The Itch Nobody Can Scratch
Morgellons. A new disease..the fibers were the product of creatures, unknown to science, that breed in the body..folk singer Joni Mitchell has been affected, complaining to the LA Times about “this weird incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space . . . Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin . . . they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer — a terrorist disease. It will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year.”
diseases  medical 
13 hours ago
Number of crorepatis has risen by 60% in India: CBDT
While 88,649 taxpayers had disclosed income above Rs 1 crore in assessment year 2014-15, the figure was 1,40,139 for AY 2017-18, which is a growth of about 60 percent,"the number of individual taxpayers disclosing income above Rs 1 crore had increased during the same period from 48,416 to 81,344, which translated into a growth of 68 percent.
numbers  India  wealthy 
13 hours ago
Researchers have discovered how Leonardo Da Vinci was able to create masterpieces
Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci may have had an eye condition that gave him an unusual ability to recreate three-dimensional shapes in his sculptures and paintings, a study has found. With this condition known as strabismus, a person's eyes appear to be pointing in different directions, with only one eye being used to process the visual scene at any one time.This allowed Da Vinci to switch between using two eyes (stereoscopic vision) to give him depth perception, and using just one eye (monocular vision) when he wanted to interpret a three-dimensional image on a flat, two-dimensional canvas.
medical  artists  paintings  icons  polymaths  ophthalmology 
14 hours ago
Unocoin launches ATM to bypass RBI diktat on cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin has unveiled an ATM in Bengaluru which aims to bypass the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) diktat banning banks to do any business with cryptocurrency companies.
cryptocurrencies  currencies  money 
14 hours ago
The Viganò case and the religious’ justifications that divide the Church -Episode 3
Operation Viganò, i.e. the attempt to shift all responsibility onto the current Pontiff for the mismanagement of the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, further raised the level of tension in a Church already exhausted by the re-emergence of scandals mostly belonging to the past, which placed numerous bishops on the stand for not having acted correctly in the face of child abuse perpetrated by their priests. If Pope Francis considered it appropriate to invite all the faithful to pray the Rosary in the Marian month of October with a special intention for the Church under attack from the devil who wants to divide, dusting off the old prayer to St Michael the Archangel, this means that what is happening is particularly dramatic.The bias of the operation lies precisely in wanting to put on trial, asking for his resignation, the only Pontiff who really sanctioned - and in a very serious way - McCarrick, when the accusation of having abused a minor were considered credible (still with the canonical trial not concluded), which emerged for the first time in September 2017. Even considering the memories of the former nuncio credible, to think that, having told the Pope a single sentence about the past of the over eighty-year-old (who had already resigned seven years ago) Cardinal McCarrick, without having brought, or sent later, any written note and without having communicated any element of denunciation or new report, to think that that would be enough to ask for the resignation of a Pontiff, indicates the point at which the awareness of what the Church is has dissolved.
catholic  scandals  A.Tornielli 
14 hours ago
Ambani brothers-the gap is RS.3.05 lacs crore
13 years ago they split up. Mukesh,61,richest man of Asia with wealth of $4310 cr (Rs.3.16 lacs crore) -3 times the Kerala govt.'s revenue. Anil,59,worth just $150 Cr(Rs.11025 cr.)
Deepika  India  business  corporates 
17 hours ago
A New Type of Treatment Shows Promise Against Aggressive Breast Cancer
In many cases, breast cancer is considered a treatable disease — as long as it’s diagnosed early and treated with the proper combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or targeted drugs. But triple-negative breast cancer has long been an exception.The reason it’s so deadly is that these cancer cells lack the docking points for three proteins — the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (called HER2) — that effective drugs can latch on to in order to destroy tumors. Women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, who make up 15% to 20% of breast cancer patients, often try chemotherapy after chemotherapy, working through each drug until their cancer starts growing again, at which point they move on to the next drug.But in a presentation at the European Society for Medial Oncology in Munich, scientists reported that combining chemotherapy with an immunotherapy drug helped lower risk of their disease progressing, and of death, by 20% compared to women treated with chemotherapy alone.
Time  medical  diseases 
22 hours ago
China v America The end of engagement How the world’s two superpowers have become rivals
For the past quarter century America’s approach to China has been founded on a belief in convergence. Political and economic integration would not just make China wealthier, they would also make it more liberal, pluralistic and democratic. There were crises, such as a face-off in the Taiwan Strait in 1996 or the downing of a spy-plane in 2001. But America cleaved to the conviction that, with the right incentives, China would eventually join the world order as a “responsible stakeholder”.Today convergence is dead. America has come to see China as a strategic rival—a malevolent actor and a rule-breaker .Mr Trump and his administration have got three things right. The first is that America needs to be strong. Mr Trump is also right that America needs to reset expectations about Chinese behaviour.Third, Mr Trump’s unique ability to signal his disregard for conventional wisdom seems to have been effective. He is not subtle or consistent, but as with Canadian and Mexican trade, American bullying can lead to dealmaking.For what comes next, however, Mr Trump needs a strategy, not just tactics. A starting point must be to promote America’s values. The strategy should leave room for China to rise peacefully—which inevitably also means allowing China to extend its influence.And America’s strategy must include the asset that separates it most clearly from China: alliances. In trade, for example, Mr Trump should work with the eu and Japan to press China to change. In defence Mr Trump should not only abandon his alliance-bashing but bolster old friends, like Japan and Australia, while nurturing new ones, like India and Vietnam. Alliances are America’s best source of protection against the advantage China will reap from its increasing economic and military power.Perhaps it was inevitable that China and America would end up rivals. It is not inevitable that rivalry must lead to war.
Economist  US  China  Trump 
PUTIN OF THE DESERT’ The Real Reasons Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wanted Khashoggi 'Dead or Alive'
Jamal is dead, murdered precisely because he knew too much.Although the stories keep changing, there is now no doubt that 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the power in front of his decrepit father’s throne, had put out word to his minions that he wanted Khashoggi silenced, and the hit-team allegedly understood that as “wanted dead or alive.” But the [petro]buck stops with MBS, as bin Salman’s called. He’s responsible for a gruesome murder just as Henry II was responsible for the murder of Thomas Becket when he said, “Who will rid me of that meddlesome priest?” In this case, a meddlesome journalist.“If he was simply jailed within Saudi there would have been a drumbeat of pressure for his release. Dead—there is certainly a short term cost, whether more than anticipated or longer than anticipated we don't know yet, but the world will move on. Jamal will become a footnote, a talking point perhaps, but not a crusade. The dismembered body? No funeral. Taking out Jamal also sends a powerful signal to any dissident that there is no place safe.”
S.Arabia  events  MiddleEast  crime  usage 
China’s Repressed Memory
Search for the name Ma Jian on the Internet and you will most likely find listings for two men with the same name and one thing in common: neither would turn up if the same search were conducted in mainland China.The first Ma Jian is a Chinese-born writer whose novels are sure to make him a strong candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature someday;an artist in exile, his work is banned in his home country..The second Ma Jian represents many of the things that Ma the novelist denounces in his brilliant imaginative works; Formerly Vice Minister of State Security and Vice President of the he personifies the abuse of official power in China..Over the past 40 years, China has managed to achieve levels of growth and development that would have been unimaginable during earlier decades of communist rule. But that progress has been built on a foundation of repression and the corpses of citizens.The Ma novels under review have three things in common. Each, in its own way, reflects the defining quality of Dai Wei, the protagonist of Beijing Coma.Dai is described as “a strong resilient person who remembers.” And only memory, Ma writes, “can help people regain the brightness of freedom.”In any civilized society, memory – of both the good and the bad – is a foundation for long-term resilience and stability.In The Dark Road, the heroine, Meili, and her schoolteacher husband, Kongzi, must flee from the brutal sterilization police, the enforcers of China’s notorious one-child policy. The party slogan, Ma tells us, is: “Sever the fallopian tubes of poverty; insert the IUDs of prosperity.”Ma’s most recent novel, China Dream, is a satirical fable..he novel itself confronts the hubris of the CPC’s ambition to become the ruling party of the world, exemplified by a party chief’s declaration that “the ruling party of China must become the ruling party of humanity.
ps-columns  China  fiction  books 
10 Modern Travel Songs to Inspire Wanderlust
Diablo Rojo – Rodrigo y Gabriela Mexico, play it to me baby. This sibling duo has some of the craziest acoustic guitar skills I’ve ever heard.Destination – Nickel Creek; Bluegrass? What? These guys came sneaky-sneaky-like into my playlist because they are mad talented.Runaways – The Killers ;I wanted this to be our wedding song, but it’s kind of about teenage pregnancy and skipping town. So maybe mildly inappropriate Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs ; This song encourages you to pack up and get going. It’s another one about moving on thinly veiled under loving and letting go lyrics, but it can mean much more than that below the surface Bob Dylan: Man in the Long Black Coat;While this Dylan song isn’t exactly about travel, it does resonate.Postcards from Italy – Beirut;I’ve loved this song for a decade. If there was a song that inspired me to travel for the first time on my own, this would be it. Varúð & Glósóli – Sigur Rós ;With already a lot of meaning tied to simpler times in college and past crushes, songs by this Icelandic band have taken root in my heart.All the Sand in the Sea – Devotchka ;
This is a crooner and a looker. Bonus – Meiple by Robin Thicke & Jay-Z;This is totally gross. It’s a super weird song with rapping and that sleazeball Robin Thicke, with some woman in the background who sounds like she’s having a VERY good time in French
music  travel  lists 
How Depression Made Me a Morning Person
And how learning to sleep made me superhuman.From avowed night owl to chipper lark, from introverted bookworm to extroverted athlete, from depression to superhuman, I hope you enjoyed taking this long and winding journey with me—and everything I’ve learned about how to sleep. This has been truly life-changing for me, and I hope this provides a spark for you too!
