Saturday, February 27, 2010

Other countries

Editorial addition

Australia and surrounding Islands, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Alaska, the US West Coast, Mexico and other areas also may be hit by the Tsunami. Hawaii, parts of Latin America, Canada, California etc have already been noted as possibly places to watch for affect.

It is a blessing that the buildings are prepared for Disasters in Chile, unlike Haiti! If in areas, you may want to reach higher ground, or listen to authorities in area you live in!

Update: Disaster quake, Tsunami strikes Chile, pacific area

(South African Catholic News Service [SACNS] / Scripturelink.net News)



Article by Marc Aupiais



At the last update from MSNBC Breaking News: 122 people have been confirmed dead by the president-elect of Chile, due to an Earthquake. Another 3 deaths, 4 missing have since been confirmed dead in Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island, due to waves. CNN has since announced a death rate of at least 147 people. This after what the Associated Press called an 8.8 on the Richter scale earthquake struck the thin, long strip of a Latin American nation, which runs against most of the coastline on the east of the South American Continent. Buildings (including homes of people) were toppled in the quake which struck in the early hours of Saturday Morning in that Time-Zone. Bridges collapsed and vehicles (including trucks) crashed into the earth, according to the Associated Press.

The regional hospital in Concepcion, has been evacuating patients in fear of landslides... Meanwhile a prison in South-Central Chile has been sufficiently damaged, that 209 (Two Hundred and Nine) prisoners have escaped custody.

Much later, a 6.3 earthquake has also hit Chile's neighbour Argentina, near Salta according to MSNBC Breaking News. MSNBC has also noted warnings: the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has noted that new sea level readings indicate that waves "could cause widespread damage". While Damaging the mobile phone network, the Argentinian earthquake seems not a major problem at present.

According to MSNBC Breaking News: residents of Honolulu County, Hawaii had been urged to leave Tsunami Zones prior 10 A.M. Local time, while Hilo airport was closing in Hawaii. Waves are expected to hit Hawaii by 11:19 A.M. Hawaiian Time (4:19 P.M. ET). The Pacific Warning Center warns these waves could last 6 to 10 hours.

The Pacific Warning Center has noted +-4 foot Tsunami waves having already washed against Coquimbo and Valparaiso Chile, according to MSNBC Breaking News. A 7.7 foot wave of a Tsunami had already hit Talcahuano, Chile, as noted a minute prior that.

MSNBC Breaking News also notes that the Pacific Islands: Samoa and American Samoa have warned residents to take shelter due to the Tsunami caused by the Chile quake. Samoa police have issued a nationwide evacuation alert. Officials have warned of possible 7.5 foot waves to soon possibly hit Fiji and Tongo! The U.S. Geological Survey has meanwhile noted the 47th major aftershock, magnitude 5.3, centered at Libertador O'Higgin, the 46th major aftershock, was magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale, centred off the Bio-Bio shore, while the 28th aftershock of the Chile quake Measuring at 5.2 on the Richter scale, in the Metropolitan region of Chile, and the 29th measuring 5.1 off the strip of a nation's coast. The 27th Aftershock was 5.0 on the Richter Scale, off the shore. This according to MSNBC breaking News.

MSNBC Breaking News notes that the American (USA) state of California has warned coastal cities to prepare for possible Tsunami waves. The surge is forecast to hit California at 13:30 (1:30 P.M.) Local time (16:30 / 4:30 P.M. ET). Tsunami warning sirens have also now sounded across Hawaii according to MSNBC Breaking News. Vessels are also being advised to leave the habour areas in Hawaii. Other American states most at risk include Alaska and California. The American president Barack Obama was expected to comment on the situation at 14:00 (2 P.M.) Eastern Time, according to the White House, said MSNBC. We have just noted this statement, while giving condolences to Chile, Obama focused on America, asking Americans to be cautious and obey state authorities on Tsunami. According to CNN, the US President has warned of hundreds of deaths. The tsunami situation has been called similar to the 2004 Christmas tsunami that killed more than 200,000 in Indonesia according to the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to MSNBC.

The Globe and Mail of Canada meanwhile has noted that a Tsunami advisory has been Issued for British Columbia.

Earthquakes are common in the Pacific ocean region, unlike in the Caribbean area where the Haiti Quake struck.

The Earthquake's Tsunami, should affect South, Central and North America, and the Pacific Islands, reaching as far as Japan and Australia, as the hours should pass.

While Catholic Relief Services, known for their effectiveness and praised for their notable effectiveness in nearby Haiti, do not have an office in Chile, they do have staff in Bolivia, which in addition to being their South American relief hub, is Chile's, and Argentina's neighbour in the region. Should their staff be needed they claim that they are poised to assist.

To give to Catholic Relief Services, one of the most effective humanitarian groups in the world, stationed in the Pacific area, visit https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?df_id=2760&2760.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=jugcxa6bu1.app44b

CRS has confirmed on their blog that the earthquake was 8.8 on the richter scale. They note the original quake to have hit Concepcion, Chile.

We continue to Monitor the situation via Twitter.

Editorially: you may well offer prayers for the affected!




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Catholic Bishops of England and Whales behind push to promote abortion in Schools


(Social Justice South Africa; c.f. LifeSiteNews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian) 23 / 02 | February / 2010 ; The Telegraph (British; Independent; Secular; Conservative) 23 / 02 | February / 2010; BBC World News (Secular; Governmental; British) 19 / 02 | February / 2010; The Guardian (British; Independent; Secular; Secularist; Liberal; editorial) 23 / 02 | February / 2010; LifeNews 01 / February / 2010; LifeSitenews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian) 01 / 02 | February / 2010; Catholic Culture (Catholic; Independent; American): The Contraception Misconception)

Article by Marc Aupiais

"Sex and relationship education - who does what?
Age 5-7 - puberty, relationships and how to keep safe
Age 7 - 11 - puberty, relationships including marriage, divorce, separation, same sex and civil partnerships and managing emotions and dealing with negative pressures
Age 11 - 14 - Sexual activity, human reproduction, contraception, pregnancy, STDs including HIV/Aids and high risk behaviours, relationships, including those between old, young, girls, boys and same sex
Age 14 - 16 - Body image and health, choices relating to sexual activity and substance misuse, and the emotional well-being, reducing risk and minimising harm, parenting skills and family life, separation, divorce and bereavements, prejudice and bullying"
(BBC World News (Secular; Governmental; British) 19 / 02 | February / 2010)



Causing much concern to papists and loyal Catholics throughout the world, including our own editor, who Lambasted the Catholic Bishops of England and Whales, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, in his column "The Tempest and The Hurricane", Labour has introduced a bill to force Catholic schools to teach the virtues of homosexuality, abortion, extra-marital sex, contraception et al.

