Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Cuban Dichotomy: Solemn Mourning in Cuba, and Exuberant Celebration in Miami



These same Cubans if they leave Cuba, they will then condemn the Castro Regime;
But, the Cuban Refugees are not so critical of the Dictatorship when they return for a vacation in their homeland. 


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Retailers observe day of rest Religious convictions not for sale

By JENNIFER RUDE KLETT - Conley News Service

Nov. 25, 2016

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory owners Harry and Mary Schaff purposefully close their downtown Delafield shop on Sundays.
Jennifer Rude Klett/Conley News Service

DELAFIELD — Despite our hyper-commercialized world, there are some thriving retailers bucking the trend to remain open no matter the time or day, specifically Sunday.

These retail rebels stand in stark contrast to most stores held hostage to the seemingly never-ending shopping mentality — every day, extended hours and holidays — incessantly laboring to make a buck.

Hmm .... what would George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” say about our “Pottersville” commercialism? Or Charlie Brown, for that matter?

Of course, the principled entrepreneurs who do rest from the daily grind desire to be successful. But they also seek balance for themselves and their employees. Taking a breather speaks to the limits in life and the religious concept of the Sabbath, despite immense cultural and economic pressures to work constantly.

Some have taken flak from customers for standing by their religious convictions.

For Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 807 Genesee St., Delafield, the hustle stops every Sunday. It is also closed on major holidays, and from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

“Sundays are a day of worship and rest, just the way it was intended to be,” said Harry Schaff, who owns the confectionery with his wife, Mary.

Schaff said the decision has had a “negative financial impact, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally it’s been positive.”

While they receive supportive comments from customers, the complaints often outnumber the praise, especially when they close for three hours on Good Friday, the start of Easter weekend for Christians and a busy candy-buying day.

“Unfortunately, they are missing out on what really matters in life and it just seems to be getting worse all the time,” he said.

Most of Wisconsin’s Sabbath laws, also called blue or Sunday laws, diminished after a state advisory referendum passed on such statutes in 1932. Blue laws require stores to be closed on Sundays to protect it as a day of rest.

Some forms of blue laws still exist. For example, Wisconsin car dealers still cannot open on Sundays. In next-door Minnesota, alcohol cannot be purchased on Sundays.

Observing the Sabbath

The Judeo-Christian concept of the Sabbath comes from the Old Testament. In the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment reads in part, “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. ... Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God,” (New International Version Holy Bible).

The commandment elevated human beings from being slaves or beasts of burden.

The Book of Genesis also describes God creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.

“Judaism teaches us to take this time to be with family, to study Torah and go to services to pray, to have a special meal together and to take time out from the rat race of our working lives, so that we may refresh ourselves and be ready to start over gain with a clear mind and spiritual body,” said Cantor Deborah Martin from Congregation Emanu-El in Waukesha.

“Not only do we do this for ourselves, but we also do this for our animals, who are not allowed to work either. Animals needs to rest from their labor, just as we do. It is about taking the time to slow down, to connect with family, to connect to God and to connect to ourselves,” she added.

For Jews, the Sabbath is sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Christians traditionally observe the Sabbath on Sundays in accordance with the New Testament. Still, people don’t have to be Christian or Jewish to observe a day of rest.

Choosing a location to establish hours

The Schaffs’ decision to close Sundays partly determined where they opened up shop.

“We selected a location where we could determine our hours of operation. The malls don’t even close on Thanksgiving anymore, which is a shame since we have so much to be thankful for in this country,” Schaff said.

Terri Stine, owner of Fruits Of The Spirit Candles in Waukesha, also avoided a mall situation when locating her hand-poured candle shop.

She said she wanted “total control” over what her hours would be. Plus, downtown Waukesha with Friday Night Live and the farmers market was “very appealing” to her.

“I choose to have my business closed on Sundays because I am a Christian businesswoman and I respect that many community members consider Sunday a day of worship, rest and spending time with their families, as do I,” Stine said.

Stine does not think being closed Sundays affected her bottom line. “I think it is important to place more emphasis on our values, beliefs and relationships, rather than on materialism and making money,” she added.

Transition to Sunday closure a success for Hobby Lobby

Observing the Sabbath in a competitive retail world is not limited to small businesses. Chick-fil-A in Brookfield and Hobby Lobby in Waukesha, Menomonee Falls and West Bend also close on Sundays.

“There is a sign at the front of every Hobby Lobby store that reads, ‘Closed Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship,’” said Bob Miller, communications coordinator for Hobby Lobby.

The decision to close Sundays required serious fortitude for Hobby Lobby. Historically, Sundays had their highest sales-per-hour than any other day.

Miller said profits initially dropped when they phased in the closings. But, he said, once the transition was complete, “the company showed the highest percentage of profit in our history.”

Now, he said, “We constantly get comments from customers thanking us for closing on Sunday. Many tell us they appreciate the company letting the employees have a day of rest.”

No-Sunday hours have also been a big recruitment incentive for potential store managers, he added.


Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Bishop of Rome, and Fidel Castro in Habana, Cuba, November 22, 2015.
Photo (Courtesy)

(The following information was supplied by a friend of the webmaster of .)

This is from Cuba's official website on itself. The specific web page below is the official Cuba biography of Fidel Castro.
Its specific URL is 

Notice carefully from the article below: 

1) Fidel Castro attended three Jesuit institutions. College Lasalle and Colegio Dolores. "Colegio" in Spanish is a high school or junior college.

2) He then attended a Jesuit university for "preparatory" studies--obviously, what we would call a "general studies" program--at Colegio Belen. I say, "general studies," because, after he matriculated from there, he went to law school.

3) Upon graduating from law school he joined the Orthodox or Christian Democrat party. My European readers will instantly recognize that this is the Roman Catholic Party. The first Christian Democrat party was begun in Italy under Pius XI in the 1920's. Pius XI later disbanded that party, to put his full support behind Benito Mussolini and his Fascists. The leader of the Christian Democrat party was then forced into exile, though he and Pope XI remained on good speaking terms. It was in London that this leader met a fellow exile--Avro Manhattan.

Returning to Fidel Castro: Castro was obviously fully working for the Jesuits when he joined the Christian Democrat party as a young lawyer. Not only that: by the time of the Cuban revolution in 1958-59, the Jesuits in Latin America were going fully Marxist-Leninist in ideology, as both Avro Manhattan and a former Jesuit priest, Malachi Martin, well document. Malachi Martin documents how that, in 1963, the Jesuits became fanatic, left-wing Communists, under Pedro Arrupe, himself a Marxist, and a great advocate of Fidel Castro. Martin documents in his book: "The Jesuits and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church" how the Jesuits proceeded to foment Communist revolutions throughout Latin America and Africa, with Castro's aid.

