox Christians, 20,000 are Roman Catholic, and 3,500 are Protestant, mostly converts from Islam. Another 2,000 are Greek Orthodox and 23,000 are Jewish.
Thousands in Turkey denounce papal visit ISTANBUL, Turkey - Tens of thousands of protesters denounced Pope Benedict XVI as an enemy of Islam at a rally Sunday that underlined deep divisions straining Turkey ahead of the pontiff's visit this week.....

Officials hoping to promote closer ties with the West urged calm, but Islamic groups wary of Western ways are united in anger over a speech Benedict gave two months ago in which he quoted a medieval text that linked Islam to violence.

Chants of "No to the pope!" rose among nearly 25,000 demonstrators at every mention of his remarks on violence and the Prophet Muhammad. Many protesters wore headbands with anti-pope slogans and waved placards that included a depiction of Benedict as the grim reaper...... Turkey's foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, said Benedict's visit could help "remove some misunderstandings" between Christians and Muslims.

"The messages the pope gives here will, of course, be very important," Gul said at a news conference..... But the protesters sent a loud signal that the pope is not welcome until he offers a full apology for his remarks in September, in which he quoted a medieval Christian emperor characterizing some of Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

R-57 Buddhist monk cuts off his penis.... renounces all earthly cares

Buddhist monk cuts off penis and renounces refix BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai Buddhist monk cut off his penis with a machete because he had an erection during meditation and declined to have it reattached, saying he had renounced all earthly cares, a doctor and a newspaper said on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old monk, whose name was withheld for privacy reasons, allowed medical staff at Maharaj hospital, 780 km (480 miles) south of Bangkok to dress his wound, but refused reattachment, hospital chief Prawing Euanontouch said.

"We cleaned up the wound, gave him some stitches, but he declined to have it reattached because he said had abandoned everything," Prawing told Reuters by telephone.

************************ Says a me comment ********************

The question and issues that the monk denied were - what was he thinking about or feeling during his meditation? Does he believe that having an erection also means having a desire for sex? Why does he feel that sex is wrong or evil? If sex is wrong or evil, then he must also be evil as he is the prodiuct of a sexual act. If he was born evil, how can he expect to change what is?

Me thinks this monk needed to meditate and reflect on his issues instead of hacking off his manhood that he accused of wrong doing... What's next, a hand that scratches his ass? But alas, Buddahist meditation is based in denial as what is sought is an escape from physical reality by obtaining a mindless oneness with all that is.

Saysame JR

Sunday, November 19, 2006

R-56 Orthodox chief urges Turks not to create unpleasant incidents durintg Popes visit Nov 28 - Dec 01

Orthodox chief urges Turks on pope visit ANKARA, Turkey - The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians cautioned Turks in an interview published Sunday against creating "unpleasant incidents" during
Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming trip to Turkey — his first to a Muslim country.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said in an interview in the Sabah newspaper that the pope's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 trip was a great opportunity for Turkey, and he would tell the pontiff that the country belonged in the European Union, which Ankara has long sought to join.

Turkish authorities have said they expect protests against the pope, who angered Muslims by a speech he made in September in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor's remarks about Islam and violence. Benedict has expressed regret that his remarks had caused offense, and has stressed they did not reflect his personal opinion....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

R-55 Pope to hold summit on married Catholic priests

Pope to hold summit on married priests VATICAN CITY -
Pope Benedict XVI has called a meeting Thursday with top Vatican officials to discuss lifting the celibacy requirement for priests seeking to marry or who have already married.

The Vatican stressed the meeting would not open a general discussion of the celibacy requirement but would only examine requests for dispensation made by priests wishing to marry and requests for readmission made by clergy who had married in recent years.

Bishops OK guidelines for gay ministry BALTIMORE - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops adopted new guidelines for gay outreach Tuesday that are meant to be welcoming, while also telling gays to be celibate since the church considers their sexuality "disordered."..... Gay Catholic activists said the approach was so contorted and flawed that it would alienate the very people it was trying to reach.

Pope presides at summit on celibacy
Pope Benedict XVI presided over a summit Thursday on the celibacy requirement for clergy, spurred by a married African archbishop who has been excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.... The Vatican insists that the policy itself was not open for discussion, but that the meeting was called to examine the implications of the "disobedience" by Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.... The prelate is thinking big in his campaign to have the Church to drop the demand that clergy be celibate. He is hoping to draw some 1,000 married Catholic priests to a Dec. 8-10 gathering in the New York City area.

The Holy See had stressed that the summit on Thursday would not open up debate on the celibacy requirement, but would instead examine requests for dispensation made by priests wishing to marry and requests for readmission by clergy who had married in recent years. It cited no numbers.

