Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Based on monitoring of media with close ties to certain Asian powers, the editorial here takes the view, that Iran is one of the many issues which divide east and west:
Editorial by Marc Aupiais
Since taking on my role as a news editor, largely to fill the gap we at Scripturelink had in our search engine's coverage of certain specialty issues, I have always attempted to broaden my mind. For this reason I subscribe to the press releases of governments all over the world, in the languages these nations' governments speak in. In addition to this, as South Africa is certainly more connected with the East than the West, at least politically, I am privileged enough to be allowed to watch on my television, what many in the western world consider nothing but propaganda. Given that I have an in depth knowledge of issues, however, I am usually not fazed by this.
While western nations have been condemning the response to the Iranian authorities to the so-called "Green" movement, which claims that recent elections were rigged, the media voices of Eastern powers: China, and Russia, have been presenting a very different perspective.
Both have portrayed protests recently in which about 300 people were arrested as "Violent" "anti-government" protests: in RT (Russian) and CCTV 9 (China Central Television international) that is. The Russian broadcaster quotes the Iranian government to say how many people died, saying that 8 had died, unlike opposition figures cited by western media, which claim that 15 died. Rather than seeing the protests as by one political movement against another, or as against an administration, or "regime", these services both portrayed the recent protests as violent and anti-governmental. While the western observers saw the violence as largely caused by both sides, this is not the impression created by these eastern services with relatively close ties to the state.
RT today broadcast an interview with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, in which Russia seems to further cement their seeming support for the Iranian administration. While Sanctions are directly credited with ending Apartheid in South Africa, and many other disputes, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister insisted that sanctions are historically inadequate as means to insure compliance with laws and systems. The Deputy Foreign Minister was not talking about recent protests, but rather about Iran's alleged nuclear program.
The Deputy Foreign Minister went on to explain, that his nation "treasures" its ties to Iran, and its relationship to the Iranian government.
Russian RT television gave a lot of airtime, as did Chinese state television- to accusations by the Iranian administration, that protests were western inspired, as there was no quotations on the other end, this seems to be a lot more airtime afforded to the Iranian administration than they did to conflicting views. No quotation was made, while I was watching, of the Green movement behind the protests.
Before Copenhagen, watching RT, I knew that there was no chance that the East would bow to any legally binding deal on so-called "Man-Made Climate Change", Russian media for one, was only broadcasting views contrary to those of persons supporting the theory that climate change is man-made.
The reason I watch these stations, is because I believe them to be voices for the strict administrations they represent. These countries are certainly players on the world stage.
That both of these media bodies seem to be subtly if not openly on one side over the Iranian protests, and as Western support for the Green movement has been condemned by Eastern media- it certainly seems firstly that Iran has some backing for their fight against the Green movement. It also would seem that Iran may well enjoy the same impunity as far as its alleged nuclear ambitions are concerned, as Israel enjoys for other reasons from the West. It may be noted, that Israel does not officially have any nuclear weapons.
America's choice to reach out to Iran earlier this year, before the election, may have unwittingly caused Russia to fear for its own territory, and may even be now hampering American efforts, once again spurred on by claims of fears of weapons of mass destruction.
That America has no problem with a seemingly rigged election in Afghanistan, under a "moderate" regime, which none the less allows wives to be denied food if they do not please their husbands' sexual desires suggests the same partisan approach by the West which I have noted before, which certainly does not help create the impression that America is doing as they do for the good of the whole world. That human rights abuses in China, and in South America, Iraq, Afghanistan, can be ignored, but those in Iran warrant attention, alas after a delay in which Obama alienated many western observers means that America certainly can no longer claim to be the World Police, but only one of the many centres of power in the world, aiming for its own benefit, or that of one or other ideology.
The first question western observers should be asking is: if the green movement gets into power, will they continue Iran's alleged nuclear projects, or will they choose a more peaceful approach. This movement is not a classical western movement, and even these often hide behind nuclear weapons. From my impression of a broad spectrum of views, I would estimate it highly likely that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, just as I estimate it likely that the Apartheid era, South African government had nuclear weapons, and likely that Israel currently does.
I also estimate it as highly likely that the Iranian elections recently were either flawed, or fraudulent. I also am more inclined to believe that the protesters portray a more accurate view of what is happening in Iran- than the Iranian state media. However, having been taught of the alleged witch trials carried out in South Africa, by ANC activists in late apartheid, allegedly to make South Africa ungovernable- I read about this from different sources as required reading in the law cause I am currently doing, and as such I also know that it is unwise to trust the views of a movement simply because its opponent may well be bad or oppressive.
On this note, neither of these Eastern media voices seemed to care for the views of the protesters. I would suspect, that in the minefield of global politics, that Russia and China both are supporting the Iranian administration, and that America should be very careful as it along with European powers seeks to insure that Iran does not gain nuclear capability, as it does not look as though they have Russian support in this initiative.
In accordance with journalist integrity, I will note my personal bias, in that I am more western in my personal views, especially on this matter. What I am noting, is that Iran does seemingly have strong supporters on the global scene, supporters which America has yet to buy with mistranslated Russian on ignition keys, and mouse speeches in China, where on Christmas day, yet another Human Rights activist was sent to jail, this time for eleven years- for writing and petitioning with a document, of which, according to Vatican connected service AsiaNews, the entire text has previously been signed in diplomatic documents by the Chinese representation. AsiaNews also alleges that 300 others who signed the document also desired to be tried, but were not. Under the current administration in America, I do not see in the future any more success in negotiating alliance with the East over issues such as Iran.
