||FIRST, THE NEWS:
FIRST CATHEDRAL DEDICATED TO MOTHER TERESA
from: Church Militant
(7 Sep.) A cathedral in Pristina, Kosovo was dedicated to St. Teresa of Calcutta on Tuesday. It was the one-year anniversary of St. Teresa's canonization and the 20th anniversary of her death. An estimated 5,000 people attended the Holy Mass and dedication ceremony, including Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci, a Muslim.
Saint Teresa Cathedral is situated in the heart of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo is a small nation in the Balkan peninsula, which broke off from Serbia in 2008. The cathedral features a 70-meter bell tower, which makes it the tallest building in the impoverished Kosovo, according to Religion News Service.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, also known as Mother Teresa, was famous for her personal holiness and her radical commitment to helping the poor and needy. She founded a religious order called the Missionaries of Charity. She received many awards for her humanitarian efforts, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. The Catholics in Kosovo encountered many difficulties in constructing the new cathedral. Construction officially began in 2005 but a lack of funding caused significant delays. Albanian Catholic parishes around the world sent donations to help the cathedral get built.
Christianity in the Balkan peninsula dates to the 2nd century A.D. or earlier with a bishopric possibly established there by St. Paul himself. Despite these ancient Christian roots, Kosovo, like many countries in the region, has a large Muslim majority. This is owing to centuries of occupation and Islamization by the Ottoman Turks. In speaking to Religion News Service, Fr. Lush Gjergji, St. Teresa's personal biographer, addressed the need to reclaim Kosovo's Christian identity, lost since the late Middle Ages. "We need to reclaim the centuries," Fr. Gjergji argued, "because, since the arrival of the Ottomans, hundreds of churches and cathedrals were destroyed." [read more...]
POROSHENKO SAYS UKRAINE HAS RIGHT TO HAVE AUTONOMOUS CHURCH
fom: Kyiv Post
(7 Sep.) Ukraine has a right to have an autonomous church and will seek its creation, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said. However, he said that will not mean a ban on any other Orthodox denomination on the territory of the country.
"The recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch will in no way mean the appearance of a state church or a ban on the activities of other Orthodox jurisdictions," the president said in his annual address to the parliament on Sept. 7.
"Every citizen chooses his faith and church, and the state, although it is separate from church, cannot passively look on as other states use the church institutions dependent on them to achieve their geopolitical goals," Poroshenko said.
"I want to again draw the attention of His Holiness to the high seriousness of our intentions, the fact that the Ukrainian administration has firm political will to resolve this problem, which has been on the agenda since 1991. Ukraine has a right to an autonomous church," the president said. [read more...]
(5 Sep.) Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea of the UOC-KP demands from the Crimean branch of the FSB of Russia to investigate into the actions of the security forces who blocked the temple of the Holy Equal-to-the Apostles Princess Olga and Prince Volodymyr in Simferopol on August 31, as well as to ensure the safety of the parishioners. Archbishop Klyment plans to file the relevant appeal with such requirements to the Kremlin-controlled Crimean government and the FSB of the annexed Crimea in the near future.
"The essence of the requirement is, firstly, to investigate the legality of actions of the federal prosecution service of the Central District in the city of Simferopol. The second issue is ensuring the security of the Kyivan Patriarchate's faithful in case of a terrorist act and a fire. For as of today, the federal judicial and executive service together with the Ministry of State Property have blocked and sealed all emergency exits," the archbishop commented for Krym.Realii.
He considered such actions of the authorities as a "systematic act of transforming this building into a communal grave." He also stressed that if emergency exits are not unblocked and an accident happens, "the full responsibility will rest with the FSB of Russia in the Crimea and Sevastopol.” He plans to submit his requirements in writing and counts on a personal meeting with the Kremlin controlled head of the annexed Crimea Sergiy Aksyonov. On September 1, Aksyonov canceled the scheduled meeting with Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea of the UOC-KP.
As it was reported, in the morning of August 31, Russian intelligence services blocked the Church of the Holy and Equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga and Prince Volodymyr of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate in Simferopol. During the blocking of the church, Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea of the UOC-KP got his arm injured by the attackers. [read more...]
