Big changes in the Catholic Church?

I have just read with great interest an interview with the Vatican’s New Secretary of State Parolin on celibacy and democracy.

An excerpt from the National Catholic Reporter LINK

Do you mean that the approach to reform implies a return to early Christianity?

Yes, taking into account that we also have two thousand years of history. This history has not happened in vain. It is not simply about returning to the past, at least in the most radical way, but a return to the fundamental principles of the church. I want to underline the theme of continuity because sometimes it seems, and I don’t know if I’m exaggerating here, that Pope Francis is going to revolutionize everything, he is going to change everything.

Aren’t there two types of dogmas? Aren’t there unmovable dogmas that were instituted by Jesus and then there are those that came afterwards, during the course of the church’s history, created by men and therefore susceptible to change?

Certainly. There are dogmas that are defined and untouchable.

Celibacy is not –

It is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition.

You have said that changes must be made without dividing the church. Don’t you think that a way to decide on its application would be by consulting the whole church, its bishops? Wouldn’t it be a democratization?

Certainly. It has always been said that the church is not a democracy. But it would be good during these times that there could be a more democratic spirit, in the sense of listening carefully, and I believe the pope has made of this one of his pontificate’s objectives. A collegial movement of the church, where all the issues can be brought up, and afterward he can make a decision

Live Encounters Magazine April 2013

Live Encounters Magazine April 2013

–          Profiting from Pain – Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab takes on Roche in India Kalyani Menon-Sen. Trastuzumab is an effective drug for treatment of breast cancer.

–          Mama, don’t cut my vagina – Female Genital Mutilation over 180,000,000 little girls and women affected. Always performed by grandmothers, mothers and other women. Implements – Razor blades, pieces of cut glass, tin can covers, scissors and even in modern clinics!

–          Nothing’s Fair, a poem by Irish Poet & Playwright, Terry McDonagh

–          Chris Hedges, Pulitzer prize winner, journalist and author, writes on How to Think.

–          South African/Zimbabwean, Catherine Jane Birch, author of KORO speaks to Mark Ulyseas.

–          Ivo Coelho, Priest and Philosopher, exclusive article – Faith and Religion

–          Magic in Stone – Ancient Rock Carvings of Goa – Randhir Khare.

–          Ancient Food Forges Arab-Jewish Friendships – Natalie Wood

–          Human Rights Watch – Child and Forced marriages in South Sudan

–          Candess M Campbell, Entering Trance for Self Healing

Does the White Pope follow the Black Pope?

Very Rev.
Adolfo Nicolás Pachón

Superior General of the Society of Jesus is called the Black Pope because he wears a simple black cassock.

The post is for life.

However, on January 14, 2008, the then Superior General Peter Hans Kolvenbach sought permission from Pope Benedict XV to step down at the age of 80 citing poor health. Kolvenbach’s request to Benedict to step down as he approached the age of 80, Vatican sources say, could have implications for the “white” papacy as well if a Pope were to consider retiring because of old age or ill health.LINK

The same was approved and the post is now held by Adolfo Nicolás. 

The Jesuits have always worked among the people. Some even accuse them of being Leftists.

Since the Second Vatican Council, many Jesuits have favored progressive reform in the Church, seeking to adapt Catholic traditions to modern life.

Here are some excerpts from an article in TIME.

The order was founded with a special mission to directly serve the Pontiff, and has been dubbed the “Pope’s cavalry,” engendering suspicion in the past of conspiracies and secret powers. Even Popes, including John Paul II, have criticized them for their apparent autonomy. “Yes, we are in the vanguard of the Church,” says Jose de Vera, head spokesman for the order. “It is not our job to just repeat the catechism, but to do research. Sometimes looking for real truth, you can step over the line.” Just last year, the Vatican’s doctrinal office issued a “Notification” to Spanish Jesuit scholar Jon Sobrino, a proponent of Marxist-inspired liberation theology, for what they called “erroneous … and even dangerous” writings.

