United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)
Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)


Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Pope compares child sex abuse to 'human sacrifice'

Yahoo  - AFP, 24 February 2019

Pope Francis has called for "concrete measures" and handing 114 senior
bishops a roadmap to shape the debate on how to stop child sex abuse by priests

Pope Francis on Sunday compared the sexual abuse of children to human sacrifice as he addressed the Catholic Church's top bishops at the end of a landmark summit to tackle paedophilia.

"Our work has made us realise once again that the gravity of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors is, and historically has been, a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies," he said.

"I am reminded of the cruel religious practice, once widespread in certain cultures, of sacrificing human beings – frequently children – in pagan rites," he added.

Francis was speaking after a four-day meeting which he had opened by calling for "concrete measures" on tackling priests and handing 114 senior bishops a roadmap to shape the debate on how to stop a global scandal.

"If in the Church there should emerge even a single case of abuse – which already in itself represents an atrocity – that case will be faced with the utmost seriousness".

The ongoing scandals have hit countries around the world, with recent cases affecting Australia, Chile, Germany and the US.

Francis said those who priests who pray on children are "tools of Satan".

"No explanations suffice for these abuses involving children," the Argentine pontiff said.

"The echo of the silent cry of the little ones who, instead of finding in them fathers and spiritual guides encountered tormentors, will shake hearts dulled by hypocrisy and by power.

"It is our duty to pay close heed to this silent, choked cry," he added.

Monday, February 18, 2019

World bishops head to Vatican for sex abuse summit

Yahoo – AFP, Catherine MARCIANO, February 17, 2019

Pope Francis has warned anyone expecting a quick fix to sex abuse by clerics
that "the problem of abuse will continue" (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis gathers bishops from around the world at the Vatican this week for a hotly-awaited summit on tackling the wave of child sex abuse scandals assailing the Catholic Church.

The heads of around 100 bishops' conferences from every continent will convene from Thursday to Sunday for the meeting on the protection of minors, with victims' groups demanding that a concrete action plan on fighting paedophilia be drawn up.

The pope, who asked the bishops to speak to victims of abuse in their respective countries before the Rome convention, has tried to dial down "inflated expectations" for a cure-all.

Several victims were also invited to the Vatican.

"I ask you to pray for this meeting," the pope said Sunday, adding that he wanted the meeting "as an act of strong pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time."

The conference aims to be an opportunity to improve awareness of the global phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors within the Church, despite many in Africa, Asia and the Middle East being in denial of what they call "a Western problem".

In many parts of the world, discussing violence towards children and even sex is taboo, leading the Vatican to organise this week's "educational" gathering.

Some abuse victims, particularly from countries where their plight is ignored, have also been invited to attend.

"Someone who has met a victim, heard their cries for help, their tears, their psychological and physical wounds, can't remain the same," said German Jesuit priest Hans Zollner, a psychologist who travels the world educating priests and is one of the conference's organisers.

A complaint against Italian bishop Luigi Ventura, 74, the Apostolic Nuncio to France, 
for sexual assault is being investigated in France (AFP Photo/REMY GABALDA)

"The Catholic Church has been faced with this problem for the last 35 years," he said, hailing rigorous preventative measures taken in Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland and the United States.

"It works: the number of new accusations of sexual assault in all these countries is now minimal," he said.

The aim is for the heads of the world's episcopal conferences to achieve "a feeling of collective responsibility" said Father Federico Lombardi, who will be leading debates during the conference.

"The credibility of the Church is at stake," he said.

'A decisive moment'

The summit comes after Pope Francis defrocked a former cardinal -- American Theodore McCarrick -- over accusations he sexually abused a teenager 50 years ago.

McCarrick, 88, who resigned from the Vatican's College of Cardinals in July, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse.

Chilean Vatican expert Luis Badilla said the meeting would be a "decisive moment for the pontificate".

"We want this meeting to result in concrete measures," he said, echoing victims' hopes for the conference, being held in the wake of paedophile scandals that have shaken the Church particularly in Chile and in the United States.

The summit's title, concerning "the protection of minors", avoids using the words "sex" or "paedophilia", noted Badilla.

Factfile on major sex abuse allegations relating to the Catholic Church. (AFP Photo/)

That reflects the Church's centuries-old instinct to protect its image, he said. But added "the only way to emerge from the crisis is to tell the whole truth".

In France, prosecutors said Friday they were investigating a sexual assault complaint made against the Vatican's envoy to Paris, 74-year-old Luigi Ventura.

