Daily Archives: May 2, 2011

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor–Memories of a long pontificate

English Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is one of a dwindling number of Catholic bishops who was appointed to the episcopate before the election of John Paul II to the See of Peter. He sat down with Philippa Hitchen to share memories of meeting the Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, of introducing him to the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie and of working together on ecumenical and interfaith issues in the UK and beyond. He also recounts his recent visit to India as a papal envoy to recall the legacy left by Blessed John Paul II during his visit there twenty five years ago……

Listen to it all from Vatican radio.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Europe, History, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The Ghanian Anglican Church to invest 11 personalities with Order of Knighthood

he Church of the Province of West Africa will on Saturday May 7, invest the Order of Knighthood on 11 eminent personalities at the Anglican Diocese of Wiawso, in the Western Region.

The Knights-elect have distinguished themselves in the service of God and Society.

The Most Reverend Ignatius C.O. Kattey, Archbishop of Niger Delta Province and Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta and a contingent of Knights and Dammes will be at Wiawso for the investiture of Knighthood for seven Knights (Men) and four Dammes (Women).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Province of West Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ghana

John Paul II’s Beatification Stirs Pride and Memories in his Native Land

As the late Pope John Paul II is beatified in the Vatican, many in his home country, Poland, are jubilant. But Poland’s attachment to the late Pope stems from more than just national pride, since many credit him with helping to overthrow the communist state.

In the town of Wadowice in southern Poland, John Paul II is everywhere. His face flutters from flags lining the streets, and he beams down on passers by from statues and photographs. Wadowice is the late Pope’s home town. He was born Karol Wojtyla in 1920, in a three-room flat that now houses a museum filled with his personal affairs – his cradle, his skis and a doily made by his mother.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, History, Other Churches, Poland, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on the Killing of Osama bin Laden

Everything we saw — the extremely elaborate operational security, the brothers’ background and their behavior, and the location and the design of the compound itself was perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden’s hideout to look like. Keep in mind that two of bin Laden’s gatekeepers, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, were arrested in the settled areas of Pakistan.

Our analysts looked at this from every angle, considering carefully who other than bin Laden could be at the compound. We conducted red team exercises and other forms of alternative analysis to check our work. No other candidate fit the bill as well as bin Laden did.

So the final conclusion, from an intelligence standpoint, was twofold. We had high confidence that a high-value target was being harbored by the brothers on the compound, and we assessed that there was a strong probability that that person was Osama bin Laden.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Media, Pakistan, Terrorism

(ACNS) Aid urgently needed for victims of post-election violence in Nigeria

The team leader at the centre for Gospel Health and Development in Jos, Nigeria, has warned that blankets, mattresses and medical care are urgently needed for victims of post election violence in Jos.

Ven. Noel Bewarang, who is also steering group member of the Anglican Communion’s Anglican Alliance, undertook a needs assessment on Easter Monday at the camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) at Jos East local government area. He found about 3,000 people, mostly Christians, who had been attacked in Toro, Tilden Fulani and Magaman Gumau in Bauchi state.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Violence

Getting Osama bin Laden: How the mission went down

The helicopter carrying Navy SEALs malfunctioned as it approached Osama bin Laden’s compound at about 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, stalling as it hovered. The pilot set it down gently inside the walls, then couldn’t get it going again.

It was a heart-stopping moment for President Barack Obama, who had been monitoring the raid in the White House Situation Room since 1 p.m., surrounded by members of his war cabinet….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Pakistan, Terrorism

Osama bin Laden: The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism

Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan on Sunday, was a son of the Saudi elite whose radical, violent campaign to recreate a seventh-century Muslim empire redefined the threat of terrorism for the 21st century.

With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Bin Laden was elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin. He was a new national enemy, his face on wanted posters, gloating on videotapes, taunting the United States and Western civilization.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Terrorism

Study links willingness to cheat, viewpoint on God

A new study on the link between one’s view of God and willingness to cheat on a test is the latest example of social scientists wading into the highly charged field of religion and morality.

The study, titled “Mean Gods Make Good People: Different Views of God Predict Cheating Behavior” was peer reviewed and published earlier this month in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Bin Laden’s Death Likely to Deepen Suspicions of Pakistan

The killing of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan in an American operation, almost in plain sight in a medium-sized city that hosts numerous Pakistani forces, seems certain to further inflame tensions between the United States and Pakistan and raise significant questions about whether elements of the Pakistani spy agency knew the whereabouts of the leader of Al Qaeda.

The presence of Bin Laden in Pakistan, something Pakistani officials have long dismissed, goes to the heart of the lack of trust Washington has felt over the last 10 years with its contentious ally, the Pakistani military and its powerful spy partner, the Inter-Services Intelligence.

With Bin Laden’s death, perhaps the central reason for an alliance forged on the ashes of 9/11 has been removed, at a moment when relations between the countries are already at one of their lowest points as their strategic interests diverge over the shape of a post-war Afghanistan.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Terrorism, War in Afghanistan

State Department warns of anti-American violence, reprisals after bin Laden killing

The State Department early Monday put U.S. embassies on alert and warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by American forces in Pakistan.

In a worldwide travel alert released shortly after President Barack Obama late Sunday announced bin Laden’s death in a U.S. military operation, the department said there was an “enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Terrorism, Violence

(BBC) Bin Laden killed: How it happened

Details are emerging of how al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was found and killed at a fortified compound on the outskirts of Abbottabad in north-west Pakistan.

The compound is just “a stone’s throw” and less than 200 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, an elite military training centre, which is Pakistan’s equivalent to Britain’s Sandhurst, one local journalist from Abbottabad told the BBC.

Other reports have put the distance at 800 yards.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Pakistan, Terrorism

The Full Text of President Obama’s Remarks on Bin Laden’s Killing

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory ”” hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda ”” an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against Al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and Al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of Al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the C.I.A., to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must ”“- and we will ”” remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not ”“- and never will be -”“ at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, Al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to Al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Terrorism

Joyous Music to Start the Day–Now is the Month of Maying

Listen to it all from the King’s Singers.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Mark

Almighty God, who by the hand of Mark the evangelist hast given to thy Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank thee for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Living Lord, who on the first Easter Day didst stand in the midst of thy disciples as the conqueror of sin and death, and didst speak to them thy peace: Come to us, we pray thee, in thy risen power and make us glad with thy presence; and so breathe thy Holy Spirit into our hearts that we may be strong to serve thee and spread abroad thy good news; for the glory of thy great name.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer