A Doctor’s Wisdom on Abortion

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

Doctor's Wisdom on Abortion‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.

So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’

She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Doctor's Wisdom on AbortionThen he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.

The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!

‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.’

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

Doctor's Wisdom on AbortionHe convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb.

The crime is the same!

Realizing this was true, the woman withdrew her request and soon found the love and support she needed at a local Church and Pregnancy Care Center. The mother and child are both alive and well today.

Together we can help save precious lives

!”Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.”

- fwd: elizabeth pereira

 

Obama quizzes Vietnam President on rights

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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United States, July 28, 2013: Sang jeered on arrival at White House and has “very candid” talk with Obama.

Sang Jeered and ObamaUS President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he has urged his Vietnamese counterpart President Truong Tan Sang to strengthen freedom of speech and of religion in his country.

The US leader spoke after what he described as “very candid” talks at the White House with the South East Asian leader.

“The United States continues to believe that all of us have to respect issues like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly,” Obama told reporters at the Oval Office with Sang at his side.

“We had a very candid conversation about both the progress that Vietnam is making and the challenges that remain,” he said.

Several lawmakers have accused Obama of merely mentioning human rights and said he should have made progress a condition for further improvements in relations.

Sang, who acknowledged “differences” between the two countries on human rights, said that Obama had promised to visit Vietnam by the end of his second term. Obama, who would be the third successive US president to visit Vietnam, is expected in the region in October for summits in Bali and Brunei.

President Truong Tan Sang was only the second Vietnamese head of state to visit the White House since the normalization of relations in 1975 and he was jeered on his arrival by hundreds of Vietnamese Americans, many waving the flags of the former Saigon regime and chanting slogans that were occasionally audible inside the White House.

“What we want to do is respect human rights and freedom in Vietnam,” said demonstrator Huu Dinh Vo of the Federation of Vietnamese American Communities.

“Okay, you can invite him [Sang], but you have to put on the table pressure to push the Vietnamese communists to comply with international law and human rights and freedom like in other countries,” he said.

But the two leaders looked upbeat during their meeting at the Oval Office, with Obama saying that Sang showed him a letter written by revolutionary Ho Chi Minh to former US president Harry Truman that voiced hope for strong relations, two decades before their war started.

- afp

News in Brief: Pak, India & Uzbekistan

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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INDIA: SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF PASTOR DISMISSED BY POLICE AS ACCIDENT

Christians in IndiaChristian leaders have claimed that a pastor in Orissa was murdered after police dismissed his suspicious death as an accident. The Rev. Jaisankar went missing on 11 July as he made his way by motorbike to Lamtaput, Kandhamal district. His body was later found near a riverbank.Police said the pastor fell into the river and was dragged away by the current, but the Global Council of Indian Christians believes he was murdered because of the nature of his wounds, which indicated signs of violence, and because of the climate of hostility towards Christians in Orissa.The incident is reminiscent of that of Michael Nayak, whose death police dismissed as a road accident; a court later reopened the case as a murder investigation.

PAKISTAN: POLICE INQUIRY CLEARS OFFICERS OF TORTURE AND DEATH OF CHRISTIAN TEENAGER

Pakistani Christians An internal police inquiry has cleared all officers implicated in the case of Christian teenager Adnan Masih, who died in custody after allegedly being tortured. Following outrage from the Christian community, senior police officials announced that all officers involved in the matter had been arrested and suspended, and that an inquiry would be conducted. But they were never arrested, and an internal inquiry has now cleared them of accusations of torture and causing Adnan’s death.His family has been warned by senior officers that if they do not withdraw charges, they will face severe consequences.

UZBEKISTAN: POLICE THREATEN TO SHOOT HOUSE CHURCH MEMBERS FOLLOWING RAID

UzbekistanPolice officers threatened to shoot members of a house church, including children, who were rounded up in a raid on their Sunday gathering.All 78 attendees were taken to the police station for questioning following the raid at the home of Svetlana Andreychenko in Karshi on 21 April. She was later fined 50 times the minimum monthly salary for carrying out unauthorised religious activity and teaching religious beliefs.On 23 June, the church’s Sunday meeting was raided again and each member summoned one by one to be photographed. Officers took air-conditioning units from the walls in an effort to stop the Christians from gathering. The head of the local CID threatened to confiscate Svetlana’s home.

