Aug. 13, 2012 - Aug 19,,2012 
 News In Review
 Vol 7, Issue 25
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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.  The purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of deception from a Biblical perspective.

 August 13 - A Step Forward Towards Reconciliation Between Catholics and Orthodox Churches
 Article: Bridges To Rome

The President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Jozef Michalik and Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia will sign a joint declaration to both Polish and Russian people this Friday. The signing will take place during the first visit in Poland's history of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"It is an unprecedented event," stressed the representatives of the Catholic Church in Poland and of the Russian Orthodox Church. "The purpose of this document is to resolve painful pages of Polish and Russian history," added Father Jozef Kloch, spokesman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, "the important question is to begin a dialogue that is born on the basis of the very Gospel of Christ."

It is an important step that "in this phase we cannot but take," said Archbishop Michalik to Poland's Catholic Information Agency (KAI). "This event must not be treated in political terms but as an indication of a path, a symbol and a sign of obedience to the will of Christ, an important step on the path of forgiveness," said the president of the Polish Episcopal Conference.

The first important step towards Russo-Polish reconciliation was the visit of a group of monks from a Russian monastery near Ostashkov to Jasna Gora, the shrine of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa in September 2009. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church was led by Arkadij Gubanow, Prior of the Orthodox Monastery of Saint Nil at Stolobienskoje, region of Twer.

Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa and Father Izydor Matuszewski, Prior General of Pauline Fathers and Custodian of the Shrine, also gave a copy of the Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa to the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church. "This Holy Icon of the Black Madonna is a sign of our spiritual closeness, and also a symbol of Europe's two lungs, Eastern and Western, as the Servant of God John Paul II taught," said Archbishop Nowak at the consigning of the icon. The Orthodox monks kept the copy of the image of the Madonna in the Monastery of Saint Nil at Stolobienskoje. During World War II, it was destined to a Soviet lager where more than 6,000 Polish soldiers were killed.

"In this place, in our monastery, we must pray together, Russians and Poles, before the Holy Icon of the Madonna of Czestochowa, to ask for peace and to pray for all those who were killed," exhorted Arkadij Gubanow, prior of the Orthodox Monastery of Saint Nil.

The signing of the declaration this Friday is seen as another step towards reconciliation between the Churches of the East.

Read Full Article.... 

 August 8 - Atheism on the Rise in Asian and European Nations, Poll Finds
 Article: Miscellaneous

A recent poll that surveyed over 51,000 people across 57 countries reveals that atheism is on the rise globally by almost 10 percent, with several Asian and European nations experiencing the most growth. Most of the world's population, however, still considers itself religious.

People were asked one question: "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person or a convinced atheist?" - and according to the RedC Opinion Poll, 13 percent of all respondents said they are convinced atheists. Although that number is still smaller than the 59 percent of religious and 23 percent of non-religious people, it is close to 9 percent higher than the previous survey in 2005.

"There is a notable decline across the globe in self-description of being religious," a press release on the poll noted.

Among the top 10 most atheistic countries were four Asian nations and six European ones. The atheistic nations were as follows: China (47 percent), Japan (31 percent), Czech Republic (30 percent), France (29 percent), South Korea (15 percent), Germany (15 percent), Netherlands (14 percent), Austria (10 percent), Iceland (10 percent) Australia (10 percent) and Ireland (10 percent).

In the United States, 60 percent of people said they were religious, while 30 percent were non-religious, and 5 percent were atheist. Another 5 percent had no answer.

The country that reported one of the highest numbers in the loss of religion was Ireland, which went from 69 percent in 2005 to 47 percent in 2012 in terms of people saying they are religious. Although the poll did not speculate the reasons for this change, the Roman Catholic Church, which many Irish people belong to, has been embroiled in long-standing child abuse scandals in recent years.

Read Full Article.... 

 August 16 - Bloomberg, NYPD announce $30 million surveillance system
 Article: One World Government

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the inception of a new surveillance system that would lend the New York Police Department a greater eye of scrutiny on the city.