Malachi Martin was himself a Jesuit, but left the Jesuits in 1964, after, while working in the Vatican, he became aware of the fact that the Jesuits, and many high-ranking cardinals, had held a Black Mass in the Vatican. (St Paul's Cathedral.) During this Black Mass, these cardinals and other Jesuits "installed" Lucifer as head of the Church of Rome. It was Malachi Martin's belief that many of the Roman clergy at that time began practicing child molestation as part of their Satanic rites of worship.

That may sound a little "cranky"--but keep in mind that Malachi Martin went on to work as an advisor for two more Popes, though, no longer as a Jesuit. He did textual work on the Dead Sea scrolls--was an authority on the Semitic languages. (I have a picture of Malachi Martin sitting between Pope John Paul I, the murdered Pope, and the Pope's assistant, Diego Lorenzi. That picture was taken in 1978, long after Martin had left the Jesuits. The picture is in David Yallop's excellent expose of the murder of John Paul I and the Vatican Bank scandal, called "In God's Name." I highly recommend that book.)

Back to Castro and Communist Cuba: the "Calvary Contender," an independent online Baptist periodical, reports that Henry Morris, the writer of the Genesis Flood, says that the Pope recently visited Cuba. He and Castro shared the same podium. Pope John Paul II sounded as Communist as Castro.

Here is a blurb from the Calvary Contender:


Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II met last Nov.

Cuba is overwhelmingly Catholic.

Catholics are allowed to join its officially atheist Communist Party.

The Pope sounds very Castro-esque in his frequent condemnations of capitalism, consumerism and the suffering of the poor (11/19 HT). He told the Nov. UN World Food Summit that the imbalance between the rich and poor ("the haves and have-nots"?) cannot be tolerated. "

That link is at 

Notice above very carefully:

1) Cuba is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

2) Roman Catholics are allowed to join the atheist Communist Party.

3) Fidel Castro himself is a graduate of several Jesuit institutions, and is in good standing with the Pope.

4) He was a member of the Roman Catholic Christian Democrat party before starting his Marxist/Leninist revolution.

AlbertO Rivera, the former Jesuit priest who became a Protestant preacher, said that Castro is a fourth-degree, professed Jesuit. The circumstantial evidence strongly corroborates that statement.

Here is Castro's official biography from


Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926.

Fidel Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926, on his family's sugar plantation near Biran, Oriente province, Cuba. His father, originally an immigrant laborer from Galicia, Spain, became owner of a 23,000-acre plantation.

As a boy, Castro worked in the family's sugar cane fields and, at 6 years old, convinced his parents to send him to school. He attended two Jesuit institutions, the Colegio Lasalle and the Colegio Dolores, both in Santiago. In 1942 he entered the Colegio Belen, a Jesuit preparatory school in Havana. He was voted the school's best athlete in 1944.

In 1945 Castro attended the University of Havana's Faculty of Law, and having earned a law degree, went into practice in 1950 in Havana with two partners. As a lawyer he devoted himself to helping the poor.

Castro was a member of the Ortodoxo Party, a social-democrat party, and strongly criticized the government of Fulgencio Batista.

Castro intended to campaign for a parliamentary seat in the election of 1952 but General Fulgencio Batista overthrew the government of President Carlos Prio Socarras in a coup d'etat and canceled the election. Castro went to court and charged the dictator with violating the constitution. The court rejected Castro's petition. With no legal recourse left, Castro organized an armed attack by 165 men on the Moncada Barracks in Oriente province on July 26, 1953. That attack and the one on Bayamo garrison failed completely. Half the attackers were killed; Castro and his brother Raul were taken prisoner and given a trial. He made his famous speech, "History Will Absolve Me". Sentenced to 15 years, he was pardoned after just two in a general amnesty on May 15, 1955.

Castro tried unsuccessfully to oppose the military dictatorship by peaceful. He then went into exile in Mexico, where he trained and assembled the 26th of July Movement. He gained support from Che Guevara and others before leaving aboard the Granma to invade Cuba in 1956.

Returning to Cuba, the revolutionaries hid in the Sierra Maestra mountains, gaining support among the peasants. Eventually, Batista was forced to flee in 1959 and Castro took over. Castro became a committed Marxist-Leninist who nationalized industry, confiscated property owned by non-Cubans, collectivized agriculture, and enacted policies to benefit laborers and peasants. Many of the middle class fled the country, some establishing a large, active anti-Castro community in Miami, Florida. The United States Government tried various schemes to assassinate Fidel Castro. CIA made an unsuccessful attempt to destabilize the Castro government. On April 17, 1961, a force of 1,300 Cuban exiles, supported by the CIA, made an unsuccessful attempt to invade Cuba at a southern coastal area called the Bay of Pigs. The assumption was that the invasion would inspire the Cuban population to rise up and overthrow Castro. It was a U.S. miscalculation; the Cuban population supported him. In October, 1962 the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis occurred when the U.S. government discovered the Soviet Union was setting up long-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. These were perceived by the United States as a threat. President Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Cuba that lasted until Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles. Thereafter, U.S.-Cuban relations remained mutually hostile. As a result, Castro became closely aligned with the Soviet Union. The Soviets bought large amounts of sugar and supplied Cuba with economic and military assistance. This money fueled many of Castro's social programs, such as his war on illiteracy and free universal health care. But aligning Cuba with the USSR led to more friction between Cuba and the United States. Castro has also successfully assisted foreign revolutions in Angola and Ethiopia. He was elected the head of Nonaligned Nations Movement and has been a strong critic of US imperialism. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1990 has left Cuba in a difficult position and Castro less of an international figure, though he remains President of Cuba.


Former Jesuit Black Pope (Kolvenbach) dies at 87

Former Jesuit leader who faced stiff tests dies at 87

November 26, 2016


Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach. (Credit: Image courtesy of the Society of Jesus.)
Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, who led the worldwide Jesuit order for a quarter century from 1983 to 2008, and who broke with tradition by voluntarily resigning what had once been a lifetime job, died on Sunday in Beirut four days shy of his 88th birthday.

Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, who led the worldwide Jesuit order for a quarter century from 1983 to 2008, and who broke with tradition by voluntarily resigning what had once been a lifetime job, died on Sunday in Beirut four days shy of his 88th birthday.

An internal Jesuit email broke the news of Kolvenbach’s death and told members that “further information will follow.”

Born in the Netherlands, to a Dutch father and mother of Italian heritage, Kolvenbach did his early Jesuit studies at a college in Nijmegen in the years immediately after World War II.

Kolvenbach spent much of his career in Lebanon, having earned his doctorate in Beirut and being ordained as a priest of the Armenian Catholic Church. At one point he was also the superior of the Jesuits’ Middle East vice-province, which includes Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

From 1964 to 1976, Kolvenbach taught general and Oriental linguistics both in Europe and Beirut. Eventually he was appointed Professor of General Linguistics and Armenian at Université de Saint-Joseph, and after that served as rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.

Kolvenbach took over leadership of the Jesuits at a sensitive moment, after St. Pope John Paul II set aside the order’s constitutions by imposing his own interim team - in part because the then-superior, Father Pedro Arrupe, had suffered a stroke, but also because Arrupe’s strongly pro-social justice and church reform orientation was seen by critics as having made the Jesuits something akin to John Paul’s in-house opposition.