- barnabas team

BJP Minority Morcha critical of Congress treatment of Muslims

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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BJP Minority Morcha National Secretary Arshad Alam addressing a press conference in GuwahatiAssam, July 29, 2013: Supporting Narendra Modi’s candidature for Prime Minister, BJP Minority Morcha national secretary Arshad Alam slammed Congress for using Muslims for vote bank politics. Talking to reporters in Guwahati, the BJP leader said that the corrupted politicians in Congress trying to defame the saffron party at any cost.

“Seeing Narendra Modi’s developmental works in Gujarat the corrupt politicians are sacred across the country. If he becomes the PM the entire country will see the development. The common men of the country have appreciated Modi’s work,” Alam said at the party headquarters in Guwahati.

Criticizing Congress’ role he said that the ruling party has been using the Muslim community for the sake of votes only and that’s why the condition of Indian Muslims is very poor. “Congress has always been using the people of Muslim community for the sake of votes only. They have never wanted development for the community but BJP wants all round development for every citizen of the country. If we compare the status of Muslims of Gujarat and Assam, everything will be clear,” he added.

He termed Congress as ‘Corporate Company,’ Alam said that the party has many agents in the country to carry out their activities. He even went up to the extent of saying Badruddin Ajmal led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) as one of the agents of Congress.

“Badruddin Ajmal is doing his own business here not a political party. He is an agent of the Congress party or how can somebody be a part of UPA (United Progressive Alliance) in centre and opposition in Assam,” he further said.

Comparing Gujarat riot with such clashes in Assam he said that people have seen more bloody clashes during the Congress regime than BJP. On the Ishrat Jahan case he said that the Congress is making it a big issue for their political gain. “There are thousands such cases happen in India. I’m not saying it to be a fake encounter as the investigation is still on. Just because a Muslim name is involved, a controversy is being created,” he said.

Give citizenship to Hindu migrants

BJP Minority Morcha National Secretary Arshad Alam said that all the Hindu migrants from Bangladesh should be provided Indian citizenship on the grounds of humanity. Speaking on the issue of infiltration from the other side of the border to Assam and other states of the northeast, he said that it is a matter of concern if a Muslim comes across.

“As Bangladesh is an Islamic country, the Hindu brothers might have faced some problems in performing their religious or cultural activities. So, keeping all these things in mind the Hindu migrants should be given Indian citizenship,” he said during a press conference.

The BJP leader from Karandighi of West Bengal, however, expressed concern over the Muslim migrants. “In this regard, if a Muslim foreigner comes from Bangladesh, he should be questioned because his motive might be different and should be taken necessary action. As I believe a Muslim will never have any problem in that country,” the BJP leader who has educational qualification till a class VIII added.

Regarding the Ram Mandir issue he said that anywhere in India a temple can be constructed without any obstruction.

- tcn

Two new bishops for Odisha. One for Assam

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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Diocese of RourkelaVatican City, July 28, 2013: Pope Francis on Friday appointed new bishops for the dioceses of Sambalpur, Rourkela in Odisha and Diphu in Assam.

Father Niranjan Singh of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese would take over as Sambalpur bishop. Fr. Kishore Kumar Kujur of Sambalpur diocese would be the new Rourkela bishop and Fr. Paul Mattekatt of the clergy of Diphu would be the bishop of Diphu diocese.

Father Singh, who replaces Divine Word bishop Lukas Kerketta who retired, is currently the professor of Theology and Moderator of the seminarians in the archdiocese.

The priest was born on July 20, 1961, in Berhampur diocese, Orissa holds a Masters in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. He was ordained a priest on 29 April, 1991 for the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese.

Father Kujur, the new Rourkela bishop, is currently the professor of Sacred Scripture at the Regional Seminary of Orissa. The diocese was vacant since Feb. 11, 2011 following the transfer of Bishop John Barwa, SVD, as the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archbishop.

Father Kujur was born Jan. 6, 1964 in Gaibira in Rourkela, Orissa. He completed his theological studies at Khristo Jyoti Mohavidyaloyo Regional Theologate of Sason. He has a Bachelor of Arts, a Licentiate and a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture.