The computerized "Domain Awareness System" is a joint $30 million venture with Microsoft Corp. that will be a be a one-stop shop for police officials, comprised of data from 3,000 cameras and over 2,000 radiation detectors throughout the city. With this computer system, investigators will have access to real-time video footage and public safety data that is aggregated into one database. The Bloomberg administration and NYPD have characterized the technological advancement as a sophisticated tool to combat city crime and prevent future terrorist acts.

"This new system capitalizes on new powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports and other existing tools and technology," Bloomberg said in a press statement.

But like most steps taken by the Police Department to combat city crime, civil rights advocates are expressing their concerns with the new computer system, which they argue could impede the privacy of the millions who live in New York City.

"The NYPD and Microsoft appear to be teaming up to collect massive amounts of information about New Yorkers and yet the public has next to no details. There have been no hearings and no one has even mentioned privacy," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

National Action Network Executive Vice President and General Counsel Michael Hardy echoed those same concerns. "Any advance in being able to protect citizens against crime is welcomed, but nevertheless it also raises privacy concerns," Hardy told the AmNews. "You're putting the innocent movement of people in a databank."

"No one wants to interfere or slow down the ability of the police to protect the citizens of this city and also protect us against potential future acts of terrorism, but at the same time, you cannot do that in a total tradeoff for your rights," he said.

Ultimately, Hardy said, citizens are unfortunately under the lens of the camera more often than not. "Many of us unfortunately know that pretty much wherever you are in public that you're under the view of someone's camera, whether it's a government camera or a private camera. We have cameras on most commercial buildings now and most stores. No matter where you are, you're pretty much under the gaze of someone's camera."

Read Full Article .... 

 August 16 - Panama statue of Virgin Mary to rise taller than Statue of Liberty
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

President Ricardo Martinelli of Panama said that a new statue of Santa Maria la Antigua will be the largest one ever made of the country's patroness.

In a public ceremony on Aug. 14, Martinelli said the statue of the Virgin Mary will be erected on the coast in Panama City and will rise 100 meters - seven more than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

The project is part of the 500th anniversary in 2013 of the discovery of the "South Sea," the name first given to the Pacific Ocean by Spanish explorers, and the creation of the first diocese on South American soil.

"It will be an icon of this city for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the South Sea and for the first Catholic church on land," President Martinelli said.

While he did not say when construction of the monument would begin, he said both public and private funds would be used to finance the project.

On Sept. 9, 1513, Pope Leo X created the first South American diocese in what was once the city of Santa Maria la Antigua de Darien. The city was founded three years earlier by Vasco Nunez de Balboa and Martin Fernandez de Enciso on land that is now part of Colombia.

Read Full Article .... 

 August 16 - Spanish politicians implore Virgin Mary's help amid economic crisis
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Various Spanish political leaders looked to the Virgin Mary on the Feast of the Assumption Aug. 15 to ask for help in bringing the country out of its worsening economic crisis.

Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, prayed for jobs during Mass in the Spanish capital, while the Mayor of Biblao, Inaki Azkuna, prayed to Our Lady of Begona.

"Those of us who are believers continue to believe that we could be given some help and that we need it. All of society, and not only politicians, is going to have to make a tremendous effort," he added.

The Mayor of Toledo, Emiliano Garcia-Page, said during a Mass in that city that Spaniards will need "hope and unity" to endure that difficult economic and social situation the country is facing.

"During times of difficulty and social and economic crisis, a spirit of solidarity is necessary for there to be unity," he said. "We will be able to combat the crisis better together if we all do our part," he added.

Other politicians attended religious services, including the Governor of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, who went to Mass with those affected by the recent wild fires on the island of Tenerife. Likewise, the president of Cantabria, Ignacio Diego, attended Mass in the city of Selaya.

In Almonte, Mayor Jose Antonio Dominguez took part in the procession of Our Lady of Rocio, and the secretary general of the Socialist Party of Castilla and Leon, Julio Villarrubia, attended religious services in the city of Villamuriel de Cerrato.

Read Full Article .... 

 August 15 - Mary's assumption into heaven fosters hope on earth, Pope teaches
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Having been taken into heaven both spiritually and bodily, the Virgin Mary helps believers to grow in "Christian hope" during their earthly lives, Pope Benedict XVI taught on the Feast of the Assumption.

