June 2 - June 8, 2008 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 3, Issue 19
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The Weekly News In Review newsletter is a service provided by Understand The Times that is a compilation of the news articles posted on our site during the previous week.


 May 24 - REFLECTION: Corpus Christi, Enthroning the Lord
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

This procession is undergoing a resurgence in many places as adoration of and devotion to the most Holy Eucharist experiences a wonderful renewal. After having received the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, Catholic Christians come from the Sanctuary and process into the Streets of the world, pausing along the way for solemn worship, singing songs of adoration, and holding the Lord, enthroned.

The procession symbolizes the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus Christ to the world as it is now lived out through his Church. We march with the Body of Jesus Christ, the Eucharistic Host, enthroned in a "monstrance", a sacred vessel made of precious metal where the priest or deacon enthrones the consecrated Eucharist for public worship.

Through our Baptism, through our participation in all of the sacraments and, in particular, through the Holy Eucharist, we now abide in God. We live in Him and He lives in us. We also carry Him into the world as we carry the monstrance into the streets today.

Often, especially in difficulty, the Lord appears to be hidden, as He does to so many in the Holy Eucharist. But, with the light of faith, He soon reveals Himself. Through the continuing work of grace - and our response to God's loving invitations - we really can become such "living monstrances", living tabernacles, wherein the Lord dwells.

We can enthrone Him in the center of the "City" of this age as we marched the Monstrance into the cities of the world today.

While we live in this current age we participate in bringing heaven to earth and earth to heaven.

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 June 1 - Rick Warren joins movement to end religious conflict
 Article: One World Religion

NEW YORK - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that leaders in an interdependent world must work to end religious conflict or face "catastrophe" as he introduced a new foundation dedicated to interfaith understanding. 

Religion is as important in this century as political ideology was in the last, Blair said. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation will fight extremism, organize faith groups against poverty and illness, and educate people worldwide about religions other than their own, he said.

"There is a new reality. We have to come to terms with it. And it implies, at its fundamentals, peaceful coexistence or catastrophe," said Blair in a speech before religious and business leaders at the posh Time Warner Center. "If faith becomes a countervailing force, pulling people apart, then it becomes destructive and indeed dangerous."

The group's advisory council includes evangelical megapastor Rick Warren, who with his wife, Kay, advocates for HIV/AIDS victims worldwide; Ismail Khudr Al-Shatti, an adviser to the prime minister of Kuwait; and world Baptist and Jewish leaders. Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor of Westminster, England, has pledged to join the council when the pope allows him to retire.

In a brief interview, Blair said he defined extremists as "people who want to exclude the other if someone is of a different faith." Blair told the crowd that although Islamic extremism draws the most attention, "there are elements of extremism in every major faith."

"It is important where people of good faith combat such extremism, that they are supported," said Blair, who is an envoy for the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers - the U.S., European Union, Russia and United Nations.

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 June 1 - Rosary Is a School of Mary, Says Pope
 Article: Roman Catholic Chruch And The Last Days

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The rosary is a school of Mary in which Christians can learn to let the lamp of faith shine brighter in their hearts, says Benedict XVI.

In his address at St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father reflected on the rosary, which he said is "a biblical meditation that permits us to reflect on the events of the Lord's life in the company of the Blessed Virgin, treasuring them, as she did, in our heart."

Benedict XVI encouraged the practice praying of the rosary, "so that, in the school of Mary, the lamp of faith may shine ever brighter in the heart of Christians and in their houses."

He continued: "Going beyond the surface, Mary 'sees' with the eyes of faith God's work in history. For this reason she is blessed, because she believed: By faith, in fact, she welcomed the word of the Lord and conceived the incarnate Word.

"And Mary's 'Magnificat,' after centuries and millennia, remains the truest and the deepest interpretation of history, while the readings of the many wise persons of this world have been falsified by the facts over the course of the centuries."

"Let us return home with the Magnificat in our heart," urged the Holy Father. "Let us carry in us Mary's same sentiments of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, her faith and her hope, her docile abandonment into the hands of divine providence.