He is accused of molesting an official at the Paris mayor's office, a judicial source told AFP.

The pope has already warned those hoping the four-day meet will be a panacea that "the problem of abuse will continue".

"By resolving the problem within the Church, through becoming aware, we will contribute to resolving it within society, within families, where the shame means everything is hidden," Francis said.

The meeting will come up with "protocols for moving forward", because "sometimes bishops don't know what to do," he said.

Father Zollner is also wary of people hoping for a magic wand of "new norms" that will make the problem simply disappear.

Bishops must "change their attitude", which can be more difficult than drawing up new rules or guidelines, he said.

The scale of the problem is impossible to measure statistically.

A study in the United States said that between three and four percent of the clergy were involved in abuse before 2002, when stricter guidelines were published, said Zollner.

While the Catholic Church says it is trying to address the problem, other churches are also affected.

In the United States, the Protestant Southern Baptist Convention has been hit by a wide-ranging sex abuse scandal involving almost 400 pastors, volunteers and teachers over two decades.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal for sex abuse of minor

Yahoo – AFP, February 16, 2019

American Theodore McCarrick, 88, who resigned from the Vatican's College of
 Cardinals in July, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse (AFP
Photo/Johannes EISELE)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis has defrocked a former cardinal in a first for the Roman Catholic church over accusations American Theodore McCarrick sexually abused a teenager 50 years ago, a Vatican statement said Saturday.

McCarrick, 88, who resigned from the Vatican's College of Cardinals in July, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse.

He was found guilty in January by a Vatican court for sexually abusing a teenager, a decision confirmed by the pope in February, with "no further recourse", according to the statement.

It said McCarrick was guilty of "sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power".

The announcement marks a spectacular fall from grace for the once influential cardinal and comes ahead of a Vatican conference from February 21-24 bringing together bishops from around the world to discuss protecting children within the Church.

Sex abuse scandals around the globe, and most recently in the United States and Chile, have shaken the church, with Pope Francis promising a policy of "zero tolerance" even for high-ranking church members.

McCarrick, former archbishop emeritus of Washington, was barred from practising as a priest in July last year, after which he resigned his honorary title of cardinal. He currently lives in Kansas.

Sex with adult seminarians

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops reacted swiftly, saying the decision "is a clear signal that abuse will not be tolerated".

"No bishop, no matter how influential, is above the law of the Church," Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the bishops conference, said in a statement which also called for all victims of abuse to contact the police.

SNAP, a group representing survivors of abuse by priests, suggested Saturday that the McCarrick decision had been "'fast-tracked' by the hierarchy" in the days before the Vatican abuse conference "because it's so damning".

Pope Francis has promised a policy of "zero tolerance" even for high-ranking
church members (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)

The group called on Catholic officials to practise the transparency they have promised, and said in a statement that criminal charges should be filed not just against McCarrick but "against Church officials who hid his wrongdoing for decades".

McCarrick was known for having sex with adult seminarians before he was accused of sexually abusing at least one teenager.

Prosecutors in the US state of Pennsylvania last year found 300 priests were involved in child sexual abuse since the 1940s, crimes that were covered up by a string of bishops.

Prosecutors in half a dozen other US states have announced plans for similar investigations.

The pope accepted the resignations of several bishops in Chile last year after investigations revealed decades of sexual abuse by clergy in their dioceses.

In March 2015, Pope Francis allowed Keith O'Brien to keep the title of cardinal after the former bishop of Edinburgh and former leader of the Catholic church in Scotland resigned over allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s.

The only previous case of a cardinal resigning came in 1927, when Pope Pius XI accepted the resignation of French cardinal Louis Billot, who had himself renounced his status for political reasons.

Cardinals act as close papal advisors and, if aged below 80, can attend conclaves to elect new pontiffs.

McCarrick had been one of the most prominent American cardinals active on the international stage.

Although officially retired, McCarrick had continued to travel abroad regularly, including on human rights issues.

McCarrick was ordained a priest in 1958 and rose through the ranks in the Archdiocese of New York before being installed as archbishop of Washington in 2001, a post he held until 2006.

The claims against him were made public in June by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the current archbishop of New York.

Dolan said an independent forensic agency "thoroughly investigated" the allegation.

A review board that included jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest and a religious sister then "found the allegations credible and substantiated," and the Vatican ordered McCarrick to stop exercising his ministry.