As always I welcome your views and input, do you think that America and others will be able to bypass world politics, and actually get a hold of Iran, in order to force enrichment of uranium to go through Europe, or will they not be able to pass this politically hard impasse?
Monday, 28 December 2009
While the U.S. government and the the United Nations have gone cuckoo for the condoms, it seems that there might be a very different answer to stopping kids from having sex.
I've always been told that breakfast was the most important meal of the day but that may be much more true than you thought. A little helping of Cocoa Puffs or breakfast of any sort keeps away teen pregnancy and all sorts of venereal diseases. Let's put Cap'n Crunch in charge of the HHS instead of Sebelius.
Teens who skip breakfast as middle school students tend to have sex at an earlier age than those who start the day with a proper meal, a government-backed Japanese medical researcher said on Friday.If the United Nations saw this study, they'd probably start a program where each box of Sugar Smacks had a free condom inside.
The link between breakfast and sex probably lies in the teens' family life, said Kunio Kitamura, executive director of the Japan Family Planning Association, who conducted the survey.
The survey examined sexual experiences as well as family relationships and lifestyle habits of Japanese females and males aged 16 to 49. It was carried out in September and was based on about 1,500 people.
The average age of first-time sex for those who said they ate breakfast every day as a middle school student was 19.4, while for those who skipped breakfast, the average age was 17.5.
'The fact that people can't eat breakfast may show something about their family environment,' said Kitamura. 'Before blaming individuals for having sex at an early age, it may be necessary to look into the sort of homes they are from.'
I'm sure this study will be ignored and while this should lend credence to the belief that governments should be working to strengthen families, they'll continue to fund programs to weaken them. So while kids scarfing Sugar Bombs down their gullet may not be the picture of health, it might be the healthiest thing they can do.
"People who said they disliked their mother had sex for the first time at the average age of 16, while the average age for those who appreciated their mother was 19, Kitamura said."
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
A change slightly in the room's temperature,sudden, everything changes, and one is left near empty. The feeling, as though one is too long in lukewarm water, as though drained, as though ones essence is sucked away, and one has nothing, because they have not that!
And inside, the heart feels physical pain, a pain as though a spear splintered into it- and the stomach hurts as well. A desire seems to appear, as though to desire blankness, nothingness, though really- one simply desires comfort, one misreads what one really needs.
One may feel sick, not desire to raise out of bed, not want to eat, or sleep- or do anything. One wants to be nowhere, or anywhere but here.
Odd, our mood is determined by so few things in life, so few people hold the key to our hearts and everything. Everything is so close to falling, our journey rests on the edge of a knife-blade. One individual, one things- makes everything noted.
One wants an end to absence of good, not really an end to self. One wants hope, truth, and shall get it again, if one seeks truth.
If one is depressed, it is because they have hope, for one can only be sad of what they have lost, or could have had.
I know God oddly acts, his ways are strange, odd at the least and most. Yet, his wisdom is great- therefore, I follow my intuition and always do I trust. Do you? Even when one or other thing in the day goes wrong. Often, we can offer it up as a sacrifice, our suffering, and try find God's will. I truly have learnt to find joy in my life, even if things are temporarily awry ... because the tides of life are just that- but the tides of eternity last for eternity.
This advent, look forward to Christ. Have joy, and remember- the darkest clouds move on, too heavy, blown in the winds, but the Christian lasts forever, if he seeks to obey truth always!
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Marriages by those baptised in the Catholic church: if performed outside the church- will now be INVALID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Tridentine South And Southern Africa)
Note by Marc Aupiais
Persons baptised Catholic are obligated to marry in the Catholic church, or with its approval, or their marriages are invalid. Previously there was a clause exempting those who formally abandoned the faith in a certain way from this- the clause is removed by the Muto Proprio just released by the pope, lets let the Vatican explain the rest:
"MOTU PROPRIO: VARIATIONS TO THE CODE OF CANON LAW
VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Made public today was Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, "Omnium in mentem". The document is dated 26 October 2009 and contains two variations to the Code of Canon Law (CIC), variations which have long been the object of study by dicasteries of the Roman Curia and by national episcopal conferences.
The document published today contains five articles modifying canons 1008, 1009, 1086, 1117 and 1124. According to an explanatory note by Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, these variations "concern two separate questions: adapting the text of the canons that define the ministerial function of deacons to the relative text in the Catechism of the Catholic church (1581), and suppressing a subordinate clause in three canons concerning marriage, which experience has shown to be inappropriate".
The variation to the text of canon 1008 will now limit itself to affirming that "those who receive the Sacrament of Orders are destined to serve the People of God with a new and specific title", while canon 1009 "will be given an additional third paragraph in which it is specified that the minister constituted into the Order of the episcopate or the priesthood receives the mission and power to act in the person of Christ the Head, while deacons receive the faculty to serve the People of God in the diaconates of the liturgy, of the Word and of charity".
Archbishop Coccopalmerio's note then goes on to explain that the other changes contained in the Motu Proprio all concern the elimination of the clause "actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica" contained in canons 1086 para. 1, 1117 and 1124. This clause, "following much study, was held to be unnecessary and inappropriate", he writes.
"From the time the Code of Canon Law came into effect in the year 1983 until the moment of the coming into effect of this Motu Proprio, Catholics who had abandoned the Catholic Church by means of a formal act were not obliged to follow the canonical form of celebration for the validity of marriage (canon 1117), nor were they bound by the impediment concerning marriage to the non-baptised (canon 1086 para. 1), nor did they suffer the prohibition on marrying non-Catholic Christians (canon 1124). The abovementioned clause contained in these three canons represented an exception ... to another more general norm of ecclesiastical legislation according to which all those baptised in the Catholic Church or received into her are bound to observe ecclesiastical laws (canon 11).