2 days ago
Inside the Day That Turned Jacqueline Kennedy Into 'Jackie O.'
Reaction in the U.S. and abroad ranged from dismay to a kind of shocked ribaldry. JACKIE, HOW COULD YOU? headlined Stockholm’s Expressen. “Nixon has a Greek running mate,” cracked Bob Hope, “and now everyone wants one.” Said a former Kennedy aide: “She’s gone from Prince Charming to Caliban.” In a more sober vein, French Political Commentator André Fontaine wrote in Le Monde: “Jackie, whose staunch courage during John’s funeral made such an impression, now chooses to shock by marrying a man who could be her father and whose career contradicts—rather strongly, to say the least—the liberal spirit that animated President Kennedy.”To most Americans as well, Jackie’s marriage symbolized her goodbye to an era and a hero. “It’s the end of Camelot,” was a common reaction. Many were disturbed that she was marrying out of her church and culture. A certain residual puritanism (and at moments like this its lingering strength becomes most apparent) made many Americans feel that she was entering a frivolous, if not slightly wicked jet-set world.But the public, even after the wedding, maintained its soft spot for Jackie. She became “Jackie O.,” a nickname that first appeared in the pages of TIME a few months after the wedding, and the fascination with her life never faded — even when it was impossible to know the exact reason for every little thing going wrong in it. In fact, as a symbol of grace in times of sadness, her personal struggles perhaps in the end made Americans love her even more.
Time  history  Kennedy 
2 days ago
Why Kodak Died and Fujifilm Thrived: A Tale of Two Film Companies
Winston Churchill once said that “History is always written by the winners.” Post-crisis analysis is always a comfortable exercise, and plenty of consultants and business teachers love to mention Kodak as a case study for poor management performance. But history is also based on contingencies...despite all their efforts, Kodak CEO’s Fisher, Carp, and Pérez were no Steve Job and history wasn’t on their side. In the heat of the action, when the company was losing billions of dollars, Kodak executives did what they could. In his book, the CEO of Fujifilm talks about leadership and says that the number two leader “uses a Bamboo sword, number one uses steel.”Mr. Komori meant that when executive leaders fight with “steel swords, to lose means to die” because their decisions have strategic consequences over the future of the company. They can’t afford to be wrong. He remembers how he decided to conduct a massive investment in the FUJITAC film business for LCD screens at a time when no one knew for sure if Plasma technology which didn’t require film was not going to beat the LCD technology. Uncertain about the outcome, he decided to launch four production lines for LCD film when his managers wanted to start with one.As a top executive, Komori recalled having many “sleepless nights,” but diversification demanded courage and decisive actions. History was on his side, and this bold move, typical of the Fujifilm philosophy paid off. Today FUJITAC controls 70% of this market worldwide.
business  photography 
2 days ago
A True Antagonist for a Broken World: Faith in a Secular Age
The glass, I thought, was indeed half-full and filling..I think I, like many people now see the glass as half-empty and draining.How can we fight when it seems as if the very body of Christ seems to be tied down and rent apart not only by a hostile secular world but by her own weakness? Does this sound like a glum assessment? I suppose it does. The Church, the one true Ark, as Newman would say, is the one he describes as the great Antagonist to our broken world, and yet the Church as a whole seems like more and more like the original Ark of Noah—if it weren’t for the storm outside we couldn’t stand the stench inside. Or, in another version of the old joke, full of clean and unclean beasts. And though we have the divine promises for it, in the midst of the storms it can feel as if we are going to capsize—or at the very least that we are wandering far off our course. But this is where I think Blessed John Henry Newman meets us right where we need to be met, for his own life of faith was one of feeling lost and bewildered, of fighting battles that seemed ever to be lost, of seeing that the ways of Providence are mysterious and even frustrating.
catholic  faith  secularism  scandals 
2 days ago
a quick roller coaster ride through twenty centuries of church history so that we can make better sense of where we are by understanding where we’ve come from.The Catholic Church is the only institution from that time period that still not only survives, but thrives.One of the interesting thing is a 500 year pattern.The first five hundred years is the Roman period. The church grows, goes through persecution, then is established and the fortunes of the church rise as the Roman Empire slowly crumbles.The second 500 years are the Dark Ages. Europe drifts into chaos, anarchy and lawlessness. The barbarian tribes invade, but St Benedict establishes monasticism in the East while the Celtic church is flourishing and sending out missionaries from the West. The hierarchy and papacy disintegrates into an ongoing war between what are essentially Italian crime families.The third 500 years sees the great flourishing of Christendom. Monasticism blossoms, learning expands, universities are established, art and architecture flowers into greatness. The Middle Ages enjoy a unity across Europe united in loyalty to a papacy that is growing in power, organization and domination of European civilization.The fourth 500 years are are time of revolution. First the Protestant revolution, then the dissent and division of nation states, the English Protestant revolution, the French revolution, the revolution of rationalism, secularism and humanism and the American revolution. Then the industrial revolution, Russian revolution, Spanish, Mexican and Italian revolutions. Two world wars and finally the sexual revolution and technological revolution. These 500 years have been tumultuous, and they have sent the church reeling.I believe we are at the end of a 500 year cycle and about to enter a New Age in the church. This means great uncertainty. Some respond by a blind attempt to return to an earlier age–preserving all the externals of a bygone Catholic age. Other respond in exactly the opposite way–by embracing everything new and adapting the church completely to the Spirit of the Age.I believe the true answer is a balance of both approaches
catholic  history  predictions  protections 
5 days ago
The Man Who Broke Politics
Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into bloodsport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump's rise. Now he's reveling in his achievements.“The male lion procreates, protects the pride, and sleeps. The females hunt, and as soon as they find something, the male knocks them over and takes the best portion. It’s the opposite of every American feminist vision of the world—but it’s a fact!”It is crucial, Gingrich says, that we humans see the animal kingdom from which we evolved for what it really is: “A very competitive, challenging world, at every level.” A loyal Trump ally in 2016, Gingrich forwent a high-powered post in the administration and has instead spent the years since the election cashing in on his access—churning out books (three Trump hagiographies, one spy thriller), working the speaking circuit (where he commands as much as $75,000 per talk for his insights on the president), and popping up on Fox News as a paid contributor. He spends much of his time in Rome, where his wife, Callista, serves as Trump’s ambassador to the Vatican and where, he likes to boast, “We have yet to find a bad restaurant.”
persons  politics  gender 
6 days ago
IITs dominate first-ever Indian university rankings
IIT Bombay tops the 'QS India University Rankings', with IITs Madras (3), Delhi (4), Kharagpur (5), Kanpur (6), Roorkee (9) and Guwahati (10) grabbing seven of the top 10 slots.Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore comes in at second, with University of Hyderabad and University of Delhi among the others making a top-10 mark at seventh and eighth respectively in the list released by QS Quacquarelli Symonds.On a metric-by-metric basis, other institutions that stand out for QS include the Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai, which achieves the highest score of the QS' indicator of research impact, adjusted for faculty size.
education  rankings 
6 days ago
There are still good reasons for becoming a Catholic
Talk about going against the flow: Thousands of Americans choose to join the Catholic Church each year.These are men and women figuratively swimming against a very powerful tide. Overall, the church has lost more than three million congregants in the past 10 years. Every time the church adds a member, six leave.Why? If you are a Christian, there is one obvious reason: Because it’s the church founded by Jesus Christ. My denomination, the Anglican or Episcopal church, traces its roots to King Henry VIII’s antipapal pique in the 16th century. Martin Luther founded the Lutheran church, Joseph Smith begat the Mormons, and so on.But there is only one church founded by the guy whose name is on the door. Jesus’ words are right there on the dome of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome: “Upon this rock I will build my church.” The rock refers to the apostle Peter (“Petrus,” or rock), the first pope of the Roman Catholic church.In 2018, women and men come to Catholicism for reasons both profound and mundane.“Catholicism has a delineated history back to 100 A.D.,” “and it’s 2018 and it’s still the Catholic church. I feel its historical authority helps to keep it on the right path.”“The problems facing the Catholic church are problems that face any institution run by human beings,”
catholic  faith  christian  Christianity 
6 days ago
The man who said no to free love: Paul VI becomes saint
Pope Paul VI, the man who cracked down on free love during the 1960s and carried out sweeping changes to the Church, became a saint Sunday, along with slain Salvador archbishop Oscar Romero.He was a pope of great initiative. The first pilgrim pope -- crossing continents on his trips to meet the faithful, he was also the first to attempt to reform the Vatican's powerful Curia, the first to hold weekly general audiences with the common man in Saint Peter's Square and seek the opinions of non believers.He is most famous, however, for reaffirming the Church's ban on artificial contraception -- despite the fact that his own birth control commission, set up to advise the Vatican, voted overwhelming to lift the prohibition.The decision enraged many Catholics at a time when believers were embracing sexual freedom and women were demanding the right to use the birth control pill.The ceremony coincides with a meeting of the world's bishops, for it was Paul VI who introduced the tradition of holding such synods.The current meeting is being held as the Church struggles to emerge from a series of abuse scandals.Francis was in his late 20s when Paul VI was elected and while it is yet to be seen whether he will stand firmer than the Italian pope, the pair share a sense of humility and openness towards people of all backgrounds.Some of Francis's actions have also echoed those of Paul VI before him, from the latter's historic 1964 encounter in Jerusalem with the Patriarch of Constantinople to his 1965 speech to the United Nations in which he cried out an appeal for "no more war, never again!"
catholic  saints 
7 days ago
#MeToo allegations fabricated: M.J. Akbar
Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. I will be taking appropriate legal action,”There is no story, but a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened. Some are total unsubstantiated hearsay, others confirm on the record that I didn’t do anything,”..the events related to incidents from 16 years ago before he “entered public life” and are “utterly bizarre” and “nonsense”. He also said women who levelled allegations continued to work with him.