Much of the media attention from the BBC, the Independent, and The Guardian media groups, has called for stricter and harsher treatment of religion, even than in the current bill.

Catholic schools will be made to inform students how to procure an abortion, an offence incurring automatic excommunication under the current code of canon law. Further, they will be made to promote abortion, and Homosexual "Civil Partnerships" (de jure homosexual "marriage") in schools. A new amendment pushed through yesterday, will allow Catholic schools to additionally teach what their religion does on the matters, but not in such a way as to treat homosexuality or the other issues concerned as wrong. Supporters of the push against religious schools, such as one writing an editorial for the Guardian, have expressed disappointment that the Catholic schools can still note as one view among many, that extramarital sex is a sin in the Catholic religion, however this ignores that while this belief may be noted, it may not be promoted.

An editorial calling for stricter measures against Catholics in the Guardian said:

"So it's great to see that the government has taken the initiative to make sex and relationship teaching mandatory from a much younger age. Hopefully this new legislation will ensure that schools have to teach children age-appropriate information about relationships including marriage, same sex and civil partnerships, divorce and separation; and in later years, sexual activity, reproduction and contraception. It is fundamentally important that children and young people can obtain this ­information without prejudice.

So, why, with this progressive new legislation, is there an amendment that means faith schools can adapt it to suit their beliefs? Ed Balls, the schools secretary, says in a letter to the Guardian that "faith schools will not be able to opt out of statutory lessons on sex and relationship education"; but if his argument that the "bottom line is that all young people should receive accurate and balanced information, and discrimination is prevented in all schools", how can teaching that sex outside marriage is wrong, or that contraception is bad, or that homosexuality is a sin, be seen as "balanced" information? Surely that will contradict the guidance provided as part of the sex education curriculum? And how does faith school teaching about sex fit in with the idea of tolerance or equality?

Balls may believe that conceding to the religious lobby was the best way of getting this legislation passed; but it undermines the progress made, and gives support to prejudiced misinterpretations of sex education.

Brook, the young people's sexual health charity, is more optimistic about this amendment. Spokeswoman Jules Hillier says: "We're hopeful that the ethos of the bill, which stresses diversity and equal opportunities, will mean that all schools will need to take a balanced approach to the teaching of SRE."

It is arguable, I suppose, that without this amendment, and with pressure from the religious lobby, this bill might not get passed – which would be a great shame, because it will impact young people in many positive ways for years to come. It's an enlightened government that dares to remove the right of parents to opt their children over the age of 15 out of sex education and enforce mandatory lessons in the subject in the majority of schools in the UK. So overall, it's a move in the right direction, albeit not quite far enough."
(The Guardian (British; Independent; Secular; Secularist; Liberal; editorial) 23 / 02 | February / 2010)

The sex education will be compulsory, parents of children over age 15, will not be allowed to withdraw their children from the classes, as they currently are able to do.

It recently emerged that the Catholic Education Service (CES) in Great Britain, directly assisted in the crafting of the bill, and Ed Balls, the minister pushing the bill has directly thanked Archbishop Vincent Nichols, in charge of the English Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, along with the CES for their support of the bill. It was believed by both sides that without the support of the church, that this bill would otherwise be facing much greater obstacles in getting passed.

The BBC notes the Catholic Education Service website, which the CES referred the BBC to as their comment:


" [The CES] pointed to a document on its website which said teachers would need to act wisely, "mindful that the teachings of the Church must be upheld in our Catholic schools and the innocence of children preserved".

It continued: "This must take place whilst also acknowledging pupils will often be encountering conflicting messages from external sources.

"This is an example of where good teaching will need to respond to the maturity of children and the environment in which they live, coupled with respect for the dignity of all human persons, upholding the Church's teachings."

Under the plans, all schools are to be required to teach children aged seven to 11 about relationships including marriage, same sex and civil partnerships, divorce and separation under Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education.

Secondary school pupils are to learn about sexual activity, reproduction, contraception as well as same sex relationships.

Clauses in the Children, Schools and Families Bill require schools to cover these issues in an "accurate and balanced" way, reflecting a reasonable range of religious, cultural and other perspectives and the religious and cultural backgrounds of the school's pupils.

The subject is also to be taught in a way that promotes equality, accepts diversity and emphasises both rights and responsibilities, the Bill says.

This requirement could have been problematic for schools governed by religions that are specifically opposed to homosexuality and contraception."
(BBC World News (Secular; Governmental; British) 19 / 02 | February / 2010)

The BBC then notes that the amendment passed Yesterday, may allow a school to water down elements of teaching, according to its religious character. The minister pushing the legislation has however directly denied this claim. Stating what our article already has noted, that schools would still have to promote the government agenda, even if on the side noting religious beliefs.

Editorially: While all my formal training is in South African and Roman and Roman Dutch law, my understanding, of this legislation, is that both the teachers concerned and likely the schools' important staff, will latae senitae (as if sentence were already passed by the very act: automatically) be excommunicated from the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. As regards the English Bishops' co-operation in forcing abortion on Catholic schools, one is lead to question where ecclesiastical law would put these individuals.

