Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Pope Francis’s sex abuse speech was a disgraceful display of excuses


Pope Francis’s sex abuse speech was a disgraceful display of excuses

By Marc A. Thiessen

February 26, 2019 at 3:03 PM

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Vatican on Feb. 24 to conclude his Vatican Summit on Child Protection. (Giuseppe Lami/AP)

Pope Francis’s closing address to the Vatican Summit on Child Protection was a disgraceful display of excuses and evasions. He began with extended meditation on how a “great number of” abuse cases are “committed within families.” He urged the assembled bishops to focus on “other forms of abuse” experienced by “child soldiers,” “starving children,” “child victims of war” and “refugee children.” He laid out an agenda that, bizarrely, focused on matters have nothing to do with clerical abuse (such as combating “sexual tourism”). And, most shamefully of all, he lashed out at those demanding that bishops who covered up abuse and silenced victims be held to account, declaring that the church must “rise above” those who “exploit, for various interests, the very tragedy experienced by the little ones.”

Sorry, Holy Father, that’s not good enough.

While Francis did declare that “no abuse should ever be covered up (as was often the case in the past),” he still refuses to tell us which bishops and cardinals did the covering up. It’s true that, just days before the summit, he removed disgraced former archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the priesthood. But Francis still refuses to explain: What took so long? Who knew about McCarrick’s alleged serial predations and did nothing? When did Francis know? And why did he not punish McCarrick until his crimes — which were repeatedly reported to the Vatican — were publicly exposed by the media?

Indeed, Francis’s decision to focus the summit exclusively on “the protection of minors” was a cynical ploy to avoid addressing questions of accountability, or the rampant sexual abuse of vulnerable adults by their religious superiors. The accusations against McCarrick were not limited tohis horrific abuse of children. He allegedly forced countless young priests and seminarians, whose careers he could make or break, to have sex with him. Last week, The Post reported on the Rev. Lauro Sedlmayer, who says he was sexually abused as a young priest by McCarrick during the 1990s. The priest says he told three bishops and that nothing was done. “To not be believed and to be ignored and demonized by the people to whom I reported the abuse victimized me a second time,” he said.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The rise and fall of Cardinal George Pell | Nine News Australia

Final Delusion Coming - False Revival and Ecumenism with Signs and Wonde...

George Pell: Why was conviction kept secret?

BBC News

26 February 2019


Pell's case has drawn huge attention around the world

They were sex abuse allegations that rocked the Catholic Church and generated enormous interest - only for the case to vanish suddenly from public view for nine months.

The trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell can now be reported after an Australian judge lifted a legal order that had prohibited coverage.

The sweeping ban, known as a suppression order, was handed down last May.

It was deemed necessary to give Pell fair hearings but caused big debate.

The rationale for the ban

Police charged Pell with sex offences in June 2017, saying only that he faced "historical" allegations by "multiple complainants". The cardinal immediately denied any wrongdoing.

Some pre-trial hearings where Pell was swamped by media outside court were allowed to be reported.

How will the Pope tackle sexual abuse?

Those hearings revealed for the first time that Pell faced separate accusations from the 1990s and the 1970s. Consequently, a judge ordered that two trials - with separate juries - would take place.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Freemasons VS Jesuits in Venezuela

25 gennaio 2019 adm-zagami

Pope Francis gives his blessing to Maduro

Juan Guaido after his initiation in Freemasonry

Article by Leo Zagami

Since Wednesday, Venezuela has been in turmoil after President Trump announced he recognized opposition leader Freemason Juan Guaido as the Nation’s president, rather than the Socialist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, a Satanist immerged in Communism. Piñango, a Sociologist from the Venezuelan University of IESA said that“Maduro has a very strong ideological orientation, close to the Communist ideology.”

That’s probably why Maduro is being defended by the Communists of the ex-Soviet Union, who should mind their own business in South America. However, on Wednesday, President Nicolás Maduro faced the gravest challenge of his authority since assuming power in 2013, as Juan Guaido, the leader of the masonically backed opposition, rightly claimed the legitimate mantle of leadership. President Trump and other world leaders promptly recognized him as Venezuela’s interim and rightful Head of State after receiving an emergency request from the various Grand Lodges of Venezuela united in this appeal to the Masonic Obediences around the world who don’t follow the orders of progressive Liberal Freemasonry in the hands of the mondialists.

Ten years ago, Francisco Pereiro Liz, the Grand Master of the regular Masons of Venezuela was shot and killed on March 6, 2008, during an apparent kidnapping attempt secretly orchestrated by the Socialist forces of the late president, Hugo Chávez. This time, the Freemasons from Venezuela have launched a dramatic appeal that may end up in a blood bath if not answered. As you can see from the photo, Juan Guaido is a young apprentice that needs our help. Remember, Socialism and Communism are enemies of true Freemasonry and Christianity, but Pope Francis and the Jesuits still support dictator Nicolas Maduro, who must be stopped and destroyed at all costs to facilitate the reconstruction of Venezuela and escape from evil Communism. As the people of Venezuela, together with its Legislative Branch suffer under the tyrannical oppression of president Nicolas Maduro, Communist Pope Francis received him at the Vatican on October 24, 2016, and was allowed to be photographed giving his blessing to the dictator. The False Prophet and his minions are the enemies of mankind! By the way, the present day Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was Papal Nuncio in Caracas, Venezuela, just before being chosen by Francis for this new important function, and Venezuelan Arturo Marcelino Sosa Abascal SJ (born 12 November 1948) is the thirty-first and present Superior General of the Society of Jesus and the infamous Black Pope. This time Freemasons really need to decide whose side they are on!

Hopefully this new confrontation will break the powerful alliance between Freemasons and Jesuits in South America.

In the meantime, as Grand Master of the Strict Templar Observance we pray for our Brothers in Venezuela.

