Showing posts with label Religious News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religious News. Show all posts


Pope Benedict XVI resigns

 I was taking my lunch when I heard a news about  Pope Benedict XVI  who will soon be resigning in his office. I was surprised upon  hearing it but was enlighten  after hearing that it is  due to his health situation. That is quite sad but considering his age, I believed it is reasonable  for him to do that. Good luck  Pope Benedict XVI  and wish  good  health and more years in your life. Keep spreading  the good news!

Here is the pontiff's statement in full...

 "Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. 

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. 

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer." (posted by my friend Tess in his facebook wall.)


Scary and Tragic news!

I got this in a subscribed email yesterday. This is a very shocking and tragic news. I hope and pray that the victims will rest in peace!! really very sad!! have a happy, safe and blessed New Year to all of us!! hopefully next year will be a better one!!

Santa kills at least 6, then himself

A gunman dressed as Santa opened fire on a suburban Los Angeles holiday party, killing at least six people before killing himself, police said Thursday.

Three people at the party were unaccounted for late Thursday afternoon as coroner's office personnel searched the ruins of the house, which the gunman set on fire during the Wednesday night assault, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The gunman, identified by witnesses as Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, used an accelerant in setting the fire at the home, which is owned by his ex-wife's parents, the newspaper said. Several hours after the assault, Pardo was found dead -- apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot -- at his home in Sylmar, Calif., about 25 miles from the scene of the killings.

Police said at least 30 people were at the home for the Christmas Eve party. Three people, ages 8, 13 and 16, were injured in the assault at the house party and taken to hospitals.

Covina Police Chief Kim Rainey said Pardo knocked on the front door of the home 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and when an 8-year-old girl answered the door Pardo shot her in the face. He then entered the house and started firing a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

Pardo then sprayed a flammable substance around before setting the fire.

Pardo had been recently divorced and may have lost his job, the Times said. Police and acquaintances said he had worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry.

Covina Police Lt. Pat Buchanan said none of the dead had been identified by Thursday afternoon, noting that the bodies had been badly burned. Pardo's ex-wife and her parents had not been accounted for and were among the missing or dead, police said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.

Astronomers look for Ramadan moon

Egyptian astronomers say their use of technology to look for the crescent moon signaling the start of Ramadan is still fulfilling tradition.

The government scientists are repeating a 1,400-year tradition using modern technology to refine a religious question, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Muslim world's most holy month, which includes fasting and other rituals, cannot begin until the crescent moon is observed, according to teachings of the prophet Muhammad. Its spotting has become an important matter of science and competition around the world.

"This night of witness is extremely important for we Muslims. It is the night that unifies us all," said cleric and astronomer Abdul Monim al-Berri, looking through a telescope in a Cairo parking lot Saturday.

Technology also has allowed precise tracking of the moon and the sun so astronomers can know in advance that the crescent moon will not be visible in the Middle East sooner than Sunday night. But the search must continue. The 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference even once went so far as to propose launching of a satellite simply to look for the Ramadan moon.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.


Interesting Religous News

This news I got from my subscribed mail from is quite interesting..I just thought of sharing it to all my readers and visitors.. what do you think, it is proper to do this...your opinion is kindly appreciated!!!have to go to bed early today!! thanks for the visits here!!

Priest organizes nun beauty contest

A Mondragone, Italy, priest says he expects at least 1,000 women to enter his Sister Italia beauty contest, which is open only to nuns.

Father Antonio Rungi said the Sister Italia contest is a strictly online venture but he expressed hope that high participation would allow the event to flourish into a full-fledged pageant, The Times of London reported Monday.

Rungi said the entrants, who must be between ages 18 and 40, would be judged primarily on "inner beauty" and would not be asked to wear swimsuits or any other revealing outfit. He said the contest is open to any novices or full members of an order, even if the order is not based in Italy.

"Do you really think nuns are all wizened, funereal old ladies? Today it's not like that any more, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls," Rungi said.

He said some nuns from Africa and Latin America are "really very, very pretty. The Brazilian girls above all."