The Pope celebrated Mass at Castel Gandolfo's parish church of St. Thomas of Villanova on the Aug. 15 solemnity. During his homily, he said Mary's intercession with God can "help us to live well and with hope the time that God gives to us" on earth.

The Pope also observed that by entering the fullness of life with God, the Virgin Mary was not leaving behind the faithful on earth, but instead becoming closer to all.

Dogmatically defined in 1950, the assumption of the Virgin Mary's body and soul into heaven is a perennial part of the Church's faith
, Pope Benedict told pilgrims who joined him to pray the Angelus at his summer residence later in the day.

He explained that Christ's mother, who was "redeemed from the first moment of her life," is "associated in a special way" with the mystery of Christ's own life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Mary's physical and spiritual entry into God's presence represents "the Paschal Mystery of Christ fully realized in her," as she is "intimately united with her Son" and "fully conformed to him."

As Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace for the mid-day Angelus on Wednesday, he expressed his desire that "the example and prayers of Mary, Queen of Heaven" would "inspire and sustain us on our pilgrimage of faith. Under her protection, believers on earth may hope to "rejoice with her in the glory of the Resurrection and the fulfillment of her Son's promises."

Read Full Article .... 

 August 15 - Devotion to Mary profoundly biblical, Argentinean bishop says
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

"Devotion to the Virgin Mary has its most solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Tradition of the Church," he said.

"We cannot speak of her apart from God's plan, and this makes it a profoundly biblical devotion. At the same time, the presence of Mary with the apostles at the birth of the Church made her a unique point of reference for the Christian people," he added.

In his reflection for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15, Archbishop Arancedo said this devotion is also deeply ecclesial. She was not the mother of a man, but rather the Mother of God. Therefore, devotion to the Virgin Mary is the expression of a mature biblical and ecclesial spirituality. This has been the tradition of the Christian people," he said.

Archbishop Arancedo said that Mary's role should therefore be understood within God's plan, "in which everything is oriented towards Jesus Christ...In the Gospel she herself will see to directing our eyes to her Son: 'Do whatever he tells you.'"

"As the chosen daughter of God, she teaches us to relate to Him in a climate of trust and gratitude. She knows that the personal love of God for her entails a calling, a mission, and she lives it with the joy and humility of the truth," he continued.

"An authentic devotion to Mary should lead us to imitate her attitude of faith," Archbishop Arancedo said, "in order to see ourselves in God's plan and to find meaning for our lives in Jesus Christ. The encounter with Christ is the culmination of our devotion to the Most Holy Virgin."

Read Full Article .... 

 August 18 - The Happy Priest: The Importance of a Eucharistic Life
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

A casual glance at the daily news provides ample evidence of the worldwide chaos caused by many who have rejected Christianity. Continual violence, hedonism, materialism, and corruption now reaching previously unimaginable dimensions have resulted from the actions of those who have foolishly tossed aside the truth of Jesus Christ to indulge in their own insatiable proclivities.

Jesus remains with us in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. His Real Presence is celebrated and adored in the monstrance placed in every chapel dedicated to Perpetual Adoration. He is truly with us. Every time we gaze upon him, every time Our Lord and Savior comes to us through Holy Communion, he gives us the graces that we need to put into practice his way of life so that we may gain eternal life in heaven.

Each time we come to the Eucharist, it is Jesus himself who not only shows us how to live our lives, but who also provides us with the divine grace to live out the gospel teachings in our daily existence.

This is why
we must have a daily Eucharistic life. Each time we have contact with our Eucharistic Lord, we become one with him. We assimilate him into our being. Holy Communion becomes a communion of two persons and thus, transformation takes place. Only the foolish and the ignorant would stay away from the greatest gift that Jesus has given to us.

Sometimes it might be the case that objectively, daily Mass is just impossible. However, it may be possible to spend some time with Our Lord in adoration or a visit before the tabernacle.

Saint John Bosco once said,
"Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you." Center your life on the awesome gift of the Eucharist.

Read Full Article .... 

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

Roger Oakland

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