Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

Personal Human Safety: Is There Such A Thing Here On Earth

 

Safety is there really such a thing here in this world? I guess that it is true that safety just like beauty can be just in the eye of the beholder. Then again is the term safe actually dependent on the subject matter? There is the concept of physical safety, or safety for your financial wealth whether in your cash, stocks, or bonds. But tonight I am speaking mainly about the physical safety of yourself and your loved ones. For many thousands of years now millions of human beings have used different types of drugs to escape their physical reality. Sometimes people use these drugs whether God-given ones such as in plants and herbs or ones that are man-made in laboratory’s. So often people seek an inner peace or euphoria so that they can escape the living hell they face each day here on Earth. The hellish conditions we see on Earth are all man-made for the only true hell we have to fear is the one that separates us from God Himself after our deaths. Life without putting our Creator first is a life that we all should fear every second we breath for no ones next breath is guaranteed. Fear, if we are ignorant enough to not fear Hell itself then we are truly both ignorant and stupid. Earth, the place where the Devil and his tens of thousands of dark Angels roam freely is not a place where physical safety for any human exists.

 

Within the first few verses of the 5th chapter of the book of Job in the Bible you read about one of Job’s friends named Eliphaz who was trying to be wise in his speech about the torments Job was going through. Eliphaz spoke to Job in this manner when he said “for wrath kills the foolish man and envy slays the silly one. I have seen the foolish take root and I cursed his habitation. His foolish children are far from being safe and they are crushed in the gate and there is none to deliver them. For man is born unto trouble, as the flames fly upward (from Hell)”.

 

In the fourth chapter of the Book of Psalms Israel’s King David wrote, ” But know that the Lord has set apart him that is Godly for Himself: The Lord will hear when I call unto Him. Stand in awe and sin not: Commune with God in your heart upon your bed and be still. I will lay me down in peace and sleep: for you O Lord and you alone make me dwell in safety. Offer your sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.” The Apostle Paul when he was writing his letter to the Church in the third chapter of the Book of Philippians he wrote; ” My brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write these same things to you is not grievous to me, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of workers of evil, beware of the mutilations. Yes doubtless I count all things for loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all my Earthly things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ and be found in Him. Not having my own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

 

Here in this twenty-first century A.D. it would be so nice if we in our own lives could truly live in physical safety. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if no one ever did any harm to themselves or to anyone else? What if there was no such thing as hatred, jealousy, ego’s or murder? We all know in our hearts and minds that this is not the current situation that we all live in today. Friends as long as the Devil, his Angels, and those ignorant enough to follow him roam the surface of the Earth, no one is safe, everyone is under attack, even if we are unaware of it.

 

Throughout the Scriptures we are told many times to walk our lives in meekness and humility. God tells us to put others before ourselves. We are told it is better to sit in the back of a congregation and to be brought forward than to be one that puts themselves in the front just so we can be moved to the back.  Ego my friends, pride and lust, these are spiritual and physical traps laid before all of us in today’s society. In this time we are all living in we have as a culture gone beyond being a me first generation of the 1980’s. Today we have degenerated into a culture of a ‘me only’ life style. For those poor people who believe that there is no such thing as a ‘here after’, that there is no such thing as God, I feel so sad for them. To think that this life is all there is and that this life is all that matters is so sad.

 

Take a moment and look around the world today, so many people are filled with hatred and so much blood is being spilled in wars and in our own streets. There is a term used a lot in the World Court called ethnic cleansing that is truly a world-wide disgrace. Often throughout world history this has been done toward people because of race issues and culture issues yet the worse of these are ones that are dictated by a religion, this shows the pure evil that is this religion. We all live in a world of sadness where thousands of people die everyday whether by their own hand or by the hand of a murderer or even by starvation for there is no such thing as physical safety today. Friends there is no place on this planet that is truly a safe haven from evil, there is no place for anyone to hide. Even at the Vatican in Rome Italy the Pope has built high thick walls and employees many guards and has many escape tunnels. We humans try to keep ourselves and our families and our Countries safe but there is no such a place. Folks, not until Jesus the Christ returns in what is called the Second Advent when He Himself and His Angels put an end to this current evil system of things will there be true safety but even then, only for those who stayed faithful to Him unto the end.

