January 21- January 27, 2008 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 3, Issue 4
In This Issue
Links Of Further Interest
Quick Links
Quick Links

Join our mailing list!

We have compiled a list of twenty trends, in the news, for 2007. You can read this review by clicking on the link below

http://www.understandthetimes.org/yir200 7.shtml


 January 21 - Pope Benedict XVI and WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia to pray for Christian unity in Rome
 Article: .One World Religion

Pope Benedict XVI and Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), along with high-level representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC, will meet in Rome on Friday, 25 January 2008, at the centennial of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  

On Friday morning, the WCC general secretary will meet the Pope in a private audience along with members of the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC. The group, a "think tank" advising the parent bodies on areas of common concern, is holding its annual plenary meeting in Rome from 21-26 January. 

Pope Benedict XVI will preside at an ecumenical Vespers service at the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls at 5:30 pm that same day. During the service, Kobia will bring greetings on behalf of the fellowship of 347 churches constituting the WCC.

Read More .... 

 January 20 - Service celebrates 2 beliefs
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Christianity Uniting With Other Religions

Hindu nun Pravrajika Saradeshaprana, dressed in a saffron robe, blew into a conch shell three times, calling to worship Hindu and Episcopal religious leaders who joined Saturday to celebrate an Indian Rite Mass at St. John's Cathedral near downtown. The rare joint service included chants from the Temple Bhajan Band of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and a moving rendition of "Bless the Lord, O My Soul" sung by the St. John's choir.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in worship service,"
said Bob Bland, a member of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church of Thousand Oaks, who was among the 260 attendees. "There was something so holy -- so much symbolism and so many opportunities for meditation."

During the service, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them.

"I believe that the world cannot afford for us to repeat the errors of our past, in which we sought to dominate rather than to serve," Bruno said in a statement read by the Rt. Rev. Chester Talton.
"In this spirit, and in order to take another step in building trust between our two great religious traditions, I offer a sincere apology to the Hindu religious community."

Read More .... 

 January 20 - Amid growth, church congregations sprout
 Article: Emerging Church

Armstrong's church is not the only new congregation, or "church plant," in the area. At least five others are being started in Mt. Juliet, with one, Global Vision Baptist Church, meeting down the street at the Hampton Inn. And dozens of other church plants are springing up all over Middle Tennessee.
All have discovered a simple truth, says Jason Aldridge, pastor of the Bridge Church, a church plant in Murfreesboro. "New churches reach new people," Aldridge said.

"We Methodists forgot about following the people," he said. "Now about 75 percent of our churches are in the wrong places."

New churches have a number of advantages over old ones, says Brian McLaren, a former church planter and author of A New Kind of Christian and Everything Must Change. He says that old churches put up obstacles that turn away newcomers.

Read More .... 

 January 20 - Christian-Muslim-Hindu-Jewish leaders indulge in serious dialogue
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Roman Catholics Uniting With Other Religions

A distinguished panel of Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish religious leaders had a serious dialogue on "how to connect" at the Catholic Diocesan Conference in Sparks today.


Moderated by Father Charles T. Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community of Carson City, clergy who participated in the dialogue included Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi of Northern Nevada Muslim Community, prominent Hindu chaplain and Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, Rabbi Myra Soifer of Temple Sinai-Reform, Reverend V. James Jeffrey, Rector Emeritus of Trinity Episcopal Church of Reno.  

Issues discussed included religious pluralism, looking beyond your tradition, inclusive understanding of religion, is religion a problem, power of religion, seeking unity that celebrates diversity, learning to live together, shared quest for truth, mutual enrichment through dialog, learning from each other, similarities and differences, growing together, etc.

In the end, this group of diverse clergy prayed together "to remove any barriers of prejudice or intolerance so that the world's religions may recognize the similarities and beliefs we share."

Read More .... 

 January 21 - Pauline Year to be ecumenical and full of cultural events
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

.- As was announced last week, the Press Office of the Holy See released the schedule for the year dedicated to St. Paul today. Running from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009, the celebration will focus on rediscovering the person of St. Paul and his teachings, improving unity amongst Christians and pilgrimages to places associated with his life.

He remarked how when Pope Benedict proclaimed the Pauline year to commemorate the second millennium of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles he highlighted the ecumenical dimension of the event. 

People will also have the opportunity to go on pilgrimages to Pauline sites in and outside of Rome. Within Rome, pilgrims can visit the basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls and find their way through it with a soon-to-be-published guide, which will be available in numerous languages.

The Pauline year will also see the significant academic contribution of a new edition of the Acts of the Apostles and of the Letters of St. Paul.

Read More .... 

 January 24 - 'Gays and grays' -- so happy together
 Article: Signs Of The Last TImes

At a time when gay and lesbian Catholics are finding an increasingly chilly reception in some churches, a parish in San Francisco is defying all the trends and conventional wisdom by revitalizing its congregation with the unlikely combination of elderly Catholics, including many widows, and homosexual men who have settled into a common place of worship.