He was ordained a priest on Feb. 7, 1993 and incardinated in Sambalpur diocese. He was appointed as the member of council of priests in 2010.

The new bishop of Diphu, Father Paul, is presently serving as the Pastor and Director of the Catholic school in Japrajan. The diocese was vacant since April 9, 2011, following the transfer of Bishop John Moolachira as Coadjutor Archbishop of Guwahati.

Father Paul was born in Kerela on June 1, 1961. He completed theology at the Papal Seminary in Pune. On Dec. 31, 1988, he was ordained a priest of Diphu diocese, recently erected by the division of the Archdiocese of Shillong-Guwahati.

- vaticana radio

Kerala: Suspected terrorist’s poem in univ syllabus

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Kerala, July 26, 2013: The university’s vice-chancellor has asked for a report in this regard.

Literature and Contemporary IssuesA poem written by suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Ibrahim Al-Rubaish has found its way in the graduation syllabus of Calicut University in Kerala.

However, state’s education minister says he is yet to hear about the issue.

The university’s vice-chancellor M Abdul Salam has asked Faculty of Language and Literature Dean M M Basheer to submit a report in this regard.

Basheer said his preliminary inquiry revealed that the poem could have been included in the syllabus without knowing the extremist background of the author.

“Any decision on removing the poem from the syllabus would only be taken after going through every detail,” he added.

Writer and critic Hameed Chennamangaloor criticized the Board of Studies for the controversy.

“It shows the carelessness of the English Board of Studies in selecting materials for the syllabus. What may have happened here was that those who edited the book included the poem without going deep on the author and his background,” he said.

“However, in my view if the poem sends a literary message in good meaning there is no need to remove it from the syllabus. But this should be done only after ensuring that there were no clandestine efforts involved in it,” he added.

- new indian express

Muslims respect Our Lady, Mary & fear demonic possession

July 29, 2013 by admin  
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Beirut, July 26, 2013: Fatima, Harissa, Damascus, Samalut, Assiut, Zeitun and many other places where the Virgin appeared are the destination of incessant pilgrimages from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran. Pilgrims in search of physical but also spiritual healing; spontaneous and mystical prayer and not the schematic and formal verses of official Islam. The iconoclast Salafists destroy places of pilgrimage every year. But the devotion to Mary is growing, also fueled by the stories of the Koran. The spiritual dialogue between Christians and Muslims is much more promising than cultural, theological or political dialogue.

Millions of Muslims devoted to Our Lady Each year millions of Muslims come on pilgrimage to the Catholic Marian shrines. Not only to the major shrines such as Fatima in Portugal or Harissa in Lebanon, but also to Egypt, Syria, Iran. Muslims – especially Muslim women – go to give thanks to the Madonna or great Christian saints, like St. Charbel or St. George.

In the eyes of many Westerners these gestures seem ridiculous or false:  they speak of apparitions, of prayers, but then there are massacres, killings, violence in the name of religion!

Like it or not, the religious phenomenon is alive in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. When you see millions of Hindus go to bathe in the dirty water of the sacred river it may seem like a ridiculous thing. Yet for those who do it is an act of purification, of prayer. The West is tolerant and benevolent towards other religions, but its attitude towards Christians is increasingly hypercritical. The West is not post-Hindu, post-Islam. It is only post-Christian!

The point is that in the West, the supernatural is considered outdated, it is branded as mythology, illusion, instead the West is forever denouncing the difficulties that neither miracles nor pilgrimages can erase.

But in the rest of the world the spiritual dimension is alive and well. In the East, the religious sentiment is very much alive among Muslims, Christians and other religions. But in most of the West – especially on the part of intellectuals – the religious sentiment is seen as a thing of the past, irrational, naive. We must state this clearly: this interpretation is wrong.

The Marian devotion of Muslims

In Egypt, there are at least a dozen places of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin, which commemorate the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt. The tradition is very rich in the apocryphal texts of the fourth and fifth centuries. You can read some passages in the article by then Msgr. Ravasi (now Cardinal) of 28 December 2007, the feast of the Holy Innocents, published in the L’Osservatore Romano.

