September 11 - 17, 2006 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 1, Issue 58
In This Issue
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The Weekly News In Review Newsletter is a compilation of the news articles that have appeared on the Understand The Times website during the previous week.

 August 25, 2006 - VeriChip Sells First Baby Protection System, in Talks with Military
 Article: Technology for Global Monetary System

By Renee Boucher Ferguson

Updated: The maker of human-implantable RFID chips makes its first sale of its infant protection, wander prevention and staff duress system to a Canadian hospital and is discussing testing its implantable chips in two military branches.

VeriChip, the company that makes human-implantable RFID chips, is looking to span its equipment from newborns to the military's enlisted.

The company announced Aug. 24 that it has made the first sale of its infant protection, wander prevention and staff duress system to the Brampton Civic Hospital in Brampton, Ontario. Separately, the company confirmed a day earlier that it is in talks with the military to test its implantable chips in two branches of the military.

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 September 12, 2006 - Pope Gives His Cardinal's Ring to Mary at Altoetting
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

Benedict XVI gave his cardinal's ring to the Black Virgin of Altoetting, at the most famous shrine of Germany and the "religious heart" of Bavaria.

The Holy Father made the gesture Monday. As Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, he received the cardinal's ring in 1977 from Pope Paul VI, who named him cardinal of Munich.

Vatican sources said that the ring was kept by the Holy Father's brother Georg, 82, who is also a priest and who lives in Regensburg.
Monsignor Georg Ratzinger gave the Pope the ring on Monday, to give to the Blessed Virgin, to whom he is very devoted.

Benedict XVI feels very much linked to Altoetting, which is 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Marktl-am-Inn, his birthplace.

The Ratzinger family often visited the shrine, and the Pope once said that he had the good fortune to be able to visit the church regularly, especially the Chapel of Graces (Gnadenkapelle), where the Black Virgin is venerated.

The image of the Black Virgin is a small wood carving, so named because it has been blackened over the centuries by the smoke of the votive candles lit by the faithful.
The statue of the Blessed Virgin dates back to 1330. The shrine, visited annually by 1 million people, is famous for two apparitions of the Virgin in 1489.

The chapel at the shrine houses a silver urn with the hearts of all the Bavarian kings.

The first thing the Holy Father did when arriving in Altoetting was to prostrate himself at the foot of the Blessed Virgin.

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 September 10, 2006 - Evangelical Author Puts Progressive Spin On Traditional Faith
 Article: Emerging Church

By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 10, 2006; A01

Lyndsay Moseley was no longer inspired by the evangelical Christian faith of her youth. As an environmental activist, she believed that it offered little spiritual support for her work and was overly focused on opposing abortion and gay marriage.

Then the 27-year-old District resident discovered Brian D. McLaren of Laurel, one of contemporary Christianity's hottest authors and founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in upper Montgomery County.

"He always talks about the environment as a priority when he talks about the church being relevant to the world," Moseley said. "He's leading a [spiritual] conversation that needs to happen," one that "I've been hungry for."

McLaren has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in an increasingly active group of progressive evangelicals who are challenging the theological orthodoxy and political dominance of the religious right. He also is an intellectual guru of "emerging church," a grass-roots movement among young evangelicals exploring new models of living out their Christian faith.

...McLaren, 50, offers an evangelical vision that emphasizes tolerance and social justice. He contends that people can follow Jesus's way without becoming Christian. In the latest of his eight books, "The Secret Message of Jesus," which has sold 55,000 copies since its April release, he argues that Christians should be more concerned about creating a just "Kingdom of God" on earth than about getting into heaven.

Along with such other progressive evangelicals as Washington-based anti-poverty activist Jim Wallis and educator Tony Campolo, McLaren is openly critical of the conservative political agenda favored by many evangelicals.

...What makes McLaren's ideas attractive to progressive evangelicals appalls the more numerous conservatives. Noting that he fails to condemn homosexuality, one conservative Web site called him "A True Son of Lucifer" for ignoring "absolute biblical truth." And last year, Baptists in Kentucky revoked a speaking invitation after McLaren said that followers of Jesus might not be the only ones to gain salvation.

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 September 14, 2006 - 12,000 pilgrims attend coronation of Mary, Mediatrix
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

The Philippines, known as the cradle of Christianity in Asia, has given another distinct honor to the Blessed Virgin Mother, venerating Her as Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace to bring peace to the country and the world.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal led a concelebrated Mass assisted by 15 bishops at the historic Carmelite Church here on Tuesday.

An estimated 12,000 Catholics pilgrims from all over the country attended the third annual day of prayer, consecration that coincided with the coronation of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace's sacred statue by Bishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines (CBCP) and archbishop of Iloilo City.

In unison the huge crowd recited the act of consecration of the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus to bring peace throughout all the land and the entire world.

Bishop Ramon C. Arguelles, archbishop of Lipa City, led a prayer after the coronation.