Most Jesuits steer clear of offending the Vatican hierarchy, focusing on frontline missionary work amongst the poor and oppressed. Noted in particular for their vast network of schools and universities, the Jesuits are widely considered the day-to-day educational and intellectual motor for Roman Catholicism. Pecklers, who teaches liturgy at the Gregorian University in Rome, has lately been working on an education project in the hinterlands of Mongolia. “Whereas a Benedictine is centered around his monastery, the Jesuit’s life is the road. The way we’ve achieved our credibility is getting our hands dirty, getting involved in issues of countries.”  LINK

Could it be that the present Pope has taken the cue from the previous head of the Jesuits and resigned?

One hopes that the Jesuits continue to play an important part in the Catholic Church and that they successfully influence the next Pope to adapt Catholic traditions to modern life.

Urgent Message from Anat Hoffman Irac

January 28, 2013

Click here to write the Prime Minister

Dear Mark,

Israelis went to the polls last week and sent a clear message to the current Prime Minister. Netanyahu will remain Prime Minister, but in a roundabout way, with a greatly reduced party and without a solid majority. In the final tally of the votes, the right block has 61 seats and the left block 59 seats. Parties that advocate for internal-Israeli issues have gained strength at the expense of Netanyahu’s current coalition.

To many people around the world, the sight of 13 (!) political parties entering the Knesset can be confusing. They seem to stand for very narrow issues, a certain constituency, or just the personality of one person. It is also challenging for IRAC to navigate these unclear waters, but it is our job to get in front of as many potential legislators as possible to explain the issues that are important to us and to progressive Jews everywhere.

There is a phenomenon in Israeli politics that is somewhat unique to our country; new parties that burst onto the scene to fill a vacuum or to address a need that isn’t represented by the major parties. In recent years, some of these parties did so well that they ended up being the largest parties in the Knesset and, in one case; they even became the ruling party. But political fortunes in Israel can be fickle. Kadima was the largest party in the last Knesset but now they only have two seats.

In the new Knesset, former TV news anchor Yair Lapid’s “Yesh Atid” (there is a future) party is the second largest and is adding a strong new voice to the Israeli political field. We are optimistic that he will use his time on the national stage to affect the change he spoke about at the IMPJ’s Biennial less than a year ago. In one regard he has already made history. This is the first time that a major political party in Israel brings only new people into the Knesset; none of Yesh Atid’s 19 Knesset members have ever held this office before.

Over the next few weeks, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be busy forming a new government. The election results show that the public is looking for leaders that will push the country in a new direction. Hopefully politicians opposed to equality and pluralism will be retired in favor of a new beginning for pluralism in Israel.
Anat Hoffman
Executive Director, IRAC

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Action Alert: Write the Prime Minster!

Use this link to write current and future Prime Minister Netanyahu to urge him to form a government that will include parties committed to pluralism. Once you have finished you can forward the letter to your friends and post it on your Facebook page and other social media

Today is the Feast of St. Francis Xavier

St.Francis Xavier, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, pic by mark Ulyseas

December 3, 2012 – The is an excerp from a  news report written by Fr.Shannon Pereira SJ and Fr.Gregory Naik SJ

St.Francis Xavier helped Ignatius of Loyola in the founding of the Society of Jesus – Jesuits – in 1540 – two years prior to Francis Xavier’s arrival in India.

The Jesuits have a special history in the State of Goa, India, where Francis Xavier first began his work. Apart from pastoral care, priority was given education and social work. The Jesuits brought the first printing press to Goa in 1556 and printed the first book in Konkani (the local language).

It is interesting to note that according to some estimates, the largest number of educational of institutions around the world is named after St. Francis Xavier. Wikipedia puts it conservatively at around 140. In Goa there are 10-12 (college, boarding and day schools). The total in the rest of India according to Wikipedia is 62 , and in the world there are apparently 66 institutions.