scandals  legal  celebrities 
7 days ago
Where's your passport? This ad brilliantly explains Sardar Patel's legacy
While some have questioned the need for the statue, the truth is that Patel’s legacy, despite his towering contributions have been dwarfed in modern India.This ignorance is brilliantly captured in this ad by the central government which shows a bunch of youngsters ribbing a man for reading a book on Patel.The stranger goes on to explain Patel’s legacy, how he united India’s numerous fiefdom.The 'Statue of Unity' dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel The statue, being built at a cost of Rs 2,389 crore, will be the world's tallest(182-metre tall) statue standing 3.2 km downstream of the Narmada dam on the islet.The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time,It will have a museum on the life of Sardar Patel at the base..It will also have a projection mapping facility, wherein images can be projected on its surface to create light and sound show based on Patel's life..Flowers will be grown on the hillocks adjoining the statue to make the 230-hectare area look like a "valley of flowers",
statesmen  monuments  Gujarat 
7 days ago
Riyadh slams ‘baseless lies’; Trump warns of ‘punishment’
With the mystery over Khashoggi unresolved 11 days after he walked into the consulate and failed to reappear, a pro-government Turkish daily said the Saudi national had recorded his own interrogation inside the mission on an Apple Watch. Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and lurid claims have been leaked to media that he was tortured and even dismembered...Khashoggi had been wearing an Apple Watch when he entered the consulate which was synced with an iPhone left outside with his fiancee Hatice Cengiz. It said that the watch had recorded what happened inside the consulate and this was uploaded to his cloud, although Saudis sought to partially delete it. “The moments of Khashoggi’s questioning, torture and killing were recorded on the Apple watch,”.. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program... “As of this moment, they (Saudi) deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said
crime  S.Arabia  Turkey  Trump  US 
7 days ago
Moksha is all bullshit - Tanushree Dutta
Whether it was her inability to survive the shenanigans of showbiz, or her incapacity to court a world thriving on wiles, or an inherent depression... or a mix of all these, the young actor quit it all for a spiritual quest. She sought refuge in an ashram, did menial chores, practised yoga, meditated... only to remain as confused as ever. In search of solace, she returned, saddled with disappointment. With the so-called gurus and the nirvana they hard-sell and the literal price she had to pay in a bid to attain so-called ‘moksha’. “It was a waste of time. Peace is the last thing that you’ll find in ashrams,” she cries. A tonsured head and several kilos later, a wary Tanushree stumbled upon peace in a non-descript monastery in Ladakh, which earmarked her return to life and normalcy. In Ladakh I came across a Buddhist meditation centre where I learnt the simple breathing technique. There was no big talk! That did the trick. Someone returned my life to me. An uncanny peace returned. My food habits fell milder. I was advised Vipassana. Before Ladakh, I was like a possessed person. I was exorcised in Ladakh. Today she’s a great deal lighter — having shed not only several pounds but also her befuddled ideologies. “I’ve finally found my faith in Christianity,” she says pointing to the crucifix on the wall. “I prefer the dead (saints) over the live,”
celebrities  scandals  faith 
8 days ago
Eastern European bishops want a focus on Eucharist, fatherhood in Youth Synod
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said that Eucharist is fundamental to the Catholic faith, and gave an example of how the Eucharist has drawn Belarusian youth deeper into their faith.Church needs not just “horizontal efforts…we need vertical efforts,” meaning that the Church must not only be “a comfortable place for everyone, it must above all be a place of strong spiritual formation.”“We should always remember that liturgy is source and climax of Christian life, and at the same time we must recognize that we lost this truth, and celebrations of Eucharist are turned into theater,” “data show that when a father is seriously involved in faith issue, there is a 75 percent probability that (his) children will follow him, while when only the mother is involved in the faith, there is just a 15 percent chance that (her) children will follow.”Likewise, “when a mother converts, the family converts after her in 17 percent of cases, while when a father converts, the family will convert in 93 percent of cases.”Archbishop Stankevics said that Catholics must look past the “stereotype that education to faith must be entrusted to mother,” as “in God’s plan, man defends (his family) not only from concrete dangers, but also from spiritual and ideological dangers.”
C.Herald  catholic  summits 
8 days ago
At the synod, the Church’s culture war looks a lot like class war
Oscar Wilde once said that the Catholic Church was “for saints and sinners. For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.” The Francis party seems to want the Catholic Church to resemble the Anglican in this sense. They suggest that the most forgivable sins are those of the bourgeoisie – those done with planning, foresight, and an eye to respectability. As Archbishop Mark Coleridge put it at the last synod, “A second marriage that is enduring and stable and loving and where there are children who are cared for is not the same as a couple skulking off to a hotel room for a wicked weekend.”Every time a bishop urges Catholics to speak with parrhesia of the importance of the new pastoral paradigm of discernment in dialogue and encounter with the concrete situations of the lay faithful whose well-formed consciences must be respected in light of the new historical reality of our increased understanding of human dignity, I want to chew off my hand. Progressive Catholicism has become so obsessed with avoiding offence that it now offers little more than a concatenation of clichés.Happily, when the forces of blandness seek to remake the Church, they meet organized resistance. Characters as disparate as Cardinal Robert Sarah and Mariae Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis can find something to hate in bourgeois Catholicism. Ultimately, I think these people will be able to build a Church that is more capacious and welcoming, more tolerant of human variety, than the one that the organisers of the Synod on Youth are trying to sing into being
C.Herald  catholic  summits 
8 days ago
Bhagwad Gita, Upanishads kept 'devout Muslim' Suhaib Ilyasi 'strong and positive' in jail
He made sure he didn't miss out on his daily namaz while in jail but also faithfully read the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads for solace and strength, says former TV anchor Suhaib Ilyasi who was acquitted on charges of murdering his wife this month.Going from the heights of fame as a pioneer of crime shows in the country with "India's Most Wanted" to finding himself as the accused in one of Delhi's most high-profile murder cases, it has been a rough 18-year ride, said Ilyasi.A reading of the Hindu scriptures helped see him through the darkest days behind bars in Tihar Jail, added the 52-year-old, who describes himself as a "devout Muslim".
oddly  crime  punishments  media  acquittal 
8 days ago
Women Don’t Think Alike. Why Do We Think They Do?
What are those women thinking?The ones who cheered President Trump’s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford at a rally in Mississippi, tweeted #HimToo in support of their sons who might one day be, in their eyes, unfairly accused of assault?On the left, they’re being reviled as gender traitors, depicted as betraying the sisterhood and acting against their own best interests.But women don’t automatically ally with other women, as Senator Susan Collins’s vote to confirm Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court demonstrated. Sisterhood doesn’t override partisanship or deeply held moral views. Victims of sexual harassment didn’t all believe Christine Blasey Ford. Women don’t act as one.Political scientists have found that some of the very attacks that were supposed to alienate all women in 2016 — such as Mr. Trump’s jab that Hillary Clinton was playing the “woman card” — instead made a segment of women more enthusiastic about him, and more hostile to her. Some women, primarily the core loyalists of President Trump’s reshaped Republican Party, hold decidedly traditional views about women’s place, prerogatives and power.
NYTimes  gender  controversies  politics 
8 days ago
The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Still Cutting Hair Full Time
Anthony Mancinelli shook out a barber towel and welcomed the next customer to his chair in Fantastic Cuts, a cheery hair salon in a nondescript strip mall, about an hour’s drive north of New York City.Mr. Mancinelli is 107 and still working full time, cutting hair five days a week from noon to 8 p.m. He has been working in barbershops since he was 11. Warren Harding was in the White House.Mr. Mancinelli has a trim build, a steady hand and a full head of hair, albeit snow white. He spends much of his day on his feet, in a pair of worn, cracked leather black shoes.“He never calls in sick, He can do more haircuts than a 20-year-old kid.Asked — for the umpteenth time — about his longevity, Mr. Mancinelli offered only that he has always put in a satisfying day’s work and he has never smoked or drank heavily.He has all his teeth and is on no daily medication. He has never needed glasses, and his hairstyling hands are still steady.One reason he continues to work, he said, is that it helps him stay busy and upbeat after the death of his wife of 70 years, Carmella, 14 years ago. He visits her grave daily before work.Mr. Mancinelli lives alone, not far from the salon in New Windsor. He drives to work, cooks his own meals, watches television — he is a big pro-wrestling fan — and is adamantly self-sufficient. He still trims the bushes in his front yard with no help.“He won’t even let anyone sweep up his hair clippings,”
NYTimes  oddly  records 
9 days ago
Champagne Remark May Cost Lawyer $289 Million Bayer Award
The lawyer most responsible for winning a $289 million verdict against Bayer AG may end up wiping it out.Brent Wisner was the lead trial attorney who in August convinced a jury that Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killer caused his client’s cancer. His compelling arguments and marshaling of evidence resulted in a blockbuster verdict that has spooked investors looking ahead to thousands of similar lawsuits across the U.S. pending against Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in June.But Wisner’s closing arguments at trial irked the judge handling the case so profoundly that she’s considering tossing the verdict and ordering a new trial. The lawyer told jurors that Monsanto executives in a company board room were "waiting for the phone to ring" and that "behind them is a bunch of champagne on ice". He said that “if the damages number isn’t significant enough, champagne corks will pop.”Last year, a federal judge in San Francisco handling hundreds of Roundup lawsuits against Monsanto threatened to remove Wisner or his firm from the massive litigation because the lawyer made headlines when he publicly released company emails that his firm said demonstrated manipulation of public opinion about Roundup’s health risks.Wisner "was not focused on being a lawyer, he was focused on being a PR man," U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said at a hearing.