Questions remain over Theodore McCarrick, including how he rose so high within 
the Church despite suspicions about his behaviour (AFP Photo/CHIP SOMODEVILLA)

At the time, he released a statement maintaining his innocence but added that he had "fully cooperated" in the investigation.

Senior US church officials said they had received three allegations of McCarrick's sexual misconduct with adults decades ago, two of which resulted in settlements.

The US Catholic website Crux quoted a man as accusing him of abuse in New York's St Patrick's Cathedral in the 1970s, when the accuser was 16 years old.

Other cardinals caught up in scandal include Australia's top Catholic George Pell, number three in the Vatican. Pell faces prosecution in Australia for historical child sexual offences, which he has denied.

Defrocking is the most severe ecclesiastical punishment for a priest, who is reduced to the status of a lay person and no longer allowed to lead mass.

Call for pope to resign

Questions nevertheless remain over McCarrick, including how he rose so high within the Church despite suspicions about his behaviour.

Retired Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has accused Pope Francis of having ignored sexual assault accusations against McCarrick for five years.

Vigano, who is backed by an ultra-conservative US church faction, in August called for the pope to resign over his alleged silence.

Francis subsequently promised a fresh investigation into McCarrick, including using Vatican archives.

McCarrick could yet face civil suits in the US.


Pope Francis meets with leaders from the US church at the Vatican on Thursday
to discuss claims of sexual abuse by clergy (AFP Photo/Handout)

Related Articles:

Pope says Church can no longer tolerate silence on abuse

Part of the painting, said to one of the highlights of the Vatican collection


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“… I gave you a channelling years ago when Pope John Paul was alive. John Paul loved Mary, the mother. Had John Paul survived another 10 years, he would have done what the next Pope [The one after the current one, Benedict XVI] will do, and that is to bring women into the Church. This Pope you have now [Benedict XVI] won't be here long.* The next Pope will be the one who has to change the rules, should he survive. If he doesn't, it will be the one after that.

There it a large struggle within the Church, even right now, and great dissention, for it knows that it is not giving what humanity wants. The doctrine is not current to the puzzles of life. The answer will be to create a better balance between the feminine and masculine, and the new Pope, or the one after that, will try to allow women to be in the higher echelon of the Church structure to assist the priests.

It will be suggested to let women participate in services, doing things women did not do before. This graduates them within church law to an equality with priests, but doesn't actually let them become priests just yet. However, don't be surprised if this begins in another way, and instead gives priests the ability to marry. This will bring the feminine into the church in other ways. It will eventually happen and has to happen. If it does not, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, for humanity will not sustain a spiritual belief system that is out of balance with the love of God and also out of balance with intuitive Human awareness. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Iran bid to recover funds frozen in US can proceed: world court

Yahoo – AFP, February 13, 2019

An Iranian woman walks past a mural depicting the Statue of Liberty, painted on the
wall of the former US embassy in the capital Tehran on August 7, 2018 (AFP Photo/
ATTA KENARE)

The Hague (AFP) - The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Wednesday that Iran can proceed with a bid to recover billions of dollars in frozen assets the United States says must go to victims of attacks blamed on Tehran.

Judges of the UN's top court rejected US claims that the case should be thrown out because Iran had "unclean hands" due to alleged links to terrorism, and that the tribunal in The Hague did not have jurisdiction in the lawsuit.

The court will hold further hearings to decide whether Iran can get back $2 billion frozen by the US Supreme Court in 2016.

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the chief judge at the ICJ, said the court "unanimously rejects the preliminary objections to admissibility raised by the United States of America".

The court also "finds that it has jurisdiction" to rule on the case, which was filed by Iran in 2016, Yusuf said at the end of an hour-long reading of the judgment.

Iran said the freezing of the funds breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity with the United States, an agreement signed before Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution severed relations between the countries.

The US Supreme Court had said Iran must give the cash to survivors and relatives of victims of attacks blamed on Tehran, including the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pope admits priests, bishops sexually abused nuns

Yahoo – AFP, Catherine MARCIANO, February 5, 2019

Pope Francis, shown here accepting a gift from an Arab journalist aboard the
papal plane, said the problem of sexual abuse by priests could be found
"anywhere" (AFP Photo/LUCA ZENNARO)

ABOARD PAPAL PLANE (AFP) - Pope Francis admitted Tuesday that Catholic priests and bishops had sexually abused nuns, the latest scandal to rock the church.

