Saturday, November 29, 2014

Praise the Lord!

O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people.
For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.  Praise ye the Lord.

Psalm 117


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Migration congress calls for just policies, better conditions for migrants

2014-11-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People issued a message on Friday at the end of their Seventh World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, held at the Vatican, from 17 to 21 November.

The final message says congress participants “encourage all actors, including civil society and governments, to work towards more comprehensive and just immigration policies, fully implementing international conventions to guarantee job opportunities and better living conditions, to prevent exploitation and/or trafficking of migrant workers.”

Read the complete message below:

The 7th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, was held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican City, from Monday, November 17th to Friday, November 21st, 2014. The proceedings focused on the phenomenon of migration and migrants, in the light of the theme: “Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations”.

Gathering together nearly 300 participants, which include delegates from Bishops' Conferences, commissions and Church structures and partners from over 90 countries, the objective of the Congress was to reflect upon the current migration situation that so strongly marks modern-day society, and to seek and propose a renewed Catholic pastoral approach to the phenomenon within the Church at international, regional and local levels.

The pastoral care of the Catholic Church, expressed in specific programs and plans of action, takes into consideration the particular situation of economic migrants, who live between the realities of uprooting and that of integration. Pastoral programs concern the spiritual search of the sense of life, experiences of welcome, sharing and reconciliation, the proclamation of the Gospel, the Liturgy, the celebration of the Sacraments. At the same time, the pastoral solicitude also cares towards basic needs of migrant workers such as legal assistance in the regularization process of their status, the defense and the promotion of their dignity, decent jobs and housing. Christian communities continue to be spaces of hope and action, advocating on behalf of migrants (particularly children, unaccompanied minors, women and persons with disabilities), that raise awareness, protect and extend the necessary assistance, whatever their status.

Presentations, discussions and sharing of experiences helped to address the issue of the migrants’ family with all positive aspects that contribute to strengthen and promote fruitful human relationships, which are the basis and the core of all societies. Emphasis has been given on family separation, caused by the lack of adequate migration policies, which is especially challenging in countries with a large diaspora.

Furthermore, the feminization of migration is a new characteristic. Migrant women are no longer moving within processes of family reunification mainly, but also as bread-winners. Migration, therefore, can be an instrument of empowerment for women but also a threat when criminal nets take advantage of their vulnerability and force them into smuggling, trafficking, and even prostitution and labor exploitation.

Similarly, young migrants carry a great potential in building bridges of cooperation between societies towards development. The pastoral care of young migrants concentrates on their religious and integral formation, assisting them to be active bridges between cultures, both for the benefit of society and Christian communities.

Migration continues to be a sign of modern times, deeply marked by growing fear and lack of hospitality. In this regard, the centrality of the human person and the respect for his/her dignity are of even greater importance, preceding any religious, ethnic, social or cultural differences.

The participants of the Meeting encourage all actors, including civil society and governments, to work towards more comprehensive and just immigration policies, fully implementing international conventions to guarantee job opportunities and better living conditions, to prevent exploitation and/or trafficking of migrant workers.

The participants appeal to the responsibility of the whole international Community to contribute to the common good and to the universality of human rights, underlining the need for a positive change in attitude towards migrants.

Finally, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and the participants recommend collaborative action amongst all Church structures in the countries of origin, transit and destination to implement the considerations and conclusions of the Congress, which will be published.

(from Vatican Radio)


Pope Francis on immigrants: For Christians, “no one is a stranger”


Published on Nov 21, 2014

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The Pope said that migrants do not pose a threat to society, but instead contribute to the countries that receive them.


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The Foundation of Our Faith

The Lord will put new, vital force into His work as human agencies obey the command to go forth and proclaim the truth. He who declared that His truth would shine forever will proclaim this truth through faithful messengers, who will give the trumpet a certain sound. The truth will be criticized, scorned, and derided; but the closer it is examined and tested, the brighter it will shine.

As a people, we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. It is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. He will bring in everything that he possibly can to carry out his deceptive designs. But the Lord will raise up men of keen perception, who will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God.

I have been instructed by the heavenly messenger that some of the reasoning in the book Living Temple is unsound, and that this reasoning would lead astray the minds of those who are not thoroughly established on the foundation principles of present truth. It introduces that which is nought but speculation in regard to the personality of God and where His presence is. No one on this earth has a right to speculate on this question. The more fanciful theories are discussed, the less men will know of God and of the truth that sanctifies the soul.

One and another come to me, asking me to explain the positions taken in Living Temple . I reply, "They are unexplainable." The sentiments expressed do not give a true knowledge of God. All through the book are passages of Scripture. These scriptures are brought in in such a way that error is made to appear as truth. Erroneous theories are presented in so pleasing a way that unless care is taken, many will be misled.

We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God. It is represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending. The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error.

About the time that Living Temple was published, there passed before me in the night season, representations indicating that some danger was approaching, and that I must prepare for it by writing out the things God had revealed to me regarding the foundation principles of our faith. A copy of Living Temple was sent me, but it remained in my library, unread. From the light given me by the Lord, I knew that some of the sentiments advocated in the book did not bear the endorsement of God, and that they were a snare that the enemy had prepared for the last days. I thought that this would surely be discerned, and that it would not be necessary for me to say anything about it.