The priest said voting for the contest will begin next month.

MDN: Pope's Speech in World Youth Day in Australia

How can you imagine people especially the youth around the world gathered together for a common purpose and interest?? The World Youth Day is such a very amazing event especially for the youth around the world. The WYD in Austria is participated by more than 200,000 participants from over 150 countries around the world.

Pope Benedict XVI gestures during a harbor cruise in Sydney,
Thursday, July 17, 2008. courtesy of AP photo

I was caught by Pope Benedict XVI speech regarding world's resources saying that it is being squandered by people. A very sad story that is happening now around the world. Do people really care for the environment and the Mother Earth?? I can only say what we are doing to our nature is slowly coming back to us. How I just wish that people will contribute in his own simple way the caring of our Mother Nature.

Just look around what is happening to the world for the past days, months and even years....flood in the Philippines, earthquake in China, war in the Iraq, and some more other calamities that are happening around the world.

How I just wish that in our very own simple way, I hope that we try to take care of Mother earth..just like maybe saving water, turning off equipments and appliances esp. when not in use, throwing and disposing of garbage in a right way and a lot more things to conserve nature..If and only everyone will contribute in his very simple way the conservation of nature, I believed this earth will be a happy place to live-in...

I am sharing to you the full story of Pope's speech below..I hope we will be vigilant enough to know and understand his messages to the people.

Have a great day to all!! God bless us all!!

Pope Says world's resources being squandered

By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer- July 17,2008

SYDNEY, Australia - The world's natural resources are being squandered in the pursuit of "insatiable consumption," Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday in a speech urging followers to care more for the environment and reconnect with the principle of peace.

Benedict, speaking to more than 200,000 pilgrims gathered for the Roman Catholic church's youth festival, expanded on a theme that has led him to be dubbed "the green pope." The crowd, massed on a disused wharf in Australia's largest city, regularly erupted in cheers that gave the event the feel of a sporting event.

"Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels; others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought," the pope said, referring to global warming.

He noted that during his more than 20-hour flight from Rome to Sydney he had a bird's eye view of a vast swath of the world that inspired awe and introspection.

"Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption," he said.

Types of "poison" are afflicting the world's social environment, he said, such as substance abuse, along with the exaltation of violence and sexual degradation, for which he blamed television and the Internet.

"The concerns for nonviolence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity," Benedict told the crowd.

Benedict's speech Thursday was his first major appearance at the festival and one of the set piece events of his 10-day trip. The pontiff emerged from three days at a secluded vacation spot to engage in a busy round of events for World Youth Day, an inaccurately-named six-day festival held every few years that is designed to inspire a new generation of Roman Catholics.

He received a series of welcomes: an official one from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a traditional one from pelt-clad Aboriginal dancers, and finally a rapturous one from pilgrims who journeyed to Sydney from more than 160 countries to attend.

The pope toured Sydney's famous harbor by boat, cruising past the city's twin landmarks — the white-shelled opera house and the bridge nicknamed "the coathanger" because of its shape.

At the ceremony with Rudd, Benedict praised the Australian government for its "courageous" apology to the country's indigenous Aborigines for past injustices, saying it offered hope to all disadvantaged peoples who are seeking reconciliation.

Aborigines are an often-marginalized minority of about 450,000 in Australia's population of 21 million. They are the country's poorest group, with the highest rates of unemployment, illiteracy, incarceration and alcohol abuse, and a life expectancy 17 years shorter than other Australians.

In February, Rudd formally apologized to Aborigines as one of his first official acts after taking power, and made closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians a priority of his government.

Benedict's comments about Aborigines were not the first time a pope has recognized indigenous peoples.

In 2001, John Paul II issued a formal apology to the indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands for injustices perpetrated by Catholic missionaries.

Crowds of people thronged Sydney streets Thursday evening, shutting down a large part of downtown during rush hour, as Benedict drove in the popemobile through the city. Security was tight, with thousands of police deployed and dark-suited security guards walking alongside the pope's vehicle.

source: yahoo news


Pope's shoes not made by Prada

Rumors that Pope Benedict XVI wears shoes made by high-fashion Italian designer Prada are "of course false," Vatican sources say.