Damien Thompson, blogs editor for the Telegraph, wrote on the fact that not a single voice of the hierarchy of England and Whales has been available for comment on this issue. An odd silence from a body which the pope had desired stand up for Catholic doctrine and morals in Great Britain, when he addressed them on their Ad Limina visit earlier this year.

In contrast to the Bishops Conference of England and Whales, Scotland's Cardinal Keith O’Brien, responding to claims by Catholic Labour member Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, that labour could harness religious votes, slammed Labour egregiously.

"In a stinging rebuke to Jim Murphy, Cardinal Keith O’Brien said he could not think of a “tangible example” of the Government embracing the views of the Catholic Church in the past decade.

[...]

“Instead we have witnessed this Government undertake a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values.

“This is a charge I personally put to Gordon Brown when we met in 2008 and I have seen no evidence since then to suggest anything has changed.”

The leader of Scotland’s 750,000 Catholics then listed a series of new laws that have been passed despite the objections of the church and other faiths."
(The Telegraph (British; Independent; Secular; Conservative) 23 / 02 | February / 2010)

This push in Great Britain- to promote contraception in schools, comes shortly after a study questioning the effectiveness of such education was released by the applicable journal of the American Medical Association: Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, quite recently:

"The study found that the probability of [... subjects in the program] having sexual intercourse [prior the end of the study] was approximately 15 percentage points lower among teens in the abstinence-only program than those in condom-promoting courses or those undergoing no sex education.

The study randomly assigned 662 African-American students (average age 12.2) to participate in one of four programs: abstinence-only intervention; safer-sex–only intervention targeting increased condom use; comprehensive interventions targeting both sexual intercourse and condom use; or a control intervention focusing on health issues unrelated to sexual behavior.

The researchers found that the probability of ever having sexual intercourse by the 24-month follow-up was 33.5 percent in the abstinence-only program and 48.5 percent in the control group attending health promotion courses. Rates in the safer sex and comprehensive programs did not differ significantly from the control group.

In addition, fewer students in the abstinence-only group (20.6 percent) vs. those in the control group (29 percent) reported having sex in the previous three months during the follow-up period. The abstinence-only intervention did not appear to affect rates of condom use. The eight-hour and 12-hour comprehensive programs appeared to be associated with reduced reports of having multiple partners when compared with the control group.

The authors of the study, which was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, concluded that theory-based abstinence-only interventions "can be part of [the] mix" of methods to reduce sexually-transmitted infections among teens."
(LifeSitenews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian) 01 / 02 | February / 2010)




Monday, February 22, 2010

Marc Aupiais's view of what the Bishops have said on Abortion

(Chastity South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais (Editor)

The following is a quotation of "The Tempest and the Hurricane" column of Marc Aupiais, a pro-life blogger in his personal capacity:

The Bishops may just have joined calls to end abortion in RSA
http://marc-aupiais.blogspot.com/2010/02/bishops-may-just-have-joined-calls-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheTempestAndTheHurricane+(The+Tempest+and+the+Hurricane)

It looks at the possibility that the SACBC is finally making a real stance, however meekly worded: against abortion in South Africa:

"


Article by Marc Aupiais

South African Catholic, a service which I edit, but which this blog is independent of has just made a press release for the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference for them and some other Christian leaders of a group I have never heard of before:

http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2010/02/southern-african-catholic-bishops.html

As all our safety measures to insure that the dispatch was in fact sent out by the SACBC mailing system checked out, we are assured that we as the list all should have gotten this message as media.

In any case: back to me as me, and this blog.

The message is significant. A small protest from another group I have never heard of before, called the Christian Action Network, happened in Capetown on February 1st this month. I wrote for South African Catholic on this at:

The Mother City coldly observes, a small protest over the tiny slain
http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2010/02/mother-city-coldly-observes-small.html

Significantly, the Christian Action Network, called for an alteration to South Africa's Constitution, which the Constitutional Court, at the time it interpreted it on the matter, said excluded the right to life from unborn children, basing itself seemingly on common law principles from prior the days of ultrasounds. This was in response to the Christian Lawyers' Association challenging the ANC's mass liberalization of Abortion under Nelson Mandela.

The entire statement is interesting in the wording. It certainly seems very suggestive of the SACBC actually putting its weight behind efforts to have the Constitution amended (for what the twentieth time, but this time) to ensure that South Africa does not murder another +9 00 000 children.

Interestingly, it cites Mandela, who ensured abortion was radically liberalized, and whose ANC has believed abortion the right of every woman since 1994. But, it simply noted that a "legacy" had supposedly begun to emerge under Mandela, and not that one had emerged, which perhaps saves them somewhat from looking foolish for calling for attention as to whether or not the unborn should no longer be discriminated against under the might of South African law."





Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) Press Release: 22 (day) / 02 (month) / 2010 (Year)

(Southern African Catholic Press Releases)

Notation By Marc Aupiais

The following quotation will be of a dispatch sent out to media by the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference). It is sent out from their communications department, and we are noting this press release, here: in the interests of the public:

They speak in their own capacity, as our disclaimer below will note!


SACBC Dispatch:

"

Issued on behalf of the National Church Leaders' Consultation by Fr Chris Townsend.


'We welcome the prospect of a national dialogue on morality and morals in our country. President Zuma's proposal is a timely one. It is for all South Africans to participate in a collective responsibility for our future. 



As a nation, we have been reaping the fruits of attitudes – social, economic moral and political - that have undermined and continue to undermine what common values and principles of behaviour we shared in the recent past to achieve our new South Africa. The elements of a legacy which were beginning to emerge under the leadership of former President Nelson Mandela and his generation of leaders have been substantially squandered. 



It is quite clear that at present we are floundering – directionless and clueless as to where we are going as a country. The goodwill, momentum and historical opportunity of the World Cup should not be left to waste, for fear that after the event all we are left with is debt and acrimony. 



Given the current depth of polarisation along social, economic and political lines, we propose that the starting point be the foundational principle that the human person, and every human person, has intrinsic and inalienable value. All else in any code of morals must take its lead from that basic principle. In this way we will avoid all considerations of race, class, nationality, religion and political persuasion. This is also the only way in which we will be able to judge and evaluate whether or not our Constitution and it’s application is in fact fair and just to all those who have been given the gift of life – from babies in their mother’s wombs to natural death. 



