Friday, April 30, 2010

Fwd: Zenit flagged as bad site by Google


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Republicans filibuster premature Democrat attempt to discuss financial reform in USA Senate


(Catholic Watchdog South Africa; c.f. Fox News Radio (Conservative; Secular; American; Independent, but some link it to Republican beliefs) 26 / 04 | April / 2010 (The 5 minute news summary has since been updated); Radio Vaticana (Catholic; Hierarchical with relative independence; Vatican based) 27 / 04 | April / 2010 )

|Download/Stream the Audio of this Article|

|External Note: Republicans fear more bailouts, of the scope of those of Obama and of Bush.|

Article by Marc Aupiais





Title / Heading: Republicans filibuster premature Democrat attempt to discuss financial reform in USA Senate

Financial reform is thought to be Barack Obama’s Democrats’ number one priority, as the approval ratings of the US president have dipped to and even below the psychological 50% mark. Unemployment is just below 10%, and with passing of controversial healthcare legislation without any Republican support, despite mass public concerns, and without much of the vital explanations media believed were due to the public, Obama and his Democrats have much to worry about at the November polls, especially with recent iconic Republican wins in by-elections. One of the Republican wins has insured that unilateral financial reform has been filibustered in Yesterday’s procedural Senate vote. The reform is hoped by some Democrats to be a platform to garner support for Democrats via a focus on helping small rural business, and other reforms which could win Democrats votes in November. Republicans have also noted support for reform, but with some slight alterations to the bill, which they see as necessary.

The Democrats, Yesterday, had 57 votes on their side for the financial reform, while 41 Republican side nay votes opposed a proposal in the American Upper House of Parliament, to open debate on the matter; this was enough in the procedural vote to prevent thus far, financial reform, under the current Democrat proposal.

The Republicans are also concerned to insure financial reform goes through, especially as around two thirds of Americans reportedly are in favour of reforming the financial sector, after the recent aftermath of the hot-point of the financial crisis, and given the bail-outs during the Republican Bush, and Democrat Obama Administrations: of firms which otherwise, in ordinary capitalism, would have failed.

Their concerns relate to small but vital segments of the bill. They believe that the federal government could be over-reaching, and would prefer certain details of what they see as a complex issue to be ironed out more carefully. Despite this, their negotiators have reported to media that they are close to a solution. Fox news, a popular news service in America, accused by some of a sympathy towards the Republican cause has said that it is unlikely the Republicans will delay for much longer, due to a desire to garner the support of public opinion ahead of November elections.

Republican efforts at stricter financial regulations, pushed by Republican John McCain and others: during the 1990’s were blocked by Democrats, and it would seem unlikely for the bill to pass without Republican support, since Kennedy was replaced with Brown: as a representative in the Senate from Massachusetts, once a Democrat stronghold.

While both sides have claimed that they are close to a negotiated solution, the Democrats attempted, Yesterday: to push the bill forward for discussion prior Republican satisfaction, in a move similar to the unilateral overhaul of healthcare pushed through by the Democrats, and in the unilateral manner Barack Obama has pushed through legislation in: for much of his presidency. This despite promises of discussion and at attempting bi-partisan efforts during campaigning against his then Republican rival John McCain. Barack Obama has speeches set up in multiple areas (ending in a spot in Illinois), in order to garner more public support for the overhaul.

The question is whether Republicans will gain their concessions on details they believe should change, before the bill is either voted through or before the though highly unlikely, possible shelving of the legislation. The Democrat position seems to be aiming for a Democrat bill to pass, with as few of the Republic concessions within it as possible. Republicans could make an embarrassment for Obama before November polls, but have much to risk given high public support for financial reform, but also given the cost to public confidence, if they pass an inadequate bill, or are seen as a non-issue, or as betraying their ideals as regards Wall Street and other issues of importance to conservative voters: in the Senate.