Speculation that the Pope wears designer clothes has been flying around since he was elected in 2005, The Times of London reported Thursday.

The Pope's brightly colored red shoes and attractive sunglasses have prompted many to deem him a "style icon," the Times said.

The rumors were cleared up Thursday in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

Vatican sources said the Pope gets his shoes from Adriano Stefanelli, a cobbler in Novara, Italy.

Spanish writer and author, Juan Manuel de Prada, wrote in the article the Pope is a "simple and sober man" and rumors saying otherwise were "stupid and banal."

"The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ," he said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.


Do higher IQs mean less faith?

A British scientist argues that intelligence and religious faith are inversely related.

Richard Lynn, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Ulster, made his case in the journal "Intelligence," The Telegraph reported.

Lynn points to a study that showed that only 3.3 percent of fellows of the Royal Society, Britain's leading group for scientists, say they believe in God, while 68.5 percent of the general public do. Lynn argues that religious faith has declined because of rising intelligence and that young children give up believing in God as they become older and wiser.

"Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ," Lynn said.

A number of academics have criticized Lynn.

Alistair McFadyen, a lecturer in Christian theology at Leeds, said Lynn's article combines "a slight tinge of Western cultural imperialism as well as an anti-religious sentiment."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.


Some object to nude festival in Italy

Some residents of the Agrigento area on the Italian island of Sicily have objected to an upcoming naturist festival at Capo Bianco beach. The residents, as well as members of the Catholic Church, claim the May 23-25 Capo Bianco festival would be an illegal use of the beach for nude sunbathing, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Italian law forbids nude sunbathing, but exceptions are made for beaches where local councils approve the practice and the areas are overseen by naturist associations. Mayor Cosimo Piro of Cattolica Eraclea, the nearest village to the beach, issued a recent regulation allowing "free use of Capo Bianco by lovers of nude sunbathing." The mayor, a member of the Christian Democratic party, said the practice would help the beach draw tourists.

However, some have argued the mayor's regulation is not legally binding. "The beach belongs to the state, not to the local council," said Father Giuseppe Miliziano, a local priest. "If the state decided to allow people to take their clothes off, there is not much I could do about it. But as far as I am aware no such authorization has been issued."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.


Cheap Way To Lower Blood Pressure

Here’s an easy and cheap way to lower blood pressure:

One of the best ways to live a long and healthy life is to keep
your blood pressure within normal levels. It turns out that one
way to do that is to go to church every week, reports Reuters of
research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
in Atlanta, Ga.

The study: In this large, multiethnic study of nearly 14,500
American men and women age 20 years and older who were part of
the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the
participants' blood pressure was taken at home and in mobile
examination centers.

They were also asked how frequently they attended church or
religious services.

The answers:
40% attended once a week or more.
28% worshiped less than once a week.
33% said they never participated in services.

The results: Lead researchers, Dr. R. Frank Gillum and Dr.
Deborah D. Ingram, found that those who attended religious
services at least once a week had lower blood pressure and a
lower prevalence of high blood pressure, compared with people
who never attended.

Specifically, the once-a-week churchgoers had systolic (the top
number) readings that were 1.46 mm Hg lower than those who never
attended, while those who attended more than once a week had
systolic levels 3.03 mm Hg lower than those who never attended,
reports Reuters.

The study findings were published in the journal Psychosomatic
Medicine, 2006.
--From the Editors at Netscape


After intimate meeting, pope turns to global audience

By ERIC GORSKI, AP Religion Writer

UNITED NATIONS - Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world's problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by "the decisions of a small number."

The pontiff, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on his first papal trip to the U.S., said the organization's work is vital. But he raised concerns that power is concentrated among just handful of players.

"Multilateral consensus," he said, speaking in French, "continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a small number."

The world's problems call for collective interventions by the international community, he said.

"The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and increasing security," the pope said.