Naturally, for the Christian community, this principle takes its origin from the fact that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, that every person has value and worth from the fact that human life is sacred and therefore inviolable. 



We welcome this opportunity to build a more responsible South Africa.'



The National Church Leaders' Consultation bring together leaders of the Christian Churches in Southern Africa.

"


OUR DISCLAIMER: NOTE: THE DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO US:


The SACBC: Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference; are a Catholic hierarchical (structural) body. Sometimes their dispatches may have a certain political, or practical perspective, they may even mention neutrally, or positively: a grouping, or person we openly appose: we do not however mean to endorse any group, or person that they are working together with, nor does this mean that such a group is acceptable to the church: only that for practicality: they may be working together with such, nor does it imply that such a group is not in some way affiliated, we simply advise against using this to see any affiliation, as we think this pointless. We do not endorse whom they endorse, nor their own views, or opinions or needs, nor do we guarantee their accuracy as a source: any complaints as to accuracy of their claims, can be given to us, however: to attempt to fix such; I advise approaching the source: as all we can do is remove a dispatch, and maybe tell them, or right an article, based on their information, or else write a warning from us, or an article on the error, or a retraction for our publishing, if we have a desire to clarify our part in any such thing, or say something may be wrong.


What they say is their personal perspective; and they, not us must be held fully accountable for their own words, we can change some things, though not direct quotes: but it is them you must approach for changes or retractions from them. We do not guarantee the accuracy of their news and views, nor endorse the content of their dispatches, by posting them, their views do not represent those of Our Service, nor of person, bodies, organizations, nor of groups in any way associated with Our Service, and this disclaimer applies also to those who post this disclaimer, with a dispatch, which we have accessed, in any manner, from the bishops: so far as it is posted with the permission of those responsible for such: or by the conditions given, by Our Service: these are not our words, which we post, when posting directly, what the bishops say, but theirs, and there is no endorsement herein, only reporting, rather: their views are purely their own views, even as due to similarities, such as fidelity to certain principles, and to possible use of some shared organizations: their views expressed, may even identically reflect our own so far as our beliefs may be similar due to these, as with some perspectives. This is purely due to “circumstance”, and not intended as an endorsement of them, nor does it imply that we endorse in any manner whatsoever, any statement they make, have made, or in the future: shall make. Due to practicality, or for whatever purpose, also, they may at times work with organizations: which our news service/s, or affiliations, or those posting such: openly appose. Posting information from the SACBC is further not to be considered endorsement of the SACBC or any representative or affiliate of theirs, or member therein. They speak entirely in their own capacity, and not in ours!


- Marc Aupiais

Editor:


Disclaimer designed for South African Catholic:

http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com

But Our Service is to refer to whichever service publishes material with this disclaimer!








Friday, February 19, 2010

Niger Coup confirmed

(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Our service can now confirm, that The President of Niger, has been kidnapped in a Coup. According to the BBC, the President and ministers are being held hostage by soldiers, while the North African nation's boarders are being closed, isolating the country from the rest of the world.

I hereby permit this service to publish portions of my article from my personal column The Tempest and the Hurricane, which was written prior confirmation of the Coup, confirmed by the BBC as having in fact occurred:

"Article by Marc Aupiais

The BBC is reporting a possible coup in the North African nation of Niger. It would appear that elements of the armed forces, took the president at gunpoint, from his fortified position in the nation's "presidential palace". Whether it is the top brass of the military or not is unsure. The cause of the possible coup, which followed gunfire, and has seen tanks on the streets, seems to be the president's attempt to change the Niger constitution to gain a third term. A similar situation resulted in the Constitutional Court and parliament sanctioned Coup in Honduras recently. Not much else is apparent at present!"
(The Hurricane and the Tempest (Catholic; Independent; South African) 18 / 02 | February / 2010)





Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A bunch of hidden taxes

(Social Justice South Africa)

Note by Marc Aupiais Ex officio as Editor of our service

A person from First National Bank, was just being interviewed by Classic FM. Apparently the mines will now be made to pay royalties, or tax of a sort, irrespective of if they make money. There's also plans apparently to tax carbon emissions, as well as other hidden costs for the taxpayer. We have not verified these personally, but it is applicable as our previous article did not note it.









No big scares in budget speech

(Social Justice South Africa)

Analysis by Marc Aupiais

I have been watching with some concern, the budget speech by the new Finance Minister, in the job since 11 May 2009: to give some information on how I see the man:

Pravin Gordhan, is a pharmacist by education. He has been quite involved in tax and finance prior his appointment as Finance Minister, under the then new Zuma administration. Requests for the nationalization of the massive mining industry, do not seem to have been listened to, allaying some jittery fears, brought on by statements of ANC officials. The reserve bank, which ANC tripartite ally COSATU has had quite a bad relationship with, the Minister insists must remain independent. He was involved in the ANC's plan for implementing the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which is also a good sign. His work with the Communist party in the past, has not seemingly haunted the long time tax man, who was brought in to replace Mbeki era Trevor Manuel.

Perhaps I misheard, but I didn't hear anything on ridiculous ideas for a national health insurance plan, perhaps the disaster of such an unsustainable policy has been thwarted for now. Perhaps the USA's rejection of such a plan in their own country, has spared South Africa such foolhardiness. Public Debt, seems to be raising to 40% from about 23%, which is of concern. The extension of the levy on petrol (gas for our North American readers), certainly will affect some drivers. While I was watching Summit television, which is the (financial) network which I do prefer to watch out of the South African news services, when it comes to finance, it was noted, that the state of South African roads is a concern. Drivers are taxed, but roads have largely fallen into disrepair, with costly, and deadly pot-holes and other hazards becoming more and more common for drivers in their daily journeys.

