Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Conflicto Cosmico - Doug Batchelor (El origen del mal)

Kanye West - Closed On Sunday (Live From Jimmy Kimmel Live! / 2019)

Devin Nunes: Spygate is Greatest Political Scandal in Modern US History—...

News Wrap: Deadly violence, anti-government protests continue in Iraq

How Protesters Ousted Lebanon’s Prime Minister

Joe Biden Denied Communion In South Carolina Over Views On Abortion

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich


October 28, 20197:53 PM ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly denied holy communion at a South Carolina church on Sunday because of his support for abortion.

Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church said Monday that he did not allow Biden, who attended the Catholic church’s 9 am mass, to receive communion.

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the Morning News in Florence, South Carolina. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign would not confirm whether or not the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate attended the mass at St. Anthony’s.

Monday, October 28, 2019

As wildfires burn, California residents express fear, anger toward PG&E

So much for a cashless society: Currency is popular again, especially the $100 bill

A San Francisco restaurant in May displayed a sign alerting customers that it did not accept cash. But the city subsequently required require brick-and-mortar retailers to take cash in payment for goods. In fact, the U.S. has seen a resurgence in the popularity of physical currency.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

OCT. 27, 2019
3 AM

Modern finance requires a lot of trust, and its digital future will demand still more. If, for example, electronic payments are to replace cash, people must be willing to believe that the bits of data traveling among phones, cards, terminals and blockchains actually represent something of value.

So, will people believe? Judging from their growing predilection for physical currency, maybe not.

At first glance, cash would appear to be on its way out.

Sweden has almost eliminated its use for payments. In America, home of the almighty dollar, almost a third of the population gets through a typical week without using a single banknote.

Businesses are experimenting with going cashless, hoping to speed up transactions, combat theft and create a safer environment for their employees.

Actually, though, physical currency is experiencing a resurgence.

People in many of the world’s most advanced nations — including the United States, the euro area and Japan — are holding more of it than ever.

In the U.S., for example, currency in circulation stood at an estimated $1.76 trillion as of late September, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s about 8.2% of gross domestic product, up from just 5.6% before the 2008 financial crisis and close to the highest level in at least 36 years.​

If people need less cash to pay for stuff, why do they want to hold so much of it? The answer, it seems, is that they’re turning to currency as a store of value.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

SDA cleric arrested in Burundi (Africa) crackdown

SDA cleric arrested in Burundi crackdown

Geoffrey Mosoku

 28th Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A senior Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) cleric from Burundi has been arrested while trying to travel to Kenya, SDA global head Ted Wilson has said.

Lamec Barishinga, the head of the SDA church in Burundi was arrested by the Burundian government while making arrangements to travel to Nairobi for a church meeting.

Pastor Wison has now written a letter to SDA faithful in Bujumbura encouraging them to be strong in the face of State brutality.

SEE ALSO :Church leaders short of God’s glory must change their ways

SDA is one of the oldest churches in Burundi with 186,000 members.

“The images of suffering SDA faithful, who are victims of police brutality, have touched our hearts,” Wilson’s letter reads.

“We are aware of the intimidation of our members and the abuses and violence they are facing.” He added that all atrocities have been well documented.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.

The letter continues: “The horrible sight of a woman dragged and beaten on the floor of a church has stirred indignation. Human beings created in the image of God and loyal citizens of the country of Burundi should never be treated in such a manner. This is certainly beneath the dignity of Christians.”

In May this year Barishinga was again held by police after protesting the arrest of 21 SDA faithful. Wilson also protested at the time writing a scathing letter to the government of Burundi.

Holy Yoga Part 1 | Is It Really Christian? – LED Live

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...Virgin Mary statue in parking lot, worshipers start showing up to pray

Crowded antique shop puts Virgin Mary statue in parking lot, worshipers start showing up to pray

OCT 25, 2019 | 6:27 PM

A statue similar to this one has been drawing the faithful in Maine. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There’s something about Mary.

An antique store owner who didn’t have room in his shop for a recently acquired Virgin Mary statue was caught by surprise when passersby started pulling over to worship the four-foot tall icon after he put in his parking lot.

"People come and stop to reflect, meditate and do their thing,” David Cooke told the Times Record of Brunswick, Maine.

The Phippsburg shop’s proprietor isn’t Catholic, but his wife Maggie, who reportedly died in 2016, was. The shop is called Maggie’s Bygone

"It has just taken on a life of its own,” he said of the pop-up shrine.

Cooke said the statue had resided at the home of an elderly woman before it came into his possession. He set the nearly life-size monument on a patch of grass in his parking lot, rather than keeping it indoors, where it would take up too much space.

He soon started noticing that people were pulling over to pray to his statue. One motorist left a set of rosary beads behind so others could participate in that method of worship. He said that one potential buyer offered to purchase the statue — but she insisted it would have to remain parked outside Cooke’s shop.

Three Wavy Lines/The Lord's Supper-Pastor Bill Hughes

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sabbath Important, Regardless of the Day

Photo by Kristen Sauer

The Asbury Collegian
October 25, 2019

When I was a child, Sunday was my favorite day of the week. Being a pastor’s daughter, I got to get up early with Dad, get dressed before the sun rose, and begin the day setting up for Kid’s Church, or brewing coffee or setting up a puppet stage with my friends. I loved Sundays because they seemed to overflow with activity.  It wasn’t until sixth grade that I realized Sunday was supposed to be the Sabbath. This came with the shock that if this was indeed true, I had failed to keep the Sabbath holy nearly every week of my life. Furthermore; how would I keep it now that I knew? Should I stop volunteering altogether on Sunday? What about my father, or my grandfather, who is also a pastor? Breaking the fourth commandment seems simply part of their jobs.  

What does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy? If you’ve taken Foundations of Christian Thought, you may remember that the most basic definition for holiness is being “set apart.”  What does God mean in Exodus 20:8 when He tells us to “keep the Sabbath holy?” He means we must intentionally take a day or a time and set it apart from our other days and times – it must be separate from the rest.