Over his tenure as the “Black Pope,” Kolvenbach generally tried to stay out of the limelight, but at times found himself handling delicate situations such as the Vatican investigation of Belgian Jesuit theologian Father Jacques Dupuis.

Kolvenbach tried to work some back-room diplomacy but still saw Dupuis’ work criticized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI.

Over time, Kolvenbach was credited with having managed to win back the trust of John Paul II and his Vatican team, without alienating the more liberal members of the order.

In 2006, Kolvenbach informed his fellow Jesuits that with permission of then-Pope Benedict XVI, he would resign his office two years later. Benedict himself, of course, would follow suit a few years later, resigning the papacy.

Upon retirement Kolvenbach returned to Beirut, making his home in a Jesuit community in the city.

Pope Francis grieves, prays for atheist revolutionary Castro

November 26, 2016

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said the death of Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was "sad news" and that he was grieving and praying for his repose.

Francis expressed his condolences in a Spanish-language message to Fidel's brother, President Raul Castro on Saturday.

The pope, who met Fidel Castro when he visited Cuba last year, said he had received the "sad news" and added: "I express to you my sentiments of grief."

Fidel Castro, who was a professed atheist, was baptized as a Catholic and educated in schools run by the Jesuits, the religious order of which the pope is a member.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Raw: Pope Francis' Last Mass Of Cuba Trip

Speaking at Mass in Cuba's holiest shrine, with President Raul Castro attending, Pope Francis calls on Catholics to "build bridges, sow reconciliation." (Sept. 22)


Poultry farmers urged to be vigilant for bird flu as disease creeps through Europe - Farming UK News

Poultry farmers urged to be vigilant for bird flu as disease creeps through Europe - Farming UK News: Government is urging poultry keepers to follow good biosecurity practices to minimise contact with wild birds and to be vigilant for signs of Avian Influenza


Work-Life-Balance 4.0 – Challenges in a time of digitalisation



Press Release

Per la versione italiana del messaggio, si prega di cliccare qui.

Para la versión en español del mensaje, por favor haga clic aquí.

2016/11/15 On 15th November 2016 the European Sunday Alliance organized its third European conference this time on “Work-Life-Balance 4.0 – Challenges in a time of digitalisation” at the European Economic and Social Committee. During the day over 100 participants discussed how digitalisation will impact all aspects of our lives and how a healthy work-life-balance can be secured.

On this occasion the European Sunday Alliance also launched a Resolution for a better work-life-balance and synchronized free time in the age of digitalisation. The Resolution is aimed at activating civil society and politicians to use the opportunities for a better work-life-balance and to limit the risks created by digitalisation for the benefit of all European citizens. The Resolution is still open for signature.

Luca Jahier, President of Group III of the European Economic and Social Committee and a supporter of the European Sunday Alliance from the very beginning, opened the conference, together with the Members of the European Parliament Evelyn Regner (S&D) and Thomas Mann (EPP).

During the conference Thomas Mann highlighted that “work-life-balance is a crucial factor in the debate on Health and Safety at Work”. “We have to defend workers against the philosophy of the always-available employee. Our message to the institutions: We stand for a work-free day for all European citizens! I demand to establish the Sunday as work-free day within the working time directive revision!” Evelyn Regner added that “Digitalisation brings new opportunities but it also contains risks for a healthy work-life-balance. Workers must be able to disconnect in their home life. The right to have breaks, to be unavailable during leisure time and to have at least one work-free day per week has to be secured for all workers in Europe. To achieve all this, we need a fair distribution of work and profits.”

The framework of the conference was set by Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society. He addressed in his keynote speech the transformation and future of work and societies in Europe caused by digitalisation. He reminded the participants that it would be impossible to stop the evolution of technology, but that one would need to assess how one can use this evolvement for the benefit of employers and employees. He added that the focus on the impact of digitalisation on industry was too short-sighted. Digitalisation would change the working world and would further increase the flexibilisation of work. This would improve the reconciliation of work and private life on the one hand. On the other hand, one could not expect everybody to be available at all times. A right to switch off our mobile phones is needed but also an obligation to switch off. He stressed that a right to be unavailable and a right to an end of the work day is required.

On the first panel four speakers discussed “New forms of employment - Flexibilisation of working time”. Irene Mandl, Eurofound, explained from a research perspective that digitalisation will have structural effects on the world of labour, e.g. by making more home offices possible, which will support labour market integration, but which can also produce more social isolation. The effects envisaged are still ambivalent. Phillip von Eberhard,Consultant for Digital Transformation and Intrapreneurship of established business models, emphasized that companies would have to adapt to digitalisation since the current business models would not be future-proofed. While he highlighted the possibilities for a better work-life-balance due to flexiblisation through the digitalisation of work; Delphine Latawiec, National Centre of Employees Belgium/UNI Europa Commerce, stressed that not all employees could choose their working place or time. Flexibility could truly improve the work-life-balance only of specific groups of workers. However, in particular low skilled workers would require additional protection. Baudouin Baudru, member of Cabinet of Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, assured that the Commission was currently working to ensure that the legal and policy framework would be fit for purpose. He announced that the Commission will publish the European Pillar of social rights and a work-life-balance package in March 2017 to improve the social dimension of the European Union.

The second panel focused on the topic “Life beyond work and digitalisation – The need for unavailability”. Evelyn Regner, Member of the European Parliament, underlined the value of breaks; not only for the employees but also for the productivity and creativity of companies. She was endorsed by H. E. Dr Bruno Feillet, Auxiliary Bishop of Reims. Since everyone has to play different roles and life is tense; it will become increasingly difficult to get a break. Digitalisation has the potential to bring families together e.g. via Skype and would facilitate access to knowledge. Yet, digital devices would also keep people from speaking with each other, with people too often focused on their smart phones instead on their interlocutors. What it means to be a crowd worker was described by Hector Saz, a specialist teleoperator from Spain. Most crowd workers would work in a-typical working conditions, only part-time, during non-typical working hours and are paid badly. The majority of workers in these sectors are young and unskilled; they have more than one job to earn enough money to live on which would make reconciliation almost impossible. Hannes Kreller, Alliance for the Free Sunday Germany, stressed the importance of synchronized free time to participate in a social life, in sports or culture. Everybody is doing yoga or fitness today to find an individual way to escape the so-called “rat race”. However, what is needed is a common and consistent approach to work-life-balance for the whole of society. Digitalisation could create new forms of societal engagement and activism said Ingo Dachwitz,Editor of and youth delegate in the Synod of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD). He remarked that an in-depth societal debate about how digitalisation impacts our life and what values we want embodied in digital technology is still missing as well as a proper digital education.



BREAKING: Fidel Castro Dies, Cuba Fidel Castro is Dead at age 90

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Sabbath

Black Friday Fights Caught on Video! (2016 COMPILATION)

HEBREWS 4 : Sabbath Rest -- Bill Hughes

Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse

NOVEMBER 25, 2016

Migrants preparing to board the smugglers’ boats that will take them from Venezuela to Curaçao.