 

I am going to close tonight with the words of the Apostle Paul that he wrote in the Book of Philippians chapter 2 verses 10, 11, 14 and 15. “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, the things in Heaven and the things on the Earth and the things under the Earth. And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. Do all things without complaining and disputing. That you may be blameless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse Nation among whom you will shine as lights in the world.” For it is a truth that safety can only be found in faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Revelation: The Great Whore Of Babylon: THE Anti-Christ: Here Are Some Answers

Revelation: The Great Whore Of Babylon: THE Anti-Christ: Here Are Some Answers

I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois and attended the local Church of Christ. This was from age ten to age eighteen when I moved away. The local church tended to have total attendance of about 100-140 with probably about 60 of those being the adults.  This was also back before people had home or work computers to use for finding out information. This Church of Christ always stated that they are a ‘New Testament’ church so they basically ignored almost all of the Old Testament yet they also ignored the last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. I was told several times by the local church leaders (Elders and Deacons) that they just didn’t understand it so they left it alone also stating that man kind just wasn’t meant to understand the mysteries of that Book. At 18 I quit attending the Church of Christ and started digging even deeper into the Bible and Christian religions and even more so into non-Christian religions. I am a person that wanted to know what the meanings of things were so I have spent the last fifty years praying and studying religions so I could know what the Holy Spirit inspired writers of the Bible meant by the things they wrote. I am also a big fan of historical information from around our world. This information I am about to give to you is from these results. I hope you will study and consider these answers I give you. To the best of my personal knowledge these things I write to you are simply Bible Truth.

 

If you have a Bible handy or for the purpose of later study, the Scriptures I am going to be discussing with you can be found in the Book of Revelation in chapters 17 and 18. In the first chapter of Revelation we are given the knowledge that John (the writer) was on the island of Patmos in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as a prisoner of the Roman Empire. John ‘the Elder’ was on this island jail because of his teachings of Christianity and of Jesus Christ. Jesus in a Spiritual form visited John and told him to write this book  and gave him the information He wanted given to the seven churches of Asia minor (modern-day Turkey). Today’s article is not about those seven churches though I hope you will read these chapters after you finish reading what I am telling you in this post. Today’s article is about the 17th and 18th chapters and what the Spirit of God has to say to all of us. Obviously folks who are Catholic do not tend to agree with what I am about to write or they would not be Catholic. The problem within the Catholic and Protestant churches flocks is that most folks who do attend a Church tend to almost never open their Bibles to see if what their preachers are saying is in fact what the Scriptures say.

 

From Revelation chapter #17: (The Great Harlot Is Described) The ‘great harlot’ is the Catholic Church of about the past 1,700 years. In verse one it speaks of ‘one of the seven Angels’ that had the seven vials. There are seven ‘Spirits’ that surround the Throne of God in Heaven, almost every scholar I have ever spoken with believes as I do that these are the seven ‘Arch Angels’ of God.

 

And there came one of the seven  which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, come here, I will show you the judgement of the great whore that sits upon many waters: With whom the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. (These are future nations/kingdoms)

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abomination and filthiness of her fornication.

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  2 Thess. 2:7

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyr’s of Jesus and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

 

The great harlot is destroyed: Starting with verse seven: And the Angel said to me, why do you marvel? I will tell you the hidden truth of the woman, and the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

The beast that you saw was and is not; the beast shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (Hell) and go into perdition: and they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in The Book Of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains (Continents) on which the woman sits.

And there are seven Kings: five are fallen (past tense at this time) and one is (at that time) and the other is not yet come for he shall remain a short time.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and he will go into perdition.

And the ten horns which you saw are ten Kings which have received no Kingdom as yet; but will receive authority as Kings after one hour with the beast.

These (Kings) have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.

And these shall make war with the Lamb (Jesus), and the Lamb shall overcome them: For He (Jesus) is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

And he (the Angel) said to me, the waters which you saw, where the whore was sitting, are people, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.

And the ten horns that you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, they shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire

For God has put in their hearts to fulfill His (God’s) will, and to agree to give their Kingdoms to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

And the woman who you saw is that great city, (Vatican City) which reigns over the Kings of the earth.

 

Chapter #18   (Babylon the great is destroyed)

 

And after these things I saw another Angel come down from Heaven, having great power, and the Earth was lighted with his glory.

And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, and has become the dwelling place of Devils and the hold of every foul Spirit and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.

