Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Women in the priesthood.

The Catholic church made it's first gestures to accepting the role of women in a pivotal role when it allowed the laymen and laywomen of the church to serve the Eucharist, both during mass and the practice to the community for the infirmed. 

November 1, 2008
Questions about Eucharistic Ministers (click here)

It is a well established practice in the USA. The Eucharistic ministers were originally all men. Deacons of the church are still men, but, I could be wrong about that. But, it was shortly after the position of Eucharistic Minister began in the USA women were included. 

So, is there hope for women in the clergy? Yes. Most definitely.  

At one time the alter was exclusively for the priests and alter boys. That has changed as well. Girls are now as much a part of the mass as any young man.
I am proud of my country. We have made it easy to be Pope Francis. He is age 76 and the Secret Service has been wonderful to him and the people that have come to see him. There are people from all over the Western Hemisphere that have come to this country to be near him. We are a great people for hosting his time in the USA without worry.

...The cause (click here) for Serra’s beatification began in the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1934, and the diocesan process was finished in 1949. On September 25, 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis has announced that he will be canonized on September 23, 2015 during a Mass in Washington, DC....

The Blessed Junipero Serra is about to be canonized as a saint. This process started some time ago.

An 18th century Spanish Franciscan (click here) who founded a string of missions across Mexico and California will be canonized Pope Francis announced on January 15th.

Blessed Serra is credited with directly founding 9 missions in California, one in Baja California in Mexico and with reinvigorating established missions in Mexico.

The announcement came when Pope Francis, aboard a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, explained to reporters his decision to canonize St. Joseph Vaz, a 17th- and 18th-century missionary to Sri Lanka, bypassing the usual process, including verification of a second miracle attributed to the saint's intercession. Pope Francis said St. Joseph was among great evangelists whom he planned to canonize without such preliminaries, in an effort to celebrate the practice of evangelization.

"Now in September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States. He was the evangelizer of the West in the United States," the pope said. He did not specify when or where the canonization might take place.

Father Vaughn said he had heard that Pope Francis considered Blessed Serra to have already met the sainthood criteria because of the way he brought the Catholic faith to California and the native populations. But that the pope was ready to move on canonizing the friar came as a total surprise, he said....

I realize there is a controversy surrounding this saint, however, he had no control over colonization. He no different than other religious men or women come to serve the people; at least in the Catholic faith. I can understand how Native Americans may think about him, but, their argument is not with him, it is with the federal government. I suppose it is unfortunate there are treaties that limit the reclamation of the USA by the original inhabitants of the land. Blessed Serra had little to do with any of that.

Catholics are attacked with remarkable regularity (click here) for supposed crimes against the native peoples of the New World. Much has been written, for example, about the demolition of the Meso-American cultures such as the Aztecs and the South American Andean civilization of the Incas by the Spanish Conquistadors, the severe oppression of the indigenous peoples, and the devastation delivered upon the Indian tribes across the Americas from displacement, disease, war, and slavery.... 

Let me put it this way. Blessed Serra had to get along with the white man, too.

While 70 million American Catholics celebrate the visit of Pope Francis, Muslims engage haj.

A Muslim pilgrim (click here) prays on a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 during the hajj pilgrimage. Mount Arafat, marked by a white pillar, is where Islam's Prophet Muhammad is believed to have delivered his last sermon to tens of thousands of followers some 1,400 years ago, calling on Muslims to unite. 

23 September 2015
By Lynne Al-Nahhas

... Many of the faithful (click here) from around the globe camped at the foot of Mount Arafat where they slept, exhausted from their journey, and prayed despite the scorching sun.
Carrying colorful umbrellas, they walked from dawn in massive crowds toward the slippery, rocky hill which is also known as Mount Mercy.
It was here that the Prophet gave his final sermon 14 centuries ago after leading his followers on Haj.
To organize the flow of pilgrims, security forces formed human chains along the roads of the vast Arafat plain.
Along the way, volunteers handed out boxes of food and cold water bottles....
There are enormous crowds at every turn of this Pope's visit. Incredible.

Considering the accomplishments of Pope Francis to date, it is easy to call him the "Dove of Peace." He has been very successful. Never saw such accomplishments by other Popes.
Senator Graham is wrong on Russia in the Middle East. Israel and Russia are as much allies as the USA and Israel. There has been every indication Russia has respect for the establishment of Israel.

Russia will stabilize the Middle East with plenty of political fodder from the USA Republicans. Supposedly, Russia is going to increase the threat to global if not regional war. It's nonsense. Russia has as much interest in the stability of the Middle East as the USA and China.

April 21, 2015

...“Israel’s policy on Ukraine (click here) resulted in some damage to the fabric of relations with the US. We’re talking about cumulative damage here, especially at a time when relations are already at an all-time low,” said Roman Bronfman, a Russian-born former Knesset member.

Last year, a senior US administrator condemned Israel’s refusal to censor Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and to vote in favor of an anti-Russia resolution at the United Nations General Assembly. America is Israel’s best friend in the world, always there to defend its junior ally in the diplomatic crises it constantly faces, the official noted, and therefore Washington can expect some quid pro quo....