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao — The dark outlines of land had just come into view when the smuggler forced everyone into the sea.

Roymar Bello screamed. She was one of 17 passengers who had climbed onto the overloaded fishing boat with aging motors in July, hoping to escape Venezuela’s economic disaster for a new life on the Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Afraid of the authorities, the smuggler refused to land. Ms. Bello said he gruffly ordered her and the others into the water, pointing toward the distant shore. In the panic, she was tossed overboard, tumbling into the predawn blackness.

But Ms. Bello could not swim.

SDA Leaders Support Gay Chaplain’s Ordination; Thanksgiving Proclamation...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


KTF News : Sunday Traditions need to be Restored

EU bishops back Pillar of Social Rights, call for recognition of Sunday Rest

Catholic World News

November 23, 2016

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) have renewed their support of the European Pillar of Social Rights, an EU document on labor, education, and other social issues.

In recent comments on the draft document, COMECE called for a recognition of Sunday rest.

“As in times of digitalization of the economy, the boundaries between private and work-life become increasingly blurred, COMECE proposes to incorporate decent working hours and the right to a common weekly day of rest,” the bishops’ commission stated. “This day should be in principal the Sunday, which is recognized by tradition and custom in most of the member states or regions.”

The bishops added:

The economic and financial crisis has shaken the firm belief of Europe growing together. It has showed that without cooperation and dialogue at EU and global level, the nation state alone is no longer able to address the pressing social and economic challenges of our societies. In a globalized economy, COMECE therefore hopes that the European Pillar of Social Rights will renew social convergence in Europe and contribute to the creation of a culture that “drives globalization towards the humanizing goal of solidarity.

COMECE contribution to a European Pillar of Social Rights (COMECE)
Full text (COMECE)
Towards a European Pillar of Social Rights (EU)
Bishops’ commission welcomes forthcoming EU document on social rights (CWN, 3/16)



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pope Francis signs Apostolic Letter 'Misericordia et misera' 20 November...

Titanic - The Mother Ship of the Jesuit Led Counter Reformation

Nomi Prins Explains The Central Bankers' Game of Thrones

An Institute to be Built After Madison

Blessed are they that Wash their Robes

November 22

Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14, R.V.

Do we expect to get to heaven at last and join the heavenly choir? Just as we go into the grave we will come up, as far as the character is concerned.... Now is the time for washing and ironing....

John saw the throne of God and around that throne a company, and he inquired, Who are these? The answer came, “These are they which ... have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Christ leads them to the fountains of living waters, and there is the tree of life and there is the precious Saviour. Here is presented to us a life that measures with the life of God. There is no pain, sorrow, sickness, or death there. All is peace and harmony and love....

Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth and they will enter in. The conflict is ended.

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Do we want this benediction? I do, and I believe you do. May God help you that you may fight the battles of this life and gain a victory day by day and at last be among the number that shall cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet and touch the golden harps and fill all heaven with sweetest music. I want you to love my Jesus.... Do not reject my Saviour, for He has paid an infinite price for you. I see in Jesus matchless charms, and I want you to see these charms.

Maranatha, p.334

New Quake Tests Resilience, and Faith, in Japan’s Nuclear Plants

Asia Pacific

Officers at the Fukushima prefectural office gathered data on Tuesday following an earthquake that hit the area.



NOVEMBER 22, 2016

TOKYO — There was no avoiding fearful memories of the Japanese nuclear disaster of 2011 on Tuesday morning after a powerful earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Fukushima caused a cooling system in a nuclear plant to stop, leaving more than 2,500 spent uranium fuel rods at risk of overheating.

But this time, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, the utility that operates three nuclear plants, restored the cooling pump at the Fukushima Dainiplant in about an hour and a half. The Daini plant is about seven miles south of Fukushima Daiichi, the ruined plant where three reactors melted down five years ago after tsunami waves inundated the power station and knocked out backup generators.

Tepco reported that it never lost power at either the Daini plant or its neighbor to the north after the Tuesday quake, which had a magnitude of 7.4, according to the Japanese weather service. “We took the regular actions that we should take when handling troubles,” Yuichi Okamura, acting general manager of the nuclear power division at Tepco, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The company was prepared for even bigger tsunamis, having built sea walls rising to about 46 feet at the Fukushima plants and enclosing backup generators in waterproof facilities, Mr. Okamura said.

Critics of Tepco, which struggled to keep on top of a crisis that unfolded over the weeks that followed the calamity in 2011, said they were relieved that there had been no immediate damage. But they said they remained skeptical that the company had done enough to prepare for a disaster on the scale of the earthquake five years ago. That quake, which had a magnitude of 8.9, set off tsunami waves as high as 130 feet in some places. (The highest waves on Tuesday reached about 55 inches.)

“It looks like the right things have been done,” said Azby Brown, director of theFuture Design Institute at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and a volunteer researcher with SafeCast, an independent radiation-monitoring group. “But you never know until something happens. As far as this morning goes, they did a decent job, but mainly because it wasn’t that big of an earthquake or that big of a tsunami.”

Building higher sea walls, for example, “is all good, but that is like fighting the last war,” Mr. Brown said. “It remains to be seen how well prepared they would be for some other unusual combination of disasters.”

Compared with five years ago, Tepco has improved its communication with the public, reporting information about the cooling pump at Daini almost as it happened on Tuesday morning.

The company also quickly said that it had suspended the treatment and transfer of contaminated water from the Daiichi plant, where an extensive cleanup and decommissioning process is underway. By the evening, those operations had been restored.

“What I can say is today’s response was decent and they seemed to be confident,” said Tatsujiro Suzuki, director of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University. But, he said, it would be difficult to independently verify Tepco’s claims because the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority depends on the company to release information.

The Fukushima Daini nuclear plant after the earthquake hit on Tuesday.


He added that he was not convinced that Tepco was being fully transparent about its decisions, particularly about the cleanup at the Daiichi plant. “We should be informed fully whether this operation is reasonably done with cost effectiveness and safety and making sure that the best technology is being used,” Mr. Suzuki said.

Daisuke Maeda, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said the agency had offices on the sites of the nuclear plants and worked with Tepco and other utility companies on Tuesday to confirm that the power stations were safe after the earthquake.

Regarding the longer-term situation, nuclear experts expressed concern about the safety of the cleanup operation at the Daiichi plant.

The melted cores of three reactors have yet to be removed as they are still too radioactive for workers to approach. Since the 2011 disaster, groundwater seeps into the reactors daily. The water, contaminated by the melted fuel rods, needs to be treated and stored on site. So far, Tepco has built more than 880 tanks of about 1,000 tons each.

The tanks are inspected four times a day to confirm that they do not leak, said Mr. Okamura of Tepco. And in an effort to halt the flood of groundwater into the damaged buildings, the company has built an underground wall of frozen dirt nearly a mile in length encircling the reactors. The wall is not yet fully frozen, though, and groundwater continues to flow into the reactors.