For her sins have reached unto Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled, fill to her double.

How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously: so much torment and sorrow give her; for she says in her heart, I sit a Queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

 

Starting at chapter 18 verse 9:   (Earth bewail’s Babylon’s destruction)

 

And the Kings of the Earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail over her, and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning.

Standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgement came.

And the merchants of the Earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys her merchandise any more:

The merchandise of gold and silver and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet and all scented wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood and of brass and iron and marble. (verses 13-16 are mostly just a continuation of items liken to those just mentioned).

Verse #17

For in one hour so great riches have come to nothing, and every ship-master and all the company of ships and sailors and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off.

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like unto this great city!

And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein we were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour she is made a ruin.

 

The last five verses of chapter 18: (Heaven Rejoices Babylon’s Destruction)

 

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and you Holy Apostles and Prophets for God has avenged you on her.

And a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more at all. (A moderate size asteroid tossed into the Mediterranean Sea just west of Rome/Vatican City would certainly do this).

And the voice of Harper’s and musicians and pipers and trumpeters  shall be heard no more at all in her.

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the Earth: for by her sorceries were all nations deceived.

Verse 24 (last verse): And in her was found the blood of Prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth.

 

Well, that is it folks for tonight, I hope you enjoyed the article. I pray for peace for every human on this planet but to receive true peace we must all be very careful about whom/what we worship and how we ourselves decide to live our lives today and everyday. Good night folks, God’s blessings I wish to you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vatican ‘Letter gate’ scandal comes to a head as text released  

Vatican ‘Letter gate’ scandal comes to a head as text released 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS.COM)

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican “Lettergate” scandal came to a head on Saturday when the Holy See, under pressure from the media and conservatives, released a full text by former Pope Benedict that before was cited only selectively.

A series of 11 booklets on The Theology of Pope Francis and a letter from former Pope Benedict, which was read out at the presentation of the work, are seen at the Vatican in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 15, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

The Vatican Secretariat for Communication, which had come under sharp criticism all week for blurring part of a photograph of the letter and for withholding another section, said in a statement there had been “no intent of censorship”.

It said the letter, written for the presentation of a Vatican-published 11-booklet series on the theology of Pope Francis, was private and therefore officials had cited only the “opportune and relative” parts.

But the episode, which has cast a shadow over the Vatican for a week, has proven to be a public relations fiasco, particularly for its communications chief, Monsignor Dario Vigano.

At the book presentation on Monday, Vigano read out the parts of the letter in which Benedict rejected the “stupid prejudice” of those who say Francis’ theology is lacking.

Benedict also disputed suggestions by conservatives that Francis’ academic qualities were lacking, praising his successor as a “man of deep philosophical and theological formation” and finding an “interior continuity between the two pontificates”.

But a press release handed out at the event omitted a paragraph in which Benedict apologized for not having had the time to read all 11 volumes and thus declining a request to write a “short and dense theological” introduction for the series.

The final paragraph, released for the first time on Saturday, went further, showing that Benedict was irritated by the fact German theologian Peter Hunermann had been chosen by the Vatican publishing house LEV to write one of the volumes.

Hunermann, Benedict noted had “led anti-papal initiatives” during Benedict’s 2005-2013 papacy and had also attacked some of the writings of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005.

“I am certain that you will understand my denial (of the request to write an introduction),” Benedict tells Vigano.

Luis Badilla, who writes for the Vatican-affiliated website Il Sismografo, issued a thinly veiled call for Vigano’s head, calling the whole episode “a gigantic mess”. In an editorial on Saturday, Badilla said Vigano and the head of the Vatican’s publishing house, Father Bruno Cesareo, “have some explaining to do” and that “consequences must be drawn”.

Conservative critics of Francis saw the blurring and the selective citings from the letter as part of a plot to censor the thoughts of the former pope.