"Blessed are You, most blessed of all women, by the Lord, the most high God and blessed is the Lord God Who created the heavens and the earth. You are the exaltation of Jerusalem, You are the great glory of Israel, You are the honor of God's people, You are the pride of our race." Arguelles said.

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 September 15, 2006 - World of Islam condemns pope's remarks
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Pakistan's legislature unanimously condemned Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon's top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.

Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

By citing an obscure medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," Benedict inflamed Muslim passions and aggravated fears of a new outbreak of anti-Western protests.

...Notably, the strongest denunciations came from Turkey - a moderate democracy seeking European Union membership where Benedict is scheduled to visit in November as his first trip as pope to a Muslim country.

...The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," Benedict said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."'

The pope did not explicitly agree with nor repudiate the comment.

...Many Muslims accused Benedict of seeking to promote Judeo-Christian dominance over Islam.

Few in Turkey, especially, failed to pick up on Benedict's reference to Istanbul as Constantinople - the city's name more than 500 years ago - before it was conquered by Muslim Ottoman Turks.

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 September 12, 2006 - Converts from Islam on pilgrimage to Mariamabad, "Asia's Lourdes"
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

by Qaiser Felix

Hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims take part in the 57th annual national pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin. Here is Mubarak Masih's story, a convert from Islam, who, rejected by his family, continues to believe despite a difficult life, thanks to Our Lady's help.

Mariamabad (AsiaNews) - The 57th annual Marian pilgrimage came to an end without any sectarian tensions in an atmosphere "free from any kind of religious discrimination", with Christians and Muslims thronging together to the great Marian shrine in Mariamabad, one of Asia's most venerated religious sites.

...Muhammad Husain, 28, completed the journey with his friend Niamat Ali, 22, both devout Muslims. They work in a factory in Gujranwala and heard about the event from a Christian workmate. "We respect a lot Mary and came to show it," they said.

"We have been coming here, every year, since we were kids," said four other young Muslims. "We repeat the experience because of the atmosphere. There are no religious tensions, no discrimination, just love and faith."


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 September 17, 2006 - Somali cleric calls for pope's death
 Article: One World Religion

Comment from Understand The TImes:

The current dilemma created by the pope's statements will require a supernatural event to resolve the situation. Watch for such a supernatural intervention to occur by an apparitional appearance of the Queen of Peace - believed to be "Mary" the mother of Jesus by both Roman Catholics and Muslims.

A hardline cleric linked to Somalia's powerful Islamist movement has called for Muslims to "hunt down" and kill Pope Benedict XVI for his controversial comments about Islam.

Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin urged Muslims to find the pontiff and punish him for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and Allah in a speech that he said was as offensive as author Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses.

"We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion," he said in Friday evening prayers.

"Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim," Malin, a prominent cleric in the Somali capital, told worshippers at a mosque in southern Mogadishu.

"We call on all Islamic Communities across the world to take revenge on the baseless critic called the pope," he said.

Reached by telephone on Saturday, Malin confirmed making the remarks that were echoed in less strident form by other senior clerics in the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia (SICS).

Another SICS executive member, Sheikh Ahmed Abdullahi, vented similar anger at the pope's "barbarous criticism" but stopped short of calling for his murder.

"He must apologise because he has offended the most honorable person who ever lived in the world," Abdullahi said.

The German-born leader of the Roman Catholic Church has been condemned in the Muslim world for comments he made at a Tuesday lecture, in which he implicitly denounced links between Islam and violence, particularly with reference to jihad, or "holy war."

The pope also quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who said innovations introduced by the Prophet Mohammed were "evil and inhuman."

Somalia, a Horn of Africa nation of some 10 million mainly moderate Muslims, has been wracked by instability for the past 16 years but has recently seen the rise of fundamentalist Islamists who seized the capital in June.

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 September 17, 2006 - US plot behind pope's remarks: Iran hardline press
 Article: One World Religion

TEHERAN - Iranian hardline newspapers on Sunday said there were signs of an Israeli-US plot behind remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that linked Islam to violence and created a wave of anger across the Muslim world.

The daily Jomhuri Islami said Israel and the United States, "the Islamic republic's two arch-enemies" could have dictated the comments to distract attention from the resistance of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah to Israel's offensive on Lebanon.

"The reality is that if we do not consider Pope Benedict XVI to be ignorant of Islam, then his remarks against Islam are a dictate that the Zionists and the Americans have written (for him) and have submitted to him."

"The American and the Zionist aim is to undermine the glorious triumph of Islam's children of Lebanese Hezbollah, which annulled the undefeatable legend of the Israeli army and foiled the Satanic and colonialist American plot," it said.

Fellow hardline daily Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there were signs of Israeli inteference aimed at creating conflict between Islam and Christianity.

"There are many signs that show that Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding the great prophet of Islam are a link in a connected chain of a Zionist-American project," it said.

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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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