The majority of Austrians (63%) fear the consequences of the low birth rate in their country, according to Kath.net.
Consequently, the number of children born in
The majority of Austrians (63%) fear the consequences of the low birth rate in their country, according to Kath.net.
Consequently, the number of children born in
I think this is for real, unless Sascha Baron Cohen has a new persona.
TAZ: Herr Taigashkaeb, what goes on in Kok-Boru?
Ruslan Taigashkaeb: Two teams with four players mounted on houses ride against each other. The goal is to bring a dead sheep over the goal line of the opposing team.
Why do you have to use a dead sheep?
Taigashkaeb: Every foreigner asks me that. But the animal is killed before the game.
However you could use a ball.
Taigashkaeb: It’s a tradition, that the winning team gets the animal to eat it. What would the players do with a ball?
Do the horses suffer under the violence of the game?
Taigashkaeb: During the contest the horses don’t think of what they are doing. But after their team has won, they feel they are part of the team.
When Europeans observe the game, they have pity on the animals and don’t see the appeal. >Taigashkaeb: The game has an unbelievable tradition. When did football start? Kok-Boru goes back a thousand years. All our ancestors, who for centuries lived as nomads in the mountains, played it. When
Kyrgyzstanbelonged to the Soviet Union, banned Kok-Boru. However we played the game secretly in the villages. Moscow
Has the national sport changed?
Taigashkaeb: Yes. Previously a game could last a week long and whole villages joined in. The games were hard, and many times people lost their lives. For ten years we have had good rules. A game lasts three times twenty minutes with ten minute pauses. And its become safer.
What does “safer” mean?
Taigashkaeb: Previously there were many cases of death, because everything was allowed to get to the sheep. Even spectators lost their lies. Today the rules are stricter, and you may not deliberately injure an opponent.
Urmat Musaev: We wear a uniform, the arms and legs protected from blows and kicks, and a mask for the face. I have no fear.
You have a scar on your neck and weals on your arms.
Musaev: Yes, there are things that happen in the enthusiasm of the contest. The horses often injure us without noticing it. And I first notice it when the game is over.
Taigashkaeb: It happens that a player breaks an arm or leg. Bur we have medics at the edge of the playing field.
And, as you may have suspected, there is a Borat connection:
have the best Kok-Boru players? Kyrgyzstan
Musaev: Last year I played with a national team at a tourney in Astana.
Taigashkaeb: Next year we’ll get the cup back. About
it’s a question of prestige. Kazakhstan
At one scout camp I was at, a boy with a minor eye problem was patiently learning how to shoot a rifle. I overheard him explaining to the instructor that he hoped to overcome his eye problem so he could enlist in the army and protect his country.
The president of the
was saved from assassination Tuesday when a boy scout grabbed the knife of an attacker who had jumped out of a crowd greeting the leader, an official said. Maldives
This fellow in the crowd with a knife in his hand attempted to stab the president in his stomach,” Shareef said by telephone from Male, the capital. “But a 15-year-old boy came in the way, and grabbed the knife. One brave boy saved the president’s life.”The scout was identified as Mohamed Jaisham Ibrahim, who had lined up to welcome Gayoom, according to the president’s Web site.The boy was injured in the hand by the knife. “His wound was stitched but later he complained that he could not move some of his fingers, so he was flown by a sea plane to Male,” Shareef said.“There was blood on the president’s shirt, but it was not his but the boy’s. Still we got a physician to examine him,” Shareef said.
When a boy is willing to shed his blood to protect you, you can put up with a lot of difficult adolescent behavior.
Msgr. Bernard prince is being tried in
Msgr. Prince, who is Polish, was a close friend of John Paul II
and was highly placed in the
His career included posts at the
as the secretary general of the Pontifical Work for the Propagation of Faith until his retirement more than three years ago. He had lived in Vatican since 1991. Italy
He had also worked at parishes in Arnprior and Pembroke before he took a posting at the Apostolic Nunciature in
He later worked at the Canadian Conference of Bishops in
Ottawaand taught at Saint Paul Universityon Main Streetbefore moving to Torontoas director of ‘s Pontifical Mission Society. Canada
As I discovered in researching my book, several abusers were in charge of the mission societies in their dioceses. I am not sure it is a pattern or coincidence, but mission work provides an ideal environment for abuse. An abuser has international contacts and can be quickly transferred to mission work anywhere in the world. If he abuses in a mission country, the local police are unlikely to come after him.Msgr. Prince’s high position in the
Cardinal Hummes has asked the bishops of the world to form groups to pray for the victims of sexual abuse; According to Reuters
Vaticanofficial has proposed creating prayer groups to pray for victims of sexual abuse by priests, in an effort to help heal wounds from recent abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, head of the Congregation for the Clergy which oversees the world’s 400,000 Catholic priests, told the
‘s official newspaper that he had already written to bishops urging them to promote such groups in which priests and the faithful gather to pray together. Vatican
Prayer, of course, does not replace the elemental justice that victims are owed, or the necessity of abusers and bishops to do penance for the harm they have done the victims.