Many conservative Catholics still look up to Benedict as a bulwark against liberals, and have lambasted Francis for being too lenient on divorced Catholics and homosexuals.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Chris Reese

(Biblical Educational Poem) Babylon And The Great Whore

BABYLON AND THE GREAT WHORE

 

Do we seek what is Truth, or do we seek flowers

Comfort of the flesh does not equal what is Truth

That which is Truth raises condemnation by the world

Lie to the world and they will praise all that you do

The wicked lay in wait to adorn the evil with gold

 

Babylon does not lay in ruin in western Iraq as some believe

You are told that which is true yet you do not see or understand

Some think the Power Cities of today is Revelation’s meaning

Understand, the residence of Saint Peter, this is the wicked city

The Language of the Mediterranean, Babylon shall cease to be

 

The Great Whore resides within the sphere of this ancient city

Babylon’s Great Whore has spread her evil upon the seven lands

Saint Peter was never the Rock upon which this Witch was built

She has billed Herself as the Bride of Christ, yet She will not be

People, understand, Rome is the City, the Vatican rides the Beast

 

 

Former Pope Benedict XVI says he’s preparing for ‘Home’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Former Pope Benedict XVI says he’s preparing for ‘Home’

(CNN)Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says he “is on a pilgrimage toward Home” in a rare public letter published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The brief note in Italian apparently came after the paper asked the Pope Emeritus for a response to readers who were wondering how he was.
“I can only say,” Benedict wrote, “that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.”
“It is a great grace for me to be surrounded on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined,” he wrote.
The 90-year-old former Pontiff has been living quietly at the Vatican since his surprise resignation as Pope in 2013.

sot vault pope benedict xvi first speech_00013817.jpg

Here’s the full text of Benedict’s letter:
“I was moved by the many readers of your newspaper who desire to know how I am spending this last period of my life. I can only say that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage towards Home. It is a great grace for me to be surrounded, on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined. In this sense, I consider the question of your readers as an accompaniment. I can only thank them and assure you all of my prayers.”

‘Chop him up’: Accusers seethe over Cardinal Law’s funeral plans

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

‘Chop him up’: Accusers seethe over Cardinal Law’s funeral plans

Story highlights

  • Pope Francis will deliver a final blessing at Law’s funeral, the Vatican said
  • Some sex abuse survivors have urged against a “celebratory focus” on Law

(CNN)Alexa MacPherson says very little about Cardinal Bernard Law’s death — or the Catholic Church’s plans for a full cardinal’s funeral — gives her peace of mind.

MacPherson, a Boston-area native who says she is a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest, says Law deserves no such dignity as the funeral that will be held for him at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on Thursday.
Law, 86, died Wednesday, 15 years after he resigned as Boston’s archbishop amid allegations that he covered up for pedophile priests like the one accused of abusing MacPherson.
“With his passing, I say I hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him, because I feel … no redemption (for Law)” is worthwhile, MacPherson said Wednesday.
Robert Costello, another Boston-area native who says a priest abused him, and that Law covered for the cleric, was just as blunt.
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“Chop him up and put weights on every piece of body part that he has and drop him in oceans around the world,” Costello, 56, said.
Instead of being given a Vatican funeral, he said, Law should just “disappear.”
MacPherson and Costello vented to reporters Wednesday in the Boston office of attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents many who accuse priests of sex abuse.
Costello’s first thought upon hearing that Law died, he said, was, “Where’s the party? Where are we going to celebrate?”
“And then I realized it would be no celebration whatsoever,” he said. “It would be a meeting of people who tell their stories and bring it all back up again.”

Survivors’ group urges against pomp

The Vatican said early Wednesday that Law, 86, had died in Rome after a long illness. He served in Rome as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign in 2002 as Boston archbishop.

Cardinal Bernard Law, seen here in Novemember 2012 at the Vatican, died after a long illness, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Critics say his reassignment to Rome amounted to a cushy second career that shouldn’t have been afforded him.
Widespread child abuse by the Catholic clergy in the Boston Archdiocese was uncovered by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative reporting team, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its efforts. A big-screen dramatization of the team’s investigation in the 2015 movie, “Spotlight,” won the 2016 Best Picture Academy Award, bringing the story to a much wider audience.
The funeral plans for Law appear to follow the Catholic Church’s protocol for cardinals who die in Rome, even as a network of survivors of sex abuse by priests has publicly called on the Vatican to keep survivors in mind when planning the event.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate the funeral Mass, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the Vatican said. Pope Francis then will give a “final commendation,” or blessing, as he has previously for cardinals’ funerals.
Before the funeral plans were announced, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had urged against a “celebratory focus” on Law.
“We highly doubt there is a single victim of abuse who will ever receive the same attention, pomp and circumstance by Pope Francis,” the network said in a news release after Law’s death.

