February 15 - February 21, 2010 
 News In Review
 Vol 5, Issue 4
In This Issue
Links Of Further Interest
Quick Links
Quick Links

Join our mailing list!

Dear Ron,

The News In Review newsletter is a service provided by Understand The Times that is a compilation of the news articles previously posted on our site . Understand The Times does not endorse these events but rather is showing the church the current events.  Our purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of the Biblical deception.

 February 10 - Where There's Suffering, There's Mary
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

On Feb. 11, 1858, the Immaculate One appeared to a true anawim, a "blessed poor of the Lord" from the mountain town of Lourdes -- 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous. Beside the River Gave in the grotto of Massabielle, "Aquero" or "that One" -- as Bernadette first referred to her in her local patois dialect -- appeared with rosary in hand to convey a global message of prayer and penance in reparation to God for sin and for the conversion of sinners.

After the instruction by the Lady to dig for water, which caused a stream from which a supernatural generosity of miracles would flow down to our own day, Bernadette received the great Marian self-revelation which would awe the faithful and bewilder the theologian: "I am the Immaculate Conception."

St. Maximilian Kolbe would later explain that
for the Mother of Jesus to say "I am the Immaculate Conception" conveys that Mary is mysteriously in her very essence full of grace and free from sin. She is a new creation, the perfect creation of the Father, so as to be the immaculate Mother of God, and also to be the faithful co-redeemer with her Son the Redeemer.

Karol Cardinal Wojtyla preached powerfully on this theme in a Dec. 8, 1973, homily on the Immaculate Conception. The future John Paul II reminded his congregation at Cracow: "Mary was the Co-redemptrix, because she was first the Immaculate Conception."

"Associated with the Sacrifice of Christ, Mary, Mater Dolorosa, who at the foot of the Cross suffers with her divine Son, is felt to be especially near by the Christian community, which gathers around its suffering members who bear the signs of the passion of the Lord. Mary suffers with those who are in affliction, with them she hopes, and she is their comfort, supporting them with her maternal help.

Not only does Our Lady bring to the sick a perfect human example of Christian redemptive suffering, but the Holy Father says further that "Mary suffers with those who are in affliction."

"This complete 'yes' of love is the Immaculate Conception of our dear Mother, Mary, who participated on Calvary as the co-redemptrix with the Savior. [...] Christ on the cross suffered all the pains that his Most Holy Mother suffered. And she in Christ suffers all our pains, she assumes them and knows how to commiserate with us. Our suffering is also her suffering."

The intercessory power of Our Lady of Lourdes is not limited to the geographical confines of a French hamlet in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Where there is suffering and sickness, there is the Mother, hovering in wait to mediate graces of consolation, healing, and courage, all in conformity to the perfect and generous will of the Heavenly Father. She waits only for our fiat in faith, to be freely welcomed into our homes, into our hearts, as she was by the disciple who Jesus loved (John 19:27), to bring to each one of us extraordinary healing graces of the Crucified Christ.

Whatever our present ailment or cross may be,
Our Lady of Lourdes is the universal Mediatrix of healing and persevering grace, universally for all humanity, and personally for you and for me.

Read More .... 

 February 11 - Ahmadinejad Says Iran Is Now a 'Nuclear State'
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Thursday that Iran has produced its first batch of uranium enriched to a higher level, saying his country will not be bullied by the West into curtailing its nuclear program a day after the U.S. imposed new sanctions.

Ahmadinejad reiterated to hundreds of thousands of cheering Iranians on the anniversary of the 1979 foundation of the Islamic republic that the country was now a "nuclear state," an announcement he's made before. He insisted that Iran had no intention of building nuclear weapons. It was not clear how much enriched material had actually been produced just two days after the process was announced to have started.

"I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first package of 20 percent fuel was produced and provided to the scientists," he said.

Enriching uranium produces fuel for a nuclear power plants but can also be used to create material for atomic weapons if enriched further to 90 percent or more. "We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent but we don't enrich (to this level) because we don't need it," he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

Iran announced Tuesday it was beginning the process of enriching its uranium stockpile to a higher level. The international community reacted by starting the process to impose new sanctions on Iran.

The president said Iran will triple the production of its low-enriched uranium in the future but didn't elaborate. "God willing, daily production (of low enriched uranium) will be tripled," he said.

Read More .... 

 February 11 - Blair to "intensify" work on Mideast peace: Clinton
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

Middle East envoy Tony Blair will "intensify" his work with U.S. negotiator George Mitchell to broker peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

"Tony Blair, as the Quartet representative, will intensify his partnership with Senator Mitchell in support of the political negotiations," Clinton said in a statement after speaking with Blair.

Clinton, reiterating Washington's commitment to finding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Blair would work to help lay the groundwork for a future Palestinian state and "improve freedom of movement and access" for Palestinians.