Leo Zagami is a regular contributor to Infowars and the author of the groundbreaking book Confessions of an Illuminati Volume 5: The Decline of the West and the Rise of Satanism in our Society


And on paperback :


Cardinal George Pell found guilty of child sexual assault

Pence speaks at Lima Group meeting in Colombia

Ex-DHS Secretary: We ‘Need To Do A Better Job’ Quashing Extremism

After the arrest of an alleged white-supremacist terrorist in the Coast Guard, Jeh Johnson said the shift away from domestic threats was “going in the wrong direction.”

02/24/2019 12:06 PM ET

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called on officials to beef up their response to domestic extremism following the arrest of a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling weapons and a hit list of Democrats and journalists.

“We do, I think, need to do a better job of rooting out people who harbor extremist views that could turn to violence,” Johnson told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday in a “Meet the Press” interview that touched on white supremacists, anti-Semitism and last year’s pipe bomber.

Johnson served in his role under the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017, and expressed strong disapproval of the decline in DHS staffing and funding targeting violent domestic extremism since he left his post.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Opinion: Jehovah's Witnesses Cling To Faith Despite Arrests In Russia


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February 23, 20198:04 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday

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Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah's Witness accused of extremism, is escorted into a courtroom to hear his verdict in the town of Oryol on Feb. 6. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Away from daily deadlines and breaking news, there seems to be a campaign against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia.

Russia's Supreme Court branded the church "an extremist organization" in 2017. Witnesses do not recognize any authority but God, governments especially. That puts them into conflict with Vladimir Putin's Russia, where there are an estimated 175,000 Jehovah's Witnesses.

Last month, Dennis Christensen, a Danish Witness who lived in the western city of Oryol until his arrest at a prayer service in 2017, was sentenced to six years in prison for "religious extremism." The Independent newspaper and human rights groups say "dozens" of Witnesses have been arrested in more raids that began last week in Siberia. The Jehovah's Witnesses told The Moscow Times at least seven of their members were beaten, suffocated and jolted by electric shocks.

A representative of Russia's Investigative Committee told Tass, Russia's official news agency, security officials acted entirely "within the realm of the law." More than 120 Jehovah's Witnesses now reportedly face criminal investigation.

Cardinal says Catholic Church 'destroyed' documentation of sex abuse

"This is abuse of power by the administration," Cardinal Reinhard Marx told bishops at a Vatican summit on preventing sexual abuse.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx leaves at the end of a media briefing during a four-day sex abuse summit called by Pope Francis, in Rome on Feb. 23, 2019.Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Feb. 23, 2019, 12:47 PM ‎EST
By Linda Givetash and Claudio Lavanga

LONDON — A German Roman Catholic cardinal claims the church "destroyed" documents in an effort to cover up sexual abuse that has engulfed the institution in scandal.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx spoke at a Vatican summit on Saturday, telling 190 church leaders that the harms inflicted on children in youth were the result of "abuse of power in the area of administration."

The four-day summit convened by Pope Francis aims to address the worldwide issue of sex abuse within the church. Saturday's discussions were dedicated to issues of transparency and breaking the code of silence that has kept abuse hidden.

"Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created," Marx said. "Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them. The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden. The rights of victims were effectively trampled underfoot, and left to the whims of individuals."


Among Marx's recommendations included the redefining of confidentiality and secrecy within the church, publicly releasing statistics and details on abuse cases and publishing legal proceedings.

“The study indicates some documents were manipulated or did not contain what they should have contained ... no specific responsibilities," Marx told NBC News in a press conference Saturday. "This refers to the Munich diocese, but I don’t think the German case is an isolated one.”

The summit began days after a formerly high-ranking American cardinal Theodore McCarrick was expelled from the priesthood after a Vatican investigation found sex abuse allegations against him were credible.

While church leaders considered hierarchical and procedural changes, survivors gathered in Rome to protest decades of cover-up and demanded accountability. They shouted "Zero tolerance!" as they marched toward the Vatican.

Among the marchers was Alberto Athie of Mexico, one of the first to accuse Legion of Christ founder Rev. Marcial Maciel of pedophilia.


The erosion of trust in the church is not lost on leaders.

In a letter to U.S. bishops last month, Francis said, "The Church's credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts to deny or conceal them."

Sister Veronica Openibo, one of only a handful of women invited to the summit, reiterated the consequences years of abuse is having on the global congregation.

"A large number of Catholics are and will be angry and confused," she said. "We must acknowledge that our mediocrity, hypocrisy and complacency have brought us to this disgraceful and scandalous place we find ourselves as a church."

As 2020 candidates turn left, some Democrats worry about the center

February 23, 2019 / 6:07 AM / Updated 6 hours ago

James Oliphant

6 Min Read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Liberal Democratic presidential contenders’ rush to embrace the left’s most ambitious proposals has some Democrats worried there could be a price to pay when they try to defeat President Donald Trump next year.

FILE PHOTO: Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) takes a selfie photo with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as the U.S. House of Representatives meets for the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Party activists have been energized as Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and other candidates endorsed plans to provide Medicare coverage to every American, some form of tuition-free college, a national $15 minimum wage and the so-called “Green New Deal” advocated by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But Trump and his allies in the Republican Party have seized on those stances to attack the Democratic 2020 field as outside the American political mainstream — a claim the president plans to make throughout his re-election campaign, according to sources with knowledge of his strategy.

Some Democrats fear the argument has potency. They worry the primary may produce a nominee who will not appeal to centrist working and middle-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016 but whom Democrats believe they can win back.

“The big progressive programs are popular in a caucus or primary electorate, but probably don’t move the needle among voters who want to find someone who will change Washington by tilting the system to favor people in the middle — not the very rich or the very poor,” said Jeff Link, an Iowa Democrat who worked for former President Barack Obama’s campaign.

A person familiar with the president’s thinking told Reuters that Trump had been looking for a “big contrast issue” to help power his 2020 bid.

His last Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was widely known to the voting public before her campaign. This time, Trump may face someone new to the national stage, and he is looking to brand that candidate before she or he emerges as the nominee.