judgements  legal  usage 
9 days ago
Selena Gomez Seeking Dialectical Behavior Therapy After Hospitalizations: What to Know
After suffering an emotional breakdown while in the hospital, Selena Gomez is seeking an unusual talk therapy treatment used to help patients cope with negative thoughts and behaviors,The 26-year-old singer is undergoing dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a therapy method designed to help identify, and then change, negative thinking and behavioral patterns.
celebrities  psychology  mental-health 
9 days ago
The prayer reminds us of the reality of hell and the need for humility
Fatima prayer.Our Lady revealed this short prayer to the children on July 13th 1917, soon after she had given them a terrifying glimpse of hell, directing them to say it after each decade of the Rosary. She had asked for the Rosary to be recited daily, which makes the prayer the most commonly recited after the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be. It is a mere 29 words: “O My Jesus/ Forgive us our sins/Save us from the fires of hell/And lead all souls to heaven/Especially those in most need of Thy mercy/Amen.”
catholic  prayers  miracles 
9 days ago
What Pakistan Can Learn from India
 When a 12-year-old Indian prodigy defeated an 18-year-old Italian champion in chess this past June, he didn’t just win the game. He also became the second-youngest grandmaster — the highest rank possible — in chess history.It was the latest development in what has become a “chess renaissance” for India over the last 15 years, as the country has rocketed to the game’s top ranks after decades of mediocrity. This transformation has paralleled a more symbolic one, as India — the world’s largest democracy — has risen steadily since the end of the Cold War into the ranks of geopolitical grandmasters, skillfully using its size, strength, and strategic location to expand its global presence. It’s a fitting rise for the civilization where chess first originated.But as India has embraced the global chessboard, its neighbor and adversary Pakistan has instead trapped itself into a handful of squares in the corner. Where India is choosing moves that open up powerful possibilities, Pakistan — which announced this week it was seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund for its economy while simultaneously announcing a deal to buy 48 military drones from China — has let its obsession with India limit its diplomatic partners and constrain its options.
Medium  Pakistan  India-Pakistan  geopolitics 
9 days ago
Letter from Pope Francis to Cardinal Wuerl.
To our Venerable Brother.."That they may be all one ,as you ,Father, are in you and I in you,that they may be also in us,that the woid may believe that you sent me (John 17:21).This is the horizon from which we are continually invited to discern all our actions
pope  catholic  letters 
9 days ago
What Óscar Romero’s Canonization Says About Pope Francis
Reassessing the Catholic Church’s dubious history in Latin America:"I implore you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God: stop the repression!” As the archbishop read the Gospel, the assassins pulled up to the chapel. As he raised the consecrated bread and wine, the gunman fired a shot to the heart.Nearly four decades later, Pope Francis has declared Óscar Romero a saint. An archbishop murdered at the altar, in the manner of England’s Thomas Becket, would seem a simple case. But Romero’s path to canonization—at an October ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica, in Rome—has been tortuous. At a moment when bishops in the United States and around the world are being called to account for their criminal cover-up of priestly sexual abuse, Óscar Romero stands in stark contrast as a bishop who strove to be holy by being accountable—a voice for the voiceless rather than for the Church and its patrons. To celebrate Romero, the Church has to address unholy episodes in its past—episodes as troubling, in their own way, as the current sexual-abuse scandal. The canonization also forces us to consider Francis in a different light—as a figure scarred by Latin American politics and his own encounter with fear and violence, compromise and complicity.
catholic  saints  pope 
9 days ago
Ireland is led by fools’: an interview with John Waters
Chesterton once wrote that a religion is dead “when it has ceased to dwell on the positive and happy side of its visions, and thinks only of the stern or punitive side”. Does this description fit the fate of Irish Catholicism, at least in part?.. Pseudo-rationality has become the core form of thinking in our culture now: what Pope Benedict characterised as the thinking of the bunker: the bunker that man has built for himself to live in, excluding Mystery, including the Mystery of himself. But I can exit the bunker at will, simply by going through a series of rational steps.Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris,..They are interlopers, fools.A better day will dawn in Ireland. I may not be here for it, but I know it is coming. If I did not believe that, I would not be entitled to call myself a Christian. That is part of the promise we hold to: that we can leave our loved ones behind in the knowledge that they will be looked after as we were. That’s all I can hope for now, as these terrible days unfold themselves. I know a better day is coming, when every tear will be wiped away.
C.Herald  Ireland  catholic 
10 days ago
Wuerl hounded from office for becoming face of abuse crisis
"Antistite nostro Donaldo." For more than 10 years, from the time of his installation as Archbishop of Washington in 2006,.. every Sunday at Mass, I softly repeated these words as the priest said them in the Roman Canon. "For our bishop Donald,"Today, the Body of Christ in the United States is bruised and bloodied. The depredations of former-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the grim and gruesome details of clergy sex abuse revealed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report both conspired to place the abuse of children by clergy back at the center of the church's consciousness and public image. Cardinal Donald Wuerl was a link between the two scandals, having succeeded McCarrick in Washington in 2006 and been a bishop in Pennsylvania for 18 years.It did not matter that Wuerl was one of the first bishops to meet with victims and their families, despite being advised by lawyers not to do so. It didn't matter that he introduced policies, such as mandatory reporting to police, a decade before the 2002 Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children made such policies the law for all bishops. It did not matter that he was one of the leaders in Dallas who fought back against efforts at ameliorating the "zero tolerance" policy which many, many priests found offensive and unfair. It did not matter that the grand jury report was spotty and inconsistent. It did not matter that unscrupulous columnists and commentators conflated stories and elided details, all of them unable to answer the core problem with the report: Why, if Wuerl was willing to risk his career fighting powerful Vatican forces to remove pedophile Fr. Anthony Cipolla from ministry, was he being portrayed by news accounts as indifferent to the suffering of child victims at the same time? It didn't matter that fringe and dangerous groups like Church Militant were calling for Wuerl's resignation before the grand jury report came out. None of that mattered. He has been hounded from office because he became the face of the crisis
Reporter  scandals  catholic 
10 days ago
Pakistan’s Mithi, an oasis of Muslim-Hindu tolerance
The origins of Mithi’s peaceful existence are rooted in the geographical location of the city, which rose out of the sand dunes in the majestic Tharparkar desert that borders the Indian state of Rajasthan. Local researchers claim a group of peace-loving Hindus founded the town in the early 16th century, as war and looting raged all around.The soil was not fertile and it was difficult to access water, so the city attracted only those of little means who had few other options. “We are the descendants of the original residents of this region, as positive and peace-loving as they were,” said Allah Jurio, a 53-year-old imam in Mithi, which is also renowned for its low crime rate. “Non-violence is inherently our second nature.” But as religious extremism and hate speech flourish in Pakistan, and “faith-based violence in the name of religion continues unabated”, according to the HRCP, the fear that this oasis of tolerance may disappear is palpable.Although Chandar Kumar, a 24-year-old Hindu computer scientist, sees no problems in the long-term among Mithi’s residents, he said “there are elements from outside who aspire to spread discrimination”
10 days ago
Who you calling the anti-Christ, Rudy?
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2: 18-22)
11 days ago
First Synod reports focus on abuse and sexuality
In their first formal reports to the entire Synod of Bishops, many of the gathering’s working groups reported that they had discussed the clerical sexual abuse crisis and, especially, its impact on young Catholics...“the context for vocational discernment has changed utterly. Our group suggests that the issue of child sexual abuse in the church cannot be skimmed over tangentially in a few short sentences.”“The shattered trust, the trauma and lifelong suffering of survivors; the catastrophic failures in case management; the continued silence and denial by some of these awful crimes and sins – these issues cry out to be named openly by the synod,” ‘Trust arrives slowly, on foot, but Trust leaves on horseback! Trust must be rebuilt, one person at a time.'”..the central concern of the synod must be the central concern of the church: preaching salvation in Jesus Christ. Pastors today “do not have answers to young people’s questions nor a pastoral and missionary strategy appropriate for a globalised, secular and digital culture,” the group said. “It appears urgent and necessary to rethink the content of formation in seminaries and novitiates, to propose a new style of priestly life and a new form of exercising priestly ministry.
C.Herald  catholic  summits  scandals 
11 days ago
An underrated Catholic novelist by Francis Phillips
Lucy Beckett is an underrated Catholic novelist of originality and breadth. Her subjects have included The Time Before You Die, a sympathetic historical exploration of the life of a former Carthusian at the time of the Reformation, and A Postcard from the Volcano and its sequel, The Leaves are Falling, two novels charting the lives of a group of cultured young people caught up in the last war in Germany, Poland and Russia.Her most recent novel, The Year of Thamar’s Book (Gracewing £20) is no less unusual in scope and interest; set in the Burgundian countryside and in Algeria between the 1960s and the present day, as a young Frenchman, Bernard, discovers a bond with his grandfather, Thamar, who has been deeply affected by conscription in the French-Algerian war of the early 1960s.As always with her writings, the novel raises absorbing and perennial questions about the existence of God, the meaning of suffering and evil in the world and the distinctive presence and mission of the Catholic Church
C.Herald  catholic  fiction  books 
11 days ago
If India was the jewel in the British crown, why were so few Britons actually here?