In the controversy that arose among our brethren regarding the teachings of this book, those in favor of giving it a wide circulation declared: "It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching." This assertion struck right to my heart. I felt heartbroken; for I knew that this representation of the matter was not true.

Finally my son said to me, "Mother, you ought to read at least some parts of the book, that you may see whether they are in harmony with the light that God has given you." He sat down beside me, and together we read the preface, and most of the first chapter, and also paragraphs in other chapters. As we read, I recognized the very sentiments against which I had been bidden to speak in warning during the early days of my public labors. When I first left the State of Maine, it was to go through Vermont and Massachusetts, to bear a testimony against these sentiments. Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God. The statements made in Living Temple in regard to this point are incorrect. The scripture used to substantiate the doctrine there set forth, is scripture misapplied.

I am compelled to speak in denial of the claim that the teachings of Living Temple can be sustained by statements from my writings. There may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer of Living Temple, would seem to be in harmony with the teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion that the sentiments in Living Temple are in harmony with my writings. But God forbid that this sentiment should prevail.

Few can discern the result of entertaining the sophistries advocated by some at this time. But the Lord has lifted the curtain, and has shown me the result that would follow. The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give John to give to His people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to be given special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin, and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science.

In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers--the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, "Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action."
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?

I hesitated and delayed about the sending out of that which the Spirit of the Lord impelled me to write. I did not want to be compelled to present the misleading influence of these sophistries. But in the providence of God, the errors that have been coming in must be met .

An Iceberg! "Meet It"

Shortly before I sent out the testimonies regarding the efforts of the enemy to undermine the foundation of our faith through the dissemination of seductive theories, I had read an incident about a ship in a fog meeting an iceberg. For several nights I slept but little. I seemed to be bowed down as a cart beneath sheaves. One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, "Iceberg just ahead!" There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, "Meet it!" There was not a moment's hesitation. It was a time for instant action. The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder to the deck. The passengers were violently shaken by the force of the collisions, but no lives were lost. The vessel was injured, but not beyond repair. She rebounded from the contact, trembling from stem to stern, like a living creature. Then she moved forward on her way.

Well I knew the meaning of this representation. I had my orders. I had heard the words, like a voice from our Captain, "Meet it!" I knew what my duty was, and that there was not a moment to lose. The time for decided action had come. I must without delay obey the command, "Meet it!".

That night I was up at one o'clock, writing as fast as my hand could pass over the paper. For the next few days I worked early and late, preparing for our people the instruction given me regarding the errors that were coming in among us.

I have been hoping that there would be a thorough reformation, and that the principles for which we fought in the early days, and which were brought out in the power of the Holy Spirit, would be maintained.

Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce,[* OLDER BRETHREN AMONG THE PIONEERS ARE HERE THUS REMINISCENTLY REFERRED TO. "FATHER PIERCE" WAS STEPHEN PIERCE, WHO SERVED IN MINISTERIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORK IN THE EARLY DAYS. "FATHER ANDREWS" WAS EDWARD ANDREWS, THE FATHER OF J. N. ANDREWS.--COMPILERS.] Elder {Hiram} Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "We can do nothing more," the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.

During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. The brethren knew that when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted as light direct from heaven the revelations given.

For two or three years my mind continued to be locked to an understanding of the Scriptures. In the course of our labors, my husband and I visited Father Andrews,[* SEE NOTE ON PAGE 206.] who was suffering intensely with inflammatory rheumatism. We prayed for him. I laid my hands on his head, and said, "Father Andrews, the Lord Jesus maketh thee whole." He was healed instantly. He got up, and walked about the room, praising God, and saying, "I never saw it on this wise before. Angels of God are in this room." The glory of the Lord was revealed. Light seemed to shine all through the house, and an angel's hand was laid upon my head. From that time to this I have been able to understand the Word of God.

What influence is it would lead men at this stage of our history to work in an underhand, powerful way to tear down the foundation of our faith--the foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation? Upon this foundation we have been building for the past fifty years. Do you wonder that when I see the beginning of a work that would remove some of the pillars of our faith, I have something to say? I must obey the command, "Meet it!" . . .

I must bear the messages of warning that God gives me to bear, and then leave with the Lord the results. I must now present the matter in all its bearings; for the people of God must not be despoiled.

We are God's commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Word--especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of Heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.

Selected Messages Book 1, pp.201-210.

A Device of the Enemy

We are to pray for divine enlightenment, but at the same time we should be careful how we receive everything termed new light. We must beware lest, under cover of searching for new truth, Satan shall divert our minds from Christ and the special truths for this time. I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the "present truth," when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth.--Letter 7, 1891.

Let no one present beautiful, scientific sophistries to lull the people of God to sleep. Clothe not the solemn,sacred truth for this time in any fantastic dress of man's wisdom. Let those who have been doing this stop and cry unto God to save their souls from deceiving fables.