In recent speeches, including his State of the Union address and again this week in Florida, a key 2020 battleground, Trump used the crisis in Venezuela to equate Democrats with socialists.

“There’s no question this is a deliberate strategy on his part,” said Matt Bennett, a political analyst with Third Way, a Democratic centrist think-tank. “It is a bit scary to think about what it could do to us in a close, tough election next year.”


Democrats have already seen the risks of catering to progressives.

Senators Booker of New Jersey, Harris of California, Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts almost immediately backed Ocasio-Cortez’s push earlier this month for the Green New Deal, a sweeping 10-year blueprint for combating climate change that involves reducing carbon emissions and retrofitting infrastructure.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist who announced this week he is running for president a second time, plans to introduce his own version of the climate plan.

Ocasio-Cortez, who has enjoyed disproportionate influence for a first-term congresswoman because of her social media presence, was forced to backtrack when an information sheet contained policy goals not in the plan, including doing away with nuclear power and airplanes and providing income to Americans “unwilling to work.”

That didn’t stop Trump and other Republicans from treating those goals as fact, suggesting that Democrats want to destroy air travel and expand the welfare rolls.

Republicans also jumped on Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to hike the marginal tax rate to 70 percent as a way to finance her environmental initiative. Even so, Warren followed by suggesting a “wealth tax” on Americans with large fortunes to help finance her child-care plan.

N.C. election board orders new U.S. House vote

Democrats are “afraid to tell their base what is practical” and instead are offering policies that have little chance of being enacted, said Bryan Lanza, a former campaign aide to Trump who regularly defends the president on cable news.

Recent Democratic presidential nominees such as Clinton, Obama and John Kerry ran as centrists. This is the first election in the modern era, Lanza said, in which progressives “are sucking up all the oxygen and energy.”

Democrats as a whole, however, have been moving in a more leftward direction for years. According to Gallup polling, the number of Democrats who identify themselves as “liberal” has risen from 32 percent in 2001 to 46 percent as of 2018.

That shift has largely been among white, highly educated Democrats. African-American and Hispanic voters remain more moderate — which could present a challenge as the party tries to mobilize those groups to vote in greater numbers.

So far, the moderate wing of the party is under-represented in the 2020 field. Some Democratic strategists are concerned the party did not heed the lesson from last year’s congressional elections, when it took power in the U.S. House of Representatives largely through moderate candidates who won over suburban voters by focusing on “kitchen-table” issues such as coverage for preexisting medical conditions.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is one of the few Democrats in the presidential field to push back at the progressive agenda. At a CNN town hall this week, she called the Green New Deal “aspirational” and suggested Medicare for all was only a potential long-term goal.

John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman and a centrist who has gotten little traction as a presidential contender, this week said the 2020 primary “is going to be a choice between socialism and a more just form of capitalism.”

Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in the early primary state of South Carolina, said candidates must soon balance sweeping agendas with more pragmatic proposals.

“It has to be a mixed bag of what makes sense and will not cause us long-term political damage,’ he said.

Reporting by James Oliphant; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Osterman
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

What does it take to craft compromise legislation on religious freedom and LGBT rights?

What does it take to craft compromise legislation on religious freedom and LGBT rights? Here's what we learned in Boise

Published: February 22, 2019 7:19 pm

Kathy Griesmyer, second from right, Idaho ACLU policy director, speaks during the Interfaith & LGBT Summit on Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Solutions at Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.
Otto Kitsinger, For the Deseret News▲

Idaho Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, speaks during the Interfaith & LGBT Summit on Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Solutions at Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, Feb 22, 2019.
Otto Kitsinger, For the Deseret News▲

BOISE — Sen. Brent Hill, president pro tempore of the Idaho Senate, needs help to forge a compromise between the LGBT community and people of faith. But when he published an op-ed this week asking for it, no one showed up.

"Not one person came (to my office) to see what compromises might be," he said Friday at a summit on LGBT and religious rights at Concordia University School of Law.

Friday's event was an effort to bring more people to the bargaining table. Sponsored by a mix of conservative and liberal organizations, it was attended by more than 100 civil rights activists, policymakers and scholars from both sides of the aisle and both the LGBT and religious communities.

Otto Kitsinger, For the Deseret NewsIdaho Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, speaks during the Interfaith & LGBT Summit on Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Solutions at Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, Feb 22, 2019.

Participants heard three panels on the future of LGBT rights and religious freedom in Idaho, which, like many states, is struggling to balance protections for gays and lesbians with protections for religious objectors to same-sex marriage. Speakers generally supported new laws preventing sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination, but clashed over whether that change should come with new protections for people of faith.

"What about including (the LGBT community) in civil rights law suddenly requires religious exemptions?" asked Nicole LeFavour, who served in the Idaho Senate from 2008 to 2012 and the Idaho House of Representatives for four years before that. She was the first openly gay member of the state's legislature.

Ganoune Diop Jokes... During Ecumenical (Freedom of Religion Seminar in Finland) Event

Ellen White, As We Near the End CH11-56-SM3

Mike Pence and the Knights



February 22, 2019 4:02 PM

Wesley Smith wrote a terrific piece today about the Knights of Columbus’ efforts to fight for persecuted and displaced Christians in the Middle East. To call these efforts diligent or persistent would be an understatement.

(And yeah, to repeat what Wesley said: This is the very same charitable and patriotic organization that Democrat Senators Kamala Harris and Maize Hirono, hellbent on applying unconstitutional religious tests for Trump Administration nominees, have hounded and castigated.)

But back to the successes in the Middle East. The bipartisan legislative effort (the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act”) discussed in the piece — championed on Capitol Hill by Representatives Chris Smith and Anna Eshoo — had a particular champion in the administration: Vice President Mike Pence. Behind the scenes, he and his staff worked . . . religiously . . . with the Knights and other organizations to promote the bill and change the official take on prioritizing relief for persecuted Christians.