From left to right, Robert Costello, attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Phil Saviano and Alexa MacPherson speak at Garabedian's Boston office about the death of Cardinal Bernard Law on Wednesday.

“Every single Catholic should ask Pope Francis and the Vatican why,” the group’s statement reads. “Why Law’s life was so celebrated when Boston’s clergy sex abuse survivors suffered so greatly? Why was Law promoted when Boston’s Catholic children were sexually abused, ignored, and pushed aside time and time again?”
The survivors’ network said the “celebratory focus on abuse enablers like Law must end.”
“It is time for the Vatican to refocus on change: protecting children and those who have been hurt,” the statement reads.

Law’s successor apologizes to victims

Law’s successor as Boston’s archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, reacted to Law’s death in part by apologizing to victims of sex abuse by clergy.
“I recognize that Cardinal Law’s passing brings forth a wide range of emotions on the part of many people. I am particularly cognizant of all who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy, whose lives were so seriously impacted by those crimes, and their families and loved ones,” O’Malley said.
“To those men and women,” he added, “I offer my sincere apologies for the harm they suffered, my continued prayers and my promise that the archdiocese will support them in their effort to achieve healing.”
“Cardinal Law served at a time when the church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences,” O’Malley said.

‘Opening it all up again’

Phil Saviano, who also says a priest sexually abused him, told reporters Wednesday that he’s relieved Law is gone. Law had been in a position to do good and expose abusers, but instead chose to stand up for the priests, he said.
But relief is not the same as healing, he said.
“I had been hoping that the passing of Cardinal Law would remove a target of great anger and animosity and consternation that survivors have felt about him,” he told reporters at Garabedian’s office. “(But) it’s not a source of healing. It’s not a removal of the pain for survivors.
“If anything, it’s sort of like opening it all up again.”
MacPherson, like Costello, said she doesn’t feel like the Vatican should give Law the funeral that he’s getting.
“I think it should be very quiet and not celebrated.,” she said. “There’s nothing to celebrate (with) somebody who allowed children to be victimized and to have a lifetime of irreparable damage.”

Ex-Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of church sex abuse scandal, dead at 86

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Ex-Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of church sex abuse scandal, dead at 86

Cardinal Bernard Francis Law is pictured last year during a mass in Vatican City

Story highlights

  • Former Boston cardinal died after a long illness, Vatican says
  • He resigned as archbishop in 2002

(CNN)Bernard Law, the former Boston cardinal who resigned in disgrace during the church sex abuse scandal, has died, the Vatican has confirmed.

Law died in Rome, where he served as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002.
The Vatican issued a press release early Wednesday confirming the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, with one line reading “Cardinal Bernard Law died early this morning after a long illness.”
Law never faced criminal sanctions for his role in allowing abusive priests to remain in church parishes. The scandal reverberated through the church, exposing similar allegations worldwide that compromised its moral authority and led to years of multimillion-dollar settlements. To his detractors, his second career at the Vatican was a slap in the face to victims of church sex abuse, one that further undermined the church’s legitimacy.

Rise of Boston’s spiritual leader

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Law was born in Torreon, Mexico, on November 4, 1931, to Helen and Bernard Law, an Air Force colonel. He did his postgraduate studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Louisiana and at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained as a priest in the Natchez-Jackson, Mississippi, diocese on May 21, 1961 and became vicar general of the Natchez-Jackson diocese in 1971.
In 1973, he was made bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese in southern Missouri. He served as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interracial Affairs and in 1976 he was named to the Vatican Commission on Religious Relations with Jews.
The posts were stepping stones to his becoming the spiritual leader of Boston’s large and influential Catholic community. In 1984, Pope John Paul II appointed Law to be the archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, consisting of 362 parishes serving 2.1 million members. That same year, Law received a letter from a bishop expressing concerns about Rev. John Geoghan. Law assigned Geoghan to another parish despite the allegations.
In 1985, Pope John Paul II elevated Law to cardinal, one of just 13 Americans holding that office at the time.

Spotlight team investigates cover-up

The church sexual abuse scandal widened in July of 2001, when Law admitted receiving the letter in 1984 outlining the child molestation allegations against Geoghan. Geoghan was eventually convicted of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year old boy.
Law’s fall began in January 2002, one week after The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team revealed that he and other bishops before him covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese. In a news conference, Law apologized to victims of abuse by Geoghan but insisted the abuse was in the past.
The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into the widespread child abuse by the Catholic clergy. The scandal and investigation also inspired a film in 2015, which won the Oscar for best picture in 2016.