It is the living energy of the Holy Spirit that will move hearts, not pleasing, deceptive theories. Fanciful representations are not the bread of life; they cannot save the soul from sin.

Christ was sent from heaven to redeem humanity. He taught the doctrines that God gave Him to teach. The truths that He proclaimed, as found in the Old Testament and the New, we today are to proclaim as the word of the living God.

Let those who want the bread of life go to the Scriptures, not to the teaching of finite, erring man. Give the people the bread of life that Christ came from heaven to bring to us. Do not mix with your teaching human suppositions and conjectures. Would that all knew how much they need to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God--to make His words a part of their very lives.-- Manuscript 44, 1904.

Selected Messages Book 1, pp.159,160.

Today in History


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bishops support executive action on immigration

Thomas Reese | Nov. 14, 2014


In a little noted letter, two bishops chairing committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have put the Catholic bishops on record supporting executive action on immigration. The letter places the bishops on President Barack Obama's side in his dispute with congressional Republicans, who are opposed to any executive action on immigration.

The letter, sent on Sept. 9 with little fanfare, was addressed to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, with copies of the letter going to Dennis McDonough, chief of staff to the president, and Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The letter was signed by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chair of the Committee on Migration, and Bishop Kevin Vann, chair of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. The conference issued no press release to publicize the letter and I cannot find it on the USCCB website.

The letter asked for executive action "to protect undocumented individuals and families as soon as possible, within the limits of your executive authority." "With immigration reform legislation stalled in Congress," the letter said, "our nation can no longer wait to end the suffering of family separation caused by our broken immigration system."

The Republican leadership in Congress has said any executive action by the president on immigration would poison future cooperation on any topic.

The bishops urge that some major problems on immigration be dealt with through by executive action. These would not be considered minor items by either the administration or Congress.

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First, they want deferred action authorized for certain groups that might now be deported:
  • Immigrants who have been in the United States for 10 years or longer and have strong community ties and equities. These people have contributed to our economy and social fabric and should be brought out of the shadows so they can "fully contribute to our society as they get processed through the legal system," say the bishops.
  • Parents of U.S. citizens. "One of the tragedies of deportations," according to the bishops, "has been the separation of parents from their U.S. citizen children." Anyone who hates big government should not want the government to take away the parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Parents of recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Unaccompanied children who entered our country to join their parents now face the possibility of having a parent deported.
  • Individuals residing in the United States with already approved family and employment petitions. These people have had their petitions approved but because of the visa backlog are unable to receive permanent resident status and therefore would be subject to deportation. The bishops think this is wrong.

The last three groups reflect the bishops' strong concern for keeping families together. Politicians who support family values should recognize the merit of these requests from the bishops.

The bishops also call for some technical changes that would allow more immigrants to enter under family-based petitions. For example, the law no longer requires that spouses and children be included in the quota for these petitions even though the government still includes them. Not counting them would open up slots for others.

The bishops would also like the government to be more generous in granting waivers for unlawful presence, which requires those who enter the country illegally to leave the country and apply for a visa abroad. The bishops do not want families broken up by people leaving the country and then spending years away from their families while waiting for a visa.

Finally, the bishops asked that those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), if otherwise eligible, be allowed to apply to become lawful permanent residents.

"The Administration has the opportunity to provide this relief to families who have built equities in this country," said the letter. "As Congress has been unable to pass immigration reform legislation, we urge you to exercise your authority — as conferred by, but also limited by, the federal Constitution and statutes — to protect these families from separation and exploitation."

"As pastors concerned with the physical and spiritual welfare of our people," said the bishops, "we can no longer wait to end the human suffering caused by our current immigration system." Keeping families united is a priority for the bishops and they hope to make it a priority for the nation.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]

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Catholic Sisters to Congress: We're #Ready4Reform

Published on Nov 19, 2014

Catholic sisters are ready for executive action on immigration, but what they really want is for Congress to act. Text NUNS to 877 877 to amplify their call for action.

Human Rights Activist Jesuit Moreno Coto Brings Honduran Advocacy to U.S.

Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, SJ (known as “Padre Melo”), at right, with Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.

By Doris Yu

November 14, 2014 — The 25th anniversary of the El Salvador martyrs — the six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter murdered at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in November 1989 —has touched many.

But the martyrs were especially close to Jesuit Father Ismael Moreno Coto, a human rights activist from Honduras, who is visiting Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Padre Melo, as he is popularly known, was a student of Jesuit Father Ignacio Ellacuría and a friend of housekeeper Elba and her daughter Celina, who were killed by the Salvadoran military along with five other Jesuits on Nov. 16, 1989.

Padre Melo is now the director of both the research and advocacy center Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC) and Radio Progreso, which provides grassroots radio programming in Honduras. Since arriving in Washington this week, Padre Melo has brought his advocacy to the U.S. by speaking at a number of events, meeting with lawmakers and sharing his personal experience with a new generation of young adults.

On November 13, Padre Melo and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia discussed the violence and economic conditions driving migration from Honduras, where Kaine served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps from 1980 to 1981. During Padre Melo’s visit, Kaine described his time in Honduras as the most important year of his life.