Pence was active publicly too. In May 2017, he addressed the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians and pledged administration efforts on behalf of over 200 million Christians who “confront intimidation, imprisonment, forced conversion, abuse, assault, or worse, for holding to the truths of the Gospel.” From his speech:

President Trump sees these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred — hatred for the Gospel of Christ. And so too does the President know those who perpetrate these crimes. They are the embodiment of evil in our time and he calls them by name — radical Islamic terrorists.

The suffering of Christians in the Middle East has stirred America to act. President Trump rightly said not long ago that — of the Christian church, “nobody has been treated worse in the Middle East.” He’s made it clear that America will stand by followers of Christ in this hour of need. Our administration is fully committed in bringing relief and comfort to believers not only across the Middle East but across the world. This President knows the terrorists will not stop until we stop them. And, under President Donald Trump, we will stop them.

It’s all very heartfelt by the Veep, and Yours Truly thought a little attention to his role in this fight worth fighting was merited.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Trump Starts Campaign To End Global Criminalization Of Homosexuality | A...

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains

Annual report shows the businesses and individuals added to trustworthiness blacklist as use of the government system accelerates

System aims to pressure citizens to avoid bad behaviour, although human rights advocates argue it does not take into account individual circumstances

He Huifeng

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Feb, 2019 10:39am

Millions of Chinese individuals and businesses have been labelled as untrustworthy on an official blacklist banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates.

The annual blacklist is part of a broader effort to boost “trustworthiness” in Chinese society and is an extension of China’s social credit system, which is expected to give each of its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score.

The social credit system assigns both positive and negative scores for individual or corporate behaviour in an attempt to pressure citizens into behaving.

Human rights advocates, though, worry that the arbitrary system does not take into account individual circumstances and so often unfairly labels individuals and firms as untrustworthy.

Over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year, banning them from a series of activities, including bidding on projects, accessing security markets, taking part in land auctions and issuing corporate bonds, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pope says church's attackers are linked to devil

by The Associated Press

Wednesday, February 20th 2019

Pope Francis sits in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican during his weekly general audience, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
6 photos

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Vatican summit on dealing with sex abuse of minors (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

Pope Francis says that those who are constantly attacking the church are linked to the devil.

Francis on Wednesday told pilgrims from southern Italy that the church's "defects" must be denounced in order to correct them.

But he said that those who do so without love and spend their lives "accusing" the church are either the devil's friends or relatives.

LDS organists volunteer at Pocatello Seventh-day Adventist Church

By Kendra Evensen For the Journal

Seven members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently volunteer to play the organ for the Pocatello Seventh-day Adventist Church’s worship services. Pictured are organists Emily Treasure, left, Heather Reece and Deon Martineau. Other volunteers include Lisa Huffaker, Alyssa Gardner, Kaitlyn Jewkes and Adam Merrill.Photo courtesy of Evon Martineau

POCATELLO — The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pocatello once again has beautiful music for its worship services — thanks in part to members of another faith.

Over the past year, seven volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been taking turns playing the organ during the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s services.

“It’s been wonderful. The organ would be silent without them,” said Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Marvin Humbert.

The church had been struggling to find enough musicians after some of its older members passed away and others moved away from the college town that’s transitional in nature. It had only one pianist and no organists.

But church officials were eventually able to find an answer in an unexpected way.

The EU's Work On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief Is Being Challenged From Within

Feb 19, 2019,11:43 pm


Getting the European Union (and its different mechanisms) to engage effectively on the subject of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) has always been difficult. FoRB has never been high on the EU’s agenda. Especially where the events occur outside of the EU. The EU was, after all, set up as an economic (and political) union. Yet, in recent years, the EU has been more active on the issue of human rights, tackling severe human rights violations.

European Union flags waving in front of the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Over the years, the EU has addressed the issue of FoRB in a number of ways. For example, in 2013, the EU adopted Guidelines on the promotion and protection of the right to FoRB. These Guidelines continue to inform the EU’s external action. The EU has been vocal to condemn religiously motivated mass atrocities perpetrated around the world, especially, those perpetrated by Daesh. It has proved a vocal force calling for accountability. The EU has also been delivering humanitarian assistance to the persecuted communities.

A significant step was taken when in May 2016, President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, announced that Mr Jan Figel would be appointed as the first Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU (EU Special Envoy on FoRB) with a mandate for one year, which is renewable. According to that Decision of the President of the European Commission, “The Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU shall report on an annual basis in the context of the dialogue between the Commission and churches and religious associations or communities, led by the First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.”

This was the first mandate of its kind. However, in recent years, it has become very clear that the mandate needs to be strengthened to maximize the impact of the office.

In pursuit of this aim, Mr Andrzej Grzyb MEP, a Rapporteur for the Committee on Foreign Affairs, produced a report on the “EU Guidelines and the mandate of the EU Special Envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU.” Mr Grzyb made several sensible recommendations to strengthen the role. He suggested raising the visibility of the role, providing adequate human and financial assistance, and enabling a full mandate and capacity to implement the EU Guidelines. The report was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 41 in favor, one against and two abstentions.

Despite the important recommendations and the overwhelming support for the report, some voices from within the EP continue to diminish the importance of this step. The criticism is not directly related to the proposals but rather to the wording of the report and specifically, a list of vulnerable groups affected by religious persecution that includes, among others, non-believers, atheists, women and girls and of individuals based on their sexual orientation. Among others, the critics suggest that some of these groups should not be mentioned in the report (specifically, women and girls and individuals because of their sexual orientation).

FBI file for Cardinal Law reveals several death threats

President George H. W. Bush and Cardinal Bernard F. Law sit at a table during a luncheon for the Catholic Lawyers Guild at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston on Sept. 23, 1989.


More than a decade before explosive revelations about Cardinal Bernard F. Law’s handling of abuse allegations against Catholic priests led him to resign in disgrace, the Boston archbishop was held in such high esteem by President George H.W. Bush that he was vetted for a possible presidential appointment, according to Law’s FBI file.