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Thursday, April 22, 2010

New York Times alleged to have defamed pope



(Catholic Watchdog South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

One of the best sources on British Roman Catholicism Telegraph Blogs' Editor: Damien Thompson has an interesting letter to quote, on alleged bad reporting on the pope:



Hat-tip to the Just B16 blog for this letter sent to The New York Times by Prof John Coverdale, professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey. It wasn’t accepted for publication, you’ll be astonished to learn. Here it is:
Like many other people, I have felt in recent weeks that some news outlets have unfairly targeted Pope Benedict XVI in connection with sexual abuse by priests.
In part this is a question of emphasis, with daily coverage of what may or may not have been minor mistakes in judgment decades ago and almost no attention to the major efforts Pope Benedict has made to remedy what is undeniably a horrible situation.
With some frequency, however, I have observed what strikes me as deliberate distortion of the facts in order to put Pope Benedict in a bad light. I would like to call your attention to what seems to me a clear example of this sort of partisan journalism: Laurie Goodstein and Michael Luo’s article “Pope Put Off Move to Punish Abusive Priest” published on the front page of the New York Times on April 10, 2010. The story is so wrong that it is hard to believe it is not animated by the anti-Catholic animus that the New York Times and other media outlets deny harboring.
Canonical procedure punishes priests who have violated Church law in serious ways by “suspending” them from exercising their ministry. This is sometimes referred to as “defrocking.” (According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary to “defrock” is to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of an office. )
A priest who has been suspended may request that he be released from his vows of celibacy and other obligations as a priest. If granted, this petition to be “laicized” would leave the former priest free to marry. Laicization (which is altogether different from defrocking and which may apply to a priest who has committed no crime but simply wishes to leave the priesthood) is not further punishment. It is something a priest who has already been punished by being suspended might well desire, as do some priests who have committed no crime and who have not been suspended..
The priest who is the subject of the article had already been punished by being suspended long before his case reached Rome. He asked to be laicized. Cardinal Ratzinger delayed his laicization not his “defrocking” as the article incorrectly says. He had been defrocked years earlier when he was suspended from the ministry. All of this is clear without reference to outside sources to anyone who knows something about Church procedure and reads the article with sufficient care. It is anything but clear, however, to a normal reader.
My complaint here is not that the article misuses the word “defrock” but rather that by so doing it strongly suggests to readers that Cardinal Ratzinger delayed the priest’s removal from the ministry. Delaying laicization had nothing to do with allowing him to continue exercising the ministry, from which he had already been suspended.
Not only does the article fail to make these distinctions, it positively misstate the facts. Its title is “Pope Put off Move toPunish Abusive Priest.” [italics added] It describes Cardinal Ratzinger’s decision as involving whether the abusive priest “should be forced from the priesthood” [italics added]. Even a moderately careful journalist would have to notice that all of this is incompatible with the fact (reported in the second paragraph of the article) that the priest himself had asked for what Cardinal Ratziner delayed.
Had the facts been reported accurately, the article would have said that the priest was promptly punished by being removed from the ministry for his crimes, but that when he asked to be reduced to the lay state, which would have given him the right to marry within the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger delayed granting the petition. That, of course, would hardly have merited front page treatment, much less a headline accusing the Pope of “Putt[ing] off Move to Punish Abusive Priest.”
The second half of the article reports that the priest later worked as a volunteer in the youth ministry of his former parish. This is obviously regrettable and should not have happened, but he was not acting as a priest (youth ministers are laymen, not priests).
A careful reader who was not misled by the inaccuracies in the first part of the article would, of course, realize that his volunteering as a youth minister had no factual or legal connection with Cardinal Ratzinger’s delaying the grant of laicization. The article does not say in so many words that it did, but an average reader might well conclude that there was some connection when he is told that “while the bishop was pressing Cardinal Ratzinger to defrock Mr. Kiesle, the priest began volunteering in the youth ministry of one of his former parishes.”
Any one of these errors might be due to carelessness, but their cumulative effect, coupled with the decision to make this front page news accompanied by a two column photo of Cardinal Raztinger’s signature, strongly suggests to me that something worse than carelessness is involved. I urge you to look into whether some major news outlets have indeed been engaged in a campaign to vilify the Pope and into whether their desire to do so has caused them to slip below minimum standards of professional journalism.