After meeting with lawmakers, Padre Melo participated in “Violence & Inequality: El Salvador Then & Now,” a panel at Georgetown University exploring the problem of violence and inequality during the time of the martyrs and in the present day. Jesuit Father Matthew Carnes organized and moderated the panel, which included Shaina Aber, policy director for the National Advocacy Office of the Jesuit Conference, and Mark Lagon, former executive director and CEO of the Polaris Project, a nonprofit combating human trafficking.

Left to right: Mark Lagon, Shaina Aber, Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, SJ, and Fr. Matthew Carnes, SJ

Twenty-five years after the witness of the martyrs and their deaths, Padre Melo described how they convinced him of the need for Jesuits to occupy two roles: accompanying the poor in their suffering as well as taking seats in the halls of power, asking questions and challenging the roots and causes of poverty.

Following the panel, Padre Melo accepted the “Legacy of the Martyrs” award from the Ignatian Solidarity Network on behalf of his Jesuit ministries, ERIC and Radio Progreso. Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts received a second Legacy of the Martyrs award, in recognition of his advocacy for human-rights policy in El Salvador. McGovern assisted the late Congressman Joseph Moakley in the U.S. Congressional investigation of the murders of the UCA martyrs, and McGovern will visit El Salvador this weekend as part of the delegation of U.S. Jesuits commemorating the martyrs on the anniversary.

Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, SJ, right, accepts the “Legacy of the Martyrs” award from Chris Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Padre Melo broadcast his acceptance speech live on Radio Progreso, which was temporarily shut down by the military around the time of the June 2009 Honduran coup. The staff has received death threats since the coup, and a Radio Progreso team member was brutally murdered in April 2014.

“I accept this award on behalf of the ERIC and Radio Progreso teams because we must continue to be engaged. We want to accompany our people through communication, through advocacy and analysis,” said Padre Melo. “I am committing myself and the people I work with to the cause of embracing each other, working for peace and looking for a better tomorrow.

“Nothing is more beautiful than envisioning a society in Honduras that is a society for all, including our brothers and sisters in the United States,” he said.

This weekend, Padre Melo will give a keynote speech at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Arlington, Virginia, in hopes of sharing that vision with the younger generation and honoring the martyrs’ legacy.

Learn more about the Teach-In at the Ignatian Solidarity Network website.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In defense of the Jesuits

Sarah Morris | Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Around this campus, there exists a list of well-known crowd pleasers that one can toss into any conversation for a reliable chuckle. Such topics include South Bend’s unforgiving weather, the obesity of our campus’s squirrels, that sorry excuse for a university in Ann Arbor and of course the heathen Jesuits. Despite the facts that thousands of us have been educated by Jesuits at some point in our lives, that eight of the 15 largest Catholic universities in the country are Jesuit and that the pope himself is a Jesuit, it seems that many folks around Notre Dame no longer recognize them as “real Catholics.” Of course, many of these comments are made in jest, light-heartedly poking fun at an order that has long been a popular subject of humor. (A man walked up to a Franciscan and Jesuit and asked, “How many novenas must you say to get a Mercedes Benz?” The Franciscan asked, “What’s a Mercedes Benz?” The Jesuit asked, “What’s a novena?”)

However, the persisting sense of serious differentiation between “us” and “them” is cause for concern.

The tendency to distinguish “real” Catholics from Jesuits often goes hand in hand with what New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has dubbed a possible “schism” between “adherent” and “progressive” Catholics that is brewing on the horizon. As Douthat and Fr. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit scholar and author, discuss in an excellent dialogue recently published in America Magazine, the labels of left-right/liberal-conservative can often be reductive when discussing varying ideologies within the Catholic faith. However, most would agree that it is fair to place Jesuits on the progressive side of things. This leads to the unsurprising conclusion that the large number of conservative-leaning Catholics at this University may find significant discrepancies between their idea of Catholicism and the Jesuit “brand.” Yet, it must be recognized that such discrepancies are not dogmatically based but rather matters of focus.

The Jesuit order’s emphasis on higher education and social justice does not make it any less Catholic than groups that emphasize issues like abortion or gay marriage. Providing world-class educations to young people around the world and promoting the preferential option for the poor are just as “Catholic” as attending the March for Life or fighting for the “sanctity of marriage.” (In fact, I would argue that they are more so, but that is for another column). In a September 2013 interview, Pope Francis remarked that “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. … The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” His comments strongly reflect the Jesuit tendency to focus on broader means of carrying out the Gospels through promoting “global justice, peace and dialogue” instead of honing in on ultra-specific issues that affect much smaller percentages of humanity (more than three billion people live on less than $2.50 per day. There have been roughly 71,165 same-sex marriages in the United States since 2004).

But disagreement on focus is expected and should be viewed as a positive element of our shared Catholic faith. There are 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. Of course we will have different ideas of what matters most. This diversity is what makes the Church such a wonderfully dynamic body. To dismiss the largest single order of the Catholic Church simply because it emphasizes “liberal” values is wrong. To lament the fact that “Georgetown is basically a secular university” is not only factually inaccurate, but dismisses a rich and major element of Catholic presence in the United States and the world.