"There are some priests and also bishops who have done it," the pontiff said in response to a journalist's question on the abuse of nuns, speaking on the return flight from his trip to the United Arab Emirates.

The papal admission followed a rare outcry last week from the Vatican's women's magazine over the sexual abuse of nuns, leaving them feeling forced to have abortions or raise children not recognised by their priest fathers.

The issue hit the headlines last year after a nun accused an Indian bishop of repeatedly raping her in a case that triggered rare dissent within the country's Catholic Church.

Francis said the problem could be found "anywhere" but was prevalent in "some new congregations and in some regions".

"I think it's still going on, because it's not something that just goes away like that. On the contrary," he added.

He said the Church has "suspended several clerics" and the Vatican has been "working (on the issue) for a long time".

'Must do more'

"I don't want to hear it said that the Church has not got this problem, because it has.

"Must we do more? Yes! Do we want to? Yes!" he said.

He said it was a cultural problem, the roots of which lie in "seeing women as second class".

The February issue of "Women Church World", a supplement distributed with the Vatican's Osservatore Romano newspaper, warned that nuns have been silent over abuse for decades for fear of retaliation.

It said the Vatican received reports of priests abusing nuns in Africa in the 1990s.

"If the Church continues to close its eyes to the scandal -- made even worse by the fact that abuse of women brings about procreation and is therefore at the origin of forced abortions and children who aren't recognised by priests -- the oppression of women in the Church will never change," editor Lucetta Scaraffia wrote.

In the Indian case, Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested on September 21 in the southern state of Kerala on suspicion of raping the nun in question 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

Pope Francis suspended him the day before his arrest, appointing another bishop in his place. Mulakkal, 53, who headed the diocese of Jalandhar in the northern state of Punjab, has denied the allegations.

The nun first spoke out in June but police only started formal questioning in September, as fury over the case mounted.

Five nuns -- in a rare public show of dissent within the Indian Church -- and dozens of supporters staged days of protests.

Failure by Church officials to take action on sexual abuse allegations has been one of the biggest scandals to hit Roman Catholicism globally in recent years.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Pope Francis lands in UAE for historic visit

Yahoo – AFP, Shatha Yaish and Catherine Marciano,  February 3, 2019

Pope Francis is welcomed by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin
Zayed al-Nahyan upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE
capital on February 3, 2019 (AFP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Abu Dhabi (AFP) - Pope Francis landed in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for the first ever visit by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula -- the birthplace of Islam.

The pope touched down in Abu Dhabi for the 48-hour trip during which he will meet leading Muslim clerics and hold an open-air mass for some 135,000 Catholics.

He was greeted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and was warmly embraced by Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's prestigious seat of learning.

The pontiff will take part in an interreligious conference on Monday with Sheikh Ahmed.

Hours before he flies back to Rome on Tuesday, he will lead mass in a stadium in Abu Dhabi -- set to be the largest gathering ever in the UAE, according to local media.

His visit comes with the UAE engaged in a long-running military campaign in Yemen and embroiled in a diplomatic spat with nearby Qatar.

Before heading to the Gulf, the pontiff urged warring parties in Yemen, where the UAE backs the government against Huthi rebels, to respect a truce agreement.

"I appeal to all parties concerned and to the international community to allow the urgent respect of established accords to ensure the distribution of food," he said.

"The population is exhausted by the lengthy conflict and a great many children are suffering from hunger, but cannot access food depots.

The United States applauded Pope Francis's trip to the UAE as an historic 
moment for religious freedom (AFP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

"The cry of these children and their parents rises up to God."

'Great week' 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hailed the pope's arrival in the UAE as "an historic moment for religious freedom".

"The first Holy Mass by a pope in the Arabian Peninsula promotes peace and understanding between two of the world’s great religions," Pompeo tweeted.

Nearly one million Catholic migrants reside in the UAE, mostly hailing from the Philippines and India. Around 135,000 have secured precious tickets to Tuesday's mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

On Sunday morning, hundreds of Catholics queued in drizzling rain outside St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi to get their passes.

"I think the pope coming really opens doors for conversations about tolerance that the whole world needs to hear," said Collins Cochet Ryan, a 39-year-old expectant mother from the US.

For Indian Doris D'Souza, who lives in Goa, Pope Francis's trip to the UAE was not to be missed.

"Since I came to know about the pope's visit to Abu Dhabi, we jumped (at) the opportunity to be witness."