"Let us imitate her example of availability and generosity in serving our brothers and sisters.

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 June 2 - Benedict XVI Calls for Globalize Solidarity
 Article: One World Religion

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- In a world increasingly affected by globalized economic and commercial interests, Benedict XVI has made an appeal to "globalize" the call for solidarity. The lay foundation was created in 1993 by Pope John Paul II to promote the social doctrine of the Church in professional and business sectors.

The Pope noted how the foundation had been reflecting on the need "to promote a global development that allows for the integral development of man, while highlighting the contribution that can be made by voluntary associations, nonprofit foundations and other community groups that have come into being with the aim of making the social fabric ever more cohesive."

"Harmonious development is possible," he added, "if the economic and political decisions take into account the fundamental principles that make it accessible to all," in particular, "the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity."

"Only a shared culture of responsible and active participation will enable human beings to consider themselves not just as users or passive witnesses, but as active participants in world development," the Pontiff added.

"The great challenge of today is to 'globalize,' not just economic and commercial interests, but also the call for solidarity, while respecting and taking advantage of the contribution of all components of society," he added.

The Pope thanked the members of the foundation for "the generous support you tirelessly give to the Church's charitable activities and works of human promotion," and he invited them also to reflect "on the creation of a just world economic order."

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 May 31 - Colorado governor okays open bathrooms
 Article: Perilous Times

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has signed a bill that has shocked many of the state's residents. The bill adds transgendered people to the list included in the state's non-discrimination law. That means businesses will be required to hire transgendered people, even if they are owned and operated by Christians who oppose the lifestyle on moral grounds. 
Focus on the Family spokesman Bruce Hausknecht was asked what impact that will have on churches and ministries such as his. "One of our state legislators demanded and got an amendment that would exempt from the definition of public accommodation a church, a synagogue, a mosque, or any other facility that is primarily used for religious purposes," he explains.
But he says it is not certain ministries other than churches would be left untouched. Hausknecht also notes that the bill creates an opportunity for sexual predators to visit the restroom of their choice to find a victim.
"What this bill now does do is allow men to go into women's restrooms and locker rooms and vice versa because we are told that we cannot discriminate against someone with a transgender status," he warns.
Colorado lawmakers also slapped voters in the face with a provision that prohibits a public referendum or petition drive to overturn the law. Hausknecht says the only choice Colorado voters have now is to send people to the legislature that will act to reverse the law.

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 June 2 - Soaring prices compound Myanmar's cyclone misery
 Article: Misc.

A month after Cyclone Nargis scythed a path of destruction through Myanmar's former capital and Irrawaddy delta, leaving 134,000 dead or missing, those spared by the storm are struggling to cope with soaring prices for food and fuel.
"A 50 kg bag of rice now sells for 38,000 kyat, or about $34.50, up from 27,000 kyat before the storm flooded more than one million acres of arable land with seawater. Peanut oil, used for cooking, has jumped nearly 40 percent to 5,500 kyat for a 2 kg container.

In a country where government workers earn $30 a month or less, people often spend around two thirds of their income to put meals on the table.

"The rich are okay, but while prices go up, salaries stay the same. We have to eat smaller meals," 27-year-old Ma Oo said as she inspected tied bunches of vegetable greens at the market.

Four weeks on, Myanmar's reclusive junta is gradually and grudgingly opening up to foreign aid and expertise. It has handed out more visas to foreign experts, but access to the delta remains restricted.

The U.N. World Food Programme said it has given 575,000 people their first ration of rice, "but many people have not been reached, and others are now due a second round of distributions."

"With current contributions, we will run out of food by mid-July," Sheeran said after a weekend visit to Myanmar.

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 June 2 - Ahmadinejad says Israel will soon disappear
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot "satanic powers" and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported.
"I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene," he said.

"Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started."

"I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed," he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ahmadinejad also again expressed his apocalyptic vision that tyranny in the world be abolished by the return to earth of the Mahdi, the 12th imam of Shiite Islam, alongside great religious figures including Jesus Christ. "With the appearance of the promised saviour... and his companions such as Jesus Christ, tyranny will be soon be eradicated in the world."

Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee of the Mahdi, who Shiites believe disappeared more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

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 June 3 - Calif. Senate Mulls Assisted Suicide Bill
 Article: Perilous Times

It may soon become legal for doctors and nurses in California to "help" their patients die if a new assisted suicide bill passes through the state senate.

Last week, AB 2747 made its way to the state senate for its first reading, one day after the state assembly approved the bill narrowly with a 42-34 vote.

If passed, the bill would allow medical practitioners throughout the state to give terminally ill patients judged with less than a year to live the option of receiving sedatives that would subject them to a form of slow, unconscious dehydration and starvation.

But perhaps the biggest criticism of the bill is the argument that the bill would pressure patients who are poor and uninsured to end their life prematurely, even while a terminal diagnosis from a doctor could prove false.

"[L]egalizing assisted suicide would allow anxious, depressed patients to become trapped by their own request for death, and die in a state of unrecognized terror, even though the depression can be treated in most cases," the group explained.

"People who are ill need support, spiritual care, and counseling if they're depressed. But AB 2747 would ensure the death of innocent Californians at the hands of an increasingly unscrupulous insurance industry that regards people cheaper dead than alive," he said.

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 June 2 - Ahmadinejad: Zionism has damaged Europe
 Article: Misc.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tuesday his country would continue with its controversial nuclear program, but rejected nuclear weapons.

Khamenei also warned against nuclear terrorism, saying that one day "world terrorists could attain nuclear weapons and take peace away from all the people in the world." The Iranian leader also accused the US of using nuclear energy to maintain its dominance over other nations in the world.

The country's supreme leader also said US President George W. Bush and his advisers were acting erratically and "sound mentally ill. Sometimes they threaten, sometimes they order assassinations...and sometimes they ask for help - it's like mad people staggering to and fro," he said.

The international community's concern was enhanced again by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments at Tuesday's UN food agency summit in Rome. According to the Telenews agency, he said Europeans are suffering from the "artificial regime" of Israel.

"Europeans have suffered the biggest damage from the Zionists and today the weight of this artificial regime, both political and economic, is on Europe's shoulders," he said.

Incoming Iranian parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, expressed support for Hamas in a conversation with Hamas's Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, on Tuesday. "If you keep up the resistance you will succeed in being victorious," Larijani told Haniyeh. In response, Haniyeh asserted that "We will never stop battling the Zionist enemy."

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 June 3 - Iranian president slams 'devilish' West over food crisis
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

ROME (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed the West over its handling of the global food crisis Tuesday, accusing certain "big powers" of acting with sometimes "devilish" motives.

In a speech to a food summit in Rome, he notably called for the crisis to be tackled outside the United Nations system, alleging that major powers were imposing their will on the UN Security Council.

He also alleged that western countries were acting to devalue the US dollar, fueling the rise in oil and food prices. "Today the planners of the big powers act in order to devaluate (the) dollar," he said according to the official translation of his comments, accusing them of seeking to "impose their will on the market."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon opened the summit Tuesday calling for a huge rise in food production to help ease a food price crisis that threatens to plunge millions more people into poverty.

With food prices at a 30-year high, the UN secretary general warned that while the world must "respond immediately," it must also put the long-term focus on "improving food security."

Food prices have doubled in three years, according to the World Bank, sparking riots in Egypt and Haiti and in many African nations. Brazil, Vietnam, India and Egypt have all imposed food export restrictions.

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 June 2 - Lakeland Outpouring Coming to Your City?
 Article: Signs And Wonders

Ten weeks in, daily and nightly revival services still continue in Lakeland, Florida. They've been marked by thousands of healings, both there and across the world where people have been watching the services via God-TV or the Internet.

King believes the anointing to get out of the pews and heal others is available to anyone who comes to Lakeland or watches the revival on TV or the Internet. She said, "I hope it's the end of spectator Christianity. I do believe it's for everyone." She said, "It's for a purpose not just to sit in a revival night after night. It's so that you can take it back to where you're from and in your sphere of influence and just let it blaze.