Benedict, only the third pope to address the United Nations, made the remarks after three dramatic days in which he repeatedly discussed America's clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The U.N. setting contrasted dramatically with the intimacy of a meeting Thursday, at which Benedict prayed with weeping victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests.

The pope took an early morning flight from the nation's capital to New York City. He was greeted by New York Cardinal Edward Egan and taken to a helicopter for the ride into Manhattan.

Across from the U.N., several hundred supporters, many of them Hispanic, gathered behind metal police barricades.

"Benedetto!" many shouted in Spanish.

A group of New Jersey Catholics held up a banner for the German-born pope that combined German — "Willkommen Pope Benedict XVI" — and English sentiments: "You Rock!"

A small anti-pope contingent included a group calling itself Forum for Protection of Religious Pluralism.

Financial consultant Padmanabh Rao, a Hindu from Woodbridge, N.J., complained that the Vatican is converting people in India to Catholicism.

Queens contractor William Salazar, who identified himself as a Navajo Indian, said Catholic priests "came to America and they killed our children. Now the pope is sending priests all over the world who are raping our children."

Before the pontiff's speech, Benedict and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met alone for 15 minutes.

The pope's New York visit will also include a visit to ground zero, site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and a Mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Later Friday, he was to visit a synagogue and meet with leaders of other Christian denominations.

It remains to be seen whether Benedict will continue to talk about the sexual abuse crisis. He has been widely expected to broach the subject on Saturday when he celebrates Mass for priests, deacons and members of religious orders at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

On Thursday, Benedict met privately with abuse victims between an open-air Mass at Nationals Park and a meeting with Catholic educators.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a papal spokesman, said that Benedict and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley met with a group of five or six abuse victims for about 25 minutes, offering them encouragement and hope. The group from O'Malley's archdiocese were all adults, men and women, who had been molested when they were minors. Each spoke privately with the pope and the whole group prayed together.

One of the victims, Bernie McDaid, told The Associated Press that he shook the pope's hand, told him he was an altar boy and had been abused by a priest in the sacristy of his parish. The abuse, he told Benedict, was not only sexual but spiritual.

"I said, 'Holy Father, you need to know you have a cancer in your flock and I hope you will do something for this problem; you have to fix this,'" McDaid said. "He looked down at the floor and back at me, like, 'I know what you mean.' He took it in emotionally. We looked eye to eye."

Olan Horne, another Boston-area victim who prayed and talked with Benedict, told the AP, "I believe we turned the pope's head a little in the right direction."

Both men have worked with church officials in the aftermath of the crisis, and met with a new office established by U.S. bishops in response to the scandal.

Their sentiments were echoed by O'Malley, who called the meeting "a very moving experience for all who participated."

Benedict's address to the presidents of Catholic colleges and universities was among the most anticipated of his trip, but was overshadowed by the meeting with victims.

The pope, a former academic, said academic freedom has "great value" for the schools, but does not justify promoting positions that violate the Catholic faith.


Associated Press Writer Verena Dobnik contributed to this report.

source: yahoo news


Pope says U.S. society can undermine Catholic faith

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor Wed Apr 16, 9:37 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pope Benedict tempered his praise for American religious tolerance on Wednesday with a warning that U.S. society can quietly undermine Catholicism by reducing all faiths to a lowest common denominator.

Addressing the nation's Catholic bishops, the German-born pope said the U.S. Church could not drop its guard against relativism just because faith plays a larger part in public life in the United States than it does in more secularized Europe.

A strong individualist streak in American culture leads some Catholics "to pick and choose," following Church doctrines they like and ignoring others, he said during a long speech on challenges facing Roman Catholicism in the United States.

"It is not enough to count on this traditional religiosity and go about business as usual, even as its foundations are being slowly undermined," he warned the bishops gathered at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

The "American brand of secularism," he said, "can subtly reduce religious belief to a lowest common denominator."

Countering growing secularization in Europe has been a main theme of Benedict's papacy. His comments on the United States have mostly been positive remarks on how it has separated church and state without driving religion from the public sphere.