Calls for resignation

Law attempted to resign as Archbishop of Boston in April 2002, but Pope John Paul II rejected the resignation. In 2002, a judge presiding over the child rape case of Rev. Paul Shanley ordered Cardinal Law to be deposed by lawyers of one of Shanley’s victims.
Law testified about his supervision of Geoghan in 2002, saying he relied on his assistants to investigate charges of abuse. In May 2002, he apologized for his role in the clergy abuse scandal in a letter distributed throughout the archdiocese. But he denied knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against Shanley until 1993.
In August 2002, Law appeared in court to testify about a settlement reached between the archdiocese of Boston and victims of clergy abuse. The archdiocese rescinded the monetary offer shortly afterward.
In December, as calls grew for him to resign, Law was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating “possible criminal violations by church officials who supervised priests accused of sexually abusing children.” Days later, he resigned as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America, followed by his resignation as archbishop of Boston.

Colombian rebels ask Pope for forgiveness

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Colombian rebels ask Pope for forgiveness

Colombian President: Pope has ‘tremendous leadership’

Villavicencio, Colombia (CNN)Amid lush greenery and tropical humidity, Pope Francis touched down in Villavicencio on Friday, bringing his message of peace to one of the most notorious sites of guerrilla warfare in Colombia for the past 50 years.

Here, in one of the last major cities before the vast expanse of the Amazon, the Pope listened to powerful testimonies from ex-guerrilla fighters and from victims of their violence, such as Pastora Mira Garcia, who lost her father, husband and two children during the civil war.
“Do not be afraid of asking for forgiveness and offering it,” the Pope told them. “It is time to defuse hatred, to renounce vengeance.”
It is a message the Pope has echoed throughout this five-day visit in the country, aiming to help Colombians, many of whose memories are still fresh with crimes committed against them, embrace the historic peace agreement reached in December 2016.

Rebels ask for forgiveness

There are signs that Francis’ words may be having an effect.
In an open letter to the Pope published on Friday, Rodrigo Londono, former leader of the leftist guerrilla group FARC, asked for forgiveness from Francis for the actions of his group during five decades of war.
“Your repeated expressions about God’s infinite mercy move me to plead your forgiveness for any tears and pain that we have caused the people of Colombia, Londono wrote.
At a Mass on Friday, Pope Francis beatified two Catholic priests who were murdered during the years of the civil war, calling their martyrdom a sign “of a people who wish to rise up out of the swamp of violence and bitterness.”
Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca was kidnapped and shot twice in the head by Colombian Marxist guerrillas in 1989.
The Rev. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, known asNM! the “martyr of Armero,” was killed at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948. The conflict claimed an estimated 220,000 lives.

Pope meets Venezuelan bishops

On Thursday, in an unscheduled private meeting, Pope Francis briefly spoke with bishops who had come from Venezuela.
Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, told reporters in Bogota that the bishops had come to ask the Pope for help for the “desperate situation,” in their country.
“There are people who eat garbage,” Urosa said, “yes, the garbage, and there are people who die because there is no medicine.”
“So we want to remind the Pope of this again and especially the serious political situation, because the government is doing everything possible to establish a state system, totalitarian and Marxist.”
Francis continues his visit in Medellin on Saturday and Cartagena on Sunday, before returning to the Vatican later that evening.

The Vatican’s Swiss Guard Just Added 40 New Members

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Pope Francis Delivers First 'Urbi Et Orbi' Blessing During Easter Mass In St. Peter's Square
Swiss guards perform ceremonial duties during Holy Easter Mass held by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s square on March 31, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Franco Origlia—Getty Images

The Vatican’s Swiss Guard Just Added 40 New Members

2:55 PM ET

(VATICAN CITY) — The world’s oldest standing army has 40 new members after a Vatican Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony.

Each man took a loyalty oath Saturday evening in a ritual-rich ceremony in the St. Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. The May 6 date commemorates the day in 1527 when 147 guardsmen died while protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome.

Earlier Saturday, Pope Francis told the Guards they’re called to “another sacrifice no less arduous” — serving the power of faith.