As a community, we can differentiate and debate the various manifestations of Catholicism, as well as their merits and vices. It is completely acceptable to disagree with the Jesuits’ focuses and believe that we as Catholics should invest our time and energy in entirely different pursuits of living the faith. But writing them off as “fake” Catholics will get us nowhere. Jesuits, and liberal Catholics in general, have an important place at the table. For some, the recent goings-on at the Vatican are incredibly exciting; for others, they are genuinely upsetting and worrisome. Instead of condemning one faction of “other” Catholics as heathens and heretics, or fundamentalists and bigots for that matter, let’s discuss these changes together, like Fr. Martin and Douthat do. With all of the rhetorical skills we picked up at our Jesuit high schools, it’s sure to be an excellent debate.

Sarah Morris is junior studying political science and American studies. She is a proud Ryan Hall wildcat and originally hails from Monterey, California. She can be reached at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Millennials Exploring Social Exclusion With Pope Francis: God, the Internet and Disrupting Business

Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter

Social Entrepreneur and Human Rights Techie. Lives in Quito

Posted: 11/17/2014 2:02 pm EST Updated: 11/17/2014 2:02 pm EST

Next week 40 Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum will travel to the Vatican from 5 continents to hold a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. This meeting aims to respond to challenge Pope Francis poses: How do we create a new global mindset to overcome social and economic exclusion?

Ever since I was honored with an invitation to join this gathering in Rome, I've been wondering: Why invite 40 millennials and not the top 40 CEOs? What sort of insight can we offer that the world's foremost academics on social inclusion couldn't? How can a heterogeneous group with diverse religious beliefs help shape a debate hosted at the center of the Catholic world?

The Internet as a gift of God.
I found part of the answer online. Pope Francis understood from early in his tenure the power of social media and the internet. In fact, writing about communications and global understanding, Pope Francis calls the internet a gift from god. The English-language Pontifex twitter account has almost 5 million followers, the PopeApp has more than over 200,000 downloads and his entire agenda is available and streamable for the world to see. Given this interest in the possibilities the web can offer to his pastoral concern for humanity, conferring with digital natives is a smart move. Among the 40 participants, many are already using technology to enhance democratic participation, document and visualize human rights information oramplifying the voice of the underheard through mobile.

Real change will bring about some disruption -- which Gen Y's love.
Another hint about why Pope Francis is interested in this meeting can be found in the Evangelii Gaudium, a document Pope Francis issued in 2013 outlining his views on church reform. In it, Pope Francis goes beyond suggesting business people become more charitable. In fact, he questions the notion of Milton Friedman that "the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits." A section dedicated to the economy and distribution of income indicates:
Business is -- in fact -- a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life.
The challenge of overcoming socio-economic exclusion is too large for governments, charities, non-profits and agencies to tackle alone. The private sector has played a crucial role in catalyzing important leaps in health, engineering, communications and technology. Knowing this, Pope Francis suggests it is time to review the purpose of business and rethink models of growth.

This concept is not new to millennials -- a generation that brings us professionals who make career decisions based on meaning before salaries. In engaging Gen Y leaders, Pope Francis finds natural allies for creating a new global mindset around business. Thousands of companies that tend to appeal to the next great generation are enterprises with a social mission. Many of them have joined an international movement of B Corporations -- companies that redefine business success by making a public and often statutory commitment to their social mission. This way, directors and shareholders are not forced to abandon their altruistic objectives when times get tough. The long-term vision is to forever change the raison-d'être of business in society. This January at Davos, Pope Francis nudged the business community in this direction:
I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it.
Empathy + risk-taking = change
Now, switching to a global mentality where businesses have a mission beyond pleasing shareholders requires a significant leap. This is where Pope Francis has identified the potential of focusing on younger leaders -- having a shorter trajectory, emerging leaders have less to lose and therefore a more open mind about re-engineering the way the private sector is structured. In his 2013 manifesto, Pope Francis reminds his followers,
Young people call us to renewed and expansive hope, for they represent new directions for humanity and open us up to the future, lest we cling to a nostalgia for structures and customs which are no longer life-giving in today's world.

Given the right opportunities, young people are more susceptible to developing deep empathy and stimulate innovation. The Catholic Church, in particular, Jesuits, have leveraged this feature of youth capacity for empathy with impressive results.
In Latin America, TECHO, a youth-led non-profit dedicated to alleviating poverty in urban slums, was founded as a Jesuit initiative. The impact speaks for itself: over 600,000 young volunteers from all faiths have been mobilized in 19 countries to build over 120,000 transitional homes for those at the base of the pyramid. The homes are built entirely by young volunteers and families, who later engage in community development initiatives to give continuity to the projects.

Likewise, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has offered legal aid to 600,000 refugees in dozens of countries so they can unlock the key to inclusion in their home countries: legal documentation. In giving young lawyers the chance to understand the harsh reality of trying to make a living as a non-citizen, JRS is changing mentalities and the course of their careers forever.