Vatican reaffirms celibacy for priests VATICAN CITY - A Vatican summit led by Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed mandatory celibacy for priests Thursday, rebuffing a high-profile crusade by a married African archbishop who has been excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church..... In a statement after the three-hour meeting, the Vatican said: "The value of the choice of priestly celibacy, according to Catholic tradition, has been reaffirmed."..... The Vatican did not cite any figures, but there are estimated to be at least 100,000 married priests worldwide, with about 25,000 of them in the United States.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

R-54 Pope to meet Muslim cleric who denounced him and his speech of Sept 12

Pope to meet cleric who denounced him VATICAN CITY - The pope's upcoming trip to Turkey will include a meeting with a Muslim cleric who was one of the first to denounce Benedict XVI for his remarks on Islam and violence, the Vatican said Saturday.... The Nov. 28-Dec. 1 pilgrimage was born out of Benedict's desire to meet with the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, as the pope pursues closer relations among Christians.

One of the first to denounce Benedict's speech was Turkey's president for religious affairs, Ali Bardakoglu, a top Islamic cleric who said criticism of Islam threatened world peace. Benedict and Bardakoglu will meet within hours of the pope's arrival in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The pope will also deliver a speech during his encounter with the cleric, the Vatican said.

Benedict has offered his regrets that his speech caused offense and has stressed that the quotes did not reflect his personal opinion. He has also expressed esteem for Islam.

R-53 Christian population falls in Holy Land

Christian population falls in Holy Land BETHLEHEM, West Bank - The death threat came on simple white fliers blowing down the streets at dawn. A group calling itself "Friends of Muhammad" accused a local Palestinian Christian of selling mobile phones carrying offensive sketches of the Muslim prophet.... The message went on to curse all Arab Christians and Pope Benedict XVI, still struggling to calm Muslim outrage from his remarks on Islam.

Call it part of a modern exodus, the steady flight of the tiny Palestinian Christian minority that could lead, some predict, to the faith being virtually extinct in its birthplace within several generations — a trend mirrored in many dwindling pockets of Christianity across the Islamic world.

Friday, November 10, 2006

R-52 Catholic Nun gets 30 years for her part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide...

Catholic nun gets 30 years for Rwanda genocide

NAIROBI, Kenya - A Catholic nun has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for helping militias kill hundreds of people hiding in a hospital during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, an official said Friday....Theophister Mukakibibi was sentenced by a traditional gacaca court for helping Hutu militiamen to kill ethnic Tutsis seeking refuge from the slaughter in Butare hospital, where she worked.

"She was responsible for selecting Tutsis and would throw them out of the hospital and the militia would then kill them," said Jean Baptiste Ndahumba, president of the local gacaca court in Butare town. "This nun was organizing people to be killed." She was jailed Thursday....

A number of Hutu Catholic and Protestant church leaders are alleged to have played significant roles in the east African nation's 100-day massacre. More than a half-million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by the militia, orchestrated by the extremist Hutu government then in power. The genocide ended when Tutsi rebels toppled the government.

The gacaca courts are intended to speed up the genocide trials and are separate from the conventional judicial system. With nine judges from the local community, the traditional courts were also established to help heal divisions but can impose life sentences.

Some 63,000 genocide suspects are detained in Rwanda, and justice authorities say that at least 761,000 people should stand trial for their role in the slaughter and chaos that came with it. The suspects represent 9.2 percent of Rwanda's estimated 8.2 million people.

A U.N. tribunal based in neighboring Tanzania is trying those accused of masterminding the genocide in Rwanda. Three members of the clergy have appeared at the tribunal.

In 2001, two Rwandan Catholic nuns were convicted by a Belgian court for aiding and abetting the mass murders. A Roman Catholic priest is on trial before the Tanzania-based U.N. tribunal, accused of ordering the slaughter of 2,000 people who sought refuge in his church.

R-51 Israel to host gay parade.. Pope has it cancelled..

Vatican urges Israel to ban Jerusalem gay parade VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The
Vatican has condemned a gay pride parade due to be held in Jerusalem on Friday as offensive to religious believers and urged Israeli authorities to stop it taking place..... "It is with bitterness that we have learned that the day after tomorrow, November 10, 2006, there is scheduled in Jerusalem a so-called 'gay pride parade'," the Vatican said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"The Holy See has reiterated on many occasions that the right to freedom of expression, sanctioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is subject to just limits, in particular when the exercise of this right would offend the religious sentiments of believers," the letter said.

"It is clear that the gay parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem will prove offensive to the great majority of Jews, Muslims and Christians, given the sacred character of the City of Jerusalem."