"With the coming into effect of the new Motu Proprio", Archbishop Coccopalmerio adds, "canon 11 of the Code of Canon Law reacquires its full force as concerns the contents of the canons thus modified, even in cases were there has been a formal abandonment. Hence, in order to regularise any unions that may have been made in the non-observance of these rules it will be necessary to have recourse, if possible, to the ordinary means Canon Law offers for such cases: dispensation from the impediment, sanation, etc".
MP/OMNIUM IN MENTEM/COCCOPALMERIO VIS 091215 (520)"
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
It is odd the effect some people have- just by their presence they change our entire being, by their strength we can move mountains- by their faith we believe.
Though they exhaust us, their energy pushes into us, I almost would say we are inebriated with sanity, with hope, truth, faith, strong faith- and by faith we get strength- and the way to continue through this path- our life.
The dark labyrinth fills vision, as one walks down the tunnel, from darkness to darkness, and into water, a current pulls, a current pushes. And as one flows, they grab onto anything, yet fall, for it is the fate of those with no hope. Yet, this is trust- to lean into the current, deeply, so as to float, though one is pushed. This is faith, to push still in the right direction, with or without the force of water. Catholicism is sanity, and simply in the presence of some, all desire to sin leaves- breaks, dies like a broken flame.
When we are told to live the gospel- this is it:... by changing the world with our presence, choices- works, energy and faith, our hope- by hitting the tennis ball as though into the net, so that it flies over- by doing what some think near suicidal in risk- out of trust of God.
I would rather believe the "impossible" from truth as my source, than any probable thing. God often allows storms in our lives. The lightning flashes, the thunder howls, yet- if we trust, and are shelters- these are beautiful, not deadly. The rain, the Highvelt thunder, itself effects one with energy, and the faith of one makes another dance with joy- by actions and truth.
Often we watch the flashes, but can we feel the magic in the air, the power of raw nature, which accompanies the storm. Are we a storm to watch? I try deeply to be- if anything one gets everyone's attention when they follow the way of God. I have never seen a diluted Catholic change anything- though I often argue from another's perspective, slowly pushing them along.
I walk in dusk, dawn ahead, night behind, somehow fate reversed, in this spiral- my life. I broke the ice, and pushed beyond all snow, and yet I still walk in greyness, and daily I must break the ice, and snow and awake- walk naked into the blizzard, knowing this is not the blizzard I know- that here is infinity minus, that in righteousness, all we thought is oft reversed, and our missteps are clear. Our glasses and every lenses broken.
I know I am weak, though I am told I am strong, I clutch to the wind, like a speck of fluff, and I sink and break, and fall. My strength which has emerged is not my own, but that of God! And perhaps of you- should you perform it for me! We are only real in faith!
Thursday, 10 December 2009
The following will be a dispatch received by our service from the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, they speak entirely in their own capacity. I hope the image registers (advertising what the SACBC calls the screening at 11 PM on Christmas Eve [24 / 10 / 2009] of the Midnight Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, by SABC 3 a government television station, a broadcast which is in association with the SACBC, commentary by Cardinal John Foley):
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Hmm, what does that tweet mean or could it be the title of something to come, thats a powerful tweet!? Are those terms hard for anyone to follow?
Source: Friend of a Saint, seen first via Canada :) . Follow him via his tweets on his twitter site, twitterin' some tweet twuff at times.
"Friday 11 December 2009:
The body of Fr Louis Blondel, Missionary of Africa, will arrive at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Diepsloot at 5pm. Archbishop Paul Mandla Khumalo will receive the body. Fr Louis' body will remain in the church for a night vigil.
Saturday 12 December:
The Requiem Mass for Fr Louis Blondel will be celebrated by Archbishop Paul Mandla Khumalo, Archbishop of Pretoria at 11am.
The burial will take place after the service in the Catholic Section of Westpark Cemetery.
All are welcome to attend. After the funeral service, all are invited to follow the hearse on foot through Diepsloot as a sign of solidarity.
Friday Evening – Cassock & Surplus/ Religious Habit, white Stole.Saturday – White Alb and White Stole.
Directions:Diepsloot is off the R511 near the N14.
From Johannesburg: Take the Fourways offramp (William Nichol) and head past Montecasino, the Indaba Hotel and continue straight until you see the Mall at Diepsloot on your left. Turn left at the Mall and take the dirt road on the left until you see the Church on the right (about 100m down the dirt road – follow the taxis). If in doubt, please ask.
From Pretoria: Take the N14 to Krugersdorp and then the R511 offramp. Head towards Sandton, Diepsloot Mall is on the right. Turn Right at the mall and Left onto the dirt road.
Fr Chris Townsend
Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC)P.O.Box 941 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
Khanya House - 399 Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 323 6458
Fax: +27 (0) 12 326 6218
Mobile: +27(0)82 783 4729www.sacbc.org.za "
To alter this article, or contact the person responsible for it on our side, please contact Marc Aupiais, editor of South African Catholic!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Our usual disclaimer applies here- the SACBC speak in their own capacity. The link to the Bishops' website is not an endorsement. This quotation is made in the public interest:
"Father Louis Blondel was shot dead in his presbytery in Diepsloot during the night 6th/7th December 2009. Four people had allegedly broken into Presbytery. Father Louis, 70, was member of the Missionaries of Africa, a french society of Catholic missionaries dedicated to serving the people of Africa.