A man and a woman pose in front of a cutout image of Pope Francis at St Mary's Catholic 
Church in Dubai ahead of his visit to the United Arab Emirates (AFP Photo/GIUSEPPE CACACE)

The UAE capital's main streets and those leading to St. Joseph's Cathedral -- which the pope is set to visit on Tuesday -- were lined with Vatican City flags and banners of the interreligious meeting.

'Terrorism vs. love'

UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash extended an official welcome to Pope Francis on Sunday.

"It is a visit that carries great humanitarian value, and the UAE adds a new (chapter) in the history of fraternity and tolerance," he tweeted.

He took an apparent jab at Qatar, which hosts Islamist cleric Youssef al-Qardawi and is engaged in a bitter standoff with its Gulf rivals.

Gargash pointed out the difference "between those hosting a cleric of violence and terrorism... and those who host the pope and the Al-Azhar sheikh for a dialogue of love and communication".

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut all ties with Doha in June 2017 over allegations it supports extremists.

The UAE prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity.

It has eight Catholic churches. Oman, Kuwait and Yemen each have four.

A poster welcoming the pope hangs outside St Mary's Catholic Church in 
Dubai (AFP Photo/GIUSEPPE CACACE)

Qatar and Bahrain have one each, while ultra-conservative Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia bans all non-Muslim places of worship.

Rights controversy

The UAE has however been criticised by rights groups for its involvement in a bloody Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, where an estimated 10,000 people have been killed in four years of war.

Millions of Yemenis face imminent starvation, according to the UN.

Rights groups have also slammed the Gulf state for upholding a 10-year prison term against activist Ahmed Mansoor on December 31 -- two weeks after the UAE declared 2019 the "Year of Tolerance".

"Despite its assertions about tolerance, the UAE government has demonstrated no real interest in improving its human rights record," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said Sunday.

"But the UAE has shown how sensitive it is to its image on the global stage, and Pope Francis should use his visit to press UAE leaders to meet their human rights obligations at home and abroad."


Sunday, February 3, 2019

UN shines spotlight on dying indigenous languages

Yahoo – AFP, February 1, 2019

Dawn Madahbee, an Ojibwe Indian and business executive of the woodland peoples
 of Canada, addresses delegates at the First Nations Economic Opportunities Conference
in Sydney, Australia in July 2006 (AFP Photo/TORSTEN BLACKWOOD)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - There's Ojibwe in Canada, Ami in Australia and Ayapanec in Mexico: these are among the world's nearly 2,700 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing unless new initiatives are taken to revive them, UN officials say.

The United Nations is hoping to raise awareness of the cultural loss with the launch this week of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a yearlong project to help protect these ancient mother tongues.

"2019 must serve as a turning point in our collective determination to save indigenous languages and those who speak them," Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the president of the General Assembly, told a UN gathering on Friday.

Young aborigines from Taiwan participate in a blessing ceremony at the Amerindian
village of Klahowya, British Columbia, Canada in September 2011 (AFP Photo/
Laurent Vu The)

Out of the roughly 7,600 languages spoken worldwide, 2,680 indigenous languages are in danger and many are disappearing at an alarming rate, according to UN officials.

"Every two weeks, there is an indigenous language that disappears, so it is a pretty large toll indeed," said Ernesto Ottone-Ramirez, an assistant director at the UN's cultural agency UNESCO.

In 2003, the last fluent speaker of Akkala Saami, spoken in Russia's northern Kola peninsula, died, a few years before Tefvic Esenc Eyak disappeared in 2008 with the death of Marie Smith Jones in Alaska.

At a ceremony in Paris this week, eight-year-old Odeskkun Thusky spoke in his native Algonquin from Canada's First Nation regions in Quebec and Ontario.

Dawn Madahbee, an Ojibwe Indian and business executive of the woodland 
peoples of Canada, addresses delegates at the First Nations Economic 
Opportunities Conference in Sydney, Australia in July 2006 (AFP Photo/
TORSTEN BLACKWOOD)

"It's important to speak this language because our language here is dying and we want more people to speak it so our language doesn't die," Thusky told AFP.

Canada, home to around 630 First Nation tribes comprising 1.4 million people, has promised funds to help revitalize several languages.

In Australia, more than 250 aboriginal languages were spoken when the British first started to settle in 1788, but only around 120 are still spoken today.

In a bid to hold on to them, some Northern Territory schools now provide education in both English and an aboriginal language.