The Vatican still is circulating a false statistic, Philip Jenkins in his somewhat outdated book Priests and pedophiles cited a statistic that only 1% of the priests in one study were accused of abusing pre-pubertal children, that is pedophilia strictly speaking. Cardinal Hummes has this figure stuck in his mind.
Obviously it must be remembered that only a minimal part of the clergy is involved in serious situations,” Hummes said.
“Not even 1 percent has anything to do with problems of moral and sexual conduct. The biggest majority has nothing to do with things of this nature.”
Most of the victims were adolescent boys. The John Jay study that the bishops of the
A Canadian woman declared dead eight hours earlier, her organs ready to be harvested and donated, suddenly opened her eyes after Filipino priest Fr. Fernando Suarez prayed over her.
In his ministry, Suarez has a quiet approach:
Suarez goes about it gently, in his own soothing way, touching, praying over people, pleading for healing. And because he wants everything centered in the Eucharist, he always begins with a Holy Mass.
Businessman Greg Monteclaro of Couples for Christ-Gawad Kalinga has seen it all. “Except the raising of the dead,” he says. “But the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk — all that is told in the Bible — I have seen it happen.”
“All that is told in the Bible” – seems to hold much more sway in the Third World than in the
Throughout the history of the world, the weak have been exploited by the strong. One version of this bad human habit is sex tourism. Pedophiles from the First World go to the Third World to buy sex with children cheaply and safely. Thailand is a major destination.
Some countries have acted, According to Pédophilie: les lois canadiennes seraient trop timides in Le Devoir,
Australia has laws permitting the surveillance of those known to have committed sex crimes. Australia and the United Kingdom among others have laws which can be utilized to invalidate the passport of individuals who might constitute a danger to foreign children.
The laws are enforced.
Australia, for example, has initiated 28 processes for sexual tourism and obtained 18 convictions.
But Canada stands on the side.
« Canada has the worst performance on the planet when it comes time to charge its citizens who are suspected of abusing foreign children, » states Benjamin Perrin, adjunct professor of law at the faculty of law of the University of British Columbia.
Canada has a law against sex tourism, but
A Canadian law in force for ten years to this day has not led to a single guilty verdict.
It is not that Canadians are immune from this vice. One Canadian, Christopher Neil, (to the right, in jail) was arrested and charged in Thailand for abuse ; another Canadian, Orville Mader, although there was a Thai arrest warrant out for him, nonetheless succeeded in reentering Canada, where he was arrested and is out on bail, with minimal supervision. Neither one was charged in Canada. It is most unlikely that Mader (below) will be extradited to Thailand, and about as unlikely that he will be convicted in Canada.
Rosalind Prober, president of the child protection society Beyond Borders, states
that Canada appears to lack the political determination to file charges.
Canada does not want overly to inconvenience is citizens who go abroad to have sex with children.
Mader in Canada
Mitteleuropa has the tradition of the New Year’s Eve Dust Up. It involves, as always, young men, and their motives are the same the world over.
Der Standard reports:
Bucharest: The Romanian police on Monday morning ended the traditional Sylvester Fight in the with a tear gas attack. In the settlement near the northeast city of villageof Ruginoasa every year on New Year’s Eve the young men, costumed in sheep skins and divided into groups, go at each other with truncheons, to impress the girls. Iasi
Because there were wounded in past years, the police were present with 200 men in battle uniform, as the Romanian station Realitatea reported. Many of the village dwellers let loose on the officials and destroyed their protective shields. It was not reported how many wounded there were. By this originally imaginary symbolic action, the “New Year’s
,” of Ruginoasa, the “victorious” troop wins the right to woo the girls. Battle
Unimpressed Maidens of Ruginoasa
The newspapers in southern Florida, amid the sheafs of inceasingly despondent real estate ads, have stories that capture the essence of life that has spent too much time in the sun. The Naples Daily News reports in its year-end summary:
Hearing cries of “shark” doesn’t usually prompt people to whip out a gun and blast away at the water.