Fr Chris Townsend
Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC)
P.O.Box 941 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
Khanya House - 399 Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 323 6458
Fax: +27 (0) 12 326 6218
Mobile: +27(0)82 783 4729
Read more sends you to:
Again- sorry for the formatting!
Monday, 7 December 2009
Perhaps an offsite centre will post in the meantime, the service is not entirely dependant on myself- in the meantime- I am going on holiday from focussing on news for a while- I sense I need to refocus the service anyway- and this is a perfect window for soul searching- who said God doesn't make us take mandated breaks from our moonlighting as a Catholic editor!
Hope to be up and running again soon, but if the problem is what I think it is, then this is unlikely to be fixed until around the end of the week.
We plan to dump this week's VIS dispatches and our own articles for the week. VIS is available via subscription from the Vatican website, and online.
We advise subscribing to Zenit, CNA or Catholic World News in the meantime!
Scripturelink.net webmaster and news division head (voluntarily, surprisingly)!
Sunday, 6 December 2009
For some reason, I am unable to access any Google site from my connection. I hope this only affects me. We hope to publish last night's VIS dispatch once we are up and working again. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
[English; Afrikaans; français]
Article by Marc Aupiais
Following the hacking of many of the emails (reportedly seen as genuine by the BBC's climate change expert Paul Hudson [so claims the Daily Mail (UK based; Independent; Secular) 26 / 11 | November / 2009]) which were sent by prominent Climate Change scientists throughout the world, in which some top scientists' behaviour for whatever reason, seems to hint at a more activist stance, than at raw scientific endeavour, it has now emerged, that the major collection of original data, on which the claim of the existence of man-made climate change largely is based, that which was held by the University of East Anglia, which is now at the centre of a transparency scandal, was destroyed right back in the 1980s.
All that reportedly remains, is the altered data, now largely provided to the public by the University. This means that the major body of scientific proof of the existence of climate change due to carbon emissions, is secondary, and not based on original raw data. Without evidence of temperature records, it is hard to prove that there is a direct correlation between specific increases of carbon dioxide, and temperature levels. The world climate is thought to have heated up by just 0.8 degrees over the past 150 (One Hundred and Fifty) years due to Carbon Dioxide emissions. This based on the findings of the University of East Anglia, which has been avoiding requests for information.
The statistical calculations on climate change, specifically, those which correlate with fears of the effects of a 2 degrees Celsius increase in global temperature, cannot be based purely on melting ice caps, and the changes in sea temperature and perceived increase in natural disasters now being reported. With only processed data remaining, any errors by original compilers, could have a massive impact on the accuracy of calculations. Decisions, allegedly taken by scientists to quiet sceptics, and the reported involvement of the top University of East Anglia expert in this, do not lend credibility to their climate change research or statistics, of which the raw data no longer exists, and therefore cannot be peer reviewed.
While the so-called "ClimateGate" emails are getting a lot of attention in the press, what concerns me most about this situation, which I shall further explain now, involving the British University of East Anglia, is the recent release by the University, noted by The Times (UK based; Independent; Secular) 29 / 11 | November / 2009:
"SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.
In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”
Jones was not in charge of the CRU when the data were thrown away in the 1980s, a time when climate change was seen as a less pressing issue. The lost material was used to build the databases that have been his life’s work, showing how the world has warmed by 0.8C over the past 157 years.
He and his colleagues say this temperature rise is “unequivocally” linked to greenhouse gas emissions generated by humans. Their findings are one of the main pieces of evidence used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says global warming is a threat to humanity."
According to Bloomberg (Secular; independent; American; Article) 02 / 12 | December / 2009:
"Claims that scientists suppressed data about global warming prompted the head of a British university’s climate research center to step down until the completion of an investigation.
Phil Jones, a professor and director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., will temporarily relinquish his post, the school said yesterday in a statement. Private e-mails from Jones were among thousands of pieces of correspondence between scientists debating climate change that were stolen and posted on the Internet last month.
The e-mails, dating back as far as 1996, have been cited by skeptics of man’s contribution to global warming as evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data to support research. The Climatic Research Unit has said the e-mails were taken out of context and allegations of data manipulation are unfounded.
“They’re conspiring to keep papers out of published journals,” said Marc Morano, a climate skeptic who is editor of a Web site on the issue, referring to the leaked e-mails in a Nov. 24 interview. “You see them as nothing more than a bunch of activists manufacturing science for a political goal.”
Jones said the disclosure of the e-mails ahead of an international meeting on climate change in Copenhagen is an attempt to undermine measures to fight global warming.
“This may be a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks,” Jones said in a statement. “We are, and have always been, scrupulous in ensuring that our science publications are robust and honest.”"
While major press coverage has been given to the word "trick", which was used in the emails, and to discussions on how to avoid Freedom of Information requests, what is further concerning are claims, from the hacked versions of the emails, which prima facie reportedly show Phil Jones attempting to manipulate the peer review process, to quash the views of scientists who were less convinced of climate change.
An editorial in Bloomberg (Secular; Indpendent; American; Editorial) 02 / 12 | December / 2009 claims:
"The real issue here is one of trust and transparency -- values that apparently didn’t matter enough to Professor Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The files made public Nov. 19 include a message from Jones asking other scientists to delete e-mails, apparently as a way of dodging requests under the U.K.’s Freedom of Information law.
Other e-mails discuss trying to oust a journal editor who published skeptical papers and preventing dissenting views from being published by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones wrote. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer- review literature is!”"