The recruits, who enroll for at least two years, must be single, upstanding Swiss Catholic males younger than 30.

Wearing blue-and-gold uniforms and holding halberds — spear-like weapons — they are a tourist delight while standing guard at Vatican ceremonies. Their main duty is to protect the pope.

Pope Francis Gives A Message Of Tolerance And Peace At A Mass In Cairo Egypt

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Cairo (CNN) Pope Francis sent a message of tolerance and co-existence Saturday in a Mass at a Cairo stadium before concluding his two-day trip to Egypt.

Francis’ trip came nearly two weeks after the Palm Sunday bombing of two Coptic churches, which left at least 45 people dead.
Heavy security surrounded Francis as he entered Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium in an open golf cart.

Security surrounds Pope Francis at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.

He waved at worshippers and stopped momentarily to bless a group of children in costume. Parts of the stadium stands were draped with his photo as well as Egyptian and Vatican flags.
“Religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity,” Francis said.
“True faith is one that makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane,” he said.
“God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity! Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him.”
The Pope started his Mass with the “As-Salaam Alaikum,” the traditional Muslim greeting in Arabic that means “Peace be upon you,” and ended it with “al-Masih qam! Bi-l-haqiqa qam! (Christ is risen! He is truly risen)”.
A Vatican spokesman said 15,000 people attended the Mass at the stadium, which holds 30,000.
The Pope later met with members of Egypt’s small Coptic Catholic community at St. Leo’s Patriarchal Seminary in Cairo’s Maadi neighborhood.
In a more intimate setting than his earlier Mass, Francis urged gathered priests, nuns and worshippers to be the religious builders of peace in Egypt, saying that despite “difficult circumstances, you must endure.”
“Although there are many reasons to be discouraged, and many prophets of destruction and condemnation … may you be the sowers of hope, builders of bridges and agents of dialogue and harmony,” he said.
Later Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and an honor guard met the Pope at the airport in a farewell ceremony before he departed for Rome.

Tackling roots of violent extremism

On Friday, Francis stressed the importance of unity between Muslims and Christians to shape world peace.
“Let us say once more a firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God,” he said in Italian in a speech at a peace conference at Al-Azhar University, the premier seat of high learning among Sunni Muslims.
Francis met with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb and became the first pontiff to visit the institution since Pope John Paul II in 2000.
The two religious leaders spoke at the closing of the International Conference for Peace, organized by Al-Azhar. Greeting the grand imam, Francis called him “my brother” and sat by his side at the conference.
The Pope took on a familiar theme: the roots of violent extremism.

Eliminating poverty and exploitation

Francis opened his speech with “As-Salaam Alaikum” after the imam’s address.
“In order to prevent conflicts and build peace, it is essential that we spare no effort in eliminating situations of poverty and exploitation where extremism more easily takes root, and in blocking the flow of money and weapons destined to those who provoke violence,” he said.
Francis called for an end to the “proliferation of arms” and lambasted “demagogic forms of populism.”
“If they are produced and sold, sooner or later they will be used,” he said. “Only by bringing into the light of day the murky maneuverings that feed the cancer of war can its real causes be prevented. National leaders, institutions and the media are obliged to undertake this urgent and grave task.”
Tayeb addressed the status of faith in modern life.
“With all these accomplishments (of the 21st century), how come peace has become a lost paradise? The answer, I assume, is that modern civilization has ignored religion,” he said.
After the peace conference, Francis and the Egyptian President addressed religious and political dignitaries at Al-Masa Hotel.
The Pope, again speaking in Italian, focused on Egypt’s role in fighting terrorism, evoking events from biblical and modern history. He ceremonially greeted all Egyptian people, including minority Christians — Coptic Orthodox, Greek Byzantines, Armenian Orthodox, Protestants and Catholics.

12-point declaration

Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, then greeted Francis at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbassiya district, state TV said. They walked together in procession and took part in ecumenical prayers at the adjacent church of St. Peter, the site of a deadly blast in December that left at least 23 people dead.
Francis commended the efforts of Tawadros II, whom he called a brother, in organizing meetings between the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches.
Francis and Tawadros II signed a joint, 12-point declaration reiterating the fraternity between their churches. “Let us intensify our unceasing prayer for all Christians in Egypt and throughout the whole world, and especially in the Middle East,” the declaration says.