But that’s what Donald Glidewell Jr., who was visiting Wiggins Pass State Park from Alabama, did on June 18 when beachgoers shouted “shark.”
Glidewell, an engineer, told Naples police that he’d been drinking on the beach when someone said, “Hey, there’s a school of fish out there. It looks like they’re being followed by a shark.”
Another person yelled, “Someone should do something. There’s someone swimming out there.”
He said he’d do something.
He pulled out a handgun and began firing rounds into the water. Police were called and found five spent rounds on the beach, as well as three live rounds.
While driving to the jail, Glidewell kept telling police he didn’t understand what he did wrong and he needed to return to work in two days.
He was charged with discharging a gun while intoxicated. After a non-jury trial in August, he was sentenced to six months of supervised probation, 10 days in the county jail, 50 hours of community service, was fined $500 — and his guns were confiscated.
Despite Glidewell’s defense attorney begging the judge not to jail him immediately because he’d lose his engineering job, the judge was adamant that he be tossed in jail that day.
“Human lives were in danger,” County Judge Mike Carr said at sentencing. “If any case would be at the top of the mark on a misdemeanor, this would be it.’’
No, Benedict didn’t congratulate and reward Bishop Gerhard Müller of Regenburg for transferring an abuser, but it didn’t seem to make any difference to Benedict that Müller had done so.
Contrary to the promises of the German Bishops Conference, Müller reassigned a pedophile priest: Deutsche Welle reports:
The Bishop of Fulda, Heinz Josef Algermissen, said his colleague Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of
made a mistake in offering a second chance to a priest with a history of pedophilia. Regensburg
“If something has happened in the past with children, a new start should only be allowed at a distance from children,” Algermissen told the Bayern2 radio station.
The priest in question, identified only as Peter K., was found guilty in 2000 of making improper sexual advances toward a minor and received a 12-month suspended sentence. Müller reassigned the priest to the parish of Riekofen, a village near
, after that sentence expired. Regensburg
Police then arrested 39-year-old Peter K. on Aug. 30 for suspected sexual offences committed between 2003 and 2006.
Note that these latter offenses occurred after the firestorm of news about sexual abuse in the
The German bishops had promised not to reassign pedophiles:
In 2002, the German bishops acted to head off such a crisis, with the Conference of Bishops issuing guidelines on pedophilia. The needs of the victims were to have priority over the needs of the accused priest. Those rules say former pedophiles must not be employed in posts where they may have contact with children.
Müller seems not to have heard of the principle of contradiction:
Müller has denied breaching the guideline, saying he had a Christian duty to forgive and had been convinced that the paedophile priest had reformed his ways.
Müller weakly defended himself:
“Even a bishop can’t rule out the possibility of a priest misusing the freedom [of his position],” Müller said in an interview with the Catholic news agency KNA. “Priests are not marionettes. They themselves are responsible for what they do with parishioners.”
“It’s a German matter,” DPA news agency quoted a source within Radio
as saying. “The bishop will have to justify his behavior to his fellow bishops.” Vatican
But of course his fellow bishops can do nothing; only the Pope can discipline a bishop. Eux-tv reports:
Cardinal Karl Lehmann, chairman of the Conference of German Bishops, said the national body could not do more than establish guidelines and ultimate responsibility was with the dioceses themselves.
But the diocese, like so many American ones, didn’t care:
The mother of two boys molested by the priest in 1999 charged that diocesan staff had failed to help the victims, adding: ‘It’s a scandal that this bishop won’t admit to any fault. They don’t care about the children.’
Benedict has acted against abusers, but he has not disciplined this bishop (or any other) who tolerated and enabled abuse. Instead, Benedict congratulated Müller and appointed him to the Congergation for the Doctrineof the Faith, which also judges priests accused of sexual abuse. Bishops around the world notice.
The new Family Minister Andra Kodolsky, reports Der Standard, is proposing that parents have a choice of how long and how much money they would receive from the state as a subsidy for a child. This Kindergeld is not controversial, except for the cost.
What she is also proposing as a tax reform, Family Splitting, is much more controversial. This would allow the husband and wife to split the family income between them and their children and pay tax at a lower rate (the Austrian tax system is progressive, like ours.) This has provoked the left because it gives an advantage to the family model in which the husband works and the wife stays home with the children. If there are two children and he earns 100,000 Euros, the family pays taxes only at the rate for 25,000 Euros. The more children, the lower the tax rate.
This allows families with children to keep their income, but it also encourages mothers to stay home. Why work, withal the expenses and inconvenience that it entails, when it would be more profitable to have children and to stay at home to care for them.