Critics worry that the sea walls or storage tanks might not withstand a more powerful earthquake or tsunami. And Tuesday’s incident at the Daini reactor showed that quakes can set off problems even at plants that are not operating.

Most of the country’s 54 plants remain closed since the 2011 disaster, but the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to restart most of them.

A majority of the Japanese public is opposed to such a move. Candidates for governor who ran campaigns opposed to the revival have won elections in recent months in two prefectures that host nuclear plants.

According to the Nikkei Shimbun, a Japanese daily, Fumio Sudo, the chairman of Tepco, and Naomi Hirose, the company’s president, were planning to meet on Tuesday with one of those governors, Ryuichi Yoneyama of Niigata, to try to persuade him to support a restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant there. Mr. Sudo and Mr. Hirose returned to Tokyo after the earthquake.

Kiyoshi Kurokawa, who oversaw an independent investigation on the Fukushima nuclear accident for the Japanese Parliament, said that building walls and storage tanks failed to solve the underlying problem of an earthquake-prone country relying on nuclear power. Instead, he said, both the government and utility companies should invest in developing alternative sources of power like solar or wind technology.

“I think we expect more of such readjusting plate movements and that has been reasonably predicted, and many volcanic activity and earthquakes have been rampant over the last five years,” said Mr. Kurokawa, an adjunct professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. “So why are we continuing to restart nuclear plants?”

Makiko Inoue and Hisako Ueno contributed reporting


Monday, November 21, 2016

The Last Crisis

Sen. Chuck Schumer announces that he will lead a renewed push for the passage of legislation, the Denying Firearms and Explosive to Dangerous Terrorists Act on Sunday.
(Kevin C. Downs/for New York Daily News)


We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.

The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails.

The enemy has succeeded in perverting justice and in filling men's hearts with the desire for selfish gain.

"Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14. In the great cities there are multitudes living in poverty and wretchedness, well-nigh destitute of food, shelter, and clothing; while in the same cities are those who have more than heart could wish, who live luxuriously, spending their money on richly furnished houses, on personal adornment, or worse still, upon the gratification of sensual appetites, upon liquor, tobacco, and other things that destroy the powers of the brain, unbalance the mind, and debase the soul. The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion men are piling up colossal fortunes.

Holy Mass closing the Jubilee of Mercy

Pope Francis Grants All Priests The Ability To Forgive Abortions


November 21, 20167:36 AM ET


Pope Francis closes the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday in Vatican City, marking the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis has declared that abortion, which remains a "grave sin" in the eyes of the Catholic Church, can be forgiven by ordinary priests for the foreseeable future — instead of requiring the intervention of a bishop.

The change was implemented on a temporary basis, for one year only, as part of the Catholic Church's "Year of Mercy," which began last December and ended on Sunday.

In a letter released on Monday, the pope announced that the change was being extended indefinitely.

"I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life," the pope wrote in the letter. "In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation."

"Because the Roman Catholic Church holds abortion to be such a serious sin, it had long put the matter of granting forgiveness for it in the hands of a bishop, who could either hear the woman's confession himself or delegate that to a priest who was expert in such situations," The Associated Press explains.

In the U.S., Catholic News Service reports, most bishops have routinely granted the faculty to their priests, but the Year of Mercy made the permission universal.

In the letter released Monday, the pope indicated he was extending the ability to absolve abortions "lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God's forgiveness."


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vatican expert: Sources say Pope Francis ‘boiling with rage’ over Amoris criticism

Pope Francis celebrates the opening Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at St. Peter's Basilica on October 5, 2014.John-Henry Westen /


Fri Nov 18, 2016 - 10:59 am EST

Vatican expert: Sources say Pope Francis ‘boiling with rage’ over Amoris criticism

Claire Chretien

VATICAN CITY, November 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis is "boiling with rage" over formal criticism of Amoris Laetitia from four cardinals, according to a Vatican insider.

The National Catholic Register's Edward Pentin told EWTN's The World Over Live that "sources within Santa Marta" say "that the Pope is not happy at all" and is "boiling with rage."

"I do understand from sources within Santa Marta that the pope is not happy at all," said Pentin. "In fact, he's...boiling with rage. He's really not happy at all with this."

The pope's rage is reportedly over a dubia, or formal request, from four cardinals that he clarify whether his controversial exhortation is at odds with Catholic moral teaching. Pope Francis didn't respond for two months, so the cardinals went public with their concern.

Now, in a new interview with Avvenire, Pope Francis is rebuking the "legalism" of Amoris Laetitia critics.

“Some, as with certain responses to Amoris Laetitia, persist in seeing only white or black, when rather one ought to discern in the flow of life," the pontiff said.

However, he denied being bothered by this. The criticism is "not making me lose any sleep" he told Avvenire. "Sometimes criticisms...are not honest, they are driven by a mean spirit to incite divisions."

In a tweet Friday morning, Pentin said his source "reconfirmed" the comment:


By whose stripes ye were healed

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 Peter 2:19-25.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Prophecy Update 11-11-16

Pope,Obama,Media:Shun Preachers of Revelation,Conspiracy Theorists; Evan...

WW3: ZIONISM vs ISLAM : ALBERT PIKE Predicted All 3 World Wars

The Pope to the Christian World Communions delegation: ecumenism of prayer, journeying and blood,


This morning, before the general audience and in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall, the Pope received in audience the participants in the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, the international ecumenical association that meets annually in October, each year in a different country, to improve mutual awareness. It is made up of the Anglican Communion, the World Baptist Alliance, the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Eastern Orthodox), General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the World Lutheran Foundation, the Mennonite World Conference, the Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, the Patriarchate of Moscow (Eastern Orthodox), the Pentecostals, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Catholic Church), the Reformed Ecumenical Council, the Salvation Army, the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), the World Convention of Churches of Christ, the World Evangelical Alliance and the World Methodist Council. A representative of the World Council of Churches is also usually present.

In his brief address, the Pope referred to two phrases used by the Head of the Delegation: “Jesus is with us”, and “Jesus is journeying with us”. “These phrases made me reflect, and they pose two questions: am I capable of believing that Jesus is with us? Am I capable of journeying with all, together, and also with Jesus? Often we think that ecumenical work is only that of theologians. It is therefore important that theologians study, they agree, and they express their disagreement: this is very important. But in the meantime ecumenism journeys on. It journeys with Jesus, not ‘my Jesus against your Jesus’, but with our Jesus. The journey is simple: it is consists of prayer, with the help of others. Praying together: the ecumenism of prayer, for each other and all for unity. And then, the ecumenism of work for the many who are in need, for many men and women who today suffer as a result of injustice, wars, these terrible things. … All together, we must help. Love for our neighbour. This is ecumenism. This is already unity. Unity in journeying with Jesus”.

The Holy Father went on to add that there is another form of ecumenism that typifies our age: that of blood. “When terrorists or world powers persecute Christian minorities or Christians”, he observed, “they do not ask: ‘Are you Lutheran? Are you Orthodox? Are you Catholic? Are you Reformed? Are you Pentecostal?’ No. ‘You are Christian’. They recognise one only: the Christian. The enemy is not wrong: he recognises where to find Jesus. And this is the ecumenism of blood. Nowadays we are witnesses to this, and I think of the Orthodox brethren beheaded on the beaches of Libya, for example: they are our brothers. They gave witness to Jesus and they died saying, ‘Jesus, help me!’. With His name: they confessed the name of Jesus”.

“Therefore, ecumenism in prayer, ecumenism in our journey, and the enemy teaches us the ecumenism of blood. Thank you, many thanks for this visit”.



Friday, November 18, 2016

How Jesus Viewed The Sabbath - Walter Veith

Happy Sabbath

Interfaith Engagement and Faithfulness to the Three Angels’ Messages

Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the world church, presents at a United Nations conference in Geneva in June 2016. (United Nations photo)


Bettina Krause

Interfaith Engagement and Faithfulness to the Three Angels’ Messages

An interview with Ganoune Diop, Director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, recently returned from two major international gatherings: a meeting of the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions held in Rome, Italy; and, the African Council of Religious Leaders, Religions for Peace which took place in Abuja, Nigeria.

He sat down with PARL Communication director, Bettina Krause, to talk about why he accepts invitations to represent the Adventist Church at these and many other similar events.

Bettina Krause: Your travel schedule is filled with a wide range of different meetings, including religious gatherings, events sponsored by international organizations such as the United Nations, and visits with secular and political leaders. Why does PARL engage with groups and individuals such as these?

Ganoune Diop: The first two words in the name of our department — “Public Affairs” — succinctly describes a core part of our mission. In all our activities, we seek to position the church to a standing of visibility, credibility, trust, and relevance in the public sphere. That means being prepared to share the mission and values of the Adventist Church with anyone, whether a public official or representative of another faith group. Our department here at the General Conference, and each PARL director in every world church division, has this responsibility of working to shape public perceptions of our church, and forming helpful relationships with people of influence in society.

Ganoune Diop,Jeffrey Rosario,Light Bearers Falsify EG White To Support E...

Pat Harvey Exclusive: Transgender Woman Freezes Eggs In Hopes Of Being Dad Someday « CBS Los Angeles

For Pope Francis, Trump’s Vilification of Others Is a Form of Terrorism


For Pope Francis, Trump’s Vilification of Others Is a Form of Terrorism

Donald Trump has poisoned the political climate of liberal democracies. His victory encourages dangerous voices in Europe.


STOCKHOLM ― Since Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S., I am losing sleep. Not least because Trump never seems to be sleeping. During the campaign, he was up in the wee hours, tweeting at people who had slighted him ever so little. Now that he’s been elected, he is still at it.

Of course, I know as little as anyone else about whether or not Trump will carry out anything of what he promised to do. It might very well turn out that he has lied about it all and that all he intends to do is as Silvio Berlusconi has ― that is, to make his private business interests the business of the state.

What we do know for certain is that Trump’s victorious election campaign has poisoned the political climate of liberal democracies. We have been shown that defamation, hatred and lying can be a road to power. The outcome of the U.S. election is a clear message to the burgeoning populist and xenophobic parties of Europe that hate and fear-mongering is a winning concept and that they henceforth should feel free to smear, vilify and incite without any fear of transgressing the “politically correct” borders of decency and shame.

We have been shown that defamation, hatred and lying can be a road to power.

You might think that there are no such borders left to transgress in the Europe of Jimmie Åkesson, Viktor Orbán, Jarosław Kaczyński and Marine Le Pen, but Trump has arguably taken the rhetoric a bit farther down that road than anyone in a similar position in Europe. The political fallout from Trump’s victory might be more devastating for Europe than for America. We know only too well what the rhetoric of fear, vilification and hatred once did to the democracies of Europe. The Nazis didn’t come into power with guns but with words.

In a recent interview in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, Pope Francis spoke of slander and vilification as a form of terrorism. I find this a very apt description for what we saw in action in the U.S. election campaign. Once again, this world spiritual leader uses the words and gestures of faith and trust to resist the words and gestures of fear and hatred.

“Every human being is capable of turning into a terrorist simply by just abusing language,” the Pope told the Swedish daily. “You see, I am not speaking here about fighting a battle as in a war. I am speaking of a deceitful and hidden form of terrorism that uses words as bombs that explode, causing devastation in peoples’ lives. It is a sort of criminality and the root of it is original sin. It is a way of creating space for yourself by destroying others.”
The political fallout from Trump’s victory might be more devastating for Europe than for America.

With Trump’s election, we are again learning that democracy ultimately depends on the people, the demos, having a democratic disposition and that the terrorism of vilification is a weapon in the hands of those who intend to weaken and demolish it.

I will now think of all the Americans that didn’t vote for Trump (the majority, in fact) and try to get some sleep.

Is Sunday a Good Day to Send a Marketing Email?


November 16, 2016

Ah, Sundays. A day of rest. A perfect day to relax, kick up your feet, watch some football or venture outdoors. Pop on some comfy clothes and let your mind drift away from your hectic week. Sunday is when everyone detaches from their laptops and cell phones. Why would you send a marketing email on Sunday? No one will open it or click on your offer. Or will they?

We analyzed our email metrics from the past year. We came across something interesting. Sunday has actually performed pretty well for open and click rates. It ranks in the top three for open rates and is number one for for click-through rate.

Is this a real phenomenon? Is this something others are experiencing? Was our data biased? Was it consistent with other findings? We decided to do some digging.

It’s Not Just Our Data

We found some interesting data that backs us up. A 2014 study by GetResponse and Dan Zarella found that opens and clicks were highest on Saturdays and Sundays. The data is based on an Experian email study and Dan Zarella’s book The Science of Marketing.

It’s not just a small difference. Saturdays and Sundays outperform other days by a dramatic amount. Something is going on here.

Other Day Says Otherwise, Kinda

A report by MailerMailer shows that we may be off on open rates. The chart below shows that Sunday has a lower than average open rate. But, true to the GetResponse data, Sunday’s click rate outperforms the rest. So, we think we have something here.


So What’s Going On?

Well, it’s safe to say that something’s up with Sunday. Why are people more apt to at click links in an email? There’s no definitive, scientific answer here, but we have some thoughts.

Less Competition

Like all marketers, we like benchmarks. Most of has have been trained to send emails at the optimal day and time of the week. But, this means we’re all sending emails at the same time. This is usually between Monday and Thursday (see the chart below based on a study by Experian). More volume means more competition. More competition means it’s harder to get the attention of your target customer.


9-5 Ain’t What it Used To Be

With technology, working 9-to-5 Monday to Friday is a thing of the past. Traditional work schedules are changing. And so emailing people around a traditional work week structure may be the wrong way to look at things. Sunday, the day when we disconnect from our devices and our work, may be a myth.