"McGuire was the right person, at the right place at the right time, the catalyst in creating a new kind of community" where "unusual friendships developed," Godfrey explained.

Over the years, old-timers befriended the newcomers, encouraged by a pastoral sensitivity that bridged cultural and generational gaps. Together, parishioners discovered a need for each other, especially during the 1980s, peak years of the AIDS epidemic, which shook San Francisco like an earthquake.

Paradoxically, their mutual dependence was good for the parish. "Suddenly, Most Holy Redeemer had the most fabulous crèche you could imagine," said Godfrey. "The old people loved it."

Read More .... 

 January 20 - Pope: Unity Linked to Evangelization
 Article: One World Religion

"The Church's evangelizing mission," the Holy Father added, "therefore, moves along the path of ecumenism, the path of unity of faith, of evangelical witness and authentic fraternity."

Commenting on the biblical theme for the 100th Week of Prayer for Christian Unity -- "Pray Without Ceasing" -- the Pontiff explained that the invitation of St. Paul to the community of Thessalonica was to communicate "that from the new life in Christ and in the Holy Spirit there flows forth the capacity to overcome all egoism, to live together in peace and fraternal union, to bear in large measure the burdens and sufferings of others."

"We must never tire of praying for the unity of Christians," said Benedict XVI. "We all have the duty to pray and work for the overcoming of every division between Christians, responding to Christ's desire 'ut unum sint.'"

"Prayer, conversion of heart, the reinforcement of the bonds of communion, form the essence of this spiritual movement that we hope will soon lead the disciples of Christ to celebrate the Eucharist together, the manifestation of their full unity," he added.

Read More .... 

 January 24 - Three Pigs story ruled 'offensive to Muslims'
 Article: Misc.

A children's story based on the tale of the Three Little Pigs was rejected for an award after judges became concerned that it would offend Muslims.

The animated virtual book for primary school children, The Three Little Cowboy Builders, was also criticised for its potential to offend builders.

The judges' remarks, reported on the education technology website Merlin John Online, included: "Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?

"The idea of taking a traditional tale and retelling a story is fine, but it should not alienate parts of the workforce. Judges would not recommend this product to the Muslim community in particular."

Ann Curtis, whose company, Shoo Fly Publishing, produced the CD- Rom, said the criticisms were unjustified and could even "propagate a racist stance". She said: "I felt disbelief, to be honest. As a small company, we have a strong ethical and moral grounding. We support the rights of all children in the world to have access to education.

Read More .... 

 January 23 - China hails "greatest discovery since Peking Man"
 Article:Creation / Evolution - Creation / Evolution Debate

BEIJING (Reuters) - An almost complete human skull fossil that could date back 100,000 years has been unearthed in China, state media said on Wednesday, hailing it as the greatest discovery since Peking Man.
"We expect more discoveries of importance," Li Zhanyang, archaeologist with the Henan Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, was quoted as saying.

The fossil consists of 16 pieces of the skull with protruding eyebrows and a small forehead.

"More astonishing than the completeness of the skull is that it still has a fossilized membrane on the inner side, so scientists can track the nerves of the Paleolithic ancestors," Li was quoted as saying.

Besides the skull, more than 30,000 animal fossils, and stone and bone artifacts were found.

Peking Man was discovered in the 1920s near Beijing and dates back roughly to between 250,000 and 400,000 years.

Read More .... 

 January 25 - The Church law "makes us free to follow Jesus", explains Benedict XVI
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

.- Around noon today, Pope Benedict spoke to the participants of a conference being held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, telling them that they must show people that the Church's law "makes us free to follow Jesus."

"The 'ius ecclesiae' (law of the Church)", the Pope said, is not just a collection of norms produced by the ecclesial Legislator for the people who form the Church of Christ. Rather, the law is "founded on the Sacraments and which, consequently, derive from what Christ Himself instituted".

"Moreover", he added, Canon Law "must be clearly and unambiguously formulated in such a way as to remain in harmony with the other laws of the Church. Hence it is necessary to abrogate norms that have become outdated, modify those in need of correction, interpret (in the light of the living Magisterium of the Church) those that are unclear and, finally, fill any 'lacunae legis' (gaps in the law)".

Read More .... 

 January 24 - Cardinal Ouellet to launch immigrant aid program during Eucharistic Congress
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

.- Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec announced this week an immigrant assistance program will be launched during the upcoming 49th International Eucharistic Congress which will be held in the Canadian city June 15- 22.

During the months leading up to the Congress, special collections will be taken up to provide assistance to immigrants and refugees, the cardinal explained in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano.  At the conclusion of the Congress, the funds will be given to a foundation dedicated to helping immigrants

He called the initiative "a testimony to the liberating force" that comes from the Eucharist and allows Christians "to live in the world with eyes enlightened by hope and compassion."