The left complains: “The family splitting model is directed against women and favors well paid men who are the sole bread winner.”
The left does not like to encourage women to stay at home, or even to make it easier for them to stay at home. Like capitalists, they think that the only social role that is important is participation in the work force. Encouraging women to work potentially doubles the work force. The larger the work force, the less pressure is there on employers to raise wages.
Phil Jenkins in First Things had an article on the forgotten Catholic novelist Harry Sylvester. I found Sylvester’s novel Dayspring. It is remarkable, and I am trying to see if it can be republished.
Sylvester wrote two political novels, Dearly Beloved and Moon Gaffney. As Jenkins wrote,
Both these novels reflect Sylvester’s immersion in the political causes of the 1940s, issues from which he largely escaped in Dayspring, his best novel and a classic of American religious fiction. Like many artists of the time, he spent lengthy periods in
, which had become wildly fashionable because of the primitivist vogue for Native American cultures. For Sylvester, though, the area was a revelation because it introduced him to the Hispanic religious tradition symbolized by the Penitentes, made nationally famous by Alice Corbin Henderson’s book Brothers of Light (1937). While many Americans saw in Hispanic religion merely another tourist attraction, Sylvester found a radically different version of Catholic Christianity, apparently free of the clericalism, bureaucracy, and compromise he so despised. This was palpably not the “Irish-French kind of Catholicism that’s managed to bitch the Church up over here. It’s why a few people have come here or stay here [in the Southwest], where Catholicism is still pretty close to what it should be.” Sylvester’s admiration for southwestern religious culture goes far to explaining the novel’s poor reception among critics, who could not believe they were seriously expected to admire the ridiculous savagery of the Penitentes. In the New York Times, literary oracle Orville Prescott reacted coldly to what he described as “only a religious tract spiced with plenty of sex,” while the Penitentes were “not masochistic; only barbarously fanatic.” No reviewer, as far as I have discovered, found time to remark on, still less to admire, Sylvester’s genuinely impressive descriptions of mystical experience or the visionary encounters that transform the baffled protagonist, trampling all his previous experience and expectations. Dayspring uses the familiar device of an anthropologist visiting a primitive alien community. Increasingly, the anthropology professor, Spencer Bain, realizes that the true aliens, the true primitives, are to be found among his own Anglo people, especially among the sexually liberated progressive colony centered on the horrendous Marsha Senton. (The colony is a barely disguised version of New Mexico , and Marsha is just as clearly meant to be Mabel Dodge Luhan.) For the time, Dayspring offers startlingly frank accounts of the sexual temptations that Bain faces, the predatory promiscuity, and even an attempted homosexual seduction. One central theme is Bain’s distant relationship with his wife, Elva, who has already had one abortion, for the sake of both their careers, and who is now, reluctantly, pregnant for the second time. Bain’s newfound encounter with faith is measured by his wavering attitudes to the prospect of a second abortion. Initially, Bain accepts Catholic baptism as a means of gaining entry into the Penitente sect and achieving a level of direct observation denied to previous anthropologists. Soon, however, the sacrament starts taking effect in unexpected ways. Through his encounters with the “honest, simple, God-struck” Penitentes, he becomes ever more aware of the presence of sin and grace, the reality of healing and mystical experience. The carved santo of Taos in his room ceases to be a piece of naive folk art and becomes a symbol of intercession, of the presence of the holy. Bain realizes how remote from God had been his own life and those of his friends. He begins to identify “the tokens so faint and broken of a superintending design” (the line of Cardinal Newman’s that appears as the book’s epigraph). The dayspring begins to “enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” Bain truly becomes a Catholic but of a distinctive sort, something quite different from the world of Sylvester’s Santiago Brooklyn. In fact, contemplating the Catholicism of the Southwest raised startling questions about separating the core of the faith from its culture-specific accretions. In the novel, the character Father Gannon represents the Irish-American faith of the mainstream Church, a different animal from the Hispanic variant. While local believers know the power of the devil and believe in spiritual healing, the more rational Gannon is scornful: “Of course, priests aren’t supposed to ‘cure’ people. Nothing so sentimental.” And while he is anxious to see Bain join the Church, Gannon wants to accomplish this on familiar lines rather than by exploiting his romantic fascination with Penitente neo-medievalism. He seeks rather to link Bain up with Fulton Sheen, who “sort of specializes in converting the intellectuals.” But the appeal is wasted on Bain: “No, I never heard of him.” In his present circumstances, the carved santo is much more eloquent. Yet Bain does experience an inner revolution, a conversion at once intellectual and spiritual. He is no longer able to share the assured certainty of his colleagues, who see in the Penitentes only the masochistic rituals of an irredeemably backward society. They