Israel gay pride parade canceled

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

R-50 Are we sinning yet... Whipped cream? Hummmmm

Are we sinning yet?

TORONTO, Nov 7 (Reuters Life!) - The United Church of Canada hopes an ad featuring a can of whipped cream and the question, "How much fun can sex be before it's a sin?" will fill its pews as Christmas nears.

The United Church of Canada has a declining active membership of about 573,000, although almost 3 million people have some sort of affiliation with the church. Between 1994 and 2004, membership dropped about 20 percent, according to church statistics.

Monday, November 06, 2006

R-49 Church of England upset..... no Christian stamps for Xmas

Church posts anger at Britain's Christ-free Christmas stamps

LONDON (AFP) - The Church of England have sent a message of annoyance to the Royal Mail over this year's Christmas stamps, which feature festive fun rather than a Christian theme...... Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeer and a Christmas tree surrounded by presents appear on the 2006 collection, which goes on sale Tuesday.

The established church in England delivered a note of "regret" at the lack of reference to the birth of Jesus Christ, while the Royal Mail said they alternated each year between religious and non-religious themes...... "In 2004, the Church of England's General Synod approved a motion calling for Royal Mail to issue Christmas stamps with Christian themes every year," said a C of E spokesman on Monday....... "We regret that the Royal Mail have decided against continuing last year's welcome return to Christian-themed designs reminding people of the true meaning of Christmas."

Last year's set included a controversial image of a couple with Hindu markings worshipping Jesus.

UPDATES: '06 Nov 07 Non-religious Christmas stamps criticisedyear's collection of festive stamps.... Instead of religious images adorning the Christmas stamps -- which go on sale from Tuesday -- they have pictures of Santa, a snowman, a Christmas tree and a reindeer...... Religious groups say they are concerned the stamps have no connection with the real meaning of Christmas.

**************************** says a me comment ********************

"Religious groups" or "CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS GROUPS" say they are concerned the stamps have no connection with the real meaning of Christmas. I'm sure that if the Post Office started issuing stamps to celebrate other religions.. that there would be a cacophony of Christian religious opposition... especially if they were Muslin stamps...

HEY have lost your way!!!! Aren't you the same two faced, hypocritical gang that says the true meaning of Christmas isn't about commercial things, but about love and celebrating the birth of Christ... What does that have to do with stamps? Christ never had stamps celebrating his birthday; come to think of it.... Christmas is NEVER even mentioned in the bible.... So what are you pious and righteous Christians really celebrating? If you check out the history books you will find Christmas been adapted from PAGAN holidays... So what does that make you?

"Food for thought"
Saysame JR

Sunday, November 05, 2006

R-48 Anglican bishop accuses Muslims of double standards.... Pot calling kettle black....

Bishop attacks 'Muslim hypocrisy' A senior Anglican bishop has accused many Muslims of being guilty of double standards in their view of the world..... The bishop, whose father converted from Islam, also said situations such as teaching could require Muslim women not to wear full-face veils.

He added: "Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made.".... He disclosed that he asks Muslim women to remove the veil when they attend his Blackburn constituency surgeries.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

R-47 Evangelical chief Haggard forced to quit over sex scandal

Evangelical chief Haggard forced to quit

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Rev. Ted Haggard was forced out Saturday as leader of the megachurch he founded after a board determined the influential evangelist had committed "sexually immoral conduct," the church said Saturday.

Haggard had resigned two days earlier as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, where he held sway in Washington and condemned homosexuality, after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed to have had drug-fueled trysts with him.

"Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct," the New Life Church's Overseer Board said in a statement.

Friday, November 03, 2006

R-46 Muslim Women demand a voice...and a choice

Muslim feminists battle against 'macho' views BARCELONA (AFP) - Muslim women from around the world took up the fight against a "macho" interpretation of Islam's Koran at the opening of an international conference on Islamic feminism

"It will come into full force when women are able to make choices in life with their own consent," Escurado said..... The three-day conference was called to "support women who are fighting for recognition of their rights in the Islamic world" and rising up "against the long-established supremacy of men", he said...... The Islamic feminist movement has slowly emerged in the Muslim world, which comprises some 29 countries with more than one billion people.

"Nothing can really begin until women start to talk to other women," said Pilar Vallugera, director of the department on women and rights at city hall in Barcelona...... "We live for the most part under rules which were handed down in Saudi Arabia centuries ago, and there are still too many unenlightened mullahs who direct our lives."..... Besides the disapproval of some men, the pioneers of Islamic feminism also face the rejection, incomprehension and anger of some of their Islamic sisters......