India could dominate the imperial imagination even of people who did not go there. And the numbers of people who did go were remarkably few. In the second half of the nineteenth century millions of Britons left their islands to begin new lives overseas. More than a million went to Australia and New Zealand; another million went to Canada and southern Africa; and over 3 million, the majority of them Irish, emigrated to the United States.Yet at the end of that century the entire British population of India – that is, the territories later consisting of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma (now Myanmar) – numbered no more than 155,000,It was as if the British, at almost every level of society, were proud to have India as their jewel but did not want to spend much time admiring the object: it was just nice to know it was in the bank and to be able to boast about it.The monarchy was the chief exception to this. Although Queen Victoria, Empress of India, never went east of Berlin, she cared passionately about her Indian subjects, especially the two classes she was acquainted with, visiting maharajas and her own servants.John Maynard Keynes.. After passing the civil service exams in 1906,joined the India Office because it was prestigious, because it had short working hours and because his preferred ministry, the Foreign Office, would have sent him abroad, far away from his friends in Cambridge. Twenty months later he resigned to become a university lecturer and later a fellow of King’s, his beloved Cambridge college. In the meantime he had acquired sufficient interest in the Subcontinent to make it the subject of his first book, Indian Currency and Finance.
Scroll  books 
11 days ago
UK Supreme Courts rules that "gay cake" bakery did not discriminate on the basis of sexuality
The UK's highest court has ruled that Ashers Bakery did not discriminate against a customer because of his sexuality. (C) Londondeposit Depositphoto Speaking on the ruling President Lady Brenda Hale said, "It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics, but that is not what happened in this case." "The bakers did not refuse to fulfil his order because of his sexual orientation. They would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation." "The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed." Baroness Hale once called for a "conscience clause" for Christians who have anti-gay beliefs during a trial of anti
gender  judgements  controversies  laws 
12 days ago
St. Thaïs, the Prostitute Who Became a Nun
it’s wonderful that a Catholic saint inspires secular artists — as in the case of Mark Twain, who was taken with stories of St. Joan of Arc and made her the subject of his fascinating novel Personal Recollections of St. Joan of Arc. Though it can hardly be said that Twain admired Catholics or the Catholic Church, he held St. Joan in the highest regard and treated her respectfully in his work and in everyday contemplation.Such are the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit.Another such case of a Catholic saint who made her splash in the arts and held up as a moral tale was that of St. Thaïs (pronounced “thigh-ees”).Thaïs was a repentant courtesan in fourth-century Roman Alexandria. She is one of the Egyptian Desert Mothers and a contemporary of St. Augustine of Hippo...Christ and His followers have always inspired good art in the past two millennia. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ring and The Silmarillion come immediately to mind. Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1972 Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Karen Blixen’s 1987 Babette’s Feast, Ann Clare Booth Luce’s 1949 Come to the Stable and Vittorio de Sico’s 1947 Bicycle Thieves are all outstanding contributions to the field of art and great opportunities for Christians to evangelize.
catholic  register  saints  movies 
12 days ago
India seen escaping Argentina's fate as remittances curb deficit
India received $69 billion in overseas remittances last year, equivalent to almost 3 per cent of GDP, Capital Economics said, citing World Bank data. Without that inflow from an estimated 20 million nationals abroad, India’s current-account deficit would have been around 5 per cent of GDP at mid-year, rather than 2 per cent, it said. Remittances should rise 5 per cent to 6 per cent in the coming years, preventing the deficit from widening past 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent of GDP
India  diaspora 
13 days ago
Catholics in Egypt: We will not leave this country because we have a mission
“These roots, this heritage if it is not lived, if it is not cared for by people for whom it means something, runs the risk of becoming something to fill up museums and that disappears little by little, of being forgotten. History and today's events tell us that where there are more Christians there is more freedom of conscience, more democracy and a greater spirit of coexistence. It is like a natural antibody to fanaticism. That's why I think we have to help these Christians to stay in their countries.”
catholic  Christianity  MiddleEast  Egypt 
13 days ago
A Star Is Born Again and Again. Here's Why Bradley Cooper Finally Got It Right
Moviegoers often dismiss Hollywood’s penchant for remaking old pictures as a failure of imagination. But given how drastically women’s roles in society, and within their marriages, have changed in the past century, we should consider ourselves lucky that, every 20 or 30 or 40 years, a filmmaker comes around to reconsider the essence of A Star Is Born. What happens when a woman’s career ascends just as her romantic partner’s tumbles into decline? Should she feel compelled to fold herself up into a smaller, more space-saving unit to protect the dignity of her man? And just how far can she can go without losing herself altogether?Maybe that’s why A Star is Born has been reborn again and again: We may think we’ve outgrown certain notions about the stresses of power and success in a relationship (and of course it’s not always just men whose egos are threatened). But as society changes, there’s always some shift in the conversation that’s worth exploring, and melodrama—a genre that cradles every version of A Star is Born, including the new one by writer-director Bradley Cooper—is a wondrous means of teasing out ideas we don’t always want to talk about outright. Insecurity, envy, generosity in love that nevertheless has the potential to disintegrate into self-centered or destructive acts: Melodrama allows us to look into the most shadowy corners of our lives and our relationships. Even in the deliberate, restless exaggeration inherent in melodrama, there’s always some fine gradation of truth.The gender wage gap may be narrowing, but it’s still a wide gulf, and women still have to work hard to be recognized in a world dominated by men. That’s why the Star Is Born scenario seems perfectly believable in 2018. Success can still exact a price from women that men just don’t have to pay. But if we’ve earned it, we have to own it—and melodrama, a genre of rapturousness and suffering, of high highs and low lows, is all about owning. If we find it hard to make new melodramas—at least ones not derived from comic books—we may as well reinvigorate some old ones. The template is already there; why not reuse it?
Time  movies  gender 
13 days ago
Review: The Hate U Give Is a Galvanizing Drama About Young People—For Everybody
Twice while watching The Hate U Give, the marvelous and provocative film that director George Tillman Jr., has made from Angie Thomas’s 2017 young-adult novel, my throat closed tight with fear. The movie shows two distinct encounters between white cops and black men—with women involved as bystanders—and both times, I braced myself for the worst. I’m a white woman who has no reason to fear a cop if I’m just going about my daily business. But in the past five years or so, the ascendance of cellphone videos showing black men suffering unprovoked violence—or murder—at the hands of white cops has changed the way I see things. These events don’t occur just once in a while, as many of us might have previously thought. They happen every day. I don’t mean that as self-congratulation—let’s think of it as evolution. The best way to understand what other people’s lives are like is to listen, and to see... allowing our children to be subject to violence and hatred only intensifies the cycle, making it harder to break. The Hate U Give explores and expands on that idea: It’s so gripping to watch—as well as being, in places, just delightfully funny—that you never feel you’re being preached to. It picks you up in one place and sets you down in another. But always, you’re in America, where we have no moral choice but to find a way to make it all work.
Time  movies  racism 
13 days ago
She Was a Teenage Victim of Domestic Violence and Rape. She Sought Help. This Week, Iran Executed Her
It’s a scenario that is all too familiar to many women and girls. But because Sekaanvand lived in Iran, her story took an even darker turn.Looking closer, Sekaavand’s case reads like a textbook explainer of the myriad ways the Iranian justice system stacks the odds against women.
Iran  crime  punishment  laws  usage  Time 
14 days ago
Sydney Archbishop apologises to young people for Church’s failures
“And for the times when you were searching for your sexual, ethnic or spiritual identity and needed a moral compass, but found Church people unsympathetic or ambiguous: I apologise,”The Catholic Church, Archbishop Fisher said, often “sold you short” by not challenging young people to live up to their baptismal call to holiness, by offering them “unbeautiful or unwelcoming liturgies” and by not sharing with them Church traditions such as the sacrament of reconciliation, pilgrimages and Eucharistic adoration.He apologised for “poor preaching, catechesis or spiritual direction” that failed to inspire conversion and for families, dioceses and religious orders that adopted a “contraceptive mentality” that did not even try to give birth to new vocations.
C.Herald  catholic 
15 days ago
Show How You Feel, Kavanaugh Was Told, and a Nomination Was Saved
Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, sat down with Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. The only way to save his nomination, Mr. McGahn said, was to show the senators how he really felt.Judge Kavanaugh’s fire-and-fury performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee turned the tables. While Democrats thought he went too far, demoralized Republicans were emboldened again.The 90-day battle to install Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court that ended on Saturday with a razor-thin 50-to-48 vote proved to be the most dramatic confirmation fight in a quarter-century, a showdown of epic proportions that tested a president, drove a wedge through the Senate, gripped the nation, touched off emotional protests and exposed the dark corners of America’s struggle with sex and power.
At stake was nothing less than all three branches of government. In replacing Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, for years the Supreme Court’s swing vote, Judge Kavanaugh will almost surely move the high court to the right. A backlash among Democratic voters, however, may move Congress to the left in midterm elections just four weeks away. And Mr. Trump’s ability to legislate in the last two years of his term will depend on the outcome.At one point, a dubious Mr. Trump asked Mr. McConnell if Senate Republicans were really committed to seeing it through. Mr. McConnell said absolutely yes.“I’m stronger than mule piss” on this guy, he answered..If Mr. Flake was moved by the protesters, though, other Republicans were not. Some like Mr. McConnell and Mr. Graham got their backs up.“The tactics that were used completely backfired,” said Mr. McConnell. “Harassing members at their homes, crowding the halls with people acting horribly, the effort to humiliate us really helped me unify my conference. So I want to thank these clowns for all the help they provided.”Justice Kavanaugh will report to work in the building behind them on Monday, his fate settled but the battle still not settled at all.
NYTimes  events  stories  usage 
15 days ago
The Book Thief Author’s New Novel Grapples With Masculinity and Brotherhood
Growing up in Australia, Markus Zusak would ask his mother and father–post–World War II immigrants hailing from Germany and Austria, respectively–to tell him the same stories about their lives over and over. Zusak’s own stories have been in print since his first novel, The Underdog, was published in 1999. But it was his 2005 global YA hit, The Book Thief, inspired by threads of those family tales, that made him a literary sensation.In Bridge of Clay, Zusak’s sixth book, it’s stories that bind the five rowdy Dunbar brothers together in the wake of devastating loss. Their mother, who escaped the East bloc (a nod to the histories of Zusak’s in-laws), is dead. Their father has abandoned them. In a complex narrative that leaps through time and place and across oceans, Zusak paints a vivid portrait of the brothers trying to regain their balance by keeping their family’s story alive.