A spokesman for Blair said the envoy was looking forward to stepping up his work with Mitchell and helping Palestinians prepare for statehood.

"We need a new strategy which starts to end the closure policy (of Gaza), so that reconstruction can advance further, and legitimate business can prosper," said Blair's spokesman, without giving details on what a new strategy might be. "By focusing on the bottom-up change, we can create the best possible atmosphere for political negotiations to succeed," the spokesman added.

Read More .... 

 February 11 - How Gay Uncles Pass Down Genes
 Artilce: Miscellaneous

Maybe everyone could use a gay uncle: A new study found that homosexual men may be predisposed to nurture their nieces and nephews as a way of helping to ensure their own genes get passed down to the next generation.

Research has confirmed that male homosexuality is at least partly hereditary – it tends to cluster in families, and identical twin brothers of gay men are more likely to be gay than fraternal twin brothers, who do not share identical DNA.

But scientists have been puzzled about how these genes are perpetuated, since homosexual males are less likely to reproduce than straight males. Basically, why haven't gay people gone extinct?

One idea is called the "kin selection hypothesis." Perhaps gay men are biologically predisposed to help raise the offspring of their siblings and other relatives.

"Maybe what's happening is they're helping their kin reproduce more by just being altruistic towards kin," said evolutionary psychologist Paul Vasey of the University of Lethbridge in Canada. "Kin therefore pass on more of the genes which they would share with their homosexual relatives."

He also said that he doesn't think the kin selection hypothesis entirely accounts for the endurance of gay genes, but that it likely plays a role in combination with other biological factors.

Read More .... 

 February 12 - Links to Spirituality Found in Brain
 Article: Miscellaneous

Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say.

The study, published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Neuron, involves a personality trait called self-transcendence, which is a somewhat vague measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors. Self-transcendence "reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole," the researchers explain.

Before and after surgery, the scientists surveyed patients who had brain tumors removed. The surveys generate self-transcendence scores. Selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions of the brain induced a specific increase in self-transcendence, or ST, the surveys showed.

"Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST," said Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy. "Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors."

Read More .... 

 February 13 - Admiral Congregational UCC welcomes new pastor
 Article: Perilous Times

The Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ, 4320 Southwest Hill Street, welcomes the Rev. Dr. Donald Schmidt as its new pastor. Formerly the West Seattle Congregational, the church was founded in 1899 and is believed to be West Seattles oldest church.

The United Church of Christ is generally, and certainly in the Northwest, very much on the progressive edge which Im proud of, he said. There are an incredible number of people craving the theology we have, which encourages people to take their own faith journey.

While Schmidt is openly gay, he said, I am not a gay pastor. I am a pastor who happens to be gay. Im a pastor first and foremost. The other aspects of my life are secondary. My partner Donald Osmer and I were married in Canada. Here we have a domestic partnership. Were the two Donalds.

Rev. Schmidt spoke of three religious books he published, including Emerging Word. This was my doctoral dissertation based on creation spirituality, which celebrates not original sin but original blessing. I think its far more biblical, but less popular. Also Bible Wanderings about Bible stories in different settings, and In the Beginning, also about Creation Spirituality.

He explained, Creation spirituality developed with a lot of mystics in the Middle Ages, such as Meister Eckhart, Hildegard, and St. Francis of Assisi. Assisis writings were amazingly profound, amazingly cutting edge and nobody ever reads those. The Catholic Church suppressed them for years and left him in the garden for birds. The whole thing is that he was a nice man who loved animals.

In the beginning we are recognizing were blessed, he said speaking in the context of creation spirituality. Original sin is very popular, he added. It sells. Its not biblical.

When people say they think the Bible tells us how the world was created and it happened in a few thousand years, I think thats just immature. Theres no conflict between recognizing that the earth is 15 billion years old and that God was involved. The energy force that created the universe and the big bang is divinely planned. The god I worship is the god that cared enough to create that, and love us. To me thats an amazing miracle.

.Read More .... 

 February 11 - Presbyterian Church USA: Some reject John 14:6
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

A poll of members of the Presbyterian Church USA shows a significant percentage of them now reject the exclusivity of the gospel message.
The Statement of Faith of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination says God through Jesus Christ delivers followers "from death to life eternal."
But a poll done by the Presbyterian Panel's "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" found that 36 percent of members disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: "Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved."
Another 39 percent, or about two-fifths, agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

Read More .... 

 February 15 - Symposium Considers Future Steps for Ecumenism
 Artcile: Ecumenical Movement - Misc.

A symposium hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity brought together theologians from various churches to consider future steps for ecumenical dialogue. A Vatican communiqué reported that the three-day symposium, which started Feb. 8, gathered theologians from the Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican and Methodist traditions at the invitation of the council's president, Cardinal Walter Kasper.