Every year in August, the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption of Mary) at least one million pilgrims go on pilgrimages to various shrines of Our Lady. The most famous are in Upper Egypt (in the South), at Jabal al-Tair, near Samalut, about 200 kilometers from Cairo. The festival lasts for 15 days, people pray, baptize infants (the parish priest has also built a species of baptistery, for Muslims, given the demand for baptisms from them as well) and celebrate.

More to the south, about 380 km from Cairo and 7 km from Assiut, there is another similar place of pilgrimage at Deir Dronka where tradition holds that the Holy Family stayed and the Virgin rested in a cave.

A few appearances have been reported in recent times:

  • On 22 January 1980 the Virgin appeared to a deacon.
  • On 10 January 1988 he appeared in the church tower to an Australian tourist, and Jesus appeared with a dove to the workers of the monastery.
  • On 7 August 1990, the Virgin appeared to the monks, surrounded by light, in a cave of the convent.

The annual pilgrimage is made during the “fasting of the Virgin” (7 to 21 August, the feast of the Dormition being the 22 in the Coptic rite). More than half a million pilgrims come, among them tens of thousands of Muslims. One of the monks is “specialized”, so to speak, in baptisms, because he manages to make the 36 liturgical signs of the cross on the child’s body in a minute (he showed me how some years ago!).

Even there, Muslims constitute a large number of participants, it is said that they are at least a quarter of the total number of pilgrims.

In Egypt, another pilgrimage to modern places of Marian apparitions is in Zeitun, near Cairo. The apparition, which began in 1968, lasted for several months. Various sociologists – not Egyptians – have called the phenomenon a kind of affective compensation, psychical consolation for the harshness of life. But people went there, Muslims and Christians, because they saw a white shape on the dome of the Church of Zeitun, which they interpreted as being Sittina Mariam, Our Lady Mary. The fact is difficult to explain, but was seen by thousands of people and there are also pictures. Another apparition of the Virgin is celebrated in Imbaba, a populous neighborhood.

From 1982 to today, reports of Our Lady’s apparitions in the Damascus neighborhood of Soufanieh continue. Oil flows from the icon of the Madonna, and the hands of a normal, well-balanced girl of 18, Myrna Nazzour, also sweat oil. The parish priest of the time, quite against it at first, has become the icons’ greatest enthusiasts. There too, Muslims and Christians flock in great numbers.

Near Damascus there is also a sanctuary to visit the mausoleum of Settena Zainab, the daughter of Ali and Fatima, the founder of Shiism. This is a pilgrimage to the roots. But when you go to places of apparition of the Virgin, the reasons are far deeper.

For years now plane loads of Muslim women from Iran have been landing at Fatima, Portugal.  They come to pray before Our Lady who appeared to three shepherd children. The reason is that the Madonna was named after the daughter of Muhammad and wife of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

In Harissa, Lebanon, Iranian women constantly come to pray to Our Lady, to the point that the rector of the shrine has a chapel prepared especially for them, with icons, signs and prayers to the Virgin in Persian, to facilitate their devotion.

Last year, during the month of May, as I waited for evening Mass to begin in Harissa, I saw hundreds of Muslim families – probably Shiite – who stopped to listen to the hymns before Mass and who only left at the end.

When I was in Morocco, I found that many women, during pregnancy and after childbirth, continued the so-called “fast of Our Lady,” inspired by the Koran, which speaks of this fast.

Mary in the Koran

The Muslims make their way to these shrines, knowing that Mary is the woman most praised in the Koran, the only woman mentioned by name, called “Siddīqah” (true, believer, holy), a title reserved for men (siddīq). She is the only one whom the Koran states that God has “chosen” (inna Allāh istafāqī), and twice, and that God has preferred her to all the women of the earth (wa-faddalaki ‘ala nisā’ al-’ālamīn); moreover that she was consecrated (innī nadhartu mā fī batnī muharraran) in her mother’s womb before birth. Indeed, a scared saying (attributed to Muhammad and thus regarded as a certainty) says that every child, when born, is “touched” by Satan, with the exception of Mary and her son; a saying that draws very close indeed to the concept of the Immaculate Conception.

