Sunday, December 24, 2006

R-66 Pope makes Christmas appeal for children

Pope makes Christmas appeal for children

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Christmas Midnight Mass in the splendor of St. Peter's Basilica early Monday with an appeal for abused children around the world, including child soldiers, beggars and others deprived of sustenance and love.

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

I very much doubt that the pope has had a change of "heart-less-ness" but that this is part of the standard "IMAGE" of love and compassion that the Catholic church would have the public believe on this so-called "holy" occasion. It's a clever change of tactics to take the focus off the REAL issues within the church by blaming another... And where's the LOVE in that????


Monday, December 11, 2006

R-65 Christmas, pagans and religious divergence

Christmas, pagans and religious divergence
Happy holidays!

Have I just offended you? If you are a member of the American Family Association, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights or the Committee to Save Merry Christmas, I probably have..... Yet there is a deep, and seasonal, irony here - one that might come as a shock to the "Save Merry Christmas" crowd.

For Christmas is, in its origins and its symbolism, perhaps the most pagan-inspired of all Christian holidays. Its dating derives from the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was determined by the winter solstice, that astronomical point in the year after which the periods of sunlight on Earth lengthen.

And that's not all that contemporary Christians have in common with neo-pagans. Most of the popular symbols surrounding Christmas - evergreen trees and other greenery, mistletoe and holly, the Yule log, candles and bonfires and holiday lights, mystical spirits with the ability to fly and to enter and leave a house through its chimney, tricksters who treat or taunt little children, not to mention those elves - all derive from older, pre-Christian Europe.

These pagan-derived symbols and customs are precisely the elements of Christmas that Christian activists are pressing to preserve and promote, in venues such as Target and Macy's. Compounding the irony even further, these are the symbols that federal and state courts have determined make a holiday display sufficiently "secular" to warrant its construction on public property at taxpayer expense. All of which goes to illustrate what's wrong when any one religious group or government entity claims the ability to determine what constitutes "religion" in America.

In fact, nothing could be more in keeping with the "Christmas spirit" than to embrace and celebrate religious diversity. And nothing could be truer to the spirit of the First Amendment than to honor American war dead as they and their loved ones would wish. No single group of self-proclaimed Christians holds a premium on the meaning of this magical season. And no government agency should decide what "qualifies" as an appropriate religious symbol.

And so, no offense intended, but season's greetings.

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

Did you also know that "Christsmas" is not mentioned in the bible and that Easter is also only mentioned once in after thought sort of way.... Says a lot for the two most important Christian holidays and also how twisted the Christian religion really is...

"Food for thought"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

R-64 Envoy fears for Tibet when Dalai Lama dies

Envoy fears for Tibet when Dalai Lama dies BEIJING (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama's top envoy, in rare remarks on a dialogue process with China, has warned of potential instability unless the issue of Tibet is resolved within the lifetime of the 71-year-old spiritual leader.

About half of China's Tibetans live in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the remote, mountainous area the Dalai Lama fled in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese Communist rule.

The remainder live in parts of the western Chinese provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, which are considered part of a historical, or cultural, Tibet.

Uniting Tibetans in those regions was not an effort to create a "greater Tibet" or a cover for a separatist plot, Lodi Gyari said, but stemmed from a desire to restore the integrity of Tibetans as a distinct nationality within China.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

R-63 Pope anged over bishop's ordination in China

Pope sorrowful over bishop's ordination VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI felt "great sorrow" that China had ordained another bishop without papal approval, the Vatican said Saturday.

The ordination on Thursday was the third known case this year, aggravating tensions between China and the Holy See. "The Holy Father learned the news with great sorrow, because the episcopal ordination was conferred without the pontifical mandate" and thus violated Catholic Church law, the Vatican press office said in a statement.

China's government-backed Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association on Thursday ordained Wang Renlei, vicar-general of the Xuzhou diocese in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Beijing broke ties with the Vatican in 1951 after the communists took power and set up a separate Catholic church outside the authority of the Holy See. The faithful are only allowed to worship with the state-sanctioned church. Beijing views papal appointments in China as an interference in internal affairs.

"This series of extremely grave acts, which offend the religious sentiment of every Catholic in China and in the rest of the world, is fruit and consequence of a vision of the Church which doesn't correspond to Catholic doctrine and subverts fundamental principles of its hierarchal structure," the Vatican statement said.

Friday, December 01, 2006

R-62 Benedict does with the Muslims what John Paul did with the Jews

Pope hailed for praying toward Mecca like Muslims ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Pope Benedict ended a sensitive, fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise for visiting Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque and praying there facing toward Mecca "like Muslims.".... The Pope, who sparked protests across the Muslim world with a speech two months ago seen as criticizing Islam, looked relaxed and pleased as he entered the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit for a mass at the end of the four-day trip.

His first visit to a mostly Muslim country, held under tight security for fear of protests by nationalists and Islamists, was highlighted by a series of conciliatory gestures culminating in a stop on Thursday afternoon in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque.

"The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page. "In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims," the popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building's official name.

Just before leaving, Benedict said he hoped his visit was seen as "a sign of friendship between religions" that helps bring countries and cultures closer together..... Catholic officials also presented the mosque visit as a key moment of reconciliation.

"I would compare the Pope's visit to the mosque to Pope John Paul's gestures at the Western Wall," said veteran Vatican mediator Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, referring to Pope John Paul II's prayers at Jerusalem's Western Wall in 2000...... "Yesterday, Benedict did with the Muslims what John Paul did with the Jews."