The redacted FBI file, made public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, includes several death threats against Law dating back to the 1980s, and suggests that agents conducted interviews in spring 2004 — two years after the pivotal Boston Globe Spotlight series — related to the Catholic church’s clergy abuse scandal. Law died in December 2017, at 86, his legacy stained by disclosures that he had enabled abusive priests. The FBI has posted the content of Law’s file on its online archive; the agency declined Tuesday to say when it was published or who filed the request to make the documents public.

In October 1991, the FBI conducted an expedited background investigation into Law, who was “being considered for presidential appointment” by Bush. A search of Globe archives found no stories about a presidential appointment, but it was well known that Law and Bush were close friends who spoke frequently during Bush’s term in the White House.

“There’s an extraordinary bond between them,” Douglas Wead, Bush’s White House liaison with the religious community, said of Law and Bush in a 1989 Globe story. “They have found that they share common views and values on life. They simply enjoy each other’s company.”
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The stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked

In every generation God has sent His servants to rebuke sin, both in the world and in the church. But the people desire smooth things spoken to them, and the pure, unvarnished truth is not acceptable. Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible. But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible—doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.

Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. Thelaborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce themessage as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.

The Great Controversy, p.605, 606.

Steve Bannon and the Pope’s Sex-Abuse Circus Are Coming to Rome


Barbie Latza Nadeau

02.19.19 12:43 PM ET


Asahi Shimbun/Getty

ROME—Some might say it was doomed from the start. Even Pope Francis has warned that expectations are far “too high” for his three-day summit on clerical sex abuse being held here from Thursday to Saturday. The mission of the meeting has been clear from day one: to make sure all dioceses around the world are “on the same page” when it comes to handling clerical sex abuse.

But from the moment it was announced last September, just as the full impact of the now-famous Pennsylvania grand jury report sent shockwaves around the world, those with other agendas were booking flights to Rome.

One such opportunist is Steve Bannon, the former strategist and campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump who confirmed to The Daily Beast that he will be in the Eternal City for the summit this week. Bannon is an ardent supporter of Pope Francis’ most vocal foe, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is not listed as an attendee.

Together they can be expected to use the sidelines of the summit as an opportunity to rail against what they both say they believe is the root cause of clerical abuse: gay priests. And, while doing so, they will hint that Francis’ perceived leniency toward gay Catholics somehow enables the abusers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Future of Cities: Sustainability and Social Fabric - Full Session - ...

Watch: Bernie Sanders Speech To Kick Off His 2020 Campaign

February 19, 2019 12:58 pm

Brothers and Sisters–

I am writing to let you know I have decided to run for president of the United States. I am asking you today to join me as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country.

Please join our campaign for president on day one and commit to doing what it takes to win this election.

Our campaign is not only about defeating Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. It is not only about winning the Democratic nomination and the general election.

Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

Our campaign is about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life. I’m talking about Wall Street, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the private-prison industry and the large multi-national corporations that exert such an enormous influence over our lives.

Our campaign is about redoubling our efforts to end racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry and all forms of discrimination.

Our campaign is about creating a vibrant democracy with the highest voter turnout of any major country while we end voter suppression, Citizens United and outrageous levels of gerrymandering.

Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. We should not have grotesque levels of wealth inequality in which three billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of the country.

Pope Francis, Islam and Bible prophecy (Sebastian Matula)

Pope Francis approves four priorities for the Jesuits’ next decade

Gerard O’Connell

February 19, 2019

Pope Francis greets Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, before a meeting with editors and staff of the Jesuit-run magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, at the Vatican Feb. 9. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)

Arturo Sosa, S.J., the superior general of the Society of Jesus, today made public the four main reference points, known as “universal apostolic preferences,” that are to guide the life and work of the Jesuits over the next 10 years. He said Pope Francis has approved these four preferences and entrusted them to the Jesuits as their “mission.”

Father Sosa presented these four universal apostolic preferences in a letter to Jesuits worldwide, which was released today. They are:

To show the way to God through discernment and the Spiritual Exercises;
To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice;
To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future;
To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.

The Venezuelan-born Father Sosa, 70, who was elected superior general of the Jesuits on Oct. 14, 2016, during the 36th General Congregation, explained the background and significance of the U.A.P.s at a briefing at the Jesuit Curia in Rome on Feb. 16.

He recalled that the 36th G.C. asked him to continue “a process of discernment” and to review the preferences that had been approved in 2003 and “to update their specific content and to develop plans and programs that can be monitored and evaluated.” His Dutch predecessor, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., had carried out a similar discernment and in 2003, with Pope John Paul II’s approval, prioritized ministries in China, Africa, the intellectual apostolate, the Roman houses and among migrants and refugees.

The Pros And Cons Of Moving Toward A Cashless Society

All Things Considered


Originally published on February 18, 2019 6:16 pm

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


A veteran Israeli politician and advocate for peace with Palestinians is quitting politics. Tzipi Livni served as Israel's foreign minister and chief peace negotiator. Time magazine and Newsweek once ranked her one of the world's most influential women. Now, though, she finds herself running against political headwinds, as NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Tel Aviv.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Tzipi Livni had a transformation. She grew up in a right-wing Israeli family, as she recounted in a recent speech.


TZIPI LIVNI: They had a dream. And they believe in the rights of the Jewish people on the entire land.

ESTRIN: Meaning her parents believed Israel should rule over the West Bank, which Palestinians claim, and even over land in Jordan. A map of all of that land is pictured on her late parents' gravestone. But Livni eventually came to believe in something different - that Israel occupying land with a growing Palestinian population threatened Israel's character as a Jewish state.


LIVNI: If we would keep the entire land, we will reach a moment in which we would not have a Jewish majority.

ESTRIN: Livni left the right-wing Likud Party and in 2005 joined a centrist party. She served in senior roles, including foreign minister and chief peace negotiator. She rose to the head of the party, which won the 2009 elections, but she wasn't able to build a governing coalition. Benjamin Netanyahu did instead, and he's ruled ever since.