It appears, that China's decision to set its first emission targets, as released prior the Copenhagen summit, is not as clear as originally seen, EuroNews claims, that the plan is pegged to China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and therefore reportedly means no real reductions as long as China's economy grows. The US, whose president Barack Obama was thought to take Climate Change claims seriously, has based its own emission targets on 2005 levels, rather than on 1990 levels, a reduction which would not be enough, according to some scientists. India, meanwhile has refused any legally enforceable climate restrictions, while Africa's biggest polluter, South Africa, is set to build even more coal powered power plants to combat electricity shortages.
The Australian senate also, recently voted down a climate-change bill. It is feared by those believing in man-made climate change as a threat, that Copenhagen will not result in any enforceable limits.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Note by Marc Aupiais
We have not noted an update from Una Voce South Africa, since their decision to endorse a schismatic, and subsequent failed attempt to send a message to our subscribers without our permission, in order to confront our service. We did, however, allow the group to give their response, as we also allowed the SSPX locally to.
Here is the schedule of masses, noted by the grouping in PE and Johannesburg. As our organization played a large role in publicising the Johannesburg Mass, we can confirm that it is in fact licit. The PE mass, we are somewhat sure, though not entirely confident: is licit, as we spent several hours researching a mass held by what seemed to be the same priest (who had been Mgr John Clark), but not seemingly at the parish then mentioned; via email and phone, with local authorities, when we were still co-operating with Una Voce, in the interest of the public:
We certainly do not endorse Una Voce South Africa, due to their glorification of schismatic actions, what will follow is a small quotation from their main and only website, a quotation made by us of them: for the public interest. We have not verified their claims:
This quotation is via "fair use":
Roman Catholic Pontiff to FAO summit: Empathy, moral business, lack of waste, access to fair markets: ways to reduce global hunger, "climate changes"
[English; Afrikaans; français]
The Roman Catholic Pontiff, recently portrayed access to markets, empathy with and respect for those with less, and preventing waste as sure ways forward in the fight against hunger, "climate change".
The FOA (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations [UN]), along with other ground-level players, have increasingly emphasized local production over imported food aid, and a need to stimulate local markets, and educate farmers, and built infrastructure in food insecure areas. The majority of infrastructure, at least in the case of systems such as railways, on the African continent, is in one country: the Republic of South Africa, which itself does not spend enough on infrastructure in general.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
[English; Afrikaans; français]
According to LifeSiteNews.com, a reliable pro-life service, a report has been given to the European Union's (EU) Parliament, warning of disasterous effects if the EU does not turn around its abortion spurred local population decline.
The report also warns of the effects of a decline in marriage and increase in divorce.
To demonstrate why these statistics by lifesitenews are concerning, one need only look at a 2008 article by Mark Easton, the BBC's home editor: BBC Reporters (Secular; Governmental; British) 24 / 09 | September / 2008), which details some of the consequences on broken families or single parent homes. A recent study released by the Department of Oncology of the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, where abortion is encouraged even with tax benifits, by the government, and where it is not taboo, found that abortion, which the WHO (World Health Organization) notes can have at least 5 years effect on women psychologically, can increase a woman's susceptibility to Breast Cancer by 17% (CNA [Catholic News Agency] (Catholic; Independent; American; Articles designed to be published in secular papers) 13 / 11 | November / 2009). A number of other services, including Canada's Globe and Mail (Secular; Independent; Canadian; Liberal) have increasingly warned of the effect society driven population reduction may have on the world economy and on the economies in the West. The statements of the WHO that abortion can have long term psychological effects on women, is furthered by the University of Oslo, which finds that one in every five women who have an abortion, are still affected five years later, and that women who have abortions have to avoid thinking about it (BBC World News (Secular; Governmental; British) 12 / 12 | December / 2005) .
Monday November 16, 2009
Massive Changes Needed in EU Family Policy to Avoid Demographic "Catastrophe": Report
By Hilary WhiteROME, November 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The news about abortion, marriage, divorce and the birth rate in Europe is bad and only getting worse, a report recently presented to the EU said.According to the report by Norway's Institute for Family Policies abortion rates in Britain have leaped by a third among unmarried teenage girls and abortion is helping to age the population of Europe. Without a massive shift to family-friendly policies, the pattern of increased abortion and increasingly aging population will inevitably lead to the collapse of social welfare benefits, and, ultimately, to the bankruptcy of Europe's cradle-to-grave socialist welfare state.Presented to the European Parliament on Wednesday, the report said that the situation of the family in Europe is "a desolate panorama.""Europe is plunged in an unprecedented demographic winter and has become an elderly continent, with a large birth deficit, fewer marriages and more of them broken, homes emptying.""The aging population, critical birth-rate, escalating abortions, the collapse of marriage, the explosion in family breakups and the emptying of homes are the main problems of Europeans," the 2009 Report on the Evolution of the Family in Europesaid.The study found that the annual number of abortions in the EU equals the entire combined population of its ten smallest member states, with the three top aborting countries being Britain, France and Romania. In Europe there is one abortion every 25 seconds, for a total of more than 1,200,000 abortions a year. 19 percent of all European pregnancies end in abortion and 28 million children have been killed by abortion since 1990, making abortion the main cause of death in Europe.The population over 65 years in all European states already exceeds the population under 14 years. The EU under 14 population has fallen from 89 million in 1993 to 78.4 million in 2008. Over-65s have risen from 68.3 million in 1993 to 84.9 million in 2008 - an increase of 16.5 million elderly people. The average age of EU citizens is 40.3 years, with Italy