Signs of The Times... But We Have Not Seen Nothing Yet!

Live | Protesters in Barcelona call for Catalan separatist leaders to be...

There Will Be Laws Controlling Conscience

The so-called Christian world is to be the theater of great and decisive actions. Men in authority will enact laws controlling the conscience, after the example of the papacy. Babylon will make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Every nation will be involved. Of this time John the Revelator declares:

“The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Revelation 18:3-7). 

Selected Messages Book 3, p.92.

51% of Americans Want to END Freedom of Speech (Many Even Want JAIL TIME for “Hate Speech”)

October 26, 2019

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

Of all the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution, the First Amendment is arguably the most important. And despite the fact that we are country built on glorious dissent, a poll undertaken by the Campaign for Free Speech found that more than 51% of Americans are ready to give up the rights guaranteed by that amendment, deeming it “outdated.”
A Quick Primer on the First Amendment

First things first (pun intended), most folks don’t even know what the First Amendment protects.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The basis of freedom lies within that small paragraph. If you want to be able to access information other than that which is provided by the government, or be able to speak out when you believe that the government is in the wrong without fear of governmental prosecution, then you should be utterly horrified that more than half of Americans are ready to just get rid of it.

But that might be because a whopping majority of Americans don’t understand the First Amendment. CFS reports:

80% don’t actually know what the First Amendment really protects. Those polled believed this statement is true: “The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.”

It’s actually not true. The First Amendment prevents the government from punishing you for your speech (with exceptions such as yelling “fire” in a crowded area to induce panic).

But more broadly, freedom of speech does not mean you are protected from social consequences for your speech. You may have the right to say something extreme or hateful and not get thrown in jail, but others in society have the right to shun you. (source)

A wave of often unprecedented protest movements around the world

The past weeks have seen a wave of often unprecedented protest movements erupt in countries around the world. Here is an overview of the main ones that started this month.

A surge in protests around the world in October

October 25, 2019, 2:14 PM EDT

Paris (AFP) - The past weeks have seen a wave of often unprecedented protest movements erupt in countries around the world.

Here is an overview of the main ones that started this month and others that are continuing.

- Bolivia -

When? Since October 21.

Trigger? The disputed results of the October 20 presidential election which gave outgoing leader Evo Morales almost outright victory for a fourth term.

State of play? There has been violence in several regions; a general strike was launched on October 23.

Toll? Several people have been injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morales.

- Chile -

When? Since October 18.

Trigger? An increase in the price of metro tickets in the capital.

State of play? President Sebastian Pinera suspended the price hike and then announced social measures such as increased pensions and lower electricity costs. But the protests spread, including complaints about living costs and social inequality. A general strike started on October 23.

Toll? 18 dead.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Pastor Andrew Brunson on how his faith survived 2 years in a Turkish prison

'Chaos Map' shows violent deaths will 'soar' in 10 years due to food and water shortages

Researchers say the number of deaths due to conflict and rioting caused by food, water and fuel shortages is likely increase rapidly over the next 10 years

Stephen Beech
Shivali Best
10:08, 24 OCT 2019
UPDATED10:25, 24 OCT 2019

Riot in Paris (Image: Getty Images)
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Violent deaths linked to price rises will "soar" around the world - including in Europe - over the next decade, warns a major new study.

Researchers say the number of deaths due to conflict and rioting caused by food, water and fuel shortages is likely increase rapidly over the next 10 years.

They have created a new interactive tool, called the Chaos Map, that records fatalities linked to price rises and resource shortages.

Produced by Dr Davide Natalini and Professor Aled Jones of Anglia Ruskin University , the map shows that more than 1,300 deaths between 2005 and 2017 have been the result of violent unrest directly attributable to either food, water or fuel insecurity.

And the academics believe the figures could soar in the next decade.

The Chaos Map (Image: Anglia Ruskin University)

UN Day Concert 2019 - Opening remarks by UN Chief António Guterres

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Vatican at risk of default due to plummeting donations: exposé

By Lia Eustachewich

October 22, 2019 | 9:33am


The Vatican is in need of salvation.

Donations to the Catholic Church have plummeted in the wake of its pervasive clergy sex abuse scandal — so much so that it’s at risk of default by 2023, according to a new exposé.

In 2006, the church raked in 101 million euros ($112 million) in contributions. By 2016, that number was 70 million euros ($77.9 million), and now could be less than 60 million euros, the Telegraph reported.

The startling bottom line is according to Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose new book, “Universal Judgment,” came out Monday.

He blames the church’s financial mess on a dip in donations, as well as poor money management and bad real estate deals.

“If the pontificate of Francis fails, it won’t be because of the attacks of conservative Catholics or the crisis in vocations or because of the declining number of faithful,” Nuzzi writes in the book. “It will be because of the financial collapse that is coming ever closer.”

The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, a department of the Vatican which oversees real estate and investments, lost the equivalent of nearly $49 million last year — prompting officials to set up an emergency task force, according to Nuzzi.

He said the real estate portfolio was worth an estimated 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) and was poorly managed. Some 800 properties were empty, while 15 percent of the 3,200 rented properties were being leased for free or for below-market prices.

“The deficit is recurring and structural and has reached worrying levels,” a Vatican official wrote in a memo obtained by Nuzzi. “We risk a default if no urgent steps are taken.”

Only a fifth of total donations go to the poor and the rest is held in bank accounts or used toward the debts of the Vatican’s governing body, the Curia, Nuzzi said.

Sex abuse scandals have rocked dioceses in the US, Ireland, Chile, Australia and other countries.

Pope Francis’ economic adviser slapped down allegations in Nuzzi’s book, calling them an attempt to discredit the pontiff.