In the Koran Mary is “the most pure”, because God has made her pure. In the Annunciation, in two different chapters, Mary says to the angel,: “How can I have a baby, when no human being has ever touched me?”. Thus, in the Koran, Jesus is called: “The Christ Jesus, son of Mary” (al-Masīh ‘Īsā Ibn Mariam): never in Arabic is a person referred to as “son of … (a woman)”, but always. .. a man, and therefore Jesus being born of a woman who has not known a man, could not be called “son of Joseph”!

Therefore, the last verse (12) of Chapter 66 (al-Tahrīm) of the Koran, reads: “And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout. “

When Mary is referred to in Islam, “‘Alayhā l-salām” (peace be upon her) is added, a title that is not given to any saint. This title is also given by Christians to Mary. There is an entire body of literature on Mary in the Koran, written by both Muslims and Christians.

Popular devotion for Christians saints, even among Muslims

What drives Muslims to undertake these pilgrimages? First of all people are looking to rediscover their faith in the essential; they are looking for a renewal of faith.  This is also followed by a desire for physical healing. But the question of a spiritual healing is much stronger. This is very similar to the sense of Christian pilgrimages.

It must be said that pilgrimages have no value for the orthodox Muslim, apart from the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). With the exception of Mecca, they consider this practice a kind of idolatry. This is why radical Muslims destroy all the places of pilgrimage, especially the tombs of Sufi sages, which Muslim mystics visit every year. Such destruction is typical of the Salafis, who are constantly carrying out iconoclastic raids in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Jordan, Pakistan, etc. …

This trend in radical Islam is somewhat similar to early Protestantism: they despise popular piety as overly naive and distorted. In reality, the people seek God through everyday things, but also through certain phenomena or testimonies overtime. It does not matter that they are Christians or Muslims.

There are regular visits to St. George in Egypt, to the shrine of St. Charbel Makhlouf in Lebanon, to the house of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, visited every day by Muslims, usually women. Sometimes these pilgrimages are made to ask for the grace to have a child at other times to ask for physical healing. And it is always the Muslims to go to the Christians.

Monk exorcists for Muslims

Another spiritual element present in the faith of the people is fear of the devil. An episode that I experienced many years ago when I was a religious, but not yet a priest, is a very significant example of this. I was at the American University in Cairo and had entered and exited the building several times during the day for some research. At a certain point the doorman stopped me and gently asked me a favor. “My sixteen year old daughter – he says – is possessed by a demon.” It was the first time I heard this expression in my entire life. He told me of how this demon would fling her on the ground, and hurt her. He adds: “I took her to our imams and they could not do anything. They themselves have told me that the only one can free her is a monk.” He begged me to do something.

I promise him that I would pray for them, but I saw that he was disappointed by my answer. When I told the story to my brothers, they all criticized me, because they believed I should have preformed an exorcism, according to the established liturgical rite. And I discovered that many monks and religious are approached by Muslims and asked to cast out demons from a family member and that this practice is very common.

Usually, Muslims go to Coptic Orthodox monks or priests and often these exorcisms take place in public. I once witnessed one of these in front of the station square in Cairo (Bāb al-Hadīd), today called Mīdān Ramsis, with candles and holy water. A man lying on the ground, rigid, who swore and was a cripple, at a certain point, became calm.

A few years ago, in September 1994, a Canadian priest of the charismatic movement, famous for miracles, came to Lebanon. He was Father Emilien Tardif (1928-1999) of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Tens of thousands of people, many Muslims, followed him asking for his help. His cause for beatification is proceeding. This phenomenon is a fact that I can not explain. But I think that God gives a supernatural gift to some, to be put at the service of all. These gifts are distributed only in a Christian environment, but they are certified, verified by non-Christians.

Miracles are made for the benefit of anyone who has faith, the faith that leads God to grant the miracle.

In the human being there is a need that is not satisfied in Islam, but which is alive in Christianity. There is a need for spirituality, mysticism and beauty that is offered with greater ease in the Christian world than in Islam.

Sincere piety unites people. Mary as a bridge between Christians and Muslims

The most symbolic example of this was the decision of the Lebanese parliament to set up a national holiday for all three years ago, choosing the feast of the Annunciation of Mary. It was a deliberate decision by Christians and Muslims. The Koran twice refers to the account of the annunciation (in Chapters 3 and 19), almost in the same terms of the Gospel, and with a much more elegant and solemn style. In these texts the Virgin Mary is attributed is described as being strongly submissive to God and amazed at what happens to her, so much so that God Himself comforts her.