She teamed up with the center-left Labor Party, but that didn't last. And now polls suggest she won't get enough votes in April elections to win a seat in Parliament. Today, she fought back tears as she announced her retirement from politics.


LIVNI: (Foreign language spoken).

ESTRIN: She asked for forgiveness from her supporters and repeated her mantra; separating from the Palestinians is necessary to keep Israel's Jewish majority. Livni was the only candidate for elections to make peace with the Palestinians a major part of her campaign. But that has had no resonance with Israeli voters, says former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas.

ALON PINKAS: In these elections, the Palestinian issue is of absolutely no importance or no relevance to the voting public.

ESTRIN: He says Israeli voters don't see a path forward to making peace, and low levels of Palestinian violence in recent years makes it easy for many Israelis to ignore the issue. He says Israeli voters are most concerned with regional threats to their security from around the Middle East.

PINKAS: When they look around, they don't see anyone on the center, center-left until now, at least, who could provide them with adequate assurances on those issues.

ESTRIN: The center-left Labor Party is also expected to lose support in April elections. And at least for now, polls show Netanyahu is expected to win again. Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Tel Aviv. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

U.S. Senate chaplain urges 'unconditional benevolence' in talk in Providence church

By Kevin G. Andrade
Posted Feb 16, 2019 at 9:38 PM
Updated Feb 17, 2019 at 1:37 AM

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black speaks at the Central Congregational Church, in Providence, on Saturday night. [The Providence Journal / Kevin G. Andrade]▲

Barry Black spoke about integrating citizenship and faith for the 2019 Darrell West Lecture Series on Religion and Politics.

PROVIDENCE — When you hear U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black speak, you might be struck by how many Bible verses and citations he knows by heart, but he has a simple explanation for his ample mental reserve of sacred text.

"Five cents a verse," he said, eliciting a laugh from the roughly 200 people gathered at the Central Congregational Church Saturday night to hear him speak. "That is all it took."

That pocket change came from his mother, who handed over the money for every Bible verse he and his siblings committed to memory, Black said during his talk on integrating citizenship and faith for the 2019 Darrell West Lecture Series on Religion and Politics.

"I cannot imagine what his job is like," West, a former Brown University professor of political science and current senior vice president at the Brookings Institution, said of Black. "I know that he manages to be meaningful and neutral at the same time, which is quite important in his position."

Black framed his conversation in terms of a concept that has become an ideological battleground in the United States — citizenship.

Ben Carson On His Life Story Is Informing His Work At HUD

Saturday, February 16, 2019

"Not On The Sabbath Day"

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Luke 13:10-17.

Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks at Munich Security Conference

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VP Pence's Speech begins at approximately 32:00 Mins.



On Friday, the Munich Security Conference 2019 will once again bring together participants, NGOs, and research institutions at Hotel Bayerischer Hof. In addition to the main programm, more than one hundred side events will take place during the conference weekend to facilitate an open dialogue that discusses the most pressing global security issues.

A view of the main conference hall at Hotel Bayerischer Hof, the venue for MSC 2019. (Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann)

In addtion to the main program, some of these side events are directly organized by the Munich Security Conference (MSC), for instance, the Arctic Security Roundtable and the European Defence Roundtable. The Health Security Roundtable will discuss, for instance, the interplay between conflicts and the spread of diseases. Transnational security will be a further item on the agenda, forming part of a new MSC series on this subject.

Moreover, MSC partner organisations are hosting a number of events with different types of formats, including breakfast discussions or workshops. These events are also quite diverse with respect to their thematic focus, ranging from panel discussions on women empowerment to new initiatives on nuclear arms control. Having formed part of last year’s agenda already, the Town Hall format will become even more interactive this year as the audience can participate in the debate through the newly launched MSC App.

As in previous years, the MSC offers a platform to many renowned organizations, such as the United Nations, the German development agency GIZ, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or NATO, allowing them to host their own events and bring together high-level decision makers for discussions on current challenges to international security policy. The diversity of institutions is also reflected by the fact that many NGOs are actively present, such as Transparency International, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. These organisations are part of the MSC, just like major companies, such as Siemens, Microsoft, and Airbus. Furthermore, several renowned research institutions, such as Harvard University, will present new publications to the expert audience in Munich.

At the Munich Security Conference 2019, many events are targeted at a wider audience, thus allowing even non-MSC participants to experience some of the discussions at the conference. A case in point is the #MSC2019 event, the official opening event of the Munich Security Conference, which is open to the general public. Titled “From Cold War to Star Wars: How to Deal with the Arms Race to Space,” the dangers of a competition in space will be addressed. Moreover, the Security and Literature Series in cooperation with the Literaturhaus Munich will be continued and host, among other guests, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for a discussion of her new book.

An overview of all events open to the public can be found here.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Ben Carson On His Life Story Is Informing His Work At HUD

Dialogue Between Sabbatarian Adventists Explores Shared Values and Distinctive Beliefs

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Conversation brought together Adventist and Adventist Reform thinkers and leaders.

By: Bettina Krause, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty News

Aspirit of friendship and mutual respect marked a two-day meeting between representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement. A small group of leaders and theologians from the two communions — which share a similar heritage as well as a number of key beliefs — met December 5 and 6, 2018, at the headquarters of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

The goal, according to participants, was simply to establish a cordial relationship and to foster a better understanding of each other’s beliefs, mission, and identity.

“Our conversation was friendly and informative, and it acknowledged both our shared heritage, as well as a number of clear theological differences between our two communions,” said Nikolaus Satelmajer, one of the key organizers of the dialogue from the Seventh-day Adventist side.

The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, United States, has a membership of some 42,000 in more than 130 countries. It traces its history, along with that of the larger Seventh-day Adventist Church, from the Millerite movement of the mid-1800s through to the official formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1863. Reform Adventists also embrace the prophetic ministry of Ellen G. White, one of the co-founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a denomination that today has some 21 million baptized members in more than 200 countries.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sen. McConnell says president will sign bill and declare a national emer...

McCabe confirms he opened the investigation into Trump

Pope Francis Addresses a Document on Human Fraternity For World Peace and Living Together


gmiranda Featured News

The brief visit of Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates (February 2-5, 2019) is an extremely significant event. This is the first time that a Pope has visited the Arabian Peninsula, which is the birth place of the Muslim faith. Of note, during the trip Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass with over 140,000 in attendance and signed a joint statement with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, one of the highest authorities in Sunni Islam. This statement, A Document on Human Fraternity For World Peace and Living Together, is addressed to all persons, both religious and nonreligious, and extends to them an invitation to work together to promote a culture of mutual respect and coexistence. This is not a theological document even though it speaks about God. It is more of a declaration of the need to reject violent extremism and embrace a spirit of fraternity. This is a very positive development regarding the Catholic-Muslim dialogue. Deo Gratias!

You can read Pope Francis’ Statement at

As Mormons open Rome temple, doctrinal hiccups with Vatican endure

Elise Harris

Feb 13, 2019


The angel Moroni statue, silhouetted against a cloud-covered sky, sits atop the Salt Lake Temple, at Temple Square, in Salt Lake City. (Credit: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer.)

ROME - Last month Rome became home to Italy’s first Mormon temple, which sits just a few blocks from the Vatican. Yet while the Mormons say they’re planning to partner with the Catholic Church on several social initiatives, what they aren’t saying out loud is that technically speaking, the Vatican doesn’t even recognize the Church of Latter-Day Saints as Christian.

The 40,000-square-foot building, made of marble and granite, opened Jan. 14 and is located near the Porta di Roma shopping mall, just a few miles from St. Peter’s Basilica.

Complete with crystal chandeliers, stained-glass windows, solar panels and 24-karat gold, the temple is the 162nd Mormon temple in the world, and the 12th in Europe. It’s currently offering free tours to visitors - however, after a dedication ceremony in March, which will take place over several days, it will be open only to members of the Mormon faith.

Officially called the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” the Mormon church was founded by an American named Joseph Smith in New York in 1830, after Smith claimed to have received a series of visions from God which, among other things, revealed the location of golden plates containing what would become the Book of Mormon.

Mormon temples are generally used for either baptisms or marriages. With some 16 million Mormons worldwide, roughly 500,000 live in Europe, and, of those, around 6,000 are in Italy.

Pope Francis’ climatologist visits New Orleans

Updated 14 hrs ago; Posted 14 hrs ago

Pope Francis greets The Rev. Eduardo Scarel, a Carmelite priest known as the pope's climatologist.

By Sara Sneath

The Rev. Eduardo Scarel is best known for his role in advising Pope Francis on climate change. As such, he’s been dubbed the Pope’s climatologist. A Carmelite priest and atmospheric scientist, Scarel was in New Orleans earlier this week speaking with high school students and to an audience at the Notre Dame Seminary Tuesday evening.

Why does the Pope need a climatologist? “Because the care for environment, for nature requires to see the state of the planet,” Scarel said. “And the tools of science provide the best way to see.”

Scarel helped advise Pope Francis on the Pope’s 2015 encyclical about climate change. An encyclical is a letter to Catholic leadership clarifying the church’s stance on an issue. The 2015 encyclical argued that humans have a moral imperative to address climate change.

In Poland, Religious Representatives Meet with the Nation’s President

FEBRUARY 6, 2019

In Poland, Religious Representatives Meet with the Nation’s President

Adventists among the invited at the annual event.

By: Daniel Kluska, Polish Union Conference, andAdventist Review

Despite differences in faith and ethnicity, we create a national community of people on Polish soil,” Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, emphasized during a meeting with representatives of all major churches, religious associations, and ethnic and national minorities present in Poland.

Four leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland were among the invitees who met at the Presidential Palace on Saturday (Sabbath), January 19, 2019.


13 February 2019 | Helskinki, Finland

[Pekka Kärkkäinen]

Dr Ganoune Diop, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, made the opening presentation at a Seminar on religious freedom held in the Finnish Parliament library on Wednesday, 6 February.

Dr Ganoune Diop

The seminar was organized by SVKN (the Council of Free Churches in Finland), together with most of the established religious bodies, and even included an interview from free-thinkers. No religious or non-religious bodies were excluded.

About 80 interested people listened as Diop dealt with the issue of freedom of religion as an inalienable human right. He emphasised that freedom of religion is not only a legal right but is fundamentally connected with the idea of humanity. “It is a global principle that defines what it means to be human,” he said. According to Diop, freedom of religion is about freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, the right to gather together, and the freedom to make decisions. It is equally an antidote to human exploitation.

Diop was one of three speakers and eight Members of Parliament who were invited. Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen also participated in the event, which was part of the United Nation’s Week of Mutual Understanding. The event was opened and concluded by the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Finland, pastor Kalervo Aromäki.

Professor Elina Vuola from the University of Helsinki then dealt with the issue of the importance of understanding religions. She noted how important religious values are outside of Western Europe. More attention is now paid to religions and their values in international relations, she stated. She also warned against the danger of generalizing a religion and its practitioners based on a single crime committed by a member of that religion. She noted some newspapers that like to sensationalise in this way.

In the final speech, Professor Tuula Sakaranaho, also from the University of Helsinki, spoke about the principles of freedom of religion or belief, not just as individual freedom, but also within the whole context of society. Sakaranaho pointed out that often freedom of religion, the right to exercise faith, may be perceived by someone else as negative freedom of religion, a restriction of rights. She also reminded the audience that society cannot legislate to control thinking, nor can religions be discriminated against. However, she recognised that this is a delicate topic internationally, because roughly three out of four people in today’s world do not enjoy freedom of religion.

The seminar concluded with a panel of seven Members of Parliament answering questions about the topic. Their views varied considerably in an effort to balance rights between the individual and society, although everyone was ready to support the principle of freedom of religion as a human right.