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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI apologises to victims of sex abuse by clergy in Malta



Heading: Pope Benedict XVI apologises to victims of sex abuse by clergy in Malta

(Social Justice South Africa)

|Download the audio version of this article|

Article by Marc Aupiais




|Clip from South African Catholic channel on Ustream, announcing the breaking news about the pope visiting abuse victims, this short clip, is less detailed than the article and audio of our service on this matter|

Pope Benedict XVI, who largely quashed sex abuse in the Roman Catholic hierarchy when he was given the jurisdiction to do so as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, around 2001, has once again moved against paedophilia in the Roman Catholic church. He did not note the sex abuse crises to reporters on the plane travelling to Malta, rather indirectly referring to actions which had hurt the church, and separating these from the church herself. Yet, surprising some, especially our service’s own editor, Pope Benedict XVI, officially in Malta to celebrate the 1950th year since Saint Paul was shipwrecked in Malta, met with eight (8) alleged victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Four (4) priests were allegedly involved in the abuse, years ago. The victims were all over the age of thirty.

The Associated Press, referencing one of the eight (8), claimed that the Holy Father was driven to tears while meeting the alleged victims. The pope expressed what Vatican Radio termed shame and sorrow: for the abuse suffered at the hands of clergy.

The Holy Father reportedly promised the victims that the church was doing all in its power, to combat the scourge of paedophilia and to protect young people, within the church. He promised it was doing everything to bring abusers to justice. Benedict XVI was noted by Vatican Radio as listening to the stories of the alleged victims, and prayed with them for healing. He noted their suffering, and that of their families due to the alleged abuse.

The move is significant, after some media had brought allegations without adequate evidence against the pope, involving sex abuse cover-up. Notably the New York Times, and additionally the Associated Press, who claim Benedict XVI did not act on a specific case of sexual abuse, despite the issue at hand being a priest’s request to leave the priesthood, and despite this being decades before it was in Joseph Ratzinger’s jurisdiction, to deal with sexual abuse cases.

The pope notably apologized to the victims, not the media, a very papal form of diplomacy and of acting. Benedict XVI has consistently attempted to root out sexual abuse in the church, since being given some jurisdiction over the matter in 2001, and especially since becoming pope. He has apologised for the church, to Australian victims, American victims, Ireland and its victims, and now to the victims in Malta. The Maltese victims, seemed very mature about the affair, and certainly could not have been portrayed as attempting to undermine the church, given their statements, as far as our service has had access to these.












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Monday, April 12, 2010

Earth Day: April 22nd is the 40th annual Earth Day- American Papist














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Vatican sets to blogging press releases


Headline: Vatican sets to blogging press releases

(Media Study South Africa)

|Download/Stream the audio form of this article|

Article by Marc Aupiais

With the success of the Vatican’s Twitter, and YouTube sites, it has now turned to another new forum, that of the blog. VIS, also known as Vatican Information Service, an arm of the Holy See Press office, has now decided to also externally place their articles in blog form, this at official VIS blog: www.visnews.org, which redirects to its blogger hosted site: http://www.visnews-en.blogspot.com/. The move means that VIS headlines will finally be more accessible, and more easily accessed by the average person. The move was announced at the Vatican’s recently inaugurated Twitter accounts, and also in VIS’s own news dispatch.













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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Will media attention stop Benedict XVI from pursuing justice against paedophile priests and their protectors?


(Catholic Watchdog South Africa)

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Analytical Article by Marc Aupiais

With high ranking Hierarchical official, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, having recently claimed, as reported by Reuters, that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was prevented from adequately pursuing at least one case of sexual abuse, under the pontificate of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II: an impression has been made on many Catholics, that Pope Benedict XVI, who on becoming pope, made an effort to apologize for the paedophilic priest scandal cover-up, and to institute reforms, was the man to clear up the crisis. With attacks from anti-Catholic outlets, such as the New York Times, and slanted articles against the church, and papacy, appearing across the world, the question some may be asking is whether or not Benedict XVI, will take the short term risk, of continuing his attempt to revanche the church against those supporting immoral and criminal priests.

His overtures to the FSSPX earlier in his pontificate, suggest a more long term game plan on behalf of Benedict XVI, and while he has had to fight for his own credibility, something which has distracted him from his vendetta, it is certain that however weakened in his fight against these criminal elements in the hierarchy, that he will continue to try and expunge the corrupt elements from the church, though possibly in a more discrete manner, given his campaign’s reception.

Without the power of a loud voice, his efforts, may in fact be somewhat hampered, something the New York Times, and others must have foreseen, when they levelled their unsubstantiated claims of negligence against the Roman Pontiff.