These experiences lead to great collaboration and a spiritual harmony with many Muslims. If it is not taken over by Islamic radicalism – which mixes religion and power, religion and state, religion and politics – the Muslim, just like any other believer, nourishes as openness to the supernatural, the spiritual, in his heart. But this aspect is not freely expressed in Islam: the spiritual is planned, the five daily prayers are predefined and must be done with pre-set words, so much so that if make a mistake while reciting them, you have to start all over again. Official Islam lacks spontaneity. For this reason, when a Muslim looks for something more intimate, they look towards Christianity.

Devotion creates feelings of friendship and not antagonism. In the West it is often said that religions, especially the monotheistic religions, are a source of wars and divisions. This thesis is false from the historical point of view and from the point of view of content. Of course, wars have been waged in the name of religion. But man has also launched wars in the name of many other ideologies, religion itself does not wage wars. We only have to think of nationalism, the divisions and the world wars fought in Europe, we are forced to admit that nationalism has been the cause of a far worse violence than any religion, and that the atheistic ideologies of the twentieth century, have produced more deaths than religions.

Even the religious wars fought in Europe were based on political phenomena that exploited religion (“cuius regio, eius religio “). It was the common view of the time, not the vision suggested by the Gospel. This connection between politics and religion is still very strong in Islam and Judaism as well. Identifying one State with a religion and an ethnic group, generating Zionism, has created a violent movement that was fueled by religion, and that creates problems for many Jews who to not back Israel’s politics. On the Islamic side, the Palestinian cause has been identified with Islam and has created the same difficulty, and it is perhaps for this reason that the peace process and a possible reconciliation have stalled.

To date, it seems to me that Christianity as a religion distinctly separates faith and politics, though not always perfectly … like everything that is human. Benedict XVI also writes about this in his Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East: “A healthy secularity, on the other hand, frees religion from the encumbrance of politics, and allows politics to be enriched by the contribution of religion, while maintaining the necessary distance, clear distinction and indispensable collaboration between the two spheres” (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, No. 29).

In fact, with the Muslims, as soon as you mention Mary, there is a notable change in attitude: there is an atmosphere of piety, of silence, of brotherhood, as if after chatting about many things, you were entering a place of worship, and there is silence.

Some might see this as a kind of syncretism. But in fact, devotion is a phenomenon that is open to all. Even in the West, Marian shrines do not only attract Christians, but also other believers, or people who have left the Church, even non-believers. Even though the liturgies are clearly Christian. And if I, as I pray to Our Lady, see a Muslim praying next to me, what’s the problem? On the contrary: it is a great comfort because devotion is a far stronger foundation for a relationship and friendship than ideological, political or cultural bonds. Those who think the of Christian faith in an exclusive way, as do some Catholic traditionalists, have yet to fully understand Christianity.

- asianews

Sex ratio sees sharp decline among Muslims

July 26, 2013 by admin  
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Sex RatioNew Delhi, July 24, 2013: Compared to other religious groups, the Muslim community has witnessed the sharpest decline in sex ratio  — dropping from 968 women for 1,000 Muslim men in 2004-05 to 922 in 2009-10.

A report by National Sample Survey Office shows that the Muslim sex ratio suffered due to a huge fall in the number of females in rural India.

In 2004-05, there were 968 women for 1,000 Muslim men in rural areas which dropped to 921 in 2009-10. The drop is more drastic considering there were 990 women for 1,000 rural Muslim men in 1999-2000.

Sex ratio in Hindus also fell. In rural areas, there were 961 women for 1,000 Hindu men in 2004-05 which dropped to 949 in 2009-10.

However, the sex ratio in rural Christian community rose from 994 in 2004-05 to 1,012 in 2009-10.

The overall sex ratio for India in 2009-10 was 947 women for 1,000 men whereas for Muslims it was 922.

In urban area, the drop was less with 932 women for 1,000 Muslim men in 2004-05 which declined to 923 in 2009-10. In 1999-2000, the sex ratio was 912.