In addition to the actual seminar, Dr Diop and Pastor Aromäki visited the Council of the Lutheran church. They met representatives and shared their thought that Adventists and Lutherans must continue to dialogue on this important topic now that the door has been opened for it.

Aromäki was the one who first introduced the idea for the symposium at one of the SVKN meetings. He noted that one of the benefits for the smaller denominations in Finland could be that they will be recognized as a viable voice on important human matters. For him, this very seminar is positive proof that this can happen.

tedNEWStaff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Sajitha Forde-Ralph, associate editor
119 St Peter's Street, St Albans, Herts, AL1 3EY, England

tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

N.J. Catholic dioceses release names of 188 priests and deacons accused of sexual abuse of children

Updated 5:58 PM;
Posted 9:27 AM

New Jersey's five dioceses released the names of priests and deacons accused of abuse. (File photo) (Susan K. Livio NJ Advance Media)

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for and Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for

Under mounting pressure to identify clergy accused of sexual misconduct, New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses opened their files Wednesday and released thenames of every priest and deacon “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a child over multiple decades.

There are 188 names on the lists from the five dioceses. Of those, more than 100 are dead.

The lists include 63 priests and deacons accused in the Archdiocese of Newark, 57 in the Diocese of Camden, 30 in the Diocese of Trenton, 28 in the Diocese of Paterson and 11 in the Diocese of Metuchen. (One priest was listed on both the Newark and Paterson lists.)

The full list of named priests and deacons is at the bottom of this post.

“In an effort to do what is right and just, we are publishing the names of diocesan clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Newark. This list of names is the result of an extensive review of archdiocesan records dating back to 1940. All names were previously reported to law enforcement agencies,” said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, head of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Dioceses around the country have been releasing similar lists of accused priests in recent months. New Jersey is the first state in the nation where every diocese in the state released its lists on the same day.

Who are the priests accused of abuse in N.J.? Here's the list.

The dioceses voluntarily released the lists, though the release comes as New Jersey’s attorney general’s office has set up a task force to investigate priest sexual abuse and look into whether the Catholic Church improperly handled allegations of abuse.

“While this is a positive first step towards transparency and accountability, I hope this spirit of openness continues during the course of our ongoing investigation and in response to our requests for records and information,” said Gurbir Grewal, the state’s attorney general.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reminds People That 'Christ's Family Were Refugees, Too'

Some critics on Twitter protested that Jesus was not a refugee after the representative-elect wished a merry Christmas to “refugee babies in mangers.”

12/26/2018 12:18 PM ET

After Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a holiday greeting to “everyone … including refugee babies in mangers,” some critics launched into an ongoing, highly politicized debate about whether Jesus was a refugee.

“Merry Christmas everyone - here’s to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents),” the progressive Democrat from New York tweeted Tuesday.

When critics protested that Jesus wasn’t a refugee, she followed up with a link to a Jesuit magazine article arguing he was. The link was meant “for all the anti-immigrant pundits uncomfortable with and denying that Christ’s family were refugees, too,” she wrote.

Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays Tell Cash, “You’re Out!”

Posted by Cosmo Iannopollo to Merchant Retail

As a lifelong baseball fan and former resident of Tampa, Florida, I had the pleasure of spending a summer night or three at Tropicana Field, watching my beloved New York Yankees take on the hometown Tampa Bay Rays. And as a fan of cheap tickets, air conditioning in the Florida summer and plenty of great seats, I always enjoyed the “The Trop” despite its poor reputation.

The Trop also featured sparse crowds, which meant no long lines to wait in just for the pleasure of spending $50 on chicken fingers, fries and a beer retailing for $3 at your local grocery store.

Contrast that with Yankee Stadium, another park I was lucky enough to frequent throughout my college years, where the seats were expensive, the concessions were expensive and the crowds were plentiful. Being taken for a ride at the concession stand is easier to deal with when you aren’t forced to miss two innings for the privilege.
It is with this experience in mind that the Tampa Bay Rays have announced they will become the first major North American sports team to go cashless at their home park—an ironic move, given the club’s manager is Kevin…Cash.

Starting in 2019, if you want a hot dog, Cracker Jack or adult beverage, you better be packing a credit card, club gift card or mobile wallet including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. And what of those fans who carry no form of cashless payment? They will be able to swap cash for gift cards.
With this move, the Rays are aiming to improve the ballpark experience for fans. William Walsh, vice president of strategy and development for the Rays, says, “This change will increase speed of service and reduce lines throughout the ballpark.”
The move to cashless is obviously not without precedence. In 2017, Visa launched the Visa Cashless Challenge, a competition offering 50 businesses the chance to win $10,000 for going cashless. Dos Toros, a Mexican chain restaurant with 14 locations throughout New York, made the move to cashless to speed wait times during its lunch and dinner rushes. Fellow restaurant chain Sweetgreen has also made the move to cashless, allowing employees to perform five to 15% more transactions per hour.
And let’s not forget the purveyor of Disney Dollars. Disney has piloted a cashless resort while discontinuing its Disney Dollars program. The reason? More and more guests were using digital currency.
This follows the global trend of rising cashless payments. In fact, this globality also extends to sports where Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten, owner of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (baseball) and J League outfit Vissel Kobe (soccer), will shift both stadiums to cashless in the upcoming year. The kicker (no pun intended) here is that Rakuten also offers the Rakuten Pay app and a pre-paid smart card, Rakuten Edy.

One interesting aspect surrounding the move by the Rays is that they perennially rank near the bottom of the league in attendance. Wait times are generally not an issue, so the cynic in me wonders if there is an ulterior motive at hand. Is the move to cashless about customer experience, security or perhaps, data?

Whatever the reason, it’ll be interesting to see how this season plays out and to see which franchises will follow suit. And if the Rays are able to cut wait times, maybe they can talk to MLB about cutting game times, as well.

Find out more about how ACI enables cashless experiences for merchants with the UP Merchant Payments solution, named a Leader by independent research firm Forrester.