Israel remains neutral to most exchanges between the USA and Russia. Are there no Russian Jews? Israel maintains an interest in all of it's diaspora and for that reason alone, it has diplomatic relations with major powers on Earth.

I am proud the USA can embrace China for it's wonderful people, while holding the line on maintaining the peace in the Pacific.

September 22, 2015
By Nancy Benac

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan visit (click here) Washington later this week, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, face the daunting task of trying to throw a warm and inviting dinner party for guests of honor accused of cyber-spying on the U.S., trampling human rights and engaging in assertive military tactics....

The Democratic debates are going to prove to be featuring the excellence within the Democratic Party.

I am looking forward to the Democratic debates, especially from Jim Webb.

September 22, 2015
By Daniel Wiser

Jim Webb, (click here) a Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, urged President Obama on Tuesday to issue stern warnings to the visiting Chinese President on Beijing’s militarization of the South China Sea and cyber attacks against U.S. businesses and federal agencies.
Webb said in a Facebook post that Xi Jinping’s state visit comes “just days after his government doubled down on South China Sea sovereignty, actually warning the United States against freely navigating those international waters.” China has embarked on an aggressive campaign in recent months to build nearly 3,000 acres of manmade islands in the South China Sea and outfit them with military-style facilities, including runways, surveillance towers, and artillery pieces....

Jim Webb has the best point of view regarding China. China has to live within it's natural borders. I have stated early on when the focus of the USA Navy turned it's attention to the Pacific there were going to be plenty of tensions that could explode. Jim Webb is correct. There is plenty to develop policy regarding China's movement into the Pacific.

This is just observation and speculation regarding China's currency problems. The Chinese government does not intervene with private commercial economic development unless there is serious problems. When there was a problem with dog food in the USA, China took over the issue and there were criminal prosecutions.

The Chinese currencies are the business of the government. Considering the actions of China in the Pacific a reasonable assumption has to be that the currency turbulence is as much a military tool as any of it's military ships.

One of the reasons the USA has to preserve it's stores of petroleum, including the Arctic, is because of the power of China to turn the global economy upside down. Implosions of Wall Street from time to time is measured by China to know exactly how to use it's currency as an aggressive tool. The Chinese government doesn't care about it's oligarchs as much as the financial markets wants to believe it does. China cares about it's people and growing the country's Middle Class, but, this is a communist government. The government has priorities far beyond it's oligarchs.

If China sets a path to aggression with the USA it clearly has enough clout on every front to be as much as a threat as Russia. Perhaps even more so. The USA's petroleum resources is very depleted. Peak oil clearly occurred in 2005 and the industry went to extremes to maintain it's case flow. The USA has to preserve it's petroleum resource still in the ground for future generations.

I am looking forward to the policy Jim Webb will bring to the Democratic debates. He is former Secretary of the Navy and we already know his position on the Iraq War. He is more than qualified to be President and/or Vice President. It should be interesting.

I didn't know Hillary Clinton had given a TED talk.

Some like to say Hillary's announcements today was timed perfectly. As if she was speaking out while the Pope distracted Americans. That is a bit of an insult. 

It is important for leaders to speak out when a vital need of the American people, namely pharmaceuticals, has become a bit bizarre. So, I applaud Hillary Clinton for her very important and timely message to remind how important the health of the American people have become to their government. 

She also stated today she would not be endorsing the Keystone XL pipeline. I thank her for that, but, this again is an issue that needed an answer. Recently, some folks in the petroleum industry was dusting off this hideous project to put it back into the political sphere. She needed to be absolute. The entire project is ridiculous. The lands of Native Americans should never be in question. It's ridiculous for any corporations to covet land that is protected. Where do they get the nerve? But, no matter, Hillary Clinton saved me the trouble and I appreciate it.

September 22, 2015
By Stephanie Condon

Hillary Clinton (click here) on Tuesday is rolling out a plan to crack down on high prescription drug costs, a problem that plagues millions of Americans.
Clinton's plan, which she'll formally unveil in Iowa, is premised on leveraging the nation's bargaining power to get better deals for patients on Medicare, reforming policies to foster competition in the pharmaceutical industry and implementing new rules to ensure consumers aren't exploited.
In a memo released early Tuesday, the Clinton campaign notes that "too many American families and seniors are being squeezed by rising drug costs." The memo cites a Consumer Reports survey from August showing that one in four Americans facing higher drug costs were unable to afford all their medical bills or medications. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry has a higher profit margin than just about every other major industrial sector....

He is a great man. A great Pope. He is unafraid of his people and his world.

By David Willey

...“He learned )click here) that scores of homeless people were sleeping rough literally on his doorstep, sheltering in the embrace of Bernini’s colonnades facing St. Peter’s Basilica, or in doorways around the Vatican. So he asked his almoner, the Polish priest whose job it is to help the most needy in the Vatican neighborhood, to distribute hundreds of new sleeping bags, to install showers in the public toilets discreetly hidden behind the colonnades, and to arrange for a barber to give free haircuts once a week."...

It is pretty heady stuff. He is the authority on God for all Catholics in the world. The entire world. Yet, he reaches for the poor and the neglected and those least thought of, as a global leader. He has the heart and soul of 20 percent of the world's population. He is unmatched in his influence.