His ignoring of the sexual scandal in recent homilies, could well suggest that the pontiff has decided that it is no longer worth pursuing it to the same extent. This would mean that the one man capable of attacking this issue may have withdrawn. It may also be the case, that having repeatedly apologized, and repeatedly stated his outrage against the conspiracy which allowed abuse, that the pope does not think it prudent to speak at the moment, having already caused the light of day to hit so many cases.

Either way, a wrong focus of media, on the pope, rather than on those who are certainly guilty, could well hamper efforts to root out the corrupt elements that have disobeyed not only civil law, but Canon Law, in their handling of abuse cases.

Most of the cases stem back to previous pontificates, where the issue was quietly swept under the rug, or kept latent, a purposely crafted arcanum.














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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fr. Cantalamessa: "Violence is failure"



The Vatican has placed a video online of the homily given to the pope, which caused so much controversy:

[it excludes the letter from his Jewish friend, but notes the context importantly]











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Letter read to pontiff, by papal preacher sparks controversy



(Catholic Watchdog South Africa)

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Article by Marc Aupiais

In his Good Friday sermon at St. Peter's Basilica, to Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who belongs to the Franciscan order, and is the preacher to the pontifical household, the man who’s preaching the pope has to listen to, made some comments which have gained global attention. His job, is not as a policy maker, but as a priest who is to preach to the pope.

Raniero Cantalamessa, compared the attacks in media outlets, such as the New York Times, to the work of the Nazis during the Shoah, or so-called Holocaust of the Second World War if major news services are to be believed. In truth he did not, he simply read a letter from a Jewish friend, which claimed that the alleged mass labelling of Catholics, and the papacy, without due process, was also bigotry and dangerous, and reminded the preacher’s Jewish friend of the work of the Nazis.

In his Homily, as published, by independent Catholic news service Zenit, but missing it seems from the Vatican’s own site, the preacher focused on violence, and how it was losing against what he saw as better forces. His statement noted solidarity with the Jews, while his unnamed Jewish friend’s letter attacked “the whole world”, which his friend claims to have seen as attacking people of faith.

Despite constant mention by some media of the accusations by the New York Times, and others about the papacy and the former Cardinal Ratzinger’s cancelling the ecclesiastical trial of a dying man, who faced no civil charges or sanctions at the time, though suspected of sexual abuse, and those involving Ratzinger’s time as Archbishop of Munich, and other accusations, these have yet to have been proven to contain apathy or conspiracy on the part of the pope, even on a balance of scales. The details are also mostly ignored, only the accusations being made, apart from the cases set out by accusers.

An article by the Associated Press, appearing in the Toronto Star, used the accusation by the Preacher of media allegedly purposely creating a tempest in a teapot: the article determined to recall Christian abuse of Jewish people, and attempted to liken the comparison by the preacher of anti-Catholic sentiment and anti-Semitism, itself to anti-Semitic claims.

The Associated Press is quick to note that Vatican representative, Rev. Federico Lombardi, contacted them afterwards, to distance the Vatican from the alleged claims by the preacher, saying that the comparison was not Vatican policy, and say the Associated Press, that Lombardi claims that the preacher was not speaking as a Vatican official.

The fact remains, that the preacher, whose job it is to mentally stimulate the pontiff, was speaking in his official capacity as Preacher to the Papal Household, though this is not a policy making position. The Associated Press also gives their opinion that the pontiff looked weary during the time in which the preaching occurred.

Vatican Radio, also notes being contacted on the issue by Lombardi, saying:

“The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi issued a statement to Vatican Radio explaining the position of the Holy See.

Fr. Lombardi said the Holy See does not consider the recent criticism of the Pope over the Church’s handling of abuse of minors by priests to be in any wise similar to anti-Semitism.

He went on to explain that Fr. Cantalamessa himself intended only to share an expression of solidarity from a Jewish brother.”

The Vatican’s run-ins with the New York Times are hardly a new event, with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese located by New York, constantly alleging bias. The Vatican itself, has previously vetted an article alleging a conspiracy against it by the London Times, New York Times and others.

We noted this accusation in our article on the 1st of May 2009: "Vatican" vetted "Jesuit" Paper: "La Civiltà Cattolica" attacks credibility of the "Times", "New York Times" and "The Washington Post", "Le Monde", "the Italian press."