I wrote a bit of additional commentary on my Hurricane and the Tempest blog, which while independent: is, with my permission: a commentary column on the South African Catholic website, for Scripturelink.net news, whom I am writing this article for, with permission, I am placing a quotation of that commentary here:

"Pravin Gordhan, who replaced Manuel, seemed the last time we checked to be continuing his monetary economic policies. Suggestions that mines must be nationalized, and other braying from the ANC's leftest allies has yet to yield the fanaticism some predicted under Zuma, whom they had brought to power. Granted, the ANC, has always refused the desires of their communist allies when it comes to requests for the nationalization of mines. The Finance Minister has noted that investment is important to South Africa. Gordhan, has warned of the economic crisis, and claimed it may bite again. He has noted he expected vast changes in global financial markets. He has also made note of claims of those who say that South Africa is not as competitive as others on job creation. He has emphasized a labour intensive economic growth path, which may be wise in a country with such skills shortages, and where the ANC continues uneconomic societal engineering projects such as BEE and BBBEE and AA, which do not afford the most skilled South Africans jobs or education first. Continuing the ANC tendency to cut the cake more finely, he has noted plans to give businesses subsidies if they hire inexperienced youths out of schools. The Subsidies would allegedly be over a two year period, presumably after the hiring took place.

The Finance Minister has emphasized the need for an independent reserve bank, and emphasized the need for pragmatism. He quoted Business SA, and COSATU, both of which I would believe are Zuma allies. His policy, so far, and I have not watched the end of his speech, seems quite similar to past policies. Promises of job creation, do not seem likely to myself. From the expressions of the President and others, I do not expect the speech was unexpected to them.

I certainly don't expect many changes in this budget, but I have yet to watch the speech to the end. it seems inflation targeting goals also remain similar.

This article should not be relied on as any form of financial advice!"

I have further copied what the government has to say about the finance minister, here:

Keeping with the topic on hand:
http://marc-aupiais.blogspot.com/2010/02/keeping-with-topic-at-hand.html

It does not seem that there are any big surprises, although, if the public debt is not kept down, or if more taxes are not raised, due to economic growth, there may be some need of careful financing by the government. It was suggested, that this speech was more a State of the Nation Address than that of sex scandal embattled president Jacob Zuma. The feared policy changes due to the president's allegiance with the far left, still seem like storm clouds hanging over South Africa, but with this budget speech, possibly, the nation may be able to stave off the rain. The relative leftest policies of tax the rich to feed the poor, and some neo-socialist policies, which have existed for a while, continue to exist in the current budget, it would seem.

As noted in our disclaimer, this article, like all our articles, does not constitute financial advice. Rely on this information and all our information at your own risk.






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Dear reader

We would like to additionally note that our terms, disclaimer, permissions procedures, and copyright, as well as how to contact our service and other important factors: may change, at any time. The most up to date version of our permissions and contact details and procedures, disclaimer, copyright, etc is the binding version. We have altered the terms since our last email, and welcome suggestions.







An important message to our readers

Dear Reader

In accordance with our aim to better render the service we do, we have altered the copyright, terms, contact procedures and details, disclaimer, permissions procedures and details, and possibly other aspects of this service which you are making use of. We ask that you view the new copyright system, terms, contact procedures, disclaimer, and permissions details on our main site. They apply to all the aspects of this service.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bishops condemn Zuma a.k.a. Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) Press Release: 15 (day) / 02 (month) / 2010 (Year)

(Southern African Catholic Press Releases)

[English; Afrikaans; français]


Notation By Marc Aupiais
The following quotation will be of a dispatch sent out to media by the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference). It is sent out from their communications department, and we are noting this press release, here: in the interests of the public:
They speak in their own capacity!

SACBC Dispatch:

"
Appeal to South African Leaders: Is your sexual morality making you a worthy role model for the youth?

"You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honour your father and mother" (Mk19:20); "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt5:28). The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference expresses its strongest concern of the scandalous behaviour of leaders who shamelessly flout the norms of morality and decency, accepted and expected by the vast majority of people. Read more



"











Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Bishops finally join the voices criticizing South Africa's adulterous president

(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In a statement our service has yet to receive, the Associated Press is reporting that The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference have lambasted the behaviour of President Jacob Zuma, of the Republic of South Africa. Zuma has had multiple long term relationships outside of marriage.


Other voices of concern:

Opposition parties have latched onto the president's more recently discovered adulteries, with most major parties airing criticism, including the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance.

Smaller parties have also joined the rush. In "Like Zuma needs more bodyguards", our editor noted apparent suggestions from members of the Africanist PAC, that the president be accompanied on house calls, in order to make sure he does not cheat on his "wives". The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), which the voters' guide section of Scripturelink.net news advised voters against supporting in the previous election, suggested seemingly that the problem was Zuma's choice not to wear a condom. According to research by Harvard University, the promotion of condoms in Africa, increases risky behaviour, resulting in an increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Writing on his private blog: "The Tempest and the Hurricane", our editor, Marc Aupiais also, in his private capacity, recently joined criticism of the country's president, comparing the president's flings to concubines in the article "All the President's concubines", in which he noted that the Independent Newspapers group had reportedly discovered that Zuma has another two children, noting:

"Independent Newspapers has reportedly spotted out two more of the president's illegitimate children, these allegedly belonging to a businesswoman, and one of them had while the president was then head of the government's "Moral Regeneration" program. While many of Jacob Zuma's "wives" seem to be rural women, his "concubines", seem to be women who work in the professional sphere. I have not looked into the names of the children or mother, although I did come across them, and have not investigated whether or not the president paid the family of the most recently exposed alleged sex-partner of the president, as is traditional seemingly in Zulu custom, when one has extra-marital sex with a woman.

That would, if these children were previously unknown to the press, place the quantity of Zuma children at about 22. Zuma appears to have had a long relationship with his most recently revealed sex partner. Zuma has "married" five women. One "divorced" him, one committed suicide. The others have remained with him. The president, during his rape trial, expressed the view that taking a shower was a means of HIV/AIDS prevention. It is feared that the promiscuity of the president, will form a precedent for African men, in a country where up to one in five adults may well have HIV/AIDS."