On St.Francis Xavier’s arrival in Goa in 1542 the Diocesan authorities had requested him  to take charge of the newly constructed St. Paul’s College, as he was a graduate (MA from the University of Sorbonne, Paris)

St.Paul’s College, of which now remains only an arch of the chapel façade in Old Goa, was given to the Jesuits (hence called Paulistas) in 1548. They not only enlarged the building but raised its academic standard to the level of a University with various departments like Theology, Medicine, etc. On the staff were prominent professors, both Jesuits and laymen who attracted students from all over Asia. The students of Medicine could practice in the Royal Hospital founded by Afonso de Albuquerque soon after the conquest of Goa in 1510. It was handed over to the Paulistas in 1591.

In 1610, following the death of many Jesuits due to an epidemic, the College was shifted to a new building. This venture came crashing down when the Jesuits were summarily expelled from the Portuguese colonies in 1759 by orders of Dom Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal and Prime Minister of Portugal.

The Society of Jesuits was later formally suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. Though it was restored by Pope Pius VII after 41 years in 1814, the internal politics in Portugal did not permit the return of the Jesuits to its colony. They had to await the constitutional reform of another Prime Minister, Dr. Oliveir Salazar in 1933. But when they finally returned to Goa in 1935 they could find only a part of the chapel façade of the original St.Paul’s and no traces of the other. They did find, however, the Royal Hospital now located in Panjim (Palacio dos Maquinezes, the Old Medical College).

St.Francis Xavier’s work lasted only 10 years from 1542 when he arrived in India to 1552 when he died on the island of Sancian, off the coast of China.

His relics, body, lies in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, where every year on December 3rd his feast is celebrated by thousands of faithful from Goa, the rest of India and the world who flock for mass.

The Sacred Relics, body, of St.Francis Xavier, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, pic by Mark Ulyseas

Organised Religion – Marketing wars

The recent carnage is not new. The war of hate appears to be gathering momentum. Many have dispensed with the true teachings and have induced amnesia of the past when conversion was by the sword, when children were removed from their families for indoctrination and a few other things like decimation of indigenous cultures because they were pagan and burning of people because they were perceived to be of the Devil.

This was closely followed by the energy of new converts to another religion, all done in the same way…through violence and mob mentality.

Nothing has changed, it has only gathered momentum.

Who is right or wrong depends upon which side’s product you buy, both of which are superbly branded and slickly marketed through force, cultural appropriation and personal perceptions of the manufacturer i.e. popularly known as God.

Humans have sunk to the lowest depths of depravation… of morals and ethics. Deceit appears to be the order of the day.

Many profess that “Our brand is better than yours because it is the true product guaranteed by those who preached its ingredients and who sampled the very blood of the manufacturer…grotesque I know but then brand loyalty is essential to gather the faithful consumers to the fold.”

While others claim that “Our brand is the oneness of all and if you are not a consumer than you are the outcast, the unbeliever and therefore need to be treated as such”. Many have been the unwitting victims of marketing genocide.

The turf wars are hotting up. None of the leading brands want to lose territory to the other brand. So both take to the streets. Unfortunately in the senseless scramble for coherency many consumers become sacrificial lambs to slaughter. Innocent consumers are dissected, bisected or simply blown to bits all in the name of promoting a brand that in the minds of the Brand Managers is unique for its USP (Unique Selling Point). Curiously both leading brands peddle a USP devised on a well developed Brand that allows its mindless loyal consumers to be UNIQUE compared to those of the competing brand by merely following the rituals, wearing the symbol of the brand and parroting the ingredients.

Nothing is left untouched, unsullied by this mad scramble for consumers also known as souls. There appears to be an indecent haste to garner these consumers any which way.

The marketing wars will bring more destruction than ever before.

Hopefully this will end when the manufacturer/s decide to call a truce.

But till then the consumers will be the cannon fodder while the manufacturers sit back and direct the brand managers while collating the sales figures.