Unlikely allies
Under Pope Francis´s leadership, the Catholic church has gained more non-Catholic fans than ever. Pope Francis understands the challenge. Speaking about young people in the Evangelii Gaudium, he admits
[A]s adults, we find it hard to listen patiently to them, to appreciate their concerns and demands and to speak to them in a language they can understand.
His statements about evolution and creation, his open support for the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church and his challenging world leaders on wealth distribution demonstrate leadership that is willing to question traditional interpretations of doctrine and focus on action. Without appealing to religious piety, millennials -- in our search for a meaningful life and career -- may be Pope Francis' unlikely allies in this quest for developing a new global mindset.


Evangelism # 26 Laying The Axe To The Babylonian Roots

Published on Nov 16, 2014

Reaching To The World With God's Way To Eden Restored — #26 — Laying The Axe To The Babylonian Roots — By Pastor Charles Mills — Port St Lucie FL At HIS Vine Free Seventh-day Adventist Church

It is our Prayer that all who want to hear Present Truth will watch our sermons here online. We post presently every week here on our Church Pastor's YouTube Channel the Sabbath Worship Service.

HIS Vine Free Seventh-day Adventist Church is preaching the Historic Message given by God to His people to proclaim to the world for a witness.

We are a Self-Supporting Seventh-day Adventist Church as a member of the International Association of Free Seventh-day Adventists.

Doctor shortage looming? Maybe not


Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 3:29 pm


Victoria Elizabeth Fischer was presented with a white coat by her grandfather, Dr. Christian Van Den Heuvel, at Georgetown University School of Medicine in August. The ceremony marks the start for each new class of medical students.

Lisa Helfert Courtesy of Georgetown University

The United States is facing a critical shortage of doctors that could seriously jeopardize the ability of a patient to get medical care in the coming years.

Or, at least, that's the message the medical community has been pushing for several years now. And the media (including this reporter) have swallowed the line without much question.

But is the shortage real? Not necessarily, say a growing number of health economists and analysts.

The most widely publicized prediction of a looming crisis comes from the Association of American Medical Colleges , which has said that by 2025, the U.S. will be short roughly 130,000 doctors.

It's not hard to see how the group makes that calculation. Millions of people are getting health insurance for the first time under the federal Affordable Care Act. At the same time, 10,000 baby boomers are qualifying for Medicare every day, says Dr. Atul Grover, chief public policy officer of the AAMC.

"And we know, essentially, with the doubling of the population over the age of 65, over the course of a couple of decades, they're driving the demand for services," Grover says.

Others point out that the shortage isn't just about the absolute numbers of doctors needed. The demographics of the physician workforce are important, too, says Dr. Andrew Bazemore, who studies the primary care workforce for the Robert Graham Center, a think tank created by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"And that means by their race and ethnicity," Bazemore says, "by their age, by their gender, and backgrounds. Do they actually look like and reflect the populations they are going to serve?"

But, while there may be agreement that the U.S. needs more primary care providers, it's not clear to everyone considering the problem whether all of those people need to be doctors.

"There are a lot of primary care services that can be provided by a lot of people other than primary care doctors," says health economist Gail Wilensky. She and a colleague recently led an expert panel that looked at the funding of advanced training for doctors.

Nonphysician primary care providers can include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and social workers, for example — often working together in teams with a medical doctor. Teams are thought to provide more cost-effective care, according to some health policy analysts. And, says Wilensky, more nonphysician health practitioners, each providing a different set of services, might lessen the need for more primary care doctors.

"What will we allow nurses to do — work up to the limits of their license?" Wilensky asks. "Work up to the limits of their training? What will we allow pharmacists to do? Those together would determine how many physicians it would be useful to have around."

Wilensky also points out that past studies predicting shortages of doctors have been laughably wrong.

"We haven't even been directionally correct sometimes," she says. "We thought we were going into a surplus and we ended up in a shortage — or vice versa."

Still, Atul Grover of the medical school association thinks it's better for society to err on the side that the shortage is real. "We don't think we should put patients at risk by saying, 'Let's not train enough doctors just in case everything lines up perfectly and we don't need them,' " Grover said in a recent C-SPAN interview.

But letting more people train to be doctors "just in case" strikes Wilensky and many other health economists as wasteful.

"Are you really serious?" Wilensky asks. "You're talking about somebody who is potentially 12 to 15 years post-high school — to invest in a skill set that we're not sure we're going to need?"

Training too many doctors could, potentially, jeopardize more than just the bank accounts of those being trained. Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, a pediatrician and professor at George Washington University, says every doctor added to the health care system also adds cost.

"Training another doctor," he says, "isn't cheap — isn't cheap for the individual doing the training, isn't cheap for the institution providing the education, and ultimately isn't cheap for the health system. Because the more doctors we have, the more activity there will be."

Why, then, do so many physician groups continue to press for more doctors to be trained?

Princeton health economist Uwe Reinhardt says there's at least some self-interest involved.