"And we've been hearing testimonies of people who've even watched it on the media where it's breaking out in their regions, their churches, their nations," she added.

Clark feels the Lord told him of several North American cities that will soon see these stadium-size revival services break out.

It's his vision now to train up a thousand saints to minister healings in every one of those cities. That's because, as Clark wrote, "God's going to anoint 'believing believers' to take part in this new move of the Lord."

King added, "From Lakeland it's going to start hitting cities where there are hungry people that'll gather together in the name of Jesus and wait on Him and just release their faith to do the stuff. It's not going to be contained in one place. It's going to spread. It's going to move. It'll go from city to city."

Clark also believes God's going to amaze "unbelieving believers" who've been taught God doesn't even do healing anymore in these days. He begs fellow believers "Don't miss the anointing! "

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 May 30 - Latin Mass: A ritual returns
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

After nearly four decades, the so-called Latin Mass is returning to a Catholic church in Charlotte today. It's a rite embraced by traditionalist Catholics who prize the silence, ritual, and mystery of a form of worship that dates back more than a thousand years.

Latin had been the official language of the Rome-based church since the 3rd or 4th century. But a push in the 1960s to bring the church in line with the modern world - a move spurred by the Second Vatican Council - led to major changes in the way the Mass is conducted. Starting in 1970, the priest began facing the people, not the altar, and said prayers in English, Spanish and other local languages.

Since then, a priest has needed permission of the local bishop to publicly celebrate the Mass in Latin. But that changed last July. Pope Benedict XVI directed that any parish getting a request for a Latin Mass could add one.

But for some Catholics, the chance to worship the way their spiritual ancestors did makes them feel closer to God. "It's a different experience," Debra Lemmon, 41, of Huntersville, says of the Latin Mass. "It puts you in a more contemplative state, a more reverent state . . . There's a better opportunity to go deeper."

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 June 1 - Experts may clone dead people's tissue
 Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

LONDON, June 1 (UPI) -- British government officials say they are considering legal action to allow scientists to use dead donors' tissue in stem cell cloning research.

Health ministers have requested that experts be permitted to use human tissue to clone embryonic stem cells regardless of whether they have the donor's specific permission, The Times of London reported Sunday.

It is reported tissue stored for as long as three decades could be used in the stem cell research if legal approval is given. Experts would be allowed to use tissue from donors who cannot be reached because they have died or otherwise can't be contacted, the Times said.

Officials said the amendment to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill has been tabled and is set to be discussed in coming days, the newspaper said.

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 June 5 - Ahmadinejad Invites Japan to Prepare for a World Without the US
 Article: Misc.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been making headlines during his first visit to Western Europe as Iran's president by attacking the United States and Israel, but he also is trying to use the opportunity to show that he's not as isolated as his opponents would wish.

The official Iranian news agency, Irna, had a different take on the encounter, saying Ahmadinejad had told Fukuda that U.S. domination was in decline. "Iran and Japan as two civilized and influential nations should get ready for a world minus the U.S.," he said.

Ahmadinejad said "enemies" did not want Iran and Japan to work together, but it was time for the two countries to plan for long-term cooperation.

He invited Fukuda to join Iran in developing "peaceful" nuclear energy programs, and said Tehran-Tokyo cooperation could expand in other fields too. Iran is an important oil supplier for energy-hungry Japan, the world's second-largest economy, but attempts to deepen energy cooperation have run into strong U.S. opposition.

He used the visit to the Italian capital to lash out at his usual targets, calling Israel an "artificial regime" that is "doomed" and declaring that the "myth of [American] invincibility is being shattered."

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 June 6 - Holy See on UN Protection of All Human Rights
 Artcile: One World Government

GENEVA, JUNE 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the English-language address Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer at the U.N. offices in Geneva, gave Wednesday to a working group of the 8th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

In the fight against poverty, especially extreme poverty, the international community has set for itself specific objectives like the Millennium Development Goals, which are an important road leading to a more universal development. The various "instruments of the United Nations and its specialized agencies concerning the integral development of the human being, economic and social progress and development of all peoples"

The universal value of human dignity requires the promotion and protection of all human rights without distinction of any kind. The new Optional Protocol of the ICESCR, therefore, represents a positive step towards a fair social and international order.