and Germany having the highest populations of elderly people.The dropping European birth rate, the report says, with its concomitant increasing health and pension costs, will lead to increases in public expenditure to care for the aging population and the eventual collapse of public revenues, leading finally to the bankruptcy of the welfare state. The average birth rate of EU countries is now 1.38 per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman, even in relatively fertile countries like France.Without a significant shift in family policies in all EU countries, the report predicts the result will be "catastrophic." Starting in 2010, the population of Europe overall will begin to fall from 499 million to 472 million by 2050 and every third inhabitant will be over 65.According to the study, Britain is the "abortion capital of Europe" with rates that last year pulled ahead of France. Its abortion rate is fifth in the world, behind Russia, the U.S., India and Japan. Among these countries, Britain can least afford such a high rate, with a population less than half that of Russia and Japan, a fifth that of the US, and 1/19 that of India. The median age of women in Britain is also rising, at 41.3 years, making recovery even more difficult.The population of the 27 EU nations reached 500 million last year with most increases in population (78 per cent) attributable to immigration, not births. The natural increase of Europe's population is 12 times lower than the US. Spain has immigration 9 times greater than its internal birth increase and Italy's native population fell (-0.14 million) and had 23 times more immigrants than births (+3.28 million). Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are losing citizens by emigration and Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria have falling populations due to low immigration rates.Only France, Holland, Finland and Slovakia have internal rates of population increase higher than their immigration figures.Other indicators show the number of marriages, especially first marriages, is down and divorce rates are up. There are 1 in 4 fewer marriages than in 1980 and the marriage rate has fallen in 9 out 10 countries. One out of every 3 children (36.5 per cent) is born outside marriage. In some countries the fall in marriage rate has been around 50 per cent since 1983 and there are over one million divorces a year, the equivalent to one marital breakdown every 30 seconds.More people (55 million) are living alone than ever before. One in four households in Europe has a single dweller and two out of three households have no children. Of the households with children, 50 per cent have only one child.The report recommends the creation of a European Union ministry of the family, laws to increase flexibility of working hours to accommodate families, increases in tax benefits for families and an emphasis on family welfare programs over welfare for individuals.It calls for governments to recognize the rights of families, including the right of parents to reconcile work and family life; to have the number of children they want; to choose the type of education their children receive and the right of children to live in a stable home."
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
It now appears, from media reports, that the Fort Hood massacre, allegedly conducted by thirty-nine (39) year old Major Nidal M. Hasam, has all the downfalls of US intelligence that 9/11 made famous.
The alleged killer, a psychiatrist, has reportedly served the US (United States of America) military for over 12 years, with service pre-dating 9/11, and America’s subsequent "War on Terror". According to the media, he is alleged to have conducted many flag raising activities, from claiming non-Muslims should be tortured and graphically killed: to his fellow military health professionals, to talking with a radical Imam- via emails reportedly seen as harmless, by intelligence officials, to reportedly partaking in the transfer of money between the US and Pakistan, a country in an open civil war with the Taliban and with Al Qaeda. The alleged killer further is said to have not wanted to be deployed to Iraq, where he was planned to be deployed, when he allegedly committed the massacre.
According to CBS (CBS (Secular; Independent; American; More Left Leaning) 14 / 11 | November / 2009), a joint counter-terrorism taskforce under the not so watchful eye of the American FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) had known since December 2008, of between 10 and 20 emails between the alleged Fort Hood shooter, and a radical Jihadist Imam, an imam who the Washington Post identifies as Anwar al-Aulaqi, a US citizen living in Yemen, who encouraged Muslims to kill American troops in the theatres of conflict it is involved in in the Middle East.
The Washington Post adds that it was not one, but two intelligence task teams who were alerted to this, with a member of one of these, thinking the emails nothing more than research, which the army psychiatrist, now known for allegations that he conducted the Fort Hood killings, had been encouraged to conduct.
The alleged killer of 14 people, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child, was known to have sympathies with those fighting against America in Iraq, allegedly requesting unsuccessfully, that not only he, but all Muslims be freed from serving in the American military, as conscientious objectors.
Although his military lawyer would not comment to the Washington Post about any formal request:
His aunt even claimed that Hassam consulted a lawyer in desperation to be discharged, something the Washington Post seems to give some credibility to: via its article: in its quoting of an unnamed defence official, who claimed that Hassam’s training had cost the US military money, and therefore that it was unlikely he would be released from duty.
The alleged killer: Hassam, further gave a PowerPoint presentation, according to the National Review (National Review Online (Secular; Independent; American; Right Leaning) 10 / 11 | November / 2009 ), seemingly in 2007 still, in which he defended suicide bombing, and went through a list of tortures, which should be performed on all non-Muslims ("non-believers"), obviously culminating in the death of these non-Muslims. The presentation was reportedly to his fellow military medical staff, who did not report their fellow practitioner for this incidence.
Between Forty-Two (42) and Forty-Three (43) people had been injured at Fort Hood, while Twelve (12) soldiers, including pregnant woman: Francheska Velez, and one civilian, and one unborn child were killed, possibly as a result of the consistent ignoring of symptoms, the alleged killer, an army psychiatrist... consistently displayed over the years. Hassam has been charged with Thirteen (13) charges of premeditated murder in a military tribunal, but seemingly has not been charged additionally under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, or for the injuries caused the other victims. Additional charges still may be made, although what they would be is not clear. It is not clear whether the death penalty will be asked for.