"The business model of an interest group is to create a sense of crisis," he says, "and then tell their constituents, 'We can help you.' "

There is one element of the debate that just about every expert agrees on — that the U.S. has to stop paying physicians based on the number and type of treatments and procedures they do, and instead base payment on how well they keep patients healthy. That might or might not reduce the need for more medical doctors. But it would almost certainly help close the payment gap between specialists and generalists.

"The physicians are the team drivers of the system," Wilensky says. "If you don't get that part right, either in terms of how they're trained or how they're paid, it's hard to imagine how health reform happens."

Copyright 2014 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit


The Secret Treaty of Verona

Page 6781
 25 April 1916

      I wish to put in the RECORD the secret treaty of Verona of  November 22, 1822, showing what this ancient conflict is between the rule of the few and the rule of the many.   I wish to call the attention of the Senate to this treaty because it is the threat of this treaty which was the basis of the Monroe doctrine.   It throws a powerful white light upon the conflict between monarchial government and government by the people.   The Holy Alliance under the influence of Metternich, the Premier of Austria, in 1822, issued this remarkable secret document :
[American Diplomatic Code,  1778 - 1884,  vol.  2 ;  Elliott,  p. 179.]

The undersigned, specially authorized to make some additions to the treaty of the Holy Alliance, after having exchanged their respective credentials, have agreed as follows :
ARTICLE 1. The high contracting powers being convinced that the system of representative government is equally as incompatible with the monarchial principles as the maxim of the sovereignty of the people with the high divine right, engage mutually in the most solemn manner, to use all their efforts to put an end to the system of representative governments, in whatever country it may exist in Europe, and to prevent its being introduced in those countries where it is not yet known.

ART. 2. As it can not be doubted that the liberty of the press is the most powerful means used by the pretended supporters of the rights of nations to the detriment of those princes, the high contracting parties promise reciprocally to adopt all proper measures to suppress it, not only in their own states but also in the rest of Europe.

ART. 3. Convinced that the principles of religion contribute most powerfully to keep nations in the state of passive obedience which they owe to their princes, the high contracting parties declare it to be their intention to sustain in their respective States those measures which the clergy may adopt, with the aim of ameliorating their own interests, so intimately connected with the preservation of the authority of the princes ; and the contracting powers join in offering their thanks to the Pope for what he has already done for them, and solicit his constant cooperation in their views of submitting the nations.

ART. 4. The situation of Spain and Portugal unite unhappily all the circumstances to which this treaty has particular reference. The high contracting parties, in confiding to France the care of putting an end to them, engaged to assist her in the manner which may the least compromit them with their own people and the people of France by means of a subsidy on the part of the two empires of 20,000,000 of francs every year from the date of the signature of this treaty to the end of the war.

ART. 5. In order to establish in the Peninsula the order of things which existed before the revolution of Cadiz, and to insure the entire execution of the articles of the present treaty, the high contracting parties give to each other the reciprocal assurance that as long as their views are not fulfilled, rejecting all other ideas of utility or other measure to be taken, they will address themselves with the shortest possible delay to all the authorities existing in their States and to all their agents in foreign countries, with the view to establish connections tending toward the accomplishment of the objects proposed by this treaty.

ART. 6. This treaty shall be renewed with such changes as new circumstances may give occasion for, either at a new congress or at the court of one of the contracting parties, as soon as the war with Spain shall be terminated.

ART. 7. The present treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications exchanged at Paris within the space of six months.

Made  at  Verona  the  22d  November,  1822.

For  Austria :-----------------------------------------------------METTERNICH.

For  France :------------------------------------------------CHATEAUBRIAND.

For  Prussia :---------------------------------------------------------BERNSTET.

For  Russia :------------------------------------------------------NESSELRODE.

