September 8 - September 14, 2008 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 3, Issue 24
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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.


 September 9 - Kremlin sends nuclear cruiser to Caribbean for first manoeuvres on U.S. doorstep since Cold War
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Comment from UTT:
The serious situation created by the Russia-Georgia conflict is now headed towards another cold war. The scenario foretold by Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24 is being fulfilled as the news constantly reminds us of "war" and "rumors of war."

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 September 5 - Pakistan: hearts in Lourdes, Catholics and non-Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last days

Comment from UTT:
One of the major factors that will bring world religions together in the future will be the "Queen of Peace", also known as the Roman Catholic "Mary". The following article indicates that this is already taking place.
With a solemn Marian procession presided over by Lawrence John Saldanha, archbishop of Lahore and president of the Pakistani bishops' conference, the 59th national Marian pilgrimage, better known as the Ziarat-e-Muqaddasa Mariam, opens today in Mariamabad, the village of Mary.

The procession will leave the shrine at five o'clock this afternoon, crossing all the streets of the village and returning to the place of worship. The celebrations dedicated to the Virgin Mary will last three days, during which the pilgrims will be able to watch movies on topics including "Lourdes" and "Fatima."

Devotion to the Virgin Mary is fairly widespread in the country, and includes Christians and non-Christians. For a number of days, thousands of pilgrims have been crowding the areas around the shrine.

Archbishop Saldanha explains the selection of this year's motto: "This year's theme is 'Mary, the greatest example of stewardship'. We want to bring our people towards the 'stewardship' and we are ready to present them Mary as a greatest example of stewardship, so Holy Mary should be an example for them, and the faithful can bring stewardship into their lives". The prelate continues by recalling that this is the "most important event for the Pakistani Catholic Church", including the participation of people "of all ages, from all parts of the country", and above all that "it embraces the faithful of other religions", so that the number of pilgrims" grows year after year". The occasion also includes celebrations of "the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes".

In recent days, the Daily Times - one of Pakistan's most important newspapers - announced that "Hindu and Sikh leaders" will also take part in the pilgrimage. The Pakistani bishops applaud this element, saying that it is "wonderful" that many Muslims also visit the shrine, and that there is the participation of representatives from the Hindu and Sikh communities: "we welcome them and are happy with their decision to come Mariamabad", the prelate concludes.

Although no official numbers are available, Fr Akram says that about one million faithful from various religions go on pilgrimage to the Marian shrine.

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 September 10 - McLaren Calls World to Wake Up Amid 3 'Frightening' Crises
 Article: Social Gospel

Comment from UTT:
A major split occurred in the beginning of the 20th century within evangelical Christianity - those who promoted a social gospel and those who refused to accept the social gospel and continued to believe in the gospel according to the Scriptures - there is one way to heaven through Jesus Christ alone. 
The exact same thing is underway  now that we into the twenty-first century. Brian McLaren and others who promote the "emerging church" are leading the way and preparing the way for "evangelicals" to participate.

The world "is on a precipice" as it struggles to deal with the three "tremendously frightening crises" of climate change, poverty and war, says Brian McLaren, one of the foremost leaders of the emerging church movement.

"This is our home and it's fragile and it's beautiful but it's also really in danger," he says in a new short film for Hope08.

Turning his attention to the "crisis of poverty" and the "huge gap" between the rich and the poor, McLaren states in the video message, "It's an unsustainable system when you have a gap like that."

"A friend of mine says there are really only two tribes in this world: there are the haves and the have-nots," he says. "The hope that we are looking for in the world involves both of them. It involves the have-nots not giving up and it involves the haves learning to care."

Mclaren shares in the film his personal story of reaching out to his Muslim neighbors in the days following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York by sending a letter and making visits to local mosques to reassure them of his support.

Gareth Squire, director of the Christian Enquiry Agency, believes McLaren is an example of how the Christian faith can impact the world. Brian's wider work is very timely, and reminds us that genuine inward personal transformation inevitably leads to transformed decisions and actions, a profound concern for all people everywhere, and a commitment to being part of the solutions the world needs, not its problems," Squire said.

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 September 8 - Russia courts old allies, steps up defiance of the West
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Comment from UTT:
A global crisis involving the resurgence of Russia as a world power is clearly underway. We can expect to see this scenario continue to expand and the middle-east to become the epi- center of global world war.
Russia is groping for fresh ways to engage with the world after its lightning-fast summer war with Georgia chilled relations with the West and dismayed even some of its closest regional allies.

"We are facing the beginning of a complete review of Russian foreign policy," says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a leading Moscow foreign-policy journal. "Things have changed and, based on what Russian leaders are saying, our long effort to integrate with Western institutions, to become part of the Western system, is over. The aim now is to be an independent power in a multipolar world in which Russia is a major player."

Analysts here are divided over whether a "new cold war" between Russia and the West is in the offing, but a growing sense of isolation is leading Moscow to circle the wagons closer to home and to revive alliances with former Soviet allies such as Syria and Cuba, and new partners such as Venezuela.

Russian policy- makers say the world order has shifted from the bipolar arrangement of the four-decade-long standoff between the US and the USSR, to a brief period of American preeminence, to an emerging multi-polar era in which many powerful players will have to learn to work out their differences.

"We need new mechanisms for strategic security cooperation, because the old ones are not working," says Andrei Klimov, a member of the State Duma's international affairs committee. "There is a new reality in the world, and we need to discuss it openly."