The US Military's Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where Hassam worked, knew all about Major Nidal M. Hasam's (39 years of age) complete preoccupation with Islam, and with war. Their solution was to order him to attend a university lecture series, on terrorism, the Middle East and Islam, according to the Washington Post (Washington Post (Secular; Independent ; American; Has been accused of Bias in the Past) 12 / 11 | November / 2009) who quote an unnamed relative of a staff member there. He further is said to have addressed physicians there, still back in 2007, claiming that Muslim soldiers must be released as conscientious objectors, rather than be made to fight other Muslims. It is noted in media, that he did not see the American wars as against Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, but against Muslims, an interesting view to be ignored.
The Washington Post, adds, that an unnamed military official, denies that Hassam ever formally asked to leave the military, despite Hassam's aunt alleging that he asked to do so. Hassam, apparently, had become unproductive, and obsessed with the position of what he allegedly perceived as Muslims, who found their beliefs contrary to their duties as American soldiers. The US military, and intelligence, ignored his opinions. In fact, he was reportedly promoted from Captain, to Major.
Republican Representative Michael McCaul, of the state of Texas, a member of the House Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee, has claimed, as quoted by Fox News (Fox News (Independent; American; Secular; More Right Leaning) 13 / 11 | November / 2009): that Hassam further had made communications with someone or some group in Pakistan, where the government is in an open civil war, with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The Congressman, further claims that there were wire transfers between Hassam and a group or person in Pakistan. The Representative reportedly claims that he does not presently know how many monetary accounts were involved, or which way money was wired.
Fort Hood, according to SkyNews, is America’s largest military base. While giving assurances over a White House, and military investigation into the massacre, US President Barak Obama, has asked that Congress delay investigating the killing, claiming that it would be too political in its investigation. The attack has all the markings of at least one similar attack which was conducted on the ground in the Middle East, during earlier years of America’s wars. It has yet to be labelled a terrorist attack, or an act of war, or treason.
The Alleged Fort Hood Killer, who is currently recovering in Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, a hospital in Texas, having regained consciousness earlier this week: is allegedly paralysed from the waist down.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Philippines: Kidnapped Irish priest freed, accuses "rogue" elements of MILF separatists of kidnapping him
[English; Afrikaans; français]
Article by Marc Aupiais
No ransom was paid for the recent release of +- 79 year old Irish Missionary Priest, Father Michael Sinnot, of the Society of Saint Columbans, despite a Two Million ( 2 000 000 ) US Dollar Ransom initially being demanded by militant hostage takers, who took the priest hostage, while he was on an evening walk in his garden on October 11th 2009. The priest firstly greeted reporters at a military base, prior flying off to meet Philippine President Gloria Arroyo.
The priest thanked all who had caused his release, and those who had prayed for him during the ordeal. Possibly, this could be in reference to inter-faith protests, involving Catholics and Muslims, asking for his release, and other activities such as prayer vigils, which the Vatican's missionary news agency: Agenzia Fides, claims were conducted during his captivity.
PRIEST FREED, REBELS CLAIM TO HAVE NEGOTIATED FOR HIM
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (acronym: MILF), which was initially a suspect in the hostage taking, still denies any involvement. Almost immediately after the kidnapping, the group offered to help find and free the priest, using their resources.
It is the MILF, who eventually delivered the missionary to Philippine military authorities at Zamboanga, denying involvement in the kidnapping. The other major suspect for the hostage taking, which involved a heavy civilian vehicle, and a small speed boat, was Abi Sayyaf, founded in 1990, it is one of the smallest, and most violent of the separatist rebel groups. According to the BBC, it is blamed for a recent bomb attack, an attack on a ferry- in which about one hundred human beings, died.
FR MICHAEL SINNOT CLAIMED THAT MILF COMMANDERS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KIDNAPPING, BUT THAT THEY WERE NO LONGER UNDER THE REBEL GROUP'S CENTRAL CONTROL- THE MILF CLAIM THEY USED RELATIVES TO CONVINCE HOSTAGE TAKERS TO RELEASE THE CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST:
Fr Michael's short press release, however clears Abi Sayyaf, implicating a group of MILF commanders on the ground, who he has suggested: in his perspective, were no longer under the control of the MILF leadership.
MILF leadership have recently entered conflict resolution talks with the government once again, peace talks, which had been suspended after attacks on Christians settling in the South. The attacks, which had claimed a relatively large amount of civilian lives, had also reportedly displaced about half a million (+- 5 00 000) people, sixty percent (60%) of whom have yet to leave shelters.
The MILF, however is keeping mum about who committed the kidnapping of the missionary, saying only that they used moral bargaining, via the kidnappers' relatives, and effectively denying any involvement, and any link whatsoever with kidnappers.
Whether or not co-incidental, the release is just prior a visit planned by United States (USA) Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. The United States has previously been accused of helping to aid the Philippine government in their civil war with Islamic Separatists, who desire their own Islamic state in the Southern part of the largely Catholic Philippines. The MILF, estimated to consist of about Twelve Thousand (+-12 000) militants: have been in conflict with the government since 1978.
WITH NO RANSOM TO OFFER, THE MILF USED "MORAL BARGAINING"
Neither the Irish government, nor the Philippine government were prepared to pay any ransom, nor was the order the priest belonged to. The Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said that it would have put other Irish lives in danger to pay any ransom for the priest. Hostage situations of this sort, are increasingly being sorted out, via persons in the actual communities where hostage takers live, such as tribal leaders, or rebel groups, should these have an interest in having hostages freed. Recently, religious who were kidnapped in Somalia, were released, with the help of local tribal authorities, with moral standing in their own people's eyes.