“To say that the Vatican is at danger of default is false,” said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga in an interview with Repubblica newspaper on Tuesday. “It seems to me there is a discrediting strategy underway.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

About that photo: Trump, Pelosi clash amid impeachment


October 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tweeted it as evidence of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s weakness. Pelosi raised it as a banner of strength.

The dramatic official White House photograph shows Pelosi standing and pointing at the seated president across the Cabinet Room table. Although the two are separated by only a few feet, the space illustrated a yawning divide and chronicled in a flash the state of a nation convulsed by impeachment, the prominence of women in politics and the 2020 election.

The reaction to the image, from the top down, also reflected the Rohrschach-type reality that even an image can be narrated in vastly different ways.

“I think it would be interesting, you tell me, if we could have a recording of what goes on” in such meetings, Pelosi told reporters afterward. “We must have been at two different meetings.”

This much is undisputed: Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, was part of a bipartisan delegation of House members and senators who visited the White House on Wednesday to talk about Trump’s widely opposed pullout of U.S. forces from northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey’s bloody attack on the region.

Earlier in the day, the House had overwhelmingly voted to oppose the president’s withdrawal, a rare bipartisan rebuke. Also hanging over the meeting, but reportedly not mentioned, was Pelosi’s drive to impeach Trump over his phone call with Ukraine’s president.

Four dead, dozens injured in violence over Facebook post

By - Associated Press - Sunday, October 20, 2019

DHAKA, Bangladesh — At least four people were killed and dozens injured Sunday after security officials in southern Bangladesh opened fire to disperse hundreds of Muslims during a protest over an alleged social media post undermining Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, police said.

The violence took place in Borhanuddin in the southern district of Bhola when angry protesters demanded the punishment of a Hindu man for the alleged Facebook comment, said local police chief Sarkar Mohammad Kaisar. The man denied making the comment, saying his Facebook account had been hacked.

Kaisar said four people were killed and the injured, including about a dozen police officials, were being treated in local hospitals. Bangladesh’s leading newspapers said about 100 people were injured.

Bhola is 72 miles (116 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka.

Local authorities held a meeting Sunday to try to defuse the tensions that began Friday as the Facebook post gained attention in the area. But the angry protesters started attacking security officials, prompting them to retaliate, Kaisar said.

He said that following a complaint by the Facebook account holder, police detained three people for allegedly hacking the account.

Communal tensions often pop up in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, with minority groups saying they face discrimination.

Amazon bishops pledge poverty, spurning plastics and taking the bus

Inés San Martín

Oct 20, 2019

Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes say Mass in the Catacombs of Domitila, Oct. 20, 2019. A group of prelates participating on the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, together with lay women and men, signed a declaration called "Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home." (Credit: Ines San Martin/Crux.)

ROME - Some 40 bishops participating in the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon gathered Sunday in the Catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome to renew a pact signed in 1965 by 42 prelates at the Second Vatican Council calling for a poor Church.

Though both “Pacts of the Catacombs” were inspired by a commitment to building a poor Church for the poor, there are striking differences between the 1965 original and the one signed this time around, including length.

RELATED: Vatican II’s forgotten apostle of the poor stages comeback at Amazon synod

This week’s pact is rooted in the Amazon, and some elements may be harder to embrace by the universal Church, as the original declaration was intended to be.

Titled “Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home, for a Church with an Amazonian face, Poor and Servant, Prophetic and Samaritan,” Sunday’s declaration among other points calls for recognition of the “real diakonia of a great number of women who today direct communities in the Amazon.”

Another difference is that this one was signed by lay people, including women. As one woman went up to sign, she referred to herself as a “synod mother,” a parallel to bishops participating in the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon who’re called “synod fathers.”

Also expected to sign were a Lutheran pastor and a pastor of the Assemblies of God who attended a Mass celebrated by Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the relator, or chairman, of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon.

Vatican documents detail suspicious investments at Secretariat of State

Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

20 October, 2019

The Apostolic Palace, where the headquarters of the Secretariat of State are. (Andrea Gagliarducci / ACI Group)

A confidential report from the Vatican’s anti-corruption authority shows that the Secretariat of State has used about $725 million, most of which came from the Pope’s charity fund, in off-books operations.

Italian weekly L’Espresso published a report on October 20 revealing information from three confidential Vatican documents, one of which is a report from the Pope’s anti-corruption authority, called the Office of the General Auditor, claiming to have found serious financial crimes and corruption within the Secretariat of State.

The documents, L’Espresso reported, detail the use and management of extra-budgetary funds by the Secretariat of State, “deriving in large part from the donations received by the Holy Father for charitable works and for the sustenance of the Roman Curia.”

At least most of the money was drawn from Peter’s Pence, the annual collection through which Catholics are invited to support the charitable activities of the pope.

L’Espresso reported these funds are being used “in reckless speculative operations,” and that the same report by the General Auditor says about 77% of the assets (about $558 million) were put into Swiss and Italian branches of the investment bank Credit Suisse.

A second confidential document acquired by L’Espresso is the 16-page decree authorizing the Oct. 1 search of the offices of the Secretariat of State and the Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF). The raid was ordered by the Vatican City’s prosecutors, called “promoters of Justice,” and led to the suspension of five Vatican officials and employees.

At the time of the raid, a Vatican statement said documents and devices were taken in connection to an investigation following complaints made last summer by the Institute for Religious Works (IOR)— commonly called the Vatican Bank— and the Office of the Auditor General.

A law from the 1600s will keep retail shops closed on Sundays

A law from the 1600s will keep retail shops closed on Sundays at the nation's newest shopping mall




  • The first phase of the American Dream megamall, in New Jersey, opens Oct. 25.
  • The retail shops aren't slated to open until March 2020.
  • When they do open, they'll remain dark on Sundays, in accordance with Bergen County's blue laws.
  • This part of the state, a mecca for shopping malls, has been the one hold out for this type of restriction in the U.S.

The American Dream complex stands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

It's quite ironic.