KAZAKHSTAN: WORSHIP BANNED AT TWO PROTESTANT CHURCHES IN OSKEMEN AND ALMATY
by Felix Corley: Forum 18 News Service
(6 Sep.) In at least three known cases in 2017, courts have banned religious communities from any activities, including meeting for worship, for three months. On 18 August a court fined and banned New Life Protestant Church in Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk) because church members sang religious songs at a summer camp. The ban has not yet come into force as the Church is appealing to East Kazakhstan Regional Court.
A court in Almaty fined the Protestant Source of Life Church and banned it from 13 April to 12 July because it was meeting in a venue away from its registered address, even though the Church had informed the authorities. Asked what would happen if the ban enters into legal force and church members continue to meet for worship during the three months, a state religious affairs official told Forum 18: "We'll fine them again."
At present, religious communities are only banned permanently if the state proves or claims that they are "extremist" or "terrorist", or if they commit a second "offense" against the restrictive Religion Law. If legal amendments now being prepared are approved by Parliament, courts would in future be obliged to choose to ban religious communities for either three months or permanently for many violations of the restrictive Religion Law, including for a first "offense." [read more...]
VATICAN AND MOSCOW ARE GROWING CLOSER AS THEY ARE AFRAID OF EUROPE'S ISLAMIZATION
(30 Aug.) Intensifying relations between Moscow and Vatican are dictated by certain troublesome trends in the church world, former Russia's representative to the Holy See Vyacheslav Kostikov believes.
"Despite of Vatican's enormous authority, positions of Christianity in Europe are weakening: though there are about 2 billion Christians in the world (1 billion of them are Catholics), churches are getting empty and closed, while Islam is strengthening its presence and influence in the world (1.5 billion) and in Europe," he writes in his article published on Wednesday in the Argumenty i Fakty weekly.
Besides, Kostikov believes "recent statement made by Erdogan negatively impressed Europe as he said that Turkish electorate should defeat those politicians who "oppose Muslims in Berlin." The author is sure that the Turkish Muslim community in Germany is an important destabilizing factor in political and religious life, while Muslim families that have already settled in Europe are much more active in "birth-giving activities" than Europeans.
"In changing conditions relations between Catholics and Orthodox, and especially between Vatican and Moscow focus on protecting shared Christian space rather than on their disputes," Kostikov said. [read more...]
THE POLITICAL POPE: AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR GEORGE NEUMAYR
from: Lifesite News
(1 Sep.) Journalist Maike Hickson conducted an interview with author George Neumayr on his new book, The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives. Neumayr offers insights into communist influences on Pope Francis.
Maike Hickson: Throughout your book, you make references to Pope Francis' relationship with communism or with certain communists in particular. Could you describe for us in general his attitude toward communism?
George Neumayr: He tends to speak of communism in benign terms. He told the Italian press that he wasn't "offended" if people call him a communist since he has “met many Marxists in my life who are good people." Another time he said, "I must say that communists have stolen our flag," because "the flag of the poor is Christian." Past popes, who recognized the power of communism to enslave the poor, would have found such comments very puzzling.
MH: You write in your book that Pope Francis is sympathetic and supportive of the "radical political agenda of the global left" and you call him an "ecclesiastical equivalent of Barack Obama." What are specific topics that Pope Francis is promoting that remind you of a worldview which is sympathetic with communist ideas?
GN: Hardline leftists used to say that they dreamed of a world without popes. But now they gush about Pope Francis. The radical academic Cornel West summed up the reason why: "I love who he is, in terms of what he says, and the impact of his words on progressive forces around the world."
In other words, Pope Francis has turned the Vatican into a bully pulpit for the left's favorite causes, including: open borders, gun control, climate-change activism, the abolition of the death penalty and lifetime imprisonment, and the socialism of central planners. This is why the 1960s radical Tom Hayden said his election "was more miraculous, if you will, than the rise of Barack Obama."
MH: Which prominent communists has Pope Francis publicly praised during his pontificate? Could you give us names and their backgrounds?
GN: As I describe in the book, he rolled out the red carpet for Raul Castro, which flabbergasted Cubans who have suffered under the heel of his communist thuggery. Castro was so thrilled by the pope's support and his tributes to government-run economies that he declared, "If you continue talking like this ... I will return to the Catholic Church. I am not joking. I may convert again to Catholicism, even though I am a communist." [read more...]
OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:
SCANDALS FORCE ROMANIA’S POWERFUL CHURCH TO CHANGE
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (MP) URGES POROSHENKO NOT TO INTERFERE WITH CHURCH MATTERS AND CLAIMS A LOCAL CHURCH ALREADY EXISTS IN UKRAINE
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine
TBILISI COURT SENTENCES PRIEST FOUND GUILTY OF TRYING TO KILL PATRIARCH'S SECRETARY TO 9 YEARS
ORTHODOX ACTIVISTS PETITION REGIONAL OFFICIALS TO BAN CONTROVERSIAL MOVIE "MATILDA"
DOES RUSSIA HAVE AN 'ORTHODOX TALIBAN' PROBLEM?
from Deutsche Welle
METROPOLITAN HILARION TAKES PART IN THE MEETING OF JOINT COMMISSION FOR ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC DIALOGUE
from Russian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate
NGPLI: BRINGING A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW TO THE WORKPLACE
from Mission Eurasia
TULA GOVERNOR PROMISES MINIBUS TO PRIEST FAMILY WITH 17 ADOPTED CHILDREN
NOW, OUR VIEWS:
Our second news article PPOROSHENKO SAYS UKRAINE HAS RIGHT TO HAVE AUTONOMOUS CHURCH was quickly rebutted by the Moscow Patriarchate: RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (MP) URGES POROSHENKO NOT TO INTERFERE WITH CHURCH MATTERS AND CLAIMS A LOCAL CHURCH ALREADY EXISTS IN UKRAINE - when will this quarreling ever end?
The recent visit to Moscow by Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, prompted me to include today's sixth news article about the book The Political Pope. Are we witnessing a real reconciliation between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, or are these religious leaders actually political operatives working toward a socialist one-world government... or -- as our fifth news article VATICAN AND MOSCOW ARE GROWING CLOSER AS THEY ARE AFRAID OF EUROPE'S ISLAMIZATION describes -- are they coming together to resist the growing Islamization in Europe? Only time will tell!
It's important to know how the Early Church Fathers understood and interpreted the Scriptures, so that we don't get off on a heretical rabbit-trail. That's why I have this DOWNLOAD LITERATURE page on my website. Know which beliefs are considered dogma and which are considered questionable. There's enough free stuff on that page to keep you reading for a lifetime!
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Is Reality Really Real, or Is It All in Your Head?
Did Einstein really say that, or is it just another manufactured misquotation? As my latest social media posts indicate, we live in an age in which people believe they can create their own reality simply by imagining it, and then everyone else must recognize that this fantasy is real. Human beings have sex - male or female, but inanimate objects have gender in many languages. A car is feminine in Russian, but neuter in German. Light is masculine in Russian, but neuter in German. But in English, according to Newspeak, a boy or girl can be masculine, feminine, or neither! In Iceland, the news media proudly proclaimed that Down syndrome has been eradicated, but in reality, they just "terminated" (killed) the unborn babies with Down syndrome.
Quoting from George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-four, Part One, toward the end of Chapter 7: "In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then?"
It continues: "And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre." The Main-Stream Media bombard us from every side that biological facts don't matter - only what you self-identify as (that is, whatever you imagine) is really real; that people who believe in divine order and who love their country are the same as club-wielding Nazi nutcases, thus fit only to be beaten into submission by the Antifa storm-troopers, browbeaten by the MSM and legally compelled by the political elite; forced to think that the duly-elected conservative leaders are somehow embroiled in a vast conspiracy with Russia to do something or other - it's never explained what "it" is because that would reveal the absurdity of the whole thing: in reality the whole "conspiracy with Russia" thing is simply guilt projection on the part of the MSM and political elite.
George Orwell goes on to describe the hero Winston's affair with young Julia, another Party member who's a secret rebel like Winston. But here he gets his future prediction totally wrong and completely reversed, portraying the Big Brother government as anti-sex and their rebellion as throwing off state-sponsored sexual inhibitions. Perhaps that was true when Orwell wrote his book in the 1940s but in today's reality the MSM and political elite advocate discarding "old-fashioned" sexual inhibitions that are a remnant of our fading Judeo-Christian culture.