It had been feared that Fr Michael Sinnot, could die of shock, due to a heart surgery he had had just a few years ago, and because he had been separated from his medication in the kidnapping. The priest says he was not maltreated, but lived in very primitive conditions during the ordeal.
Fr Sinnot, says that he plans to return to the Southern city of Pagadian, from where he was kidnapped, and where he had been living and working as a priest.
Below will be a quotation of Agenzia Fides / Fides Service, on this situation, Agenzia Fides is the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples' official missionary news service (Fides Service speak in their own capacity, and their views, and claims are not necessarily those of our service:):
"ASIA/PHILIPPINES - “Fr. Sinnott is free, thanks be to God!”: Superior General of the Saint Columban Missionaries shares his joy with Fides
Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "We are very relieved and very happy. We thank the Lord for the good news of the release of Fr. Sinnott. I believe that Fr. Michael is fine. He is conducting a medical check-up in Zamboanga City and is a bit weak from the 31 days of captivity in the jungle, but overall he is in good conditions."
This is what Fides was told by Fr. Thomas Murphy, Superior General of the Society of St. Columban for Foreign Missions, the congregation of Fr. Michael Sinnott, the Irish missionary kidnapped on October 11th in Pagadian (on the island of Mindanao) and released in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 in Zamboanga City.
The Superior adds: "I am particularly happy because Fr. Sinnott is a person who is close to my heart: because he was the Rector when I was in the Seminary and has contributed to my human and spiritual formation. But everyone here today is overflowing with happiness. The Lord has heard our prayers."
On the details of issue, Fr. Murphy said: "I can confirm that he was released thanks to the mediation of the army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which handed him over to military authorities in Zamboanga."
Fr. Murphy tells Fides: "The Missionaries of St. Columban in the world this morning are celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving. In the Filipino community the joy is palpable. There is a continual thanksgiving for the successful conclusion of this affair. Fr. Sinnott is much loved and respected by the faithful of the parish, the children he cares for, and by the entire local community. "
In recent weeks, the Missionaries of St. Columba have organized prayer vigils and peaceful demonstrations to demand his release, involving Christians and Muslims in the South Philippines:
"We believe that this movement of public opinion and testimony played a significant role in the release Fr. Sinnott. We thank all those who were close with their prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity and all those who contributed to the issue and saving Fr. Sinnott," the Superior General concluded. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2009)"
(Agenzia Fides dispatch, paragraphing altered for readability)
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
US Bishops' Conference Media Team calls up Obama, over what they see as his stance on health insurance and abortion
[English; Afrikaans; français]
Article by Marc Aupiais
As the Stupak Amended US healthcare package goes to America's highest house of parliament, the US Bishops' Conference is fighting to keep the gains they have made, via an amended package, which allegedly does not increase or decrease abortion funding, while allegedly still allowing state funding of abortion in the case of incest, rape, or "danger" to a child's mother, and allowing for some cases of possible euthanasia. The Stupak amendment: pushed by about 40 "pro-life" Democrats: with the USCCB's support, they claim, keeps the status quo. The article then challenges pro-abortion, Democratic Party, US President Obama, over his stance on the package:
The American Life League, Creative Minority Report, and others, claim that while de jure, the principle may not have changed, de facto, Stupak will still allow for an increase in abortion funding.
The following will be a direct quotation of part of an article by the media blog of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):
"In the midst of this hysteria, National Public Radio (NPR) has done a fair job of breaking down the language of the Stupak Amendment. The quote from Rep. Stupak in the story underscores an essential point about the Stupak Amendment, that it's merely an application of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion and has been attached to appropriations bills since 1976. One question the NPR summary doesn't answer is whether or not the Hyde Amendment also forbids funding entire benefits packages that include abortion. The answer is yes.
In this case, the provisions of the Stupak Amendment are very much in continuity with federal law as it stands now and has stood for decades. It isn't some case of overreaching on the part of pro-lifers, as its opponents are now depicting it.
One voice that has joined the fray of speaking against the Stupak Amendment in the House bill is President Obama himself. The President, as is his style, took a cooler approach, as quoted here from the Washington Post:
"I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill," Obama said. "And we're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions. And I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test -- that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we're not restricting women's insurance choices, because one of the pledges I made in that same speech was to say that if you're happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, that it's not going to change." He added: "There are strong feelings on both sides, and what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo."
ABC News also quotes the President as saying he's confident the final legislation will ensure that "neither side feels that it's being betrayed."
It's striking that this language is President Obama's argument against the Stupak Amendment. He reiterates here what you could call his pledge from his September 9 address to Congress on health care, that federal funds would not go to abortions, a pledge that the U.S. bishops held Congress to over the course of the health care bill's passage.
A major portion of the struggle over the legislation was that the Capps Amendment, the earlier abortion amendment in the House bill, was essentially what President Obama describes above, a "way of sneaking in funding for abortions." The Stupak Amendment rectifies this.
The President also cites his pledge that "if you're happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, that it's not going to change." As the NPR breakdown explains, the Stupak Amendment "does not apply to private insurance bought with private money." So anyone who currently has a private plan with abortion coverage is going to be able to keep her plan with abortion coverage under the House bill and Stupak.
It seems President Obama simply doesn't appreciate how well the Stupak Amendment meets the goals he's put in place for this legislation."
(USCCB (American; Belongs to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops; Catholic) 10 / 11 | November / 2009 )
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