A massive entertainment and retail complex is opening in the last county in the country where commercial shopping is still prohibited on Sundays. The first phase of the project opens Friday, featuring a Nickelodeon-themed park and ice skating rink. Other parts of the complex will open in phases, including a water park, an indoor ski hill, and retail stores.

All told, 55% of the American Dream center will be dedicated to entertainment and dining, but 45% will be retail stores, which will open in March. When the stores do open, it will only be for six days every week.

So-called blue laws are still in place in Bergen County, New Jersey, where Triple Five Group's American Dream is situated.

It's the same county where Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield operates Garden State Plaza, one of the nation's top-performing malls. Also nearby are the Outlets at Bergen Town Center, and Paramus Park Mall. Yep, all closed on Sunday.

The history of the blue laws dates back nearly 2,000 years, when Roman Emperor Constantine in A.D. 321 wanted to set aside Sunday as a day for rest.

Until the 1990s, blue laws prohibiting the sale of clothes, home goods, appliances and other goods were much more common nationwide. The name "blue laws," according to historians, comes from the fact that the Puritans tended to write their laws on blue paper.

What if the Real Act of Holiness Is Rest?


After all, that is the Sabbath’s chief requirement.

By Margaret Renkl

Contributing Opinion Writer
Oct. 21, 2019

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy,” reads Mother Ollie’s Bible. 
Eric Ryan Anderson for The New York Times

NASHVILLE — My great-grandmother was a lifelong Baptist who spent the last four decades of her life worshiping with the Methodists because by then there was only one church left in that tiny farming community in Lower Alabama. Mother Ollie gladly attended Mass at my family’s Catholic church in Birmingham, too, but she never drifted from her quiet adherence to the King James ways of her Baptist youth.

She was so quiet in her convictions that I was 10 or 12 before I noticed that she went straight back to her room after church every Sunday. On other days, she was always busy — shelling peas or snapping beans, crocheting or quilting or sewing — but on Sunday her hands fell still, and her sewing machine sat silent. The foot-pedal Singer she’d ordered from a catalog sometime during the early 20th century was still in daily use until a few weeks before her death in 1982, but she never sewed on Sunday.

When I went looking for her help with a tatting project one Sunday afternoon, I found out why. Tatting is a kind of lace made of tiny knots tied in very fine string. The trick is to tie the right kind of knot without tangling the string into the wrong kind, but I had made so many of the wrong knots that I couldn’t even figure out how to unpick the tangle and start again. I found her sitting in a chair under the window, her Bible in her lap. The book was very old, with edges so worn they curved inward toward the pages, as soft as a puppy. I knocked on the open door. “Mother Ollie, can you help me with this?”

The author’s great-grandmother.
Eric Ryan Anderson for The New York Times

All these years later, I think about the heartache it must have cost my great-grandmother, the one whose bedroom I shared whenever the house was full, to disappoint a child she loved so much. But that day she could not help me with my needlework. “Not today, honey,” she said. “The Lord tells us not to work on the Sabbath.” And handwork, by definition, is work.

NWO and the United States: free masonry, satanism, pope Francis & the US...

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hong Kong’s Spiritual Battle

With parishioners split over politics, pastors try to keep churches together.

Drawing from her personal experiences in Hong Kong, WSJ Editorial Page writer Jillian Melchior looks at the escalating use of police force and the concern that facial-recognition technology and AI will be used to go after protesters for years to come. Image: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Jillian Kay Melchior Oct. 17, 2019 6:37 pm ET

Hong Kong

A young protester here faced a moral dilemma: As a Christian, he felt violence was wrong. He also felt a duty to fight back against an oppressive government. “Can I throw bricks?” he asked Pastor Daniel Chan.

Read more

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating

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.

Testimonies for the Church vol. 9, p.11. 
Last Day Events, p.11.

Abrahamic House of Fraternity embodies values on which foundation of UAE was built

Religious site, to be built on Saadiyat Island, will be a symbol of mutual respect

An artist's illustration of the Abrahamic Family House to be built on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Edelman

National Editorial

September 21, 2019

When Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, signed the Document on Human Fraternity during the pontiff’s groundbreaking and memorable visit earlier this year, it set out a blueprint of the foundations of mutual respect and understanding upon which the UAE is built. The Abrahamic Family House, unveiled on Friday in New York, is a bricks-and-mortar manifestation of that document, a beacon on the horizon enshrining the values this country holds dear. Sitting next to Louvre Abu Dhabi, itself a monument to cultural understanding across civilisations, the triptych of houses of worship will stand as an embodiment of a society that welcomes all, irrespective of backgrounds and beliefs, for generations to come.

It is fitting that the Abrahamic Family House on Saadiyat Island, which will include a mosque, church and synagogue, was unveiled in a ceremony in the New York Public Library, itself a seat of learning and an historic landmark holding rare manuscripts relating to the three Abrahamic faiths, including the first printed Gutenberg Bible.

A first look at 'The Peace Visit': The documentary on Pope Francis's trip to UAE

Grand Imam of Al Azhar announces UAE humanitarian award will be donated to charity

Construction on the Abu Dhabi site, which will consist of three elegant buildings surrounding a central leafy courtyard, will begin next year. By the time it is completed in 2022, it will stand as a symbol of the vision of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s Founding Father, who strove to build a nation with interfaith dialogue and religious acceptance at its very heart. Its creation is an important step – one of many taken by the government throughout the nation’s nearly 48-year history – towards realising that while conflict, religious hatred and intolerance continue to plague parts of the Middle East, unity and empathy are stronger forces that have the power to conquer all differences.

Indeed, important work is being done in the UAE, a country that is home to many different nationalities, to accommodate all religions and sects. The country’s first traditional Hindu temple is scheduled to welcome worshippers from around the world to Abu Dhabi from 2022. In April, the first foundation stone was laid as priests chanted hymns in Sanskrit. In neighbouring Dubai is the only Buddhist temple in the Arabian Peninsula, welcoming more than 1,000 worshippers every Friday. And on Sunday, all 17 churches in Abu Dhabi and the forthcoming Hindu temple were brought under one umbrella by the Department of Community Development to reflect the government’s role in supporting religious minorities.