Time  books  usage 
15 days ago
Lady Gaga Delivers a Knockout Performance in A Star Is Born
There’s only one antidote for the weird world we live in, an age of political anxiety, Instagram envy, humorless personal essays that treat basic life experiences like major tragedies, and selfies: We need more melodramas, movies that show human beings making all sorts of wrong choices, falling in love with people from whom they should run a mile, and in the end recovering lost bits of themselves, all while looking fabulous. Exaggeration is key—a tasteful, sensible melodrama is no melodrama at all—and you need a star who can radiate the nobility of suffering with Kabuki-level grandeur. Someone like Lady Gaga.Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is just on the right side of tasteful, which is to say it’s slightly on the wrong side: It could stand to be more nutso in its expression of grand human emotions and dismal human failures. But it works anyway: You come away feeling something for these people, flawed individuals who are trying to hold their cracked pieces of self together—or to mend the cracks of those they love. Cooper plays charming but sozzled country star Jackson Maine, a guy who gets through each show—and every day—losing himself in booze. He’s losing his hearing, too, though he’s of course in denial about that, no matter how much his brother and ersatz caretaker, Bobby (Sam Elliott), tries to talk sense into him. It’s wonderful to see a first-time filmmaker who’s more interested in effective storytelling than in impressing us; telling a story effectively is hard enough. Best of all, Cooper has succeeded in making a terrific melodrama for the modern age. This is a story of big personalities and even bigger human mistakes. These days we’re always ready for our own close-ups. What a relief to turn the stage over to someone else for a change.
Time  movies 
16 days ago
The Customs and Traditions Behind a Typical Greek Wedding, Explained!
reek weddings are festive events with many traditions stemming from both the Greek Orthodox church and from cultural superstitions. Although traditions vary from one village to another, as well as from different regions and islands, there are a few traditions that remain universal to a typical Greek wedding ceremony. Let’s take a look at some of the unique characteristics seeped in ancient traditions that influence every last detail, from the engagement rings to the wedding
culture  marriage  Greece 
16 days ago
Texas Boy Speaks Clearly for First Time After Dentist Discovered He Was Tongue-Tied
For years, parents of a Texas boy believed he was mostly nonverbal because of a brain aneurysm he had when he was 10 days old.The started going to speech therapy when he was 1. In addition to his difficulties speaking, he was given a diagnosis of Sotos syndrome, a disorder that can cause learning disabilities or delayed development.That all changed in April 2017, when Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar, a pediatric dentist, was performing unrelated procedures on Mason’s teeth. She noticed that his lingual frenulum, the band of tissue under his tongue, was shorter than is typical and was attached close to the tip of his tongue, keeping him from moving it freely... she untied Mason’s tongue using a laser.
NYTimes  medical 
16 days ago
The Church’s Disease Is Called Post-modernism. The Diagnosis of a Theologian
More than 80% of known sexual abuses committed by clergy are not in fact cases of paedophilia, but of pederasty. The conviction that any form of love is to be accepted has become more commonplace as a consequence of lifting the ban on contraception, even without changing dogmatic formulas. The very essence of Modernism consists in changing the theory with the praxis, by letting people become used to customs accepted by the majority.
catholic  scandals 
16 days ago
Pederasty and Paedophilia – What’s the Difference? And What Difference Does It Make? – Part II
Among sex offenders, the habituated homosexual pederast has one of the highest incidences of recidivism.Father Gerald Fitzgerald founder of the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete in 1941. Based in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Father Fitzgerald’s Paraclete Center was one of the first Catholic facilities to treat clerical sexual perversions including pederasty.Father Fitzgerald understood the incorrigibility of priests and religious who sexually abused adolescent boys, stating that they “would never be free of the temptation to act out.” He recommended the involuntary laicization of these men, or at the very least, that they be restricted to the seclusion of a monastery. Under no circumstances were they to be permitted to exercise their ministry in the outside world..before his death in 1969, Father Fitzgerald shared his first-hand knowledge of the crime of pederasty with the Vatican during the pontificate of three popes – Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, and Pope Paul VI. Numerous bishops in the United States received letters warning them of the dangers of homosexuality and pederasty in the clergy and religious life.The crime of pederasty, including clerical pederasty, as evidenced by the early writings of Saint Peter Damian in the 11th century; in the tragedy of the Piarist Order in the 17th century; and the recorded history of the founder of the Paraclete Fathers in modern times, has been a reality of clerical life since the earliest days of the Catholic Church.
catholic  scandals 
16 days ago
Elon Musk Calls S.E.C. ‘the Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ on Twitter
Elon Musk can’t say he did anything wrong, but he can let you know how he feels about the Securities and Exchange Commission.Less than a week after he reached a settlement with federal regulators who had sued him, claiming he misled investors, Mr. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, called the agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” in a Twitter post on Thursday.He has frequently criticized so-called short-sellers who have bet against Tesla. And the terms of the settlement with the commission prevent him from saying he did nothing wrong in his communications with investors.Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2018“He’s incorrigible,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in corporate law and securities fraud. “Everyone else knows that you let sleeping dogs lie, particularly in the case of the S.E.C.”t was a Twitter post that began Mr. Musk’s path to a settlement with the commission. In August, he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share. “Funding secured,” he wrote.
NYTimes  markets 
17 days ago
“Being a priest in an unprecedented time of change”
The crisis we face in the Church is deep-seated, perhaps not unlike the financial institutions whose culture of corruption and self-interest has been exposed.Indeed, to many people, Catholics included, it is not only the case of a few bad apples. It is more like the apple that is rotten at its core... the dirt hit the fan in the Vatican itself.The sexual abuse crisis is inundating the whole Church like a tsunami and it has the potential to cause long-term damage, chaos and even schism. (Mind you, there is already a silent schism in that the majority of Catholics in many parts of the world have simply walked away from the practice of the faith.)Clearly, Captain Francis will have to weather both the storm and the mutiny onboard. Pope Francis has unleashed a new energy, he has poured a new wine which cannot be contained in old wineskins. He has challenged us to move in concert with him and bring about the rebirth of the Church The harder part is to do what most of you do, which is to labour at the coalface of the Church.t is have the smell of the sheep, to accompany our people in their joys and griefs, hopes and struggles. Transition times call for deep discernment, courageous imagination and prophetic action.Like Noah before the flood, we must be able to prepare for what is around the bend. Like the prophets who accompanied their people into exile, who interpreted the signs of the times and led them in the direction of the Kingdom, we must do the same for our people in the context of this new millennium.Like Ezekiel who dream and enact the dream of the New Temple, we must embody the vision of the Church made anew and the priesthood made anew from the ashes of the old clericalist model. We must learn to re-incarnate the spirit of Jesus, faithful to the past but also creative to the present and courageous to the future.
catholic  scandals 
18 days ago
Can liberal democracies survive identity politics?
Almost two decades ago Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the victory of liberal democracy. Today he’s seeing the system shattered in large part by identity politics—the subject of his latest book.Identity politics describes when people adopt political positions based on their ethnicity, race, sexuality or religion rather than on broader policies. Though it started on the left, it has been more potent on the right: it fueled Donald Trump’s election and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.During most of the 20th century, the main divisions were based on economic issues surrounding how much the state should intervene to promote equality, versus how much freedom to permit to individuals and the private sector. Today politics increasingly centers around assertions of identity. There has been a widespread populist revolt against globalization, based partly on its unequal economic consequences, but also on the threats to traditional national identities arising from high levels of migration.The modern concept of identity is built around self-esteem—that is, the idea that we have hidden selves that are undervalued by other people, leading to feelings of anger, resentment, and invisibility.By the mid-20th century, it was less priests and ministers to whom people turned for solace, but to psychiatrists seeking to raise people's self-esteem. This therapeutic mission spread throughout society, to schools, universities, hospitals, and the social services offered by the state itself.This therapeutic turn coincided with the great social movements of the 1960s, which increasingly saw low self-esteem linked to the marginalization of African-Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and the like. The fights that we have today over issues of race, gender, gender orientation, and the like, are often more over offended dignity than over material resources.A creedal national identity is one based on a creed or idea, rather than on biology. An example of the latter is Hungary's Viktor Orban, who has said that Hungarian national identity is based on Hungarian ethnicity. That is an exclusionary identity that makes no room for citizens who live in Hungary but are not Hungarian.
Economist  books  democracy  ideas 
18 days ago
If we fail to resist the sexual revolution, how will we explain it to our daughters and our sons—those precious gifts to mankind who, in their beautiful innocence, have trusted us, their parents, their priests, their ministers, to guide them through the turbulent waters of puberty and into a flourishing adulthood? Without the wisdom of centuries to inform and support her, how will my own beloved daughter respond when her instinct for self-preservation is awakened, when the silent recognition arises that she possesses a fundamental dignity that seeks expression and affirmation? How will she respond when a young man says to her, “Well, I would like to know your reason, but it had better be a good one”?
gender  sexuality 
19 days ago
Support Dhaka on Rohingya crisis: Guterres
“What can India do now? First, support Bangladesh with the huge humanitarian problem it faces now. Second, India must put pressure on Myanmar, not just in reconstruction of Rohingya villages, but in creating the environment for these people to go back,”He described India as a “fundamental pillar of multilateralism”.Mr. Guterres, who visited the Cox’s Bazaar camps along with the World Bank chief in July, warned that terror groups trying to recruit Rohingya refugees could threaten the region, including India.