According to Zenit’s rendering of the Homily, the preacher gave to the pontiff, this is what the preacher’s Jewish friend is said to have said, analysis, shows this is the actual focus of news media, these words, allegedly by an unnamed Jewish man:

"I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism. Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood. Our Passover and yours undoubtedly have different elements, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter."

Pope Benedict XVI, and other bishops, have themselves claimed responsibility for a collective guilt, incurred by the clergy, and hierarchy, for the sexual abuse scandal, this was done in many of the papacy’s personal apologies on behalf of the church, to many victims.












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Friday, April 2, 2010

The Good about Good Friday


(Journey in a Broken World)

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Article by Marc Aupiais

Last year, when I posted online a possibly slightly edited version of one of my apologies, explaining why Good Friday is good, the article was in my point of view likely well appreciated, or at least, it has been well read. I thought to once again note some important points.

Good Friday is good, because like any martyrdom, in the classical sense, it involves obedience to truth. Jesus did not want to die, as no sane person would, and God is absolutely, verifiably sane. He clearly states his will to live, in the garden, where he cries tears, possibly even of blood.

Good Friday, is good, because Jesus was obedient in love, much as roses, however thorny are good, when given to us from our love.

It is good, because this is how we are saved, it is Christ on the Cross, whom we eat, for the Crucifixion is the source of Eucharistic grace, we drink his blood from his heart, and when we eat his body, we consume his flesh, from his heart. And we eat his soul, his life that is, a perfect, obedient life, of love and empathy and concern.

We may not have sympathy with God, but we always can have empathy, just as he may not have sympathy with us should we sin, but he always has empathy.

It shows us that what hurts now, can aid later, can save later- that Christ dies, for good.

Happy Good Friday, I mean it. Remember to fast from animal meat and fowl and shellfish. Try doing so every Friday, or to do an act of Charity instead, but in Lent, Fast on Fridays, most especially today, from animal meat and fowl and shellfish.

Remember, many dioceses still demand you abstain from these every Friday, while a number, on ordinary Fridays, allow the fasting to be replaced with a deed of charity. Good Friday is not a day of Holy Obligation, thus you need not attend church on this day.












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Video: Vatican: Pope on suffering and love



"Pope: The world needs the joy that springs from truth
[...]
vatican — April 01, 2010 — The joy that comes from Christ gives us happiness, but it also gives us the ability to suffer and to continue being intimately happy even when we suffer. This is what Benedict XVI said on Thursday, April 1st, during the homily of the Chrism Mass, which he presided over in St. Peters Basilica with 1,600 priests of the Diocese of Rome and from the Roman universities, who afterwards renewed their priestly promises together with the attending cardinals and bishops. The Pontiff then blessed the oils of the Catechumens and of the Sick and the Holy Chrism, which will be used in the sacraments throughout the year. Let us pray to be capable of bringing the joy of the Holy Spirit Benedict XVI said to t ...

[...]

God Jesus Jesus Christ Pope Benedict XVI Vatican Holy See Catholic Church Christianity "

View video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCz6uvO3HK8











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Thursday, April 1, 2010

South Africa enters the third millennium with uncapped internet finally enabled


(See What We See News and Archive)

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Article by Marc Aupiais

With an announcement mid March 2010, by major South African internet provider, Mweb, that it would be providing fixed monthly rate, unshaped, uncapped internet service to South African users, at a cheap rate, the South African internet market has since opened up. According to News24, another group OpenWeb, has also since decided to provide a similar service.

Until now, South African internet use has generally been limited to at most a few gigabits’ download per month, and was largely seen as expensive. Sites such as YouTube, or Ustream.tv were seen as luxuries, to be used in moderation, and a small South African news service such as our own, certainly would not have been placing audio of articles online.

In fact, the IT industry had complained of it being very hard to compete internationally. Many South Africans will have noted being cut off from international internet at least once, having surpassed their cap adequately for the punishment to ensue in the previously toe deep internet environment in South Africa.

The move accompanies Mweb’s new internet infrastructure installed nationally, and independent it would appear, from the government Telkom network. The new, cheap internet will certainly be welcomed during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, when hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to visit the Republic of South Africa.



















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