All these steps were set in motion by the papal visit in February this year, when thousands of Catholics across the country congregated inside the capital’s Zayed Sports City to get a glimpse of Pope Francis – a landmark moment that united the country in celebration. Such steps will go a long way towards building a model society and nation, reminding a restive and divided world of the merits of building bridges and uniting people. One need not simply look at countries devastated by conflict – most notably Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen – to understand the importance of the UAE project. Events around the world tell us that work of sustaining peace and harmony is never done, but societies that manage to do so reap rewards and set an example for others to follow.

Updated: September 21, 2019 06:39 PM

Eating in the End time | Adventist Review Online

Adventist Review Online | Eating in the End time

Eschatological food


Some Seventh-day Adventists ask: Does our diet have anything to do with our salvation? Yes and no. Or, perhaps, no and yes.


Do you know all 17 SDGs?

Will Mitt Romney fulfill a Mormon ‘prophecy’ and save the Constitution?

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in Washington in May. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

OCT. 19, 2019
7 AM

Mitt Romney has emerged as the Lone Ranger Republican, willing to speak out about our corrupt president. When the news of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky broke, Romney said the situation was not just “troubling” but “appalling.” He insisted we needed to know more and encouraged the impeachment inquiry to go forward.

Not surprisingly, Romney’s rationality called down the wrath of our testy and profane leader, who labeled him “a pompous ass” and suggested that it was the junior senator from Utah who should be impeached (he meant “expelled,” but as usual projected his own issues onto the situation).

When I think of Romney these days it’s hard not to recall a story of our frontier ancestors, both early Mormon settlers in northern Arizona. Our great-grandfathers were friends and bonded over the fact they were both arrested for polygamy at the same time, in 1884. When Mitt’s ancestor, Miles P. Romney, couldn’t afford bail, my paternal great-grandfather, William Jordan Flake, lent him $1,000, but Romney never repaid him. Instead Miles P. lit out for Mexico with his wives and children, while my great-grandfather spent six months in the Yuma Territorial Prison before returning to the families that awaited in the town named after him. Later he became one of the first Arizona state senators, perhaps laying out a political path for his progeny: Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is also one of his descendants.

Mitt and I have yet another connection, stranger and even more powerful than polygamist ancestors. It’s something every child growing up in a Mormon household in the 1950s had drilled into their heads.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Kevin Shipp – You Need to Understand there is a Crisis Coming

Protests around the world: violent clashes hit Chile, Hong Kong, Lebanon and Barcelona

Saturday 19 October 2019

Here's the latest in each of the country's affected by unrest

Riot police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, near the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon 
October 18, 2019. Reuters

The National

October 19, 2019

Protests have broken out in several countries across the world, with citizens unhappy for different reasons. Some are protesting over economic conditions, others are protesting over tax hikes and elsewhere protests are breaking out over controversial laws or prison sentences imposed by governments.

Here's the latest in each of the country's affected by violent clashes and unrest.

Chile's president declared a state of emergency in Santiago on Friday night and gave the military responsibility for security after a day of violent protests over increases in the price of metro tickets.

"I have declared a state of emergency and, to that end, I have appointed Major General Javier Iturriaga del Campo as head of national defense, in accordance with the provisions of our state of emergency legislation," President Sebastian Pinera said.

Throughout Friday, protesters clashed with riot police in several parts of the city and the subway system was shut after attacks on several stations.

A woman shouts in front of a police truck near the Santa Lucia subway station during a protest against the rising cost of subway and bus fares, in Santiago. AP Photo

Violent clashes escalated as night fell, and the ENEL power company building and a Banco Chile branch, both in the city center, were set on fire and several metro stations hit with Molotov cocktails.

The unrest started as a fare-dodging protest against the hike in metro ticket prices, which increased from 800 to 830 peso ($1.17) for peak hour travel, following a 20 peso rise in January.

Attacks on metro stations forced the closure of the entire subway system, which is the key form of public transport in the congested and polluted capital, carrying three million passengers a day.

"The entire network is closed due to riots and destruction that prevent the minimum security conditions for passengers and workers," the metro operator said on Twitter, after attacks against nearly all the 164 stations where many gates and turnstiles were destroyed.

The Santiago Metro, at 140 kilometres (90 miles) the largest and most modern in South America, is expected to remain closed this weekend and could reopen gradually next week.

Climate emergency: City mayors are 'world's first responders', says UN chief

World Bank/Franz Mahr
Lima, the capital of Peru, a South American megacity. (file)

11 October 2019
Climate Change

City bosses are “the world’s first responders to the climate emergency” UN chief António Guterres declared on Friday, at an international mayors’ summit in Copenhagen.

In his opening remarks to the C40 World Mayors Summit – a forum for member cities to present innovative actions to slow global warming – the Secretary-General noted that cities, which contain more than half the world’s population, and have an “enormous climate footprint”, are “on the frontlines of sustainable and inclusive development”.

Urban citizens, he continued, look to mayors to make cities havens for diversity, social cohesion and job creation.

Reminding delegates of the existential threat to humanity posed by the climate emergency, and the need to dramatically boost climate action at all levels, Mr. Guterres said that, at the UN Climate Action Summit in September, some 70 countries, and around 100 cities, announced plans to enhance their national plans to cut harmful emissions by 2020.

Green Sundays and the Counterfeit Temperance Movement

The Many Roads to Vegetarianism

Health, religion and animal rights have all been advanced as reasons not to eat meat.