The speech to nine U.S. cardinals and 350 bishops, his main opportunity to speak to leaders of his Church in America, revealed a deeper level of concern Benedict has about a superficial religiosity sometimes called "civil religion."

"Faith becomes a passive acceptance that certain things 'out there' are true, but without practical relevance for everyday life," he said. "The result is a growing separation of faith from life, living 'as if God did not exist."'

"We have seen this emerge in an acute way in the scandal given by Catholics who promote an alleged right to abortion."


Another sign is the continued drift of Catholics away from the Church, he said. According to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, about 24 percent of Americans are Catholics but a further 10 percent are ex-Catholics.

"Do people today find it difficult to encounter God in our churches?" Benedict asked. "Has our preaching lost its salt?"

The pope said part of the problem was that American Catholics had left the "ghetto" of Catholic culture that reinforced religious practice among the immigrant communities that long made up the bulk of the faithful.

Those communities have assimilated in recent decades into the pluralist mainstream of this mostly Protestant society, where other faiths and fads compete for people's attention.

"The Church in America," Benedict said, "is faced with the challenge of recapturing the Catholic vision of reality and presenting it, in an engaging and imaginative way, to a society which markets any number of recipes for human fulfillment."

A study issued just before Benedict's visit showed many U.S. Catholics -- especially younger ones -- had only a shallow understanding of their faith.

While the Church teaches that the Eucharist is clearly the most important of its sacraments, only 25 percent of those polled thought so, according to the study by the Center for Applied Research into the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

Some 39 percent chose baptism as the most important sacrament and 26 percent picked marriage.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

(For more on religion, see the Reuters religion blog FaithWorld at



Tibet monks disrupt Chinese media tour

BEIJING, A group of 15 Tibetan monks disrupted a Chinese government-led media tour Wednesday, calling out to journalists for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The episode - the second in as many weeks- took place in Xiahe (Gansu), outside the monastery of Labrang.

The monks, bearing Tibetan flags, attempted to speak to the 20 Chinese and foreign journalists, shouting "The Dalai Lama has to come back to Tibet. We are not asking for Tibetan independence, we are just asking for human rights, we have no human rights now," AsiaNews reported Wednesday.

Some of the monks covered their faces. Last month the Labrang monastery was at the heart of protests that began March 14 in the capital Lhasa.

Since then Beijing isolated Tibet and Chunese areas with Tibetan populations, banning all visitors and journalists, except for guided tours. Two weeks ago a group of monks disrupted a journalist tour in Lhasa, accusing the Chinese government of lies and crying out that there is no religious freedom in Tibet.

In a press conference Wednesday in the capital, the head of government for the autonomous region of Tibet, Qiangba Puncong, said police arrested 953 people for participating in the Lhasa uprising. China maintains the revolt caused 19 deaths, all Chinese, but the Tibetan government in exile puts the toll at 140 Tibetans at least.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.

This news arrived on: 04/09/

Women, kids taken from sect in Texas

SAN ANTONIO, Texas authorities raided a ranch belonging to a breakaway Mormon sect, removing almost 200 women and children since Thursday. Police began the raids after reports that a 16-year-old girl was physically and sexually abused.

Detectives seek evidence of a marriage between the girl and a 50-year-old man. She is thought to have had a child when she was 15, BBC News online reported Monday.

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs was jailed as an accomplice to rape. Under Texas law, girls younger than 16 cannot marry, even with parental approval.

Texas Child Protective Services removed 137 children and 46 women, who are being questioned. Spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said they were doing fine and officials remained at the ranch looking for more children.

It was not clear whether the girl was still at the compound or was among those removed and had not been identified. Officials were also authorized to remove computer hard drives, CDs, DVDs and photos.

Meisner was unable to say whether the women and children left voluntarily. Local news reports said shelters had been set up for them.

The authorities said none of the women and girls picked up in initial raids would be returning to the ranch. Eighteen of them were at risk of further abuse and would remain in state custody, they said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.

This news arrived on: 04/09/