In the urban Hindu community, the sex ratio dropped to 902 women for 1,000 Hindu men in 2009-10 as compared to 912 in 2004-05.

Once again the Christian community came out on top with 1,012 urban women for 1,000 men in 2009-10, up from 1,000 in 2004-05.

India’s sex ratio as per 2011 Census was 940 females for 1,000 men, but data categorised along religious lines has not been released yet.

- hindustan times

WYD: Ex-Delhi archbishop gives catechesis classes

July 26, 2013 by admin  
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Archbishop emeritus Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi gives a session at Our Lady of Mercy School

Archbishop emeritus Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi gives a session at Our Lady of Mercy School

Brazil, July 26, 2013: The archbishop said that many times the Lord enters into our life through things that happen to us or people we meet.

The archbishop emeritus Vincent Concessao of Delhi told participants during the ongoing World Youth Day that and an encounter with Jesus will change their lives.

He was taking the pilgrims’ first catechesis session of the event.

“When the Lord comes into your life something new happens, we believe we see people from a different perspective,” said the archbishop.

“You will see people as Jesus saw and he will give us confidence, trust and courage to do things,” he told pilgrims gathered at the school of Our Lady of Mercy in Rio de Janeiro’s Botafogo neighborhood.

Pilgrims are divided up into language groups on the mornings of July 24-26 for catechesis, one of the major teaching elements of World Youth Day.

Over 250 bishops from around the world are leading the catechesis sessions, which take place at different churches and schools across Rio de Janeiro.

The sessions are a chance for pilgrims to pray and listen to talks by the bishops related to the World Youth Day theme, “Go and make disciples among all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

Each catechesis session is including a question-and-answer period with the youth, Mass and confessions.

The archbishop told the pilgrims some personal stories and spoke about saints who they could look to as role models.

“I wanted to become a priest after I had finished high school, but a week before I joined the seminary, my father had a third attack of paralysis,” he said.

“I was 16 at the time and despite my father’s suffering, I still wanted to join the seminary, and some people were surprised,” Archbishop Concessao recalled.

He also remembered a time when he met a poor man who attended his parish.

“He told me, ‘sometimes I eat once a day, sometimes twice, but what I have I can share it with you,’” he said.

“I felt that God was talking to me through him; for me it was like Jesus himself standing before me and talking to me,” he remarked.

The archbishop said that many times the Lord enters into our life through things that happen to us or people we meet.

“On the other side of the road there was a man who saw a beggar that was mentally challenged,” he said as he began another story.

“After two years the man opened an institution of about 250 people,” he added.

Archbishop Concessao told the youth that it is “very important” that their perspective be “a faith perspective.”

“How do you look at people?” he challenged them. “He is your brother and sister because God made all people in his image and likeness and for him there are no outsiders or strangers.”

“There are many others who are misguided, but you are here,” he said. “It is the presence of the Lord in our faith that is important.”

He then told the stories of saints who encountered the Lord and had their life completely changed, such as Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.

“Every person is the temple of God and when we become aware of this we will do everything to be disciples of Jesus,” the archbishop insisted. “This is my prayer for you.”

- catholic news agency

Kerala: Religion attracts Muslim foreign students

July 26, 2013 by admin  
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Muslim Education SocietyKerala, July 21, 2013: Freedom to pray five times a day on the school campus, along with teaching of Islamic religious texts, is attracting a growing number of Muslim foreign nationals to private schools run by Muslim management in the state. The three popular Muslim management educational institutions with boarding facilities – Muslim Education Society (MES), Peeves Schools and Al Ameen Educational Society – have seen growth in enrolment of foreign students, incidentally all of them Muslims and majority of them boys.

The students, mostly seeking admission to class VI, are from Nepal, Thailand, Maldives and Singapore, and more recently from Canada.

“In Kerala, schools have religious freedom that is not found elsewhere in the country. We ensure that the students are given the basic religious education and they are allowed to offer prayers five times a day. Also, the CBSE syllabus has respectability worldwide. Due to this, the number of foreign Muslims students seeking admission in our schools is increasing,” said TPM Ibrahim Khan, chairman of the Al Ameen Educational Trust.

- times of india

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