begin to make sense, as when Teran, the leader of the Hermanos, explains that “we are a violent people, with many passions. It is the reason for the penances of the brotherhood. We do not feel that the ordinary penances imposed by the priest in the Confessional are enough.” By this point, Bain knows that his own Anglo people are at least as deeply imbued in sin, just as pagan and bloodthirsty, although they lack any awareness of the need to change. It is ironic, then, to hear Teran’s skepticism as to whether “a man in a profession as refined as yours could commit serious sin.” Oh, indeed, but he could. Bain, in fact, forsakes academic detachment to join the Penitentes wholeheartedly rather than as an observer, and he goes so far as to let his friends see him participating in these supposedly quaint ethnic rituals. While leading a penitential procession, he has a vision in which his bohemian friends all bear the demonic faces that symbolize their besetting sins of lust, greed, and fanatical ambition, “the prurient, the greedy, the uncharitable.” In this “odd clarity,” the face of Mrs. Senton “showed as a nameless kind of wanton desire for sensation and shock; any sort, any thing, not unlike the undiscerning, tasteless and blank maw of the shark….For all of them, for himself, it was suddenly possible for Bain to believe that he was doing penance.” In such a landscape, visions are possible, even commonplace. Exhausted after the ordeal, he lies down in the Penitente chapel, the morada, where “he wept-for those he had beheld, for his own past unbelief, for Elva….But mostly, and in what amazement he was capable of, for the icy vanity of his own people.”
The novel is painfully pro-life. Bain does bloody penance for the abortion of his son, the child he had torn to pieces so that his and his wife’s professional careers would not be interrupted.
The role of penance in Christian life is generally ignored, because all of us have sinned so deeply and should somehow try to make up for the evil we have done. Among many Catholics, including bishops, this easy-going attitude to sin extends, as I discovered in writing my book, to child rape and murder. Because he had committed adultery a Penitente carried a cross and walked bare footed in the snow until he collapsed from exhaustion; what should one do for raping a child and driving him to suicide?
My wife was telling her garden club friends about our fall trip to
and to see the medals that were struck to commemorate the war: Judea Capta, possibly made from the melted down Menorah.
She replied that she had also seen the new installation the Ara Pacis, which was built Augustus. It has rather a charming relief of the whole family, including the imperial children, in procession to the altar of peace.
I thought it was a commonplace, but apparently not everyone knows that there was a period pf peace when Christ was born. As
But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyd Peace,
She crown’d with Olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphear
His ready Harbinger,
With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing,
And waving wide her mirtle wand,
She strikes a universall Peace through Sea and Land.
No War, or Battails sound
Was heard the World around,
The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The hooked Chariot stood
Unstain’d with hostile blood,
The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And Kings sate still with awfull eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.
Violence among Christians or among supposedly civilized states makes some wonder what the Prince of Peace is up to. How can the mass slaughters of the twentieth century, or of more Christian eras such as the Thirty Years War be reconciled with the peace that Christ brings?
Information overload is part of the problem. Since 1945, wars have declined in intensity and number. The world is at peace now more than it has been in a long, long time. But the newspapers, television, and now the internet make the terrors of war omnipresent.
The total number of American dead in
I am an amateur student of archeology of the American southwest, and for decades archeologists have painted a picture of peaceful societies who learned violence from Christian Europeans.
This is simply false. I have just read Deadly Landscapes: Case Studies in Prehistoric Southwestern Warfare. Violence was endemic among the peoples of the southwest before Europeans arrived. Massacres were common; probably whole nations and languages were wiped out. The book contains a final essay, “Giving War a Chance,” by Lawrence Keeley, author of War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage. There is strong evidence that about 25% of males in pre-civilized societies meet their deaths by violence.
The book contains a final essay, “Giving War a Chance,” by Lawrence Keeley, author of War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage. There is strong evidence that about 25% of males in pre-civilized societies meet their deaths by violence.
Christianity has not removed, but has tempered the violence of man. The Prince of Peace is at work, but he has difficult material to work with: us.
Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed has made some comments on my book. He thinks that having some married clergy would help remedy the situation.I am less certain. Certainly celibacy creates a culture in which many or most clerics have sexual secrets: affairs with men or women, abuse of boys or children (rarely teenage girls, for some reason).
The Latin Church may someday follow the example of the Eastern Churches in allowing married clergy – but preventing sexual abuse should not be the motive.