      I ask to have printed in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD this secret treaty, because I think it ought to be called now to the attention of the people of the United States and of the world.  This evidence of the conflict between the rule of the few verses popular government should be emphasized on the minds of the people of the United States, that the conflict now waging throughout the world may be more clearly understood, for after all said the great pending war springs from the weakness and frailty of government by the few, where human error is far more probable than the error of the many where aggressive war is only permitted upon the authorizing vote of those whose lives are jeopardized in the trenches of modern war.
      Mr.  SHAFROTH.   Mr. President, I should like to have the senator state whether in that treaty there was not a coalition formed between the powerful countries of Europe to reestablish the sovereignty of Spain in the Republics of South and Central America?
      Mr.  OWEN.   I was just going to comment upon that, and I am going  to take but a few moments to do so because I realize the pressure of other matters.   This Holy Alliance, having put a Bourbon  prince upon the throne of  France by force, then used France to suppress the constitution of Spain immediately afterwards, and by this very treaty gave her a subsidy of 20,000,000 francs annually to enable her to wage war upon the people of Spain and to prevent their exercise of any measure of the right of self-government.   The Holy Alliance immediately did the same thing in Italy, by sending Austrian troops to Italy, where the people there attempted to exercise a like measure of liberal constitutional self-government ;  and it was not until the printing press, which the Holy Alliance so stoutly opposed, taught the people of Europe the value of liberty that finally one country after another seized a greater and greater right of self government, until now it may be fairly said that nearly all the nations of Europe have a very large measure of self government.    However, I wish to call the attention of the Senate and the country to this important history in the growth of  constitutional popular self-government.    The Holy Alliance made its powers felt by the wholesale drastic suppression of the press in Europe, by universal censorship, by killing free speech and all ideas of popular rights, and by the complete suppression of popular government.    The Holy Alliance having destroyed popular government in Spain and in Italy, had well-laid plans also to destroy popular government in the American colonies which had revolted from Spain and Portugal in Central and South America under the influence of the successful example of the United States.    It was because of this conspiracy against the American Republics by the European monarchies that the great English statesman, Canning, called the attention of our government to it, and our statesmen then, including Thomas Jefferson, took an active part to bring about the declaration by President Monroe in his next annual message to the Congress of the United States that the United States should regard it as an act of hostility to the government of the United States and an unfriendly act if this coalition or if any power of Europe ever undertook to establish upon the American Continent any control of  any American Republic or to acquire any territorial rights.    This is the so-called Monroe doctrine.    The threat under the secret treaty of Verona to suppress popular governments in the American Republics is the basis of the Monroe doctrine.    This secret treaty sets forth clearly the conflict between monarchial government and popular government and the government of the few as against the government of the many.    It is a part, in reality, of developing popular sovereignty when we demand for women equal rights to life, to liberty, to the possession of property, to an equal voice in the making of the laws and the administration of the laws.    This demand on the part of the women is made by men, and it ought to be made by men as well as by thinking, progressive women, as it will promote human liberty and human happiness.    I sympathize with it, and I hope that all parties will in the national conventions give their approval to this larger measure of liberty to the better half of the human race.  


Monday, November 17, 2014

An In-Depth Look at the U.S. Cyber war, the Military Alliance and its Pitfalls

Read more:

Adolfo Nicolas (S.J.) to discuss refugee issues

Marking 34 years of JRS, Jesuit Fr Superior Adolfo Nicolás to discuss refugee issues

November 17, 2014

In commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the founding of Jesuit Refugee Service

JRS International and Centro Astalli announce the colloquium:
Hospitality on the frontiers

5 p.m., Thursday
20 November 2014
Aula della Congregazione, Curia Generalizia of the Society of Jesus
Borgo Santo Spirito 4

(Rome) November 17, 2014 — Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will discuss the challenges of the reception of refugees with Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See.

It will be an opportunity explore the concept of refugee reception, borders and asylum. The meeting, also coinciding with International Children's Day, will dedicate space to discussing the education of refugee minors, one of the principal areas of intervention of the Jesuit Refugee Service worldwide.

The colloquium will be introduced by Fathers Peter Balleis S.J., JRS International Director, and Camillo Ripamonti S.J., Centro Astalli Director, followed by testimonies by Tareq Al Jabr, a Syrian refugee living in Italy and Fr Mourad Abu Seif, a Jesuit from Aleppo, who will speak of the war tearing apart Syria and its people.

Fr Balleis: "Having fled persecution and violence, refugees search for safety and hospitality which makes it possible for them and their hosts to build a common future. More than 30 years of experience has convinced us that hospitality opens doors and makes that possible. We are talking about a practical hospitality, food, shelter, education. It is through education that generations of refugee children can have the opportunities offered to others; to build communities of peace and respect for difference.

Fr Ripamonti: "Refugees today face terrible dangers trying to reach Europe. They risk everything to exercise their right to live in freedom and dignity in peaceful and democratic societies. Let's put an end to this futile fear and welcome those fleeing war and persecution who seek protection. Let's make Europe a place of asylum. The Mediterranean should once again become a European sea, which unites peoples and cultures."

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) programs are found in 50 countries, providing assistance to: refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities, and to those held in detention centers. The main areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services.

At the end of 2013, JRS employed approximately 1,400 staff: lay, Jesuits and other religious to meet the education, health, social and other needs of nearly 950,000 refugees and IDPs, more than half of whom are women. Services are provided to refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.

Centro Astalli is the Italian office of Jesuit Refugee Service. Established in 1981, its headquarters are based on via degli Astalli in Rome. Accompaniment of refugees and the sharing of their experience is central to all the services offered by Centro Astalli, from reception for recent arrivals to advocacy and public awareness activities. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of more than 450 volunteers, Centro Astalli provided services to more than 34,300 forced migrants in Rome, Vicenza, Trento, Catania and Palermo, nearly 21,000 in Rome alone.

Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs


Washington DC: Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice

Monday 17, November 2014
U.S. Capitol Building
Rally - 9:00am-9:45am

Read more:

Pope Francis announces 2015 visit to the United States of America


Saturday, November 15, 2014

They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.

The Great Controversy,
p. 608.

Black History and The Great Controversy - Marlowe Parks

Published on Oct 7, 2013

This video shows the relationship with the Bible and black history. I learned a lot watching it. Even though the graphics are not that good, you will be surprise(d) in what you find out from this video. This might blow your mind.