Henry David Thoreau

Amanda Foreman
Oct. 18, 2019 9:03 am ET

The claim that today’s ingeniously engineered fake meat tastes like the real thing and helps the planet is winning over consumers from the carnivore side of the food aisle. According to Barclays, the alt-meat market could be worth $140 billion a year a decade from now. But the argument over the merits of vegetarianism is nothing new; it’s been going on since ancient times.

Meat played a pivotal role in the evolution of the human brain, providing the necessary calories and protein to enable it to increase in size. Nonetheless, meat-eating remained a luxury in the diets of most early civilizations. It wasn’t much of a personal sacrifice, therefore, when the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (ca. 570-495 B.C.), author of the famous theorem, became what many consider the first vegetarian by choice. Pythogoreans believed that humans could be reincarnated as animals and vice versa, meaning that if you ate meat, Aunt Lydia could end up on your plate.

The anti-meat school of thought was joined a century later by Plato, who argued in the Republic that meat consumption encouraged decadence and warlike behavior. These views were strongly countered by Aristotelian philosophy, which taught that animals exist for human use—an opinion that the Romans heartily endorsed.

The avoidance of meat for moral and ascetic reasons also found a home in Buddhism and Hinduism. Ashoka the Great, the 3rd-century Buddhist emperor of the Maurya Dynasty of India, abolished animal sacrifice and urged his people to abstain from eating flesh.

It wasn’t until the Enlightenment, however, that Western moralists and philosophers began to argue for vegetarianism on the grounds that we have a moral duty to avoid causing animals pain. In 1641 the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed one of the earliest laws against animal cruelty. By the early 19th century, the idea that animals have rights had started to take hold: The English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley proselytized for vegetarianism, as did the American transcendentalist thinker Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in “Walden”: “I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race ... to leave off eating animals.”

Francis publishes Book on “Our Mother Earth”

Francis publishes Book on “Our Mother Earth”

October 18, 2019

The Eco-Religion advances…

Photo credit (

While there is a perpetual debate raging on the precise identity of the bizarre carved image that was worshipped in the Vatican Gardens under Francis’ nose on Oct. 4 and keeps appearing at outrageous events (caution!) connected with the Amazon Synod in Rome, the Vatican has announced the release of a new book by their Dear Leader, the Jesuit apostate Jorge Bergoglio, also known by his stage name, “Pope Francis.”

The title of the book is: Our Mother Earth: A Christian Approach to the Environmental Challenge (original: Nostra Madre Terra: Una Lettura Cristiana della Sfide dell’Ambiente). The publisher is the Vatican publishing house Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The release date is Oct. 24, 2019, three days before the close of the scandalous synod. The book includes a prologue written by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Our latest podcast has a segment on this new publication:

According to Vaticanist Giuseppe Nardi, Our Mother Earth consists of 30 short meditations on the encyclical Laudato Si’, Francis’ environmentalist manifesto published in 2015. The Novus Ordo news agency Zenit says “the work is a compilation of the addresses, messages and homilies in which Pope Francis refers to the defense of the environment and appeals for the promotion of a worthy life for all peoples.” The article continues:

Among all the included documents, is an unpublished text of the Holy Father, in which he requests that we ask forgiveness for all the harm caused to our planet.

…the Holy Father says that without people’s true repentance about their lifestyle, the fight for the protection of the environment will be futile. “I sincerely hope for growth in awareness and true repentance on the part of us all, men and women of the 21st century, believers or not, and on the part of our societies, for allowing ourselves to be carried away by logics that divide, create hunger, isolate and condemn. It would be good to ask the poor [and] the excluded for forgiveness. Then we could repent sincerely, including for the harm done to the earth, the sea, the air, the animals . . . “

Friday, October 18, 2019

Inside the Vatican's Secret Archives

(Credit: Moosbrugger/ullstein bild/Getty Images)

The Stakes

A single archive at the Vatican holds original transcripts from Galileo's inquisition, a letter from Henry VIII pleading to be granted divorce, records from the heresy trials of the Knights Templar—and a note from Michelangelo requesting overdue pay for his workers. And those are just some of the documents we know about. What else might lie in the centuries-old Vatican Secret Archives? And might these documents shed light on hidden papal influence over global events?

With the vast majority of the Archive's contents off-limits to the public, speculation is rife—from a huge collection of papal pornography to evidence of the Church's enabling of the Holocaust. Many theories focus on subjects that have the potential to undermine the Church's authority. Has the secrecy been blown out of proportion, or is the Vatican concealing information that would shock the world?

The Story

The storehouse of the Vatican Secret Archives. (Credit: Giovanni Ciarlo/AP Photo)

Established under the Latin name Archivum Secretum Vaticanum, the Archive holds popes' personal correspondence and important documents dating back to the 9th century. (The word "secretum," though translated as "secret," is more akin to "private.") During the 17th century, Pope Paul V, the man who put Galileo on trial, decided to split the Secret Archives from the main collection of the Vatican Library.

The collections still sit side by side, just north of the Sistine Chapel. The Secret Archives contain 53 miles of shelving, some of which is in a fireproof, climate-controlled two-story underground bunker adjacent to the main Apostolic Library.

Many of the documents that have been declassified concern historic moments and leaders: One is Henry VIII's 1527 letter requesting a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. When years passed without Pope Clement VII approving the split, Henry VIII turned to his Protestant advisors, broke with the Catholic Church and helped usher in the Reformation.

Another is a letter to Pope Pius IX from Jefferson Davis, president of America's confederate states during the Civil War. The note, thanking Pius IX for his "sentiments of Christian good feeling and love" amid "most cruel oppression and terrible carnage," has led to debate over whether the pope supported the Confederacy beyond giving general comfort and wishes for peace.

Galileo before the Holy Office in the Vatican, where he was condemned by the Tribunal of the Inquisition for having defended the theories of Copernicus. (Credit: Leemage/Corbis/Getty Images)
In 1984, the Vatican announced it would release the Archives' transcripts from the heresy trial of Galileo Galilei, who in 1633 was forced to recant his claim that the Earth revolves around the sun. In 1992, Pope John Paul II formally acknowledged that Galileo was right and the Roman Inquisition had mishandled the case.