It’s Sunday, I Have Time

During the week, people are busy. Yes, they may have time to open your email. But, that’s about it. Who cares about opens. We want action. On a Sunday, your customer may have more time to click and take action.

It’s Sunday, I’m Happier

Your target customer may just be in a better mood on Sunday. It’s probably a good time to send them an email.
The Annoyance Factor

Before launching a Sunday campaign, consider the annoyance factor. Receiving an email on a Sunday may be annoying to part of your audience. Are you bothered by a Sunday email from a colleague? Chances are you’d feel the same way about an email from a brand. Think hard about your audience and message before sending that Sunday email.

Start with a Test

So should you send a Sunday email to your marketing list? Yes, but better to start with a test. For your next campaign, spread your list out over 7 days and see what day works best. But don’t just test opens and clicks. Measure web engagement and conversions. 4 conversions on 10 clicks is much better than 3 conversions on 20.

We wish you good luck with that Sunday email campaign. Remember that sometimes marketing is bobbing when everyone else is weaving. While everyone’s bobbing during the week with their emails, try a weave and send that Sunday email.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Secretive Organization Pays Tab For Mayor Emanuel’s Trip To Rome « CBS Chicago

The Message for Today

The message we bear must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. He rebuked the adultery of Herod. Notwithstanding his life was in peril, the truth did not languish upon his lips. And our work in this age must be as faithfully done. The inhabitants of the world at this time are represented by the dwellers upon the earth at the time of the Flood. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the old world is plainly stated: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God became weary of these people whose only thoughts were of pleasure and indulgence. They sought not the counsel of the God who had created them, nor cared to do His will. The rebuke of God was upon them because they followed the imagination of their own hearts continually; and there was violence in the land. “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:6, 12, 13)....

There are special duties to be done, special reproofs to be given in this period of the earth's history. The Lord will not leave His church without reproofs and warnings. Sins have become fashionable; but they are none the less aggravating in the sight of God. They are glossed over, palliated, and excused; the right hand of fellowship is given to the very men who are bringing in false theories and false sentiments, confusing the minds of the people of God, deadening their sensibilities as to what constitutes right principles. Conscience has thus become insensible to the counsels and the reproofs which have been given. The light given, calling to repentance, has been extinguished in the clouds of unbelief and opposition brought in by human plans and human inventions.

It is living earnestness that God requires. Ministers may have little learning from books; but if they do the best they can with their talents, if they work as they have opportunity, if they clothe their utterances in the plainest and most simple language, if they are humble men who walk in carefulness and humility, seeking for heavenly wisdom, working for God from the heart, and actuated by one predominating motive—love for Christ and the souls for whom He has died—they will be listened to by men of even superior ability and talents. There will be a charm in the simplicity of the truths they present. Christ is the greatest teacher that the world has ever known.

John had not learned in the schools of the rabbis. Yet kings and nobles, Pharisees and Sadducees, Roman soldiers and officers, trained in all court etiquette, wily, calculating taxgatherers, and world-renowned men, listened to his words. They had confidence in his plain statements, and were convicted of sin. They asked of him, “What shall we do?” (Luke 3:14)....

Selected Messages, Book 2, pp.151,152.

Social Justice

Jesuits believe that Christian faith demands a commitment to justice. This means confronting the structures of our world that perpetuate poverty and injustice. As the religious order declared at its 32nd General Congregation in 1975: “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.”

This mission takes many forms, including works of service, justice, dialogue, and advocacy around the world. And it is not without cost: more than 45 Jesuits have been killed for their work on behalf of the poor and marginalized since the declaration of the 32ndGeneral Congregation. Among them are six Jesuit educators who, together with their housekeeper and her daughter, were slaughtered in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 1989, by military officers in El Salvador.

Internationally, perhaps the best-known social justice outreach of the Society of Jesus is the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The agency began in 1980 in response to the plight of Vietnamese Boat People, who fled the country in the wake of the Vietnam War. Today, JRS works in more than 50 countries to meet the urgent needs of those who have been forcibly displaced. Educating children in refugee camps is one response to those needs.

Like all Jesuit social ministries, the refugee work is deeply rooted in Ignatian spirituality, which seeks to find God in all things. Those who pursue this calling see themselves as witnesses to the reality that God is present in human history, even in those tragic episodes when people are driven from their homes by persecution, war, famine, disaster, or economic injustice.

In the United States, the JRS/USA has ministered to the spiritual needs of detained immigrants and refugees. One outgrowth of this effort is the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), a binational ministry. Inaugurated in 2009, KBI offers direct humanitarian assistance and shelter to recently deported migrants in Nogales, Mexico, while providing education, outreach, and advocacy through its work in Nogales, Arizona. KBI seeks to inform and transform local, regional and national immigration policies.

Inspiring Students

An affiliated flagship program is the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Popular among recent college graduates, the volunteers spend a year working on a variety of anti-poverty projects across the United States and in several countries abroad. The Jesuit "charism" or spiritual orientation has also inspired an emerging family of Ignatian justice organizations such as the Ignatian Solidarity Network. This network coordinates justice-related outreach and advocacy efforts among Jesuit schools, parishes, and other institutions.

In addition, Jesuit universities and high schools incorporate the justice dimension into the educational experiences of their students. There are also a number of acclaimed local initiatives led by individual Jesuits. For example, Hopeworks, an inner-city youth training and development organization in Camden, New Jersey, tackles poverty and violence by teaching skills such as Web design and connecting young people with clients and employers while offering trauma-informed psychosocial care. In Los Angeles, another Jesuit-led organization, Homeboy Industries, seeks to offer solutions to youth violence by creating startups that include baking, landscaping, and tattoo-removal businesses. These and other enterprises employ former gang members, offering them hope and alternatives to endemic violence and poverty.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Latest: Pope praises diversity of US Catholics

Associated Press

November 15, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Catholic Bishops meeting (all times local):

3 p.m.

Pope Francis has sent a message to U.S. Roman Catholic bishops praising the diversity of American Catholics and urging church leaders to help break down walls and build bridges.

The message comes just a week after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Trump has called Mexicans criminals and rapists and vowed to deport people in the country illegally.

Francis noted that the church has welcomed waves of immigrants and has benefited from what he called the rich variety of their cultural traditions. He made the statement in a video shown Tuesday to a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Earlier Tuesday, the bishops elected new leaders and put a Mexican-born archbishop in line to be their president three years from now.


9:30 a.m.

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops have chosen a Texas cardinal as their new top leader.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was elected Tuesday as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among his duties will be guiding the bishops' relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was elected vice president. He is the first Latino to hold the post.

The vote occurred Tuesday at the bishops' annual Baltimore meeting. DiNardo succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is completing his three-year term.

The bishops' president does not set conference policy. But the choice of leadership is seen as indicating the direction the bishops want for the American church and how far they've gone toward following the priorities set by Pope Francis.