19 days ago
Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Scientists Who Put Light to Work
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to Arthur Ashkin of the United States, Gérard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada for harnessing one of the most ineffable aspects of nature, pure light, into a mighty microscopic force. Dr. Strickland, a self-described “laser jock,” is only the third woman to win the physics prize, for work she did as a graduate student with Dr. Mourou.The Nobel committee recognized the scientists for their work in transforming laser light into miniature tools. Dr. Ashkin invented “optical tweezers,” which use the pressure from a highly focused laser beam to manipulate microscopic objects, including living organisms such as viruses and bacteria.Dr. Strickland and Dr. Mourou developed a method of generating high-intensity, ultrashort laser pulses, known as chirped pulse amplification. The work has had a wide range of real-world applications, enabling manufacturers to drill tiny, precise holes and allowing for the invention of Lasik eye surgery.Some physicists think that chirped pulse amplification eventually will be employed to accelerate subatomic particles, replacing giant contraptions such as the Large Hadron Collider with tabletop experiments.Dr. Strickland expressed hope that chirped pulse amplification might one day be used to cure cancer. Dr. Ashkin’s optical tweezers have been especially important in biological research on viruses and other microbes.
NYTimes  awards  physics 
19 days ago
The Early Christians Were Focused on Solidarity Across Race, Class and Gender. Then Things Changed
When the first followers of Jesus were baptized, this (more or less) is what they heard:You are all children of God:/There is no Jew or Greek;/There is no slave or free;/There is no male and female;/For you are all one.
Time  Christianity  history 
20 days ago
“Dead Man Walking,” Revisited: A Prophetic Argument Against Capital Punishment
Sister Helen Prejean wrote that at the root of this nation’s idea of justice is a belief that suffering is redemptive, especially when that suffering is inflicted by the state.The tidy symmetry of “an eye for an eye” might appeal in theory, but Prejean makes clear that it is barbaric in practice. In 1984, in Louisiana’s Angola prison, the preferred method of capital punishment is electrocution, but whether an execution occurs by way of hanging, firing squad, gas chamber, the electric chair, or lethal injection, and despite all efforts to make capital punishment “humane,” there is, as Prejean writes, “one dimension of suffering that can never be eliminated”: “the horror of being put to death against your will and the agony of anticipation.” There is nothing “humane” about taking another person’s life, she argues. It is nothing less than torture, and certainly nothing more.n 1993, “Dead Man Walking” spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. The book was translated into ten languages, became a feature film starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen (a role for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress), and, more importantly, ignited a national debate about capital punishment. Since then, public opinion about the death penalty has shifted. A Gallup poll conducted in 1991, two years before the book’s release, showed that seventy-six per cent of respondents approved of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder; in 2017, the most recent assessment, that number had dropped to fifty-five percent. Since 1993, seven states—New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware—have overturned the death penalty, and the governors of four more—Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Pennsylvania—have placed moratoria on executions.“If we believe that murder is wrong and not admissable in our society, then it has to be wrong for everyone,” Prejean writes, “not just individuals but governments as well.” In the quarter-century since the publication of “Dead Man Walking,” the evidence remains unchanged: executions do not prevent crime, and taking another person’s life is a poor cure for inconsolable grief. Killing is always a moral crime, if not always a legal one
crime  punishment  activists 
20 days ago
The decline of Asian marriage Asia's lonely hearts
In the words of Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore and a keen advocate of Asian values, the Chinese family encouraged “scholarship and hard work and thrift and deferment of present enjoyment for future gain”.On the face of it his claim appears persuasive still. In most of Asia, marriage is widespread and illegitimacy almost unknown. In contrast, half of marriages in some Western countries end in divorce, and half of all children are born outside wedlock. The recent riots across Britain, whose origins many believe lie in an absence of either parental guidance or filial respect, seem to underline a profound difference between East and West.Yet marriage is changing fast in East, South-East and South Asia, even though each region has different traditions.What's happening in Asia is a flight from marriage.The mean age of marriage in the richest places—Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong—has risen sharply in the past few decades, to reach 29-30 for women and 31-33 for men.Almost a third of Japanese women in their early 30s are unmarried; probably half of those will always be. Over one-fifth of Taiwanese women in their late 30s are single; most will never marry. In some places, rates of non-marriage are especially striking: in Bangkok, 20% of 40-44-year old women are not married; in Tokyo, 21%; among university graduates of that age in Singapore, 27%. So far, the trend has not affected Asia's two giants, China and India. But it is likely to, as the economic factors that have driven it elsewhere in Asia sweep through those two countries as well; and its consequences will be exacerbated by the sex-selective abortion practised for a generation there. By 2050, there will be 60m more men of marriageable age than women in China and India.
Economist  marriage 
20 days ago
A Himachali shepherd hunts for treasure on a mystic mountain in a film about a pastoral community
‘The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain’ The 96-minute movie captures the unhurried rhythms of life on the mountain slopes as well as the rugged beauty of the landscape. There seems to be a striking frame wherever Saurabh Monga’s camera looks, and yet, the filmmakers wanted to guard against postcard prettiness. The palate is muted, rather than bright, and grey, white and dull green abounds.“I really wanted to bring out the characteristics of the mountain,” Janve said. “This is really harsh terrain, a no-mercy kind of place, which is as devastating as it is beautiful. We consciously avoided a lot of beautiful shots. The palate of the film is what you see there.
Scroll  movies 
20 days ago
Wealthy Catholics to target Cardinals with ‘Red Hat Report’
Austen Ivereigh@austeni How wealthy US libertarian allies of Viganò who oppose Pope Francis are exploiting abuse crisis to undermine his allies (incl Parolin) & to bend the next conclave to its neo-Jansenist ideology..“The Better Church Governance Group” held its launch on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA) with the stated intention of producing its “Red Hat Report” by April 2020.The Red Hat Report, dubbed as the group’s “flagship project,” is designed to audit all 124 current papal electors.Better Church Governance’s Operations Director, Jacob Imam, said the organization was not meant as an attack on Pope Francis, though he asked the crowd of nearly forty attendees: “What if we would have had someone else in 2013 who would have been more proactive in protecting the innocent and the young?”“Had we had the Red Hat Report, we may not have had Pope Francis,”Imam, who is currently a Marshall Scholar of the University of Oxford and converted to Catholicism from Islam three years ago, alleged that following the 2013 conclave that elected Francis, many major news outlets based their knowledge of the newly elected pope on what they could find on Wikipedia
catholic  pope  conservatives 
20 days ago
From Orwell to ‘Little Mermaid,’ Kuwait Steps Up Book Banning
The Kuwaiti Parliament is the most independent in the Gulf, but that has also become the problem, bibliophiles complain. In effect, “democracy has become the enemy of democracy,” Ms. Matar said. “They believe we should all think alike.”
NYTimes  Kuwait 
21 days ago
Quantum mechanics work lets oil industry know promise of recovery experiments before they star
With their current approach, energy companies can extract about 35 percent of the oil in each well. Every 1 percent above that, compounded across thousands of wells, can mean billions of dollars in additional revenue for the companies and supply for consumers.Extra oil can be pushed out of wells by forced water – often inexpensive seawater – but scientists doing experiments in the lab found that sodium in water impedes its ability to push oil out, while other trace elements help. Scientists experiment with various combinations of calcium, magnesium, sulfates and other additives, or “wettability modifiers,” in the laboratory first, using the same calcite as is present in the well. The goal is to determine which lead to the most oil recovery from the rock.Vanderbilt University physicist Sokrates Pantelides and postdoctoral fellow in physics Jian Liu developed detailed quantum mechanical simulations on the atomic scale that accurately predict the outcomes of various additive combinations in the water.They found that calcium, magnesium and sulfates settle farther from the calcite surface, rendering it more water-wet by modifying the effective charge on the surface, enhancing oil recovery.“This work showcases a classic approach in materials science and implements it in the oil and gas industry: the combination of modeling and experiment to provide understanding and solutions to underlying problems.”
oil  physics  chemistry  energy 
21 days ago
Claims against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 'lacked credibility'
The Church in England and Wales’ child protection policies, considered to be among the most robust in global Catholicism, arose out of an independent review conducted in 2001 by Lord Nolan and recommendations in a report compiled by Baroness Cumberlege in 2007. A 2016 policy statement from the National Catholic Safeguarding commission makes clear that “Church authorities always report allegations of abuse to the statutory agencies to ensure that they are dealt with promptly and properly.” After an allegation is lodged, the Church ordinarily uses the police inquiry for the substantive part of their investigation into an abuse claim, and following that outcome take the next steps in the canonical process for assessing the allegation.This includes a review panel to examine allegations and undertake a risk assessment of the accused, who is in many cases withdrawn from ministry throughout this process...according to the guidelines set out in the 2007 Cumberlege report “the management of an allegation of abuse and whether or not a priest or religious is temporarily removed from active ministry (or an employee or volunteer is suspended from his duties) depends entirely on the nature and seriousness of the allegation and the situation of the alleged offender at the time the allegation is made.” It also states that this decision “remains that of the Bishop or Congregational Leader” and recommends that bishops “apply the civil standard of proof” in an “internal investigation and determination of any matter relating to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.”This means that an assessment of allegations made against priests needs to be made, as it runs the risk that any clergy or church worker could be removed from ministry or a job as the result of false claims.The Cumberlege report also makes clear that as a general principle those accused of abuse are treated with "respect and in a consistent manner in accordance with nationally agreed procedures, natural justice, and Canon Law.”
catholic  scandals  Britain 
22 days ago
We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four
Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda.eorge Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is no longer fiction. We are living it right now.Google techies planned to massage Internet searches to emphasize correct thinking. A member of the so-called deep state, in an anonymous op-ed, brags that its “resistance” is undermining an elected president. The FBI, CIA, DOJ, and NSC were all weaponized in 2016 to ensure that the proper president would be elected — the choice adjudicated by properly progressive ideology. Wearing a wire is now redefined as simply flipping on an iPhone and recording your boss, boy- or girlfriend, or co-workers.