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

OCTOBER 17, 2019

An update on America's changing religious landscape

(Sungjin Ahn photography/Getty Images)

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population.

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General Mattis strikes back at Trump at NY Archdiocese’s Al Smith Dinner

Mattis strikes back at Trump at NY Archdiocese’s annual Al Smith Dinner

OCT 17, 2019 | 11:23 PM

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan at Thursday night's Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Ex-Trump administration defense secretary and retired Marine Corps general Jim Mattis had kept quiet about his former commander-in-chief — but he couldn’t bear staying silent over President Trump’s comment that he is “the world’s most overrated general.”

“I’m honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis joked Thursday night at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, hosted by the Archdiocese of New York.

“So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals and frankly that sounds pretty good to me," Mattis said. "And you do have to admit between me and Meryl, at least we’ve had some victories.”

Mattis also jabbed at Trump for avoiding the military draft in the Vietnam era by presenting a doctor’s finding that bone spurs in his feet barred him from service.

“I earned my spurs on the battlefield ... And Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” Mattis said.

Mattis was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner, named in honor of late New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and held this year at the New York Hilton. Its proceeds “go directly to benefitting the neediest children of New York, regardless of race, creed, or color,” the dinner’s website says.

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Sheila Jackson Lee disagrees with Schiff on whistleblower...

Sheila Jackson Lee disagrees with Schiff on whistleblower: 'It is important for us to hear' the testimony
October 16, 2019 01:37 PM

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member on the House Judiciary Committee, said the Ukraine whistleblower should testify in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump; a notable dissent from the investigation's quarterback, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

“The document of the whistleblower was an indicting document. The transcript was an indicting document. I do believe it is important for us to hear from the whistleblower,” Jackson Lee told reporters Wednesday following a weekly caucus meeting. “If you were in a court of law you would hold up a piece of paper that was evidence, but your witness would be able to confirm or deny the evidence having firsthand knowledge. That is a powerful addition to any truthful, deliberate investigation that may ultimately result in articles of impeachment.”

Jackson Lee said she did not want to “prejudge” how the first whistleblower should provide his testimony. “I'm going to say that the chairpersons are crafting," she said. "However, it should be done if it is going to occur.”

The House Judiciary Committee previously spearheaded a six-committee impeachment investigation into Trump, until the investigation became more focused on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. At the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Intelligence Committee took over the reigns of the impeachment investigation.

The call came to light after a whistleblower, who formerly worked at the National Security Council and returned to the CIA, filed a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general only after meeting with the House Intelligence staffers on Schiff’s staff. Schiff and the whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, have insisted on keeping the whistleblower’s identity concealed. In recent days, Schiff has downplayed the importance of the anonymous informant’s testimony.

“Given that we already have the call record, we don't need the whistleblower who wasn't on the call to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff told CBS News last Sunday. “We have the best evidence of that.”

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border...

The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border Before Turning It on Americans

Almost every technology developed at the border in the last two decades now exists in local police departments

Oct 17 · 5 min read

A U.S. surveillance camera overlooks the international bridge between Mexico and the United States. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Border Patrol’s electronic eyes will spot you long before you spot them.

If you walk along the United States border in remote stretches of New Mexico desert, or in the grasslands between North Dakota and Canada, you might not hear the buzz of what could be flying above you: A Predator drone — the same vehicle that has been outfitted to drop bombs over Afghanistan and Iraq. From five miles away, the drone’s cameras can see so well they can tell if you’re wearing a backpack.

If you’re in the Florida Keys, you may be spotted by an altogether different set of eyes in the sky. Up 10,000 feet in the air, a football field-sized zeppelin floats with an array of cameras, sensors, and radar systems so sophisticated that it can track every car, aircraft, and boat within a 200-mile range.

And if you’re near the deserts of southern Arizona, it won’t be hard to notice the 160-foot towers that rise up from the sandy landscape, equipped with advanced thermal imaging that can sense your exact movements from over seven miles away.

Because large portions of the border are so remote, and because U.S. citizens seem more willing to endorse surveillance programs that specifically target non-citizens, American borderlands have become a testing ground for cutting-edge surveillance tech.

To call this technology “Orwellian” would be anachronistic. Even George Orwell, for all his dreary imagining, never conceived of an infrared camera that could detect a person’s faintest movements.

Even as privacy hawks on the left and the right warn about the government’s embrace of surveillance tech, it’s been impossible to stop the fast-accelerating development of new infrastructure. President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress might clash over the need for a border wall, but there’s a growing consensus in Washington that the country needs a “virtual wall.” The terms for this concept vary: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls it a “technological wall”; other members of Congress have adopted Silicon Valley lingo and refer to it as a “smart wall.”

The Prince of Wales Congratulates Pope Francis For His "Great Success" in Battle For Environment

•Oct 13, 2019

The Royal Family Channel 517K subscribers

Pope Francis met with Prince Charles Sunday in a private meeting at the Vatican before the Mass where he canonised Cardinal John Henry Newman, an influential 19th-century Anglican convert.

Upon arrival at the Vatican, Prince Charles exchanged handshakes with the pontiff and congratulated the pope for his "great success" in his "battle for the environment".

President Trump to Speak to Thousands of Supporters in Dallas Tonight

Posted on October 17, 2019

UPDATED: 6:59AM: Hundrends of Donald Trump supporters began streaming into Victory Plaza this morning; dozens of them had been camped out, outside the American Airlines Center since Tuesday afternoon.