"Russia has demonstrated that it's ready to use force outside its own borders, and this means countries of the region are going to have to take note and choose whom they listen to," on big geopolitical issues, says Mr. Lukyanov.

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 September 14 - France pushes legalization of sodomy
 Article: Perilous Times

Comment from UTT:
God's view of sodomy can be found in the book of Genesis. Gen 13:13 But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
A push will be under way soon at the United Nations to advance the activist homosexual agenda.
France is currently president of the European Union, and Austin Ruse of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) believes they will try to give the pro-homosexual movement some clout. "In their role as the president of the European Union for the next six months, France has announced that they are going to push for a political declaration in the General Assembly, calling for the decriminalization of sodomy," Ruse explains.

Rama Yade is France's Junior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights as well as the main political official advancing the agenda, hoping to "combat 'homophobia' as a part of a campaign to advance 'universal' human rights."
Ruse stresses that the proclamation will not be a treaty forcing other countries to comply and will not be subject to the General Assembly for a vote. He says it will not be legally binding, but it likely would have an impact anyway.
"It will be used by lawyers around the world to say that there's a new international standard coming out of the U.N. General Assembly, and all of that will be a lie," Ruse contends. "It won't be an action of the General Assembly, but it will be gussied up as if it is something from the General Assembly -- and radicals on the ground will use it in their own court cases."
Some 90 countries have laws that ban sodomy, and could eventually feel the brunt of the U.N. action.

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 September 14 - Encountering Mary turns our gaze upon Jesus our light, Pope Benedict teaches
 Article: Roman catholic Church And The Last Days

Comment from UTT:
The Bible teaches that Satan can appear as an "an angel of light." 2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. The pope should also warn Roman Catholics that messages that come from the spiritual realm that contradict Scripture should be considered a clear sign that deception is underway. 
Numerous Marian apparitional messages fit into this category. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

.- After a torchlight procession, the Holy Father spoke to the pilgrims about how at Lourdes, Mary invites everyone to enter into God's dialogue of love with man, a dialogue that finds physical expression at Lourdes.

"On February 11, 1858, in this place known as the Grotto of Massabielle, away from the town, a simple young girl from Lourdes, Bernadette Soubirous, saw a light, and in this light she saw a young lady who was 'beautiful, more beautiful than any other'. ... It was in this conversation, in this dialogue marked by such delicacy, that the Lady instructed her to deliver certain very simple messages on prayer, penance and conversion," the Pope said.

"Lourdes is one of the places chosen by God for His beauty to be reflected with particular brightness, hence the importance here of the symbol of light."

Benedict XVI indicated that "by coming here to Lourdes on pilgrimage we wish to enter, following in Bernadette's footsteps, into this extraordinary closeness between heaven and earth, which never fails and never ceases to grow."

It is important to note that, while Mary is the one who appeared to St. Bernadette, Mary continually pointed the young girl to contemplate God through the Rosary, the Pope underscored.

"In the course of the apparitions, it is notable that Bernadette prays the Rosary under the gaze of Mary, who unites herself to her at the moment of the doxology. This fact confirms the profoundly theocentric character of the prayer of the Rosary. When we pray it, Mary offers us her heart and her gaze in order to contemplate the life of her Son, Jesus Christ."

"A small flame called hope, compassion, tenderness now dwells within them. A quiet encounter with Bernadette and the Virgin Mary can change a person's life, for they are here, in Massabielle, to lead us to Christ Who is our life, our strength and our light."

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 September 14 - Pope in France: Eucharist is Jesus 'past, present and future'
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Comment from UTT:
There are many Protestants (and also Roman Catholics) who do not understand that a consecrated wafer is supposed to be Jesus. The Roman Catholic "new evangelization" program is an attempt to educate the "brethren" and the "separated brethren" that this belief is the heart and core of the Roman Catholic faith. Please note the following statement that is found in the article titled "Pope in France: Eucharist is Jesus 'past, present and future' that will prove this point:
"Benedict knelt for a few moments of silent prayer before a monstrance, a container which exposes the consecrated host for adoration by the faithful".
Pope Benedict XVI offered a prayerful mediation on the Eucharist this evening in Lourdes, calling the consecrated host "the eternal presence of the savior of mankind to his church."

While tonight's reflection was spiritual and, at turns, even poetic, it also reflects a key leadership priority for Benedict XVI: promoting a deeper sense of Catholic identity in order to protect believers against the secular ethos of the West. Faith in the real presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine at Mass is a cornerstone of that identity.

Garbed in white liturgical vestments, Benedict said that the Eucharist makes Jesus present "past, present and future."

"The Eucharist is also Jesus Christ, future, Jesus Christ to come," the pope said.

"When we contemplate the sacred host, his glorious transfigured and risen Body, we contemplate what we shall contemplate in eternity, where we shall discover that the whole world has been carried by its Creator during every second of its history. Each time we consume him, but also each time we contemplate him, we proclaim him until he comes again, donec veniat. That is why we receive him with infinite respect."

Benedict closed by suggesting that the Eucharist carries within itself an inherently missionary dimension. The pope invited the crowd at Lourdes to "remain silent" for a period of adoration of the Eucharist after his remarks, but then to "tell the world" what they believe.

After he finished speaking, Benedict knelt for a few moments of silent prayer before a monstrance, a container which exposes the consecrated host for adoration by the faithful.

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

Roger Oakland

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