As for the statement by the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference), our service has conspicuously been excluded from the list of services receiving such a statement, the Washington Post article is all we have to go on at the moment:


According to the Washington Post:

"In a statement released before President Jacob Zuma was to deliver his state of the nation address Thursday, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said that while Zuma has expressed regret over an affair that resulted in a daughter born in October, he has not shown remorse for adultery.

The bishops say Zuma sets a poor example in a country with the world's highest number of HIV-positive people.

South African voters last year overwhelmingly supported Zuma, who had admitted having sex outside marriage. Zuma's latest affair, first reported by a Johannesburg newspaper, has attracted steady criticism."
(Washington Post (Independent; American; Secular; Liberal) 11 / 02 | February / 2010)

Click here to view the Washington Post article:

Catholics blast South African President Zuma - washingtonpost.com


I assume the paper mentioned as a Johannesburg newspaper is the Johannesburg Star, of the Independent Newspapers group.

All Quotations from "The Tempest and the Hurricane", by Marc Aupiais, are here made with required permission. In accordance with our editor's wishes, the blog has not been included in the South African Catholic News Service group, which he has charge of. His article commentaries do however appear on our pilot site, on the comments/views section, but retain a stricter copyright currently than our main articles on the site.



Monday, February 8, 2010

The Mother City coldly observes, a small protest over the tiny slain

(Social Justice South Africa; c.f. SAPA's article on : News 24 (Secular; independent; South African)01 / 02 | February / 2010; IOL's the Johannesburg Star (Secular; independent; South African) 03 / 02 | February / 2010 )

Article by Marc Aupiais

According to SAPA, The South African Press Association, a group calling itself the Christian Action network, held a small pro-life march, on the first day of this month, featuring about 80 protesters, in Cape Town (The "Mother City"), protesting at the reported +- 900 000 (Nine Hundred thousand) children aborted via what the network notes to quite directly be taxpayers' money, since February 1997. The protesters seemingly were lead by a small white coffin, in a white hearse, with the protesters dressed in mourning black, and carrying placards.

The group's international co-ordinator, Taryn Hodgson, says that the protesters desire a constitutional amendment declaring life as beginning at conception. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in South Africa, has since 1994 believed abortion to be the inalienable right of women, who can procure one as young as age twelve, when even kissing a boy is illegal in South Africa. Abortion was controversially pushed through parliament by the ANC, under the leadership of former president Nelson Mandela. The vast majority of South Africans, continue to be opposed to abortion, according to a poll published some time ago by South African media.



The Tempest and the Hurricane- and Marc Aupiais, our Editor

Note by the Editor

I was recently told that I had disappointed, there was not enough me in South African Catholic, so with the permission of this service, I have set up my own separate blog, where I can be what was seemingly asked for... me! The Address is: http://marc-aupiais.blogspot.com/ . In honour of my belief in the Night Breeze which becomes a hurricane, I called it after two storms, its name is: The Tempest and the Hurricane, and I put my views on it. So as to not lose out, South African Catholic, has added my latest creation to its site also, under the comments/views section of its expanded site.

I will still be writing for and editing South African Catholic, but you may also want to subscribe to my opinion blog: here:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheTempestAndTheHurricane

It is not officially connected with South African Catholic in any way, by my own choice, so as to give more freedom to my columns, which will appear on this site also, as columns. I am not sure as yet, whether to include these columns as posts, it may well help the service, I am not certain. Either way, I await your emails, twitters and facebook inbox messages!




Sunday, February 7, 2010

What the Pope wants your annulment to look like

(Tridentine South Africa)

Analytical Article by Marc Aupiais

An issue which recently caused some concern, and which resulted in our service being contacted for comment, is the papacy's recent comments about annulments. The Pope believes tribunals have not been strict enough in applying the law. We were corresponded with due to concern over his comments and their effects on valid annulment cases.

Firstly, the pope's comments:

"JUSTICE, CHARITY AND TRUTH MUST GUIDE THE ROMAN ROTA

VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the dean, judges, promoters of justice, defenders of the bond, officials and lawyers of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, for the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year.

In his address the Holy Father focused his attention on the role of that institution, from the triple perspective of the justice, charity and truth which must inspire it.

"It is necessary to take account of the tendency - widespread and well-rooted though not always obvious - to contrast justice with charity, almost as if the one excluded the other", said the Pope. "Some people maintain that pastoral charity justifies any measures taken towards the declaration of nullity of the marriage bond. ... Truth itself ... would thus tend to be seen in a functional perspective, adapting itself to the different requirements that arise in each case".

"Your ministry", he continued, "is essentially a work of justice, a virtue ... of which it is more important than ever to rediscover the human and Christian value, also within the Church. Canon Law ... must always be considered in its essential relationship with justice, maintaining an awareness that the Church's juridical activity has as its goal the salvation of souls".

"In this perspective it must be borne in mind that, whatever the situation, trial and sentence are fundamentally linked to, and at the service of, justice", said Benedict XVI, and he went on: "Apart from this 'objective' dimension of justice, there exists another dimension ... which concerns the 'operators of the law'; that is, those who make law possible. ... They must be characterised by their exalted practice of human and Christian virtues, in particular those of prudence and justice, but also that of strength".

This latter virtue "becomes more important when injustice seems the easiest path to follow, in as much as it involves giving in to the desires and expectations of the parties involved, or to the conditioning of the social environment".

"Everyone who works in the field of the Law, each in his or her own role, must be guided by justice", said Pope Benedict. "I am thinking in particular of lawyers, who must not only take great care to respect the truth of the evidence, but also to avoid taking on ... cases which they know in their conscience to be objectively unsustainable.

"The action of those who administer justice cannot neglect charity", he added. "A charitable perspective and charitable measures will help us not to forget that those before us are always people marked by problems and suffering. The principle whereby 'charity goes beyond justice' also holds good in the specific field of the work of 'operators of justice'".