The symposium aimed not only "to take account of the many elements of agreement produced by forty years of official dialogue, but to consider ways of communicating this remarkable achievement to the members of all the various Christian communities," the council stated.

It expressed the hope that in this way, the communities can demonstrate "more fully in their lives the progress towards unity that has been made."

The theologians made a "detailed examination of the question of reception of joint statements and agreements, the need for the common witness of Christians at every level, and the changed context in which Christianity must undertake its mission."

They also discussed
how ecumenical dialogue should take place in the future, and what steps should be made toward the goal of "full and visible communion."

The meeting participants "explored how traditional disagreements might be reassessed if they are looked at in the context of mission and the vision of God's kingdom."

They spoke about ecumenical dialogue in terms of
a "new and promising approach," in which it is viewed "as an exchange of gifts."

Read More .... 

 February 11 - Bill would require sex education starting in kindergarten
 Article: Miscellaneous

A bill introduced in the Iowa House would expand whats required to be taught in schools to include age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education beginning in kindergarten. The legislation is being pushed by Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, who is a longtime educator.

She says kids need more information than they get in schools where abstinence only is taught. We need to give kids good information. We need to give kids the ability, the skill set to be able to make a good choice and good choices in their lives, Mascher says. Mascher says parents would have the option to pull their children from the sexuality classes.

But the proposal still raises concerns among some private school administrators. The executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference, Tom Chapman, says the idea violates the moral beliefs of many parents. We think that the sexuality education is a job for parents, and wed certainly would like to keep it that way. And this bill would require all Catholic schools to teach comprehensive sex education as defined by the state board of education, so we would have some concern about what they might approve as the curriculum, Chapman said.

The Association of Christian Schools is also opposed to the bill, while Planned Parenthood is lobbying in favor of it. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland spokesman, Kyle Carlson, says the studies hes read prove that the abstinence only lessons taught in some schools dont work to keep young people from sexual activity.

We know its more effective to provide more information in terms of healthy relationships, birth control options, getting tested for S-T-Is and treatment for that, Carlson says.

read More .... 

 Feb 16 - Iran says the world 'will regret' sanctions
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Anyone placing sanctions on Iran would be "regretful", President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

"If anyone does anything against Iran, then our response won't be the same as in the past. No, we will definitely react and make them regretful," the president told a televised press conference.

Earlier the Saudi Foreign Minister indicated his country would prefer a "more immediate solution" to the situation rather than slow-acting sanctions, but did not elaborate.

"The international community must be sure that Iran's nuclear programme is peaceful. But if these obligations are not fulfilled then nobody can rule out the use of sanctions," said Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova.

On Monday Mrs Clinton said the government of Tehran was being "supplanted" by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was in danger of becoming a "military dictatorship".

Read More .... 

 February 16 - Spanish bishop reaffirms that science and faith are complementary
 Article - Creation/Evolution Creation/Evolution Debate

Auxiliary Bishop Cecilio Raul Berzosa Martinez of Oviedo, Spain remarked this week that science and faith, when they are authentic, are not enemies and cannot ignore each other.  He added that they must be complementary, as they are traveling companions in the mystery of life.

Referring to human fossils found in Atapuerca, an archeological site located east of Burgos in Spain where some believe the oldest human remains in Europe have been found, Bishop Berzosa said these discoveries are just another episode in the mystery of evolution, which began not one million, but 15 billion years ago.

Who wrote the script (of evolution)?  Why and how? he asked. For people of faith, the answers to those questions can be found in God, who is the creator and author of life.  Scientist simply remain on the threshold.

For this reason, Bishop Berzosa noted, The Christian faith allows for the idea of evolution, although not an evolution that is closed and blind, such as the exclusive result of chance or happenstance.  God has created the world through a form of evolution.

Read More .... 

 February 18 - Australian Anglicans Taking Steps Toward Rome
 Article - Ecumenical Movement - Misc.

With a unanimous vote at a special meeting, an Anglican group in Australia has affirmed its gratitude for Benedict XVI's move to allow them to convert to Catholicism, and is directing its council to make it happen.

The Australia branch of Forward in Faith made this vote Monday, affirming its readiness and desire for an ordinariate to be established Down Under.

Ordinariate is the term established in the Nov. 4, 2009, apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus," which allows for groups of Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.

"We're not really wanted any more [in the Anglican Communion]," he said, "our conscience is not being respected." The Pope's apostolic constitution is an answer to just that type of experience, which many Anglicans have expressed as the Communion moves toward greater approval of homosexual behavior -- including openness to active homosexuals in ordained ministry -- and women bishops.

Read More .... 

 February 19 - Millennial generation less likely to claim religion, study finds
 Article - Signs Of The Last Times

Read More .... 

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

Ron Pierotti

Forward email

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to ronpierotti@volcano.net by ronpierotti@volcano.net.

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