"In addition, following the example of the World Youth Day Cross, a symbol called the Ark of the New Covenant is currently touring the country in order to encourage people to pray and study about the Eucharist in their Christian communities.  Its pilgrimage will end in the city of Quebec on the Feast of Corpus Christi," the cardinal said.

Read More .... 

 January 22 - Brown's secret talks on 'new world order'
 Article: One World Government

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has begun secret talks with other world leaders on far-reaching reform of the United Nations Security Council as part of a drive to create a "new world order" and "global society".

Brown is drawing up plans to expand the number of permanent members in a move that will provoke fears in his country that the veto enjoyed by Britain could be diluted eventually.

Brown will unveil a proposal for the UN to spend £100 million ($257 million) a year on setting up a "rapid reaction force" to stop "failed states" sliding back into chaos after a peace deal has been reached.

"There is limited value in military action to end fighting if law and order does not follow," he will say. "So we must do more to ensure rapid reconstruction on the ground once conflicts are over and combine traditional humanitarian aid and peace-keeping with stabilisation, recovery and development."

Read More .... 

 NEWS ALERT - January 25 - Spiritual Consumerism's Upside
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Misc.

Why church shopping may not be all bad.
I am presently co-chairing, on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the officially sponsored dialogue between representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and four denominations in the Reformed tradition. In a sense, I am the most ecumenical member of the dialogue, having belonged at one time in my life to three of the four sponsoring Reformed denominations: I was raised in a parsonage of the Reformed Church in America, then belonged for 17 years-during my time on the Calvin College faculty-to the Christian Reformed Church, and am now a member of a PC(USA) congregation. Furthermore, my wife and I often attend services in a local Episcopal parish. So when I hear people refer disparagingly to "church shoppers," I feel that I need to defend my own shopping. To the degree, then, that there is anything to this charge of consumerism, I would guess that I am the sort of Christian who participates with a fairly clear conscience in a part of the Christian world where that kind of thing is regularly on display. In fact, I view the pattern that the anti-consumerists criticize as manifesting important strengths.

Read More .... 

 January 27 - Kobia Advocates Full Communion among All Denominations
 Article: One World Religion

The head of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, has expressed his support for full communion among all denominations by the middle of the 21st century.

In a front page interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published on Friday, Kenyan Methodist Kobia said that he expected the world's Christian denominations to be united enough by that time to be able to join in Holy Communion together.

"My vision for the ecumenical movement is that by the mid-21st century we will have reached a level of unity such that Christians everywhere regardless of their confessional affiliations, can pray and worship together and feel welcome to share in the Lord's Table at every church," said Kobia.

Kobia went on to express his belief that sharing communion was the foundation for reconciling divisions across the world.

Read More .... 

 January 26 - New head of Jesuits meets with pope at Vatican
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

ROME (AP) - The new leader of the Jesuits met Saturday with Pope Benedict XVI and told him the religious order would study the pontiff's invitation to confirm their «total» adhesion to Catholic teaching, including on divorce, homosexuality and liberation theology.

The Jesuits have had a tense relationship with the Vatican on issues of doctrine and obedience. The Vatican occasionally disciplines Jesuit theologians and issues reminders of the their vows of obedience to the pontiff.

Shortly before Nicolas' predecessor, Dutch priest Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, handed in his resignation for reasons of age, he received a letter from Benedict in which the pope said it could be «extremely useful» if the Jesuits reaffirm «total adhesion to Catholic doctrine.

The pope «encouraged the Jesuit leader to continue with dialogue with culture and evangelization and to ensure a thorough formation of young Jesuits,» said the religious order, which is one of the largest in the Church.

Read More .... 

 January 25 - IAF Chief Links Ahmadinejad, Hitler
 Article: Misc.

IAF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, made a pointed comparison Thursday between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Shkedy, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, hinted that Israel may have to "go it alone" against Iran, in a speech before a gathering of foreign military attachés at the Masuah Institute for Holocaust studies. In his speech, he reportedly said that vis-à-vis Iran, Israel can trust no one but itself.

"Everyone has a personal and family Holocaust story. They are all more or less similar," Shkedy told Voice of Israel government radio after the speech. "Each of us has a story like that, which accompanies him everywhere. It is in your subconscious and it in everything that you do."

"It is important to me that these things be understood and be well known," Shkedy said. "I am convinced that we have to look at reality with our eyes wide open," he told the radio station's military-affairs correspondent.

Read More .... 

We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

In Jesus,
Roger Oakland

Forward email

This email was sent to ronpierotti@volcano.net, by roakland@aol.com

Understand The Times, International | P.O. Box 27239 | Santa Ana | CA | 92799