"Our dealings with people", the Pope explained, "must take account of each specific case in order, with delicacy and attentiveness, to facilitate the parties' contact with the tribunal". Likewise, "it is important that effective efforts be made, whenever there seems to be hope of a successful outcome, to encourage the spouses to convalidate their marriage and restore conjugal cohabitation. It is also vital not to stint efforts to establish a climate of human and Christian openness between the parties, founded on the search for truth".

The Holy Father then highlighted another important question, "that of avoiding pseudo-pastoral demands which place the issue on a merely horizontal plain, in which what counts is satisfying subjective requests in order to achieve a declaration of nullity at any cost, with the aim of overcoming, among other things, the obstacles to receiving the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. ... It would however be a false advantage", he said, "to ease the way towards receiving the Sacraments, at the risk of causing people to live in objective contrast with the truth of their own individual state".

"Both justice and charity require love for truth, and essentially involve the search for what is true. ... Without truth charity slides into sentimentalism. Love becomes an empty shell to be filled arbitrarily. This is the fatal risk of love in a culture without truth".

This can happen, the Pope went on, "not only in the practical activity of passing judgment, but also in theoretical studies which have such an influence on concrete judgements. The problem arises when the essence itself of marriage becomes more or less obscured. ... Examination of the conjugal bond in existential, personalist and relational terms must never be undertaken at the expense of indissolubility, an essential property which in Christian marriage has, with unity, a special firmness by virtue of the Sacrament".

"Marriage enjoys the favour of the law. Hence, in case of doubt, a marriage must be held to be valid until the contrary is proven. Otherwise we run the serious risk of remaining without an objective point of reference for pronouncements of nullity, transforming all conjugal difficulties into a symptom of a failed union whose essential nucleus of justice - the indissoluble bond - is thus effectively denied".
AC/.../ROMAN ROTA VIS 100129 (850)"

Having noted the comments of the Pope, we must note, he is talking about the case where Canon law is ignored out of empathy or sympathy for those seeking annulments. The Pope desires that marriages be presumed rebuttably to be valid first and foremost, and for annulments to only be granted when it is reasonable to believe there was not a valid marriage. His comments have no bearing on a valid claim. One must simply remember to argue correctly and to present the truth with the correct evidence if need be. I am not a canon lawyer, and one follows my advice at their own risk. I do not see any serious change in the way canon law should be viewed.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Pope explains that he plans to visit Scotland, to the Scottish Bishops

(Tridentine South Africa)

Article By Marc Aupiais

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently confirmed that he does plan to visit Scotland during his visit this year to the United Kingdom. He did so, during the Ad Limina visit of the Scottish Bishops to Rome. Ad Limina visits are compulsory visits of Bishops to Rome, in which they answer to and report back to the pope on matters in their jurisdiction. Following his recent pattern in which he attacked Venezuela, where the church is in danger, and more recently Great Britain, where he indirectly alleged human rights abuses by the Labour government against Catholics, the Pope warned against Euthanasia, as Scotland is preparing to mull over a controversial Euthanasia bill. He also told faithful Catholics to fight against secularism.

The Pope has, in his address to these same bishops in their Ad Limina visit, recently emphasized that faithful Catholics must obey the magisterium on every single point, much as Jesus said that not a mark would be taken from the law of God, the pope has emphasized that the Catholic morality, is about hope, and that the don't do's are in fact not simply sanctions, but a way to live the fullest life in Christ, gaining life through faith. He asked that the Scottish bishops focus on evangelism, and the position of the laity.

Once again playing the chess game Benedict XVI has become known for, he warned of a need to grapple with the secularist tide attempting to rise over Scotland. The Pope's efforts at outreach towards the SSPX, and Anglo-Catholic Anglicans, as well as his efforts to dialog with Islam, all show his emphasis of ridding the world of the secularist influence he sees as gripping much of Europe. While Ad Limina visits can tend to accompany papal statements against secular powers, the statements of the Pope about the United Kingdom, have certainly gotten more attention than other statements. One would get the impression that the papacy now views the small democracy, much as he does other parts of the world where the very foundation of religious freedom is at risk. He further asked the bishops to defend the right of Catholics to continue to practice their faith in Scotland.

Editorially, it does not seem that the serious rebukes of the Bishops of England and Wales were present in his speech to the Scottish Bishops, but without a source from Scotland, I cannot confirm there was no subtle message, though it seems less likely. Either way, the pope has noted Euthanasia suggestions by Scottish politicians as a serious threat to the gospel: once again seemingly believing it necessary to get directly involved in the politics of the United Kingdom. The Catholic principle of Subsidiarity, also present elsewhere in law and politics, demands that the local authority deals with an issue unless unable to do so. Papal interference, means that the United Kingdom's situation is viewed quite intently by the pope.





Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Pope, Labour, the English Bishops, and a traditionalist, conservative newspaper linked blog


(Tridentine South Africa)

Analytical short article by Marc Aupiais

Recently, it has been confirmed, that the pope does in fact plan to visit the United kingdom, an influential European country. The visit, will probably happen around September this year. What has caused a lot of attention in the public domain recently, is the pope's comments on the British government, considered by local media in Great Britain: to be a direct or indirect attack on Great Britain's ruling Labour Party.

Catholic media, has additionally noted Pope Benedict XVI's statements, which were made to the Bishops of England and Wales to be a rebuke of the Bishops themselves. The issue of concern is a clash between homosexualist interests and those of the church. Great Britain recently forced Catholic adoption agencies to choose between adhering to Catholic principles which put the interests of children first, by denying homosexual couples adoption rights: as a child preferably needs a father and mother: and closing down their operations, or allowing homosexuals to adopt children in Catholic orphanages, famous for the extra work they do for society. More recently, the Labour party has attempted to introduce a bill to force the Catholic church to allow homosexual and women priests and bishops, and to not discriminate against homosexuals as youth workers or school principles. The bill, due to ardent campaigning has failed as yet to pass.