Trump Paradigm Shift



Frederick Kuo

The unexpected victory of Donald Trump has jolted both American society and the global order like a lightning bolt. As Trump initiates his transition into the White House, an atmosphere of uncertainty, dread and in some parts, hope, abound both domestically and internationally.

An unorthodox demagogue challenged all of the conventions of modern day politics and won. His unpredictability continues to cloud how his incoming administration will change the status quo and the world we live in.

The Year of Populist Rage

The consummate opportunist, Donald Trump, tapped into a deep reservoir of anger at the political establishment and fears in some demographics of a changing society which vaulted him into the presidency. The 2016 election was the year of populist rage, with both major parties facing an unprecedented revolt within their ranks.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump, a brash celebrity businessman, utilized language of demagoguery and plain unfiltered talk to defy all norms of political correctness and public civility which energized his loyal followers who helped him upend the Republican establishment, an establishment, that continued to defy and battle their own candidate up until they were tamed by Trump’s improbable victory on election day. His campaign was often characterized by outbursts of long repressed sentiments of misogyny, xenophobia and racial hostility, causing widespread feelings of disgust and revulsion from the left.

In the Democratic Party, the populist revolt was led by a 75 year old socialist senator from Vermont. Bernie Sanders’ campaign, fueled by anger over the disenfranchisement of the American middle class and the deep corruption that has pervaded Washington, mobilized a passionate base of supporters that nearly defeated the expected crowning of Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee. Bernie Sanders’ rebellion eventually faced insurmountable hostility from the DNC elite who were dogged by allegations of corruption, and only subsided just in time for the Democratic convention.

However, the anger and alienation felt by the Sanders’ crowd eventually came back to haunt Hillary on election day as voter turnout in crucial states was embarrassingly low and working class Whites, who formed a significant part of the Sanders movement, came out largely in support of Trump. Defying the polls, Trump cruised to an Electoral College landslide despite winning far fewer popular votes.

Trump’s victory destroyed the entrenched establishment of both major parties, with the winner now commanding obedience and loyalty of the Republicans, and systematically exiling the leadership of the Democratic Party, which now stands marginalized in all three branches of government and is thrown into utter disarray.

Domestic Turmoil

Donald Trump will be inheriting a deeply divided nation, in the aftermath of one of the most divisive and poisonous elections in history. More than any other, this election has exposed a yawning gap in culture, in worldview, in values between Red and Blue, and at the personal level, has led to increasing alienation and animosity even between family and friends.

The reaction to Trump’s presidency has consisted of massive street protests throughout a large number of American cities, in numbers unseen since the anti-war protests leading up to Bush’s invasion of Iraq. A sense of fear and anger has pervaded the cosmopolitan centers of Blue America, afraid of the consequences of Trump’s presidency for minorities and LGBT rights and leading to the critical mobilization of activist groups determined to challenge him at every step.

It is yet unclear how different Donald Trump the president, will differ from Donald Trump the candidate. Having to now negotiate and govern from the corridors of power in Washington is a world removed from the campaign trail in the rural Midwest.

What is clear, however, is that the tone of his campaign rhetoric which essentially brought the brand of the Alt Right into the mainstream, and the opposition it provoked from the Left, has created a volatile and incendiary atmosphere with a heightened level of distrust and anger at the “other.” Unfortunately, much of this tension has been brewing for years, but the lack of civility of this campaign, and the palpable fear felt by both sides have now brought this yawning cultural divide to the fore.

In order for this deeply divided nation to begin the process of healing, Trump, who many have characterized as an egocentric narcissist, will need tools that he simply lacks, such as a deep understanding of others and the ability to convey a heartfelt assurance to those who are dreading his rise to power. His tweets in response to the protests have done little to allay the near hysteric anger towards his victory.

In addition, it is unclear whether the Republicans, who now dominate all three branches of government, will even need the acquiescence of the opposition to push through some of Trump’s more controversial policies, particularly with regards to immigration and law and order.

#NotMyPresident? #DrainTheSwamp? The REAL Revolution Is Already Here

Obama urges 'course correction' on globalisation

The End of the End of History

Re-published from Foreign Policy, the official magazine of the CFR, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN REALTIONS.


Donald Trump has restored American politics to its default setting — a fight over identity, morality, and religion.


NOVEMBER 15, 2016

For the first time in our history, Americans have elected an “illiberal democrat” as president. That doesn’t mean the United States will become an illiberal democracy — where democratically elected leaders fundamentally erode the rights and freedoms we associate with the classical liberal tradition — anytime soon. But it does mean we could become one.

As a minority and a Muslim, the result of this election is distressing — and perhaps the most frightening event I’ve experienced in my own country. That said, there is something admirable in the idea that democratic outcomes will be respected even when people you hate (or people that hate you) come to power. I’ve studied “existential” elections in the Middle East, where there is simply too much at stake for the losers of elections to accept that the victors have, in fact, won.

Conservative cardinals challenge Pope over teachings on family

By Philip Pullella

November 14, 2016

Pope Francis leads a Jubilee audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican November 12, 2016. REUTERS/Remo CasilliLess

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Four conservative Roman Catholic cardinals on Monday made a rare public challenge to Pope Francis over some of his teachings in a major document on the family, accusing him of sowing confusion on important moral issues.

The cardinals - two Germans, an Italian, and an American - said they had gone public with their letter to the pope because he had not responded.

The pope has clashed before with conservatives who worry he is weakening Roman Catholic rules on moral issues such as homosexuality and divorce while focusing on social problems such as climate change and economic inequality.

At issue are some of the teachings in a 260-page treatise called "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love), a cornerstone document of Francis' attempt to make the 1.2 billion-member Church more inclusive and less condemning.

In the document, issued in April, he called for a Church that was less strict and more compassionate towards any "imperfect" members, such as those who divorced and remarried, saying "no one can be condemned forever".

Most critics have focused on what the pope's letter said about the full re-integration into the Church of members who divorce and remarry in civil ceremonies.

Under Church law they cannot receive communion unless they abstain from sex with their new partner, because their first marriage is still valid in the eyes of the Church and therefore they are seen to be living in an adulterous state of sin.

In the document the pope appeared to side with progressives

who had proposed an "internal forum" in which a priest or bishop decide jointly with the individual on a case-by-case basis if he or she can be fully re-integrated and receive communion.

Conservatives have contested this and, in their cover letter, the four cardinals asked the pope to "resolve those doubts which are the cause of disorientation and confusion".

In the letter, sent to several news organizations, they said even bishops were offering "contrasting interpretations" of the rules regarding divorced and remarried Catholics.

The cardinals are Raymond Leo Burke, an American who was demoted from a senior Vatican position in 2014 and who has often criticized the pope, Germans Walter Brandmuller and Joachim Meisner, and Italian Carlo Caffarra.

In their letter, they officially asked the pope to take a stand on five "doubts" they have about some of the pronouncements in his document and declare whether those supersede rulings by previous popes.

(Editing by Louise Ireland)