The experience of other Treaty bodies shows that these procedures can help to clarify and implement the normative content of a particular provision; to lead monitoring systems to a more focused and disciplined legal approach; to concentrate on a concrete violation of human rights, keeping in mind that coherence is needed to avoid their fragmentation.

While different approaches to human rights can emerge, in the light of the "inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" (UDHR, Preamble, 1) it would be possible to arrive at a fair agreement. In this way, differences should open the way to a more dynamic recognition, promotion and protection of human rights and not stifle their universal implementation. In this connection, there is a need to adopt a comprehensive and holistic approach under which all human rights would be covered and reservations should not be permitted.

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 June 5 - 'Emerging church' seeks the justice Jesus sought
 Article: Emerging Church

The group is part of the decade-old emerging church movement, an eclectic wave of change propelled by the Internet and peopled globally mainly by the young. Their Jesus is a radical. They have little use for the institutional church, with its buildings, budgets and boards. They meet in homes. Their aim is to live like Jesus, compelled to service among the poor. They eschew congregations for communities. Their faith is not a doctrine but a conversation - fluid and evolving.

"Experiment is a word we use a lot," said Adam Klein, who helps lead the loosely organized San Francisco community that calls itself reIMAGINE.

"The net affects the way we think and relate and store knowledge. It is creating a new set of values and a new hierarchy of leaders. We haven't seen the half of it yet."

They know they are not the first believers compelled by faith to give to the needy. Their difference is that traditional Christian charity may involve compassion but not always a commitment to justice, said Brian McLaren, one of the early emergent thinkers and the author of several books, including "Adventures in Missing the Point," which he wrote with Tony Campolo.

"The emergent church emphasizes Christ's message of social justice, seeks the kind of spirituality that flows from that and creates a community that supports that spirituality", he said. Some emergents embrace ancient ritual, including the Eucharist, and they evangelize, although in social action they may not necessarily talk about their faith at all.

"The problem with (traditional) evangelizing is that it is delivering answers to people who are not seeking them," he said. "We need to be a peculiar people. Jesus gives the order of what that looks like and what that means. "Jesus was political," said Klein, whose community helped pay for his recent trip to Africa to build mobile medical clinics. "If it was all about the life after, he wouldn't have been killed the way he was."

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 June 9 - Parish to host Eucharistic miracles exhibit
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Good Shepherd Church in Surrey will be the first church in Canada to host the Vatican's Eucharistic Miracles of the World Exhibit.
The inspiration and timing of the exhibit revolves around the 49th Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, June 15 to 22, said organizer Carolyn Wharton, and is a response to the call of the Canadian bishops for everyone, especially those not attending the Quebec congress, to use the time as a period of prayer and reflection.

Another purpose of the event is to reinforce awareness about Eucharistic Miracles, said Wharton, a Star of the Sea parishioner who attends Good Shepherd Church. Wharton hopes the exhibit will lead other churches to opening adoration chapels like Good Shepherd's, where perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been taking place for the last seven years.

Eucharistic miracles are extraordinary events concerning the bread and wine transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass which can be experienced through the senses. The Church teaches that Eucharistic miracles are meant to confirm faith and to teach the faithful to look beyond the external appearance of the bread and wine, to the substance, the Real Presence of Jesus, that is, His Flesh and Blood.

"This scientific confirmation makes this miracle very relevant to the 21st century," said Father Horgan. "The exhibit is here in B.C. to help us better comprehend the incomprehensible and to grow in our love for the Eucharist, discovering its beauty and riches."

Wharton hopes the exhibit will "help everyone to understand more deeply the fact that the Eucharist is a daily miracle, and that this miracle takes place whenever the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, during which time Christ is present in a unique and incomparable way."

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

In Jesus,
Roger Oakland

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