In Rod Dreher's recent blog Cheap Sex = Dying Christianity he explains how the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s in the U.S. has normalized fornication, abortion, illegitimate children, adultery, divorce, and now homosexual and lesbian "marriage." The culture has become so neo-pagan that the pressure on Christians, especially our children and young adults, entices them to indulge in cheap sex. This, in turn, drives them away from traditional Christian morality and from the Church. It's no wonder that 60% or more of young adults raised in traditional Christian families abandon the faith.
"The look of their faces testify against them. They parade their sin like Sodom. They don't hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought disaster upon themselves. ...Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 3:9 & 5:20-21).
Orwell invented the term "Doublespeak" to indicate how authorities can manipulate the language in order to equivocate about morality and cause us to think evil is good and good is evil. A prime example of this is in "The American Medical Association vs. Human Nature," an article describing the AMA's equivocation regarding medical ethics. The AMA’s latest Code of Medical Ethics lacks any explanation of the moral principles that provide a foundation for medical ethics. Nowhere in this Code of Ethics does it define human nature or what constitutes a human being. That is apparently left up to popular culture to decide:
"While it enumerates a short list of 'Principles of Medical Ethics,' these are primarily statements of professional hygiene (e.g., physicians should provide competent care, uphold standards of professionalism, respect the law, etc.). The only telling revelation appears in the document’s preamble, which defines medical ethics as also encompassing 'matters of social policy.' This is our first clue that the AMA’s code of ethics is something other than a search for universal and immutable moral truths."
It states: "The conflict regarding research with embryonic stem cells centers on the moral status of embryos, a question that divides ethical opinion and that cannot be resolved by medical science." So rather than getting involved in messy metaphysical definitions of what exactly human nature is or if and when an embryo is or becomes human, it simply punts. But the scientific fact known to all medical doctors is that an embryo is a separate, full, complete human being. It is not just a "growth of tissue" or a "lump of cells" - but contradicting our sex-crazed popular culture is too difficult for these medical "experts" who are moral midgets.
Then comes the equivocation (high-sounding lie): "Embryonic stem cell research does not violate the ethical standards of the profession." Right after saying that medical science cannot determine the moral status of embyros, it states that it has determined that killing these embryos isn't a violation of ethical standards. Isn't that calling evil good and good evil, saying white is black and black is white? "This bewildering display of ethical doublespeak is offered without explanation." Welcome to Orwell's 1984!
The AMA Code of Medical Ethics goes on to say: "Because of the potential for abuse, genetic manipulation of non-disease traits or the eugenic development of offspring may never be justifiable" [article author's emphasis]. The key word here is "may" - maybe or maybe not? This is what I call a "definite maybe" or a "qualified absolute" statement - is it really never justifiable, or is it only sometimes never justifiable? Again, we see another example of multi-syllable, high-sounding nonsensical doublespeak.
Eugenics is the genetically planned breeding designed to produce superior human beings. It is the same policy as practiced during Hitler's Third Reich, in which "inferior" ethnic groups and medical categories of human beings were systematically exterminated by gas chambers and firing squads. But today it's not so obviously violent: the "inferior" babies are killed in the womb or in the test tube.
Now we come to the other end of human life span: the question arises of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The AMA Code states that these acts are "fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks." But again it doesn't tell us why: what it is about human nature that makes this "fundamentally incompatible" if killing embryos "may" be justified, why not at the other end of life?
The article continues: "The AMA is reportedly reviewing its longstanding opposition to physician-assisted suicide at this time and considering whether to adopt a 'neutral' stance, which, in effect, would be tantamount to tacit consent." In other words, it's a bait-and-switch: "Rest assured, we're going to take good care of you" (until you're too weak or senile to resist, then we'll change our mind, just be sure you've placed your living will in our files).
Christians, it's high time that we all get involved in these political, ethical, moral and medical issues! The high tide is coming, and if we don't take action, we will be swept away in the storm! Don't just "think about it" - what will you DO about it?
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Please remember to pray for Christians in Socialist countries, and for...
Bob & Cheryl
p.s. Unless I love God with all my being and my neighbor as myself, all my ideals, health & wealth "ain't wuth a hill o' beans!"