culture  zeitgeist 
23 days ago
Both on China and the abuse crisis, Pope Francis faces a trust deficit
Five days after announcing a landmark deal with China over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis released a letter to Chinese Catholics on Wednesday. The gist of it amounts to, “Trust me.”Specifically, Francis asked the roughly 13 million Catholics in China to “place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the church’s discernment of his will.”In some ways, the situation isn’t entirely dissimilar from the approach Francis has taken on the charges leveled a month ago by Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.In some ways, it’s an understandable request. From the beginning of his papacy, Francis has shown himself to be a friend of victims, underdogs and oppressed peoples everywhere, and to have a keen pastoral heart for those shoved to life’s peripheries. It’s thus perhaps not unreasonable for him to think that he could rely on a certain benefit of the doubt.The problem he faces, however, is two-fold.First, Francis suffers from an institutional trust deficit that didn’t begin with him, but he inherited it and it’s part of his reality.Moreover, both constituencies are feeling a little ambivalent about Francis himself these days, wondering if despite the new tone the underlying music from the Church really hasn’t changed that much.Transparency, in other words, isn’t just a “best practice” in both avoiding and remedying scandals, though it certainly is that. It’s also a down payment on trust - a payment that can’t just be made once, but regularly, like gas and water, because otherwise the service gets turned off.Both on China and on sex abuse, making that payment may be costly for Francis and his Vatican team, but experience may prove that doing is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
J.Allen  catholic  pope  scandals  accords  China 
23 days ago
Conservatives must face John Paul II's legacy in sex abuse crisis
First, it is always an honor to be mentioned alongside Frs. Spadaro and Martin, as well as Professor Faggioli. But, while I can't presume to speak for them, I can assure Ms. Eberstadt that the reason I called Vigano's filthy lies a "putsch" attempt was because he not only mixed just enough truth amidst the lies to tantalize many journalists for a week, and apparently still has her believing him, but he called for the pope to resign. In the face of the fact that Francis is the only pope who ever really took action against McCarrick, this call for his resignation was self-evidently an attempt at triggering a putsch, the modern day ecclesial equivalent of the shot fired by the cruiser Aurora to trigger the October Revolution in 1917. This is what Viganò and his crowd of admirers want, for Francis to go.I detest hypocrites. I do not think John Paul's dreadful legacy on sex abuse takes away from the great things he did, but it does require us to rethink the whole "John Paul the Great" cult. I do not believe all the diplomatic work on behalf of the church that McCarrick undertook is vitiated because we know now he was living a double life for many years and what he kept hidden was predatory and disgusting. Still, to give credence to Viganò's unproven and self-evidently score-settling allegations, dribbled out through friendly media outlets aligned against the pope, and not to smell a rat? You have to be willfully obtuse. Eberstadt may not see it. Weigel may not see it. Still, their ideology blinds them.John Paul II, more than any other person, set the model for obfuscation and cover-up that became the sex abuse scandal. Saying so does not make me a partisan. It is the simple truth.
catholic  Reporter  scandals  pope 
23 days ago
Coffee was “Satan’s brew” before Pope Clement VIII baptized it
2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily, worldwide.Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi was the first to discover the effects of coffee, around the year 850.The drink quickly achieved popularity in the Middle East, although it was seen by some as a vice akin to alcohol and tobacco. During the reign of Sultan Murad IV (1612–40), all three of these items were made illegal, in a bid to cleanse the land of vice.Coffee was met with harsher criticism when it came to Western society. The association with its Islamic founders fanned the flames of prejudice and it was commonly dubbed “Satan’s Drink.” It was not until the reign of Pope Clement VIII, more than 700 years after its discovery, that the West accepted the drink.When members of his court implored Pope Clement VIII to denounce coffee, the pontiff insisted on trying a cup before he cast his verdict. After a few sips, he announced, “This Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it.”Popular tradition holds that the pope then “baptized” coffee beans in order to cleanse them from the devil’s influence. Historians are unclear whether this was a metaphorical baptism, or if the pope performed an exorcism rite on actual beans, but either way it had the same effect. Once Catholics knew they were allowed to drink coffee, it spread through Europe like wildfire...Church has blessed beer and they have blessed cheese, but we bless Pope Clement VIII for his role in bringing us, each day, our daily brew.
culinary  culture  beverages  catholic 
24 days ago
House of card(inal)s
The problem is that the current scandals reflect corruption of clergy, leadership and the institution itself, going far beyond the sexual abuse alleged. The roots of the corruption were sown as the institution that evolved from a tribal guerrilla movement that the Roman empire co-opted, to a militant state, to an empire and, finally, to adapt to modern demands for specialization and efficiency, to a corporate institution.The problem is that, as it “corporatized” and specialized, it made the mistake of many companies — it began to focus on protecting the institution, rather than meeting the needs of the customer, in this case, the “faithful.”.. the estimated $170 billion operating budget of the U.S. church, $100 billion is hospitals and health care, $50 billion is colleges and universities, $10 billion is churches and parishes, $5 billion is charity — note the relatively small proportion devoted to pastoral work of spreading the gospel and helping parishioners, though of course schools and hospitals could be considered pastoral or charitable in some cases.It would be a miracle if a secretive and tightly controlled organization with a $170 billion operating budget did not have other hidden scandals.The problem is that the pope is a product of the socialist, revolutionary theology, Latin American wing of the church.Unfortunately, he has adopted the favorite strategy of authoritarian socialist leaders when the heat is turned up: resorting to extreme nationalism and creating external “threats.” Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s communist revolutionary and former president Fidel Castro went for “American imperialism.” Pope Francis is going for “the devil.” The problem for socialist leaders is, when their economic and political foundations crumble, such nationalistic trope never works for long.
catholic  America  criticism  pope 
25 days ago
The left-leaning German news weekly strongly criticises the Holy Father
Here are five areas where it takes a particularly critical stance..Division in the upper levels of the Church..Criticism not just from ‘archconservatives’..Francis “does not really listen to people who don’t share his views”, many believers end up “disenfranchised”..The wrong silences..Argentine background ..Juan Pablo Gallego, who prosecuted Grassi, says that Pope Francis won’t return to Argentina because he would face heavy criticism over his handling of abuse cases..Bad advisers..some of the Pope’s “advisers and assistants” are “in more or less obvious concubinage with representatives of one sex or the other.”..a document supposedly commissioned by Pope Benedict, describing the “gay lobby” in the Vatican.
Spiegel  pope  catholic  criticism 
25 days ago
Pope Francis Takes Responsibility for China Deal
Francis said the agreement was the fruit of a dialogue that has taken several years.“The Vatican team worked a lot,”Cardinal Parolin has a special devotion to the lens; he studies all of the documents down to the period, comma, notes, and this gives me a great assurance.”“You know that when you make a peace agreement or a negotiation, both sides lose something,” “This is the law.And you move ahead.”..the dialogue that led to the agreement was a process of going two steps forward and one step back. “Then, months passed without speaking to each other; and then the time of God, which appears to be [the time of the] Chinese. Slowly. This is wisdom, the wisdom of the Chinese.” “the bishops who were in difficulty were studied case-by-case,” and “dossiers came on to my desk about each one. And I was responsible for signing the case of the bishops.““I think of the resistance, the Catholics who have suffered. It’s true. And they will suffer. Always, in an agreement, there is suffering. They have a great faith.”He said they have written him, saying that “what the Holy See, what Peter says, is that which Jesus says. The martyrial faith of these people today goes ahead. They are the great ones!
accords  catholic  China  pope 
26 days ago
In the Accord with China, "a Glimmer of Positivity." The Commentary of an Expert
The commentary by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera,is the most authoritative and balanced evaluation published so far on the accord between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities signed in Beijing on September 22. Pope Francis, in Vilnius, recalling the victims of the Nazi and communist genocide, expressed a prayer in which he asks the Lord that we do not become "deaf to the cry of all those who today continue to raise their voices in heaven". And that's exactly what Chinese Catholics are asking for. But if in the agreement, although provisional, we can see even a glimmer of positivity, then the Lithuanian celebrations are a sign of hope: communism, "the delirium of omnipotence of those who claimed to control everything", did not win. And this also gives us hope for China… China's Catholic Church (Patriotic) said it would "persevere to walk a path suited to a socialist society, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party."The Vatican has said it would lead to "the full communion of all Chinese Catholics.
catholic  China  accords 
27 days ago
With genetic tweak, mosquito population made extinct
In experiments with the species Anopheles gambiae, scientists at Imperial College London tweaked a gene known as doublesex so that more females in each generation could no longer bite or reproduce.
After only eight generations, there were no females left and the population collapsed due to lack of offspring."This breakthrough shows that gene drive can work, providing hope in the fight against a disease that has plagued mankind for centuries,"Some scientists and technology watchdog groups have called for a moratorium on gene drive research."There are ecological risks from manipulating and removing natural populations, such as destroying food webs and shifting the behaviour of diseases, as well as social risks of disrupting agriculture and enabling new weapons."
genetics  medical  diseases 
27 days ago
Oscars: South Africa Selects 'Sew the Winter to My Skin' for Foreign-Language Category
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka's Sew the Winter to My Skin is a Western-style epic centered on John Kepe, a legendary outlaw who achieved folk hero status in pre-apartheid South Africa."Qubeka's largely wordless, diffuse, time-scrambled narrative feels willfully confusing at first, but it rewards patient viewers with its sensory riches and hypnotic rhythms,""The effect is somewhat reminiscent of Terrence Malick's latter-day oeuvre, where speech is often subsumed into the grand symphonic roar of history."
S.Africa  movies  awards  usage 
27 days ago
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