Trump rally goers are finally being allowed to line up in front of the AAC, not just sidewalks nearby. Some been here for more than 36 hours. “Dallas loves Trump” chants and “CNN Sucks” chants happened before this. @570KLIF @WBAP247NEWS #TrumpRally

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Pope Francis: Food is becoming an avenue of personal destruction

Gerard O’Connell

October 16, 2019

A volunteer serves a meal at a soup kitchen in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 4, 2019. Resolving the global crises of world hunger and malnutrition demands a shift away from a distorted approach to food and toward healthier lifestyles and just economic practices, Pope Francis said in an Oct. 16 message. (CNS photo/Agustin Marcarian, Reuters)

Pope Francis has again condemned the relegation of food “to a mere commercial product subject to financial speculation” that results in a global contradiction: Even as some 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition worldwide, another 700 million people are obese, “victims of improper dietary habits.”

In a letter to Qu Dongyu, the first-ever Chinese director general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations on the occasion of the annual World Food Day on Oct. 16, the pope declared that “the battle against hunger and malnutrition will not end as long as the logic of the market prevails, and profit is sought at any cost.”

Pope Francis emphasized the need for “a conversion in our way of living and acting.” He said, “we must come to realize that what we are accumulating and wasting is the bread of the poor.”

World Food Day is sponsored by the F.A.O. to draw attention to the plight of so many hungry people and to highlight the need for greater action against hunger. Each year F.A.O. chooses a theme to celebrate this day. For this year it is: “Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

COMECE Assembly “Autumn 2019”


Press Release, 15/10/2019

COMECE Assembly “Autumn 2019”

to focus on EU ecological policies centered on persons, families and communities

Delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union will gather in Brussels on 23-25 October 2019 to participate in the Autumn 2019 COMECE Assembly, with the participation of H. Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich S.J., President of COMECE.

In the context of the renewed European institutions, EU Bishops will engage with EU officials reflecting on post-EU elections challenges, both from the institutional and policy levels.

In dialogue with representatives of the EU Commission, Bishop-delegates will analyse and discuss the priorities and organisation for the incoming European Commission.

On the impulse of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si’”, Bishops will also focus on EU ecological policies centered on persons, families and communities.

In this context, different angles of this policy area will be addressed - environment, the most vulnerable, demography and development - with four Catholic actors: the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), Caritas Europa, the Federation of Catholic Families (FAFCE) and the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE).

Syrian War: Evangelicals, Neocons, and Dems unite against Trump

Faith Nation: October 16, 2019

Financial Times: Top cardinal implicated in Vatican financial corruption scandal

Dorothy Cummings McLean

Tue Oct 15, 2019 - 1:36 pm EST

VATICAN CITY, October 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Investments made by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu are at the heart of a Vatican investigation, says a leading financial newspaper.

According to London’s Financial Times, the Vatican is investigating “how $200 [million] in Swiss bank accounts controlled by its central administrator ended up financing a luxury property development in London’s Chelsea district that generated large profits for a company that managed the investment for the Holy See.”

The investigation led to the October 1 raid by Vatican police on the Vatican’s own Secretariat of State, after which five Vatican employees were suspended. An internal memo about these individuals was leaked to the press, leading to the resignation of its signatory, the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps’ chief, Inspector General Domenico Giani.

The Financial Times reported yesterday that the Holy See became involved in the London real estate project, which involves the development of 45 luxury apartments, when “$200m held in Swiss bank accounts controlled by the Secretariat of State was transferred to a Luxembourg investment fund called Athena Capital.”

“Athena is owned by the Italian London-based financier Raffaele Mincione through his company WRM,” FT continued.

“Athena had bought the Chelsea building for £129m in 2012 and then sold a minority stake in the project in 2014 to a fund it managed on behalf of the Vatican as a sole client. In 2018, the Vatican bought out the remaining equity in 60 Sloane Avenue from Athena. Mr Mincione’s vehicle earned around £130m from the project overall.”

The London financial newspaper said that the Vatican had “declined to comment” about its ownership of the apartment building or the reasons for the raid upon the Secretary of State. However, FT asserted that Cardinal Giovanni Becciu, the Substitute (deputy) of the Secretariat of State between 2011 and 2018, had “personally authorized” the investment. 

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Pope's bodyguard resigns over new financial leaks scandal

The Vatican said its police chief, 57-year-old Domenico Giani, bore no responsibility for a leaked police flyer but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation.

Pope Francis walks with head of security Domenico Giani near Rome on March 5, 2017.
Tony Gentile / Reuters file

Oct. 14, 2019, 1:24 PM EDT
By Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican's latest leaks scandal claimed its first victim Monday, as Pope Francis' chief bodyguard resigned over the leak of a Vatican police flyer identifying five employees who were suspended as part of a financial investigation.

The Vatican said its police chief, 57-year-old Domenico Giani, bore no responsibility for the leaked flyer but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation and "out of love for the church and faithfulness" to the pope.

The person who leaked the document to the Italian newsweekly L'Espresso remains unknown.

Giani, a 20-year veteran of the Vatican's security services, has stood by Francis' side and jogged alongside his popemobile during hundreds of public appearances and foreign trips. He also was the chief bodyguard for Pope Benedict XVI, and the Vatican took pains to stress his "unquestionable faithfulness and loyalty" to the Holy See.

Giani had signed the Oct. 2 police flyer after his agents raided two Holy See offices — the secretariat of state and the Vatican's financial intelligence unit — as part of an investigation by Vatican criminal prosecutors into alleged financial irregularities surrounding a money-losing London real estate deal.

The deal — which reportedly resulted in a loss to the Holy See of tens of millions — has itself raised questions about the Vatican's murky finances and poor investment decisions during Benedict's papacy. Recently, Francis ordered cost cuts to relieve a structural deficit estimated at some 70 million euros.

But the raids and related suspensions, apparently launched due to more recent efforts to recover some of the lost money, were highly unusual for the Vatican and sparked fresh speculation about its Machiavellian turf battles, power struggles and score-settling.

That the alleged leaker remains unknown has added to the mystery surrounding the case, which has implicated high-ranking Vatican cardinals.