The Pope firstly congratulated Great Britain on its pursuit of equality, as he claimed was perceived as its reputation among many in the world, and then claimed that Great Britain was violating the right to religious freedom. He claimed that pushes by the British legislators via equality legislation, in fact violated natural law. In context, all of this was said to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales: on their compulsory Ad Limina visit to the Vatican, in which they were to report to the pope and confer with him about their mission in Great Britain. In further context, while secular media has mostly focussed on the pope's attack on the Labour party, Catholic analysts specializing in these matters, have clearly noted the pope's statements in the context of an open public rebuke of the British bishops.

The Pope called efforts by the British Labour lead government violations of "natural law", which he noted as the basis for equality among men. Unlike secular services who have largely misunderstood the concept of natural law as used by Benedict XVI, as a foundation block of South Africa's common law, and of Catholic thinking, I might note that the pope was not simply calling British legislation against the church, or sin. He was in fact calling it against natural reason, and against basic human rights, and legal concepts. Natural law is not seen as a theological law, but rather as the law binding all men, essentially, as reason and reasonable behaviour. Natural law, is in fact, as the pope attests indirectly: the basis of human rights and we might separately note, it is a basis of the concept of the United Nations. The pope's attack on the legislative campaign of the Labour party, was in fact much more serious an attack than reported in press. He was essentially calling the legislative scheme criminal.

Labour recently caused the closure of many catholic adoption agencies, due to their refusal to give homosexual couples the children they had in their care. According to an editorial by a homosexual in the Daily Mail, the British Government adoption houses give homosexuals first pick of the children needing adoption, and there was no logical purpose in forcing religious specialist adoption agencies, known for their extra efforts, to close down. Labour, effectively made it illegal to discriminate against adoptive parents, due to their incompatibility with Catholic morality. The Bishops of England and Wales, however, did not put up a united front on the issue, as with many other issues. Many in Catholic media view the British bishops' conference, as one which is not entirely loyal to either the Vatican, or the magisteriam of the church. Some have seen many bishops as complicit in the campaign Labour has already launched against the Catholic Church and religion in general.


Damien Thompson, blogs editor of the telegraph group, and widely considered the best source on British Catholicism, despite his, or perhaps due to his conservative attitude, seems to believe that the pope in fact was noting the views one bishop in particular, who had criticized his fellow bishops. We at South African Catholic News Service, have often observed Benedict XVI directly or indirectly quoting local bishops in such circumstances, and think this may well be the case.

According to Damien, writing on his Telegraph Media group blog, the pope was basing much of his commentary on the views of Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue, who he says criticized the Bishops of England and Wales for failing to uphold orthodoxy. Their seemingly divided response on issues that the papacy considers non-negotiable, may well be partially the focus of an address which did praise the Bishops and Britain a bit, but not much, and which was unusually blatant for a papal address. Often these statements in general are veiled quite deeply, but the intentions of the pope are here quite clear.

Even the Guardian, known for its intense dislike for Catholic religion and morality, has published criticism of the British government, and much of the British press, believed to have turned on Gordon Brown, have come out opposing the recent attempt to even further limit freedom of religion in great Britain. The pope's statements on morals, which affect public life and politics have certainly also made a splash, perhaps one which will stifle the legislative attacks of Labour's leadership death throws before the next election. Determining how social activist or religious groups, societies for the common good and democracy govern themselves- so far as social issues are concerned, has been seen by some as a severe violation of freedom of association, and therefore of principles of freedom of thought and participation in democracy.

In accordance with the concept of subsidiarity, it is unusual for the pope to directly intervene with legislative schemes. Abortionist, pro-homosexuality and feminist and secularist groups who were already going to protest the papal visit planned to Britain, are now noting even more so that they will be protesting. Included in the protests: films about Catholic sex abuse, which will certainly cheer up these sexual revolution protesters. Also being protested by secularists, is the bill for the papal visit. Not noted by the BBC and the like, is the fact that the pope is a head of a European state, due all pomp and ceremony. What is also not mentioned is that the pope has decided to cut back on what pomp and ceremony he is offered when he visits Britain.

As a front line between practical religious secularism, and secularists, Great Britain is certainly an important place to watch. In a world, where leadership is increasingly more important than mere titles and positions in governments, the Pope's statements have been able to reignite important debate in Great Britain. His rebuke of some of his bishops, who he has stated, he desires to united behind orthodoxy, and whom he has said must continue to debate public issues in a civilized and respectful manner will also not go unnoticed. We may well begin to see some thorough debate in the catholic Church in England and Wales, where it has often been reported that those desiring to better obey the Pope, are stifled by the local church hierarchy.







Changes to our service

Editorial note by Marc Aupiais

When the church says nothing on a matter, that doesn't make it silent. When a Catholic opinion making service, read by a wide variety of sources: from Catholic to secular international media, from legislators, to Vatican based readers checking up on the local church- from human rights groups, to humanitarian organizations... when such a service, namely our own is quiet, it does not mean we are not speaking.

What it does mean is that we have redesigned our news website, become a noted service on twitter, via noting others' articles, and our short comments, and decided to try something new in the way we present our news and views.

While I certainly can't take credit for all the work that goes into our articles, and i mean certainly: we are not just a blog but a service, although I am usually the person to pen our articles, I can take some credit for my analysis of some issues. We have gotten no emails asking that we more regularly publish VIS dispatches from the Vatican, and our general articles can sometimes be done without, but our investigative work, and analysis: which admittedly is not purely that of whoever writes each article, have been missed. As has our theological thrust, and my personal articles relating to the faith. For these reasons, I plan to make less use of others' news via VIS and other services, and focus more on producing our own stories: which are often quoted or noted internationally.

While we get started on this, for a few days we may lag a bit behind with translations, or not make them at all at first, while I as editor re-enter the rigors of publishing. First, we plan to write a few short articles, something which we may adopt more thoroughly, partially depending on your views as our readers.

Please visit our site, to read our new world vision statement, our clarification of our motto, and other sections of our more extensive service.



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